Thursday, January 19, 2017

Mission: Impossible -- Episode 2: The System

To Watch: Click Here

Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
After a crime boss kills the state's only witness, the IMF team manipulates his second-in-command into testifying against him.

Memorable Quote:
You're being very nice to the person who's about to beat the house.  ~Casey

Fun performance by James Sloyan, a great actor especially as the villain.  We've seen him before in two episodes of MacGyver (The Invisible Killer / Live and Learn) and one episode of Quantum Leap (Last Dance Before an Execution), and I've made a MacGyver Project Alumni page where we can keep track of familiar faces.

The wheels come off in the last five minutes as Marley nonchalantly makes a phone call in the hallway despite believing that people are trying to kill him.  And it shouldn't make sense to him that Max is the assassin considering he would have had numerous chances to put him away already.  And the actions of his assistant (the big guy) are confusing, and his character doesn't add anything to the story.

But I do like that Marley never knows that he was conned (ala The Sting) -- that's a nice touch.

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • Just like the series premiere, this episode is a remake of an episode from the original series (1969 - Season 3) as a result of the 1988 Writers Strike.  
  • Funny how there's an agent undercover as a college-aged stadium peanut salesman. And great throw by the QB in the football game.
  • Given that the series was filmed in Australia, they did a nice job creating the look and feel of The Bahamas.  And the tropical casino setting is reminiscent of The Heist.
  • Rather than the guard sitting behind a desk and watching a small tv that shows Marley's office, why not just take a post outside the office door?
  • I've always liked the mask gimmick.  Even though it's unrealistic to make a mask look so good so fast and to nail the voice and mannerisms, it's a fun concept and something that is unique to the Mission: Impossible franchise (although a similar mask has appeared once before on The MacGyver Project -- anyone remember where?).

Final Analysis:
Another episode similar to the first one in that there weren't too many highs or lows for me.  Since I'm required by law to rank everything, I'll rank this one just barely ahead of the first one since I'm a fan of island locales.


  1. I'm surprised you weren't more impressed by the pilot. I liked that one considerably better than this one. This one wasn't bad per se, I just didn't think the story was nowhere near as clever or well put together as "The Killer". I've always liked James Sloyan and thought he was good here too. The high point of the episode for me was when Grant slipping past their security to rig the camera, and then almost getting busted and having just a few seconds to fix the mirror obstructing the camera. Agreed that the ending was a bit of a mess.

    It was decent but unspectacular. Particularly coming off the vastly superior premiere episode, this felt like a Pinto compared to a Ferrari.

    1. I wasn't overly impressed with the pilot -- I thought it was "decent but unspectacular" to use your words, kind of like this one. I also liked Grant almost getting busted -- like you said in the previous episode comments it's good for the story when things don't always go according to plan.