MacGyver: Hook – Dog the Bounty Hunter With Pie (Review)

Lucas Till as MacGyverMacGyver  “Hook” takes the Matty and Jack storyline out of backstory status and moves ahead with a reconciliation of sorts. It also gives the team a chance to come up against a familial set of bounty hunters a’la Dog the Bounty Hunter but with buttermilk pie.

The long running problem of new boss Matty and her history with Jack consumes much of the episode. Mac and his shadow Jack are sent to collect an agent who was seen in the custody of a bounty hunter.

They head off to catch the man but find that the agent has been secreted in a bus while the bounty hunter plays pool in a bar. Jack and Mac follow the bounty hunter as he runs with his prisoner. They catch up to him in a cafe run by his mother, Mama Colton.

The family run business, both the cafe and the bounty hunter business, is headed up by Mama who is one part Ma Barker, one part Jesse James’ mum (the Colton’s even have a Frank and Jesse in their midst) but the rest of this pie baking mother is all “Dog.”

Riley and Boze are sent out into the field as a sign of Matty’s disgust at the failure of her two top men to bring the wanted agent in. Jack and Mac end up on the bottom end every time they deal with Mama and her family.

The two newer agents of Phoenix also have a run in with Mama Colton and her brood of bounty hunters but manage to get out pretty much unscathed despite Boze going “off script.” (He calls Riley by a number of pet names that get worse as the conversation continues with the Colton’s.)

Eventually, amidst eating enough buttermilk pie to founder an elephant, Mac and his team retrieve the wanted agent and thwart the Armenian bad buys who want the man, and the Colton’s dead. It does cost Phoenix $4 million but in the end the mission results in Jack and Matty burying the hatchet.

This episode focused on the team and how the friction between two members of the organization threatened their effectiveness. Something similar was taking place in the Colton family business, with Mama’s anger at Billy taking on a job without clearing it with her.

The schism between Billy and Mama allowed Mac and his team an “in” and it allows them to win. MacGyver points out to his friend and teammate that the issues between Matty Webber and Jack leaves them vulnerable. He tells Dalton to sort things out between them and he does.

Later Matty joins her team members in another game of “Truth or Dare” and as she knows all of Jack’s secrets he suggests getting out a bottle of hot sauce as he will be doing dare’s all evening.

“Hook” moved back from shoving the new boss of Phoenix down the audience’s throat and moved to a more comedic line with the bounty hunting family. It had shades of Midnight Run along with that clear homage to “Dog” and it was funny.

The Colton’s were a brilliant addition to the episode and it would be surprising if some sharp-eyed writer or network exec, or even show creator Peter M. Lenkov, do not jump on a spin-off show here.

“Mama the Bounty Hunter,” anyone?

Macgyver airs Fridays on CBS.  The new boss, Matty Webber, is fitting in nicely. Head on over and check this ’80’s homage out and see what you think. Is it catching up to the original?


Guest starring Lance Gross as Billy Colton, Sheryl Lee Ralph as Mama Colton, Javicia Leslie as Jessie Colton and Jermaine Rivers as Frank Colton

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.


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.

Elementary: Over a Barrel – Statute of Limitations (Review)

Elementary logo

An interesting episode this week on Elementary. “Over a Barrel” starts with a bit of backstory. A father; Jack Brunelle, is convinced that his son was murdered. Initially he approaches Joan Watson and we learn that Connor Brunelle was mugged.

Later, we find that the young man became hooked on pain medication which then segued into heroin addiction. This killed the man’s son and he wants Holmes to look into why he was mugged.

Each time, several of which are shown on the show but according to the storyline much more via written correspondence, etc. Holmes has a more pressing case that he cannot abandon to help the upset father.

Finally, with less than 12 hours till the statute of limitations runs out on his son’s murder, Brunelle takes an entire diner hostage. He demands that Holmes find his son’s murderer or he will start killing patrons.

The irate and now desperate father keeps Watson in the diner with him.  Sherlock works with Detective Bell to track events that occurred back in 2012, when Connor Brunelle was attacked. As time runs out, Holmes finds out a number of interesting things.

Connor was gay, and having an affair, but this was not a factor in his death. It is revealed that smuggling in thousands of barrels of Canadian Maple Syrup was behind the mugging and the young Brunelle’s subsequent death. The gang responsible is said to have been disbanded.

On sidenote: This appears to be dig at the outrageous cost of real maple syrup.  In the episode, both Bell and Holmes feel that the barrels may well be full of cocaine. Later, when they track down the missing barrels, and the men who orchestrated the smuggling operation, they learn that syrup never “goes off.” The implication being that one gang is price fixing the cost of what we put on our pancakes and waffles.

The murderer turns out to be a guy who left the country right after Connor Brunelle was attacked. Ironically he goes to Canada. Holmes, who has missed the 12 hour deadline, realizes that Frank Trimble (the man responsible for the lad’s death) can still be charged due to a loophole in the statute of limitations law.

Rather interestingly, after the series plot thread where Shinwell Johnson is “hired” to aid Holmes and Watson in their capacity as consultants to the NYPD, the ex con has disappeared. He is AWOL and provides no help in this case.

This was an interesting storyline. The  best private detective in New York was presented as not being too sympathetic to a more mundane case.  Although to be fair Holmes’ condition would prevent him from reacting enthusiastically to any case.

It was annoying that Brunelle waited till the last possible moment to play his hole card. Forcing Holmes to look into his son’s death with a 12 hour window was fine for “suspense” but unrealistic even for the brilliant Holmes.

Added to this short turn around time was the action of “tying one hand behind Sherlock’s back” with the removal of Joan as assistant. Still, like most episodes in this series, the episode was quirky and interesting.

Elementary airs Sundays on CBS.


Guest starring Isiah Whitlock Jr. as Jack Brunelle, Robert Capron as Mason and  Shuler Hensley as Frank Trimble.

Elementary: Crowned Clown, Downtown Brown – Big Bad Bug (Review)

Elementary logo

Sunday night, regardless of whichever network one landed on, was clown night. The Mick featured a clown and Elementary “Crowned Clown, Downtown Brown” had two. One very much alive and the other was very, very dead. Marcus had a run-in with a different sort of clown, his new girlfriend’s ex, Ray Booker.

Chantal Milner, Marcus’ new flame, is the ADA and she is working on a high profile murder case where the accused, a woman, is claiming self defense. Booker forces a fight with Marcus and then makes a scene in Chantal’s office.

The idea is to have her thrown off the case.

Holmes and Watson have a different sort of case. As two small township safety patrol members chase a clown through the woods, they loose him only to find another very dead one half-buried in the dry forest leaves.

Sherlock and Joan investigate and find that the man in the clown suit stumbled over some nefarious goings on with the NYC water supply. Apparently the dead costumed man caught someone pumping toxic sludge into the water feed.

Later, after some analysis, they discover that the sludge held a “super bug” which would poison all the inhabitants of New York City. Luckily they catch the incident in time and the city’s water is shut off.

As the two consultants chase down the perpetrator, who has fled the country, they learn that the bug was not lethal. It would have, had it gone on to contaminate the water system, given all those who drank it severe diarrhea.

Joan, who is somewhat paranoid about the recent attack, buys a home filtration device that is costly and Holmes is not happy. “I’m not using that to make a cup of tea,” he shouts.

As the show progresses Marcus, with some help from Joan, learns why Ray picked a fight with him and Sherlock works out why the water was contaminated. Initially he believes it was to force the city to build a new water filtration plant.

Later, after the purchase of the home filtration system, Holmes traces the filter in the machine, via the patent number, and finds that Wendell Hecht, the New York City water board head, holds the patent and he stands to make a fortune as the city approved his device as a stopgap measure for the public.

At first Hecht denies this but Special Agent Breslin, who was quite off putting earlier in the episode, joins Joan and Sherlock in the man’s “un-masking.”  Meanwhile, Marcus blackmails Ray Booker into dropping the assault charges and forces him to leave his ex Chantal alone.

The comedy quotient in this episode was filled by Holmes’ purchasing a electronically powered calliope that played circus music at top volume. Joan rips the cord out of the machine much to Sherlock’s annoyance. It was, he explains, helping him to get into a clown state of mind.

Elementary featuring a clown theme at the same time as The Mick was purely, it seems, coincidence. The idea was clearly spawned by all those clown sightings in rural areas near a  wood.  In this episode, the reason for the clown’s presence was advance publicity for an upcoming horror film.

This was one of the cleverer episodes, although it was all too easy to figure out that Hecht was behind the whole thing. The many layers that needed to be pulled back to find the brains behind the water bug attack was, however, interesting.

Elementary airs Sundays on CBS.


Guest starring Chasten Harmon as Chantal Milner, Robert Christopher Riley as Ray Booker, Barry Shabaka Henley as Wendell Hecht and Damian Young as Special Agent Breslin.

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