A MacGyver Community
ABC (ended 1992)
And so another week, another episode. At least now they have the titles actually featuring something that happens in the episode.

To recap "Muscle Car + Paper Clips": Jack, Mac, and Riley are in a plane somewhere over South Korea, fighting it out with some terrorists. Mac sends them flying out the cargo ramp, strapped to a crate. Because I guess it's okay to kill people if you don't use guns. Maybe there's a parachute attached to the crate. Maybe not. Anyhoo, one of the terrorists cuts himself free before the crate goes out, grabs the EMP, and Riley prepares to shoot him. But she can't, so he triggers the EMP.


Somehow they manage to safely crash land the plane even though the engine is shut down, because... I guess it's so easy that they don't even have to show us. A trick they pulled last year with Mac, Jack, and some quicksand. It's like they're not even trying to make us think Our Heroes are in danger from minor inconveniences like deadstick landings from upmpty-ump thousand feet.


So Jack meets Riley at the old Chucky E Cheese-ish pizza place that he used to take her as a girl and offers to be there for her. Because she's still having guilt issues after killing whoever she killed at the end of last season's finale. She doesn't want to hear about it. Matty then has a new mission for them: a hacker group, Bedlam74, wants to hire Riley to do something nefarious for them. She has to go in undercover, and Jack is all against it.

Mac rigs a passive transmitter for her using the equipment in the Phoenix lab. Which seems like cheating, but oh well. It's not really improvisation if you have a workshop, is it? Riley meets up with the hackers, and the leader wants her to prove her credentials. She acts all hesitant and slow, and Jack is ready to bust in. But Riley hacks the hackers' computers, proving her credentials and secretly stealing their files and sending them to Phoenix.


Plus hasn't anyone at Phoenix except Mac heard of passive listening technology? Even I've heard of that, and I don't work for a super-secret psuedo spy organization. Or do I? Bwah-hah-hah.

Bedlam74 then takes her to a bank, but they only break in as an excuse to access the data management company next door. Which is kind of vague: they have to be on-site (well next-door on-site?) to hack the company? Okay. Matty has pulled Jack because of his emotional involvement and sent in Sam, who is in the middle of a mission extracting data from an ambassador. Because heaven forbid Mac be able to function on his own, rather than having a trained martial artist and/or shooter at his side. Hi, 90s MacGyver: we miss you!

Mac and Sam try to warn the SecDef who is the target of Bedlam74's assassination attempt. he isn't interested and leaves. So the agents steal a muscle car (since it doesn't have an onboard computer system), intercept the SecDef's convoy outside of the LA Air Force Base for no particular reason (the SecDef is heading there?), and abduct him.


Meanwhile, Bedlam74 figures out that Riley is gaslighting them and tosses her in the trunk of their car. Fortunately, there's lots of electronic components back there, so Riley first MacGyvers a cell phone to call Jack and then a doohickey to lock the car's steering. It crashes and Jack rescues Riley.

Meanwhile, the hackers download malware into the SecDef's pacemaker, shooting electrical shocks into his chest. Riley shuts it down by remote, giving Mac the opportunity to use the muscle car's stereo systems, a phone, some wires, and a couple of paper clips to make an "external pacemaker" and keep Vasquez alive. Sam looks on and is duly impressed.


At the end, everyone goes back to Chuck E Cheese Lite and Riley takes Jack up on his offer to talk about her angst. Everyone else is there for some reason, and Matty harasses a cat mascot. Jack invites Sam as thanks for her having his and Riley's back. Which she didn't, not really. She was just ordered there by Matty and dealt mostly with the SecDef. But comraderie! And that, as they say, is that.


The episode really didn't do much one way or another: just a day in the life of Team MacGyver. They rehashed some old ground about Riley and Jack, and used Sam as a cabbagehead so that they could tell her all about the two characters' backstory. I did like the bit near the beginning where Wilt hits on Sam, she uses her near-magical powers to detect that he's lying (her and Emma on Once Upon a Time, although Sam's "power" seem more reliable), and he admits that Jack set the whole thing up. I liked her roping Wilt into helping her when she gets revenge on Jack.


There was no references to Murdoc, or Mac's father, or Sarah or Nikki from last year. Although the latter two seem to have been tossed down the memory hole anyway. Jack and Riley are closer, I guess, but I wasn't aware that they weren't. The episode didn't really accomplish much, but I'm not sure that's what the intention of the show is.

Oh, and "Roulette Wheel + Wire" was supposed to air this week but didn't. I suppose this episode eases Sam into Team McGyver a little more. Maybe the creative team and/or CBS thought it would be a better episode to feature second because of that. Or maybe it wasn't quite ready. Or maybe they just pick episodes out of a hat, and someone changed their hat.

But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?
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Oct 07, 2017
This show is getting extremely ridiculous and this is likely where I'm going to jump off the ship..

"Hacking a Skee-Ball" machine? Right, like that is even remotely possible without having the player notice, considering the entire game is a mechanical game.
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Oct 08, 2017
Well, the question isn't if a "normal" player would notice, but if Jack would notice. :)
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