||[Apr. 12th, 2008|03:38 am]
Mission: Impossible Fanfic
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE episode: The Shell Game, guest-starring James Dean as a Russian ex-pat (with a seriously terrible accent. AMDB trivia: The show couldn't afford an accent coach for Jimmy, so they had to get his friend Martin Landau to teach him how to speak with a Russian accent. Obviously it was not a success.)
The IMF's mission: To figure out whether Alexei, a nuclear rocket scientist played by James Dean, is sincere in his wish to work for the U.S. government or whether he is a mole.
Dan sets up a sting in which Alexei is given important nuclear secrets, as well as a perfect opportunity to hand them over to the Kremlin/KGB without ever being caught...or so you would think! Naturally, the members of the IMF are playing the parts of the Russian double agents to whom Alexei would hand over the documents. Rollin gets to play a double role as a fake spy and as the Russian ambassador who is taking the defector under his wing.
Alexei acts suspicious, and soon sets everything up to hand the secrets over. Before he does so, he tearfully confesses to Rollin that the KGB is blackmailing him into sending them secrets, and that he does not wish to do so! After a quick consultation with Dan, Rollin confirms that blackmail wasn't actually part of the IMF's plan, and that Alexei will in fact be handing the secrets over to a real Russian spy. (This isn't really that much of a problem, since the actual secrets are in fact nothing more than a highly coded recipe for egg salad, but the blackmail is a major thing.) The IMF must steal or destroy the blackmail evidence! (The Russians, who are not idiots, have negatives.)
The IMF sets up an extremely complex sting in which Cinnamon, two Rollins (which is to say, Rollin-as-ambassador and Rollin-as-spy), Jimmy, and the real Russian spy must exchange a series of envelopes--one holding the photos, one holding the negatives, and one holding the translated recipe for egg salad. It ends up as a high-stakes version of the shell game. By the end of the segment, the viewing audience should have absolutely no idea what is going on or who has what or indeed if there is any such thing as egg salad.
The end of the episode does not involve everyone having a good laugh in the back of a van, but Rollin and Alexei having a quiet drink and methodically destroying the blackmail photos. (AMDB trivia: The photos in the envelope were actually candid photos of Jimmy and Marty in compromising yoga positions, partially as a joke on Jimmy's part and partially to ensure that Rollin's look of shock at the content of the photos would be as authentic as possible.)