MacGyver: Awl – Body Bags (Review)

Lucas Till as MacGyver

It is somewhat fitting that the first “adventure” that MacGyver and Jack experience in “Awl” has them utilizing body bags as portable air bags. At the rate that ratings are falling for the show, it seems somewhat prophetic.

The drop may well be due to the fact that this has all been done before. Most recently the voice-over “let me explain what I’m doing” format was done in FOX’s Burn Notice. Plus, that show had  none of those annoying as hell subtitles explaining what every item was.

Although to be fair there were less subtitles in use in this episode.  There was a explanatory one for the body bag and not for the fire extinguisher.  Well done. (Admittedly the whole body bag thing was pretty cool.)

Lucas Till is slowly filling the shoes of Richard Dean Anderson, the original MacGyver, but the show is letting the side down in terms of plot and storyline.

The whole Dalton talking to his dead dad is beyond cliché but at least it is his father and not his wife which would have been unforgivable.   There is also the issue with Nikki’s hair.  She is an ex-con computer hacker extraordinaire and to show her rebellious side they give her clown hair.

Come on chaps.

This week in MacGyver the target of the mission is Ralph.  The role is one that Jonah Hill could play in his sleep and it has all been done before. In fact had this series come out around 10 years ago, Hill would have played Ralph.

Their target, aka Ralph,  is the money man for a group of terrorists who are called D-77.  After Mac and Dalton grab Ralph, a sniper shoots him in the chest pinning them down outside his house.

The sniper appears to have gotten incredibly lucky putting a bullet in Ralph as he clearly cannot hit the side of a barn.  The round nicks Ralph’s lung and MacGyver does some emergency triage on their target.  Later he performs impromptu surgery with the help of a local Malaysian doctor.

“Awl” is amusing but once again, it feels out of place on a Friday night. The level of violence and the storylines would feel more at place on a Saturday morning.

There are some fairly impressive creations in the episode, Mac’ construction of a smoke bomb from a car headrest is eye catching, although not was good as the body bag stunt.  Perhaps the highlight was the windscreen wiper pump that sucked blood out of Ralph’s chest.

Later Mac makes gas mask’s out of plastic bottles and bicycle tire. He also mentions that the gas powering your air conditioner can kill you after knocking you out in under two minutes.

The impromptu inventions of MacGyver have always been the backbone of the show; old and new. These work well and Till has a voice made for narration, or voice-over if you prefer. This part of the show works well enough, but once again, it has been done before.

It is all too easy to see this new MacGyver as “MacGyver Light.” Or, like the multicolor breakfast cereal Trix, this show is really meant for children.

In other words, “Silly CBS, MacGyver is for kids.”

MacGyver airs Fridays on CBS.  Tune in for a look and see what you think.


Guest starring  Oliver Cooper as Ralph

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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"I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."

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