Mission: Impossible

Season 4 Episode 5

Fool's Gold

Aired Saturday 9:00 PM Oct 26, 1969 on CBS

Episode Recap

At the zoo, Jim goes to a vehicle and picks up his briefing message. An envelope includes two Bahkan hundred drona notes--one is legitimate, the other is a counterfeit printed by Igor Stravos, the finance minister of the neighboring Federated Peoples' Republic. Stravos has asked Bahkan to redeem $100 million in counterfeit notes and they must agree if they can't prove the drona are counterfeit. Failure to do so threatens the pro-Western country's overthrow. The IMF must get Stravos' plates and eliminate him.

Jim assembles the usual team plus Beth. At the final briefing, Paris tests a set of headphones that will block ultrasonic frequencies guarding Stravos' vault for ten minutes. Once the power pack burns out, the frequencies will burn out Paris' brains. Only Stravos has the voice key for the vault and there's no way to shut it down without his knowledge. They also have a fake vault dial, real drona plates provides by the Bahkan government, and an extendable remote device that unleashes a burst of flame.

Jim meets with Stravos as the Bahkan envoy with ex-counterfeiter Paris, while Barney works as a repairman. Jim agrees to redeem Stravos' drona and sets up a meeting for the next day. Paris will check for any counterfeit money that Stravos may have "accidentally" picked up. Stravos agrees and takes them to the bank to inspect the money, while Barney gets in to replace the light bulbs. Jim leaves Paris with Stravos but as he leaves he runs into Beth, his wife. She wants Jim to go to a risqué café but as a stuffy noble, Jim refuses. Stravos offers her his sympathies and Beth expresses an interest in Paris, then offers Stravos information if he'll take her out. When he's reluctant, he mentions that Paris is a counterfeiter and Stravos takes agrees to the date.

Paris slips a fake set of bills into Stravos' bundle of money while Barney secretly installs a mirror system near the vault door that allows him to see the combination dial. Stravos' superior Premier Roshkoff tells him to make sure Bahkan doesn't see through the counterfeiting ruse. Paris meets with Stravos and tells him he knows the money is counterfeit. However, he tells Stravos that the Bakhan government has $200 million and his plan won't work. Paris suggests Stravos print another $100 million and Jim has the authority to redeem the additional amount. In return for his cooperation Stravos will pay him $3 million, and he suggest there's something in Jim's file that Stravos can use to blackmail him.

Later Stravos meets with Beth at the cave and Paris comes in with two attractive women. Jim comes in and confronts Paris, while Beth asks Stravos to secretly get her out. Jim notices her and a confrontation results. Jim tells Paris to get out and after Jim leaves, Stravos proposes a meeting with Paris to discuss the specifics.

Willy comes into the bank disguised as a guard and wears a special pair of filtered glasses that lets him get the combination when the head clerk opens it.

Stravos admits there's nothing to blackmail Jim with but the Finance Minister suggests Paris have an affair with Beth and Stravos will film it, so they can blackmail Jim. Paris demands half of the hundred million with a full partnership. Stravos unenthusiastically agrees.

Willy drops off his money but spills some. When the clerk and guard scurry to get it, Willy slips the fake dial on top of the real one then leaves. He gives the signal to Barney, who slips into a closet and slips a matchbook into his toolbox which he leaves there with the headphone set.

Paris meets with Paris in a hotel room as Stravos gets footage of them together from behind a one-way mirror. Later he shows the footage to Jim to force him to release the extra $100 million in a secret arrangement. Jim agrees and leaves, and then Paris comes in. Stravos admits he plans to eliminate his two new government employees after they make the new batch of counterfeits, and Paris suggests two men he knows, Barney and Willy.

Later that night, Paris goes to the closet and gets the equipment that Barney left him, including the matchbook with the combination written inside. Paris enters the vault wearing the headphones and makes his way to the box with the plates. With time running out, he opens the safe deposit box to make the switch but begins to suffer head pains. He makes the switch but then begins to suffer from vertigo and headaches as the power pack runs down. He staggers through the vault chamber to get back to the door and just makes it out in time then closes the vault behind him.

The next day, Barney and Willy are let in to Stravos' printing press next to the bank. They bring in a drum of acid up to the sprinkler system inside of the bank. Stravos goes to get the (now fake) plates and gives it to them to create the new $100 million. Paris does a quick switch to give Stravos a real bill despite the fact they're making bad fakes. Barney then triggers the fire sprayer in the fake wad of bills Paris slipped into the counterfeits. The fire sets off the sprinklers, and the acid ruins the original counterfeits.

The new $100 million is complete and thanks to another real bill, passes Stravos' inspection. Sir Malcolm of the World Monetary Commission (WMC) arrives to inspect the transfer while Paris suggests they use the IMF's counterfeits to use for the legitimate transfer, rather than the original $100 million that Jim will transfer later in secret. The guard then checks out the original counterfeits and finds them destroyed. He calls Stravos with the bad news and the Finance Minister realizes something is up. Stravos' superior Roshkoff has arrived and Sir Malcolm inspects the money and quickly realizes it's bad counterfeit money. Roshkoff disavows any knowledge of Stravos' activities and after Sir Malcolm leaves, gives Stravos a gun and the chance to take the "honorable" way out. The team leaves as Stravos contemplates his fate.