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?
New this month Answer: Ethan never thought it was a mole hunt to trap Jim. He found out from Kittridge at the restaurant that it was a mole hunt, but Kittridge believes that Ethan is the mole (the money his parents mysteriously receive). At the station Ethan realises that Jim must be the mole since it is too convenient both he and his wife survived. However, the hunt to catch the mole was never directed at Jim - Kittridge never suspected him until at the end when he sees Jim alive.
Question: Was Kreiger going to kill Ethan Hunt above the vault immediately after grabbing the disk from Ethan's mouth? Earlier when Ethan says, "Zero body count," Kreiger responds "We'll see," insinuating maybe he's still planning to kill somebody. As soon as Ethan's to the top, Kreiger grabs the disk, a quick, "Merci" (as if saying thanks, now goodbye), and the knife is already out, but luckily dropped. They are both so freaked out at such a near miss, Ethan doesn't even notice Kreiger was going to kill him. Did this cross anybody else's mind? Why else was the knife out to be dropped?
Answer: Krieger presumably used his knife to kill the rat in the vent. It's unlikely he would have tried to kill Ethan above the vault, as there would have been a noisy struggle which would set off the intrusion countermeasures. Luther would have also seen it happen on Ethan's head-mounted camera.
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.
Question: How does seeing Phelps on the train on his watch via Ethan's glasses camera make Kittridge reach the conclusion that Phelps is the mole and Job? He thought Ethan was the mole the whole time, and Ethan didn't really help his case by telling Kittridge on the phone at Liverpool Street station about how arresting his mother and his uncle was a huge mistake, when Ethan has been trying to clear his name the whole time.
Answer: Kittridge may still have suspected Ethan, but the point of the glasses and watch was to show him that Phelps was still alive, throwing the whole case open again. Ethan would have been cleared in the eventual investigation.
Question: How was Ethan successful in getting touch with Luther Stickell? Was it the from list Ethan was checking of the disavowed agents?
Answer: Yes, Ethan accesses the disavowed category of the IMF personnel database to recruit Stickell and Krieger. Even if their locations were not there, Ethan is shown to be very resourceful and could have worked out how to find or contact them.
Question: Why does Jim show himself to Ethan in London? This makes no sense, especially because Clair (who is secretly working with Jim), can keep Jim apprised as to what Ethan is up to anyway.
Answer: I suspect that Jim wanted to make absolutely sure that Ethan thought Kitteridge was the IMF mole who had betrayed them - the only way to do that was to tell Ethan that Kitteridge had shot him on the bridge.
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) Jim most likely did it when he emerged from the water (as seen in the flashbacks/Ethan's theory, but it's hard to be 100% certain). 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.