I wanted to like this episode. It introduced Pete, had easily the best music of any episode of the series up to this point, and was well-directed by Cliff Bole. Additionally, the plot (MacGyver is poisoned in an effort to get information out of him) was at least a bit more interesting than the typical "Mac helps a friend in trouble" fare, even if it was pretty bizzare. Additionally, this episode featured easily the best MacGyverisms since the very early first season.
But the subplot with the runaway girl was melodramatic and unnecessary. To be sure, the actress and Richard Dean Anderson put on a decent performance, but the whole thing was really cheesy (girl runs away from abusive father, assembles nice apartment, reads schoolbooks, helps MacGyver outsmart Communist foes, gets government scholarship, lives happily ever after). All in all, not an awful effort, but dragged down by a weak subplot.