MacGyver: Fish Scaler – Call Me Matty (Review)

Lucas Till as MacGyver

After weeks of complaining about those annoying screen titles telling us what every little thing is that MacGyver is using to build his “miracle” devices, “Fish Scaler” drops the “let’s treat the audience like idiots and goes the other direction. They reveal nothing at all.

To be fair Mac only “built” two items in the show last night. A bolo, made from a bit of rope and two bottles of fluid, and a detection device that allowed Mac and his captive, Douglas to hear the SWAT team about to invade their hotel room.

MacGyver did get to show off his intelligence factor by working out where Douglas was hiding out by taking a picture of a bird sketch made by the fugitive. But that is not a “device.”

Overall, the entire premise of MacGyver, past and  present, was ignored. The show’s raison d’etre was left out of the mix almost entirely.


Well, it could be that regardless of the splendid job that Frank Whaley did as the lonely fall guy for the crooked FBI agent, and the fun little bit of weird romance between his character and Ilene Preskin (played by the brilliant Siobhan Fallon Hogan) this episode was all about Matty Webber.

Patriotic Thornton’s replacement (very unpopular with fans of the show) while somewhat diminutive in stature has a big attitude in her dealings with underlings and a long running feud with Jack Dalton.

“Call me Matty” she tells everyone on the team, except Dalton, and they are so intimidated they have problems meeting her request. There are problems with the new boss that has little to do with the actress chosen.

(Some fans do have issue with the decision to cast Meredith Eaton.  This appears to be more to do with her size rather than her ability to act.)

Most are annoyed and puzzled at the removal of a character that was the female equivalent (replacement) of the original MacGyver boss Pete Thornton (played by fan favorite Dana Elcar). Other issues have to do with the fact that, as played by Sandrine Holt Patricia was a kick-arse boss who went into the field and was more than capable when she did so. 

The old boss, besides being one tall and imposing figure, proved precisely why she was the big boss. Matty Webber, on the other hand, despite her history with Dalton has only proven that she is a manager, full stop.

It is hard to imagine this prickly woman, who presumably has a soft center, as an equivalent to Patricia Thornton.  This is an office bound pencil pusher, not an action figure with attitude like her predecessor.

All comparisons aside, this could well be a long and involved plot line in this re-imagining of the ’80’s series. If one looks carefully at Thornton’s face back when those cuffs are being snapped onto her wrists, the Phoenix leader looks a little stunned.

Patricia may have been framed…wait for it…by Nikki. It makes a certain amount of sense. The entire “I’m an undercover agent for the CIA” storyline was a bit too pat.  Looking into the television crystal ball for just a moment one can almost see Thornton busting out of captivity and going all out to prove her innocence.

Truth be told, Matty Webber feels like a short-term character (definitely no pun intended here Meredith…) she seems like filler. A temporary leader with no real backstory, apart from that “mythical” falling out she had with Jack “back in the day.”

MacGyver “Fish Scaler” finished with Boze working out who the crooked Fed was and Matty accepting her least experienced agent as an asset. Douglas will go to prison but he can see his “girlfriend” Ilene on Thursdays. We still do not know why Jack and Matty hate one another though. (And probably never will.)

If there could be one complaint about this episode, leaving Matty Webber out of the equation, it would be the ambivalence with Mac’s creations. A bolo and a desk fan alarm were pretty unimpressive guys and dolls. Let us find  happy medium between the “see Spot run” drill and no explanation at all.

MacGyver airs Fridays on CBS. Stop by and check out Mac’s new boss and see what you think.


Guest starring Frank Whaley as Douglas Bishop, Siobhan Fallon Hogan as Ilene Preskin, Pat Dortch as FBI Director Martin Dryer and Gary Weeks as Agent Brooks.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

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

One thought on “MacGyver: Fish Scaler – Call Me Matty (Review)”

  1. I love the cast change. I honestly saw nothing kick ass about Sandrine Holt or her acting in fact it was painful to watch. Eaton brings color and life and yes a foil for Jack but more than that. She’s smart and one step ahead and although it’s obvious she won’t be a physical dynamo in the field – her mind could be even more valuable when guiding the team. After all the original Thornton wasn’t a physical superhero. In any case, I am very much enjoying Meredith Eaton on the show and look forward to years to come watching her.


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