In Czechoslovakia, rogue GRU agents arrest human rights activist Anton Dubcek over the protests of his wife Viera.
MacGyver meets with Pete, who briefs him on Dubcek's arrest. The two GRU agents, Zorkin and Baranov, are acting without the authority of the Soviet government, but by the time they go through diplomatic channels it will be too late. Pete has photos of the arrest and introduces MacGyver to the photographer: Diana Rogers. Diana is a mercenary agent who worked with MacGyver on a job stealing papers from an Eastern European embassy and left him behind. MacGyver is not thrilled with having to work with her. Diana is interested because private U.S. investors have put up $500,000 to free Dubcek, currently in a hospital. Pete points that MacGyver has been in the same hospital before, and only his knowledge gives them a chance of rescuing Dubcek. MacGyver reluctantly agrees and Diana promises that she won't leave him this time. MacGyver reluctantly agrees, but has second thoughts when Pete tells him they'll be going in as newlyweds.
MacGyver and Diana fly to Austria and meet with her contact Krug, who gets them through the border to Czechoslovakia and takes them to a hidden car. Diana pays him half and tells him he can collect the rest when they return later. The car, a wreck, has a dead battery, and MacGyver manages to get it going. In the process he pulls Diana into his lap to get to the ignition and hit it. They get to the mental hospital where Dubcek is being held and enjoy a picnic lunch while they go over the blueprints. When a policeman pulls up, MacGyver hastily pulls Diana down on the blanket and kisses her.
Diana has a plan all ready but MacGyver prefers to improvise as he goes. He makes up some fake blood and covers his face, then has Diana drive him into the hospital. They arrange for her to meet him at the front door in fifteen minutes, and she kisses him for luck. MacGyver slips in as a worker and then sneaks into a lab. He puts together improvised smoke bombs and then nitro explosive, and then rigs the smoke bomb beneath a food tray. He delivers the food to Dubcek's cell and when the guard lifts the tray, the smoke bomb goes off. MacGyver steals a nurse's key and gets into Dubcek's room, then uses the nitro to blast open the window. Diana steals an ambulance and picks them up and they crash through the gate and make their escape.
Outside, Dubcek realizes what they're doing and tells them to turn around. The GRU have arrested his wife Viera: if he doesn't turn himself in, they'll kill her.
MacGyver goes to buy a truck and some clothing, then returns. Diana isn't interested in rescuing Viera, but it's clear Dubcek won't leave without her. He leads them to the holding center where Zorkin and Baranov are holding Viera. The GRU men load her into a car to take her to an interrogation center. With Dubcek's help, MacGyver takes a shortcut and then fakes an accident on the road. When the GRU agents get out to investigate, Diana and MacGyver capture them. MacGyver takes some baling wire from the hay in the back of the truck and they head for the rendezvous with Krug.
At the rendezvous, Krug is waiting for them. Once he confirms they have Dubcek and his wife, he calls to two soldiers: it's a trap. MacGyver has used the baling wire to electrify the frame of the car. When the soldiers open the doors, they're shocked unconscious. After subduing Krug, MacGyver takes the soldiers' grenades and they take Krug's car for the border. When the guards stop them, MacGyver tosses one of them a grenade and Diana crashes through the border gate. The guards realize that MacGyver has removed the detonator from the grenade.
In Los Angeles, Pete visits the Dubceks at MacGyver's house. Pete takes Dubcek to the Phoenix Foundation so they can take care of the paperwork and get him set up in the U.S., and MacGyver goes along. When they return, they discover that someone knocked out Diana from behind and abducted Viera. The GRU agents call and tell Dubcek they'll release her once he's turned himself over to them. Dubcek agrees and they ell him to meet them at the zoo in one hour.
At the Los Angeles Zoo, Pete puts his men in place. MacGyver and Diana talk and she insists that she's just in it for the money. When MacGyver asks how she got that way, she explains that she felt guilty after leaving him at the embassy and fell in love with a man named David. David was actually an agent sent to recover the stolen papers and Diana was forced to kill him.
Viera calls Dubcek over, explaining that the GRU men have guns trained on them. Dubcek agrees to go with her but Diana spots them leaving. Viera leads Dubcek to a quiet spot and then draws a gun. She explains that she's an undercover GRU agent and she was working with Zorkin and Baranov all the time. She shoots him in the chest, but is forced to flee when Diana and MacGyver arrive. Fortunately, Diana took the precaution of having Dubcek wear a bulletproof vest.
Viera, Baranov, and Zorkin run for it. MacGyver catches up to Zorkin and the two fight. Diana captures Viera and Pete comes up behind Baranov and disarms him. Zorkin draws a knife but MacGyver disarms him with a discarded child's toy then punches him unconscious.
Later, Pete pays off Diana, who wonders what MacGyver will do with his share of the reward. MacGyver admits that since the Phoenix Foundation covers his expenses, he invested his share. Dubcek arrives and tells them that someone anonymously donated a large sum of money to his new human rights foundation. Realizing who was responsible, Diana chips in ten percent of her own reward as well, and admits it feels good to do something for charity.