I'm pretty generous to this episode with my rating because it definitely fell apart in the second half, but it had a level of energy that most seventh season episodes lacked....and it had Murdoc. "Obsessed" was shaping up to be one of the best MacGyver episodes of all in its first half, with the elusive Murdoc slowly driving MacGyver insane with random tauntings. The viewer is left to wonder whether MacGyver really is losing his marbles given the growing consensus that Murdoc is nowhere to be seen at the times when MacGyver claims he is. The dicey deceptions and clues by Murdoc (attaching a chess pawn to the bottom of Mrs. Rowgli's car) unfold brilliantly, and unlike the embarrassing characters from season seven's first two episodes, Cindy Finnigan is perfect as the annoying and untrustworthy "quality control" expert determined to discredit MacGyver's work based on the Murdoc "obsession". When MacGyver was relieved of his duties by Pete at this episode's halfway point, I was convinced I was watching one of this series' five best episodes. Unfortunately, things fell completely apart in the second half, with the ridiculous plot twist where Delasora was actually in command of the U.S. Army base allegedly jailing him....with Murdoc as Delasora's right hand man. The idea that a cover-up of this magnitude would be possible is far-fetched even by this series' standards. From there, John Sheppard ripped off the "escape via boot" from the pendulum scene in "Legend of the Holy Rose", further indicating the series' lack of original ideas. An uninspired series of events proceeds until the disappointing final scene where Murdoc drives a jeep off a cliff onto a beach (apparently not even realizing there was a cliff there when he floored the Jeep to try to mow down MacGyver). Michael Des Barres was busy with two other series in the 1991-92 season, as a recurring guest star on "Roseanne" and a regular on the updated "WKRP in Cincinnati", so MacGyver had to scramble to get his annual outing as Murdoc this year, producing "Obsessed" as the season's first episode. At least compared to the rest of the stellar collection of Murdoc's episode, this one definitely seemed rushed. And considering that MacGyver's seventh season was almost guaranteed his last (and producers knew about it going in to the season), it would have been preferable to get some closure on the MacGyver vs. Murdoc serieslong grudge match. Criticisms aside, this was one of the best MacGyver outings of season seven, and I still admire the narrative deftness of the episode's first half even though the second half disappointed.
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