Mission: Impossible

Season 6 Episode 6

The Miracle

Aired Saturday 9:00 PM Oct 23, 1971 on CBS
out of 10
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Episode Summary


Only two Syndicate men know where $8 mil in heroin will be arriving - narcotics dealer Alvin Taylor an dhis executioner, Frank Kearney. When Jim approaches Kearney to make a deal and he refuses, Willie "shoots" Kearney - Barney as a surgeon then operates providing a heart transplant and covertly uses drugs and hypnotism to make Kearney mild-mannered.


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  • The IMF fake shoot a no-conscience drug smuggler and pretend to do a heart transplant on him. They make him believe he has a priest's heart and more importantly...a conscience!

    First of all, the mission was to provide evidence that "conventional law enforcement agencies" could not find on the heroine-smugglers-of-the-week. The interesting thing about this episode was their use of purely psychological trickery to motivate Kearney to undermine his boss. No need for maintaining trapping him a confined place (jail, train, or mock-up town), they did all the deception in his head and they left him to unravel. This episode's main device was tricking Kearney that he had a new heart in his chest. The IMF was very thorough in making sure that it was broadcast so that the other goons could see it and believe it too. The hypnosis part where Barney planted hypnotic suggestions in Kearney's head was a little hokey, but I guess there are drugs that do that. Also allowing the hospital spy to catch them in the act of hypnotizing Kearney made the IMF seem sloppy. They should have locked the door. It was probably just a quick twist to keep people from tuning out during the commercial break. Probably my favorite part of the episode was not what the IMF did, but how we could see the psychological drama play out in Kearney's head. His character was portrayed as a single-minded, skirt-chasing meathead who never gave his misdeeds anything close to a second thought. And after the operation, he believes he has a new heart, he starts to see the changes in his attitudes based on Barney's hypnotic suggestions. He goes from a meat and beer person to fish and wine person. He actually starts to care for and love Casey instead of treating her as just another girl. He can't understand how he got that way...until the IMF tricks him into thinking he got a priest's heart. Kearney, who calls priests "hypocrites" deals with his internal conflict by smashing up the insides of the church much like how he would like to smash up the heart in his chest. At the end, we see the typical set up where one of the bad guys catch the other one trying as a traitor. The IMF knew all they had to do was to get both Kearney and Taylor in the same place with their smuggled drugs. And they did it, albeit in an unconventional way even for the IMF. After the bad guys are caught, we see the IMF looking down from the cliffs, as the bad guys look up in disbelief. Another mission accomplished.moreless

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