4 Things to Remember Before Seeing Mission: Impossible 7

A spoiler-free roundup of the past few missions: impossible.

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It’s been more than five years since the last Mission: Impossible movie HALO jumped into theaters, but the wait for the next adventure is nearly over. Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One is set to deliver the explosive first half of a brand new mission, and will see the return of Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt.

Since this is the seventh installment of a near 30-year-old franchise, it’s natural to want a little refresher. The Mission: Impossible franchise isn’t nearly as interconnected as other cinematic sagas, so there’s not too much to brush up on. There are, however, a few things to remember from the most recent entries — and even from the very first Mission: Impossible in 1996. Below, find a spoiler-free roundup for everything to remember before catching Dead Reckoning in theaters.

4. Who’s the White Widow, again?

Vanessa Kirby’s mysterious femme fatale returns in Dead Reckoning.


All the Mission: Impossible films are pretty much self-contained, but Dead Reckoning still shares a lot of connective tissue when it comes to characters. The White Widow (Vanessa Kirby), aka Alanna Mitsopolis, is one of the many characters returning from a previous entry — but she’s also indirectly connected to the original Mission: Impossible.

The White Widow is a high-end international arms dealer that joined the fray in Mission: Impossible — Fallout. Ethan first does business with her while undercover as John Lark, in an effort to recover a bit of stolen plutonium. The Widow isn’t all bad, but she’s mostly out for herself, and that will definitely factor into Dead Reckoning. Her partnership with Ethan was short-lived, and there’s no telling whether or not she discovered his true identity — but she’ll have a much larger role in Dead Reckoning, so it’s bound to come up at some point.

3. Which IMF members are returning?

Dead Reckoning’s getting the gang back together.


Ethan’s lineup of allies routinely shuffles through each Mission: Impossible installment. As the series goes on, though, a few players have managed to lend a hand in all of Ethan’s adventures. Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) is the only character — other than Ethan himself — to appear in every single Mission: Impossible. His streak continues in Dead Reckoning, and he’s also joined by Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), who’s also been a fixture since his first appearance in Mission: Impossible III.

Luther and Benji are the only two IMF agents returning in the film. They’ve formed the foundation of Ethan’s IMF team for the past few years; they’re also Ethan’s best friends, so their involvement in yet another impossible mission is a given. Ila Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), an on-and-off operative for MI6, rounds out the squad in Dead Reckoning.

2. Ethan’s tricky relationship with Ilsa Faust

Ilsa Faust might be Ethan’s perfect match.


Ilsa has been a major player since her introduction in Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation. She starts off as an MI6 agent embedded in the operations of Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), Rogue Nation’s Big Bad. Though she’s usually undercover for MI6, her allegiances and motives are constantly shifting. And more often than not, her objective often comes into direct opposition to Ethan’s. She can make things pretty difficult for the IMF as a result, but Ethan (bless him), is always determined to avoid any conflict. She usually ends up joining Ethan’s side before long, and that habit is set to continue in Dead Reckoning.

Ilsa returns as the fourth and final member of the team. Her dynamic with Ethan is one of the most complex of the franchise: it’s not exactly romantic, but there’s definitely an unspoken thing between them. She’s posited as Ethan’s true equal, one of the few who can match his prowess in the field and take down the most skilled baddies in hand-to-hand combat. She and Ethan probably won’t make anything official in Dead Reckoning, but it’s nice to know they’ll be fighting side by side again.

1. The return of a Mission: Impossible character

IMF Director Kittridge returns after a long hiatus.


Dead Reckoning reaches far back into Mission: Impossible lore with the return of Eugene Kittridge (Henry Czerny), a major antagonist from the original film. Kittridge was the very first head of IMF; after Ethan is framed as the IMF mole, he makes it his mission to hunt him down.

We have Kittridge to thank for that iconic scene in Prague, where Ethan utters “You’ve never seen me very upset,” and promptly blows up a fishtank. He hasn’t been seen in any Mission: Impossible movie since, but he’s apparently been with the IMF for the past 30 years and change, because now he’s back as the big boss. Kittridge and Ethan will once again be at odds in Dead Reckoning: it’s he who tells Ethan to “pick a side” in the looming war with an unseen entity. Knowing Ethan, though, that’s definitely not going to happen — so we could be in for another game of cat and mouse between these two characters.

Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One hits theaters on July 12.

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