Thursday, September 26, 2013

#132: Twenty Questions

Season: 6

Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
Lisa Woodman, MacGyver’s teenage friend from previous episodes, falls in with a bad crowd that robs homes and gets Lisa liquored up.  During one of the robberies, Brett the group leader kills a maid, and the police find Lisa passed out at the scene.  Brett later tries to frame Lisa and make it look like a suicide, but MacGyver comes to the rescue and also helps Lisa admit to her alcohol problem.  

Editor’s note – Lisa is played by Mayim Bialik of Blossom fame so I’ll refer to her as “Blossom” for the rest of the post.  Why?  Because it’s a great name.  How come there aren’t more Blossom’s in the world?

Memorable Quote:
MacGyver thinks Blossom’s becoming an alcoholic. ~Blossom’s father
I hate you MacGyver, I hate you.  ~Blossom

I’m not normally that into clothes, but MacGyver sports a fantastic white sweater in the second half of the episode.  

Mr. Woodman screaming at MacGyver and telling him to get out of their house.  First of all, jerk, MacGyver is the only one on your daughter’s side here.  And second of all, no one talks to MacGyver like that!     

Best MacGyverism: 
Placing a little figurine behind the shoji screen and a lamp to create a human-looking shadow that distracts the young punk and allows MacGyver to jump him.  Cheesy but creative.  Also the only Macgyverism to choose from, unless you count tying the chain to the back of the car that almost takes Blossom over the cliff.  

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • Blossom looks really young, like she’s 14.  Hold on, let’s check IMDB.  Wow – good guess Nick, 14 it is!  On the other hand, Holly, Blossom’s cool “friend” and the head senior cheerleader, looks like she’s about 20.  No IMDB age for Holly unfortunately. 
  • Early on we also meet Brett, the swarmy head of the group who is a Stanford dropout, the son of a gun club owner, and somewhat reminds me of Andrew McCarthy of Mannequin and Weekend at Bernie’s fame.  
  • Why does this clique want a ninth grader tagging along?  There’s a comment about Blossom’s value due to access to her father's credit cards, but these kids all drive nice cars and seem to come from money.   
  • Speaking of swarmy, fortunately Mr Woodman doesn't have much screen time. And Mrs. Woodman doesn’t bring much to the table either.  Remember the end of Cease Fire, when Mr. and Mrs. W. (played by different actors) are sitting around the table of reconciliation, brought together by young, eager Blossom?  What a nice moment that was, and now here we are: the parents seem dumb, aloof, and angry and the family is falling apart at the seams.  Bummer.   
  • It’s fun to look up the guest stars on IMDB and see what else they’ve been a part of.  Like at first I didn’t realize that Mr. Woodman was also the Birth Day bad guy, but one that I got right away the ducky lady as the travel agent!  Who’s the ducky lady?  You’ll have to wait for Legend of the Holy Rose.   
  • In case you’re wondering where the episode title comes from, MacGyver takes Blossom to the Challenger’s Club and gives her an alcohol-related questionnaire that’s, you guessed it, twenty questions!
  • Detective Kiley is a likable character – let’s add him to the wingman page.  Nice guy, but he doesn’t help MacGyver that much.  He’s the detective, but it takes MacGyver to figure out the burglary victims' connection to the gun club travel agent.  And then when he shows up late to the house at the end, MacGyver has already saved the day.
  • A rare site at the end – a clock but no shake!

Final Analysis:
Like Kill Zone, not much fun to be had in this episode, and it’s a little too 80’s teen drama for me.  I want to see MacGyver matching wits with the world’s best villains, not rich, snooty teenagers.  This is one of the infamous season 6 "issue" episodes when the show tackled different topics like alcoholism, homelessness, and guns.  I don’t mind these episodes as much as some people, though it does get a little preachy at times with lines like, "5 millions American kids abuse alcohol by the time they hit the 12th grade" and "That’s a good start, admitting it [drinking problem]."

Coming up, the ultra-serious theme continues with our first trip to season 4!  


  1. Wow, it's saying something that your highlight is a white sweater. I'll have to rewatch this one just for the fashion show.

    Looking forward to the first trip to Season 4!

  2. This is a good review of Twenty Questions. Are there any books on the show or the character that you recommend?

    1. There aren't any summary or compilation books that I've seen. Pretty soon there's a book coming out that's a collection of MacGyver comics. I've ordered it and will let you know how it is.

    2. Wow that sounds interesting. Did MacGyver originally start out as a comic or is this something completely new? Will the comic version look like RDA?

    3. This is something new. I just got it in the mail but haven't read it yet. The comic version doesn't look like RDA but has similar hair style. I believe the comics are fairly recent. The creator, Lee David Zlotoff, is involved with the comic. He owns the rights but I don't think he was involved with the series once it was running though I could be wrong.

  3. Yeah this is another polarizing episode but I gotta admit that I loved it. The whole shtick of the spoiled little rich girl getting in with the wrong crowd and getting herself involved in this string of burglaries was just really fun for me. I certainly get why some people hated it but I had fun with this one as a boy when it first aired and still find the characters and storyline engaging today despite--or perhaps because of--it's afterschool-special style trappings. I ranked this one #60.

  4. "Lowlight:
    Mr. Woodman screaming at MacGyver and telling him to get out of their house. First of all, jerk, MacGyver is the only one on your daughter’s side here. And second of all, no one talks to MacGyver like that! "

    Yeah!!!!! You tell him Nick!!!!

  5. I think it's a decent episode (98). It was kinda sad to see Blossom go from a friendly, charming little girl in her first two episodes to a teenage disaster. At least it has a happy ending, right?