Season 5 Episode 13

Live and Learn

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jan 15, 1990 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

out of 10
51 votes
  • MacGyver: Social Worker returns in full force with one of the best episodes from that subgenre.

    This is the sort of MacGyver episode that always generates mixed reviews. The action junkies consider it to be a corruption of the series' high adventure roots, but fans more drawn to the character-driven episodes definitely dug this one. I really found it enjoyable, with engaging characters and a clever full-circle story arc beginning with Mac teaching how Archimedes invented the lever and ultimately using a variation on the lever to save Nick Maloni from the construction accident. I really appreciated the story transformation in the second half, when the focus unpredictably shifted from Tony's educational shortcomings to corrupt foremen at the construction site. The MacGyverism extraordinaire (making a piece of burned paper readable again with infrared film)that closed the episode was also wildly entertaining and should have appeased the science junkies who may have otherwise been put off by this episode's lack of traditional action/adventure scenes. Overall, an episode that could have been a mess worked due to solid acting performances and a clever script from Rick Mittleman. The episode also improved upon the previous week's season high in the ratings, scoring a 13.9.
  • Education in Life

    I'll admit this isn't exactly one of the greatest episodes I've seen. It sort of comes off as just a bit preachy, but that flaw can be overlooked.

    The theme is basically the importance of education, how it can both make a difference in people and be a ticket to the future. This episode has two pluses, for one thing it's one of those rare Macgyver episodes where there are no bad guys involved, I feel that's a relief because sometimes fighting bad guys all the time gets rather routine.

    But most of all it has a few characters that are rough on the surface but on the inside their actually good natured people that you feel a sense of sympathy for their dilemas which are understandable. From a teacher at the school who had good ideals but has lost his way to get to them. Tony a kid who is troubled but really does want to learn. And his father who harbors a painful secret about his illeteracy. But as the story goes further as Macgyver helps them more, you warm up to them as we see all three have one thing in common, they've never lost faith in education. Their redemptive good quialities show and all of them open the door to redemption.
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