Season 1 Episode 19

Slow Death

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Apr 02, 1986 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
77 votes
  • An episode that could have been a classic got off to a great start but ran out of steam.

    Here was an episode that looked great in the previews, started great, but ultimately didn't deliver. The wildly adventurous plotline and killer production values helped launch "Slow Death" out of the gate at top speed, but particularly in the episode's second half, got bogged down by endless inconsequential dialogue from marginal secondary characters played by bad actors. Particularly unworthy was Diana's snooty mother and young couple Andy and Laura. If there was any effort at all by scriptwriter Stephen Kandel to present an aura of suspicion around the various train passengers, it wasn't evident as most of the passengers seemed incapable of harming a fly save for the limited few who ended up being the guilty parties (and one of the two villains was the train conductor who we didn't even see up until the very end). This was the stage of MacGyver's first season where ratings really started to perk up, even landing in the top-20 in a few weeks in late March and early April, but at least with the episode, my opinion is that some stellar production efforts were wasted on a weak script. It seems like so much more could have been done with the story if they made it a genuine mystery to identify the poison peddlers as they did with the escaped cons in the fourth season's "Invisible Killer".
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