The BEST Episodes of Mission: Impossible
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Jan 19, 2021
Elite special agents undertook top-secret assignments in crackerjack episodes, which kicked off with the team leader receiving instructions via a tape-recorded message that self-destructed in five seconds. What followed were usually breakneck spyjinks set to a pulsating Lalo Schifrin score. Martin Landau turned down the Spock role in 'Star Trek' to play IMFer Rollin Hand. When Landau left the series in 1969, his replacement was the man who built a career on Spock, Leonard Nimoy.
#1 - Bag Woman
Season 6 - Episode 19 - Aired Jan 29, 1972
The Syndicate is bribing a major politician, codenamed "C6", through their operatives Harry fife and his chief killer Jenkins. The IMF must find out who C6 is and get the evidence against him. Fearing a IMF man he had killed got too close, Jenkins recommends someone new, Jean Royce, to make deliveries. Barney takes Jenkins place while Casey becomes Royce. Fife gives Casey a bag of explosives to deliver to C6 to silence his payoff demands for good. Barney finds out but is exposed and wounded, but warns Jim and Willy...but an accident destroyed the tracer. Jim allows Jenkins to escape and return to his boss, then visits Fife himself as a Syndicate head and tells him that C6 must stay alive. Fife sends Jenkins to warn C6 and reveal Casey is a cop, and Jim traces the call and Willy saves Casey just in time.
#2 - Kidnap
Season 7 - Episode 11 - Aired Dec 2, 1972
Crime boss Metzger determines that the IMF was responsible for the heist at the Aquarius Casino (from last season's episode "Casino") and kidnaps Jim when he and Barney are on vacation, forcing the IMF to work for him to recover evidence against him from a safe deposit box. The evidence, a letter, is being used as a bargaining chip by Metzger's former crony, Connally, to get Federal immunity for his testimony. Casey and Willy manage to steal both keys to the box and get the letter, except Metzger's subordinate Hawks steals the letter to blackmail his boss. Barney comes up with a fake letter and use it to get to Jim where the IMF takes everyone into custody.
#3 - Ultimatum
Season 7 - Episode 10 - Aired Nov 18, 1972
The IMF has 16 hours to find a nuclear bomb placed by an extortionist, Dr. Cooper, in one of seven Pacific Coast cities and find Cooper's associates in charge of disarming the bomb. The IMF track Cooper to a cafe and fake a radio broadcast announcing his demands will be met - then Jim and Mimi break in as convicts and take Cooper and the others hostage. The IMF eventually "let" Cooper call his associate Rogers to disarm the bomb but Cooper's wife Adele kills Rogers when she fears the plan has gone awry. When Rogers' death is announced on the radio, a frustrated Cooper convinces Jim and Mimi to take him to the bomb (beneath City Hall) which he shuts off with seconds to spare - the IMF take him into custody.
#4 - The Question
Season 7 - Episode 16 - Aired Jan 19, 1973
Nicholas Varsi, an enemy assassin, has been captured but claims to be a defector who will reveal his mission to a government agency, the FIS...when he is guaranteed safe asylum. But the FIS may have been infiltrated by a deep-cover operative and Varsi may be selling fake information, so the IMF must verify if he really wants to defector. Jim and Willy break Varsi out and Jim claims to be an agent for Varsi's former government and demands to know why he is defecting. Varsi says nothing and shoots FIS agent Andrea (actually a guest IMF agent) with an empty gun. They let him and Andrea go - he'll turn Andrea back to the FIS if he's a true defector, but instead Varsi goes to a hotel to meet with his former superior, Colonel Kremmer, and the IMF must figure things out before Varsi and Andrea are both killed.
#5 - TOD-5 (aka The Carrier)
Season 7 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 14, 1972
A government scientist, Paul Morse, plans to sell a biological weapon, TOD-5, to terrorist Alpha Group led by Dr. Flory. The IMF must get to Morse's contact, Gordon Holt, and get him to take them to Alpha HQ. When Holt gets to the small town where he is to get the weapon from Morse, he finds the town under quarantine and people dying - then he starts showing (IMF-faked) symptoms of the disease. He grabs Mimi, who is supposedly immune, and takes her with him to Alpha HQ and infects them to force them to come up with an antidote - the IMF trail him and arrest the whole operation.
#6 - Casino (aka Vacuum, Rumble)
Season 6 - Episode 21 - Aired Feb 19, 1972
Syndicate boss Orin Kerr runs the casinos and the IMF needs to get the evidence against him to put before the state legislature. Kerr's boss distrust him because of his extravagant lifestyle and Syndicate man Cameron plants a bug in Kerr's office, which the IMF taps into. The IMF then set Kerr up with fake conversations that make him look bad to his bosses - Cameron hears Casey and Kerr discussing a heist of the vault, and Jim shows up with a background indicating he pulled off a similar heist 12 years ago. Barney manages to steal the money out of the impregnable vault while Kerr thinks he can get the missing money from Jim's earlier bank heist by putting him into debt at the casino. Kerr follows Jim to the hidden money which is actually his own) and grabs it, and then Cameron shows up and demands to know why Kerr has carrying current currency. Dumbfounded, Barney intervenes and Kerr flees into the arms of the police, where he is forced to testify against the Syndicate in return for pr
#7 - Double Dead
Season 6 - Episode 20 - Aired Feb 12, 1972
Shanks and Blake are Syndicate men who run the loan shark racket in the Islands and are preparing to transfer $10 million to the mainland, leading to the Syndicate expanding their operations there. The IMF must stop the Syndicate's expansion. In Hawaii the IMF's in-and-out operation goes bad when Willy is captured and turned over to Dr. Matier, who injects him with a near-lethal truth serum. To get Willy out and finish the mission, Casey approaches Shanks and drugs him into helping the IMF steal the $10 million, while Jim approaches Blake and claims to be a Syndicate man from the mainland. The IMF make Shanks "disappear," presumed dead, to convince Blake his partner sold him out. Then Casey wakes up Shanks and Jim and Blake confront him - Casey's fake "confession" seals the deal but then Syndicate man Barney fake-shoots Jim and Casey just as Syndicate man Bolt arrives. Confused, Bolt takes them all to Willy hoping his information will straighten things out. Willy manages to escape wit
#8 - Blast
Season 5 - Episode 18 - Aired Jan 30, 1971
Gregory Tolan leads an underground cell specializing in bank robberies with the money going to finance an American revolution. His mysterious sponsor is Jonathan Brace, who runs other such cells throughout the U.S. The IMF must find out Brace's identity and apprehend him. Phelps (as a demo expert) and Dana (as his insider at Tolan's next target) get recruited and has to make sure Tolan steals the money without the police knowing so he can lead them to Brace. When Jim stops Tolan from shooting Willy (disguised as a clerk), the police are alerted and Tolan's team takes refuge. Jim goes to get a (bugged) car since Brace won't come to them, Paris and IMF guest agent Grace play the homeowners, and Dana and Tolan exit with the money when Brace orders them to. Jim stops the hostages from getting killed and they follow Tolan to Brace and bring them both in.
#9 - Movie
Season 7 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 4, 1972
Norman Shields is a Syndicate man controlling the entertainment industry with money supplied by Theodore Dane, and is sending his brother Benjamin with the money to finance a takeover - the IMF must get the records and bring Shields down. Jim takes Theo's place (he and Shields have never met) and backs a production of a movie based on a murder which Shields committed years ago. Willy replaces Shields' gun with blanks and during a late night confrontation he "shoots" Jim - the IMF get the whole thing on tape and redub it with Theo's voice. Benjamin insists on seeing the money-making film that Shields is so worried about - instead, Shields ends up showing him the IMF film where brother Theo is "killed." Dane takes the syndicate records from Shields, who in turns has them taken by Willy and Jim.
#10 - The Field
Season 5 - Episode 17 - Aired Jan 23, 1971
An enemy power has launched a satellite containing a thermonuclear bomb and the IMF must destroy it. The control center on an island in the Adriatic Sea is surrounded by an impenetrable minefield designed by an American defector, Norris. Barney secretly sets off some of the mines - without an explanation, the facility security call in Norris, whom they haven't seen. Paris takes Norris' place and using plans that Jim stole earlier, shuts down part of the field, and Barney gets in to program the system to drop the satellite out of orbit. Unfortunately, on the mainland the real Norris kills his girlfriend, a government spy, and Paris-as-Norris is arrested for the murder! This also leaves Barney trapped in the middle of the minefield. Jim and Doug manage to extract a confession and the location of the murder weapon from Norris before Inspector Koder (who knows the real Norris) can spot Paris. Dana comes in and manages to covertly slip Paris the information they've set up to make it look li
#11 - The Innocent
Season 5 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 3, 1970
In the Middle East Willy and Barney infiltrate a chemical plant to gain access to Dehominant-B, a quick-acting lethal gas. Barney is exposed to Dehominant-A while trying to get to the computer and crippled - Willy escapes and Barney is captured. Barney is interrogated and only has four hours to live. The team find out that Dr. Jerry Carlin, a dropout, is the only other person with the skills to access the computer. When Carlin rejects the team's appeal for help, Jim and Paris frame Carlin's girlfriend and threaten to keep her in jail unless he helps them. Dana provides a distract and Paris takes the head scientist Vazan's place and have Barney first fake a confession implicating the technicians and then his own death - they get Barney to the autopsy room where Doug revives him in the nick of time. Jim and Carlin take the incriminated technicians' place and Carlin manages to ruin the Dehominant and erase the computer, then everyone escapes with Vazan.
#12 - Imitation
Season 7 - Episode 22 - Aired Mar 30, 1973
The Marnsburg Crown Jewels were brought to the U.S. and stolen from the UN Building - Jena Cole, a thief, is believed responsible but have no leads on the location of the jewels. The IMF must recover the jewels before the hostile Marnsburg government makes a case out of it. Jena is to turn the jewels over to the Syndicate, which financed the theft. Barney manage to get close to Jena and she finds he has plans to the Marnsburg Consulate. Meanwhile, the IMF return the "real" jewels, claiming the first ones were fake and confirming it throuigh her diamond fence (a IMF replacement). Jena and Barney team up to get into the consulate and steal the "real" jewels and turns them over to Jim the creditor, so Jena tries to fake him out for substituting her supposedly fake gems for the "real" ones, then sneak out. The Syndicate shows up and figures out which gems are which, and the police take everyone, including Jena, into custody.
#13 - The Tram
Season 6 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 2, 1971
Two underworld leaders, Hatcher and Thorne, have called a conference of Syndicate leaders to form a massive holding/laundering company. The IMF must obtain their joint Swiss bank account number. Jim gets in as a mobster and sabotages the tram that is the only way to the meeting. Willy slips in as a repairman and Casey lures down Thorne, whom they capture and then offer to return to Hatcher in exchange for the exact amount the mob leaders invested. He gets scammed into losing the money and Barney replaces the money in the safe with counterfeits. The IMF makes it look to Thorne like Hatcher kidnapped him then let him escape. When it is revealed the money is counterfeit Jim "rescues" him from being killed by the mobsters, then give Hatcher (with a weak heart) a fake heart attack as they escape down the tram. Hatcher gives Jim the bank account number and the team slips out of the tram with the $4 million while the weakened Hatcher remains behind - when he gets to the bottom he and Thorne k
#14 - Trapped
Season 6 - Episode 22 - Aired Feb 26, 1972
An $8 million army payroll has been stolen from a base in SE Asia by the Stafford family, Syndicate drug smugglers. The IMF must recover the money. Jim and Barney steal a Stafford truck and then offer to sell it back to the family if they pay "protection." Jim meets with brother Doug to convince him brother Art has ordered a hit on Doug - however, Art has put a hit on Jim and he is ambushed and gets amnesia. Meanwhile, lounge-singer Casey meets with Doug and sets it up so he thinks Art is trying to kill him. Doug makes a deal with Barney for protection from his brother in return for $2 million and leads the IMF to the money - they arrest everyone and convince Art to tell them about his plan to kill Jim. Meanwhile Art's killers are on Jim's trail and when Barney gets hold of him, he manages to recover his memory just in time to thwart them.
#15 - Invasion
Season 6 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 13, 1971
An earthquake damages the U.S.'s Distant Early Warning (DEW) system and a Defense Department advisor, Whitmore Channing, steals plans from the Air Force identifying the weak spots. Channing has hid the information for pick-up by an enemy agent the next day, and the IMF must get the name and flight # of the agent from Channing. The IMF evacuate Channing's city block and drug him unconscious after a fake electrical shock, then wake him up after adjusting the clocks to a day later. He believes the information has already been picked up, an idea "proven" by a faked IMF invasion of the European People's Republic. But then the EPR invaders arrest Channing and put him on trial. Channing reveals the location of the drop to prove his "innocence", and then the IMF let him covertly know the whole thing is a fake. Channing calls his contact and mentions his name - the IMF get it via a tapped line and arrest the man before he can recover Channing's info.
#16 - Leona
Season 7 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 7, 1972
Syndicate boss Mike Apollo was being infiltrator by a Federal agent, Parnell, who disappeared - the IMF assumes Apollo is torturing him for information. The IMF must learn where Parnell is. Since fellow Syndicate boss Joe Epic's wife Leona died under mysterious circumstances while Apollo was elsewhere with Parnell, Jim as an insurance investigator reopens the case and hints to Epic his wife was involved with an affair. The IMF plants evidence the affair was with a fellow Syndicate boss, Apollo himself. Jim leaks a fake story to Epic's secretary that Epic is planning to kill Apollo. When Epic accuses Apollo of killing his wife at a Syndicate meeting Jim tells a different story, that it could have been Leona's husband or lover. To clear himself Apollo produces the imprisoned Parnell, at which point the police move in and arrest everyone.
#17 - Underground
Season 7 - Episode 7 - Aired Oct 28, 1972
Gunther Schell, the brains behind many Syndicate operations, escaped with the aid of a gang specializing in smuggling criminals out of the country - the IMF must locate Schell and the millions in Syndicate money he hid. The gang apparently brainwashes their "clients" and steals their money. Jim goes in as a doctor wanted for murder with his cash hidden after Barney hypnotically programs him only to divulge the information they want. Jim is contacted by the gang, led by Clavering, but the IMF loses contact with him when he's moved in a lead-lined casket to the gang's location, where Schell (who hasn't broke yet) is also at. Jim manages to knock Schell into a coma by triggering his diabetes and claims only he can save him. Jim calls in Willy as an anesthelogist and then the two of them knock out the gang and get Schell out. Barney sell's Schell's location to his superior, Lutz, and they all go to the hidden cash, where the police take them into custody.
#18 - The Puppet
Season 7 - Episode 13 - Aired Dec 22, 1972
Paul Ostro is the head of the Ostro family and a Syndicate member - after a hunting accident leaving him heavily bandaged he announces a new $100 million Syndicate plan and the IMF must find out what it is. It turns out brother Leo had Paul killed and has a substitute placed which he uses to convince four mobsters to contribute a million each into "Paul's" mystery scheme. Jim and Casey get Leo involved in an oil deal with a corrupt minister (IMF guest agent Khalid) while Barney as a cook gives "Paul" a fake heart attack - Leo has to play along and Willy gets the fake Paul out and they replace him with their own IMF agent Hank and steal the $4 million from the other gangsters. Leo's rival Gault finds the money and a ticket, and when Leo tries to get "Paul" to clear him, the IMF agent tells a different story. Leo has to reveal his plan to use the $4 million as the basis for a massive counterfeiting operation and take Gault and the others to his printing presses - the IMF move in and capt
#19 - A Ghost Story
Season 5 - Episode 21 - Aired Feb 27, 1971
Howard Bainbridge, a chemical warfare expert who defected to East, was contaminated by his own experiments and then returned back to the U.S. and his family manor, where his father (a paranoid arch-conservative) had him killed and the body buried. Since Howard destroyed the records before defecting, the IMF must recover the body to get a sample of the chemicals. The elder Bainbridge, Justin, is unaware that his head of security is an enemy agent also trying to find Howard' sbody. The IMF gain access to a air-raid shelter on the grounds and start "haunting" Justin with a secretly-implanted microphone and holographic projectors. Plagued by visions only he can see of his son and his dead wife Janette (played by Dana), Justin calls in physician Paris, who recommends he assauge his guilt conscience and Justin ends up digging up his son's body, which the IMF take.
#20 - Death Squad
Season 4 - Episode 24 - Aired Mar 15, 1970
Barney kills a man in self-defense and is marked for execution by the victim's brother, a chief of police who heads a death squad.
#21 - The Party
Season 5 - Episode 22 - Aired Mar 6, 1971
Alexander Vanin, arrested and convicted for espionage, hid a list of agents operating in the U.S. His control, Mishenko of the EEPR, has been ordered to get the list but Vanin refuses to give in because then Mishenko would cut him loose. The IMF must get the list. Vanin hypnotized himself to forget the list's location and only his wife Olga can give the trigger command to let him remember. Jim gets Olga to the U.S. while Barney and the others clear out the EEPR Consulate with a bomb ruse and then take it over and stage a party where the reunited couple meet (while Mishenko waits across the street for Barney to defuse the bomb). The IMF fake partygoers sneak out and Mishenko shows up to find Vanin there. To prove his loyalty and that he didn't talk, Vanin has his wife give the trigger, unaware that the IMF are listening in and get to the bus where Vanin hid the list before Mishenko can.
#22 - Boomerang
Season 7 - Episode 15 - Aired Jan 12, 1973
Syndicater John Vayle, a member of the Luchek Family, dies in a plane explosion - the IMF believes Vayle's wife Eve set him up to get hold of records, which would be invaluable as evidence against Luchek. Eve has the records and plans to blackmail Luchek - Jim pretends to be a killer sent after her who Eve plays to find out who wanted her dead. The IMF set it up to look like her husband John is still alive and using truth serum on her in her sleep to provide the location of the records. Barney, a crooked cop, claims that he was working with Johnny and killed him afterward, and Eve has to check the records to make sure they still exist - the IMF follow her and Luchek to them and arrest everyone.
#23 - The Merchant
Season 5 - Episode 23 - Aired Mar 17, 1971
Armand Anderssarian is an illegal arms dealer who is about to complete a multi-million dollar deal selling arms to guerrilla groups around the world - the IMF must stop him. Jim pretends to be setting up a theft of a secret radar system and Anderssarian "sponsors" Jim with $5 million through Minister Sartori then plans to sell the system for $20 million. Meanwhile Anderssarian loses his $5 million to Paris (with Barney providing an assist) in a poker game. The IMF team perform a fake raid (under the scrutiny of Anderssarian's aide Leon) on a IMF-staged radar station but the stuff is useless and Sartori wants to be reimbursed. When Anderssarian can't do so Sartori takes care of him for good.
#24 - The Controller (1)
Season 4 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 12, 1969
Jim and a female agent pose as scientists who have invented a new drug in order to replace a real drug that turns people into willing slaves.
#25 - The Falcon (3)
Season 4 - Episode 16 - Aired Jan 18, 1970
Just as Jim and the others unwittingly become caught up in a royal power struggle, a bomb goes off, seriously injuring Paris and revealing his disquise.