Disclaimer: I do not own, nor did I create, any of the A-team characters (main or support) nor do I own, nor did I create, any of the episodes. That credit is due to Stephen J. Cannell and his associates. Any familiar catch phrases or settings also belong to the Cannell team.
Additional Cannell characters referenced/included:
H. Emma Murdock - in S4E20 Mission of Peace
Colonel Morrison -several episodes
Uncle Deke & ammonia - S1E1 Mexican Slay Ride
Dr. Richter- S4E11 The Doctor is Out
Mike Tuckabee- S4E18 The Duke of Whispering Pines
Jack Harmon -S4E8 Blood Sweat and Cheers
Spoiler Alert: This piece is based off the Season Four Episode 16 titled, "Cowboy George" and therefore reveals plot points and characters from that episode.
Author's Notes: In this episode Murdock is completely of his game and at the mercy of auditory hallucinations. He latches onto an obsession with the Lennon Sisters, to such a point that it endangers the mission. I've crafted a possible explanation for all this.
Summary: The ruckus in Dry Creek has been resolved. The team is returning to LA. Face let's Murdock know he understands his day long obsession with the Lennon Sisters.
Leaning on the Lennons: by LAGC
Murdock begrudgingly opened his eyes and swatted at his Woody Woodpecker alarm clock. It's maniacal laughter forced the bleary eyed captain to confront the morning while the orange glowing clock face, blinking 7am, taunted him out of bed. He sat up, shoved his feet into his slippers, then threw glare at his Quote of the Day Calendar. He dry heaved as he read-
February 11, 1986
"Joy came always after pain"- Guillaume Apollinaire.
He thought to himself, "Joy! Of all the days to read the word joy." He yanked a plaid throw blanket out of his closet and stumbled into his bathroom. While behind his closed door he heard his nurse in a kerfuffle in the hall. He really wasn't in the mood to care about it though. Suddenly there was a strident knock on his bathroom door and a familiar voice primly announcing, "Do hurry up Mr. Murdock. I have the car waiting to take us to your lawyer's office". Murdock rolled his eyes and thought, "What the hell is Faceman up to now?"
Very slowly he edged the door open, just enough to see a preening Faceman, dressed as a chauffeur, standing in front of a frazzled Nurse Winchester. The young RN was reading documents Face had waved in front of her.
"Ah, Mr. Murdock, there you are. Now please do hurry and gather yourself up. We need to get you to your lawyers office on time. The reading is today after all." prompted Face.
"The reading? What reading?" mumbled Murdock.
Face gave him a wide eyed silent plea to play along with this latest scam. Then stiffly declared,
"The reading of your Uncle Deke's will. You're the primary heir to his ammonia empire. You remember his attorney, now your attorney, Michael Tuckabee, contacted you last month about today. Your Uncle's estate has been tied up in probate court but that's been all settled. Now your presence is required to complete all the necessary paperwork and legal processes. Please, please, do get dressed so we can go."
Face shot him one more imploring look begging Murdock to get on board with the scam.
Years of habit and loyalty overrode Murdock's melancholy and he flatly replied. "Oh yeah Uncle Deke and his ammonia estate. Nearly forgot about him. He's from a dried branch of my fathers side of the tree." He gathered clothes off his dresser and said,
"Out of respect for this young professional, I'm going to dress in the bathroom"
Face then turned to Nurse Winchester, "I trust we are all set now nurse. You can see Dr. Richter's signature on the release forms. You've everything you need. "
"It seems so...surprised forgot...his intermittent memory losses have been so infrequent as of late." Then suddenly recognizing that she may have said too much, hastily retreated. "Have a good outing, Mr. Murdock" she called out over her shoulder.
Face led Murdock out to his car and drove back to his current residence, a simple bungalow near the beach. Murdock plunked himself on the couch while Face went to his bedroom to change out of his chauffeur get-up. He emerged a few minutes later in a new outfit that Murdock realized was also was a costume.
"Faceman why are you done up like a city-fied cowboy now? Where are you dragging me too?" griped Murdock.
Face looked a bit disappointed by Murdock brusque attitude but still smiled brightly and told his buddy that they were headed to Dry Creek to meet Cowboy George and finalize concert details. Murdock gave him a disinterested shrug and wrapped the plaid blanket more tightly around his shoulders.
"Come on Murdock. Let's go. BA is only letting me use his van for today." Face cajoled.
"Fine, fine, I'm coming. I don't want to but I will. Why the van and not your 'vette?"
"So I can help Cowboy George transport his instruments and such. A good promoter has to be ready and able to handle every detail. Come on. Come on." Face waved his hand urging Murdock into motion.
The men climbed into the van. Face began driving. Murdock kept fidgeting in the passenger seat, he was being tormented by auditory hallucinations. It was as if he had the Lennon Sisters tap dancing inside his skull. Ultimately he ended up curled up on the floor entangled in his throw blanket. He really simply wanted to fade into his thoughts but Face kept trying to force him into conversation.
Seemingly oblivious to Murdock's mood, the Lieutenant regaled his Captain with all the lessons he'd learned about music promotions from the night course he'd been attending. Finally Murdock surrendered to Face's chatter, sat up, and conversed with his Lieutenant. Murdock was skeptical about this entire endeavor, especially since this was dealings with Dash Goldman. But Faceman was deeply invested in his latest straight job. Murdock pushed himself to engage and participate.
Once in Dry Creek things were going along adequately. Murdock managed to play along well enough. When the redneck bar owner threatened Face something nearly snapped. In that instance all of Murdock's malaise was replaced with hard cold focused soldier. He threatened to fill that redneck with holes if he didn't release Face. Thankfully the redneck recognized Murdock's sincereity. Meeting Boy George of the Culture Club helped restore Murdock to a decent state.
But back in the solitude of their motel, Murdock was again beset with his auditory Lennon Sisters hallucinations. He was curled up on a bed, fingers thrust into his ears, trying to force the songs away when Hannibal and BA arrived. They'd come to answer Face's call for help. Murdock was a mess. He couldn't even manage to cover for Face and sold him out completely to Hannibal. He told the Colonel all about Face's trash deal with Dash Goldman.
Face and Hannibal concocted a plan to thwart the club owner and the thieves from escaping with the stolen payrolls. Murdock's role was to play DJ at the local country music station to drum up attendance at the concert in the Floor'em. He was relieved by this. He didn't really trust himself to be in the thick of a fire fight for he wasn't sure if he could maintain control of his mental state.
He was doing ok while Face scammed him into the DJ slot at KGAB. He even did a fantastic radio rift to convince the station manager to let him into the booth. But then he spotted the album. The Lennon Sisters album. Face did too and immediately begged him not to touch or play the album. But all was lost in that instance. Murdock shoved Face and the station manager out of the booth and locked the door. He then allowed himself to get swallowed by his fixation and began playing "Too Marvelous". None of the station manager's screaming, threats, or negotiations had any impact. Men were even began tearing down the door but Murdock never flinched.
It wasn't until Boy George came rushing in to tell him that the Team was in grave danger that Murdock pulled himself out of his delusion. His guys needed him that was the trigger for sane behavior. Fortunately Boy George had fetched him in time. He was able to rescue the Guys from the angry mob of cowboys and then they all captured the thieves and recovered the payroll. Somehow Face also managed a deal with Boy George and Culture Club that got the A-team out of the financial crater that Dash had scammed Face into.
Now it was time to go home. BA and Hannibal, sans his Cowboy George makeup and attire, had left in the van. Face and Murdock were driving back to LA in the ostentatious convertible that Hannibal had used as part of his persona.
"Thanks for coming along with me, Buddy." Face said.
"You didn't really give me much choice, muchacho." Murdock replied flatly.
"I'm sorry things got so messed up and dangerous."
"The messed up part you should have seen coming. But the danger part wasn't your fault." Murdock said as he dropped his head back against his slightly reclined seat.
A few minutes of silence passed then Face cautiously said, "I just wanted to give you a nice day, a distracting adventure."
"Why today?" Murdock guardedly inquired.
"Because I know what this date is. I know why it was the Lennon sisters on replay in your head. I just wanted to make today easier for you."
"Of course I did. I do, every year. Do you think I'd forget the anniversary of one of the worse days in my best friends life?" Face gently revealed.
"I miss her Faceman. I truly do, even all these years later."
"Of course you do, Buddy. You always will but that just proves how much you loved her and how much she loved you."