Mission: Impossible

Season 2 Episode 8

The Fuehrer's Children

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Nov 16, 1989 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
14 votes

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Episode Summary

The Fuehrer's Children
The head of a neo-Nazi organization plans to ally similar groups with an elaborate computer scheme, and has a "master plan" which guarantees him success.

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  • the episode had a fatal flaw: the script

    "Target Earth" is an example of a preposterous concept beautifully executed. The difference between this and the episode "The Fuehrer's Children", in which a group of boys raised as Nazis are converted by Grant IN ONE DAY, is the difference between the ridiculous made plausible and the simply unbelievable. "It's amazing, isn't it", says Nicholas at Grant's success with the boys. It certainly is! Unlike most shows, which depended upon characterization, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE always stood or fell upon its plots. This episode had everything but the factor essential to MISSION--a strong, well thought out plot, despite its very capable cast.moreless
  • This is another example of a script that could have been so much better with a little work.

    "Target: Earth" took an absurd premise and made it fly. This episode took what could have been an intriguing premise (even if it has been used elsewhere) and ruined it with an absurd ending.

    It started off quite well. The opening scene, with the undercover agent suddenly surrounded by a howling mob, was quite terrifying. Kester made an excellent villain (although you wonder if he chose his girlfriend-cum-assistant because she had the same first name as Hitler's mistress).

    The tension builds nicely, with all of them wondering what Kester's "master plan" is. The scene where Grant is caught in Kester's suite is great, with Eva obviously delighted to imply that Grant had come into the suite to rape her, and Kester overjoyed to have an excuse to kill a Negro.

    From this point, however, it starts to slide. We know that the team is dealing with an evil situation; we don't need to have it rubbed in by such quotations as the following: "What kind of sick ritual do they have in mind for him?" (Shannon) "What kind of psychotic minds are at work here?" (Shannon) "It's got to be the most demented group we've ever come across." (Nicholas)

    Grant being...um...indisposed, it was left to Nicholas to work the magic with the computer and discover that "Rudolph Silas" was a ship, not a person.

    I did like the scene on the ship, where the Captain was going to refuse to let them search. Without missing a beat, Shannon, Nicholas and Max played off each other. Certainly they could come back later. They had other ships to investigate. They could come back...Friday. Of course, until then, no one would be allowed on or off the ship....

    According to Kester, the ship was the boys' home, and had been for twelve years or so. You would think that, during the search, Shannon or Nicholas would have seen some evidence of long-term habitation.

    Nicholas was the one who discovered the boys, and I liked the look on his face as the truth sank in. He quickly shook off his reaction, and began snapping pictures.

    Kester brings the boys and Vogel to the hotel, under Shannon's supervision. Even if the hotel has a policy of complete privacy for its guests, it doesn't seem intelligent for Kester to blatantly show off his youthful Nazis in front of a stranger.

    Again, with Grant being out of the way, Shannon takes over his computer with a nifty program that assumes an aging process for a picture of a missing child, and brings it up to age twelve--matching one of the photos that Nicholas took. This gimmick, which must have seemed extraordinary at the time, is now is use today--for the same reason.

    The scenes leading up to "the hunt" were well done. Kester was really creepy as he complacently noted, "Sports are so important to young boys." Vogel, after implying to Grant that he would be somewhat free to move around (albeit with a tracking collar) grinned in malicious glee (really, his expression here was unnerving) as Grant took a step or two and was promptly caught in a snare.

    Even if Shannon had quietly substituted a set of subliminal recordings (apparently whipped up at a moment's notice) for the boys the night before, you cannot simply erase a literal lifetime of programming with just a snap of the fingers. The boys should have been badly confused and frightened by this complete about-face. Why should Vogel, who had organized the hunt and provided them with weapons, suddenly be asking them why they were going to kill their prey? When Nicholas-as-Vogel told them that their ideas were wrong, they should have been saying, "Then why did you teach them to us?" It would have been so much better if they had acknowledged that the boys would need far more time than they could afford, and simply used Nicholas-as-Vogel to spirit them away, leaving Kester without his master plan to show off. That could have made for an exciting, perilous sequence. The rest of the plot, with Jim's very effective con with the computer banking cards (playing on his victims' greed, as all cons do) worked well enough. I think that the ending would have been the same, with all the rats turning viciously on their new leader.

    At least they had the decency to throw in a line about doctors standing by ready to work with the boys at the end.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 (5)

    • Kester: For the white race to survive, there has to be a blood-letting, not next week, not next month, but now! A war already exists throughout the world and white people are being killed and they are being killed because the Communist, Jew-controlled media wants to see the niggers take our land. Justice will be done. It will come at the end of a rope one day soon. That's where they'll all be.

    • Jim: They tell me horses are natural jumpers. Give them enough incentive, they'll go over anything.
      Rider: Almost anything.
      Jim: Well, of course it all depends on the rider.
      Rider: He won't jump for you if he's not your friend.

    • Kester: It's time we realized that the world is being carved up for blacks. White people no longer have any say in what goes on. I don't want to wait for things to happen, I wanna make things happen, now!

    • Peter: Was he a king?
      Grant: In a way, but not in the way that you think. He had no riches, no wealth of any kind. He had no armies, he had no weapons. But what he did have was far more powerful than all those things, he had ideas, and the king was in his name. His name was the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. He had a dream.

    • Kester: I'm going to hold a hunt. I've got just the person you can shoot for the sport of it. Sports are so important to young boys.

  • NOTES (1)