MacGyver: Magnifying Glass – Zodiac (Review)

Lucas Till as MacGyver

It seems that show creators Peter M. Lenkov, Lee David Zlotoff may just have had an idea about how badly their replacement for Patricia Thornton was going to be received by fans. MacGyver “Magnifying Glass” does not put new boss Matty in jeopardy, but it strives to make us see her more human side. 

A zodiac copycat kills the diminutive leader’s goddaughter and boyfriend. Matty calls on her team to step outside the purview of Phoenix and catch the killer. The group agree and even Jack Dalton steps up smartly to catch the serial killer copycat.

The main problem with this scenario is that we audience do not know Matty well enough to connect with her grief. As bad as it sounds, she is not yet a character that we care about, ergo, all this has been an exercise in futility.

It does not, in any way, prove this new boss to be a solid replacement to Thornton.  She is, ultimately, still unlikeable. When MacGyver, whose trademark is his improvisational skills in the field, helps to solve the case, Matty reluctantly agrees to let him continue.

Thus far the new boss is nothing like the old boss (See what we did there?) and it is not a good fit. The plot line also worked to re-establish the group as a team.

Jack notices that the address they inspect is too perfect after Mac’s remark about the place being too “Leave It to Beaver.” Riley is abducted by the killer just as she is about to crack the code on his emails. Boze helps by known Riley’s password.

Once again those annoying subtitles, or screen titles, were missing. At one point Matty prompts Mac to explain the device he is manufacturing in the abandoned apartments. So far so good…but…

The formula is still not right. The voice overs by Mac are still needed here and the fact that they are missing takes away from the “magic” of MacGyver.

There were other issues with this episode. The beginning of the episode, the prologue piece, has Mac and Boze building a robot. This prompts Jack to go into a mini diatribe about the The Terminator and how robots are bad. Cute and amusing but it was done a few weeks ago on Agents of SHIELD.

Mack and Yo-Yo had a long discussion about the franchise and it was very funny. (One gets the feeling that writers on these shows spend too much time emailing one another about ideas.)

The bad guy, aka the zodiac copycat killer, turned to be the guy they first talked to at the start of the episode.  “Magnifying Glass” worked to show just how well the group are fitting together as a team. It tried too hard to make Matty, the very unpopular replacement for Thornton, more acceptable to the MacGyver fan base.

MacGyver  is still doing well in the ratings stakes but that could well be down to its lack of competition on a Friday night. Rosewood recently made the move from Thursdays to go up against the CBS series.

Tune in and see what you think of this re-imaging of an ’80’s classic and let us know if you like Matty or whether they should bring back Patricia Thornton.


Author: Mike's Film Talk

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

3 thoughts on “MacGyver: Magnifying Glass – Zodiac (Review)”

  1. Huh? I am really enjoying Meredith Eaton on the show. I think she bring something totally different to the table. Sandrine Holt was absolutely boring, like watching paint dry on the wall. At least Maddie Weber has some character, I think she’s a terrific fit.


  2. I’m not really sure where you’re getting your information from, but if you look on social media people are loving Meredith Eaton as the director of Phoenix. I think she’s doing a fantastic job, way better than the old boss. Public is receiving her very well. I’ve always been a fan of hers, and I think she’s taking this role and running with it.


  3. Wow. I don’t know where you’re getting your information from, but the social media network seems to absolutely love Meredith Eaton as the new boss. Thought she did a phenomenal job in this episode, and I’ve loved her from the very beginning. Maybe you should check your sources before you make a broad statement that is just not true.


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