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The Catafalque - Recap

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Jim goes to a carnival photo booth and receives his briefing in private. Miguel Fuego, premier of San Pascal, and his nephew Ramone, the propaganda minister, have signed a secret arms treaty with a hostile power, allowing for the installation of missiles in San Pascal aimed at the eastern U.S. The treaty must be exposed publicly before the missiles are installed, and the IMF must get the treaty.

In San Pascal, Miguel and Ramone come to pay their respects to Ramone’s deceased father Victorio, who lies in state in a glass casket atop a catafalque, surrounded by four guards who reverentially stand with their backs to the casket. They place a wreath and leave, and the captain of the guards brings in four guards to replace the ones on duty. They are unaware that Barney and Doug are watching from the ceiling above.



Barney and Doug leave the building and go to meet the rest of the team in a basement. They report the schedule, noting that the guards change every hour. The bastion was sealed off 60 years ago when they built the new prison. Dana will approach Ramone “fast and physical” as he’s never become emotionally involved with anyone except his father. Jim assures the others that Our Lady of Sorrows sanitarium is ready. All they know about the treaty’s location is that it can only be opened using the palmprints of Ramone or Miguel.

That night, Ramone gets into his car and Paris comes up from the backseat with a gun. He explains that he’s Alfredo Sanchez and wants Ramone’s help to get his father free from prison where he’s been kept for 20 years. When wonders why he should bother, Paris explains that his father tried to prevent the murder of Ramone’s father. When Ramone says that his father was shot by government troops during the revolution, Paris says that Miguel had him killed so he could become premier, and he and his father tried to warn Victorio and were captured by Miguel’s troops. Paris escaped, thinking his father was dead, but learned recently from a guard that his father was alive.



Mildly intrigued, Ramone agrees to have Colonel Rodriguez look into it. However, Paris tells him that he already told Rodriguez and the colonel put out a warrant for his arrest. Meanwhile, Jim sends two IMF men posing as police officers over and Paris runs off before they can capture him. Jim, posing as an officer, comes over to make sure that Ramone is okay. He explains that Paris is an escaped murderer and asks if he said anything to Ramone. Ramone says that he didn’t but says that he wants to be informed if they capture him.

Barney, Doug, and two IMF operatives go to the abandoned bastion and break in. They open one cell and start loosening the bricks in the wall.

Miguel and Colonel Rodriguez meet with Ramone, who is reviewing the upcoming deployment of the missiles. As they go over the plans, Ramone wonders if his father might have thought differently. He then suggests that they destroy the bastion as a symbol of freedom to the people. Rodriguez points out that it hasn’t been used for 60 years, and Ramone wonders if certain prisoners might be kept there. The colonel has no idea what he’s talking about, and Ramone suggests that as Victorio’s nephew, he gives Miguel a certain legitimacy. As he leaves, Ramone asks if Rodriguez has captured Paris. Rodriguez has no idea what he’s talking about and says he hasn’t, and Ramone assumes that he’s lying.

Barney removes the bricks between the original cell and the neighboring one.

As Ramone leaves the ministry building, Dana tries to parallel park and hits the fender of his car. He comes over and sees her, and is clearly impressed. Dana flirts with him and he invites her to drinks and dinner. She says she wants to move faster than that and Ramone agrees to go to her place. They have drinks and Dana makes it clear what she wants. She kisses him and notices the gun in his holster, and sets it on a jewelry case. As they kiss, Dana triggers a switch that flips the lid over, replacing it with a IMF-rigged gun. Doug barges in and says that he’s Dana’s husband. He goes for his gun but Ramone grabs what he thinks is his gun and shoots Doug first. Two IMF policemen come in and place him under arrest. When he tries to call Rodriguez, they needle him unconscious, Jim emerges from the adjoining room, and Doug removes the fake blood pack.



When Ramone wakes up later, he’s in a cell at the bastion, in what he thinks is the bastion. He pounds on the door but no one responds. Meanwhile, Paris makes himself up as an older version of himself.

Jim and an armed guard enter Ramone’s cell and inform him that he’s under arrest for murder. They ignore his demand to be released and inform Ramone that his trial will occur after he signs a confession. Ramone refuses and tells them to call Dana as a witness. They bring Dana in and she tells them that they had been seeing each other for months and both know that he killed Doug in cold blood because she was going back to her husband. Once Dana leaves, Ramone figures that it’s a frame and Jim tells him that there’s nothing he can do. He admits that Miguel signed the order for his arrest and shows him his uncle’s signature. Ramone refuses to sign and figures that he’s being framed because Paris spoke with him and now he knows too much.



At the catafalque chamber, Doug and Barney return to the chamber above and lower hooked wires. They snag the edges of the casket and slowly lift it out. The guards, their backs turned toward the casket, don’t notice.

Ramone misses a meeting and Miguel wonders where he is. Rodriguez confirms that Ramone hasn’t been home and orders his men to begin a search.

Barney and Doug use two winches to lift the casket out. A brake on the winch shifts, locking the wheel on Barney’s side, and Doug raises it a few inches higher before he stops. The wreath on the casket slides to the very edge and hangs suspended. Barney finally finds and releases the brake and they lift the casket up into their chamber.



Paris removes the brick and enters Ramone’s cell. He assumes that Ramone is his father Victorio and panics, and Ramone grabs him before he can retreat. Ramone asks him what he knows about Victorio and Paris rambles, claiming that he doesn’t remember. He tells Ramone that he wrote down what he knew in a diary and hid it, and he refuses to tell his captors where. However, Paris insists that Victorio is still alive. Ramone asks if there is a way out and Paris shows him another set of bricks that are loose.



Doug and Barney replace Victorio’s corpse with a wax dummy

Rodriguez receives a report that his men found Ramone’s car at a hotel. He went there with Dana and she checked out after the secret police arrested Ramone for shooting her husband. Rodriguez has no idea who the men were and figures that they’re imposters.

Paris shows Ramone the few feet that he has dug and assures him that he’ll have years to enlarge it. The guards come back for Ramone’s confession and Paris retreats back into his cell. Ramone insists on going with him, pulling the bricks back into place with a piece of cloth. Jim tells his man to sound the alert so that Ramone can hear it and then closes the cell door. Once he thinks they’re clear, Ramone reenters his cell, shoves Paris back, and seals him in. Jim enters Paris’ cell as Paris removes his mask and admits that Jim had Ramone figured correctly.

With two minutes remaining until the new squad of guards arrives, Barney and Doug lower the casket back down onto the catafalque. They then release the hooks and pull them back up just in time.



Outside the bastion, Jim puts a pair of handcuffs on Paris and then tells the IMF guard he can move out. Ramone takes the key from the wall and unlocks the outer door, and comes face-to-face with Paris and Jim. Paris knocks out Jim and gets Ramone into a waiting car, and the two of them drive off. They go to a cellar and Ramone tells Paris that his father was alive but died helping him escape. Paris talks about how he used to watch his father work in his sculpting studio, and he worked in wax. Ramone gets the idea the IMF wants him to get and figures that Paris’ father hid the diary in the wax statue of Victorio that lies in state in lieu of the real body.

Ramone and Paris go to the catafalque and use guns to order them back. After picking up a rifle, Ramone uses it to smash open the casket and then the “body” within, revealing that it’s wax. He takes the diary out of the hollow head and leaves. Back at the cellar, Paris figures that Miguel and Rodriguez hired his father to create the wax dummy of Victorio, but hid his evidence of their activities in the dummy itself. According to the diary, Miguel and Rodriguez both wanted Victorio removed, but Miguel wanted to keep him alive. Rodriguez secretly had Victorio lobotomized and then transferred to the Lady of Sorrows sanitarium under the name of Salazar.

Miguel and Rodriguez hear of Ramone’s break-in and go to check the catafalque. Rodriguez has learned that someone broke into the bastion and dug tunnels, and they realize that someone is making Ramone believe that he's a fugitive. Miguel tells Rodriguez to search the capital house by house.

Ramone and Paris go to the sanitarium and force the nun to take them to Victorio, another IMF agent in disguise. He doesn’t respond at first, but finally notices Ramone’s ring, that his father gave to him as a child. Ramone vows to make Miguel and Rodriguez pay for what they’ve done and leaves with Paris.



Back in the cellar, Paris asks Ramone what they’ll do now. He suggests that Ramone use his knowledge to blackmail someone, and Ramone takes Paris to Miguel’s office through a secret passage. The safe containing the treaty is hidden in a secret panel and Ramone opens it using his palmprint. He tosses the treaty on a chair while he goes through Miguel’s desk to get some money. Paris takes it and leaves through the hidden passage, while Rodriguez and Miguel come in. They try to explain that the entire thing was a hoax, and Ramone turns to Paris for an explanation. When he realizes that Paris has left with the treaty, Ramone figures out that he’s been tricked.



Outside, Paris meets the others at the van and they make their escape.

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Warning: Mission: Impossible season 5 episode 19 guide may contain spoilers
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