Mission: Impossible (1972) – Leona, and TOD-5

Robert Goulet guest stars in Leona, an episode that sees the IMF taking on the mob, again. Written by Howard Browne this story first debuted on 7 October, 1972.

Phelps (Peter Graves) and the team are tasked with rescuing a federal agent being held by the mob and being tortured for information. Apparently, the best way to track him down is to generate some conflict between the mob bosses in order to get one to turn on the other.

The targets are Joe Epic (Goulet) and Mike Apollo (Dewey Martin), but Joe is the one that they really go after. Joe’s wife, Leona, has died recently. Phelps plays an insurance agent playing the aspect that Joe murdered her. Casey (Lynda Day George) does some mask work, pretending to be a vision of Leona, haunting Joe and asking him to avenge her implying Apollo killed her after rejecting his seduction.

Joe is rather troubled by all these new implications about his wife, and sure he’s a baddie, but the way they go after him in this episode makes him too empathetic. The viewer ends up feeling sorry for him. This poor guy being pushed this way, exploiting his pain.

If it had been done as a modern film, using that angle, the characters would have to be really developed, and the arcs clearly defined, but this is just a one-and-done fifty-minute episode and it doesn’t do the idea justice.

Sure the agent gets rescued, but the IMF really messes with a man who’s grieving the death of his wife, and there’s no emotional fallout for any of the characters because of it.

TOD-5 was written by James D. Buchanan and Ronald Austin. It had an original airdate of 14 October, 1972.

The IMF is assigned to go after a domestic terrorist organization known as the Alpha Group, which is led by Dr. Flory (Ray Walston!). The group is working, through their agent Gordon Holt (Peter Haskell), to steal a biological weapon known as TOD-5, and release it.

With Mimi (Barbara Anderson) on board, the team concocts a plan to convince Holt that the small town he’s in has already been exposed to the weapon, which means he’s been exposed (and the townies seem to be dropping like flies!). They tell him the town is surrounded by the military so there’s no escape, and through all this effort, they hope to learn the location of the Alpha Group’s headquarters so that law enforcement can stop them.

But is there someone else in town working with Alpha as well?

So not really organized crime this time, which is a relief, and a bit of fun with biological warfare and terrorism. The team shows they are more than ready to handle this group, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love seeing Walston play a baddie!

Season seven continues next week as I explore more of Paramount Canada’s release of Mission: Impossible – The Complete Series on blu!

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