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.
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