Mission: Impossible

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?

Chosen 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.

swordfish

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

Chosen answer: To attempt to provoke Ethan to come out of hiding.

Tailkinker Premium member

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?

Chosen 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.

Sierra1 Premium member

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.

Chosen 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.

Sierra1 Premium member

Question: Why does Jim kill Claire?

Geffe87

Chosen 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 Premium member

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?

Heather Benton Premium member

Chosen 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?

Gavin Jackson

Chosen 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.

LorgSkyegon

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?

Chosen 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 Premium member

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

Chosen 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.

Also, they are "toast" if they speak too loudly.

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?

Chosen 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.

Answer: Think as a mole would think-you don't want to look like a mole, so you play innocent: that is the logic Kittridge uses to analyze Ethan.

Question: About Luther. Does Ethan tell him the whole truth between Langley and London? How else to explain their conversation about "not letting the list get out in the open"? As far as Luther knows they just stole the NOC List and are about to sell it to an arms dealer. He doesn't know Ethan doesn't intend to actually let Max have it. Unless Ethan let him in on the whole thing. In that case does he also know he won't get paid?

Answer: He does tell Luther, that's why he jams the transmission on the train. By this point the transaction was made. Luther doesn't want any of the agents to get killed because the list was leaked.

So he tells him the whole story off camera? That he only stole it to prove his innocence, etc.

Question: Why did Claire return to Ethan? Jim must have sent her but why? Ethan had been framed, why send Claire to potentially expose herself to IMF if found? Is it because: Max receives mail from Ethan, immediately contacts Job to say "What the hell man someone claims you sold me junk!" Now Job/Jim knows he didn't deliver the actual list so he already plans to have Ethan steal the real one for him. Or is that too far fetched?

Answer: Sending Claire back to Ethan was a daring ploy to get on the inside of Ethan's confidence. It made no sense and was the least likely thing Claire would do if she was part of Jim's plan. Ethan could have killed her, but the ploy worked and Ethan was confused enough to let her live.

Charles Austin Miller

But why? Jim sells the list to Max and rides off into the sunset with Claire, or so he intends to. What does he gain from having someone on the inside initially? Ethan is screwed, Jim doesn't need to get all the juicy details of how he goes down. Later on it's beneficial for him to have Claire in place there, but initially it makes no sense. Before Ethan formulates any plan and before Max finds out the list is bad.

Jim knew the first NOC list was bad but used the failed raid as an opportunity to kill off a number of IMF agents who might otherwise thwart his plans. Jim still needed Ethan to procure the real NOC list, but this time using a reduced team that contained 2 moles (Claire and Franz). Jim knew that Ethan was the most capable agent, but wanted him under close scrutiny by Claire and Franz.

Charles Austin Miller

He knew it was bad? Then why did he give it to Max anyway? If Ethan hadn't warned her she might have been caught by Kittrdige. Are you saying Jim foresaw everything, I mean everything that Ethan would do? He went through with the embassy raid knowing it was a mole hunt in advance, knowing Ethan would later get the real one for him? What if Ethan had gone with Kittridge in the restaurant? I mean it's unlikely, but this whole scenario sees Jim leaving sooo much to chance. I find it more plausible that he did think he was getting the list in Prague and then adapted to the situation to use Ethan to get the real one. I mean if he really knew the list wasn't in Praque he could have saved himself the trouble and just hire a couple of disavowed agents to do the Langley job himself, just like Ethan did. He had Claire, Krieger and Luther. Yeah no Ethan, but I mean I'm sure he could have found someone else who is capable.

Question: I have a question about the CIA mission. The team are breaking into CIA HQ to get the NOC list, because Luther can't hack into the computer the list is held on, so Ethan has to physically be in the same room as the computer to get it. But if Luther is able to hack into the CIA's own security system to set off a fake fire alert in one of the areas, then why can't he hack the NOC list computer? It can't be that much harder considering how skilled he is.

Chosen answer: It's not that it's difficult security, it's that there is no outside line connected to that computer. It's impossible to access from anywhere except that room because it's the only room that it has a connection to.

Greg Dwyer

Question: How was Ethan successful in getting touch with Luther Stickell? Was it the from list Ethan was checking of the disavowed agents?

Shouvik Roy

Chosen 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.

Sierra1 Premium member

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.

mysterylover

Chosen 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.

Sierra1 Premium member

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.

Incognito90

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

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

marcelo_pacheco

Chosen 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: In addendum, only the leader of the group receives communication in this method. He's baffled because he's never been approached in this fashion, hence his utter confusion. Naturally, he catches on quickly.

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

Tailkinker Premium member

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

Chosen 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 Premium member

Answer: In addendum, Jim actually had no clue that Ethan would not follow orders and abort mission, as planned. The girl Ethan was with had to die in the new, unplanned manner, because she followed the target. Seeing the other operative, she was caught off-guard, and he knifed her to death.

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

Chosen 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.

It's never stated verbally, but it's visible on computer screens on several occasions.

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