Mission: Impossible

Season 1 Episode 13

The Fixer

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Feb 25, 1989 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
17 votes

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Episode Summary

The Fixer
A Washington journalist uses his connections to gain information to blackmail politicians, posing a threat to the U.S.

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  • Shannon's first full-fledged outing with the team went pretty well. They always come up against suitably evil villains, but Arthur Six, the slimy, cynical blackmailer, is up near the top.

    Arthur's basic character is established immediately, as he provokes a hapless judge into committing suicide right in front of him--then settles down for a drink before having the body removed.

    This episode didn't rely too heavily on Grant's little box of tricks. The gadgetry involved was mainly surveillance equipment. However, Grant did introduce what would become a mainstay of the series--his steaming little "Insta-Mask" kit, which would save them a lot of time formerly spent in carefully sculpting face molds. (On the down side, it meant that Nicholas would spend a lot more time hidden behind latex. Pfui.)

    Arthur Six was a marvelous villain--you were really, really glad that they were taking him down. He was well matched by Doyle, the ruthless, creepy, yet somehow not-quite-with-it henchman.

    On of the team's primary concerns was to drive a wedge between Six and Doyle, but Six himself did a good job of helping them out. Just before Nicholas meets up with them to threaten them with his knowledge of the dead judge's "diary", Six makes the blithe comment about getting rid of friends when they're no longer useful. You can see Doyle uneasily turning this over in his mind. Six reinforces this by his contemptuous treatment of Doyle when Doyle attempts to enter the conversation between Nicholas and Six.

    We see Nicholas getting well prepared for his meeting with Doyle--a bullet-proof vest with a "blood-bag" vest over that--but there's a nasty little instant after he's been shot down and Doyle prepares for a final shot--into Nicholas' head. Fortunately Max was on the ball, and chased him off. I always wondered if Nicholas, with his eyes shut, realized how close it was.

    Nicholas-as-Six was done really oddly. I don't know if it was Richard Romanus' interpretation or if he was following instructions from the writer or director, but it came across as out-of-character. Nicholas is an experienced agent, and he's worked with masks before. Yet here, in Doyle's presence, he kept hastily turning aside, avoiding looking at Doyle directly. This might have been appropriate in one of the earliest episodes, but here it was very jarring to watch.

    An interesting touch--as Six and Doyle enter in to his party, Six reaches to smooth the sash worn by one of the dressed up "guards" at the entrance. Doyle seems to copy him, reaching for the shoulder of the flanking guard, then akwardly gestures to the side and comments that most of the guests are there.

    The climax, where Six and Doyle have been screaming at each other and Six suddenly notices the silence outside, was beautiful. I also liked Doyle's growing smile as it dawned on him what was happening.

    In previous episodes, they had occasionally tossed in a closing comment by Jim Phelps. Sometimes appropriate, sometimes not. This episode seems to mark where they really started getting irritating. The team is arrayed around Phelps, and they all pause--posed--as he declaims. I wish I knew who decided that they needed that. One final note: as they resume motion, they're all headed to the left of screen--except Nicholas, who's heading off to the right of screen. Perhaps he found that closing statement annoying, too!moreless
Phil Morris

Phil Morris

Grant Collier

Peter Graves

Peter Graves

Jim Phelps

Jane Badler

Jane Badler

Shannon Reed (1989-90)

Antony Hamilton

Antony Hamilton

Max Harte

Thaao Penghlis

Thaao Penghlis

Nicholas Black

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson

IMF Voice on Disc (uncredited)

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Six: Having half the votes of the committee still isn't enough. I want an absolute majority. What I really want is total vindication.
      Doyle: I have photographs of one senator on a cruise to Acapulco with a Hollywood actress.
      Six: Exclusive photos?
      Doyle: I don't think he'd want his wife to see them!

    • Six: Very few people come to Washington with clean hands.
      Doyle: Certainly made a career out of proving that!

    • Six: You know, if I printed everything I know, I'd bring down Capitol Hill. I mean, it boggles the mind!

    • Jim: Grant, how are you doing?
      Grant: For a guy who feels like he just went ten rounds with Mike Tyson? Terrific!

    • Doyle: You like danger and excitement?
      Shannon: Depends on who I'm with.

    • Jim: Darren Wendell.
      Oxenford: He was my best friend.
      Jim: Yes, I know. He died 23 years ago trying to save your life. Operation Blue Fox.
      Oxenford: Well, that operation's still classified! Who are you?
      Jim: Well, lets just say I'm someone who thinks Darren Wendell has another chance to be a hero.

    • Six: Mr Wendell, I'm a professional. I make sure I have every detail worked out in advance, it's the only way to succeed.
      Jim: I couldn't agree more.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Revised opening credits which excise Terry Markwell and feature new regular Jane Badler.

    • The idea of catching a political manipulator's confession and broadcasting it on TV without his knowledge was originally used in the '66 series' episode "The Confession".