Season 5 Episode 14

Log Jam

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Feb 05, 1990 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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out of 10
55 votes
  • Another preachy but well-done environmental episode that really comes to life due to the various levels of conflict occurring simultaneously.

    This episode has a very intriguing and multi-dimensional level of conflict, which I think accurately reflects the real-world dynamic of the Pacific Northwest (kudos again to the producers for using the Vancouver backdrop for a very region-specific episode that LA-based series would never be able to do). You had the environmentalists vs. the loggers, the pro-logging community vs. the rabbelrousers threatening the local economy, Amy vs. Jack, and the Japanese vs. the Americans. Keep in mind that back in 1990, there was widespread fear that Japan, which was experiencing blistering economic growth at the time, would overwhelm America's economy. There was precedent for the Japanese influence in importing American timber as conveyed in this episode, but the Glass character and his sinister Yakuza gangster ties was WAY over-the-top (but deliciously so for the entertainment value of this episode). MacGyver's investigation, the thorough but ultimately far-fetched log theft plan hatched out between Foxworth and Glass, and the dynamic between Mac, Amy, and Jack were all very nicely done, but I do have to dock points for the revelation of "logging" as the latest secret talent MacGyver exhibited in his college years (did this guy go to college for 12 years????). Nonetheless, the lengthy and intense fight scene with a chainsaw-wielding Glass at the episode's end was tremendous fun. MacGyver won his time slot for the first time in the 1989-90 season for this episode (with a 13.7 rating), important since it was the first week of February sweeps. It's not that MacGyver was doing so well as much as CBS and NBC's sitcom lineup was dwindling. It would be the final month that NBC's long-running hit tandem of "ALF" and "The Hogan Family" would be coupled together on Monday night while CBS's semi-hit "Major Dad" was declining and its new lead-out "City" never found any footing. It couldn't have happened at a better time for MacGyver, as a sixth season was still a question mark up to this point.