The Checklist: The A-Team (S5 Ep10) “The Crystal Skull”
In this installment of The Checklist, we will put an episode from the fifth and final season of The A-Team to The Checklist test.
Two new characters were added in the fifth season, one was a friend of Hannibal’s from his movie making gigs, Frankie Santana (Eddie Velez). Frankie would serve as the team’s special effects man. The other was General Stockwell (played by Robert Vaughn). At the start of season 5, The A-Team is captured, stand trial and are found guilty. It is Stockwell who saves them from a firing squad, but not without a catch, The A-Team now has to work for him taking on dangerous missions no other organization wants to touch.
We will be taking a look at the 10th episode of Season 5 entitled, “The Crystal Skull”…
- Synopsis: As the episode begins The A-Team has recovered The Crystal Skull and they are on their way to rendezvous with General Stockwell, the team ends up on a remote island where they find themselves in the middle of a war between rival tribes and uncover a diamond mining operation.
1. Was Hannibal in disguise?
This is a classic A-Team trope we do not get to experience in “The Crystal Skull”. The rookie member of the team, Frankie Santana does disguise himself as one of the natives and later Face and Frankie briefly pose as monks but we don’t get to see Hannibal in disguise, in fact we don’t get to see much of Hannibal period and I’m not sure why Mr. T even bothered to come to work for this episode. 0/1
2. Did Face use his charms on the ladies?
The only ladies in this episode were the natives and they were so in awe of Murdoch I am not sure they even noticed the Faceman. 0/2
3. Were there any notable guest stars?
One constant through out the history of the show’s run was the use of notable guest stars to interact with The A-Team on their “mission of the week”. “The Crystal Skull” episode kept that tradition alive and well. Aki Aleong plays the evil boss who is enslaving the islanders to mine diamonds for him. Aleong also played the evil General Quoc in Braddock: Missing in Action III and more recently as an ally to Jean-Claude Van Damme’s character Deacon in Pound of Flesh. Another notable guest star (and JCVD co-star) was Rochelle Ashana. She plays Leesa, the beautiful native girl that is to be wed to Murdoch (the natives believe he’s a god). She is most remembered for playing Mylee in the JCVD classic, Kickboxer. 1/3
4. Was there a building montage?
Another A-Team tradition that was forgotten in this episode was the classic building montage. There was a point where Face and Frankie are wiring the monastery (a front for the diamond mining) to explode where they probably could have done a wiring a building to explode montage, but they didn’t even do that. 1/4
5. Were any catchphrases used?
Oh how I often waited to hear Hannibal utter the words “I love it when a plan comes together.” Well I’m still waiting for him to say it in “The Crystal Skull”. 1/5
- Final Score = 1/5 (20%) This is the lowest score any show has received in Checklist history.
As you can see, by the final season The A-Team was a shell of its former self. The ratings downfall began in Season 4 and after the show was moved to Friday nights for Season 5, the ratings decline accelerated. NBC cut the fifth season short and didn’t order the last 9 episodes. Sadly, The A-Team was a show that never got to have a big series finale, something I think anyone who was ever a fan of the show would have tuned in for.