Sunday, February 26, 2017

Mission: Impossible -- Episode 13: The Fixer

To Watch: Click Here

Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
The IMF team sets its sights on a powerful DC reporter who has defrauded the government and murdered anyone who gets in his way.  They trick the reporter and his bodyguard into giving a live televised confession at their own party in front of the Washington elite.  

Memorable Quote:
Attention to detail, Mr. Wendell.  The difference between the professional and the also-ran. ~Arthur Six

The appearance by Richard Romanus, one of my favorite guest stars on MacGyver.  In fact when he first appeared on screen I let out an audible "oh!"

A minor quibble, but some of the dialogue between Romanus and his bodyguard was overly cheesy and unnatural (e.g. "I have photographs of one Senator on a cruise to Acapulco with a Hollywood actress!").

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • The opening credits have been updated to feature Shannon, and Casey has been removed.
  • I don't normally think of journalists as being criminals or so powerful that they're controlling members of Congress.  Wait a minute...Don Trump, did you write this episode?
  • 5:41 mark -- there aren't any buildings even close to that tall in DC (other than maybe the Washington Monument).
  • When Six calls Nicholas to get some info on Phelps's cover, Nicholas faxes him some fake background, but Six never gave him the fax number.
  • In addition to Romanus, we have another MacGyver Project alumnus in John Calvin who plays Doyle the bodyguard.  We saw him before as Buddy the sexist boss in Quantum Leap's What Price Gloria
  • No way that Six and Doyle just let Grant go after catching him in the act of stealing from Six's safe.
  • 28:19 - weird scene where Grant makes the Six mask and is explaining to everyone how he does it (and Nicholas adds, "That is incredible") as if this is the first time that we (and they) have seen one of his masks.

Final Analysis:
I like this one -- I wouldn't call it great but better than average.  The Colonial-style party is a good setting, and the ending is cool where Six and Buddy unknowingly confess on camera.  And as I said earlier, I'm a big Romanus fan -- there aren't too many 80's actors that played a better villain. Ranking it 4 out of 13. 


  1. This one wasn't bad. Richard Romanus is indeed a great villain and based on his interaction with the congressman at the beginning I was really hopeful he'd be poised for an incredible performance in a well-done episode. Not quite sure it lived up to its potential as Six never really said or did anything that memorable after the cold open. And as you said, having him be a "DC journalist" who wielded this epic stranglehold over everybody in DC seemed a little overwrought. Nonetheless, a compelling litany of events with Six and Doyle and a satisfying ending. I'll put this one in the middle of the pack and rank it between "The Legacy" and "Holograms".

    One of the biggest issues with this show is that hones so tightly to its formula week to week despite the diverse settings and impressive location work. It makes each individual episode not particularly memorable compared to "MacGyver" or "Quantum Leap". I watched this episode last weekend and struggled to remember plot points, leaning heavily on your review to recall how things played out. Part of the reason I liked "The Cattle King" more than you was that even in its cheesiness, the Aboriginal elements in the team's plan distinguished it from other episodes. This was more the rule than the exception with 80s crimefighter shows, and for that matter, among crimefighter shows on the air now. But it also speaks volumes why most of these shows flame out pretty quickly as the audience tires of the routine.

    1. Good point about the formula. I also have trouble sometimes remembering plot points if I watch the episode over a period of 4-5 days, and I have to go back and rewatch parts of it to remember what happened.

    2. I'm surprised the original lasted seven seasons if it leaned as heavily on the formula as the remake, as I suspect it did. Usually audiences burn out quickly on formulaic shows, even those that were at the top of the world in their prime. The speed at which the wheels came off the bus of the glut of mid-80s action-adventure shows was stunning. Pretty much all at once in the 1985-86 season, all of them began hemorrhaging 25% or more of their audience. The season ranking for "The A-Team" fell from #6 to #27...."Riptide" fell from #14 to #50...."Magnum, P.I." fell from #15 to #40. "Simon and Simon" fell from #7 to #25. And the big loser was "The Fall Guy" which dropped from #20 to #72!!!

    3. I would think that in the 60's there was less choices in the way of channels and programming so viewers were probably more patient out of necessity.