Season 1 Episode 21

A Prisoner of Conscience

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Apr 30, 1986 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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out of 10
76 votes
  • After a snazzy start, here's another episode that crashes and burns with an anti-climactic escape sequence.

    Writer Stephen Kandel was stretched to his limit in the first season one of MacGyver, contributing to nearly half of the season's 22 scripts. Late in the season, it got to be evident as stories full of potential such as this one eventually spiral into humdrum, generic retreads. Particularly following the clever prison break fare from "The Escape", this episode's escape sequences via slipping a psychotropic drug into the mental hospital's community coffee pot and turning the entire staff into intoxicated louts seems lame. I also failed to understand the dynamic that separated the "political prisoners" from the actual mental patients in the hospital. With the exception of Demetri, all of the patients at the hospital struck me as crazy. Were they simply being drugged out of their minds? Whatever the case, the story didn't work for me and lost almost all of its momentum in the episode's second half. With that said, the high-voltage speedboat chase that began the episode, complete with James Bond-esque background music, will still go down as one of the series' coolest action-adventure sequences.
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