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This is a major role for Greg Morris who takes the place of a boxer who injured his hands during the Vietnam war. He has to train as a boxer (although he had done some and was a local champion when he was in the service, Barney not Greg) in a small amount of time in order to set up a crooked promoter and gambling ring leader. This is developed over two episodes and creates a huge amount of tension as you invest yourself in Barney more than you have before. There is also a segment for Willy (Peter Lupus) that lasts for over a full commercial block that enhances the tension. The acting in this set of episodes is top notch and begins an upward spiral where the team all ups their acting to match Martin Landau who dominated in season 2. This is a great episode to see Barney Collier in a different milieu.
Just to answer the question of "Why?"
The big reason for the mission is to prevent the US economy being held hostage by the mafia as they would control the cost of all food sold. Parma even says that he can guarantee prices will be kept high because he controls all distribution. In other words, there would be no supermarket sales unless he said so! Increase the price of food and the domino effect starts. Gee, didn't that actually happen with sugar and coffee? Imagine if it were all foods at once! I liked this episode but have to agree that the reality aspect that some of the other episodes enjoy are really stretched with this premise. I give great props to Martin Landau for his fearful scene before he is "executed" as it matches the great scenes he had in The Heir. That was the only reason I subtracted some points.
Lite spoiler, keeping the drama alive!
Familiar cast, some in early roles. Pernell Roberts seemed to be an expert in roles where he looked like Fidel Castro and played the part in a similar vein as to how we Americans view him. The best part of this story comes at the end where you can compare the difference between corruptible and non corruptible. A bit of blood in this one, but of the non offensive variety. The crux of the episode is the IMF trying to steal a large amount of Gold Bullion from a military man out to take over his country by force. If they can get the gold, they can possibly stop a revolution as the rebels will now not ave their financing. The key line is when Phelps refers to the gold as "your gold" to the General but is corrected by the number 2 man who says that "the gold belongs to all of the soldiers and not one man". Points are removed purely because the ending is telegraphed.
Mission: Impossible: The Cardinal (1968)
A tension convention
This is one of the missions where things don't go so smoothly. Interesting opening contains one of the older magazine covers for Cinnamon whereas the previous aired episode had a newer cover shot for her. I originally came back to this site through Barbara Babcock who was the actress portraying a Major in Nuns garb. She had a very familiar look yet I couldn't place her. Theodore Bikel does a superlative job as the heavy in the piece. This is an episode that as the viewer you pay attention to all of the detail that the creative team did in crafting this teleplay, you will enhance your enjoyment as you know that this is an above average entry compared to the typical drama of this type, yet it is why Mission Impossible always stood out as the little things are rarely overlooked in the series. One thing I noticed in this season so far is that cigarette smoking in each episode of the season to this point was a constant and not limited to just the main cast.
Mission: Impossible: The Psychic (1967)
The end of the Dan Briggs era
This is the last episode with Dan Briggs. Steven Hill only appears in the opening and the planning of the caper. In the last 4 episodes, Briggs was only really in one of them and not even doing the opening once as Cinnamon takes the mission. In retrospect, it is obvious that Hill would be replaced the following year. This episode in one of the few in the first season that IMF crew didn't have a major problem with their plan. In this one, the only problem concerned Barney, and it was a minor one headed off by Cinnamon. The cast is one of the bigger ones for known TV names, although Milton Seltzer was a guest star in the final credits and Richard Anderson and Paul Mantee were also starring after the Seltzer credit. The best part of the episode was the red herring the viewer is fed as to how the group will accomplish it's mission. Once you see how it was done, you smile and say "ahhh! I should have known." And then you smile with the IMF crew as the leave with the same smile you have and await season 2.
If you have watched heroes, this is the next step
In looking at how some people have voted for this episode of heroes, I can't figure out how anyone could not vote in the upper 10% range. You watch this program for a reason. You rate on IMDb for a reason, yet there were those unimpressed with this outing. Not Possible unless some mistake 1's and 2's for 9's and 10's! This style of program is designed to illicit both tenseness in the viewers as well as thought provoking "water cooler" dialog. It also always has the "wow" factor, or the jaw dropping events that used to mark the end of every episode of Lost. In Heroes, you get these moments throughout the show and sometimes just as you have digested one event, another follows. There are just no boring moments to this show and it keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. For a new viewer, I can see where some of this might be confusing, so I hope that there will multiple heroes marathons over the summer. If so, you can bet an even larger audience coming to the program next fall. I can't say this episode is one of the best in the series because the quality has been there from day one!
Look at what the movie is!
This was really a charming average movie designed more for kids than adults, but you can enjoy it if your with your 10 year old and enjoy a fantasy. The basic premise is as obvious as the title with Shaquille O'Neal playing the title role and you didn't need to really be an Oscar winner for the role. Besides, anything with Francis Capra can't be all bad, just look at his work on Veronica Mars! Capra was a really cute kid and I found my own son could relate to him as he came across warm and accessible. As For O'Neal, this is a similar role as he played in Steel. If you saw one movie, you saw his style in the other. There is a reason Basketball pay him so much and he'll follow yo that career with one in Law Enforcement, but if you need a big friendly guy for a fantasy movie, he will be your ticket!