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MacGyver

Season 5 Episode 9

The Ten Percent Solution

2
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Nov 20, 1989 on ABC
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
57 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
When the Phoenix Foundation acquires a painting once possessed by the Nazis, a Holocaust survivor claims it was stolen from his family, and MacGyver's investigation of the matter leads to his discovery of a dangerous Aryan group who still seeks the extermination of Jews.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A very solidly crafted episode that takes views from Point A to Point B in the most shocking and unorthodox way.

    9.1
    Watching this episode as a 12-year-old boy back in 1989, I didn't admire the layered craftsmanship of the story the way I do as an adult, and as a consequence I enjoy this episode more with every viewing. The actor who played Sam (Nehemiah Persoff???) portrayed the role with such effortless brilliance that it hardly even seemed like acting (his response when getting his first glimpse of the abandoned silver mine and feeling a deja vu factor related to Sobibor was priceless), and it lent a degree of authenticity to this episode that is very much needed given the dimension of evil undertaken in the plot. The storytelling is solid throughout, and I really appreciate how everything got started with a simple art auction. I'm kind of surprised that Jewish audiences didn't object to the scene where MacGyver, Sam, and Laura were left to suffocate in a makeshift gas chamber by their sadistically "nostalgic" tormentors, but it worked because it conveyed the depth of evil and ethnic hatred from which these people were operating from. The final scene between "Madam" and Sam could not have been more effective, and capstoned the episode's thematic mainstays perfectly. My only objection to the episode was the very opening scene with the mugging in the park, apparently undertaken by the Nazis themselves. But why? We're they committing the street violence themselves as a means of scaring voters into supporting their cause and voting for anti-crime candidate William Brand? That seems a little far-fetched, and a little too risky for a group sworn to cautious "infiltration before domination". Still, this is a great episode that improves with time and, like so many MacGyver episodes, was worthy of much more acclaim than it ever got from the TV industry.moreless
Nehemiah Persoff

Nehemiah Persoff

Sam Bolinski

Guest Star

Barbara Stock

Barbara Stock

Dr. Laura Sand

Guest Star

Gretchen Wyler

Gretchen Wyler

Madame Brandenburg

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • MacGyver: Quite a painting, huh?
      Laura: Peter Paul Rubens. The hills north of Antwerp. About 1625.
      MacGyver: 1625? I wouldn't give you $15 for it. Sorry.
      Laura: I know where you can get a great deal on a matador painting. On black velvet.
      MacGyver: Now you're talking art.

    • Laura: You know, Rubens painted a lot of Antwerp landscapes, Mr. Bolinski. Are you sure this one is yours?
      Sam: Listen, doctor, this painting used to hang over our fireplace. As a boy, I would stare into it and wonder what was behind that hill, what was beyond those trees. I grew up in this painting, Dr. Sand. It is part of me.

    • Laura: Those are historic documents.
      Madame Brandenburg: And now they're historic ashes.

    • MacGyver: Hi, Pete.
      Pete: MacGyver, you look terrific. You should wear tux more often.
      MacGyver: Strictly camouflage. As long as I have to be here I might as well blend in.

    • Sam: Changing your name, you can do. But changing who you are... this you can never do.

  • NOTES (2)

    • The French episode title is "Un paysage d'Anvers", meaning "A Landscape of Antwerp". The Italian episode title is "La superiorità è assoluta", meaning "Absolute Superiority".

    • Due to themes relating to the Holocaust, this episode is not aired in Germany.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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