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ABC (ended 1992)
With "Mardi Gras Beads + Chair", did I miss something, or do we have a cut scene for the DVD? I don't recall Mac MacGyvering any beads or a chair. Which makes the title as nonsensical as the first season ones, which mentioned tools that never appeared in the episodes they titled.

So on to this week's episode. But first we get a DIY opener. And... it's worthless. Mac and Jack literally do nothing. They wear tuxedoes and get bounced around in a portapotty in the middle of a hurricane. They argue like an old married couple and... that's it.

Onto the episode. Mac and Jack are back at Phoenix, and there's no indication that they're at all banged up from being in a portapotty in a force 5 hurricane. Instead we find out that Jack didn't bother calling back the woman he just dated for the first time. We find out that he hasn't been successful dating (and who would blame the women?) because he's pining for Sarah. Isn't it cute when they remember subplots? More on that in a minute, but the point is that Jack won't date anyone because Sarah got married and no one measures up to her. Oh, and because his date didn't know who Bruce Willis is? So... Amy Acker's character Sarah knew who Bruce Willis is? Ugh.

But enough soppy stuff. We find out that someone is using the CIA cover identity that Jack used in New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina. Does anyone but me find it hard to believe that the idiot we've seen could successfully run an undercover operation and infiltrate dozens of gangs?

Jack, Mac, and Matty head to New Orleans, while Wilt stays behind and... paints disguise masks? Riley runs electronic overwatch or whatever. More on the two of them in a bit.

Meanwhile, Jack and the others track down the con woman using Jack's ID and pretending to be his wife. It turns out that she has 16 other CIA cover IDs, and I'm still confused what Phoenix's connection is to the CIA. Shouldn't the CIA be handling this? Anyhoo, they track the con woman, Dixie, to a bar. She and Jack flirt a bit, Dixie refuses to tell him anything useful, and she runs out the back when some thugs come looking for Jack. She and Jack get captured by enforcers belonging to Raymond.

Meanwhile, Mac somehow captures one of the enforcers. Matty interrogates the guy, and as I've noted before, why did they need Sam when they had Matty for interrogation? Oh, and Sam is nowhere to be seen or mentioned in this episode. Mac makes a chemical IR tag on a pair of handcuffs and prepares to put them on the enforcer, let him escape, and have Riley follow the heat trail. Somehow the enforcer slips his bonds before they're ready (good competence there, folks: next time use twist-ties, duct tape, or handcuffs), but Mac gets one cuff on the guy before he escapes..

Meanwhile, in a scene that only serves to pad the episode and give us a very little bit of back story on Jack, Jack convinces Raymond that he has $500,000 that belonged to Raymond's father. Raymond wanders off, while Jack and Dixie "banter". And that was bantering. I'm totally against bantering. At least, when George Eads and Amy Smart (Dixie) do it.

Instead of falling for Jack's bluff, Raymond contacts two crime lord brothers who want Jack dead, and confirms that his father didn't have $500,000. So what was the point of the bluff. plot-wise? Raymond turns Jack over to the brothers. They take him to a crematorium and prepare to incinerate him. Mac finds the enforcer, the police capture him (so Phoenix works with the New Orleans police, too?), and they eventually track Jack to the crematorium. When Mac deliberately rams the place, it kicks in the emergency gas shutoff and shuts down the incinerator. Mac pulls out Jack's burning coffin with his bare hands, and since Jack isn't there to shoot people, the SWAT officers shoot the bad guys down.

And yes, Lucas Till (or his stuntman) grabbing a flaming casket looks really painful.

At the end, Matty arranges to get all charges dropped against Dixie, whose real name is Dawn. In return Dawn will help the CIA improve their cover IDs, which she got when she was conning a government guy. Jack and Dawn fly back to LA (??), Jack discovers that Dawn really likes Bruce Willis *sigh*, and they have sex. In the morning Dawn steals most of Jack's things and leaves, after writing a note to him saying that she likes being a con artist.

So if you want to see 51-year-old Eads and 42-year-old Smart kissing and sharing a love of Bruce Willis, this is the episode for you!

In the B plot, Riley finds out that Wilt is sending texts to Leanna. If you remember her. She hasn't been mentioned for a few episodes and a winter break. Did I mention how cute it is when they dig up old subplots and pretend that they have "continuity"? I did? Good. After some dithering, Riley agrees to not only mention Wilt's illicit texting to Matty, but gives him an app to let him do it better. So I'm sure we'll never hear about it again and nothing will come of it. (His voice heavy with that which men call sarcasm.) At least, not until they need to pad out an episode.

And that damned robot appears again.

And boy, is there a lot of padding in this episode. Garrett Morris appears as a crime boss and voodoo store owner. He doesn't do anything or provide any useful information other than the address of Jack's house under his old cover ID. Jack gets captured. Mac somehow captures an enforcer, he and Matty question the guy, they let the guy go, and he leads them to where Jack was. This either means Matty is a really bad interrogator, or the creative team is trying to suggest that the team really needs Sam. I'm not sure.

And then Mac rescues Jack, and Jack finds True Wuv for the first time since Sarah. So it's one of those stories that could be told in half the time if they didn't pad the episode and just tell the story.

There were bits that I did like. The whole "Matty in the field" thing, along with her interrogating the enforcer--and Wilt pointing out what the manual said about interrogating--was good. I'm still liking Meredith Eaton. But everyone else was pretty much in the background because it was a Jack-focused episode. We haven't seen Jack's love live since Sarah left for the whole two episodes she was in. I didn't want to see more of it.

'Yippee kai yay, m@@thrf@ck@r!' She has seen Die Hard!

Which is sad, because there were times when Jack seemed competent. But... it's weird when they go out of the way most of the time to make Jack seem... hmm, well, not incompetent, exactly. But an idiot savant of sorts. Jack is good at shooting and punching people, and he can be counted on to provide the weekly quota of cultural references. But a skilled undercover agent? I might have bought that in isolation this week. But we've had a season and a half of Jack the big brother with a gun, there to bail his little brother Mac out to fulfill the weekly quota of gunfire and punches, do dumb things, and make dumb comments.

So we're off for a week, since next week is a season one repeat. As I noted here, the next episode will features a 69-year-old Michael Des Barres as Not-Murdoc, the mentor to nu-Murdoc. We'll also get more of Jack's romantic life, as Riley's mother Diane returns.

My house burned down and I really need a paycheck for a guest star appearance

But that's my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?
Comments (7)
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Mar 04, 2018
Yep...you're wrong
"But first we get a DIY opener. And... it's worthless. Mac and Jack literally do nothing. They wear tuxedoes and get bounced around in a portapotty in the middle of a hurricane. They argue like an old married couple and... that's it." The start of the episode is in short the end of one op and the start of another. And yes they argue like an old married couple but so "McGarrett & Danno".
I know reviews are needed but if bashing is intended why not focus on reality shows, talent shows or big brother. I like the show a bit of humor & action never hurt anyone.
Mar 06, 2018
FYI, I'm not sure what world you live in. But typically, giving people what they want is what you get at sites where "reviews are needed". So either I'm giving what people want and you're the outlier. Or your theory is off. Take your pick. :)
Mar 10, 2018
I live in this world. "reviews" are they really needed?
I find reviewers very unreliable (but that is my opinion)
As for taking my pick I am an outlier.
But thank you for both replies.
Mar 10, 2018
I'm not aware that reviews are needed. You made the assertion, and chose to read my piece, and respond to it. You'd be able to answer the question of "need" better than I can.

I don't know what you mean by "I find reviewers very unreliable". Do you mean they're unreliable about telling you what they think about a given episode/show/topic? You seem to have gotten the gist of what I was saying. Or that they don't agree with your opinion? If you don't agree with them... well, as you say, you're an outlier.

Regardless, I would never claim that my opinion is "right" for you or anyone else. If you like the show, you like the show. I review the show every episode to be "reliable". As for the rest.. I'm as reliable as the show in question is. If MacGyver produces an Emmy-worthy winning triumph on 3/30... well, I'll note it. But that's the creative team's fault for not being "reliable".
Mar 05, 2018
So the value to the viewer of the scene is...? And if you value it, that doesn't mean everyone else does or has to.

I don't watch Hawaii 5-0, so can't tell you how similar it is. But I don't know why one would make the other good. Or bad. Nor do I watch reality shows. I give my opinions on MacGyver, not shows I don't watch. I could lie, but I'm not sure what the value of that would be to anyone.

If you enjoy that kind of thing... well, you enjoy it. I'm not here to alter your opinion or anyone else's, only present mine. thus, "But that's my opinion..."

Jan 24, 2018
As MacGyver is established as in the NCIS universe they could have brought in anybody from NCIS:NO to increase the complexity and selling power.
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