Episode Reviews (3)
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Soft Touch(ed) in the Head
Joan Brooker and Nancy Eddo, best known as a comedy team who worked for shows like Full House and Gimme a Break!, lend their comedic efforts here. I haven't seen their writing elsewhere, so I can't judge, but they're definitely not funny here. MacGyver is portrayed as a sap. It's great he likes to help people, but sheesh, when dopes like Penny and Yuri deliberately ignore him as he's standing there saying "Don't go outside," and they go outside... well, some people deserve what they get. MacGyver just lets people walk all over him here with a minimal struggle.
The Penny Parker character has always walked a fine line between charmingly oblivious and downright stupid: here she jumps all the way over to the stupid side and stays there most of the episode. A little of Elya Baskin goes a long way, and it goes way too far here. Only Vincent Schiavelli, as a hitman intrigued with pain and a cool gadget of his own, lends anything resembling class here. His role here is essentially the same as in Buckaroo Banzai and later in Tomorrow Never Dies.
The two MacGyverisms aren't bad (even if the magnesium pipe gag is a lesser version of the one they borrowed from the first season), but them and Vincent Schiavelli are really the only things worth giving a look to here. Even Richard Dean seems to despair at times.moreless
The weakest episode to date.
This episode has a certain energy to it, mainly because of Teri Hatcher's notable efforts in the role of Penny Parker, and I actually enjoyed the episode when I first watched it. However, it does not hold up well at all, offering an endless litany of silly dialogue, a weak plot, an even dumber subplot with the improbable love affair between Penny and Soviet defector Yuri Dimitri, and an anti-climactic thwarted assassination attempt at the end. The only reason MacGyver even stumbled upon the criminal plot was because Penny inadvertantly fell into it TWICE, first by delivering a singing telegram to the wrong house and then by seeing one of the men on a TV news broadcast where she identified him as involved. Wisecracking hit men Vince Schiavelli and Robert Donner did the best they could with the material they were presented, but the script hobbled their efforts too badly. Not a total disaster, but certainly weak by pre-seventh season MacGyer standards.
Curiously, this weak episode generated boffo ratings. "Family Matter" the week before perked up to an impressive 16.1 and "Soft Touch" managed to best it with a 16.7. The series always performed in the clutch, and even though the football interference was no longer a factor, MacGyver was now up against three top-20 shows in CBS' "Kate and Allie" and "My Sister Sam" and NBC's "ALF". For MacGyver to grow its audience in the face of such brutal competition is virtually unprecedented.moreless
A very uncreative filler show for the serires.
A Filler show just to bring in the lovely young star Teri Hatcher for a 2nd time. MacGyver recuse sequence is really lame. All he needs to do to free the victims is open a lock. Instead of picking the lock, ( which his charcter should be able to do) he makes a torch and heats up the lock for it to break. MacGyver is a agent he should be able to pick a lock. The writers gave MacGyver no other times to show his stuff. The only good thing about this episode is really bad one liners that make this show watchable.