The Challenge

Episode Reviews (3)

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  • 9.2

    Internal Tenchions

    By sh811a, Mar 26, 2008

    This was the second epiosde Dana Elcar dirrected. It's a shame he didn't do more, because this show was a good example of his ability. Also it was actor Cuba Gooding Jr. debut, good start for a future movie star and another fine example of his acting. This show deals with deep social issues on a mature level without being too preachy about it (at least not too much). From troubled youth that just need help and racism. Cuba Gooding is actually the character that helps drive this episode, as he plays a teen that is actually good natured but a little rough around the edges from his past expernces in crime and racism surrounding him. You understand the character and feel sympathy for him. Although what makes this episode most memorable is it does some rather unexpected things for a Macgyver adventure, for one thing Macgyver doesn't save the day this time, you'd think he would but this time he doesn't. And also Macgyver actually gets angry, you can see Macgyver trying very hard to repress his anger when he's his usual quiet calm self and once the final confrotation begins you know Mac is going to explode at any moment, he's a walking pouder keg. Then the bad guy takes out his gun and that was the match to set Macgyver off.moreless

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  • 9.7

    MacGyver expands its horizons further with this gritty and intense story of urban life and bigotry.

    By mark_28, May 04, 2007

    The famous (or infamous) Challengers Club for underpriviliged youth was introduced in this episode...a precedent that many fans cringed at given the increased prevalance of preachy urban themes that the setting would ultimately produce, thus diluting MacGyver's adventure show origins. While that may be a fair point, I can't discredit this outstanding episode merely for the precedent it set. The gritty and intense urban imagery felt fresh and innovative for this series, and the story unfolded in a satisfying manner. It was certainly reflective of MacGyver's character to volunteer at this place, and to have the deepest respect for the couple who helped to open it. Booker's brutal death was heartbreakingly dark and intense, and generated the best acting ever seen on MacGyver, both by MacGyver himself and the outstanding performances of Roxanne Reese and Cuba Gooding, Jr. The "angry white man" bigotry of Larson was effectively portrayed as festering throughout his testimony in front of the City Council, culminating in a final scene that can only be described as shocking, particularly to today's audiences where the "n-word" has grown much more taboo than it was in 1989 when this episode originally aired. Also intriguing was that this was the first episode where MacGyver lost his cool, which he would only do a couple other times during the course of the series, but never as clearly as he did here. A great deal was learned about the character in this very well done episode, and despite setting the precedent for lesser urban social drama stories in the seasons ahead, stands out as a pivotal hour in the tenure of this series. Audiences agreed, handing MacGyver a 15.0 rating, its highest so far in season four.moreless

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