Season 4 Episode 3

The Outsiders

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Nov 28, 1988 on ABC

Episode Recap

MacGyver is driving through Pennsylvania after a grueling week at a space simulator testing laboratory. Playing nearby are two children: an Amish boy, Jacob Miller, and a local girl, Christy Wrightman. The tire on MacGyver's Jeep blows out and the vehicle goes off the road. He jumps off just in time but is injured in the crash. The children come to investigate and Jacob goes to get his father. Christy takes a dose of asthma medicine from her rebreather while Jacob says they should get his grandfather to help. He tells Christy they can't be seen together and leaves.

MacGyver wakes up at a home in the local Amish community. Jacob's mother, Elizabeth, is treating his injuries. MacGyver thanks her, Jacob, and the girl that he saw at the crash. Elizabeth thinks he's hallucinating since Jacob doesn't know any young girls.

Outside, the foreman of a construction crew, Stevens, is telling Jacob's grandfather John that the government owns their land and they have to leave. John insists it's their land and they're not moving. He goes back to other Amish men, who are building a derrick for a well. Stevens goes to the construction company to tells his boss Wrightman, Christy's father, that the Amish aren't moving. Wrightman tells Christy to go home while he goes to the Amish community to deal with the situation.

An increasingly angry Stevens yanks off John's hat and throws it on the ground. One of the Amish men, the tall and muscular Will, intervenes and Stevens tries to attack him. Will easily holds him helpless until John tells him to stop. Stevens insists that they have to get the interchange built, the government now owns the land, and the local town needs the business. He attacks the derrick with an axe and Jacob throws a baseball at him. Stevens comes at him just as MacGyver stumbles out. He gets Stevens to back down and Wrightman arrives to hold off his men. Wrightman apologizes but insists that the government took the land under imminent domain, and the town needs the money. The only other route would be through marshland that would triple the project's cost. John refuses to accept the decision, and Wrightman warns him that if the Amish are still there in two days, he'll call in the state troopers.

Elizabeth gets MacGyver back to the house, and he tries to convince her to fight back. She explains that they have nowhere else to go and no experience with fighting in court.

Wrightman warns Stevens and the other workers to stay away from the Amish and let the state troopers do their job. . Stevens is desperate for money and warns that he'll lose his house if they don't get the interchange built. He tries to get the other workers to organize with him. Disgusted, they refuse. The foreman heads over to the explosives shack.

The next day, the Amish bring MacGyver's jeep in while Elizabeth thanks MacGyver for talking to Jacob about hitting Stevens with the baseball. She admits that with her husband dead, it's been hard. John abruptly tells MacGyver to get it fixed and leaves. Elizabeth apologizes for her father-in-law but insists he's a good man at heart. MacGyver asks if Will can help but she explains that everyone is shunning him because he ran off to the city for two months. She admits that doing so is hard, particularly since he's her brother.

Jacob and Christy secretly meet again. Christy's worried that Jacob will move away and she'll lose her best friend. They promise to always be there for each other.

MacGyver works on the jeep and discovers it'll take another day of work. John gruffly invites him to supper. Later, MacGyver plays catch with Jacob and misses one of the boy's throws. He calls to Will to toss him the ball and everyone turns his back on the young man. Will drops the ball and goes back to work while Elizabeth, upset, goes into the house.

That night, MacGyver has dinner with the Millers while Stevens slips onto the farm and plants explosives on the derricks. He blows it up and runs away while MacGyver and the others go outside. The next morning, MacGyver goes to see Wrightman. When Wrightman realizes he and Stevens are the only two people with the keys to the explosives shack, he punches Wrightman and fires him. MacGyver assures Wrightman that the Millers won't press charges. However, Wrightman plans to file charges against Stevens for theft of explosives. He warns MacGyver that Stevens' actions don't change anything and he'll still be there with the state troopers.'

The construction crew arrives on time and Wrightman talks to John. He offers to pay for the damages, but the Amish elder points out that he was going to tear down the derrick anyway. The state troopers order the community to leave but they join hands, with MacGyver joining them. Christy sneaks onto the farm to watch them. The state troopers call in a bus to arrest the entire community and tell Wrightman to go ahead. He sends in a bulldozer and Christy jumps in front of it to protect her friend. She pleads with her father to stop, and backs up over the well shaft. The ground gives way beneath her and she plummets partway down before her arms are pinned. MacGyver has everyone back away and uses a digging crane to get an overhead view without disturbing the ground further. He comes up with a plan and has Wrightman start digging a parallel shaft. Once they're deep enough, they'll run a tunnel over to the well and get Christy out.

The Amish offer their help, and the two communities work together. However, when the earth starts to crumble again they're forced to stop. Christy has an asthma attack, and Jacob admits he knows her condition. Elizabeth is shocked that her son is playing with an outsider, but agrees when Jacob volunteers to take Christy her medicine. They lower him from the digging crane and he gets the rebreather to her friend. However, when they start to bring him up, Jacob unties the rope and stays with his friend.

Everyone works through the night, and John gives Will permission to help. The work teams start digging a horizontal shaft, but the ground is too soft to continue. MacGyver has them insert hollow barrels to form a tunnel and shore up the dirt. MacGyver goes in and emerges several feet below the two children. With the earth giving way beneath him, MacGyver hangs on and manages to get Christy to lower herself to him. The main support beam starts to give, and Will holds it up single-handedly. MacGyver gets first Christy and then Jacob out and then crawls for the exit himself. He leaps out, taking Will with him, just as the tunnel collapses.

Later, Wrightman visits John and the others and assures them that Christy is fine. He tells John that he'll go to the planning commission and convince them to go with the alternate route. MacGyver promises that the Phoenix Foundation will help with their experience on constructing on marshlands. John promises to help Wrightman convince the planning committee, and the two men shake hands.