Sunday, April 23, 2017

Mission: Impossible -- Episode 17: Reprisal

To Watch: Click Here

Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
A prisoner in a mental institution devises a system of breaking out with the help of a corrupt guard. The prisoner seeks to murder those who were involved in his capture, all while wearing a Jim Phelps mask with the goal of framing Phelps.

Memorable Quote:
Your mission, which I feel you must accept, will be to find the person who is framing you and stop him.  ~Voice on Disc

Interesting idea to have an "evil Jim Phelps" on the loose.

The IMF team's tactics make no sense here.  Once they realized he was breaking out of prison, why not install their own camera in his cell or station someone outside the prison?  After Acker calls Phelps before he murders his second victim, why not send someone back to the prison to wait for him to come back?  And at the very end when Acker walks on stage dressed as Phelps (and the team knows it), why not jump him right there and take his mask off?  That would be enough proof without subjecting the poor woman used as bait to possibly getting strangled.

The plot would have been better if the IMF did lock down the prison but his escape system was so slick that he got out anyway.

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • Definitely a "whoa" opening that took me by surprise.
  • Peter Graves seems like a friendly, Mr. Rogers type, but I gotta take him to task here. You'd get more of a reaction from a corpse than you get from Graves when he learns that his former teammate has been killed and that he is the prime suspect.
  • How did Acker hook up the camera, laser, and fake footage of himself?  And why wouldn't he just stay out of jail once he gets out the first time?  I guess his actions aren't supposed to be rational since he's a crazy man.
  • When Acker leaves the cell, wouldn't the prisoner in the cell next door say "WTF?"
  • Lisa's got some stones in the way that she confronts Acker in the prison and then meets him at the theater with no sign of nervousness whatsoever.

Final Analysis:
Despite some above critiques, this episode was pretty decent, especially compared with the rest of the episodes so far this season.  The plot was interesting with its Deadly Dreams vibe, and it held my attention.  Ranking it 4 out of 17.


  1. I liked this one as well, acknowledging as you did much of it made no sense. I watched this one more than a month ago so I'm fuzzy on a few details but seem to remember Acker had a prison guard working as an accomplice to let him out on his little unsanctioned furloughs. It was indeed quite a surprise when Phelps went evil in the opening scene and at first I wondered where they were going with it. I'm sure fans of the original weren't overly thrilled to see two former regular characters be killed off so coldly, but from a narrative standpoint it was an intriguing twist. Agreed that Peter Graves exhibited all of the acting range of a piece of plywood once again in this episode, but it almost seems like the cast of this show was capable of some decent acting but was instructed to keep a stiff upper lip at all times by the production crew.

    Much of the episode had the "Deadly Dreams" vibe as you said and then they went with a "Brainwashed" vibe at the end, both "MacGyver" episodes airing the same season as this "MI" episode. I think I'll rate this one #4 so far as well, entertaining throughout with a few moments that left the audience genuinely guessing as to how the story would unfold.

    1. I thought of Brainwashed also with the mirrors at the end -- looks like the two episodes aired within 10 days of each other.