Season 4 Episode 9

Cleo Rocks

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Feb 06, 1989 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (5)

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out of 10
71 votes
  • MacGyver's best episode. The fiendishly twisted storyline and dark visuals were offset by a gallows humor reminding us not to take matters too seriously.

    As evidenced by the mix of opinions expressed just on this website, "Cleo Rocks" is not a universally acclaimed episode of MacGyver, and the comparisons to "Batman" are actually a fair point. But at least for me, there's an intangible element of all-out fun that puts this episode in a different league than any of the other outstanding episodes this series has produced. I'll concede that the opening "rock opera" would have been a jump-the-shark nightmare had it not been for a scantily clad Teri Hatcher gyrating in a bikini onstage. It was after the song-and-dance fiasco that the deliciously lunatic story unfolded. The very premise of "Murdoc as the Phantom of the Opera", with the character's half-burned face playing right into the premise, was literary gold in itself, but the dark imagery and gallows humor that were steadily churned out made it hard for me to even sit still through the hysterical proceedings. From the bad poetry stabbed into fitting dummies to locking Pete in a cage above a fiery pool of water in a dungeon underneath a theater to Murdoc's ultimate high-voltage demise, this was a total MacGyver original and to this day remains unlike anything I've ever seen on TV or film.

    "Cleo Rocks" was also the first MacGyver episode written by John Sheppard, the new addition to the scriptwriting staff who penned about a dozen of the series most memorable episodes in seasons 4-7. It's my opinion that Sheppard's burst of creative energy kept this show alive a couple of seasons longer than it otherwise would have.