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Mission: Impossible

Season 1 Episode 10

The Carriers

Aired Saturday 9:00 PM Nov 19, 1966 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
42 votes

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Episode Summary

Enemy agent Janos Passik is preparing to train 200 foreign agents to infiltrate the U.S. and engage in some form of bacteriological warfare. The team figures out that Passik has created a replica of a "typical American town" so as to train his agents to learn how to blend into American society. Rollin, Cinnamon, Barney, and bacteriologist Roger Lee replace the new group of recruits and must then find their way to the research lab. They soon realize that the American-trained agents will be infected with a highly contagious plague and then sent into American to kill millions. The group must not only destroy the plague samples but make sure that Passik and his superiors do not find out that the destruction has occurred.moreless

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  • This is a marvelous episode. Even if you are aware of the errors regarding how septicemic plague works, the plot is so fascinating that you can overlook it.

    This episode, like some others, proves that the team leader gets a lot more information about the mission than we are allowed to see. How else could Dan have possibly known the precise race and gender of the group of agents going in for their final training?

    There was something almost surreal about seeing that cosy little American town--surrounded by barbed wire and warning signs.

    Rollin, as always, gets well into his role. Actually, he gets further into it than he really needs to. At their formal meeting with Passik, Rollin takes his leave without looking Passik in the eye--and is sharply corrected for it by Passik. That wasn't strictly necessary, but it added that extra touch--at this point, Passik would expect his agents to still be making a few mistakes.

    We don't see it done, but hopefully Rollin, Barney, and Roger checked over their room for bugs before they casually began discussing the mission.

    Passik explains that they "test" all of the incoming agents by pretending to arrest them, so presumably Cinnamon was tested, too. It would have been interesting to see her reaction.

    It was fun watching the training session for the hot-dog venders. ("You're too slow!") Not to mention watching Cinnamon get down and boogie. (Of course, they wouldn't have called it that then)

    Another nice touch by Rollin: confronted with being where he should not have been, he pretends that he had slipped out in order to sneak one of "their" cigarettes, rather than an American one.

    Cinnamon did a great job at vamping Passik--but then, she nearly always does! I liked how she was able to make an impression of the key, then casually hand it out the window, without missing a beat. She also did a good job of making it look as though her sudden confrontation of Passik, armed with a gun, was a spur-of-the-moment necessity, when it was actually a carefully planned step in their counterplot.

    Barney slowly strangling one of the guards by the underground lab was rather gruesome to watch, although you can't really tell if he killed him or just made him pass out. There's no such ambiguity about the second guard getting shot and slowly collapsing.

    The usual complication comes with Rollin accidently getting exposed to the plague culture. Roger reacted as a doctor would--rushing to get the wound cleaned out, then frantically searching for a hypodermic to give Rollin the antidote, nearly taking too long to get out of the lab. (Although you would think that they would have hypodermics readily to hand in case of just such an

    Just how long were those poor enemy agents left tied up in the apartment before Dan and Willy burst in on them? Did Dan arrange to have someone give them a little water at least--and bathroom privileges?

    In the book, THE COMPLETE MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE DOSSIER, Greg Morris describes his character as "fearless". He certainly shows it here. During the taut, "Russian Roulette" scene, Barney appears completely at ease. You can see that the others are trying not to react, especially Roger (who is probably the least experienced of them), but Barney seems totally calm, even contemptuous of Passik. He's also very quick to react: while Rollin leaps suddenly to his feet, it's actually Barney who saves Cinnamon from getting her head blown off.

    After that sadistic little scene, it's very satisfying when Rollin punches Passik and we see a smear of blood on his face--and realize that Passik has been unwittingly exposed to the plague. Not only has this enemy plot been shot down the tubes, but this expert in "American culture" will not be around to train any more agents.

    I liked the ending, where they all anxiously watch as Barney jury-rigs a way to inject the antidote into Rollin with the tube from Cinnamon's perfume spray. (Willy, of course, had to drive, but I'm sure that he kept watching in the I also liked how Rollin girded himself up to it--jamming that tube into his arm was going to be very painful.moreless
Barbara Bain

Barbara Bain

Cinnamon Carter

Greg Morris

Greg Morris

Barney Collier

Peter Lupus

Peter Lupus

Willy Armitage

Martin Landau

Martin Landau

Rollin Hand

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson

IMF Voice on Tape (uncredited)

Steven Hill

Steven Hill

Daniel Briggs

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Considering how very carefully they would have set up the plague cultures, don't you think that someone would have noticed a petri dish suddenly missing?

    • For safety reasons bacteria is destroyed by heat in an autoclave: it wouldn't be pumped out with waste water as is shown here.

    • Septicemic plague requires a delivery vector, such as rats or fleas: it cannot be spread through touch as is claimed here.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Barney: What about the security in the area?
      Dan: We did get an agent of ours in there once.
      Cinnamon: Did he say anything about getting out?
      Dan: As a matter of fact he didn't.
      Willy: Why not?
      Dan: He never got out.

    • Passik: I have no time for anything else.
      Cinnamon: Not even time to buy me a drink?
      Passik: You have made a mistake, Miss Cabot.
      Cinnamon: Oh?
      Passik: American women are seldom so straightforward. They pretend to be coy and reserved. Rarely do they come right out and ask a man such a question.

    • Roger: I don't think I'm cut out for this kind of work.
      Barney: Who is?
      Rollin: Not me. Maybe Cinnamon is.

  • NOTES (1)