Season 1 - originally broadcast
April 13, 1966
French: "Les miroirs de la haine" (The Mirrors of Hate)
Writer: Stephen Kandel
Director: Richard Butler
Brainwashed by a hostile power until he believes his friend Scotty is a traitor to the U.S., Kelly sets out to murder his fellow agent.
Carroll O'Connor (Karolyi), Fay Spain (Vanessa), Richard Bull (Blaine), James Frawley (Greenburg), Roy Jenson (Tate), Lawrence Montaigne (Smollett), Arnold Lessing (Spanish Guitarist), Gene Twombly (Berge)], Bert Elliot (Vlacek), Dina Lerner (Volte)], Joe Gold (Skiar), Joe Raciti (Rubez)
FROM THE NOTEBOOKS - Rating
Synopsis: Kelly is brainwashed & tries to kill Scotty
Highlights/Comments: Scotty to his mother “Yes mom, I've been eating my greens and I say my prayers every night.” His remark reflecting their way of life "I've already packed the den."…. “If you're going to get into the brainwashing business, you'd better own the laundry.” ... and summing up what "I Spy" was all about, despite the brainwashing, Scotty to Kelly “You couldn't hurt a hair on my head.”
The “I Spy” Forum comments on "IT'S ALL DONE WITH MIRRORS'"
Author: Tatia Loring
Date: February 6 2002 at 4:02 PM
guess I'm in the minority here because I have a different take on "It's All Done with Mirrors" and Dr. Karolyi. I will admit that I didn't care for this episode as much when I first saw it, but on further visits I became enthralled. OK, Dr. Karolyi's Russian accent was a bit of an off-setter at first, but I loved the little warm, fuzzy, friendly "twists" O'Connor gave to Karolyi's character - his little frowns and grimaces of disappointment, his little grins of excitement when things went well - even though that entailed immense pain and suffering being endured on the part of our "hero."
As with many of the episodes, we have to enter this one with a good dollop of "suspension of disbelief" and just jump in there. First we have to go with the premise that the "good" doctor is supposed to be an extremely bright, totally amoral, psychologically-twisted, evil "genius" - but with a pretty pleasant, bedside manner. His conditioning experiments are supposed to be state-of-the-art and cutting-edge .... with the point being that he WAS able to break Kelly "in a night and a day" - easily!! Our steadfast, trained, and true-of-heart Kelly was no match for Karolyi's advanced techniques ... Karolyi broke him effortlessly ... (I liked that aspect a great deal, it made Kelly - and Scotty - far more human and real) and the finesse with which this particular story element was handled - allowed the story's progression - BECAUSE the conditioning occurred so quickly, it was not that deep - allowing the trust and true friendship of the two men to come into play through Scotty's hands.
OK cut to the ending - Dr. Karolyi is caught - but we are dealing with a shrewd, manipulative, brilliant genius - so he easily sees a way out of escaping the speeding locomotive heading straight in his direction (and as he points out he "can`t go home again" and does not relish the thought of being in hostile hands trying to pry information from him) - so he offers up the very astute "I'm corrupt! I defect! ... and give me a nice lab to work in while you're at it." And he is right - as Kelly the pragmatist sees immediately ... and wryly remarks "And we'll take him too!" I really liked that story twist ... the defection and manipulation of the entire situation by Karolyi left him the winner in the end - flat-out! The only other villain who achieved complete success in all that he set out to do was the very complex character of General Vera - so masterfully drawn by Culp in his "Magic Mirror" script.
There were some wonderful scenes and lines in "It's All Done With Mirrors" - Scotty's defense of Kelly against the pressures of the "Washington" boys - and the final scene where Kelly is totally unable to shoot Scott. I agree, as everyone has noted (this episode and also "Home to Judgment" ) exemplified and highlighted the deep trust, friendship, and camaraderie of these two men at its very best.
Fay Spain, Carroll O'Connor
One of my favorite lines is where Kelly is "sort of" cleaning Scotty's gun for him after he returns to their hotel room - the "I'll take a quick shower and be your standard-issue Capt. Marvel" .... and the sequence with Dr. Karolyi`s brain-washing techniques were spine-chilling (even "more" so hearing and viewing it on DVD) .... the echo chamber sound effects during that torture scene were harrowing - and seeing Kelly curled up in that fetal position - haunting (we have all agreed the "our Bob" does "pain" very, very well - psychologically and physically!)
This story has always struck me as "I SPY's" version of the "Ipcress File" (which I just saw last week again after many years ... it is still a marvelous film and held up beautifully) ... and though "Anyplace I Hang Myself Is Home" was the episode I thought was more closely tied to "The Manchurian Candidate" - especially with the presence of Mr. Silva. I agree, "It's All Done With Mirrors" owes a large bow in that direction also.
OK - overlooking Carroll O'Connor's Russian accent, Tatia (standing all alone out here) - gives "It's All Done With Mirrors" an A.
P.S. Colonel - RE: your comments about the attractiveness of Vanessa Pemberley - ahhh "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and in the spy business .... my sisters-in-arms are most resourceful
Author: Colonel Benkovski
Date: February 6 2002 at 8:58 AM
have to say that this has never been one of my favorites. In spite of some good scenes and great acting by the two stars, I just can't swallow the idea of being brainwashed in an afternoon. Television doesn't have to be realistic, but it does have to be believable, and this one just went past that limit for me. In addition, like SAM said, the woman who lures Kelly into Karolyi's clutches is no head-turner, certainly not enough, I would think, to trap a trained agent. I'm not saying that woman has to be a fashion model to be attractive, but we are going to have a femme fatale seductress, let's go all out and get a beauty to do the job.
The ending was too smooth and pat, and it was too easy for O'Connor's character to suddenly flip sides, with a mere shrug and an "I am corrupt".
And the story was slow moving and even dragged a bit in places, especially when Culp is going through his camera-mugging routines.
The best scenes were the confrontation and fight in the restaurant, the knife throwing scene in the warehouse, the scene where Scotty takes up for Kelly in the meeting, and the final scene on the cliff (this scene, I agree, is among the best in the entire series). I won't rehash everything that has already been said, but the friendship theme is the best part of this episode, and is the one thing the episode has going for it. In spite of its short comings, this episode illustrates the closeness, the brotherhood, the trust, between the two agents more, I think, than any other episode.
I think I am more unforgiving on problems in the episodes that try to be more serious, which may not be fair on my part, but I'll give this one a C+, though the fight in the restaurant scene and the cliff scene each individually would get an A+a " (The Bell of T'sien Cha)