As I commented on my review of the previous episode, ('The Gauntlet'), I had noticed a pattern of bad / good / bad / good with these very early episodes. Well, I'm delighted to find that, after liking 'The Gauntlet', that 'The Heist' breaks the pattern, and is another top-notch episode!
As my reviews for previous episodes of the series cover, 'MacGyver' was one of the very few 1980s action-adventure shows that I wasn't in on "first time 'round". It is only now that I am watching the series for the first time, on DVD. As such, after a couple of shaky early instalments, about this point with great episodes such as this, I am finally starting to get the real flavour of the show, and loving it.
The episode is directed by "Alan Smythee" – a pseudonym famously used by writers / directors who don't want their name used on the final product. I can only assume that whoever did direct it wasn't very pleased with it, which is surprising, because I found this to be one of the very best 'MacGyver' episodes I've watched thus far.
There is no Opening Gambit to this one, which is fine, as it gives more time over to the main story.
I really like the plot of this one – it shows Mac to be at his most ingenious, and I really enjoyed watching his various jury-rigs and creations (I love the thread-and-paperclip trick used to unzip a woman's dress as a distraction).
There were only a few points that didn't quite work – most notably, Mac recreating villain Catlin's security lock which unlocks with four certain audio pitches, using glasses of wine (this element of the story was the only thing that didn't really work for me), but on the whole, a top-notch tale, with an impressive finale, of the car on the parachute.
All-in-all, I really enjoyed this one. A couple of minor niggles aside, this is a great episode; I give it 9.5.
(BTW, another reviewer comments on a similar February 1985 episode of 'The A-Team'. I'm a huge 'A-Team' fan, I even run my own detailed website on it(shameless plug; see my profile for more), but I cannot think of an episode from this time that was similar. It is possibly the third season's 'Waste 'Em!', but the single comparison there is a similar ploy covering the lens of a security camera; I wonder if they are actually thinking of the late fifth season episode 'The Spy Who Mugged Me', which is also set in a casino like this episode?)