Mission: Impossible

Season 3 Episode 8

The Diplomat

Aired Saturday 9:00 PM Dec 01, 1968 on CBS

Episode Recap

At an outdoor park, Jim collects his briefing about the theft of information of four American mission-control centers. The information was delivered to Valentin Yetkoff, the military attaché at the embassy in Washington. Yetkoff has ordered his agent Roger Toland to verify the information. Jim must make sure the information is discredited. At the apartment, Jim assembles the usual team plus Dr. David Walters, and Presidential aide Everett Buchanan and his wife Susan.
At the briefing, Jim notes there is no way they can recover the information, so they have to convince Yetkoff it's false. Rollin is wearing a special harness and Willy has a tablet that will render a car engine inoperable. Jim reveals they need Susan Buchanan to work with Toland, who has already killed twice and both times the women he killed apparently OD'd of sleeping pills after using them to get information. Dr. Walters talks about the fact they can keep her alive but the margin is narrow. Susan's husband Everett is concerned but Susan is willing to go along with it.
Yetkoff is going over the map of the missile control centers as his assistant Grigor and Toland look on. Toland reveals he's heard nothing and there have been no emergency meetings yet. Toland admits he's found nothing through official channels, but he's never failed and plans to go through unofficial sources. After he leaves, Barney as a policeman pulls over truck driver Willy as a limo driver from the embassy, Nikolai, looks on. Willy slips the cartridge into the agent's gas tank, then they head out. Jim pulls up as a telephone repairman and goes inside Yetkoff's headquarters. Grigor meets with Jim and takes him in.
At a party, Toland overhears Everett bowing out on Susan to go to a meeting--she's clearly upset at being neglected. Rollin is present as a photographer and offers to take a picture of Toland but insists Susan pose with him. They spar briefly and hint they've met before, then she walks off. After Rollin is done, Susan apologizes to Toland and flirts briefly, but eventually admits that Rollin is "despicable."
At Yetkoff's embassy, Jim pokes around as Grigor keeps an eye on him. Jim has the man work on a switch box sending a test signal while Jim goes into the next room and listens in on Yetkoff. Grigor draws a gun on him and demands answers. Jim demands a meeting with Yetkoff and says that he was working with the agents who stole the missile plans. Jim gives the proper signals and they arrange a meeting the next day once Jim's identity is confirmed.
Nikolai arrives at the garage with the sabotaged car where Barney is working. Barney tells the agent it'll be ready the next morning. Once he leaves, he and Willy start to go to work on the car, installing a new airtight divider window and a hidden remote-triggered gas canister.
At the Buchanan apartment, Susan and Toland dance but they're interrupted by the doorbell. It's Rollin, and he confronts Susan as she reveals a safe. Toland secretly looks on as Rollin demands blackmail money. He also notices a top secret folder in the safe. After Rollin leaves, Susan admits to Toland that she had an affair and Rollin took pictures. He assures her there must be some way out, but as he leaves Susan takes some sleeping pills and Toland takes note of her usage. Barney and Willy finish working on the car, leaving a compartment that Barney can hide in.
Toland confronts Rollin at his studio and after slapping him around a bit, forces Rollin to sell him the blackmail negatives the next day. Toland goes to Yetkoff to get the money and then use them to get the top secret info from her husband, info that can confirm the missile base locations.
The next day a messenger arrives with the info on Jim and Nikolai greets him in the rigged car. Barney, masked and hiding in the car, triggers the gas and the messenger slowly passes out. Nikolai, in the front, is unaffected. Barney then slips out to grab the messenger's briefcase. Toland shows up to pay off Rollin but realizes Rollin isn't giving him the original negatives and threatens to cut him with a broken bottle. Rollin relents and gives him the right negatives but makes a run for it. Before Toland can kill him, Rollin falls on a (fake) tripod and dies. In the car, Barney switches in Jim's info but leaves obvious marks, and slips back into the compartment while at the studio, Jim helps Rollin out of the harness.
At the embassy, Yetkoff realizes it's the wrong watermark and the lock has been tampered with. They check out the limousine and find where Barney hid, and conclude that Jim is an American agent. Yetkoff and Grigor meet with Jim at the park and Yetkoff plays along. Jim reveals that he determined the names of four Air Force generals who work at the four missile centers but is still working on their locations. Jim asks for payment and Yetkoff promises to pay him later. As Jim leaves, Yetkoff calls off Grigor as he wants to see the (presumed fake) information that Jim will give them.
Toland gives Susan the photos as outside in the van, the rest of the team listens in. Toland asks for collateral to cover the money he paid to Rollin. Susan opens the safe and then he takes the book with the missile site locations. She puts up a struggle and he knocks her down, then forces her to take an overdose. Out in the van, Dr. Walters starts timing and warns that she only has 10-15 minutes before dying. Toland takes the photos of the plans while Susan slowly passes out. She tries to make her way to the phone but collapses before she can call, with thirteen minutes having passed. Several more minutes elapse as Toland puts the book back in the safe and checks to see that Susan is on the edge of death, then leaves.
As soon as Toland is gone, the team rushes into action and Dr. Walters tends to her, finally assuring them she'll make it. Toland gives the information to Yetkoff and it's confirmed that it matches with the original stolen info. However, Jim arrives and reveals that he has located the four generals, and they are located in the four cities indicated by the original info and by Toland. Yetkoff lets Jim go and then calls Toland in, informing him that Jim confirmed Toland's information… but they believe Jim is an American agent. Therefore the information can't be correct but the Americans are verifying it because they planted the information themselves. Since Toland verified the information, Yetkoff can only conclude that Toland is also an American agent. Yetkoff shoots Toland as outside Jim overhears the shots. Yetkoff destroys the information since he considers it useless.