This episode is reminiscent of Paul Newman's 1967 film "Cool Hand Luke". Even the warden Renfro (played by Luke Askew) is dressed just as Strother Martin did in that movie and has the same accent and speech patterns. Jack Dalton gets to spend a "night in the box" and is bull-whipped.
A little bit of Jack goes a long way, and by this episode the character is really getting on my nerves. He's always manipulating MacGyver to get want he wants--in this case $5,000,000 dollars in cash his uncle Charlie robbed from a bank and hid in an abandoned zinc mine. The corrupt chain-gang boss uses the prisoners as slave labor to search the mine for the money.
The MacGyverisms in this episode are few and (while more plausible than many he has used in past shows) not really creative. For instance, he creates a diversion by exploding the acetylene gas used in the mining helmet lamps. Now if he had to somehow create the gas from some minerals or chemicals he scrounged up, that would have been fun and entertaining.
Jack is called "The Chief" by other inmates and is awarded luxuries others don't have. He keeps a cooler underneath the floorboards of the bunkhouse filled with what appears to be fried chicken. But how he earned his nickname or how he gets the luxuries are never explained. Also unexplained is how Jack ended up in the prison -- his only apparent crime was just being his obnoxious self. MacGyver's crime? His ever-present Swiss army knife being considered a "concealed weapon". No trial or other due process made the episode unrealistic.