Season 5 Episode 10

Two Times Trouble

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Dec 11, 1989 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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  • Season five's darkest episode manages to overcome its logistical leaps of faith with a haunting and unpredictable mystery.

    I must confess that I didn't like this episode at all when I first watched it. Nor did most of my MacGyver-watching buddies back in seventh grade. But when I watched it again over summer reruns, and subsequently afterward, I found myself appreciating its thematic darkness and generally strong craftsmanship. Furthermore, a plotline that I considered delusional beyond belief now strikes me as far more credible having watched a relative lapse into mental illness and assuming the same sort of role-playing issues. "Two Times Trouble" begins with a wacky trip down 1989 Memory Lane in the form of an anti-drug rock video featuring big hair, bright clothes, and synthesizer music. The Roxie/Carla dynamic unfolded cleverly and mysteriously from the get-go, quickly generating the white knuckle suspense of the penthouse elevator scene, and taking on a new dimension of darkness with the look of unhinged evil on Carla's face when she tossed Rogan off the penthouse balcony. And as if those paintings of Roxie and Carla rock climbing weren't creepy enough, perhaps the creepiest moment in MacGyver's entire run was the scene where "Roxie" is running through the studio believing she's just seen Carla, but sees herself in the mirror triggering back all those haunting memories and a mini-breakdown. The breadth of Carla's subterfuge was finally revealed in the equally creepy final scene with MacGyver approaching her (and ultimately getting shanghaied). It was hands-down the best script even written by otherwise mediocre freelance scriptwriter Robert Sherman.

    The layering of the story was not without flaws though, as Roxie/Carla's changes of hairstyles and homes were far too sudden to be believed....and it strikes me as highly unlikely that it would have taken Pete and MacGyver aa long as it did, when talking to the doctor from Pine Valley Hospital, to discern that Carla was the patient and not Roxie. But there was no way to pull off this storyline without a couple such sleights-of-hand. I've found myself really coming to enjoy this episode over the years, which I would have never suspected when I first watched it. My conversations with other MacGyver fans suggest they felt a similar dynamic.