Season 5 Episode 5

Second Chance

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Oct 16, 1989 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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out of 10
58 votes
  • There was plenty to like about this episode, but the melodrama factor was a little higher than it needed to be.

    Apparently actor Richard Lawson, scheduled to reprise his role as Jesse Colton on "The Black Corsage", took a rain check and instead reprised his role in this episode. The result was a rather sketchy narrative about how MacGyver not only became good friends with the shady bounty hunter from "Ma Dalton", but also knew his brother Frank even before the butted heads on "The Black Corsage". Whatever the case, the story in "Second Chance" was pretty well-constructed, with Jesse learning he has an impoverished and recently-orphaned Amerasian son in Bangkok, and the boy's desperation leads MacGyver to a group of black market bandits operating locally and preying off of local kids. Willie and Jesse were in many ways an unconvincing father and son, but the acting between the two was pretty strong. The multiple layers of over-the-top melodrama, particularly that involving the sweetheart teenage girl in need of a dialysis machine (if she was a boy they could have named her Timmy based on that cliched sob story!). Overall, the episode was pretty well done, with a pretty decent job of recreating the streets of Bangkok, but didn't jump out and grab me the way that most episodes of this series do.
  • MacGyver is in Thailand to help with a Phoenix Foundation clinic; his friend discovers that he has a son, who wants nothing to do with him.

    There are some nice moments in this episode, especially with Jesse Colton. And it is always fun watching Richard Dean Anderson playing the reluctant fighter, when they mix it up with the bad guys on the edge of a boxing ring. (Richard Lawson, as Jesse Colton, has a nice moment, too, opposite a martial-arts fighter.)

    Another of my favorite moments is watching the tenderness that MacGyver shows with Suzie; he winks at her before leaving the room.

    Side note: The Jeep that MacGyver drives in this episode is an old green Army CJ-5--distinctly different from the black Jeep Wrangler he drove in earlier seasons. Notice the round headlights (the Wrangler had square headlights) and the shape of the doorways (with the arc cut out to clear the rear wheel well; the Wrangler had rectangular door openings). Also, in this model of CJ-5, the driver literally sits on top of the gas tank! You can see the cap for the gas tank on the driver side in one of the shots about midway through the episode.
  • a sentimental favorite

    This was the first Macgyver episode I saw back in the day and I remembered it pretty well. Maybe it's because I have a half-Thai friend, the admittedly ham-handed father-son storyline held my interest. Especially their bonding over being rejected and consider an "other" in their own country due to their race.

    Cheesy as the episode was, and the fact that their set looked nothing like Bangkok, it was a good exploration of the profiteering off the 3rd world, the rippling consequences of war and a reminder that international aid is important.