Season 3 Episode 8

The Widowmaker

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Nov 16, 1987 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (5)

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out of 10
73 votes
  • Spectacular production values and Murdoc make this one the series' most memorable episodes.

    It's unfortunate that Patricia McPherson couldn't return to reprise her role as Mike from season two's "Jack of Lies", but the new actress was acceptable and, of course, had a very small amount of airtime before the fatal accident. For me, the weakest part of this episode was MacGyver's extended mourning period which was well-acted and consistent with the character's tragic past early on, but ended up spiraling into an unseemly display of self-pity that ultimately seemed out of character for MacGyver. Obviously, things really heated up with Murdoc's arrival, both as a haunting predator in MacGyver's houseboat, as a saboteur of Nikki's truck at the general store, and his ultimate moment of revelation at the cabin. I suppose any number of actors could have effectively pulled off this role, but Michael Des Barres always seemed to have so much fun playing the deranged and eccentric hit man that the energy level went off the charts when he was on-camera. The closing act, featuring MacGyver and Nikki descending the Widowmaker by hand, offered some of the most suspenseful and vertigo-inducing production values in the history of the series, all set to the best jangly scores that Ken Harrison composed during his lengthy tenure with the series. Overall, this was my favorite episode of season three, with Murdoc's humorous freefall demise representing one of the series' most memorable scenes.