Mission: Impossible

Season 2 Episode 14


Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Feb 03, 1990 on ABC

Episode Recap

In the mock Wild West town of Pontiac, an ex-congressman, Ian McClintock, confronts a supposed insurance adjustor, Mr. Russell, who he reveals is an undercover FBI investigator. McClintock has his henchman Slade take Russell outside while claiming it's part of the show, then gives him a six-gun and challenges him to a gunfight. Russell has no choice and Slade brutally guns him down.

Jim is informed that McClintock is suspected of selling arms to terrorists and is using his Wild West town and his political contacts as cover. McClintock is obsessed with the Hollywood cowboy legend but despite that is a shrewd, clever man who is obsessed with gambling, and Grant uses surveillance footage to determine he cheats. Max, Grant, and Nicholas go in as saddlebums looking for work and Slade takes them on for an upcoming rodeo despite spotting them as ringers. Shannon goes in as a waitress at the saloon that McClintock hangs out and makes contact with Max. Jim goes in as a gambler, Sutton, who goes up against McClintock and mocks him over his obsession with the Wild West. At the ranch, Slade taunts Grant into taking on a wild bronco, Bolero. Grant takes the challenge and gets thrown after a few seconds, but manages to escape unharmed and gets the job after beating up Slade's lackey Carter.

At the saloon, Shannon overhears Carter talking about a "creeping" danger in a mock mine while Jim and McClintock spar over cards. She gets the info to the others, who are in the upstairs room. Grant is rigging up special LCD receivers onto a deck of blank cards, allowing him complete control over the poker hands. McClintock checks in at the mine and the secret mining operation where they're digging toward a burial vault, and warns Slade to watch the workers while he takes Jim to the ranch to figure out what his real game is. Jim continues to taunt McClintock, baiting him into a game of no-limit poker. Max and Nicholas slip into the fake mine house and Nicholas grabs an ore sample for Grant to analyze. Grant determines the sample contains sodium chloride – plain ordinary salt.

Max plays up Shannon and when she "rejects" him, Carter comes to her aid and she plays up to him after Max leaves. Grant and Nicholas slip back into the fake mine and spot Slade intimidating a worker who wants out now that they've "broken through." Slade hauls the guy down a dead-end tunnel…and disappears. They hear a gunshot and determine they need to find the survey papers to get into the mine.

Shannon hits on Carter and drugs his beer, while Nicholas and Grant break in to McClintock's office to get the survey maps. Carter is all but unconscious and Shannon takes him upstairs, but not before McClintock warns Carter to watch his mouth. McClintock expresses his concerns to Slade while the others can't find anything on the map. Jim suspects they're tunneling rather then mining, but to what? There is an area marked as "Restricted Access Government Land" and that's where the tunnel is heading. Grant checks the government files but doesn't have the high-security access necessary to find out what's under the land.

The next morning Carter wakes up and Shannon pretends they made love, then gets him to admit there are rods in the burial vaults that they're digging toward. Grant rigs up Jim's six-shooter with their standard knockout drugs, with sufficient velocity to penetrate clothing form a distance. Shannon gives them the info from Carter and along with the salt, Grant figures out that the government is using underground salt beds to store nuclear fuel rods. McClintock's digging a tunnel into the vault to steal the rods and sell them to terrorists so that they can build nuclear bombs.

Grant equips Jim with a miniature radio mike and Shannon substitutes Grant's deck of LCD cards and the tranquilizer-six shooter. Jim takes McClintock up on his offer and the poker game is on. Armed with a hidden-lock-circuit tampering device, Max and Nicholas get into the hidden tunneling operation and don protective suits to conceal their identities. Jim wins readily and taunts Slade into getting a drink…drugged by Shannon.

Max and Nicholas look on as the workers get to the burial vaults and start to remove the rods. Nicholas daubs some phosphoresce on his gloves while Max plants an ultra-violet light device, making it look like there's a leak. After the workers flee, they start planting explosives. At the saloon, McClintock has a pair of aces with one ace down to beat Jim's jack-high. Thanks to Grant's work, Jim's facedown card becomes his second jack and McClintock's facedown ace "disappears," much to his bewilderment.

McClintock accuses Jim of cheating and he cheerfully admits that he was beating the crook at his own game. McClintock calls Jim out to a gunfight but then the saloon vibrates as the explosives go off and Jim tells him that the tunneling plan is at an end. Jim takes the rigged tranquilizer gun while McClintock tells Slade to kill Jim. The drugs Shannon gave Slade kick in and Jim easily shoots him down. McClintock confesses rather then face Jim in a gunfight, but Jim isn't accepting any excuses. McClintock goes for it and Jim guns him down. Shannon calls the FBI and the team rides off into the sunset.
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