Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Mission: Impossible -- Episode 4: The Condemned

To Watch: Click Here

Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
Grant's father, Barney, is framed for murder and locked up in a Turkish prison by a corrupt policeman who is part of a jewel heist.  The team must break Barney out of prison, clear his name, implicate the cop, and recover the stolen necklace.  

Memorable Quote:
We are from the Mission, my son.  Grant us a little of your time.  ~Nicholas

The initial escape from the prison was clever, first with the fake wall that Barney hides behind and then taking out the guard and using his mask to cover Barney's face (even though it is hard to believe that the guards would let the priests go without questioning them considering they were the last ones to see Barney).

If Stanton faked his death to fool and double cross Hamidou, then why does Hamidou know all about it?  That part doesn't make sense or wasn't explained well enough.

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • This episode was based on Season 2, Episode 19 of the original series.
  • Barney Collier is played by Greg Morris who was Phil Morris's (Grant) real life father, and he was also a series regular on the original. 
  • A shorter theme song this time.  Bummer!
  • "Center of this mission, Barney Collier.  He's an old friend of mine and he's Grant's father."  ~ Captain Obvious  Jim Phelps
  • The ending has a Brainwashed feel to it with all the fake mirrors.  "Kill me again, Jack!"
  • The actors playing Stanton and Lydia are husband and wife and real life -- I wonder if they met while filming this.  According to IMDB, Steve Jacobs (Stanton) was 21 at the time this was filmed, but he looks much older.  We may have a Holly Fields situation!

Final Analysis:
Best episode so far.  Good plot, clever escape and setup of the bad guy, and I like the personal touch involving Grant and his father.  If this show was done today there'd be overdramatic music as they cried while baring their soul, and I appreciate that this episode dealt with their relationship in a more understated way.  The show also does a good job of recreating Turkey (on a budget and in Australia no less). 


  1. I liked this one as well but definitely not as much as the pilot. Even though this show handles the "sting" premise somewhat better than most in that it usually throws the team a curveball they have to work around by thinking fast on their feet, the flip side of that is that this show features some truly dimwitted villains to fall for their lame tricks, particularly the visits by the new, never-before-seen priests to talk to the political prisoner with no suspicion at all that the "priests" were in on it when the prisoner escapes.

    It's all in good fun though. I wonder if the mirror bit was used in the original 60s version or if that was a new idea used in the rebooted script. I know "T.J. Hooker" had a gun-wielding maniac shooting out Hooker's reflection in a bunch of mirrors in a 1985 episode and thought it was very cool there. It was never done as well as it was in "Brainwashed" though with the fun house mirror maze setting. The camera work on that was truly amazing that we never saw the camera in all those close-up reflections. The episode seemed to run long which is probably why they had an abbreviated opening song....but you'll be happy to hear they have the full song for at least the next two episodes. This is my second favorite episode so far.

    A little more background information about the series. It was actually not even on ABC's 1988 fall lineup until their emergency writers' strike scheduling forced their hand. The Sunday at 7:00 slot where "Mission: Impossible" aired for its first three months was originally supposed to go to a romantic comedy-drama called "A Fine Romance". That show was held over until January 1989 and ended up airing in the lousy THursday night slot against "The Cosby Show", then the #1 program. It was canceled in six weeks.

    1. Thanks for the background. Isn't Sunday night a glamour slot? Maybe 7 is too early for that.

    2. Sunday night on ABC in the 80s was not a glamour slot. "MacGyver" premiered there to rock-bottom ratings in 1985 and even though it slowly built on Sundays, it was still shuttled off to Wednesday nights in January, which was a much safer slot. I posted in the preview of the pilot that M:I did passable numbers on Sunday nights during its three-month stay, but still faced the dubious honor of being the first Big THree show to finish FOURTH place in its time slot most weeks. CBS was crushing everybody with "Murder, She Wrote", then in the top-10. NBC was still doing good business with the final season of "Family TIes". And the fledgling Fox network had two rising stars in that slot with "America's Most Wanted" and "Married...with Children", both of which beat "Mission: Impossible" more often than not in the Sunday slot and became the first shows of the new network to not be in fourth place. More info forthcoming as the season proceeds and the time slot changes.