Season 4 Episode 4

On a Wing and a Prayer

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Dec 05, 1988 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
57 votes

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Episode Summary

When Pete and a nun are captured by Barracan rebels, Jack and MacGyver set off to rescue them, but they're soon in trouble themselves when Jack's plane is downed in enemy territory.

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  • A nice return to the traditional adventure show formula with a rescue attempt in Central America.

    With the first three episodes of season four charting new thematic territory, it was nice to go back to basics with an adventure episode that pulled in all of the elements that make this show work so well. MacGyverisms ensued at warp speed for much of the hour as Mac and Jack dabbled in disguises, smuggled arms, and hung out with a band of mountain guerrillas in Central America, all in an effort to rescue a nun and a wounded Pete Thornton...and to warn the nation's government of a pending terrorist attack. The suspense of the escape from the rebels' headquarters reached fever pitch when Jack's sea plane shot down and had to make an emergency landing. The explanations of resurrecting the plane got a little murky and the self-absorbed nature of the rebel leader were too painfully transparent to have much credibility, but this episode nonetheless sparkled with a great mix of action and humor. This is another of those episodes that I enjoy more with each viewing.moreless
Jenny Gago

Jenny Gago

Santina Salazar

Guest Star

Garwin Sanford

Garwin Sanford


Guest Star

Susan Walden

Susan Walden

Sister Clara

Guest Star

Bruce McGill

Bruce McGill

Jack Dalton

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (15)

    • Jack: MacGyver, what's happening?
      MacGyver: Your slipknot's not slipping!

    • Jack: So, Pete, how's the first day back at work? Feeling okay?
      Pete: Yeah. Fine.
      Jack: No hemorrhages or heart attacks or loose organs roaming around?
      Pete: Nope. Why?
      Jack: Cause I don't want you to keel over when you see my bill.

    • Pete: MacGyver, the next time you want to ask Jack Dalton to do you a favor, do me a favor.
      MacGyver: I know, Pete. Don't.
      Pete: Don't.
      MacGyver: Don't.

    • Pete: Hell of a way to go, huh? I always thought I'd drop dead at my desk, or on the 9th tee.

    • Santina: Even if the gringos do escape, why should this affect the progress of our revolution?
      Rafael: My plans hinge on that bomb going off.
      Santina: If it doesn't, it is just one more setback. We will continue to fight, as we have in the past.

    • Rafael: You Americanos, you always have an angle, don't you?
      Jack: Business major, USC.
      Rafael: Political science, Berkeley.
      Jack: Berkeley? Well, it's nice to see higher education at work. Salud!

    • Jack: Look at this. I'm the proud owner of an open can of sardines with wings on it. No, I do not have insurance for rebel gunfire.

    • Rafael: With all due respect to your religion, Sister, the 11th Commandment in this part of Barraca is "Thy shall not harbor a traitor to the revolution."

    • Santina: When we win this revolution, we will have no further need of people like you. You are just one of many hard choices one is forced for make for freedom.
      MacGyver: Yeah, well, I'd love to stand here and talk revolutionary political philosophy with you but, uh . . . it was a long flight. Got a place I could freshen up?

    • MacGyver: So how about if I take a look at your inventory? Maybe see what you're in the market for.
      Santina: That is all this is to you, isn't it? A business.
      MacGyver: Everybody's gotta make a livin', Captain.
      Santina: By selling death at a discount.
      MacGyver: Hey, we're not killing anybody—
      Santina: No, but you bring guns to my country. Like the ones that butchered my mother and father.

    • MacGyver: You know, if you ordered fifty or more, we might be able to offer you a substantial discount. Say, uh, twenty percent?
      Rafael: America—land of free enterprise.

    • Jack: Mac, you didn't tell me it was Guns for Nuns!
      MacGyver: You're overreacting.
      Jack: Oh, yeah, what do you know? Those rebels are probably down there cleanin' blackboards even as we speak!

    • MacGyver: Keep in mind Pete and the sister are countin' on somebody, and it's us.
      Jack: What sister? I didn't know Pete had a sister. Is she good-lookin'?
      MacGyver: Hey—
      Jack: Like Pete, huh?

    • MacGyver: Let's just no overdo it, alright? Low-key. Very low-key.
      Jack: Hey, you know me, Mac. I can be a low-key kind of guy. You've seen me unconscious before, haven't you?

    • MacGyver: Listen, compadre... I need a favor.
      Jack: A favor from who?
      MacGyver: You. I need a favor from you, Jack.
      Jack: You do?
      MacGyver: Yeah.
      Jack: From moi?
      MacGyver: Yes.
      Jack: MacGyver needs a favor from moi?
      MacGyver: Yes, Jack.
      Jack: Well, name it! Whatever - anything! I've been waitin' years for this!

  • NOTES (1)

    • The German episode title is "Raketen für die Rebellen", meaning "Rockets for the Rebels". The Finnish episode title is "Ihmeiden aika", meaning "Miracle-Time". The French episode title is "Deux ailes et une prière", meaning "Two Wings and a Prayer". The Italian episode title is "Un volo pericoloso", meaning "Dangerous Flight".