Season 3 Episode 19

The Endangered

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM May 02, 1988 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
52 votes

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Episode Summary

After a brush with death, MacGyver visits an ex-girlfriend, Karen, who works as a park ranger at a national park and tries to rekindle their relationship. However, when they fail to stop three poachers, MacGyver and a wounded Karen are soon on the run as the men try to eliminate any witnesses.moreless

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  • More hijinks in the woods of Vancouver....more former girlfriends resurfacing in MacGyver's life...and more quality MacGyver fare in the show's element.

    MacGyver was riding pretty high late in the third season, finishing a strong second place in its time slot every week and scoring some of its best overall rankings in the weekly Nielsens chart that it ever accomplished (it routinely finished in the top-30 in the spring of 1988). Quality material as was seen in this episode certainly played a role in the success. I always thought it was kind of sloppy on the part of the writers to keep introducing these "old girlfriends", nearly all of whom were allegedly so close to being "the one" for Mac, but Karen was given enough of a personality and strong enough dialogue to help me overcome my misgivings. The cat-and-mouse through the woods with the experienced game hunters always entertained, and the poachers themselves were each memorable in their own way without spiraling into cartoonishness. MacGyver had alot of emotional disappointments in the third season, and turning the wounded Karen over to the waiting arms of Sam at the episode's end certainly stood out as one of the biggest heartbreaks. I always enjoyed this episode, but it never stood out as one my all-time favorites. It's interesting to hear from so many others who do consider it to be one of the series' best.moreless
  • Mac is unlucky in love, but in his fumbling attempts to rekindle an old flame, he manages to fell some deadly poachers who are a hunting in a national park.

    "The Endangered" is another example of MacGyver at his best (or worst) with the ladies. After a close-call on assignment, MacGyver begins to re-examine some of his major life decisions, such as (apparently) dumping his former girlfriend Karen when she so much as hints at the possibility of commitment. Having both been tree huggers, MacGyver went off to do his MacGyver thing and Karen (naturally?) became a park ranger. In an attempt to rekindle an old flame, MacGyver flies off to see her, not knowing she has replaced him with another.

    What ensues is a lot of whimsical, melancholy looks in his old girlfriend's direction, some poachers killing a bear on park property, and a lot of MacGyver antics as they escape some crazy hunter. With Karen wounded, Mulder basically lugs her through the woods and fells the criminals one by one, using a variety of survivalist and MacGyver-ish skills. The episode ends bittersweet, as Karen falls back into the arms of her boyfriend and MacGyver is left with egg on his face--business as usual for Mac in the relationship department. While MacGyver is they’re either would-be assassins, jilted former loves or simply unattainable women who realized long ago that MacGygver has a lot of growing up to do.


Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (15)

    • MacGyver: We had a thing for each other in college, but after a couple of years together, she was ready for something a little more permanent… I wasn't. So, I kept on moving, and she put on the badge of a park ranger.

    • MacGyver: When things get tough, sometimes I turn to a friend. Other times I just want to hide in the mountains. This time I found myself doing both.

    • Karen: Well, well, well. MacGyver. You sure don't give a girl much notice.
      MacGyver: Think I'd give you a chance to say no?

    • Karen: Now I know why we never said goodbye—too damn hard.
      MacGyver: Let's not.

    • Karen: Thanks, MacGyver. I said a lot of things. I—
      MacGyver: You don't have to explain anything. I know how you feel.
      Karen: No, you don't.

    • Karen: You sure know how to show a girl a good time. Just like always.

    • MacGyver: There's a fine line in nature that divides the hunter from the hunted. The trick was to turn the situation around. The tools I had available were nature, Karen's coat, and the tranquilizer darts in her backpack. The first thing I had to do was to give them something to shoot at that wasn't me.

    • MacGyver: How much further to the cabin?
      Karen: As the crow flies, about a mile. As the wounded walk... we're going to have to take the long way. I'm in no shape for hill-climbing.

    • MacGyver: I'd flown a thousand miles to work out some of my own problems, and I ended up hurting Karen. I didn't mean to, but it happened. I figured one way to make it up to her was to get positive identification on these poachers.

    • MacGyver: Yeah, I wanted to be a ranger.
      Karen: You wanted to be a ranger. You wanted to be a pilot. You wanted to go to Africa! And every time I agreed and tried to be part of it? You changed your mind.

    • Karen: You've always been to one that spins my head around. All through college, all that camping and independence stuff you drilled into my head, until it stuck - and then you changed your mind.

    • Karen: You and I closed the book a long time ago. The only reason you came here is because that close call made your life flash before your eyes, and my picture just happened to come up.
      MacGyver: I wouldn't have come at all... if you'd told me about Sam.
      Karen: I guess that I just needed to see you again to know it was really over.

    • Karen: Sam knows you're here. I told him everything... I also told him not to worry. That you're just a friend now, and you've had a rough time, and you're just looking for a vacation. Am I right?
      MacGyver: Well, yeah. Sure. Of course.

    • MacGyver: You know how to tell the difference between a black bear and a grizzly?
      Karen: How?
      MacGyver: Climb a tree. If it follows you up, it's a black bear...
      Karen: If it knocks the tree down, it's a grizzly.
      MacGyver: Yeah.
      Karen: That's an old joke.
      MacGyver: From an old boyfriend.

    • Karen: You look good, MacGyver.
      MacGyver: You think so?
      Karen: Always did.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Though credited, Dana Elcar does not appear in this episode.

    • The German episode title is "Wilderer auf Menschenjagd", meaning "Poachers on a Manhunt". The Finnish episode title is "Vaara Vaanii", meaning "Chased by Danger". The French episode title is "Vacances dangereuses", meaning "Dangerous Vacation". The Italian episode title is "Un vecchio amore", meaning "An Old Love".