Sunday, July 16, 2017

Mission: Impossible -- Episode 28: For Art's Sake

To Watch: Click Here

Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
The team heads to NYC to recover a stolen painting and bring down a wealthy art thief.

Memorable Quote:
She just cost me six hundred thousand dollars...but I like those eyes.  ~Travers

I generally enjoy auction scenes, even if they're often predictable.

The Princess had a crazy bit of technology that I gave as my highlight, but in this episode I'm giving the crazy bit of technology as the lowlight.  Don't try too hard to figure me out.

The bit I'm referring to is Grant's painting gadget.  Enter some data about Degas into the computer, push a few buttons, and watch the machine print out an original painting in 10 seconds based on Degas's style.  Shannon using her jet pack to propel back to the space shuttle in Target Earth was more realistic.

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • This is the only MI episode written by MacGyver writer/producer John Whelpley.
  • Travers owns Travers Towers in Manhattan, which makes me wonder if he's based on a certain someone who also owns an eponymous tower. There's even a fake Time Magazine cover involved (5:29 mark).
  • Phelps lets Shannon hang out to dry a couple times, first in the museum and later in the bathtub (if it's possible to hang out to dry in a bathtub). Why is she even in the tub to begin with? Her fake death doesn't accomplish anything, and she's extremely lucky that Travers didn't try to kill her another way where her reinforced vest wouldn't have helped, like if he held her underwater or stabbed her in the head.
  • Why couldn't Nick and Jim knock out the culture minister in his office instead of waiting until he gets to Grant who's undercover as a hot dog vendor?  The answer is that this episode is low on drama and so they needed an extra bit to add interest.
  • The ridiculous technology theme continues at the end with some fake, hologram fire, complete with smoke.  Does it feel hot, also? 

Final Analysis:
Season 2 had gotten off to a decent start, but we've now had two straight weak episodes.  This one was dull and uninspired, and I had to rack my brain to find a highlight. Ranking it 21 out of 28.


  1. This is a more middle-of-the-pack episode for me. While story wasn't all that compelling I thought some of the art imagery was engaging--if preposterous. The heist at the beginning was creative, and I also enjoyed Grant's technology that whipped out a perfect recreation of a priceless painting that even fooled art experts. The hologram fire at the ending would have been too foolish for me to buy into on "MacGyver" but I come into this series with different expectations and found it rather amusing. And since SHannon had a back-up gun under the water line in the bathtub in case Travers didn't use his trusty spear to kill her, I was willing to let that one slide too. I didn't even pick up on the Trump Tower/Travers Tower connection but I'll bet that's what they were going for. Just for giggles, on the sixth "Mission: Impossible" movie, they should have Travers serving as the current President of the United States. Nothing too unforgettable here but it was miles better than "Banshee". I'll rank it between "The Legacy" and "Submarine".

    This episode originally aired December 14, 1989, and was the last episode ABC aired on Thursday night. Even though the series had its best stretch of episodes early in season 2, the Thursday night move was not at all successful in the ratings. The series did its best on Saturday nights the prior season and returned to Saturdays for its final six episodes (and one rerun) in January and February 1990. It was far too late to save the patient by then though. Had the show not been moved to Thursday night in September 1989 interrupting its modest momentum, I'd have been interested in seeing how long it could have survived on Saturday nights.

    1. Interesting that they thought this show could make it on Thursdays, or maybe they didn't and were content to punt the time slot (seems unlikely).

    2. It was a counterprogramming move against "The Cosby Show". This show had three different time slots in its two seasons, all of them terrible, and they figured that since it did serviceable numbers on Saturday night they'd give it a whirl against "Cosby" and "48 Hours" but it didn't end well. And when ABC replaced "M:I" on Thursdays with "Father Dowling Mysteries" and it did considerably better numbers, that was a final nail in "M:I"s coffin.