Thursday, June 15, 2017

Mission: Impossible -- Episode 22: Command Performance

To Watch: Click Here

Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
A thief steals a historic cross that also contains incriminating information about a rogue Balkan defense minister.  Before dying, the thief contacts a priest, and the defense minister imprisons the priest with the aim of getting the cross back.  The IMF team must rescue the priest and retrieve the cross, all while the circus is in town.

Memorable Quote:
Who are you people?  ~Father Vallis
We're the good guys.  ~Nicholas

I liked the part where they figured out, mostly thanks to Shannon, what the significance of the number 1769 was (which the thief wrote in blood on the church floor before dying). It was reminiscent of the scene in MI1 when Ethan deciphers the clue in the Book of Job.  Though I do have to wonder, given that the thief talked shortly before he died, why not just tell the priest, "It's under the eagle!"

Fun tangent about eagle statues: when my dad was a little kid, like 8-10 years old, my Grandma Sweedo would sometimes go down to Philadelphia to shop and she would let my dad wander around downtown Philly by himself.  There was a statue of an eagle in John Wanamaker's department store, and she would tell him, "Let's meet under the eagle's ass" at whatever time. That was Grandma Sweedo.

It was silly and unnecessary to the plot for the cross to have some incriminating evidence hidden inside it.  How did it get in there, and why didn't Savitch (the defense minister) remove it when the cross was in the museum?  And the idea of "evidence against a corrupt military man" reminds me of The Gauntlet -- "if only we could get pictures of the dictator in action, he will lose all of his power!"

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • The episode gets off to a good start with the valuable cross (slightly reminiscent of Indiana Jones's Cross of Coronado), the bad military guy, and the prison castle on a hill (slightly reminiscent of Good Knight MacGyver).  Though I am surprised that the soldiers couldn't find the cross by retracing the thief's steps considering that he didn't get too far before he died.
  • Another Ethan Hunt reference as Grant and Max could have used Ethan's climbing skills while scaling the cliff.
  • Last episode we had the perfume-smelling laser, and this episode we have the "thing you put inside the phone that is smart enough to hear what the other person is saying and respond in a fake voice with something that makes sense."
  • Savitch sure doesn't care about accidentally killing his captain.  "Cheap trick," he mutters softly.
  • Surprising that the ringmaster is not upset or suspicious of Phelps after Phelps gives him a drink and suddenly he can no longer speak.
  • The circus escape is fun (I'm always up for a zip line) but also unnecessary -- they dress up like clowns and come under the big top only to make a dramatic escape when they could have just gone straight to the helicopter without going into the circus tent.  And what happened to the 25 or so soldiers who showed up at the circus with Savitch?

Final Analysis:
All in all, an entertaining episode.  I wouldn't call it great, but it was good enough to be at the top of Tier 2 and at 5 out of 22 in my rankings.


  1. This episode had an undercurrent of fun with some cool optics with the cross, numerical clues sprawled out in a dying man's blood, the castle on the top of the mountain rigged with booby traps, and the circus foolishness at the end. The story had the potential to be fun too but it had one nagging downside for me in that I could barely understand a word the Balkan defense minister said at any point in the hour. About all I understood was the "cheap trick" line muttered right after he killed the wrong guy. The scenes in the castle were fun though as was the circus big top zip line escape, little sense as it made. I'll put it between "The Golden Serpent" and "The Devils".

    It appears as though my earlier comment that I remembered season 2 being a cut above season 1 is bearing some fruit for you as your rankings have been much stronger on balance and you haven't rated any of these episodes in your lower tiers. I expect you will with some episodes yet to come though. Anyway, I'm gonna reviewing these at about the same speed you reviewed the later episodes of season 1 here for the coming weeks since I'm trying to balance my summer schedule and rewatching all the "MacGyver" episodes, which I had been planning to do this summer quite some time ago. I'm currently up to "Birth Day" (Season 2, Episode 14).

    1. At least you have a good excuse (MacGyver rewatch).