Saturday, June 17, 2017

Mission: Impossible -- Episode 23: Countdown


To Watch: Click Here

Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
A general in a Far East country aims to gain power by detonating a nuclear bomb and taking out his country's government.  He recruits a female assassin to arm the bomb, but her loyalty is only to "The Holy One," an exiled religious leader who she wants to see return home.  The IMF team tricks her into thinking that The Holy One is in town and threatened by the bomb so that she will try and stop it.

Memorable Quote:
This ambulance needs a doctor.  ~Grant

Highlight:
I liked the scene in the hospital room where Grant is in the same room as Su Lin (no relation to Sue Ling) and pretending to be a patient.  Grant is a versatile character ably played by Phil Morris, and I find him to be the lifeblood of the team and the series.

Lowlight:
There were a few plot holes in this one, but one that stood out to me was the team's use of the hospital ward. Jim says, "As far as the hospital staff are concerned, we're here to set up an inoculation program."  Really, Jim?  You stroll into a hospital in a foreign country and talk about setting up an inoculation program and the hospital will just say, "Sure, go ahead, and we don't need see any information on what you're doing and we won't check up on you at all."

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • Our first shared Mission Impossible / MacGyver episode title!
  • What's the point of pretending to shoot Max as the ambulance driver?
  • The general's really going to set off a nuclear bomb in his own country?  And why is he still in the city right before the bomb is about to go off?
  • I like Max's little fold-up knockout gun.  If I were a nonviolent secret agent, I'd opt for one of those over MacGyver's method of punching them out.
  • The bomb is being housed in what looks to be a heavily guarded facility, but after Su Lin gets shot, Max radios Grant and tells him to get out of there -- and in the next scene we see Grant back in the hospital base, so it must have been an easy escape.

Conversation:
Julie Ow, who played Su Lin, is currently producing an urban teen cooking competition show called Teen Chef USA and looking for distribution, so if you're in the business and want to carry it, drop her a line!

Yes, lots of great memories and thanks for reaching out.  Phil Morris was wonderful to work with along with Peter Graves. I had watched Peter in the original MI as a child, so I was thrilled to meet and work with him. Phil is a very giving and knowledgable actor and put me at ease.  Phil and I were handcuffed together for a portion of this episode which was a lot of fun.  We also had a fight scene and Phil "let" me beat him up!  Filmed in Melbourne, Australia near Chinatown, I ate some of the best black bean sauce chicken's feet ever!  Some of the Australian Chinese background actors thought it was so unusual seeing my Chinese face combined with hearing my American accent. Director Brian Trenchard-Smith had a great train scene in the episode too! Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa plays such a scary bad guy, and he is such a friendly, supportive fellow actor in person. Thanks for taking me down memory lane, Nick.

Final Analysis:
Despite some critiques, I liked this one and it held my interest throughout (which is more than I could say for many of the first season episodes), and I enjoyed the interplay between Su Lin and Grant.  Season 2 continues its good start, as I'm ranking this one 5 out of 23.

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