This all new MacGyver is all about family, and not the one where everyone is related by blood. “Scissors” is no exception. Although the team in this iteration of MacGyver do have some familial ties; Jack and Riley have history. This from before the young hacker extraordinaire joined the team.
Episode 11 is, for all intents and purposes, the Christmas special. We can tell because Dean Martin opens and closes the show with songs associated with the season and Boze is preparing the festive meal; home-made pastrami. Riley is not feeling the Yuletide buzz and Boze tries to cheer her up.
Whilst he is in mid-cheering mode, Davis disappears. Soon after, Thornton calls the team together and we all learn that Riley hacked the NSA, sent Chinese nuclear subs on the way to the American West Coast and has gone off the grid.
Jack who dated Riley’s mum “back in the day” never believes that his “honorary” kid committed the crime. Mac immediately thinks of Nikki, via a logical freewheeling thought process that equates to trusted females double crossing him and the team.
Boze is definitely with Team Riley and he is upset to be left out when the truncated team head to Singapore to re-hack the system. Before they head out, Boze helps Mac and Jack to track down Riley and it is revealed that the hack was done to save her mother’s life.
Jack’s old flame, Diane is now back in his life and the memories of his leaving her mother annoys Riley.
As episodes go, this holiday offering worked to mend some bridges that, to be brutally honest, never really seemed to be burnt or in danger of being destroyed. Riley and Jack, for the most part, get on fairly well. There is a certain amount of banter between the two but it has never really felt mean spirited or angry.
They have had their moments but these have been far and few between. In essence, this episode, like the rest of this new series, feels a tad forced. The personal touch seemed to be as manufactured as one of Mac’s little scientific toys.
Although to be fair, the air warning device (two plastic pipes of different diameters set up on a cooling fan) was actually pretty cool. (No pun intended.) Points off for lack of originality have to be awarded though for the automated garrotting machine around Diane’s throat.
A very similar device was used earlier in this season of Quantico and theirs looked a tad more impressive. It was much smaller and the wire actually looked damned tight on the FBI show whereas Diane’s looked quite slack while Mac was cutting the cord…
All the episodeal action takes place in Singapore, or whatever section of Los Angeles could be mocked up for the outside of a Chinese building, and the interiors were obviously on a set somewhere, (The interior looked a lot like the one used in Mr. Robot where a group of FBI agents are slaughtered bar Agent DiPeirro.)
All the nuclear warheads are stopped, except for one that has to be detonated high up in the atmosphere, because, you know, that is so much safer for everyone even though there is still radiation fallout…
It is a case of all’s well that ends well. Riley gives Boze the last two digits of her cell phone number while Jack and Diane seem to be thinking of becoming an item again.
MacGyver is still quite popular with its demographic. The show manages to pull in a hefty 7.7 million viewers on average and that is not including the + 7’s or streaming figures. It is hard to understand why this version is so popular.
The things that made the 1980’s MacGyver (things like Richard Dean Anderson working alone) are missing this time around and while Till may be slowly filling in the shoes of Anderson’s Angus MacGyver the team concept weakens the show.
CBS have given MacGyver the go ahead for a full 22 episode season and presumably will okay the show for another season. We here at Mike’s Film Talk cannot quite understand the allure of this series but clearly there are enough fans to make this one run for a while longer.
MacGyver airs Fridays on CBS.
- Lucas Till – Angus MacGyver
- George Eads – Jack Dalton
- Sandrine Holt – Patricia Thornton
- Tristin Mays – Riley Davis
- Justin Hires – Wilt Bozer
Guest starring Michael Michele as Diane