MacGyver

Season 4 Episode 13

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Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Mar 13, 1989 on ABC

Episode Recap

Pete calls MacGyver to a aerospace technology convention for a Phoenix Foundation emergency: Pete’s managed to mess up the video display at the Foundation’s booth. As they go in, a pimp, Snakeskin, drops off his current favorite girl, Crystal, with orders to make at least $500. Another of his prostitutes, Kandy, comes out without enough money and Snakeskin threatens to break her fingers in punishment. Once Crystal is gone, Snakeskin gives Kandy some heroin to keep her with him.



As MacGyver finishes setting up the booth, Crystal arrives and propositions Pete. He gently suggests that she move on. Once Pete leaves, MacGyver spots Jennifer picking up another man, Jerry. When he tells her what he wants to do with her, she quickly tries to back out, making a scene. To protect his reputation, the man complains to a security guard that she tried to proposition him. The security guards cut Crystal off from the entrance and she ducks into the Foundation booth to ask MacGyver for help. He sends the security guards off in the wrong direction and then asks her to join him for lunch. As MacGyver buys her lunch, she asks what he does and he explains that he’s a troubleshooter. Crystal also notices that he has a lot of money as he pays for lunch. She insists that Snakeskin is her boyfriend and she’s helping him make money out of love, but MacGyver points out that it’s pimping, not love. He offers to find food and shelter for her for the night and she agrees.



As they leave, Snakeskin spots them and comes over. When MacGyver refuses to turn her over, Snakeskin pulls a knife. MacGyver disarms him and then releases the brakes on the pimp’s cars, so that Snakeskin has to go running off to stop it while MacGyver and Crystal escape.



MacGyver takes Crystal to the Challengers Club and introduces her to Cynthia Wilson. Crystal claims that her mother died in a car accident and she doesn’t know where her father is. As he leaves, Crystal wonders what MacGyver really wants from her. He says that he just wants to go home and get some sleep, sure that she’s safe. Cynthia takes Crystal up to a room and explains that she can’t prostitute herself while she’s there and she can’t contact Snakeskin. She says that Crystal isn’t hooked on heroin yet or beat up, and she still has a chance. Cynthia wants to call her father, but Crystal asks her to wait until the next day.



As MacGyver stops for gas, he remembers what Crystal said about her mother dying in a car accident and remembers when his father and grandmother died the same way. He finishes getting gas but realizes that he doesn’t have any money: Crystal lifted his money when he wasn’t looking. Back at the club, he tells Cynthia what happened and they go to check on Crystal. They discover that she’s slipped out the window and figure she’s going back to Snakeskin. Cynthia knows where Snakeskin lives and gives MacGyver his address while she calls the police.



Crystal goes back to Snakeskin, who pulls up and sees her waiting. MacGyver pulls up down the street and watches as Jennifer tries to give Snakeskin the stolen money. As Crystal begs him for another chance, MacGyver uses a discarded cable to tie the bumper of Snakeskin’s car to a garbage bin. He then shakes the car, setting off the alarm. When Snakeskin and his lieutenant Sammy check out the car, MacGyver drives the Jeep over the curb and gets Crystal. When Snakeskin and Sammy try to follow, they pull the garbage bin along with them. When they stop, it slams into the car.



MacGyver threatens to take Crystal to the police and she begs him to let her stay with him that night. MacGyver takes her home and they talk while he makes a late supper. Crystal explains that her father’s a cop and works all the time and isn’t interested in her or her problems. They discuss his parents and MacGyver talks about how he was out of the country when his mother died of a stroke and didn’t get back until her funeral. He admits that he always blamed himself for his father and grandmother's deaths, and wonders if he might have been able to do something if he’d been there. Crystal figures that they’re both running from their pasts. As she goes to bed, Crystal gives MacGyver her real name: Jennifer Reiner.



The next day, Cynthia calls the police station and talks to an officer who recognizes Jennifer's description. She's the daughter of an officer, Sgt. Jim Reiner. He comes to the Challengers Club and claims he didn’t report Jennifer running away because he didn’t want his fellow officers asking questions. Reiner is more concerned with what Jennifer might have told Cynthia then what’s happened to his daughter. MacGyver calls and confirms Reiner is there, and asks Jennifer she wants to see him. Jennifer isn’t sure but MacGyver convinces her to meet her father at the Challengers Club.



When they arrive, Reiner asks to talk to Jennifer in private. He demands to know what she’s been saying to Cynthia and Jennifer yells at him, accusing him of caring about his reputation more than her. He slaps her and Jennifer runs out of the office. She tells MacGyver and Cynthia that her father beat her, and beat her mother up until the night that she died in the car accident. Jennifer runs out while Reiner tries to explain that it’s just a misunderstanding. By the time they get outside, Jennifer has already caught a taxi. MacGyver figures that she’s going back to Snakeskin. When Reiner hears that his daughter has been hooking, he becomes furious. MacGyver goes to find Jennifer and Cynthia tells Reiner that he needs to get help for his sake and his daughter’s. Once she goes back inside, Reiner calls his station and gets Snakeskin’s address, and then leaves with a gun in hand.



Jennifer goes back to Snakeskin’s and MacGyver arrives in time to see her go inside. Snakeskin fakes loving and takes her side against her father. He takes some of Kandy’s heroin, kicks Kandy out, and prepares to get Jennifer hooked.



Outside, MacGyver pays a bag lady $20 for her coat and hat, and to create a diversion. He approaches the house, disguised, while the bag lady slams her cart into Snakeskin’s cart, drawing Sammy’s attention. MacGyver goes upstairs and runs into Kandy, who warns him that Jennifer is in danger. He goes out onto the fire escape and climbs to Snakeskin’s bedroom window.



On the street, Reiner arrives and disarms Sammy, and then forces him to tell where Snakeskin and Jennifer are.



MacGyver tries to get the window open while Sammy calls Snakeskin to warn him Reiner is on his way. Furious that Jennifer didn’t tell him her father was a cop, Snakeskin goes to the bedroom to get his gun. MacGyver is forced to duck back, almost falling off the fire escape. Once Snakeskin is back in the living room, MacGyver climbs in but knocks over a lamp. Snakeskin hears him but Reiner fires through the door. The pimp grabs Jennifer as a shield and tries to go out the fire escape, but MacGyver disarms him and knocks him out. Reiner breaks in through the door, ready to kill Snakeskin for corrupting his daughter. Jennifer begs him not to and says he’s the one who forced her to become a prostitute. Reiner stops, shocked, while MacGyver embraces a sobbing Jennifer.



Later, Jennifer is playing basketball with the other kids at the Club. Cynthia informs MacGyver that Reiner is seeing a counselor for his emotional and psychological issues. He’ll get to meet with Jennifer under supervised conditions. Jennifer has also been seeing a counselor and has accepted that she wasn’t responsible for her mother’s death. Jennifer talks to MacGyver, and says that she’s got him figured out. She figures that every time he helps someone, he’s trying to save his father and grandparents, or get back to his mother to say one last goodbye. MacGyver admits that she might be right and Jennifer gives him a goodbye kiss.
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