Mission: Impossible

Season 2 Episode 16

The Sands of Seth

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Feb 24, 1990 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
13 votes

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Episode Summary

The Sands of Seth
When several progressive Egyptian leaders are killed, the IMF team is sent to stop the head of the department for ancient studies at the Cairo museum. It turns out that he has revived the cult of Seth, with sacrificial ceremonies. His henchman has been impersonating a mummy to kill anyone who might talk. Jim, Shannon and Max pose as part of a dig, claiming they have found important relics from the original worship of Seth, while Nicholas and Grant try to break the trust between the leader and his followers. But Grant is caught and is scheduled to be the next sacrifice...moreless

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  • I found this a rather silly finale. I think that someone had been watching too many old mummy movies.

    On the other hand, the trappings of ancient Egypt always provide a fascinating, gorgeous backdrop.

    However, it still left too many questions.

    The team got onto this mission because of four influential Egyptians being found mysteriously strangled. We see the fourth man by a "mummy"--who turns out to be Selim's henchman, Karnak. (You know, if these people would just learn to aim at the head of their attacker when they see that body shots aren't doing anything, they'd be a lot better off.) During the course of the mission, a fifth man is kidnapped and killed--this time in Selim's private temple, surrounded by his followers. The body is tossed into a sand pit, which slowly swallows it up. The team is left to assume that a fifth man has been killed--they have no proof whatsoever. So why didn't Selim kill all of the men in this fashion, letting them all vanish mysteriously? Either that, or kill the fifth man by mummy, same as the rest.

    Grant came up with still more fancy gadgets--one to fake a "Scroll of Seth", one to impress fake hieroglyphs onto a tomb wall, and a miniature version of the underwater holograph that they used in "The Golden Serpent."

    Selim, as a noted Egyptian scholar, should have been horrified to find that Jim (and later, Max) was treating that precious scroll so casually--having it spread out right in the open, exposed to air, sun, and dust. Ancient papyri are not so common that you would treat them like computer sheets fresh out of the copier.

    Having gotten the scroll, Selim decides to dispose of Jim and his "daughter"--but after Jim saves Shannon from strangulation, Selim inexplicably changes his mind and decides to leave them in the tomb that they have found. This means that A) they will have to clear all the relics from the tomb at a speed that would have real Egyptian scholars having conniptions all over the place, and B) no one will have a chance to examine the hieroglyphs on the walls of the tomb.

    It doesn't occur to Shannon (or Jim, after he wakes up) that the lamp that Shannon lit in the tomb would be gobbling up their precious supply of air much faster than either of them could breathe it.

    Max managed to inform Nicholas--nestled in his sarcophagus--that Shannon and Jim were trapped. After rising up (looking remarkably similar to Karnak in his wrappings) Nicholas passed the word on to Grant, who promptly went to the rescue.

    Another oddity arose here. When Nicholas called Grant, he was in the process of setting up a pool with the holograph gadgetry. Conferring with Nicholas, they decided that they would need to follow Karnak in order to locate and rescue Max--all that Nicholas knew was that Max had been taken to "the temple". Grant put on a flashy act for Karnak, frightening him into repenting of his evil ways, and rushing off to try and convince the other followers. So...just what were they originally going to use that pool for? If it weren't for seeing Grant set it up ahead of time, it would have looked like a spur-of-the-moment trick set up after they realized that Max was in danger. (That holographic imagery, by the way, was straight out of a Boris Karloff mummy picture--it's surprising that Karnak didn't recognize it.)

    Nicholas, in the meantime, had been caught at Selim's office. Apparently he hadn't hear Selim telling Karnak that Seraphis be coming back to assist him. After being dragged off to the temple, he lucked out twice over--Selim gave the job of executing him to Max, who faked it pretty well. Afterwards, instead of throwing him instantly into the sand--the way they did before, he was left by the edge to miraculously revive.

    Shannon obligingly located the temple by falling into it. They decide to rescue Max and Nicholas by destroying the temple--which was a real shame, as Selim had already been dispatched by his followers. Evil god or not, the temple of Seth was still a scholarly prize, and should not have been wrecked so cavalierly. Of course, it gave Jim the chance to make one final, pompous statement, before they all headed off.moreless
  • I didn't want it to end like this.

    I really loved Nicholas dressing up like a mummy he looked so cute.I loved that they got to him in time before he was killed.I really didn't want this to be the last episode.I wanted to see a more dramatic finale.But this episode was really good and we learned about Egyptian culture.
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 (1)

    • They say that the moon is full during this episode but the moon behind Grant's back is not quite full.  There is a reflection of this moon in the pool before Grant waves his ring over it starting the hologram but this moon is full with clouds partially covering it although there are no clouds in front of the actual moon.  Also, the moon would had to have been directly overhead to see a reflection of it in the pool.

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (0)