Season 5 Episode 9

The Ten Percent Solution

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Nov 20, 1989 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

out of 10
55 votes
  • Evil never forgoten.

    I'll admit this was the first episode where I actually learned about the Hollocost. This show takes a look back at the Hollocost maturely and is one of the rare Macgyver episodes that really takes an unfun turn. It has a well thought out and rather believable plot involving a lost painting which is suspected to be one of the one's stolen from the Nazis. And it's up to Mac with the help of Sam a Hollocost survivior to track down the Neo Nazi's base as well as slow down their master plan of taking over America. The episode tackles the issue of facism and racism. How close it truely hits, it's so powerful it easily spreads like a disease. But most of all it's a way of looking back and remebering the Hollocost. From some historical facts we hear about Hitler's ERR but most of all Sam's heartbreaking narrative of his experiences. It's both chilling and makes your heart bleed, knowing how much was stolen from innocent people and the extent of human tresspasses. In the end (and unfortunately in real life) even though the good guys might have won in the end we know from what was on the map of the master plan they didn't stop anything, because it's a seed of evil that has already grown big and will continue. The whole episode is an important lesson about why we shouldn't let the horror of the Hollocost repeat itself again.
  • A very solidly crafted episode that takes views from Point A to Point B in the most shocking and unorthodox way.

    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.
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