Saturday, November 19, 2016

MacGyver Reboot -- Episode 9: Chisel

Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
The team heads to Latvia to apprehend the architect of a terrorist organization.  After nabbing him, they are attacked by the terrorists and forced to retreat inside a U.S. embassy.  With no backup coming for 6 hours, MacGyver leads the effort to defend the beseiged facility.

Memorable Quote:
That was bad ass.  You were bad ass.  ~Bozer
I said you could watch but not talk.  ~Thornton

The main plot line for the show (holed up in a U.S. embassy under siege) was an interesting and creative narrative and backdrop.

The Janis character seemed a bit more like a doofus than the head of a powerful terrorist syndicate.  For one thing, he's too cooperative when they're running around with him in the street -- there's a lot of disruptive things that he could be doing, including refusing to move.  Once inside the embassy, it would have been more interesting if he had escaped or taken someone hostage and then they would have had to contend with that too.

Best MacGyverism:
Makes a mini balloon using a plastic bag, clothes hanger, and "jellied fuel".

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • I didn't realize until tonight's episode that MacGyver knew Bozer from when they were kids.
  • A 6 hour response time for an attack on an embassy?  Sad!
  • There's not enough background on the staff for us to know or care about them.  We learn that one guy has a wife who's 8 months pregnant and later we hear the ambassador talking to her daughter on the phone, but the execution is too hasty and melodramatic.  It would been better to have less staff who we get to know over the course of the episode and see in action.
  • What's the point of doing a massive equation to figure out how much paper to use? Just take all the paper you have and use it!
  • Somehow the 30 guys outside turned into 7 trapped inside.

Final Analysis:
Decent episode, and the embassy scenes were reasonably compelling, but once again the story felt rushed and underbaked.  In this case I would have spent the whole episode in the embassy (could have made the "running through the streets with Janis" scene the opening gambit).  The "lukewarm streak" continues.


  1. My husband and I liked this one better than some others. As my husband said, it felt a bit more like MacGyver. I think I like the prison episode and this one the best so far because we got to see MacGyver doing his thing more.


  2. Low Points:
    • Thornton hard lining it with Bozer in the interrogation room.
    • The Embassy is being attacked; the Marines are outnumbered; and Mac and Jack find a quiet moment to discuss Bozer.
    • How many Marines typically guard a USA Embassy? There were only four Marines on duty. Is that normal?
    • Is everyone on this show bad shots? Bullets are flying and no one is injured.
    • When they all left the compound at the Embassy, where were they going?
    Favorite Line: [paraphrasing]
    • Mac to Thornton: “I’d rather quit the Phoenix Foundation than see him [Bozer] treated like this.”
    • Bozer to Thornton: “I go commando on laundry day.”
    • Mac to Jack: “You made a will? All you own are two cars and a Bruce Willis DVD!”
    Paper Clip: Twisting it into handcuffs.
    • Making an exploding spray can with a lighter and fuse. Also warning kids not to try this at home.
    • Learning more about Bozer and Mac’s relationship. During the commentary as Mac was making the balloon/camera in the sky, Mac talks about when they were kids growing up together.
    • Riley does not fall for the terrorist’s scheme to let her live if she helps him escape. She in fact turns the tables and makes him doubt if his team will kill him when they get in to the Embassy.
    • Making a two man phalanx with the doors and body Kevlar vests.
    • Mac picks up the hand grenade and tosses it out the window.
    • Cleaning supplies are always useful when you want to make a bazooka gun using metal tubing and chiseled marble or exploding putty or rearranging furniture with soap to cut down on the friction.
    • Riley delaying the terrorist’s phone call and cutting him off when he went of script.
    Final Comments:
    • Will the Embassy worker name his new child after Mac?
    • So, Bozer will now work for the Phoenix Foundation in the lab. I saw this coming during the last episode. Now he will give up his budding film career. He thinks it will be a ‘chick’ magnet. Then Mac tells him that he can’t tell anyone. Does everybody in the large PF building keep their jobs a secret from family and friends?
    • Nick, the physics equation may not have been necessary. But it is good for students to see how their studies apply to life situations. May physic teachers could explain this equation in class on Monday.
    Project MacGyver Mom

  3. Uff... I still don't really know what to think of this episode or the show in general. As long as I stop considering the reboot as a reboot, but as a TV show inspired by MacGyver, I can actually enjoy a few minutes of each episode every now and then. It's so frustrating to see good ideas never being fleshed out for full potential (e.g. the paper clip art or episode titles). There's so much room for improvement and they're really trying but they just don't get what made the original show so great and unique *sigh*...

  4. At one level I agree with the first "anonymous" poster here that this one had some excitement and felt most like the "MacGyver" than most of the previous eight episodes. My favorite scene was MacGyver and all racing to the gates of the American embassy with the Latvian criminal thugs on their tails. But as your review stated, it still felt half-baked and the resolution of somehow blocking them inside a room with an explosion that conveniently blew open the floor and created a debris barricade in the doorway was too far-fetched for me to fully get behind. I'd love to see an episode of this show that is tightly put together from beginning to end but it isn't happened yet.

    While the Bozer pity party over learning MacGyver's real job absolutely did not need to be relitigated again this week, it's nice to see he'll have a more useful role with his mask-making in the episodes ahead....although I've never been a huge fan of the Scooby Doo mask bit on a live-action show. Meanwhile, they're overcompensating for Reilly's early episode uselessness but making her the "real brains" who has things all figured out for two episodes in a row more reason why the overpopulation of this show undermines the overall concept of the franchise.

    I'd probably rate this as among the top-three so far and feel like it's incrementally moving in the right direction but is still light years from being in the same league as the original. If I was to incorporate the reboot's episodes into the mix with the episodes of the original series, I don't think any of the reboot episodes would crack my top-100 yet. Early concerns about a steady audience erosion have definitely abated at this point though, as this episode got nearly 8.5 million viewers, the largest audience since Episode 2.