Season 1 Episode 13

Flame's End

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jan 29, 1986 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
73 votes

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Episode Summary

An old girlfriend of MacGyver's contacts him for help after she discovers evidence of uranium thefts from the nuclear processing plant where she works.

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  • Modest execution for such an ambitious storyline.

    This episode peaked early for me. MacGyver's reminiscent scene on the beach, followed by the surprise explosion of the car that was believed to be driven by Amy Austin, set the stage for another great MacGyver episode. But greatness never really enveloped after that. The post-burial revelation that Amy was still alive was well done, but the scenes at the power plant just seemed B-movie-ish. The escape from the disposal chamber could have been brilliant, but the narrative inconsistency was so glaring (she told Mac they'd be fried by the toxic waste long before it actual got into the chamber, yet two seconds after they escaped the chamber--ALIVE--the waste came gushing out) that it diminished the effect for me. Amy Austin was another goofy "bimbo of the week" character and, while she seemed to have some chemistry with MacGyver, didn't strike me as intelligent enough to be a bigshot a nuclear power plant. Robert "Freddy Krueger" Englund played his role as the unwilling mole well, but the primary villain (Ed?) just seemed like a cigar-chomping oil baron uncapable of hatching a scheme so elaborate. I'm probably a little hard on this episode as its entertainment value does hold up reasonably well, but it definitely is not one of my favorites of the first season.moreless
  • MacGyver receives an urgent call from his old girlfriend in West Port Beach. She is fearing for her life as there is evidence of uranium theft at a nuclear processing plant, and whoever it is will kill anyone who is getting close. Can MacGyver get theremoreless

    This is a very average episode and is more of a "filler" episode than anything. MacGyver doesn't really use any of his skills and is more of a drama than action.

    One thing we find about MacGyver in this episode is that he once had a girlfriend a long time ago and was deeply in love, he wanted to travel the world and she wanted to stay and get her education for a succesful career. So they went seperate ways and out of the blue, she calls him for help?

    I enjoy MacGyver's quick thinking and creativity, but in this episode, I just didn't really see any of that...moreless

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Despite the dozens of failsafes and backups that any nuclear plant in the U.S. has, a couple of bullet shots not only cause the reactor to go into meltdown, but damage the safety controls intended to stop the meltdown.

    • Amy explains that they'll die several minutes before the sludge get to the waste disposal chamber, because of the extreme heat that precedes it. However, they exit from the chamber and the sludge pours in immediately as soon as they leave.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • MacGyver: Should make a heck of a press release, eh?
      Tim: Just like our college days. Never a dull moment with MacGyver.

    • MacGyver: I hate heights, and I despise guns. So how the hell did I get myself up here?

    • Train: You can't run forever, MacGyver.
      MacGyver: Train, are you crazy? We've got a runaway reactor to worry about here!
      Train: That's what I'm trying to help you with: stop all that worryin'!

    • MacGyver: A marine sergeant once started a charge by yelling at his men, "Come on, you wanna live forever?" Now, I used to think that was about the guttiest thing ever said. But of course, the older you get, the more nervous you get.

    • MacGyver: So, if I can open it manually, we're home free, right?
      Amy: Mac, no—it'll kill you!
      MacGyver: No way... I haven't paid my taxes yet.

    • Amy: I think we oughta just run you for President or something.
      MacGyver: Um, no thanks. I'd rather have this problem than his.

    • Amy: You always carried a pocketful of junk.
      MacGyver: Yeah.
      Amy: And you always fixed everything.

    • MacGyver: Amy, I took physics because it was interesting, and it excited me—not to buy myself a job. Amy, come on! There's a world out there: let's go look at it! Be something different.
      Amy: I don't want to be different. I want a life I can count on.

    • MacGyver: The past is a strange country. You go back; it doesn't recognize you. I'd changed in ways I didn't know. And if I was a stranger, so was Amy.

    • MacGyver: Fourth time, eh?
      Susan: Yeah, I like that accent.
      MacGyver: What accent, eh?

  • NOTES (4)