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Mission: Impossible

Question: Why does Jim kill Claire?

Answer: He doesn't trust her. He knows Ethan is in love with Claire, and suspects she is in love with him. Claire does not deny this, and begs him not to kill Ethan, which confirms his suspicion.

Sierra1

Question: I've always wondered, but what is the scene about at the beginning of the film before the titles? Is it just there to showcase the team or is there another reason?

Answer: It's an excuse to show off the team, as well as the reason they are already in Eastern Europe.

LorgSkyegon

Question: OK I have a few questions about this. (1) Who blew up the car with Hannah? Was it Jim or Clare? (2) Ethan taunts Krieger because he has the real NOC list, but was it also because Ethan knew he was a traitor and wanted him to walk out? (3) At the end when Ethan is disguised as Phelps, he is wearing the same trenchcoat as the real Phelps (who then shows up). Is this because he knew Jim was onboard, or simply cause he knew how his old boss loved to dress? (4) And lastly after Clare is killed, Hunt acts devastated and goes after Jim in anger. Given that she was a traitor who was always on Jim's side (and might even have killed Hannah), why would Hunt feel this way at all?

Answer: 1) Claire blew up the car. 2) Ethan was just fooling Krieger. He didn't know he was a traitor yet. 3) Ethan likely knew exactly what Jim was wearing, as he planned the whole thing all along. 4) He's upset because Jim just murdered his wife to escape, someone who until very recently Ethan still considered his friend. You can't just turn loyalty off like that.

LorgSkyegon

Question: Is there any significance to why Ethan keeps using the word 'toast' on his sound equipment at the CIA HQ?

Answer: He's testing the microphone sensitivity. "Toast", like the more common word "test", has both percussive (the hard consonant "T") and sibilant (the hissing "S")sounds.

Question: How did Ethan figure out that Krieger is Phelps' accomplice? The knife couldn't have been it, because there's probably thousands of knives of that model.

Answer: It was the knife, combined with the fact that it was Clare who introduced Krieger to Ethan.

Question: This confuses me, so can someone please help? Kittridge thinks that Ethan is the mole because he was the only one left alive from the IM mission in Prague, but if Ethan really was the mole, he wouldn't have called Kittridge and told him that his team was dead; he would have done what the REAL mole did (go into hiding etc), so wouldn't Kittridge have realised early on that Ethan wasn't actually the mole, and that he had been set up?

Answer: You have to look at it from Kittridge's point of view, you know there's a mole, but you don't know who it is so you send them on a mission, where you can expose the mole - the team ends up dead apart from Ethan. The natural conclusion and all the evidence is that you've found the mole.

Question: Does anybody know why exactly Max wants the NOC list and if she gets it, what she is going to do with it?

Answer: I don't think it's ever outright stated. But presumably she would use it to sell the names to other governments or extort the money from the US government to protect its assets.

JC Fernandez

Question: At the end of the movie, why does Ethan appear so shocked when the flight attendant asks if he wants to watch a movie? I understand that this is probably another mission, but why does he react the way he does?

Answer: Because he's resigned from the IMF. As such, he's more than a little surprised to be approached with another mission.

Tailkinker

Question: Why did Kittridge have Ethan's family arrested?

Answer: To attempt to provoke Ethan to come out of hiding.

Tailkinker

Question: During the beginning of the film, why does Jim fake his death? Was it to frame Ethan?

Answer: Jim fakes his death so that the IMF won't come after him. Jim's aim is to give the impression of a blown mission, but to ultimately end up with the NOC list himself - something that he succeeds in doing. He's selling this to Max for a LOT of money, enough to set himself up for life, but he needs the IMF to think that he died in the blown mission. He leaves Ethan alive so that Ethan can tell the IMF that he 'saw' Jim die, so that they won't come looking for him. He frames Ethan so that Ethan won't come looking for answers.

Tailkinker

Question: Did Ethan actually know it was a mole hunt to trap Jim, or was he oblivious until he worked it out at the train station?

Answer: He knew that it was a molehunt, because Kittridge told him that it was at the restaurant just before Ethan's 'escape'. As he and Claire were, as far as he knew at the time, the only survivors, he had to assume that either there'd been a terrible mistake, or that she was guilty - the only problem with that being that there was no obvious way for her to have carried out the murders of the rest of the team. When Jim showed up at the station, Ethan had another possible candidate for the mole, and it all fell into place from there.

Tailkinker

Question: What exactly does NOC mean? It's never established in the movie.

Answer: "Non-Official Cover". Operative who work for the CIA but are not formally recognized or connected (in case a mission goes bad - he would be on his own). Same thing from The Recruit.

Nick N.

Question: How does discovering the Bible stamped with "The Drake Hotel" tip Ethan Hunt off that Jim Phelps is Job? And what alerts Ethan of Krieger's complicity, since he's the one who recruits Krieger to help him steal the NOC list?

Answer: Phelps told them earlier that he stayed in the Drake Hotel, so Ethan made the link that way - there's no reason for Phelps to have brought the bible with him unless he needed one, in this case for the biblical references required for the Job communications. He tumbles to Krieger's involvement because the knife used to kill Sarah during the blown mission was the same precise type as the one Krieger uses - which Ethan saw during the CIA infiltration when Krieger threatened to kill the security guard.

Tailkinker

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