Mission: Impossible (1971) – Nerves, and Run for the Money

Lisa Casey (Lynda May George) has to put herself in harm’s way with her IMF assignment in Nerves. Written by Henry Sharp and Garrie Bateson, from a story by Sharp, it first aired on 4 December, 1971.

Wendell Hoyes (Christopher George) is a paranoid criminal who has his hands on a slowly degrading canister of nerve gas which he threatens to release to the public if his brother, Cayman (Paul Stevens) isn’t released.

Phelps (Peter Graves) and his team work to gain Wendell’s confidence and recover the gas. To do so, Casy goes undercover as a career criminal who busts out of prison with another criminal, Sareta (Tyne Daly). Winning over Wendell’s trust, Casey, and a new addition to the team, Bill (Peter Kilman), as Cayman, race to recover the nerve gas before it’s too late.

As usual, the mission comes off, and the team makes it look easy, but there are a few curves thrown their way. Or were they planned for by the IMF?

While Graves wanders in and out of the story throughout, Willy (Peter Lupus) and Barney (Greg Morris) don’t seem to have a lot to do this time out. Casey has a lot to do, but the story never seems to rest on her shoulders for too long, which seems like a missed opportunity.

It’s great to see Tyne Daly popping up in the series knowing that Cagney & Lacey is on her horizon, but beyond that, there’s nothing really new to be seen in the episode.

Run for the Money was written by Edward J. Lasko and first debuted on 11 December, 1971. It seems The Syndicate is making a move on controlling the market for off-track betting, murdering any of their competition.

Phelps and his team are sent in to thwart The Syndicate’s attempt at control. And how will they do that? They set their eyes on Trask (Richard Jaeckel), the muscle for The Syndicate’s Mason (Herb Edelman).

The pair work together easily enough, but Mason has a horse that Trask wants, he feels it will elevate him a bit, but Mason refuses to sell. Enter Casey and Phelps with a horse that looks able to beat Mason’s and the con begins.

I was delighted to see Charles Napier make an appearance, but beyond that the episode, and the series is starting to feel a little tired. They aren’t doing anything new, it’s the same formula week to week with no big surprises or changes.

It remained very popular but perhaps people enjoyed the predictability of the series. I am enjoying the guest appearances and some of the ideas, but it’s not engaging as when it started. We’ll see if that changes as I explore more of Paramount Canada’s Mission: Impossible – The Complete Series on Blu-ray, available now!

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