Season 3 Episode 7

Jack in the Box

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Nov 09, 1987 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
62 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

MacGyver and Jack Dalton are arrested in Arkansas by a corrupt sheriff who puts the convicts to work in the nearby zinc mine. MacGyver wants to escape, but Jack has other ideas: he wants to find five million dollars a bank robber left in the mine years before.moreless

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  • Who wants friends like Jack?

    I don't know why I hated Jack so much in this episode. I am between him getting MacGyver in trouble or being so cynical about the whole situation and be so greedy. And in the end, giving up what he was looking for.

    On the other hand, MacGyver, the good-hearted man who gets easily persuaded by Jack gets in trouble again and delights us with several MacGyverisms.

    I still don't understand why they went immediately to get help from the woman knowing that in a little town, everyone is supporting or threatening someone,

    Still, I enjoyed the comedy. But I hated that Pepe had to die.moreless
  • As with almost all episodes with Jack Dalton, you have to look past some things to enjoy this.

    A fairly memorable episode involving a small redneck southern town and overbearing sheriff. Lance Legault handles the corrupt sheriff role to a T, he had a similar role in Airwolf, and although he didn't do quite as well here, you have to appreciate how natural the role comes to him.

    After letting Jack know who's boss, the sheriff "Bull Bodine" exiles Jack to a strip mine disguised as a prison farm. The objective the sheriff and the "warden" have are to find lost money placed here by a relative of Jack. Macgyver soon travels south to bail Jack out and meets Boldine himself, and not surprisingly, doesn't fair any better as he also is hand cuffed and brought to the mine. If you can get past this fact of 1800's type law, it is an enjoyable episode...I couldn't quite do it.

    After a couple failed escape attempts, Jack and Mac are caught and brought to the exact spot to dig it up themselves. I will not ruin the exact outcome but it's not completely a happy ending :)moreless
  • good episode...

    Dalton is up to it again...He calls Mac asking for help and Mac feels bad and goes and tries to help. A corrupt cop arrests Mac and takes him to a working camp where he finds Jack. Mac wants to get them both out but Jack wants to find burried gold in the mines. In the end, they find the gold, but Mac blows it up, and the bad guys are caught and the prisoners released. Overall, pretty good episode. It had some good funny moments and Jack's always funny. The story wasn't very interesting, but it wasn't that bad either.moreless
  • A ridiculous plot and a stereotypical portrayal of the South are still not enough to take away from the tremendous fun of this episode.

    One has to suspend his or her disbelief more than usual even for this series when watching this episode. A local sheriff runs a hometown prison farm with no due process and no supervision by the state....yet keeps getting re-elected?!?!? Setting that aside, it was clear this episode was gonna be a boatload worth of fun from the opening scene when Jack Dalton left MacGyver that crazy phone message about being in trouble in Arkansas. Once the actor who played Decker on "The A-Team" showed up as the local sheriff, the entertainment prospects rose even higher. The unfolding of the B.B. Bartel storyline was nicely crafted and the "chain gang" music by Ken Harrison fit the story very well. Goofy stereotypes about the South that ensued throughout were often cringeworthy, but the entertainment value was outstanding, culminating in a fun and clever closing scene with the briefcase full of money absorbing the dynamite explosion (why couldn't MacGyver have simply tossed the stick of dynamite into that big puddle where they extracted the money???).

    This episode clearly had commercial appeal as the ratings perked up to a 14.3, the season's highest thus far, after hitting a season low the week before. As evidence of network audience erosion in the fall of 1987, a November 1986 MacGyver episode scored a 14.3 rating and finished 47th in its week. In November 1987, a 14.3 rating was good enough to rank 32nd for its week.moreless
  • Good episode overall.

    While not my very favorite,this is a good episode of Macgyver.

    The episode starts when Jack Dalton calls Macgyver for help. He tells him he's down in Arkansas,and is in trouble. Jack is then arrested by the local Sheriff (named "Bull" Bodine) under the pretense of "destruction of property,insulting an officer of the law",etc.

    Despite Pete Thorton's warning,Macgyver heads to Smiley Arkansas to help Jack. When Macgyver arrives in Smiley,he senses that something is amiss. He soon finds out what's wrong: The town is "under the gun" (so to speak) of Bodine,who it ends up is corrupt. He arrests people for no reason,and takes them to a local "reform center" which is in reality,a labor camp (run by him and "The Warden" Renfro) where workers are forced to mine gold. Macgyver then sees Jack,and finds out he (Jack) got himself arrested on purpose so he could search for his late Uncle Charlie's 5 million dollars hidden in one of the old gold mines. It ends up it was Jack's plan all along to get him and Macgyver down there to search for it. Macgyver reluctantly agrees,he and Jack attempt to escape from the labor camp twice (both attempts fail),and they eventually have to tell Renfro and Bodine where the money is.

    The show then reaches it's climax as Macgyver and Jack find the money in one of the old mines and manage to defeat Renfro and Bodine. But,Bodine lights a stick of dynamite right before Macgyver knocks him down. Thus forcing Macgyver to put the dynamite in the suitcase of money,thus blowing it up,to save them all.

    Overall,I give this episode an 8/10. Not my very favorite,but still really cool.

    Thanks for reading!moreless
Luke Askew

Luke Askew

Warden Renfro

Guest Star

Eugene Butler

Eugene Butler

Lyle Hudson

Guest Star

Daniel Faraldo

Daniel Faraldo

Pepe Sanchez

Guest Star

Bruce McGill

Bruce McGill

Jack Dalton

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • At the end, Louella is taken away by the state police. However, she didn't do anything illegal. The worst she could be accused of is having poor taste in boyfriends and not interfering with Lyle when he was pointing a gun at her.

    • When MacGyver arrives at the correctional facility, Bodine refers to Pepe by his last name of "Sanchez" but never mentions Pepe's first name. No one else does either. However, after the warden gives his introductory speech, MacGyver refers to Pepe by his first name despite the fact no one told him.

    • The Mustang MacGyver drives in Arkansas has a front-mounted license plate, but Arkansas actually only utilizes a back-mounted license plate.

  • QUOTES (15)

    • Pete: Tell me I enjoyed myself, would you?
      MacGyver: You enjoyed yourself.
      Pete: Oh boy. Four days on a rowboat with wet pants—ugh! I've got mosquito bites on top of my mosquito bites. Thought I was going to have sunstroke. Now coming home, I smell like old bait.

    • (After listening to Jack's message)
      Pete: That is a ploy. You know that.
      MacGyver: How do I know that?
      Pete: Well, when hasn't it been?

    • MacGyver: My grandpa used to say that friendship was a two-sided coin. It can turn out to be the best, or the worst, investment you ever made. I guess whenever I flip the coin of friendship with Jack Dalton, he usually wound up in over his head, and I usually wound up covering his tail. To refuse Jack's call for help was useless; if I did I'd just end up feeling guilty the rest of my life if anything bad happened to him. And aside from guilt, there was always the curiosity factor, this time the question being, 'what on Earth brought a man about town like Jack Dalton to Smiley, Arkansas?'

    • Bodine: Don't you walk away from me, boy. That's resisting arrest.
      MacGyver: What?
      Bodine: Resisting arrest. Making a public nuisance of yourself, and carrying a concealed weapon!
      MacGyver: "Concealed weapon?" That's a Swiss Army knife!

    • MacGyver: Pete, the man is my friend.
      Pete: What kind of friend? When does he call you? When he wants to con you into some favor or he needs you to rescue him. And he's always getting you in trouble. How long are you going to babysit for this guy? Forever?
      MacGyver: All right, I get the point! And you're right. I'm not going to be sucked in by him this time. He's on his own. I'm not going.

    • Sheriff: Now, see what you've done? Destruction of property? Disturbance of peace?
      Jack: Resisting your ugliness?
      Sheriff: Smart mouth, huh?
      (Sheriff places Jack under arrest)

    • Jack: Have you met my amigo Pepe? Kid worships the ground I hobble on. Can't say I blame him.

    • Jack: There's a fifteen percent reward for the return of the money.
      MacGyver: I don't give a rat's pajamas about the money! Now, we're going to get out of here and when we do, you and I are through. That's it!

    • MacGyver: All right, Jack, start talking. You're way too happy in this hell hole. You haven't even tried to escape. Why?
      Jack: Come on, MacGyver, escape is your specialty. I got us in, you get us out.

    • MacGyver: Just so I got this straight. You got yourself arrested, on purpose. You conned me into coming out here to help you find some stolen money, and then help you break out of here?
      Jack: Exactly. We're partners, Partner!
      MacGyver: You did it to me again! You actually did- (Mac turns to Pepe) He did it. He did it to me again.

    • (After seeing a grave with Jack's initials)
      MacGyver: Who is JD?!
      Jack: Don't know. John Doe? John Dead?

    • MacGyver: He does sound like he's in trouble.
      Pete: Well, of course he's in trouble. He's always in trouble.

    • MacGyver: Alright, here we go.
      Jack: Brilliant. I don't know what you're doing, but it's brilliant.

    • Jack: Why didn't I just listen to you?
      MacGyver: Why start now?

    • MacGyver: As soon as I get home I'm changing my phone number.
      Jack: Come on, MacGyver, don't be like this. We're partners. Compadres. A team. Like hominy and grits.
      MacGyver: Like gasoline and matches. I'm moving my houseboat to an unlisted marina.
      Jack: How could you do this to me?
      MacGyver: Do this to you?!? You used me, you lie to me, you suck me in, you... drive me up a wall!
      Jack: What are friends for?

  • NOTES (1)

    • The German episode title is "Wozu sind Freunde da", meaning "That's What Friends Are For". The Finnish episode title is "Ystävän Palvelus", meaning "Favor for a Friend". The French episode title is "Jack en détresse", meaning "Jack in Distress". The Italian episode title is "Un amico nei guai", meaning "A Friend in Trouble".


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