|The A-Team (season 5)|
Original season 5 DVD cover
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Original release||September 26, 1986 -|
March 8, 1987
The fifth and final season of the action-adventure television series The A-Team premiered in the United States on NBC on September 26, 1986, and concluded on March 8, 1987, consisting of 13 episodes. Robert Vaughn and Eddie Velez joined the cast in this season. At the beginning of this season, a remixed version of The A-Team theme song was used.
The opening credits were changed in this season, which consisted of scenes taken from "Dishpan Man", "Trial by Fire", "Firing Line", Season 3's "Timber", Season 4's feature length two part episode "Judgment Day", "The Sound of Thunder", and Season 5's "Quarterback Sneak".
After the last four seasons, ratings had started going down for the show since it had been "wash and repeat" for several years, with repeating problems that clients presented them with. A change was made in an effort to bring ratings back up by completely changing the A-Team's reason for being on missions, as well as introducing a new member (Frankie Santana) to the team. The running gag of Face constantly springing Murdock from the mental hospital was also dropped, with Murdock declared sane and usually out looking for a job; Murdock has never held the same job for two episodes, suggesting his lunacy or being dragged on missions caused his bosses to fire him.
The A-Team now resided in a safe house in Virginia, although Murdock continued to live separately in an apartment. Now under the command of the mysterious General Stockwell, the team was now working for the government on top secret missions that the U.S. could not send their own agents in on; after a set amount, Stockwell would get them presidential pardons. New running gags involved Frankie and Face questioning Stockwell's methods, Frankie arguing with B.A. over transportation between countries (as Frankie gets seasick, while B.A. is just scared of flying), and Hannibal going against Stockwell's orders.
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
"The Court Martial (Part 1)"
|Tony Mordente||Stephen J. Cannell||September 26, 1986|
After being sent to the hospital for a mishap on the movie set, Hannibal is kidnapped by retired General Hunt Stockwell, who offers the colonel the choice between going to jail or the A-Team performing a mission for him. They are to rescue a group of hostages from a hijacked flight in Spain. As an extra incentive, Stockwell reveals that former ally Captain Josh Curtis is on the plane, and he might have information that could clear the A-Team's names. Instead, after being freed, Curtis betrays the team and falsely tells Stockwell he saw the A-Team murder Colonel Morrison and burn their headquarters to cover the crime. After years of being fugitives, the A-Team has finally been captured.
Filming dates: July 17-25, 1986Production Code: #1506
|87||2||"Trial by Fire"|
"The Court Martial (Part 2)"
|Les Sheldon||Tom Blomquist||October 3, 1986|
|The court martial of the A-Team is under way, featuring witnesses (among them Col. Roderick Decker) and a recounting of the team's "crime they didn't commit". Curtis is exposed of giving false information, but before the truth comes out fully he is killed by his gunrunner partners. Fearful that Murdock, who is not part of the court martial, will be suspected, the rest of the A-Team is convicted at the hearing. Meanwhile, Frankie Santana, a colleague of Hannibal's in his stunt work, and Murdock seek evidence to prove the innocence of Hannibal, Face, and BA.|
"The Court Martial (Part 3)"
|Michael O'Herlihy||Frank Lupo||October 10, 1986|
|Time is running out for the team as their execution is impending. Murdock and Frankie desperately seek Stockwell's help in helping the team escape, but are rebuffed. Eventually, through clever manipulation of Stockwell, the team escape their execution and are coerced into joining Stockwell's agency, whereupon they will perform covert high-risk missions for him in exchange for a presidential pardon. Because of his collaboration in saving the A-Team, Frankie is forced by Stockwell to join them; on the bright side, Stockwell has Franky's hospitalized relative taken care of. The team is moved to a home in Virginia, where the four now live. Murdock is also revealed to have been declared sane, likely through Stockwell's connections, and is now out looking for a job.|
|89||4||"Quarterback Sneak"||Craig R. Baxley||Paul Birnbaum||October 17, 1986|
Stockwell's latest mission has the A-Team travel to East-Germany in order to sneak out a chemical warfare scientist who's had second thoughts about his invention. While Hannibal poses as the owner of a football team to keep the scientist's boss busy, the rest of the A-Team to secure the scientist's wife. However, "Project Victory" may prove to bring out explosive consequences.
Murdock's job: Inspector No. Six of the garment industry. He later gets promoted to No. 1's assistant after finding a flaw in a trenchcoat inspected by No. 1.Joe Namath as T.J. Bryant, John Matuszak as Davey Miller and Jim Brown as Steamroller.
|90||5||"The Theory of Revolution"||Sidney Hayers||Burt Pearl & Steven L. Sears||October 24, 1986|
General Stockwell sends his team to the tiny island of San Marcos, where they try to assist American intelligence agents who have been taken prisoner by a ruthless dictator. Frankie falls in love with Juanita, a local and takes the matter personally. It turns out that the ship the agents were taken on was more valuable than them; they escape to an awaiting sub while the A-Team show the dictator and his Russian ally not to mess with them.Murdock's job: Bison scout leader
|91||6||"The Say UNCLE Affair"||Michael O'Herlihy||Terry D. Nelson||October 31, 1986|
The A-Team must deal with Stockwell's former partner turned adversary Ivan Trigorin when he kidnaps Stockwell. If they cannot find and free Stockwell to speak a code 12 hours, they lose any hope of securing their pardon. Through Hannibal and Murdock's usual craziness, they manage to locate Stockwell and capture Ivan; with less than 10 minutes left, Stockwell speaks the code, securing the A-Team for another half-day.
Murdock's job: Frank Sinatra impersonator.
Special Guest Star: David McCallum as Ivan Trigorin.Note: David McCallum and Robert Vaughn were the stars of The Man From U.N.C.L.E., to which this episode's title is a reference.
|92||7||"Alive at Five"||Craig R. Baxley||Bill Nuss||November 7, 1986|
Face plans to leave the A-Team during the upcoming mission, no longer believing that they can secure a pardon (though a nightmare about Stockwell is what actually causes it, and even makes Face think that Stockwell might be able to infiltrate their dreams). Though Face makes the A-Team start thinking that Stockwell may be lying to them about a pardon just to keep using them, he is ignored. Face finds himself returning to the team in order to help a reporter after trying to run away numerous times.Note: Stockwell keeps a "Thank You" from the reporter off the air, to keep the fact he faked the A-Team's deaths at the start of the season a secret.
|93||8||"Family Reunion"||James Darren||Steven L. Sears||November 14, 1986|
In a special episode of which the ending was voted on by viewers, the A-Team must help a former political advisor to reunite with his lost daughter in exchange for a diary with large political ramifications. Unbeknownst to Face, the advisor claims to be his father, a fact Murdock learns of during the course of the episode, causing a dilemma for Murdock on whether or not he should tell his friend; he blackmails Stockwell to investigate into the matter, threatening to withhold the advisor's intel. In the end, the advisor dies of natural causes and Murdock reveals the truth, infuriating Face. While mourning, Face receives the call from Stockwell, confirming that the man really was his father; Face comforts his half-sister.
Murdock's job: Turkey farmerNote: First mention of Murdock's girlfriend Erica.
|94||9||"Point of No Return"||Bob Bralver||Burt Pearl||November 18, 1986|
The A-Team travel to Hong Kong after Hannibal goes missing in action during a solo mission to locate a nuclear core; adding to the problem is that if not stored properly, it will slowly poison anyone within its vicinity. With the assistance of Stockwell, they hope to A) complete Hannibal's mission in time and B) find and save Hannibal himself. The mission is successful, and Stockwell gives the A-Team 12 hours of vacation time as a reward for doing things his way (since Hannibal wasn't around to challenge him for once).Note: First time the A-Team is led by Stockwell.
|95||10||"The Crystal Skull"||Michael O'Herlihy||Bill Nuss||November 28, 1986|
|The A-Team become mixed up in a fight between two warring tribes concerning a religious artifact they secured for Stockwell. With the artifact in his hands, the tribe mistake Murdock for a god. At the same time, scammers attempt to take advantage of the tribe's mistake. In the end, Stockwell believes the A-Team was wasting time (unaware of what was really keeping them) and revokes the reward he promised them.|
|96||11||"The Spy Who Mugged Me"||Michael O'Herlihy||Paul Bernbaum||December 2, 1986|
Murdock must assume the guise of a James Bond-type secret agent named Logan Ross in order to stop a professional assassin known as the Jaguar from completing his next mission. Murdock plays the part so well, he ends up with a sweetheart and the end of the episode, much to Face's jealousy.
Murdock's job: Assistant manager at a fast food restaurant.Note: The A Team meet Stacey, who also works at the restaurant.
|97||12||"The Grey Team"||Michael O'Herlihy||Tom Blomquist||December 30, 1986|
A government agent is to give fake documents on the "Star Wars" project to a Russian in a sting operation; however, his daughter overhears him and thinks he's actually betraying America, so she steals them and hides out with her elderly friend. The A-Team is called in to get the files back so the sting operation can go off without a hitch; Hannibal has Murdock pose as a doctor with knowledge on the process, to lure out the Russians. In the meantime, Frankie, B.A. and Face are forced to deal with Federal agents sent by the government to find the girl, and a retirement home's worth of elderly people mistaking them for enemies. Eventually, Hannibal's insane plan allows the team to lure in their enemies and trap them.
Murdock wonders what the future holds for the A-team; Hannibal assures him that they'll have many more years of their zany adventures.Note: Whilst this was the penultimate episode to air, it is, in fact, the final episode of the series. Despite being aired last, 'Without Reservations' is in fact the penultimate episode, but was aired out of order three months after this episode, the reasons for which are unclear. A visual clue of this is that in 'The Grey Team' Murdock is seen wearing a shirt that says 'Fini' the French word for 'End', whilst in Without Reservations he is seen to wear a shirt that reads 'Almost Fini'.
|98||13||"Without Reservations"||John Peter Kousakis||Bill Nuss||March 8, 1987|
When dining at a restaurant Murdock is employed at, Face and Frankie believe they've successfully prevented two mobsters from being able to assassinate an important customer coming in later; however, a corrupt cop shoots Face, leaving him badly wounded and nearing death. Murdock and Frankie are left helpless as they are also taken hostage. Murdock's lunacy manages to concoct a way to get a message out; he writes "HELP" on a pizza B.A. picks up, allowing him and Hannibal to rescue the group and get Face to a hospital in time.Note: This is the last aired episode of the series.