Season 6 Episode 20

Trail of Tears

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Apr 26, 1991 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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  • A decent exploration of ancient Native American lore, but hampered by some slow pacing.

    Even though I never really did quite understand the logistics of Bitter Flats and the power lines proposed to be installed, the dynamic of the treaty violation and the secret of Johnson's company hiding the evidence was very well done. Whitecloud's vision-induced transformation from an atheist lawyer to a spirit-driven warrior was also an interesting plot dynamic, leading to some intriguing dialogue with MacGyver during their journey through the woods (the last episode in which the Vancouver woods would be utilized with the series moving back to LA in season seven) following the bombing of Johnson's storage facility. It was a pretty good idea to subject MacGyver to a close variation of Whitecloud's dream involving Standing Wolf and the consequences of putting up power lines on the reservation, but those scenes moved a little too slowly for me and threw the entire episode's pacing off a bit. I'm also a little skeptical about mystical/supernatural phenomena on a non-science fiction show like MacGyver. The closing scenes at the power plant were the weakest parts of the episode, save for the final scene where Whitecloud uses his bow and arrow to "count coup" on Johnson. But the variation on "locking MacGyver up in a storage room for a few hours before we kill him" silliness and the ridiculous timing mechanism on Whitecloud's explosive device were not particularly effective. Overall though, Lincoln Kibbee had a pretty solid script and operated in subject matter that hadn't been done on the series before, save for the less specific treatment of Native American legend in "Mask of the Wolf".