Season 5 Episode 21


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Apr 30, 1990 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

out of 10
57 votes
  • An outstanding character-driven episode for a series (and a title character) that really needed an episode with this kind of dramatic exposition.

    There was no guarantee when this episode was written and produced that there would be a sixth season of MacGyver, so the crew was mindful when making this pivotal episode that it may end up being MacGyver's last. Of course, there would be a sixth season, but it was nonetheless perfect timing in the chronology of this series, particularly with the narrative about MacGyver's mother finally revealed in its completion in "The Madonna", for this strange but affecting episode, an episode considered by many to be the series' best. It was not a new idea for a TV series to subject its lead character(s) to have an out-of-body experience ("Magnum, P.I." did it a few years earlier), but I've never seen it done with such a thoughtful and layered execution, or with such dazzling otherwordly imagery. The production values really stood out on this episode, and yet another example of how despicable the TV industry was to ignore this series' accomplishments year after year.

    Despite the story's brilliant layering and juxtaposition, I have to dock the episode a couple points for logistical snafus throughout the hour. It's one thing to dismiss some of the weirder decisions made by the characters on the "death boat" given that it was a quasi-dream sequence, but why on Earth did Pete, Hakim, and the Phoenix historian stand around to choke on the tear gas when Hakim's associate tossed the gas into the room? Who would do that? I just didn't get it. I also didn't get why Pete thought he could get away with holding three armed killers at bay in the hospital room at the end of the episode, yet feel secure enough to turn away from them completely and jubilantly mutter "Welcome back MacGyver!" Whatever the case, the acting was good, the writing was generally superb, and the production values were spectacular.

    MacGyver finished season five with its lowest overall ratings, but the audience didn't diminish enough to where the network felt the series' performance was likely to be improved upon by a replacement, so it would return for a sixth season in the fall of 1990 and simultaneously raise its low profile with reruns on the USA Network. Creatively, season five was another success story for the series, keeping the creative momentum of the excellent fourth season, but finally starting to show a few signs of age late in the season.
  • An emotionnaly charged episode.

    This is a very special episode for me having lost my father when I was 8. MacGyver near death experience makes him travel to the other side with his grandpa Harry who suffered a stroke. The "death" is represented by a ship where dead people live. MacGyver finds out his parents, whom he haven't seen in a long time, are aboard and he wants to go in to see them (even if that means never go back). Harry knows and tells MacGyver that once the three horns are blown there's no coming back to life! Mac decides to go in because he feels his time has come. When he meets his parents the emotion is at it's highest, but Harry tells Mac that if he chooses to die and stay on the ship it will have consequences on the people still alive. So Mac learns that if he stays, his boss but also his best friend Pete will be killed. He then decides to go back (not without pitfalls), but Harry stays on the ship because his time has come and Mac makes peace with him and "saves" Pete's life.
    A great image of how your life can be after you die, it's the author perception and it's a great one filled with love and of course family!! A great finish to season 5.
  • Macguyver and the afterlife.

    This is one of those rare stories that litterally show how human action heroes can be, it showed that our hero Macgyver can actually die. Personally even though it is my number two favorate episode because it's so emotional, it put tears in my eyes just watching it. Macgyver is in distress over his Grandpa Harry's condition which is near death. He is meanwhile on a mission to guard an egyptian artifact which has to do with the myth of Osiris. The myth of course corilates with what's to come. It gets stolen by Black Marketers and Macgyver tries to stop them but fails and gets seriously hurt putting him in a coma. The coma gives Macgyver a chance to board the Osiris to see his Grandfather but also reunite with his parients.

    You can't help but feel a heavy sense of emotion in the episode because Macgyver is actually human in this one. You always know that Macgyver can get out of sticky sittuations every time, but in this episode were for the first time not so sure because this is actually death he is dealing with, how he going to get out of it, can he honestly get out of it? Another thing about it just the emotional reunion with his parients whom have all been decessed when he was a young child, you almost could sense he was going to cry at the moment he saw them again. However he has to make a rather difficult and heartbreaking choice, to either go back to the relm of the living and save his friends from getting killed or stay with his family and go to the afterlife. Being Macgyver is never easy and the decision he makes proves it.

    The episode is a hopeful message showing how people we know and love are never gone, there always with us even though we can't see them.
  • Good episode...

    This is the best season finale of macgyver that I have ever seen, well come to think of it, it is the only season finale that I have seen. macgyver's grandfather had a heart attack and mac can't get a plane to go and see him. He has to help the Phoenix foundation with this relic and it was just stolen so Mac goes after the guy and the guy pushes Mac off the building and he is now in a coma and he is the only one who can Identify the Burgler. While in his coma he sees his dead parents and his now dead grandpa. Macgyver wakes up and Identifys the burgler. This is another series classic and one of my favorites on season 5. later...
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