Season 3 Episode 13

Thin Ice

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Feb 01, 1988 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
60 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

While back in Minnesota to fill in as coach for a high school hockey team, MacGyver tries to change the attitude of a callous player who has a shot at playing for the pros. But when this kid's ambition lands another player in the hospital, MacGyver must try and find out what or who is pushing him so hard to succeed.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Despite my low expectations, this Olympic-themed hockey episode scored as a character-rich change of pace.

    When I first saw the previews for this hockey-themed episode used as a quasi-promotional ploy for ABC's upcoming broadcast of the 1988 Winter Olympics, I anticipated a disappointingly substandard MacGyver episode that more closely resembled an afterschool special. While the afterschool special tag did sort of stick, the characters and story were nonetheless very engaging and delivered a very healthy change-of-pace episode that I continue to enjoy as a young adult. The extent to which pro hockey scouts celebrated Derek Kirby's brutal play was overblown, but the morality play that said dynamic produced was handled masterfully. The best character of all was Kirby's father, doing whatever it takes to help his son escape the dreary small town body shop existence he would otherwise be forced to endure. The sense of community spirit was also poignantly captured, particularly by coach Turk Donner, excellently played by Martin Milner. I'm a native of Minnesota, but not the part of the state where hockey is a religion. In the northern reaches of the state, where I anticipated this episode to be set, the hockey culture is every bit as intense as portrayed in this episode. The ending was emotional and perhaps a little too "happy", but it's hard to see any other outcome being as satisfying for this engaging episode.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (15)

    • MacGyver: Like most kids growin' up in Minnesota, I could skate before I could walk. So when my old coach sent a call for help, I jumped at the chance to come home and coach his team through the state championship playoffs.

    • MacGyver: You ready for this?
      Donner: Don't worry. Somebody's always got battery cables in case I need a jump start.

    • Derek: It's all I can do, MacGyver. Hockey's in my blood.
      MacGyver: I understand that. Just take the blood out of your hockey.

    • MacGyver: There always seems to be a way to fix things.

    • Walt Kirby: That boy has a gift. God-given talent, MacGyver, that could earn him a good living. And he's throwin' it away. I mean, you're worried about one game; I'm worried about the rest of my son's life.
      MacGyver: The rest of your son's life starts with tonight's game.

    • MacGyver: You know, when something's broken, the easiest thing to do is just throw it away, forget about it. But if you just step back, take a look at what you got, sometimes you find a totally different way of making it work.

    • MacGyver: My injuries were bad enough that I convinced myself that it just wasn't worth it, and I quit. And now every time I lace up my skates and go out on that ice, I've gotta wonder whether I could've made it or not. And you know something, Derek? I'll never find out.

    • Derek: Look, MacGyver, you don't have a clue how I feel.
      MacGyver: I know how you're gonna feel about 10 or 15 years down the line.
      Derek: What is this, another pep talk?
      MacGyver: Trust me, it's no pep talk.

    • MacGyver: So, when the going gets tough, the tough quit. Is that it, Derek?

    • Dr. Warner: Turk, I told you, no hockey. No excitement.
      Donner: Now wait a minute, doc. Are you telling me that I'm getting out of here in a week and I can't even listen to a game on the radio? Cause if that's what you're telling me, you may as well pull the plug right now. Because the first thing I'm going to do when I get out of here is find a hockey game. And I don't care if it's Peewees on a pond.
      Dr. Warner: You are a real big pain, you know that?
      Donner: Of course I know that.
      Dr. Warner: What's the score?
      Donner: We're up by one. Pull up a bed, doc, and sit down.

    • Brett: I didn't haul these Mustang coaches down here to watch you try out for the Ice Capades.
      Derek: Look, we can't win with me in the penalty box.
      Brett: Who cares if you win? You're making a fool out of me—and your old man. Now, I want to see some of the hard-nosed hockey that's gonna prove you're Mustang material.

    • MacGyver: You don't have to bang heads to win.
      Derek: You know what it's like to be chosen from 400 of the best players in the country?
      MacGyver: I wish I did.

    • Walt: At least it's a chance for something better than this! Right?! Let me tell you something, MacGyver... you get in the way of that and, so help me, I'll—
      MacGyver: Don't say it, Mr. Kirby. Please, don't say it.

    • Coach: I see a little bit of me in the kid, but I also see a whole lot of you, MacGyver. He has what you had when I coached you in high school. All he needs is someone to clear a path for him, to show him the way.

    • Donner: (at the hospital) If I was MacGyver, I'd be saying, "Why didn't you follow the play, Kirby? Johnson was wide open!"
      MacGyver: (in the locker room) Why didn't you follow the play, Kirby? Johnson was wide open!

  • NOTES (3)


  • 8:00 pm
    The Bachelorette
  • 10:00 pm
    Mistresses Blurred Lines