In short, I thought it was a GREAT one-hour crime drama, and I think it was a GREAT episode for hardcore M:I fans. However, it would be a TERRIBLE episode for someone to watch if they were not really a big fan of the series and arguably thus not a good series episode. Why? Because it was almost like a fan-produced spoof of Mission: Impossible that you might find on YouTube...everything the IMF tried to do went wrong. In the end, it all turned out OK (other than Barneyâ€™s gunshot wound), but the only thing that didnâ€™t go wrong for the IMF was someone on the team trying to rig up a bomb and it blowing up in their face, leaving them with a comically scorched face and their hair standing straight up and smoldering.
(Note: Itâ€™s a separate debate whether an episode that only serious fans would like is a good series episode...Iâ€™m saying â€œnoâ€� for the purpose of this review.)
I also liked that the bad guyâ€™s dog knew that Barney in disguise was not his owner. It certainly flies in the face of one of our â€œSuspensions of Disbeliefâ€� when someone is in disguise...that you wouldnâ€™t know it was someone else because of their scent, height, differences in build, or mannerisms.
As a serious fan, I really enjoyed seeing things NOT go smooth for the IMF, and them dealing with adversity. I liked how they even added in Casey still taking the photos at the end, not knowing she was carrying the bomb, and even though the photos wouldnâ€™t be needed when it was all said and done. My favorite moment was where Jim finds out that Willyâ€™s lost Casey...Jim doesnâ€™t know what to do...totally stumped...goes for the phone...no, doesnâ€™t use the phone, still stumped...goes for the phone again...it was a VERY rare moment where Jim is truly panicking because someoneâ€™s about to die and he has no idea what to do. It reminded me of the moment in â€œThe Killerâ€� where Jimâ€™s trying to figure out the method of assassination and he figures it out at the very last moment.
Previously, the record I had found for things going wrong for the IMF in an episode was four...itâ€™s whatever one where a girl at a party steals everyoneâ€™s money and passports and Rollin has to get them back. Hereâ€™s a list of everything I can think of that goes truly bad during the mission in â€œBag Womanâ€�:
1. Casey is given a bag with a bomb in it instead of the expected bag with money.
2. When impersonating the bad guy, Barney doesnâ€™t know where the 25-year-old bottle of booze is. 3. Vetâ€™s assistant leaves dog cage open, dog escapes and attacks Barney, blowing his cover and leading to him getting shot.
4. Barney escapes and finds a doctor who calls Jim and then the doctor has Barney sedated, making Barney unable to communicate.
5. Willy gets in a car accident, knocking out his tracking device.
Iâ€™m curious if the producers actually sat around a table and said â€œLetâ€™s have an episode where EVERYTHING goes wrongâ€�.
There is a REALLY memorable scene in this episode. Barney with a bullet wound, staggering down an ordinary American city street, while everyone backs away from our staggering, bleeding hero and does nothing to help the man who has saved the world countless times over. It was a VERY disturbing and well-produced scene, even as I watched it today.
On a grander scale, Barney really does get shot a lot (see also â€œWheelsâ€� and â€œHuntedâ€�), to say nothing of his getting poisoned (â€œThe Innocentâ€�) and temporarily blinded by a concussion (â€œThe Falconâ€�). But, as Barney said as the last two words of the episode as the hand-held camera did a 360-degree walkaround of the IMF at the end, â€œFeelinâ€™ fineâ€�.