Season 2 Episode 16

Out in the Cold

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Feb 16, 1987 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
59 votes

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Episode Summary

MacGyver has his skiing pole switched by a man only moments before he's shot. With MacGyver trapped by the ensuing avalanche, Pete tries to arrange his rescue, not knowing the victim's associates are eager to get at what's hidden in the pole MacGyver now has.

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  • A fun episode with a split story execution, some great visuals, and an amusing elevation of Pete and Mac's buddy relationship.

    Exciting February sweeps advertisements showing MacGyver getting buried in an avalanche must have worked because "Out in the Cold" was the second season's highest-rated episode (and the second-highest in the entire series), scoring a 17.5 rating, yet STILL finishing third place in its blisteringly competitive time slot and only 27th for its given week. The episode holds up, with an exciting avalanche burial opening. While heavily dependent on stock footage, the scene still excites, and MacGyver's escape (with Pete's help) was imaginative and emotional. The second half of the episode wasn't as strong, and was hampered by overly cartoonish villains not persuasive at all as mobsters, but the banter between MacGyver and the injured Pete getting on each other's nerves at MacGyver's apartment was humorous and raised the stakes on their relationship. The laundry plant scenes were plenty entertaining as well, and generally on par with the tone of the rest of the episode. Even the best of the lighthearted second season episodes don't rise to the level of my favorite episodes of the series, but this was certainly representative of the second season formula at its strongest.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Avalanches at ski resorts don't occur as easily as seen here. Marked ski runs are deliberately built clear of potential risk areas. Any ski resort (and the nearby town as well) that could be devastated by an avalanche caused by a single gunshot simply wouldn't have been built in the first place. Even if extreme weather conditions made an avalanche as likely as seen here, the ski resort would have been closed.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Pete: You know, if you want to stay up here the rest of the week, that's fine. But I think I'm going to go home.
      MacGyver: I thought your house was being fumigated.
      Pete: Well, it is. But if I'm going to die anyway, I might as well be comfortable when I go.

    • MacGyver: There's something special about the last run of the day. The slopes aren't so crowded, the shadows are longer, and it's sort of peaceful out there.

    • Ski Patrolwoman: I hate to have to tell you this, but only 1 out of 25 survive an avalanche.
      Pete: MacGyver will be the one!

    • Pete: Boy, don't you ever dust this place?
      MacGyver: Twice a year, like clockwork.

    • Pete: I don't understand why you would want to run a clock on potatoes.
      MacGyver: I tried tomatoes, but it ran fast.

    • MacGyver: Tofu casserole.
      Pete: Tofu? Look, I cannot eat 1,200 beans that have been battered beyond recognition.

    • Willie: That's twice you let him get away.
      Jack: What are you, a scorekeeper?!?

    • Pete: Boy, am I glad to see you. They were going to put me in that spin dryer.
      MacGyver: Well, we couldn't let 'em do that. You might shrink.

    • MacGyver: Steppin' into a pair of skis and pointing them straight downhill may be as close as you can get to flying... without completely leaving the ground. Every winter, millions of people enjoy being out on the slopes. You might not think Pete Thornton would be one of them, (Pete skis poorly and falls) and you'd be right.

    • MacGyver: If you don't have the right equipment for the job, you just have to make it yourself.

    • Pete: (to MacGyver) You know, I hope I don't have to stay here very long. Living with you is no picnic!

  • NOTES (2)


  • 10:00 pm