Our household has been watching the first (1966) season of the Mission: Impossible television show. It’s such a wonderful idea for a series, and so far we’ve really been enjoying the episodes.
There was a remarkable moment in the episode we watched last night. For very Mission: Impossible reasons, the force are pretending to be communists who are pretending to be Americans. They are behind the Iron Curtain at a training camp for Soviet sleeper agents being tested for how well they will fit in and pass notice… look, the point is that they are pretending to not be Americans who are good at, but not perfect at, posing as Americans.
So our three guys, played by Martin Landau, Greg Morris and this episode’s special guest George Takei are in their hotel room when the “monitors” bust in, denounce them as impostors and start to put handcuffs on them, cut to commercial. When we come back, the Martin Landau character figures out that this is a test of their supposed American-ness, demands to see a warrant, jabs his finger in their faces and yells about his rights. At this, the guy running the place strolls in, chuckling, delighted that this fellow has been so well-trained. And he tells the other two guys that they could learn from their friend, there—Americans are not afraid of the police!
Greg Morris and George Takei, the only two people of color in the scene, and I think the only people of color with any lines in the whole episode, just stand there, silently.
Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,