MacGyver kicked off his third season with a bang in this intricately weaved Cold War-era political thriller. The "mullet" was starting to take form by this point and the series move to Vancouver was immediately evident in the lush green backgrounds featured in the motorcycle chase scene. The change in filming location was definitely a masterstroke for this series as it allowed writer/producers to do a number of ambitious outdoor episodes that the LA market would not have accommodated. This episode took a fair amount of time to set up, given its elaborate plot structure, but the setup is entertaining in itself and pays off handsomely. Bonus points for some particularly ominous and engaging villains in this episode, such as the actor who played General Recubian and especially Kossov, played by the fine actor Anthony DeLongis (Piedra from season one's "The Assassin"). The action is smooth and flowing for much of the hour, but the ultimate climactic payoff doesn't occur until the impressive conclusion episode.
Ratingswise, MacGyver once again struggled early in the season, competing with tough sitcom competition on CBS and NBC, Monday Night Football on its own network in the West Coast, and having spent the entire summer broadcast on Wednesday nights and thus losing momentum in its time slot. The season premiere pulled in a weak 11.9 rating, putting MacGyver in a distant third place in its time slot. 1987-88 was one of those seasons where network TV saw a significant across-the-board decline in ratings. MacGyver was no exception to that trend, but luckily didn't lose any more or less of its audience than most other shows that year.