Perception, time, and fashion just don’t mix. I remember (parts of) 1987 pretty well. I remember that my mates and I made fun of the clothes and haircuts of the sixties and early seventies, particularly once I found a pair of plaid bell bottoms and found any excuse to wear those with my Beatle boots. Modern clothes were just so much nicer. Then.
For example, Richard Dean Anderson was running around television looking trendy with what will now make any viewer cringe, with his hair in that Nik Kershaw mullet and rocking that unspeakable suit. His co-star Elyssa Davalos spends part of this story wearing this blue dress with shoulder pads that were molded from solid concrete. Given the choice, I’d stick with the bell bottoms, man.
This story is an unusual diversion into the sort of con artist games that they’d play on Mission: Impossible, using the apparently limitless resources of Pete and the Phoenix Foundation to set up an elaborate scheme to draw out a foreign diplomat who enjoys a little sideline in diamond heists. Davalos plays a new recurring character, Nikki Carpenter, in this story. She appears in six episodes this season, and it looks like we’ve picked just one more to check out in a couple of weeks. Telling you good readers this probably spoils one good twist in this story, though. Since we don’t absolutely know that Carpenter is telling our heroes the truth about herself, the presence of a mysterious man following her around is an amusing diversion, and makes it look like their con is about to collapse.
Our son enjoyed this one despite it having very few of the show’s patented improvised gadgets. I was afraid the con might have been a little over his head, but he followed it just fine. I was disappointed by some egregious and silly tough guy dialogue early on, in the wake of yet another childhood friend of a TV hero dying before the first commercial break, but the con was amusing, and, just like the best Mission: Impossible stories, it was very satisfying watching everything fall into place.