Man, was this series on a roll in the spring of 1989. I have never seen the film "Shoot to Kill", which this episode is said to be at least nominally derivative of, but I find it hard to imagine that it could be any better than this truly astounding mystery, which handily bests any mystery-themed episode ever produced for the "CSI" franchise in its tightly-layered narrative cohesion. Again, the threat level and intensity, which has been drastically stepped up overall in season four, is admirably high throughout this episode, with the depth of the mystery already taking shape in first few minutes when the campers/Phoenix operatives are introduced to one another. Between vertigo-inducing walks across suspension bridges, poisonberry-laced coffee, and the relentless paranoid glances between characters, this episode is a masterpiece of direction in the capable hands of underutilized director Dana Elcar. And right when the viewer believes they have everything figured out, up comes the shocking revelation that there is a second killer. The closing scenes in the watch tower were on par with the brilliant execution of the mystery that played out most of the hour. This is truly an episode that cannot be viewed enough times and manages to improve with age. And thankfully, audiences were once again around to enjoy the ride, giving MacGyver a season-high 15.5 rating (its largest audience since March 1987), helping him finish 23rd for the week, nipping on the heels of NBC's "ALF" and "The Hogan Family" for first place in the slot and walking all over CBS's new comedies "Live-In" and "Heartland".
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