Who dies in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1?

Cameron Frew
Still from Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1Paramount Pictures

Who dies in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1? We’ve broken down all of the deaths in the latest movie in the franchise, which sees Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt and his IMF crew face their toughest mission yet.

For all of its smoke-and-mirrors espionage, heart-in-your-mouth stunts, and dangerous baddies, the Mission: Impossible franchise doesn’t dole out death willy-nilly – when characters die, it always moves the plot forward, introduces a new problem for the crew to solve, or, in some cases, it’s especially satisfying.

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For example: Ethan’s team being offed one by one in the first movie is essential for Jim Phelps’ plan to frame him, only for him to be killed in a blaze of failure; Lindsey Farris’ horrid death in M:I3 puts him on a direct collision course with Owen Davian; and August Walker is murked with a massive hook on the side of a cliff because… well, that’s what a great villain deserves.

Dead Reckoning Part 1 is no different, but it comes equipped with a major death that’ll leave you devastated – so, here’s who dies in Mission Impossible 7.

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Who dies in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1?

Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) and Denlinger (Cary Elwes) are killed in Mission: Impossible 7.

Ilsa’s role in Dead Reckoning Part 1 is pretty reduced compared to her debut in Rogue Nation. After teaming up to save the world in Fallout, the movie opens with Ethan and Ilsa apart; she gets into trouble and he helps her get out of it, similar to Maverick’s relationship with Iceman in Top Gun: Maverick, only with a bit more romance.

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Kittridge tasks Ethan with finding Ilsa in the Arabian Desert, as she is in possession of one-half of the cruciform key that unlocks the Entity, a dangerous Skynet-esque AI. When Ethan finds her, he helps her escape, but tells her to “stay dead.”

Ilsa Faust in Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part 1Paramount Pictures

They reunite in Rome and travel to Venice to meet the White Widow, aka Alanna Mitsopolis, to negotiate what should be done with the other half of the key. However, their meeting is hijacked by Gabriel, a “dark messiah” from Ethan’s past who represents the Entity’s interests. Ethan begs Alana not to sell her side of the key to him; in this case, the key to world domination happens to be a key. The whole idea is that the AI knows everything that could possibly happen and what exactly will happen. “His fate is written, shall we write yours too?” Gabriel asks, and Alana eventually buckles under the pressure.

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Gabriel then reveals what will happen next: he’ll eventually have possession of both keys, and either Grace or Ilsa will die imminently. “There is no place you or your god can save you,” Ethan threatens, vowing to kill him if either of them is hurt, but he was right: Ilsa is fatally stabbed on a bridge while trying to fight Gabriel with a sword, and Hunt’s speedy running isn’t quick enough to get to her in time. “I was hoping it’d be you,” Gabriel tells Ilsa before they clash blades, making her death all the more personal.

Her death is eerily similar to Jim Phelps’ fake-out demise in the first Mission: Impossible, so there’s a chance – albeit a small one, as it seems permanent – she could come back, especially considering the inevitable backlash to her being killed off.

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As for Denlinger, his short-lived debut comes to an end when he meets Gabriel on the train. He wants to establish an alliance – mainly because he’s the only one who knows the location of the Sevastapol submarine, despite giving up its name rather quickly.

Gabriel asks if Denlinger wants to “purge” his government of “old think and create a new superstate”, and Denlinger says it’s for the “greater good.” It’s unclear if Kittridge and Denlinger are in cahoots, especially given the villainous undertones of Denlinger’s sentiments. However, we won’t see much more of him: Gabriel then kills Denlinger by slicing his throat.

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Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1 is in cinemas worldwide now. Check out our other coverage below:

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About The Author

Cameron is Deputy TV and Movies Editor at Dexerto. He's an action movie aficionado, '80s obsessive, Oscars enthusiast, and a staunch Scot. He earned a First-Class Honours Degree in Multimedia Journalism from Glasgow Caledonian University, accredited by the NCTJ and BJTC. He began his career at UNILAD, starting as a Junior Journalist and becoming Entertainment Editor prior to joining Dexerto. You can contact him at cameron.frew@dexerto.com.