|(Photo source: Starlet Showcase)|
1. Lalo Schifrin's swinging main title theme while the opening title sequence gives huge spoilers of the episode to come.
2. Exposition delivered by some doohickey called a tape ("Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to...").
3. Said tape self-destructing.
4. A scenery-chewing moment from the main guest star where his villainous character loses his mind thanks to the skills of the IMF.
5. "The Plot."
"The Plot"? That's the other musical staple of the original Mission: Impossible. It was Schifrin's march theme for the IMF. "The Plot" is also one of the few elements Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible movies retained from the late '60s/early '70s show, which was influenced by the heist flick Topkapi and then wound up influencing Alias and shows outside the espionage genre like TNT's Leverage and BBC's Hustle (one of Hustle's funniest moments was both a shout-out to the old show and a sight gag that played around with non-diegetic music: Hustle needle-dropped the Mission: Impossible main title theme while Marc Warren's Danny practiced his moves for a future heist, and then what we thought was non-diegetic music turned out to be a CD of the Mission: Impossible theme that Danny likes to play while he practices).
I'm not a musicologist, so I can't explain why "The Plot" works as a theme. Like the skills of each IMF agent during any mission masterminded by Dan Briggs or Jim Phelps (the gladiator movie-liking version, not the traitorous douchenozzle version), the suspenseful strings and militaristic percussion of "The Plot" just come together well, and I love it when a plan comes together. Woops, wrong ensemble action show.