The BEST Episodes of Mission: Impossible

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Sep 24, 2019

Network: CBS

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.

The Controller (2)

#1 - The Controller (2)

Season 4 - Episode 4

As Barney taints the water system with a mind-numbing drug, Jim is captured and put on trial, where he must discredit an enemy scientist.

star 9.23
30 votes
Directors: Paul Krasny
Writers: Laurence Heath
The Train

#2 - The Train

Season 1 - Episode 24

Prime Minister Larya of Svardia is working to establish democracy, but is unaware that his personal protege, Deputy Premier Pavel, plans to set up a dictatorship. The team must persuade Larya of Pavel's plans. The IMF fakes a train ride for Larya, Pavel, and Pavel's aide Androv. They then fake a crash, put Androv and Pavel in a fake hospital, and tell them that Larya is dead. They immediately begin plans to eliminate anymemory of Larya and start arresting dissidents. Then the hospital wall slides away to reveal that Larya has heard the whole thing, and dismisses them both.

star 9.23
22 votes
Directors: Ralph Senensky
Writers: William Read Woodfield, Allan Balter
The Submarine

#3 - The Submarine

Season 4 - Episode 7

Upon his release, a prisoner plans to fund neo-Nazis with stolen money. So a submarine voyage is simulated in order to transport him to his contact.

star 9.17
30 votes
Directors: Paul Krasny
Writers: Donald James
Blast

#4 - Blast

Season 5 - Episode 18

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.

star 9.16
31 votes
Directors: Sutton Roley
Writers: James L. Henderson, Samuel Roeca
Death Squad

#5 - Death Squad

Season 4 - Episode 24

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.

star 9.12
25 votes
Directors: Barry Crane
Writers: Laurence Heath
Bag Woman

#6 - Bag Woman

Season 6 - Episode 19

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.

star 9.10
29 votes
Directors: Paul Krasny
Writers: Ed Adamson, Norman Katkov
The Rebel

#7 - The Rebel

Season 5 - Episode 11

The IMF must rescue three scientists in a dictatorial country and destroy their notes. They rescue two but the third one, Khora refuses to leave and is executed. Jim and Dana meet with his son Alex (a rebel leader) to get his notes and Dana is captured by the militia along with Alex's girlfriend, who has memorized the doctor's notes. Barney and Doiug parachute in with a giant hollow religious statue that Jim uses to get close enough to dig into the prison while Paris, pretending to be an Intelligence officer, plays the militia leader, Bakram, against the people. When Bakram discovers that the prisoners have escaped he destroys the statue, further enraging the country's people against him while the team make his escape.

star 9.09
33 votes
Writers: Ken Pettus
The Catafalque

#8 - The Catafalque

Season 5 - Episode 19

In San Pascal Premier Miguel Fuego and his nephew Ramone have signed a secret arms treaty with a Communist power to permit nuclear weapons aimed at the U.S. into their country. The IMF must expose the treaty before the missiles are installed. The team has Paris claim that Ramone's late father was killed by Miguel and that Paris' father at the closed Madrena Prison can verify this. The IMF secretly reopen Madrena prison and have Ramone arrested for fake-killing Doug, and Paris plays his previous character's father, who claims a diary will prove his claim. Ramone escapes and rejoins the younger Paris' character, who makes him believe the diary is on his father Victorio's body, lying in state. Barney and Doug have secreted replaced the body with a wax dummy behind the backs of the guards and planted a diary "proving" Miguel had Victorio lobotomized. Upon recovering it, Ramone goes to an asylum where a braindead "Victorio" is being kept. Enraged, Ramone takes Paris to the safe containing t

star 9.07
30 votes
Directors: Barry Crane
Writers: Paul Playdon
Kidnap

#9 - Kidnap

Season 7 - Episode 11

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.

star 9.04
28 votes
Directors: Peter Graves
Writers: Samuel Roeca, James L. Henderson
The Brothers

#10 - The Brothers

Season 4 - Episode 11

A Middle Eastern king needs to be restored to the throne. So a medical operation is replicated where he will seemingly donate his kidney to his murderous brother.

star 8.96
26 votes
Writers: Leigh Vance
The Question

#11 - The Question

Season 7 - Episode 16

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.

star 8.94
33 votes
Writers: Stephen Kandel
The Party

#12 - The Party

Season 5 - Episode 22

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.

star 8.94
33 votes
Directors: Murray Golden
Writers: Harold Livingston
The Field

#13 - The Field

Season 5 - Episode 17

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

star 8.93
30 votes
Writers: Wesley Lau
The Falcon (3)

#14 - The Falcon (3)

Season 4 - Episode 16

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.

star 8.92
25 votes
Directors: Reza Badiyi
Writers: Paul Playdon
Decoy

#15 - Decoy

Season 5 - Episode 8

Anna Kerkoska plans to defect with a list of American agents given to her by her father, the late Premier. Her brother Alexi also plans to defect, but it's actually a plan to grab the list, turn it over to Police Chief Petrovitch, and sell out his sister. Jim and Dana pretend to be a publisher brother-and-sister team and Paris kidnaps Dana to fake-force Jim to kidnap Anna for the Americans. Petrovitch and Alexi let the plan go ahead, while Jim becomes romantically involved with Anna. The bad guys overhear Jim "confess" how he is going to smuggle Anna out of the country, unaware its a ploy to draw them away from the real means of escape via a mini-race car in the back of the hearse - Jim and Anna use it to bypass the mined security gate and exit the country.

star 8.92
36 votes
Directors: Seymour Robbie
Writers: John D.F. Black
Takeover

#16 - Takeover

Season 5 - Episode 14

Phelps must stop Charles Peck from using violence, created by professional provocateur Billy Walsh, to elevate his puppet, Mayor Steven Tallman to the governorship. Dana is a provocateur herself, arrested by Barney the current governor's representative. Walsh gets Dana out, and Paris is a blackmailer who convinces Tallman that Dana is his previously-unknown illegitimate daughter. Peck is concerned that Tallman (actually Paris in disguise) will confess their plans to save his "daughter", and orders Walsh to kill Barney and Dana. Barney stops Walsh on TV before he can blow up a crowd of demonstrators and police during a protest, and Paris-as-Tallman confesses to Peck's involvement.

star 8.89
27 votes
Writers: Jerry Thomas, Arthur Weiss
The Innocent

#17 - The Innocent

Season 5 - Episode 3

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.

star 8.85
34 votes
Writers: Marc Norman, Laurence Heath
The Controller (1)

#18 - The Controller (1)

Season 4 - Episode 3

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.

star 8.85
34 votes
Directors: Paul Krasny
Writers: Laurence Heath
The Tram

#19 - The Tram

Season 6 - Episode 3

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

star 8.82
34 votes
Writers: James L. Henderson, Samuel Roeca
The Hostage

#20 - The Hostage

Season 5 - Episode 13

After completing a mission Paris is undercover as an American businessman and still in disguise when he is kidnapped by Latin American revolutionaries led by terrorist Robert Siomney - they ask for the release of three prisoners in return for Paris' life. Paris fakes a disease forcing the government to drop medication, which the IMF has planted a tracking device in. Once they know where the revolutionaries' compound is, Jim fakes the exceution of two of the prisoners, putting pressure on the revolutionary leader Jorge Cabal since his son Luis is the third prisoner. Dana poses as Luis' girlfriend to get close to Jorge so Siomney orders her covert death to keep Jorge on track - Barney takes the killer's place and rescues Dana. Then Jim fakes Luis' death as well - Barney fake-kills Paris and then they reveal that Luis got a last-minute reprieve. With nothing else to bargain with, Jorge turns over Siomney, Barney in disguise, and the "dead" Paris in return for the government commuting his

star 8.81
31 votes
Directors: Barry Crane
Writers: Harold Livingston
Ultimatum

#21 - Ultimatum

Season 7 - Episode 10

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.

star 8.79
28 votes
Writers: Harold Livingston
Trapped

#22 - Trapped

Season 6 - Episode 22

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.

star 8.76
29 votes
Writers: Samuel Roeca, James L. Henderson
The Hunted

#23 - The Hunted

Season 5 - Episode 10

A mission to rescue a South African dissident goes awry when Doug and his white assistant get the man out of the hospital, but the assistant is shot in the leg. Separated from the rest of the IMF team, the assistant staggers into a shop where a deaf girl discovers the man is Barney in a mask. The rest of the team gets the dissident out of the country and then goes back for Barney. To draw off the police, Paris pretends to be a limping white man, but is injured for real by two men trying to capture him. Meanwhile, the wounded Barney discovers the girl, Maryana, was rendered psychosomatically deaf when her father, one of the dissident's co-workers, was shot by the government. Pretending to be policeman, Doug and Jim manage to track down Barney, and with the girl make a run for a helicopter to escape over the border. Before they can do so, they need to rendezvous with the wounded Paris and rescue him too.

star 8.75
36 votes
Directors: Terry Becker
Writers: Helen Hoblock Thompson
Casino (aka Vacuum, Rumble)

#24 - Casino (aka Vacuum, Rumble)

Season 6 - Episode 21

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

star 8.74
27 votes
Directors: Reza Badiyi
Writers: Walter Brough, Howard Berk
Invasion

#25 - Invasion

Season 6 - Episode 9

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.

star 8.72
25 votes
Writers: James L. Henderson, Samuel Roeca