MacGyver: Ruler – Thrown Under the Bus (Review) Spoilers

Lucas Till as MacGyver

As opined in an earlier review, the specter of Patricia Thornton will not rest easy behind bars as she reaches out to endanger the entire team in MacGyver “Ruler.” In this episode, which takes place in “Amsterdam,” Mac and the entire team are in the field when they are thrown under the bus after a bomb they intercept explodes in the town “centrum.”

This is Boze’s first international field mission and it was supposed to be fairly simple and straightforward.  The group are put in jeopardy when the bomb they take from Olivia Prior explodes destroying property in the city. The CCTV footage in Amsterdam show all four operatives and the Dutch intelligence community and the cops are all after the team.

In the field, as the agents fend for themselves, we learn that Jack has an old girlfriend in Amsterdam and that he can speak Dutch and French. Boze can actually make passible prosthetics on the fly and that when the chips are down the “scientist” can be as brave as anyone on the team.

At the start of the episode Boze daydreams about saving the entire team while on assignment. He reluctantly reveals his aspirations to be a field operative to the robot that Mac built. Later, after almost dying in his first assignment, Wilt realizes that he is perfectly happy back in the lab.

This was an interesting episode. The sets all looked Dutch (Mike’s Film Talk would know, we lived there for some time) and the scenes were tightly filmed enough that there were no real “give-aways” as to where the location might actually be.

Apparently The Netherlands has increased their CCTV capability to match the paranoid extent of England’s CCTV coverage. In this storyline it seems that in Amsterdam the cameras are everywhere.  There is a smattering of Dutch spoken by the odd player and Christopher Heyerdahl does a brilliant job with his introductory line, as he enters the control room.

The only complaint about the language is when another actor talks of Schiphol Airport. They do not pronounce it properly. The Dutch basically growl the first part and no one, not even Heyerdahl say the word correctly.

The team manage to turn the tables on Harlan, who is the real bad guy here and escape. Boze tells the robot that he is pleased to be back with the geeks and alls well that ends well.

In terms of humor, this one delivered a number of chuckle worthy moments. Jack’s girlfriend and his previous CIA cover story, “Call me Bryce,” were amusing enough to make Dalton even more fun than usual.

Boze’s impromptu prosthetics, that began to melt off of Mac’s and Riley’s faces in front of the overly hot servers was clearly a nod to Inspector Clouseau  and his melting nose in the 1976 comedy “The Pink Panther Strikes Again.”

Both Mac’s oversized proboscis and Riley’s fake nose begin to fall apart as the two operatives sweat buckets trying to recover incrimination footage that Harlan’s agents covered up. It was an almost perfect moment of strained comedy as the two race to avoid detection.

(Ironically, Boze does save the day just as he did in his daydream by distracting the Dutch cops who are closing in on his two friends.)

While “Ruler” was entertaining it has to be mentioned that the robot, with its “Jarvis” type delivery a’la Iron Man, is annoying. Another one of those “points off for lack of originality” moments. The AI concept with an English butler character as the robotic sidekick has been done before.

MacGyver airs Fridays on CBS. Head on over and catch this one. The new boss, so different from the old one, has well and truly settled in and the team are bonding very well. This re-imaging is well worth a look.

Cast:

Guest starring Christopher Heyerdahl as Harlan Wolff, Svetlana Efremova as Olivia Prior and Deborah Mace as Jenaveev.