Friday, September 13, 2013

#134: The Lost Amadeus


Season: 5

Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
Lulu, an energetic and somewhat dim-witted woman, meets MacGyver when she hits his bicycle with her car.  Her friend, Izzy, is a famous violinist who has just obtained a Stradivarius violin called “The Amadeus” that is believed to have belonged to Mozart.  Izzy is kidnapped by crooks who demand the violin in return for his release, but MacGyver and Lulu foil their plans and save Izzy and the Amadeus.  

Memorable Quote:
"It sounds like you’ve been in a few of these scrapes before."  ~Lulu
"Uh, yeah, one or two."  ~MacGyver

Highlight: 
Not much to choose from here.  I’ll go with MacGyver’s slow motion diving catch of the violin as it falls to the ground.   

Lowlight: 
A lot to choose from here, but the choice is easy – it’s the kiss that almost was.  This gives me the shivers just thinking about it.  Let’s set the scene.  Lulu and MacGyver are at a 1920’s Prohibition-themed costumed party waiting for the crooks to arrive.  As they are dancing, they have the following conversation:

MacGyver: "Nervous?"
Lulu: "Yeah."
MacGyver: "Well I wouldn’t worry, we’ll get Izzy back." 
Lulu: "Oh I know.  That’s not what I’m nervous about," as she longingly looks at MacGyver.

Ugh.  This is followed by MacGyver sporting the goofiest of smiles and then closing his eyes and slowly moving in for a kiss.  Thankfully, mercifully, the bad guys come just in time to ruin the moment.
 
Now let me be clear, I’m not like those ladies who would write letters to the show demanding MacGyver stay single whenever a love interest came along.  There are a few women who I would have liked to see MacGyver end up with, but crazy Lulu is not one of them.  That MacGyver would even think about a romantic kiss with Lulu is shocking, depressing, and evident of a low point for our hero.  All women love you, MacGyver, so you have plenty to choose from - please be more selective next time!  

Best MacGyverism: 
Again, not much to choose from here.  The only bit of creativity MacGyver shows is when he and Izzy are tied up in a music room.  MacGyver kicks a burning candle into a trash bin which increases the flame and sets off a CO2 extinguisher that gasses out the bad guy.  

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • During the opening scene’s bike ride, there are large mountains in the background.  I love the many moments in the series when we see things like mountains, fir trees, and snow but are still pretending it's L.A.    
  • This is our first trip to season 5, and wow, the hair is really long.  People often say MacGyver has a mullet, and I think it’s a bit of a myth.  But in this episode?  A legitimate, full-fledged mullet.  My wife was in the room for part of the episode and called it "a shiver me timbers mullet."
  • As Lulu is driving, there are a few shots where the rear windshield is bright white.  Perhaps while shooting there was a conversation like this:
    • Producer 1: "What fake background should we go with this time?"
    • Producer 2: "Oh forget it, let’s just make the backround bright white!"
  • MacGyver and Lulu get to the pawn shop and find that it’s closed.  MacGyver notices the shop’s door has an emergency number and walks down the street to find a pay phone.  Now I’m no pawn shop expert, but do they usually have emergency numbers?
  • Lulu and MacGyver enter Izzy’s home and find the crooks already there demanding the Amadeus.  "Fork it over," Tubbs says with a gun.  Lulu responds, "No I don’t trust you.  I’ll bring it, but not here.  Somewhere public where there’s a lot of people around."  Tubbs agrees, because why take the violin now when you could wait until later AND do it where there are a lot of people around?
  • "If this is real, Izzy found a 300 year old Stradivarius in a flea market," Lulu says as MacGyver examines the certificate of origin verifying the authenticity of the violin.  If the sellers at the flea market had the certificate of origin and knew what it was, why would they sell it at a flea market?
  • I like when Lulu starts playing the violin and the 5 homeless people instantly appear from out of nowhere to listen.
  • This bit of dialogue is quick but also fascinating.  "Have you ever been in love?  I mean, really in love?" Lulu asks MacGyver as they ride up an escalator.  "Yeah, once," he responds.  The conversation quickly fizzles from there, but that’s a really interesting comment.  We know MacGyver has had numerous love interests and old flames.  Who was he talking about here?  I have an idea, but I’ll wait to share it until we get to that episode. 
  • "That’s your first name?" Lulu asks while looking at MacGyver's photo ID.  "Yeah so?" MacGyver responds.  "So I think I’ll call you MacGyver," Lulu says.  Is this the first time we know for sure that MacGyver is not his first name?  And that it’s a weird name?
  • MacGyver and Lulu are handcuffed together, and Lulu steals a key from the mall cop which unlocks the handcuffs that belonged to the crooks.  Plot hole alert!
  • If you found a priceless violin, why would you have it shipped in freight?  Wouldn’t you carry it around with you 24/7?
  • "Take another step and this thing is wood chips," Tubbs says as he is climbs the wall and holds the violin over the edge.  After all that, he’d just let the violin go?

Final Analysis:
This episode is really bad.  The plot holes notwithstanding, I don’t like the slapstick element, and nothing is more demeaning to MacGyver than matching wits with totally incompetent bad guys and falling for unappealing women.  In Season 1 he’s so full of brashness and vigor.  Now he’s at possibly his lowest point ever.  Fortunately for the MacGyver Project, there are much better days ahead!  Next up is #133 and a trip to my favorite season (#3), for a rare Season 3 dud.

16 comments:

  1. I agree with your assessment about incompetent bad guys. MacGyver doesn't need to resort to clever tactics if the bad guys aren't that smart.

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  2. Yeah there's no shortage of dopey villains in these weaker episodes!

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  3. And again we're on the same wavelength here as the episode was annoying throughout, even beyond the presence of scatterbrained Lulu. This series' need to keep MacGyver surrounded by bubbleheaded women characters was an insult to MacGyver and to women in general. This one ranked #129 for me.

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  4. Not the best episode, as you have discussed. The villains weren't very threatening and the action in the Speakeasy club was poorly done especially Tubbs trying to shoot Mac and then running out of bullets and suddenly climbing the fountain thing! Really?! Lulu was a crazy whirlwind and although I didn't like the inklings of romance thrown in, she did give an energy to the episode that it would have lacked with a more stable character! The actress who played her was also in two early episodes of Stargate, as was the actor who played Wilt. That brings me to something puzzling; why was Wilt introduced as a 'real' character and friend of Mac when his first appearance was in the dream episode Serenity as an enemy? Am I missing something?

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  5. Wilt appeared to be a neighbour at MacGyver's houseboat marina, which we don't get to see (or know of) until now.

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  6. I have only seen this once and I am in no rush to see it a third time. The first half of this is an absolute train wreck, but the second half is pretty redeeming, and I did feel some warm fuzzies there.

    Lulu is extremely obnoxious and not even attractive. She is Penny Parker times a million. Is this character even remotely realistic. Ugh, she is awful. I would rather spend time with Rachel from Prometheus and Cindy Finnegan from Obsessed.

    This one did solve some lost memories I had. I was thinking the other day about a scene that took place upstairs in a shop. I wondered if it was even MacGyver. I thought it was a jewelry shop and involved the East Bloc, but apparently not. I think this one is it. Herb Edelman is always good for absurd chuckles. Is he related to Randy?

    I dare say that this may be at the bottom of my list. Honest Abe is way better and the Mountain of Youth is at least a few slots up. Not many left to watch again before I can start my list!

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  7. I may be the only one who doesn't hate this episode.

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    1. "Highlander_II says I may be the only one who doesn't hate this episode."

      No you are not the only one. I like this episode.

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  8. Please, who played that awesome violin in reality

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  9. "Now let me be clear, I’m not like those ladies who would write letters to the show demanding MacGyver stay single whenever a love interest came along."

    ROFL!

    "There are a few women who I would have liked to see MacGyver end up with, but crazy Lulu is not one of them."

    And which women would you have liked to have seen end up with Macgyver?

    "As Lulu is driving, there are a few shots where the rear windshield is bright white. Perhaps while shooting there was a conversation like this:

    Producer 1: "What fake background should we go with this time?"
    Producer 2: "Oh forget it, let’s just make the backround bright white!"

    Hahahaha brilliant! :)

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    1. I'd say either Kate Connelly or Karen the forest ranger!

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    2. "Nicholas Sweedo says I'd say either Kate Connelly or Karen the forest ranger!"

      Hmmm I would say Kate the photographer.. The mother of his son Sam. :) When they showed the picture of the two of them, they did look cute together. :)

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    3. Kate Malloy - the photography/photojournalist - is also pretty badass. SHe was hanging out in 'red' China w/ a freaking kid and kept them both safe until she was shot.

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    4. "Highlander_II says Kate Malloy - the photography/photojournalist - is also pretty badass. SHe was hanging out in 'red' China w/ a freaking kid and kept them both safe until she was shot."

      Yeah!!! As bad asses go! I say she is right up there! :)

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  10. I think the role of Lulu in this episode was originally written as Penny Parker. I could just imagine Penny coming to her 'big brother' MacGyver about this violin and friend of hers 'Izzy' that has gotten in trouble. The '30's/'40's speakeasy could be something that Penny has come across while trying to get her acting career started. The rest of the episode follows the standard MacGyver formula/theme

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  11. I somehow tolerate this episode, but it is still quite despicable. I have it at 129 on my MacGyver episode rankings (still in the makings).

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