Sunday, February 19, 2017

Mission: Impossible -- Episode 12: The Fortune

To Watch: Click Here

Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
Casey is captured and killed while in the Florida Keys investigating an exiled dictator and his power-hungry wife who are living comfortably in a heavily guarded mansion.  The dictator had stolen millions of dollars from his country, and the IMF team's goal is to steal the funds back and return them to the impoverished nation.  In the middle of the mission, the team learns about Casey's death and must come to grips with the loss of their teammate.

Memorable Quote:
Oh, Jim, she can't be dead.  ~Nicholas

The part where the normally stoic Phelps reacts to the picture of Casey on tv as part of a news report on an unidentified body. The moment is really poignant and well done, especially since the others in the room don't know what's going on.  It was a good choice the writer made to have the team go into the operation not knowing that Casey was dead because it allows us to see their reactions to the news.

The reveal at the end left a little to be desired.  For one thing, how did they just stroll off of the heavily guarded property?  And why did they just leave and give the Berezans with an opportunity to escape?  And why did Mrs. Berezan start giving a speech at the podium to no one?

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • So we bid a fond farewell to Terry Markwell as Casey Randall.  Apparently by episode 12 she was either ready to move on from the show or the show was ready to move on from her.  The image of her being cornered at the fence is one of the few moments from the series that I remember from when I was a kid.  
  • The entire opening scene is excellent between the acting, the heightened suspense, and the music (the "Anything Goes" show tune in the background is a great contrast to the dark events going on inside the room). It's certainly by far the most powerful opening yet in the series.
  • Another strong scene when Jim tells the team that Casey died, and there's even some uncharacteristic snappiness from Max toward Grant.
  • Good thing that Berezan didn't have any numbers or special characters in his password.  Calls to mind MacGyver pulling the "Ugly Duckling" guess out of his rear.  

Final Analysis:
Strong episode.  The surprise death of a main character on any show would presumably tend to be memorable and emotional, so it's not surprising that this one was more impactful than your average MI episode.  Even forgetting about Casey's death for a moment, the rest of the episode was pretty good with a strong villain (Madame Berezan), an interesting setting (the mansion in the Keys), and a clever plot.  Ranking it 3 out of 12. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Dashboard's MacGyver Reboot Update #23

It’s official: MacGyver will have a crossover episode with Hawaii Five-0 next month!

Episode 18: Flashlight (via Daniel Dae Kim)

(Spoiler Alert: You will get spoilered by reading this post and its comments or by clicking on the links provided!)

MacGyver goes Hawaii
In my last guest-post (Update No. 22) two weeks ago, I speculated about an impending crossover between MacGyver and Hawaii Five-0. Executive Producer Peter Lenkov has said several times (e.g. at San Diego Comic Con) that he would love to do a crossover episode. He also talked about the connection between the two shows and the potential crossover he had written into the script for the pilot episode, namely a backstory of Jack Dalton sharing history with Steve McGarrett. (The scene had indeed been filmed, but the direct reference didn’t make it into the final cut.)

Pilot Episode: The Rising (via Peter Lenkov)

My speculations manifested due to Central Casting Georgia announcing a casting call on February 2 for Asian-looking Extras; in particular Hawaiians (certified in First Aid and CPR or having real life experience as EMTs, Paramedics, Doctors, Nurses or Rescue Workers).

Not even 20 hours later, Lucas Till spilled the beans by sharing a picture of Taylor Wily on the MacGyver set in Atlanta. It didn't take long for press releases and articles to pop up with more information. According to TVLine, the Episode called "Flashlight" will air on March 10. The story will involve Mac and the team travelling to the big Island of Hawaii to aid in earthquake-relief efforts. There, MacGyver and Jack will team with Chin Ho and Kono to rescue a group of government scientists trapped in a building on the verge of collapse.

The Earthquake Episode
So far, not that many pictures have resurfaced from either sets in Atlanta or Hawaii. But we might get to see some special promo since they did cast interviews and B-Rolls on location.

Episode 18: Flashlight (via CBS Express)

On February 4, Taylor Wily posted a short video of the MacGyver home dressed up for Mac's birthday. On February 9, Fred Andres granted us a first look at one of the sets - although back then, it was still unclear if the main cast would actually film scenes in Hawaii or if they would stay in Atlanta while 2nd Unit got the necessary outside film material on location.

On February 13, we finally got pictures of Lucas Till and George Eads on the earthquake set at Leahi Hospital. The crew was seen lifting heavy rocks around while the Stunt Team was already filming with Stunt Coordinator Jeff Wolfe. Casey Alicino revealed the director's name (Jonathan Brown).

On Valentine's Day, Daniel Dae Kim posted the first official picture of the crossover team. The Press Release on February 16 brought us the first official still. Seems there was a dress code to wear shades of blue!

BtS of Episode 16: Hook (via Tristin Mays)

Working on Episodes 18 and 19
While Lucas and George were in Hawaii, the rest of Team Phoenix filmed their scenes in Atlanta (e.g. on a jet or in the lab) with the crew working behind the scenes and the guest-stars finishing ADR (e.g. Jermaine Rivers for tonight's Episode 16). It's nice to see that despite the hard work, the cast still takes time to pose for pictures with the Extras or with fans.

Peter Lenkov posted some videos while editing; e.g. a video of editing Hawaii Five-0 that mentions Jack and the Phoenix Foundation. Interestingly, another (now deleted) video appeared to be a huge spoiler for the ending of next week's episode 17 (Ruler).

As Anthony Kountz revealed today, they just started working on Episode 19. It's nice to see it will be once again an episode directed by a woman (Christine Moore).

Premieres of Episodes 14 and 15
A few days before the premiere of Episode 15, Lucas and Justin and the crew had been teasing us with BtS pictures. Cast and crew seemed especially fascinated by the robot (that will make another appearance soon).

The Reboot continues to earn good ratings. Episode 14 (Fish Scaler) managed 7.5 million viewers while Episode 15 (Magnifying Glass) got a whopping 8.05 million viewers (along with a 1.2 rating in the 18-49 demo group).

BtS of Episode 15: Magnifying Glass (via Gabriel Beristain)

Since the news about the crossover episode was officially announced only hours before the premiere of Episode 15, the Hashtag #MacGyver was already trending not even 10 minutes into the episode.

The writer's crew continued their tradition of live tweeting. Craig O'Neill posted a picture of the "new" MacGyver writer's office which brought up another round of speculations about a possible season renewal.

Stills, Sneak Peeks and Press Releases
On February 3, we got an additional Sneak Peek for Episode 14 (Fish Scaler) via ET Online. For the Sneak Peeks for Episode 15 (Magnifying Glass), we had to wait until Premiere Day again.

Episode 16: Hook (via SpoilerTV)

We got many official stills for tonight's Episode 16 (Hook). Sadly, CBS still witholds the previews. As for last Friday's episode, there was no "real" preview trailer but a video put together with scenes from old episodes (e.g. Chisel or Metal Saw). We got 3 Sneak Peeks, though and therefore got to meet Mama Colton and Billy Colton - and most important: Frog Dog! For now, he's just an Easter Egg on a painting in the background, but who knows what will happen.

So far, we haven't seen much for Episode 17 (Ruler) besides the press release and a few stills via Getty Images. The press release for the crossover Episode 18 (Flashlight) was made available on February 17.

Interestingly, in an article about the crossover by Star Advertiser, it's stated that the show "already has been green-lighted for a second year". So far it's unclear if that really means a Second Season or if some information got mixed up (because initially only 13 episodes had been ordered before the Full Season Order back in October). Since all of CBS's Friday Night Shows are doing very well ratings-wise, it would be a no-brainer to renew them. It's possible we won't know before the upfronts in May, though.

Episode 17: Ruler (via Getty Images)

According to Broadway World, there will be a rerun of Episode 8 (Corkscrew) on March 3.

aTVfest Appearance
On February 4, Lucas, Tristin and Justin made an appearance for SCAD aTVfest. After doing some interviews, they attended the Q&A for the screening of Episode 14 (Fish Scaler), along with Peter Lenkov and Jeff Downer. Since the event took place on a Saturday, the cast worked through another weekend but still took time to post pictures and videos.

In the interview with FanBolt, Lucas revealed that he was indeed heading to Hawaii for filming. He also acknowledged Richard Dean Anderson's involvement in the Original Show; stating that he doesn't know how RDA handled the workload being in every scene while not having an ensemble cast like they do for the Reboot.

SCAD aTVfest Photocall (via Twitter)

Cast and Character News
Central Casting Georgia did several rush calls to get their extras for the crossover episode; e.g. for Tactical Guys and for a "real EMT with experience operating a gurney". Other casting calls included Asian and Caucasian Men to portray National Guardsmen as well as calls for Agents and "Techies", Airport Passengers and MIT Students.

As TV Guide Magazine revealed, we will get to know the backstory between Jack and Matty and see more scenes of the Phoenix director in the field.

Peter Lenkov promised weeks ago that Sandrine Holt will be back - and look, she's listed for Episode 19 on IMDb. Interesting. Although I still think she will show up in the Season Finale along with Nikki and/or Murdoc; especially since Lenkov also revealed that Murdoc will come back this season (and there aren't that many episodes left to film).

Monday, February 13, 2017

Mission: Impossible -- Episode 11: The Greek

To Watch: Click Here

Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
An IMF agent is killed by a wealthy Greek drug smuggler who conducts his business aboard his private yacht.  Grant and Phelps pose as part of the crime ring in order to get on board ship and in the inner circle where they plan to turn the criminals against each other.

Memorable Quote:
What's the story, Colonnades, are we supposed to do business with this clown?  ~Woodward

I enjoyed the performance by Nicholas Hammond as Woodward, the American.  Even if he sometimes dressed more like a golfer than a crime boss, I liked the edginess and snark that he brought to the role.  Fun fact: Hammond played Friedrich, the oldest Von Trapp boy, in The Sound of Music.

The ending was untidy.  Maybe the years of watching MacGyver have forged in me a nonviolent sensibility, and I would have preferred a resolution apart from "we'll just let the two bad guys shoot each other, and then we'll nod in approval and drive away in acknowledgement of a job well done."

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • The boat looks too small to accommodate the dozens of people who are supposedly staying on board.

  • Phil Morris does a great job as the African smuggler, even if the character is overly stereotypical.  I like the moments where he changes his expression from funny to serious and back on the drop of a hat.  And fun scene where he's forced to hide submerged in the bathtub.
  • When Woodward and Nicholas are in their faux prison cell, Max and Casey play a recording of Colonnades's mistress singing.  But after they escape and are revealed to be in an abandoned ruin, wouldn't Woodward wonder where the singing was coming from?

Final Analysis:
I liked this one.  I wouldn't call it outstanding by any means but it's good enough for 3rd on my list so far.  The Mediterranean setting was fun, the plot was decent, and I thought all the actors did a good job.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Mission Impossible 1 -- The Movie

Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
When a mission in Prague goes bad and everyone on IMF Agent Ethan Hunt's team is allegedly killed, he is wrongfully accused by his own people of being a mole.  Ethan goes underground and steals a list of secret agent identities with which he hopes to trade to an arms dealer in exchange for the mole.  Before making the exchange, he is shocked by the return of his presumed dead mentor, Jim Phelps, and he starts to put the pieces together of what really happened that fateful night in Prague.

Memorable Quote:
I can understand you're very upset.  ~Kittridge
Kittridge, you've never seen me very upset.   ~Ethan Hunt

The scene where Ethan is sitting across from Phelps in the London train station and he's going over what happened in Prague.  Phelps thinks he's talking about Kittridge, but Ethan is visualizing Phelps as the villainous mastermind.  And once he's pieced everything together, he gives Jim a death stare and asks "Why, Jim?  Why?"

What a brilliant scene.  The energy is amazing, the plot twist is surprising, the music is memorable, and the acting is tremendous.

As much as I love the scene described in the highlight, it was a mistake for them to make Jim Phelps the villain.  I'm not suggesting that they should have changed a single thing in the story line -- Jon Voight's character still should have been the bad guy.

What I am saying is that they should have given him a different name.  Jim Phelps was the iconic and virtuous team leader of both incarnations of the Mission Impossible tv series.  I don't believe the surprise would have been any less if Voight's character was renamed, and even so, they should never have done that out of respect to Peter Graves and the fans of the original series.  It would have been analogous to a MacGyver reboot that made Thornton a villain -- that could never happen, right?  (that sound you hear is me weeping).

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • As you can see, I'm taking a break from the MI episode watch to cover the first movie! Great use of the theme song (one of the best in tv history) in the introduction, though it didn't exactly take Einstein to know to include the theme early and often.  Kind of like how those on the MacGyver reboot obviously would know to utilize Edelman's legendary scores....wait, they used none of them,  not even the main theme? (now that sound you hear is me banging my head on my laptop).
  • 5:10 mark -- Hunt's alias is Phillipe Douchette.  Great name!
  • The first act at the nighttime embassy reception is phenomenal.  The setting is perfect: Europe...classical music...fancy party...dark cobbled streets...element of mystery.  And then it's a total shock and curveball once things being going wrong and everyone starts dying.  And then to make matters worse for Ethan, he's accused of being the mole.  The tougher the obstacles, the more compelling the story and the greater the hero, and this opening act raises the stakes right away.
  • No one, and I mean no one, is better at acting out crisis scenes than Tom Cruise. What other actor is intense enough to fill an 18 minute compilation video of sprinting scenes from his movies?  And yes, there's some sprinting in this movie too when he runs out of the aquarium.
  • I like Kittridge.  Sure he's kind of a cartoonish figure, but the actor (Henry Czerny, who I also know from Clear and Present Danger) plays him well.
  • Funny how when Ethan is searching for Max on the internet (in the very early days of the world wide web) he tries "" as if Max the arms dealer would register a domain like that.
  • Why doesn't Ethan suspect Claire more when she comes back to the safe house? Wouldn't there be a pretty good chance that she was either the mole or working with the mole since she's still alive?  He is suspicious at first but then backs off after she starts babbling about "5 AM, 0500, 5:00, Ethan, 5 AM, 0500" -- thanks Clare, we got it the first time.  
  • Another 5 star scene: Ethan Hunt meets Max, played brilliantly by Vanessa Redgrave. She and Cruise have great dialogue and chemistry, and no one, and I mean no one, plays the goofy can't-stop-grinning guy better than Cruise.

  • Now we're on to the second big act, the CIA heist.  This entire act is excellent -- it's very clever, and it's amusing without being silly.  The "lower Cruise down to the floor" bit has become a classic movie moment, and this scene where he's hanging out above the analyst is priceless.
  • Whoa, according to the news reports Ethan Hunt's family is from my (current) state of Wisconsin!
  • When Ethan is re-imagining the deaths of his team members, we see Sarah approach the gate and encounter Krieger holding the knife, but why would she get so close to the point where he could reach through and stab her? 
  • And How did Krieger get his knife back, considering Cruise found it at the scene of the crime? Although I suppose Krieger could have just gotten another one that was the same model.
  • "They stamped it, didn't they.  Those damn Gideons."  ~Phelps
  • The 10 million dollars is just a few pieces of paper with small bills printed on it and looks like play money, but then again I'm not an international criminal so maybe 10 million on the black market would really look like that.
  • Why does Jim shoot Claire but leave Ethan alive?  There's no way he would just leave Ethan like that, though granted you could say the same thing regarding just about every episode of MacGyver.
  • I'm not sure Ethan getting reinstated or Luther getting off the disavowed list would happen so quickly.  After all they did break into the CIA, commit a theft, and almost blow the identities of American agents around the world. 
  • We end things with a phenomenal closing credits remix!  

Final Analysis:
One of the best spy movies ever made, for sure in the top 5.  The plot is brilliant, the acting is flawless, and the production is excellent (including impressive stunt work at the aquarium and the CIA).  The last scene on the train left a little to be desired in terms of being fake-looking, but the rest of it was gritty and realistic (quite a departure from MI-4 and 5). And other than the dragging of Phelps' name through the mud, this film does a nice job of providing a fresh and modern take on the MI franchise while still paying homage to the original with the opening disk sequence, masks, team element, and of course the iconic theme song.

This movie is further unique in that there's comparatively little romance or fighting for a spy/action movie.  I'm not opposed to romance or fighting, but I think it speaks to the strength of the plot that they weren't necessary here.

I'll tell you right now that my movie rankings go exactly in the order that they were made, i.e. #1 is the pinnacle and each one declines a little bit from here (except for between 3 and 4 when things get a lot worse).  So stay tuned for more MI movie reviews, but first it's back to finish Season 1 of the 80's series! 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Dashboard's MacGyver Reboot Update #22

Cast and Crew were freezing on set while filming the residual episodes for Season 1. Maybe that’s why they liked playing with fire so much last week?

via Justin Hires

(Spoiler Alert: You will get spoilered by reading this post and its comments or by clicking on the links provided!)

Where there's filming, there's homework
While the fans had to endure another premiere break of 3 weeks, cast and crew stayed busy filming more episodes and doing their homework.

First Assistant Director Anthony Kountz showed us what filled his days: Warehouses, Mondays and impressive camera equipment. Camera Operator Tiko Pavoni posed with a sleek looking Aston Martin Vanquish that was waiting for his scenes in the (now drained) warehouse. Like the helicopter for the last episode, the car was featured in several videos and Instagram posts.

via Stunt Coordinator Jeff Wolfe

Executive Producer Peter Lenkov took some more of his precious time to post videos and pictures during the editing process. On January 23, he posted some videos of the team sitting around the fireplace on MacGyver’s veranda; eating, joking and getting pranked by their new boss. A day later, Lenkov posted a video of his cold office, doing a sweep over cast-pictures and the script he was currently working on (seems like MacGyver's birthday will come up soon). One of the editing videos showed Lucas Till "macgyvering" (on a robot?), another one Mac and Jack being in trouble (read: quicksand). We also got to see Bozer getting comfortable in his new James Bond Persona.

Justin and Tristin post a lot of Instagram Live Stories videos at the moment, but every now and then we also get a non-temporary look at the cast in disguise (read: wearing coveralls and Bozer's prosthetic noses).

via Tristin Mays

The Kaboom-Episode
Cast and crew were seen filming outside for several days. The cast seemed to have fun despite the freezing temperatures and having to work over the weekend. Also, there have been more comments about the production's snacks table.

On January 28, several outlets (e.g. Atlanta Filming) posted about the show "blowing up sh*". It didn't take long for Peter Lenkov to post a video of a blue van exploding. Pretty impressive! While Lenkov's video is seen via camera screen, Instagram-User bryttani showed the explosion from a wider angle.

via bryttani

I'm not sure if all that "fire-play" for Episode 17 (Ruler) was as controlled as it was planned, though. Just the day before, Tristin Mays had posted a short video of Stunt Coordinator Jeff Wolfe instructing Lucas Till how to handle the self-made flame-thrower. It looks like Jeff burned himself (not to mention that Tristin had stamped a not so happy emoticon on it). Additionally, both Tristin and Justin Hires had posted videos that indicated production needing additional help from the fire departement. Interestingly, George Eads didn't seem too much concerned about the seemingly out-of-control-fire; continuing to eat his sandwich.

Filming in "Amsterdam"
Judging by the clothes, the extras and the press release, Episode 17 might actually turn out to be a two-parter. We'll see. Production continued filming in Marietta Square this week; featureing a stunt motorcycle, a truckload of bicycles and a set-redressing to stand in for Amsterdam. Many bypassers, extras and shops took the opportunity to post pictures; inadvertently also revealing some storylines (and possibly even spoilers; especially since some of these posts were deleted shortly after posting it).

Rerun of Episode 9
During the premiere break, there was a rerun of Episode 9 (Chisel) on Friday, January 27. The episode made some good ratings (5.17 million viewers).

Stills, Sneak Peeks and Press Releases
The long break was a good opportunity for the guest cast to remind us they will be in the next episode. We got to meet Agent Cho (Michael Tow), Stunt Driver Jason Gupton and Agent Eva Santos (Danielle Vasinova).

Episode 1x14 (via SpoilerTV)

CBS sure likes to keep the fans waiting. Although the preview for Episode 14 (Fish Scaler) had aired after last weeks rerun of Episode 9, the video wasn't available on the official YT-Account until February 1st. Additionally, we had to wait until two days before the premiere to finally get stills and sneak peeks.

On the other hand, we already got Press Releases for Episode 15 (Magnifying Glass), The Coltons-Episode 16 (Hook) and Episode 17 (Ruler).

CBS Watch! Magazine and other Promo
On January 24, CBS Watch! Magazine released the interview and the photo gallery for the shoot they had done back in October in the midst of a heat wave. Lucas Till revealed that some of the gadgets can be really challenging, but that this is what makes so much fun while filming. George Eads stated that Lucas' enthusiasm and passion about doing the show kinda "rebooted" him after spending so many years on the same set (for CSI: Las Vegas). They also revealed that they practically spend all day together because they're roommates.

via CBS Watch! Magazine

On the same day, Technical Consultant Rhett Allain shared another blog post - this time about Leyden Jars like the one used in Episode 13 (Large Blade).

The premieres in Namibia and New Zealand brought on another wave of promo pictures, interviews and articles. In an interview with stuff, George Eads declared rebooted Jack Dalton as "halfway nuts". He revealed that due to the aggressive nature of his character, he's already paying the price for avoiding using stunt doubles wherever possible: "It's killing me, let me tell you. I've been head butted about four or five times, punched in the face, cut at least five or six times, I've had at least 40 or 50 bruises.

Cast and Character News
Central Casting Georgia had difficulties finding their pool shark and also took several tries to find European Bicycles. Additionally, they put out casting calls for Dutch Citizens and Students, an African-American Female in her 20ies and small cars. The most recent casting call is especially interesting, since they're looking for Asian Extras (e.g. EMTs, nurses, doctors, paramedics, tactical and other military guys), in particular Hawaiian-looking Extras. We all remember Peter Lenkov talking about the possibility of doing a crossover with Hawaii Five-0 and that he still wants to do it. In fact, he had already laid the ground-work for it in the pilot episode, but the scene got cut.

Episode 1x15 (via SpoilerTV)

Since the return of the Coltons was revealed, fans of the original show have been asking about Frog Dog. While no dogs have been spotted on set for Episode 16, Zoom Groom Zoom revealed they have been grooming an adorable looking dog (called "Chewy") for filming scenes recently. I have to admit to being a bit shocked for a few seconds after Justin Hires posting a short video from set, referring to his co-star as "Deborah" and praising her for "killing" her scenes. Good to know that "Deborah" is the actresses name, not the name of her character (Deborah + Upscale Set + adorable little dog + killing it... Fans of the original show will know what whacky conclusion I had made in that instant!) 

A look onto the IMDb cast-list reveals: Penny Parker (Bianca Malinowski) will be back in Episode 1x18! Hopefully, she will play a bigger part this time. If you throw characters of the original show into the reboot, you might as well start using them!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Mission: Impossible -- Episode 10: The Lions

To Watch: Click Here

Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
After the king of a Himalayan country dies, his young son prepares to take the throne but first must solve a deadly puzzle where lion statues are placed on a stone in a certain order.  The dead king's brother, however, wants the throne for himself and plants fake statues so that his nephew will fail.

Memorable Quote:
The hard part is, how do you value one of the virtues above the others?  ~Miklos
You just keep asking yourself that question.  You'll find the answer.   ~Jim

The "lower the guy down from the ceiling" maneuver is always fun, even if it's hard to believe that the guards wouldn't hear a thing.  And we'll see the famous stunt again in the first MI movie.

The boy's mother doesn't fit in well with the story.  Technically she's the Queen but she doesn't dress like a Queen and doesn't have any power or influence in the kingdom.  And she has some strange lines like when she tells Jim that her son will trust him because he's a teacher (even though he's known Jim for about 5 minutes), or when she discovers that Jim is not who he says he is but then assumes that he must be there for a good purpose.

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • I'm going to go out on a limb and say that's a dumb way to choose a king: make him solve some random puzzle which kills him if he gets it wrong.
  • And how did the puzzle solution stay secret for so long?  There were plenty of witnesses between the guards and monks when the boy was solving it.  I imagine word would get around before the next time the puzzle was attempted, although hopefully the boy king can issue an executive order to remove the dumb puzzle in his first 100 days in office.
  • The team gets really lucky at the end.  Even after things go according to plan with Ki going back to the safe to check on the now melted fake lions, he comes back and has the guards ready to take out the boy before inexplicably knocking off the real lions and getting stabbed.  If not for that stumble, I'm not sure what the team would have done. And then the guards turn their allegiance right away to the new king.  All in all, the ending is pretty cheesy. 

Final Analysis:
I give this episode some credit for a creative (albeit ridiculous) plot and an interesting locale which they did a decent job of recreating, but I still wasn't a huge fan.  The boy and the mother were out of place, and the ending was tough to overcome.  Ranking it 6 out of 10.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Mission: Impossible -- Episode 9: The Haunting

To Watch: Click Here

Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
The daughter of a Middle Eastern king is murdered in Hawaii by a wealthy playboy, but the police don't have quite enough evidence to put him away.  The IMF team tricks him into thinking that she may be alive in body or spirit, and he goes to her burial place to confirm her death thus implicating himself in the murder.

Memorable Quote:
He enjoys having a unique and bizarre outlook on life.  We thought it time he meet someone with a more bizarre perception of the world around him.  Someone who might make Mr. Foster redefine his meaning of the word "wacko".  ~Max

I liked how they timed it so that Max stole the other performer's truck just as Jim was in the office inquiring about a booking.

Max's cover as "Dwight Eisenhower," a crazy guy who wants to extort Champ, was too goofy.  He comes off as a complete nutjob whose motives are unclear, and yet Champ doesn't seem all that bothered by him and doesn't try too hard to exclude him from the family activities.

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • I wish they would have explained how Max was able to pick up the hot coal.
  • It's funny that this wealthy, cocky socialite and criminal lives at home with his mother.
  • When Nicholas first appears pretending to be a prince (and the brother of the deceased princess), I'm surprised that Champ is not more cautious upon meeting him since presumably the prince would know from talking to the police that Champ was the prime suspect.
  • Four of the last five episodes (including this one) have involved the IMF team using technology to perform some type of psychological manipulation on the subject. Probably time to move on to a different plot device.

Final Analysis:
I wasn't all that into this one.  It wasn't terrible, but there wasn't much in the way of highlights or memorable moments.  Ranking it 7 out of 9.