MacGyver takes a wrong turn and ends up at a remote desert airport café – only to find the place is being held hostage by armed criminals who are behind an armored car robbery and now waiting for an aircraft to make their escape. A great episode...
As my reviews for the first couple of episodes of 'MacGyver' might reflect, I wasn't sure if it was worth sticking with the show (not seeing the series until it was released on DVD). Well, by the point of "Last Stand", I am certainly glad that I stuck with it, as the series definite improved, and by this point, all cylinders are firing this is a terrific episode!
The plot is pretty simplistic yet works very well, and contains yet more of Mac's infamous rig-ups and creations, and the hostage situation in the middle of the remote desert is an interesting scenario executed very well.
The only thing I wasn't quite sure about was the robbers – they shoot the armored bank truck robber in cold blood, yet seem reluctant to kill everyone else, despite explosive escape attempt et al. Now of course, for the structure of the series, they couldn't murder everyone off, but even so, by the late stages it does beg the question why they didn't take a gun to one of the hostages at least.
I also felt the whole "hijacking an airport until an aircraft happens by for them to hijack" was a bit fuzzy – surely if they were that well planned (they are capable enough to nag a bank van, and hide it in the back of a truck), they would have arranged an aircraft to pick them up somewhere?
But they are very minor niggles, and didn't spoil my overall enjoyment of the episode too much. The story kept me gripped throughout, and only verged slightly on losing it's pacing a couple of points very late on.
One other thing I must mention is the in-episode musical score; on my first couple of episode reviews for the series, I noted that the scores sounded rather cheap and synthesised; but by this episode, they sound far better.
One of the great things about 'MacGyver' is that you never know where his next adventure will take him. When I came to watch this episode on DVD, I had had a terrible day the day before, and was anxious about an appointment I had later. This episode took me away from myself for an hour (well, 44 minutes), and believe me, many TV programmes aren't capable of that.
I'm surprised to read that some other reviews don't like "Last Stand" too much, as I think it is an excellent instalment. I disagree that it is the show's "first mediocre episode", as I find it very well put together – and if you want mediocre, what about the pretty terrible "Thief of Budapest"?
The couple of minor niggles I have mentioned probably prevent this episode from getting a solid 10, but even so, I enjoy this episode enough to give it a very high scoring 9.5.
Fun MacGyver episode. He seems to willingfully step into trouble which is part of the appeal of the show.
He knows he's lost and goes into an area with a couple of shady characters. Mac deals with a couple of thieves looking to steal money of an armored car then hijack a plane for escape.
Here the Mac gadgets consists of a homemade blowtorch made from bicycle parts and iron parts. He makes using fertilizer a couple of small bombs. The highlight of the episode was Mac jumping on top fo the plane to stop the bad guys from getting away. Typically he prides himself on not using violence but this MacGyver showed that he was willing to go there to save lives.
I liked it since it gives us more action. The acting is decent all the way around. It's worth a look.
After a rollicking start, MacGyver was overdue for an average episode and "Last Stand" definitely fit the bill. Unfortunately, this was the highest-rated MacGyver episode yet (15.8 rating) and the mediocrity of the episode following the memorable "Trumbo's World" kind of killed the series surging momentum for a few weeks. There were some bright spots though. Kay Lenz played her role well, and the fertilizer bombs and freezer escape bits were nicely played. The villains, however, were too cartoonish, which was abundantly clear in the dreary climax scene where the numbskull hijackers randomly wandered the airport by themselves (calling out MacGyver's name no less) allowing him to snuff them out one by one. It was an entertaining hour like most MacGyver episodes, but nonetheless stands out as the weakest link of the first half of the first season.
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