Mission: Impossible: Season 4, Episode 21

Lover's Knot (22 Feb. 1970)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Crime
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The IMF's task is to find out who is running a U.K. spy ring. The team's lead is Lady Cora Weston, who seduces men in sensitive intelligence positions. Phelps' plan calls for him to pose as... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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...
...
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Willy Armitage (credit only)
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Lady Cora Weston
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Lord Richard Weston
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Tim Rorke
...
Marvin Rogers
Charles Macaulay ...
Conway
Peter Ashton ...
Blake
William Beckley ...
Diceman
Ford Lile ...
Ross
George P. Wilbur ...
Chauffeur (as George Wilbur)
Tony Giorgio ...
First Man
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Storyline

The IMF's task is to find out who is running a U.K. spy ring. The team's lead is Lady Cora Weston, who seduces men in sensitive intelligence positions. Phelps' plan calls for him to pose as a U.S. naval officer who will be Lady Cora's next target. The plan is complicated when Lady Cora falls for Paris, posing as another U.S. official. Paris also falls for Lady Cora. These entanglements become even more complicated when the IMF discovers the identify of the spy ring's leader. Written by Bill Koenig

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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22 February 1970 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

A fun connection. Jane Merrow played Susan Rushton in The Avengers' "Mission . . . Highly Improbable" in 1967. In 1970 she played Lady Cora Weston in Mission: Impossible's "Lover's Knot". She did the spoof/homage/rip-off/compliment show first. See more »

Goofs

Early in the episode, as Paris and Lady Weston go horseback riding, the trees have red and orange leaves and she remarks that autumn is her favorite season. When she and Jim Phelps go to the casino a day or so later, however, the date on the check he writes is "Feb. 14, 1970," which is almost the end of winter in Britain. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Oddball Episode Features Many Departures from the Series' Conventions
15 June 2008 | by (Ukiah, California) – See all my reviews

This episode features a number of jarring departures from the series' conventional format. Although it wasn't until the following season that the series began to use a teaser before the opening credits, this one might as well have, because there's no tape scene, no gathering at Phelps' apartment, and certainly no dossier (though by now that technique was used less than it wasn't). Because this episode was written by series stalwart Laurence Heath, though (who ultimately wrote more scripts for "Mission" than anyone else), it's not the case of a one-shot writer who didn't understand how to work within the format. And because, despite the many departures from "Mission" conventions, the plot easily *could* have been shaped to fit the series' normal structure, it's a sign that the creators were perhaps becoming bored with the conventional approach, and wanted to shake things up a bit.

None of these changes, by themselves, were introduced in this episode; there had been a number of "personal" stories that didn't start out with a tape scene, a "dossier" scene, or an "apartment" scene. Jim Phelps himself had become involved with an enemy agent the previous season in "Nicole," so when Paris starts to have second thoughts about deceiving Lady Cora Weston, their femme fatale-adversary here, that by itself isn't new, either. (On the other hand, when Paris begins to express his regrets, Jim and Barney exchange more knowing looks than Joe Friday and Bill Gannon -- reinforcing Jim and Barney's standing as the two most steadfast members of the team.)

But these shifts in plot and tone are compounded by a number of other departures. The episode is set in England, making this one of the few foreign adventures not set in the usual ersatz East European or banana republic states. Paris' initial scenes with Lady Cora include a montage of horseback riding scenes; the montage was perhaps the most rarely used of all visual techniques in the series, instead of the quick cuts normally used to keep up the pacing. And though Barney knows that the casino where Phelps is to accompany Lady Cora is cheating -- even identifying the device that they use -- this is provided strictly for information, and there's no plan to try to defeat the mechanism.

Perhaps most significant, though, is that Phelps, Barney, and Paris start out in the U.S. Embassy in London working out the plan with the help of an Embassy official. The series' most pervasive conceit had always been that the IMF was a *secret* organization -- so secret that no one except a few highly-placed U.S. officials even knew of its existence, and that if a mission went awry, "the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions." Given that they're working hand-in-glove with regular government employees this time, "disavowing" wouldn't have done much good here -- and may also be why Heath decided to "blow up the boxes" in which the series had heretofore operated.

None of this is to detract from the fine performances provided both by the series regulars (though Peter Lupus is missed as Willy) and by Jane Merrow as Lady Cora, Don Knight as her psychopathic henchman, and that old warhorse John Williams as Lord Weston. But the actors are dragging a safe in this episode's multiple transformations -- one or two departures from the normal series concepts would perhaps have made this a change of pace, but with so many of them crammed into one episode, better check the DVD box to confirm that -- yep, this is "Mission: Impossible." Well -- it might say that on the outside . . . but what's inside seems to have disavowed any knowledge of its origins.


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