Is the backstory of Ilsa Faust's mission explained by the writers and producers of Mission Impossible Rogue Nation?

The mystery of her assignment is at the center of the movie's evolving plot, but is never overtly explained in the movie itself.

Specifically, Ilsa is sent undercover to expose Solomon Lane and the Syndicate. She seems to report to Chief Atley, but we find out that Chief Atley initiated the project to create the Syndicate, which Lane then took control of. When she brings a disk containing the information needed to access the Syndicate's potential funding to Chief Atley, he secretly deletes it and gives it back to her, tricking her into bringing an erased disk to Lane and thus putting her at risk of being killed.

We are told that Lane betrayed Atley by removing the Syndicate from British government control, but Atley seems to have no interest in supporting Faust's mission - instead, he tries to sabotage her mission. So it seems that Faust may have been assigned to infiltrate the Syndicate by someone else whom we do not meet, and that her mission may have been defined with some motive which is not revealed, but that is at odds with Chief Atley's interests (Since Atley doesn't seem to actually be trying to undermine the Syndicate, but only to conceal its existence).

So who assigned Ilsa Faust to her mission? And why?


1 Answer 1


Chief Atley is Ilsa Fausts handler - as such, it is he who gave her the mission.

Your confusion comes from the fact that you believe Chief Atley is acting against his own interests, but he isn't.

We find out shortly before the film's finale that the Syndicate was a secret organisation put together by Atley that would give the Prime Minister of the UK complete power while being able to deny all knowledge of the group. The Prime Minister rejected this idea, but Chief Atley did not disband the organisation as instructed.

At some point, The Syndicate went rogue and started acting in their own interests. Now, Chief Atley has a problem - if he isn't careful, this could come back to him in a big, bad way, as he had already been instructed by the Prime Minister to shut the project down.

So he asks one of his agents, Ilsa Faust, to get the only evidence that links him to The Syndicate - a file containing financial information that The Syndicate wishes to use to fund themselves.

By wiping this file and sending Ilsa back to The Syndicate he is;

  1. removing the primary source of funding for The Syndicate, effectively shutting them down.

  2. removing any remaining evidence of the link between him and The Syndicate.

  3. putting Ilsa Faust, the only other person who knows about The Syndicate, in considerable danger - he is probably hoping she would be killed.

In short, Chief Atley is making sure that he cannot be held responsible for the continuation of The Syndicate.


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