Sunday, 28 July 2013

Mission: Impossible S4E05 - Fool's Gold

What an awesome episode is Fools Gold, both from the Peter Graves and Leonard Nimoy point of view. Jim plays the uptight and moral Baron Rakozny (The Mission: Impossible Dossier describes it as ‘one of [Peter Graves’] favorite roles, as an incredibly Victorian nobleman.’) Paris plays an amoral criminal counterfeiter whose job it is to help the Baron spot counterfeit money. So Jim spends most of the episode being upright and proper and highly attractive, and Paris spends it being dissolute and light-hearted and floppy-haired and highly attractive. As the Dossier also points out, the episode’s moments of comedy lift it up and make it rather special. Also it has Nehemiah Persoff, who I like quite a lot after seeing how good he was in two episodes of Route 66. 

Jim is casual while watching elephants. He’s the only visitor at the zoo, and he’s wearing a suit, but he’s still casual.

Oh, look at that focus, through an ornamental desk type thing. His eyes pierce straight through.

And the slick all-in-black outfit, too, with that black poloneck. Rarr.

All the team are looking good. Doesn’t Willy always look huge in suits? Paris gets to try out some cool sound-dampening earphones, too. For some reason the earplugs stop soundwaves that could cook an egg in two minutes (early microwave technology?) from entering his skull and cooking his egg-like brain.

I’m on a Leonard Nimoy kick again (fitting since he was the one who brought me to Peter Graves in the first place.) He’s rocking the casual cravat-tucked-inside-open-shirt-collar look.

Oh my lord, don’t you just want to take him in this guise and rip his sensible glasses off and ruffle him up?

Only Barney can do something like this with complete coolness.

Accidental pause. Jim looked cute. And very young.

We’re in for a treat this episode. We get dissolute, naughty counterfeiter-Paris...

...and also upright, chaste, moral diplomat-Jim. As I said before, you just want to take him and strip off his glasses and that very proper suits and – ruffle him – thoroughly.

We also get Nehemiah Persoff in an understated role as Stravos. You’d be forgiven for overlooking him. Watch him, though. He’s a great actor.

What wonderful contrasts. Paris is sprightly and impish in the kind of Eastern European character Leonard Nimoy does so well (perhaps I should do a screencapping of his Man from Uncle episode on this blog, even though it doesn’t quite fit in with the Peter Graves theme.)

Jim is very, very disapproving of his naughty sidekick. Have I said that I want to ruffle him?

Meanwhile, Barney is pretending to be a handyman, with an almost-authentic Eastern European accent, and setting things up so that Willie can grab the combination of the safe.

Some fun see-how-Russian-I-am gestures from Paris in this episode. I can’t resist them.

And again...

...and again. It’s a kind of flirty, lit-up Paris which is a joy to behold.

Oops. The ‘Baron’ has just spotted his wife in a naughty club. He expected to find counterfeiter-Paris in the naughty club (is that why he’s here, or was he hoping to pick up a nice young woman?) - but he didn’t expect to find his wife there. Not after he’s forbidden her to go. Well, except that he did expect to find her there, because that’s all part of the perfect scheme.

What a lovely, perfect, Aryan couple. His wife is IMF operative Beth, played by Sally Ann Howes. Exactly the kind of couple the Baron would like to be part of. But he can’t control his wilful wife. Have I mentioned I’d like to ruffle him?

Oh, Willy. Is this a good look?

 Well, it was better than this look, anyway.

Paris and cognac. Or something. Looking elegant.

‘I am very serious when it comes to risking my life,’ Paris says of Stravos’s plan to film him having an affair with the Baron’s wife. ‘I don’t know what I would do without it.’

These two are as cunning as a pair of cunning foxes.

We get to see Paris pretending to seduce the pretend Baron’s pretend wife.

And the pretend Baron being pretend shocked at watching the film of the pretend seduction.

And I just quite like this shot of Nehemiah Persoff through the projector.

Now he’s ruffled.

You can almost feel the heat of his breath as he stands there, ruffled, breathing hard.

Oh good lord...

Now, there’s a winning smile.

A little left-handed writing to woo me. Now there’s a thing. Typically I’d think that wasn’t Peter Graves’ hand because the hairs look a little dark and too many, but unless they drafted in a left-handed hand-stand-in, then I suppose it must be.

A proper spy moment – the silhouette in the doorway.

Here Paris only has a certain amount of time before the soundwaves cook his brain, but he doesn’t run. He keeps his cool. He even pauses to make sure the door has shut behind him.

Hands... Leonard Nimoy has good hands. Here we can pretend they are Spock’s hands.

Here we get a very subtle start of The Faces of Pain.

Faces of Pain 2

Faces of Pain 3

This could be Faces of Pain 4, or Post-Orgasm Face.

Definitely Post-Orgasm Face.

Faces of Pain 5

Faces of Pain 6. Oh my god look at that hair.



I have to point out the lovely back-lit clock.

Faces of Pain 9. Paris is starting to think, ‘Am I a man, or am I a boiled egg?’


Faces of Pain 11. Can he make it? (Yes, but if I didn’t have the dvd I’d have to wait until after an advert break to find out for sure.)

Ahhhhh. Relief.

Barney and Willy, we love you!

Paris spends a lot of time in this episode hiding things in the breast of his jacket. Good at sleight of hand, he is.

Meanwhile, Jim is tall...

...and waits for the plan to unfold perfectly.

Is there a slight hint of smug on his face?

Escape! Poor Stravos is left with a gun and a simple request to fulfil, but our team escapes.