Mission: Impossible 096
Arlene Martel. A simple story with some intricate plotting.
- A terrorist serving a life sentence is about to be pardoned, and the IMF must work to prevent that happening by sowing seeds of distrust on both sides of the arrangement. The terrorist must be convinced that his pardon is a lie and that escape is his only option. That escape attempt can then be used to get him killed.
- Broadly speaking, it’s a basic task: lying to both sides. The details of the plot involve fake listening devices and dummy explosives.
- There’s no major tension, other then the arrival of a thunderstorm while Barney is transferring some nitroglycerine. The first act ends on a dramatic note, when Jim’s cover is apparently blown, but the tension dissipates quickly with a weak explanation in act two.
- The best thing about the episode is the always-stunning Arlene Martel as the terrorist’s woman (to use Paris’ description). As we watch her doomed efforts to plan her man’s escape, one cannot help but feel a tinge of empathy for her. Something the ever-cold IMF team clearly do not. Although Barney does hold her back at the end, thus saving her from sharing her lover’s fate.