Season 1 Episode 22

The Assassin

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM May 07, 1986 on ABC
out of 10
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75 votes

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Episode Summary

Posing as a watchmaker who manufactures bomb timers, MacGyver manages to catch a master killer—Piedra—before he attempts an assassination on a high-profile target. However, Piedra isn't about to be stopped for long.

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  • A masterful episode.

    The last episode of season one is also the best of season one. While most of Macgyver's adversaries were poorly cast, hollow, or just dumb characters (Axminster...), Peidra was a formidable opponent that was able to match Mac in just about every way. The opening scene really gets the episode off on the right with a great sequence in the shop as Peidra uses a kid to disguise his identity. After this the plot takes an interesting twist as Macgyver plays the assassin's role in order to find who is behind the hit. The subplot of Terry also wanting to avenge her sister adds another element Mac must deal with. Some fans may have a problem that Macgyver didn't really invent anything to help him in this episode, but it is so well written and paced I think most can look past it.moreless
  • At adversary worthy of MacGyver's brilliance.

    Writer James Schmerer goes out with a bang. This was my fifth favorite MacGyver episode overall, and the story was brought to life by the presence of elusive ubervillain Peadra, brilliantly played by actor Anthony DeLongis who would appear as another Eurotrash villian in MacGyver's third season. I've heard this episode is derivative of the film "The Jackal", but since I have not seen that film, I will cling to my long-standing belief that this is one of the most clever stories ever told. Reviewer sh811a said he was disappointed with the climactic scene where Peadra was "accidentally" killed via his own poison-tipped needle, but I looked at that as "divine intervention" consistent with the archbishop assassination in Peadra was "crucified" for his sins. That ultimately explains why MacGyver felt at the end that he never really felt as though he had "taken him" even though MacGyver technically got the better of him in the final melee since MacGyver escaped with his life and Peadra didn't. I have no complaints at all with this episode and considered to be an example of the series' best work, laying the groundwork for the Murdoc episodes in the seasons ahead.moreless
  • An assassin is on the loose to assassinate an archbishop. MacGyver is hot on his trail, but how is he going to prove to everybody that he isn't the assassin himself?moreless

    I enjoyed this episode as it involved alot of action and 'MacGyverism'.

    At the start of the episode we see Terri's sister get murdered and she wants to avenge her death. She imposes as a call girl and wants to meet with the last man her sister saw, Mr Smith.

    Meanwhile, Pete and MacGyver are on a job at a Watchmaker's store in L.A. Pete is in the truck out the front and MacGyver is in the store looking for timing devices as the assassin, Piedra is on his way to purchase. MacGyver and Piedra have a good fight in the store and Mac nearly gets killed, if it wasn't for Pete a second to soon. Piedra is now detained and put in jail.

    Piedra is a very good assassin and has many devices on him, as well as weapons. Mr Smith contacts him by an untraceable scrambler phone and tells Piedra where to go to pick up his money and leaves details for the next assassination. Piedra hires call girls to make his pick up, so he doesn't get spotted and then kills them - very smart plan.

    MacGyver is now pretending to be Piedra, to see what he's been up too. Terri though, thinks MacGyver is Piedra and nearly kills him! after MacGyver explains the whole situation.

    Piedra escapes out of jail - his moustache is fake and has two wires in it. He uses these to break out of his handcuffs and then peels a fake scar from his chest. In that scar was poisonous needle, so he takes a pea from his food and a

    paper cup and makes a blowgun - very MacGyver!

    Now Piedra is after the archbishop who is coming to bless people. MacGyver is detained by the local police as they think he is Piedra... eventually he convinces them and they have to rush to the church, to save the archbishop.

    MacGyver dresses up as the archbishop and Piedra notices him from earlier. Piedra blows a poisonous needle at MacGyver, which he ducked and missed, but is standing up on the ground. MacGyver trips Piedra and he lands on his own poisonous needle. MacGyver still doesn't know if he could take him one on one...

    The amount of little gadgets that were exposed in this episode was great. The industrial strength toothpaste, the plastique in the watch, the blowgun dart etc.

    To end the series with this episode though, I don't know... not really a season finale episode.moreless
Anthony De Longis

Anthony De Longis


Guest Star

Richard Yniguez

Richard Yniguez


Guest Star

Don Diamond

Don Diamond

the Archbishop

Guest Star

Dana Elcar

Dana Elcar

Pete Thornton

Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • When MacGyver drives away from the cemetery, he puts his sunglasses on as the car starts. Then, his glasses are gone, and he puts them on a second time.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Pete: Each time a different face, name, ID.
      MacGyver: Guy sounds kind of nervous.

    • MacGyver: I was told you were coming, and problems are my specialty.
      Piedra: That's funny. Mine too.

    • MacGyver: What took you so long?
      Pete: Well, I wanted to see who was gonna win.
      MacGyver: I had him right where I wanted him.

    • Terry: What scares me is, I almost killed you.
      MacGyver: Nah, Terry, if you were that kind of person, you'd have pulled the trigger on me.
      Terry: No, you don't understand. I wanted to hear him beg. I wanted to watch his face as he died.

    • Terry: Don't you trust me?
      MacGyver: I don't trust anybody.

    • MacGyver: Name's MacGyver. I'm on a government assignment taking Piedra's place, he's in custody. Terry, think about it for a second. If I was Piedra, you'd be dead by now wouldn't ya? Piedra is in a cell, believe me he's gone. All wrapped up and stashed away some place, he's history. It's over.

    • MacGyver: We all are going to die. The trick is not to rush it.

    • Pete: You all right?
      MacGyver: Yeah.
      Pete: What happened?
      MacGyver: The wages of sin, I think.

    • Pete: And Piedra's dead, fair enough.
      MacGyver: Yeah, almost.
      Pete: What does that mean?
      MacGyver: Well, it's just that I'll never know for sure.
      Pete: Ohhh.
      Terry: Know what?
      Pete: (laughs) Whether or not he could of taken him.

  • NOTES (1)

    • The German episode title is "Ein Killer mit tausend Gesichtern", meaning "Killer with a Thousand Faces". The Finnish episode title is "Nunnia ja konnia", meaning "Nuns and Villains". The French episode title is "Assassin sous contrat", meaning "Assassin Under Contract".