Season 2 Episode 14

Birth Day

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Feb 02, 1987 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
59 votes

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Episode Summary

MacGyver's fishing trip is cut short when he meets a very pregnant woman whose husband is out to kill her after she accidentally found out that his half-way home for ex-cons is really a recruiting place for them to commit new crimes.

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  • Entertaining episode that embodied the overall tone of the second season.

    In general, the second season of MacGyver was not one of my favorites. It was still the best show on television in the 1986-87 season, but there was an awkward transition between the mysterious high-adventure tone of season one and the darker, edgier-toned episodes of the middle seasons. Definitive of this awkward transition were overly cartoonish villains and an excessive use of narration smothered in a lighthearted tone that was enjoyable, but not representative of the best this series can do. Again, this is just my perspective as many fans and reviewers fancied MacGyver's second season to be its best. Either way, "Birth Day" is an episode most reflective of the second season's overall tone. The entertainment value was high, the pacing was steady and flowing, and the banter between the characters was snappy and compelling if not entirely believable (an ex-con hoodlum lecturing his social worker wife about how she's inadequate to him?). Beyond that, the escapes were fun, clever, and consistent with the lighthearted tone, even though the final scene where Mac pulled Andrew underneath the jeep and punched out struck me as needlessly implausible. While there was plenty to like about this episode, I'm glad the series' tone grew more serious in the seasons ahead.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • MacGyver uses his spare tire at the gas station to replace his flat, but as he drives off, a fully-drivable spare is still mounted on the back of his Jeep.

    • When MacGyver and Elaine are first entering the shipyard, MacGyver's left tail light is out. Later on in the episode, both tail lights are working again.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Elaine: I don't suppose you know anything about delivering a baby? (MacGyver stares in horror) I didn't think so.
      MacGyver: I don't think right now is such a good time for that to be happening.
      Elaine: Tell that to this kid.
      MacGyver: (whispers to her stomach) Not now!
      Elaine: The contractions just stopped.
      MacGyver: Well-behaved kid.

    • Elaine: Can't wait to see how you'll get us out of this pit.
      MacGyver: Me, too.

    • Elaine: Are you ever wrong about anything?
      MacGyver: Never. Well, once. Maybe twice.
      Elaine: Once is all it takes to ruin your life.

    • MacGyver: Good thing about boats. Some of the stuff you find on them work just as well on land as they do on sea.

    • MacGyver: Do you know who's following us?
      Elaine: Friends of my husband.
      MacGyver: Any reason why?
      Elaine: I'm having a girl, and he wanted a son. Could you step on it, please?!

    • MacGyver: There's a pretty simple reason why fishermen get up at the crack of dawn; that's when the fish get up. But even when I'm not going fishing I like to drive across the city that early in the morning, when there's no one else around. You can really feel the silence. (Corvette zooms past) Most of the time.

    • MacGyver: I think if you try hard enough and make the best of a situation, the situation won't get the best of you.

    • (after the Jeep falls off the ramp)
      MacGyver: I supposed I could've tested this ramp before I drove over it.
      Elaine: And they talk about woman drivers.

  • NOTES (3)