I doubt there are too many MacGyver fans who would cite "Early Retirement" as particularly pivotal episode in the scope of the series' seven-season run. The plot, which involved a cell of hawkish intelligent agents roguely defying their government's "weak" anti-terrorist position, was actually above average, but the execution was light on action by MacGyver standards. The character development of Pete Thornton and the more-mature-than-usual dialogue featured in this episode offered a nice change of pace, but I still don't find this episode as compelling as most MacGyver entries, particularly in the impressive third season. The lack of any intriguing MacGyverisms was also a noticeable omission. It also seemed as though MacGyver's relationship with Nikki took a permanent turn for the worse here. The bickering and sexual tension appeared long dead and replaced by a cold antagonism with a smidgeon of professional respect. Clearly, there was no longer a game plan to turn MacGyver and Nikki into lovers, but the transition from where they were even two episodes earlier in "Blow Out" to the underlying hostility of this episode seemed too abrupt. All in all, a good episode, but not great.
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