Mission: Impossible

Season 1 Episode 11

Zubrovnik's Ghost

Aired Saturday 9:00 PM Nov 26, 1966 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
37 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

The wife of a deceased scientist, Kurt Zubrovnik, is being pressured by Eastern forces to work for them. They are using a phony psychic to convince the wife her dead husband wants to defect. Accompanied by IMF "psychic consultant" Ariana Domi, Rollin and Barney try to disrupt the fraud and convince her to return to working for the U.S.moreless

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  • Are we sure this is Mission: Impossible?

    Not what you'd call a traditional Mission: Impossible episode, 'Zubrovnik's Ghost' is more a detective story-cum-horror movie. Barney and Rollin, with Ariana, a medium, in tow, investigate, but do not get a chance to employ any of the usual trickery. Instead, Ariana uses her powers to solve the mystery, with Rollin and Barney as bystanders. The plot twists are acceptable and there is sufficient eerieness for the ghostly effects, but the episode departs far from the normal formula. 'Zubrovnik's' could have been a script for any show.moreless
  • This episode is just plain weird.

    "Mission" was involved in several incidents that revolved around spiritualism, including one from the remake. It is, after all, a perfect vehicle for their gimmicks and gadgets. This episode, however, seems to include genuine phenomena, and it just does not fit in with the style of the series.

    Unlike any other episode, where you either know what's going on or it gets explained in the course of the show, things are left very confusing--not just to the viewer, but to the characters themselves! During the apartment scene, Ariana spoke privately to Dan, saying that he knew the truth about her, and why was he promoting her so hard to Barney and Rollin? Dan replied that the men were certain that she was also a charlatan, like Poljac...but he didn't want them absolutely certain. Whyever not? They never go into a mission without knowing the basic facts. They are quite good at faking the necessary responses; it's their job, after all.

    When they arrive at Martha's house, the door is open. Martha is there, but for some reason she takes her own sweet time in responding to their yells of "Anyone here?" In the meantime, Barney is confronted by a dog. Ariana manages to calm it, and it leaves the house. Martha, being told of the dog, tells them that the dog has not been inside the house since her husband died a year previously. For most of the episode, the dog remains outside. So, why the heck was it inside when they got there? Martha, having told them of the dog, makes no attempt to explain its brief, inexplicable change of behavior.

    To me, Poljac's performance at the seance was way over the top. Barney and Rollin would agree, but Ariana stubbornly refused to make any straight comment, only saying, "Perhaps". Ariana's own performance, at least at the beginning, seemed much more matter-of-fact; no holding of hands, no going into a trance, just wandering around the lab calling, "Are you there?" She claimed to sense a hostile, murderous entity, and finally decided that it was not, in fact, Martha's husband Kurt. Rollin immediately concluded that Kurt, in fact, was still alive. Barney was incredulous, but Rollin pointed out that it was logical: if Poljac was a fake, then he had to have gotten the private information he revealed at the seance from somewhere, and who better than the man himself?

    A search of Poljac's trunk revealed no information they could use. In the process Poljac's assistant discovered that they were sniffing around. In the meantime, Ariana had been meditating or something down in the lab, and came up with some vague impressions. She and Rollin were to go to the nearby town to look for Kurt, while Barney kept Poljac distracted. As they were preparing to leave by a basement entrance, the dog suddenly ran in and hid, whimpering. Ariana walked over and studied it, then suddenly announced that there was no point in looking for a living Kurt, not anymore. She said that she herself sensed that he was dead, although it looked more as though she had deduced it from observing the dog.

    Barney looked startled when they showed up again so soon. Rollin said that he (not "they", and not Ariana) thought that Kurt was dead. Barney accepted this without question, which made absolutely no sense at all.

    After Poljac announced that Martha would be leaving, to take up her work elsewhere (behind the Iron Curtain), Rollin and Barney were desperate to persuade her to stay. Ariana seemed to forget just who she was working for--she refused to go along with them, saying that she could not be dishonest about the supernatural.

    A power failure meant that Barney's bag of tricks would not work, and Ariana suddenly went into action. Smoke started to appear from nowhere, and Poljac, rather than going out the door just a few feet away, ran upstairs to the room where his assistant had died, there to get himself mysteriously locked in and stung to death by a swarm of bees.

    Driving away at the conclusion of the mission, Ariana stated that she had put on her "greatest performance". This seems to imply that she was, indeed, a charlatan, which makes all her behavior at Martha's house totally confusing. How could she have known, or even guessed, that a man had been murdered in Kurt's place?

    If it were not for the two men dying, the whole thing would have seemed like a very elaborate practical joke on Barney and Rollin.moreless
Steven Hill

Steven Hill

Daniel Briggs

Greg Morris

Greg Morris

Barney Collier

Martin Landau

Martin Landau

Rollin Hand

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson

IMF Voice on Tape (uncredited)

Martine Bartlett

Martine Bartlett

Ariana Domi

Guest Star

Donald Davis

Donald Davis

Sigismund Poljac

Guest Star

Beatrice Straight

Beatrice Straight

Dr. Martha Richards Zubrovnik

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Barney: Why don't we just convince Mrs. Zubrovnik she's being taken?
      Dan: Because we don't know the ghost's not real.
      Ariana: Thank you for that.
      Rollin: Oh, come on, Dan!
      Dan: For Martha Zubrovik, the spirit of her dead husband exists. You can't fight that belief with logic.
      Barney: Well, if you can't fight ghosts with logic, fight ghosts with ghosts.

    • Barney: (about Poljac's séance) Ariana, He was good, but wasn't his voice a little obvious?
      Ariana: Perhaps.
      Rollin: Perhaps? Oh, come on, level with us, Ariana. It was nonsense.
      Ariana: Perhaps.

    • Ariana: I told him the truth. There is a spirit, a ghost if you prefer, in this house.
      Rollin: I thought you were just being tactful.
      Ariana: I'm never tactful about the supernatural.

    • Ariana: (about Zubrovnik) He's dead, they'll move the body immediately.
      Rollin: How do you know this? How did he die?
      Ariana: I can't tell you that. All I know is what I know. What I feel.
      Rollin: Are you sure about what you feel?
      Ariana: All I know is what I feel, not what I think.

    • Arianna: (to a vicious dog) We won't hurt you.
      Barney: We won't hurt him?!?

    • Barney: Arianna, I'll never doubt you again. Out loud.

  • NOTES (2)


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