Sunday, December 8, 2013

#126: Deadly Silents

Season: 7

Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
MacGyver’s friend Pinky is an old silent film movie star who once had a falling out with Karl, his business partner, over a woman.  Karl’s son seeks revenge and steals Pinky’s old movie tapes and lead Pinky and MacGyver to an abandoned movie studio complete with booby traps.  Karl Jr. tries to kill them, but MacGyver and Pinky get the upper hand and retrieve the tapes. 

Memorable Quote: 
"Watch out Neil, it could be a trick."  ~Karl Jr.
"No way.  Let’s rock and roll."  ~Neil

I like the scene where MacGyver and Pinky are tied on a train track because who doesn’t like escapes from train tracks.  There’s the sound of a train coming and Pinky starts to have a heart attack out of fear, but MacGyver uses his feet to feel the wooden floorboards and realizes that they’re on a soundstage and it’s a trick.  

Neil is Karl Jr.’s sidekick and possibly the dumbest, most incompetent MacGyver villain ever.  He constantly says things like "dude," "stud," and "awesome."  You know how much I dislike the slapstick criminals, and he’s as ridiculous as they come.  After one of MacGyver’s escape’s he says, "Whoa. Oh. Whoa.  This dude is like so fully awesome."  Yikes, dude.   

Best MacGyverism: 
MacGyver and Pinky are handcuffed in a pool tank and left to drown.  MacGyver boosts Pinky on his shoulders and Pinky grabs a fire-hose looking thing.  MacGyver takes off his shoe and ties it to the end of the hose, and then throws the hose over the side of the tank.  The shoe creates leverage against the rope ladder hanging over the other side by hooking onto one of the rungs, and MacGyver pulls on the hose which pulls the rope ladder over to their side of the tank.  One of many times in the series that MacGyver will use shoes to great effect.  

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • For this episode, we’re joined by Mom who's come to visit for Thanksgiving!  I’ve already mentioned Mom’s part in my MacGyver experience.  I’ll add some of her comments too.  
  • Right in the beginning, MacGyver is eating a giant bowl of popcorn and watching old movies with Pinky.  A woman appears on screen and Pinky says, "You know she is?  Your Grandma Wood," and I thought, "That’s MacGyver’s grandmother?"  After rewatching this clip a few days later I see he was saying "Your grandma would [know who she is]."  Context!  
  • "Where did MacGyver get that shirt?" – Mom
  •  Not a huge Pinky fan.  He’s annoying and not too bright for continuing to fall for the same old tricks.  Mom recognized the actor, saying he was from "Laugh-In."  Toward the end of the episode, Dad came in and said, "He’s from Laugh-In."  You learn something new every day.
  • "Most knives like that are hard to open unless they’re well oiled.  And hard to do with one hand."  - Mom on the scene where MacGyver opens his knife one-handed while hanging onto a swinging bar and then stabbing the wall and sliding down with Pinky hanging on to his legs.  You read that right. 
  • Like Hellfire, they saved some money on casting with this one.  Only 4 characters, plus two more appearing for 5 seconds in the silent movie. 
  • "Those little metal things on the side: he could at least hold on to those" – Mom on the pool scene
  • Notice the Paramount Theater at the end – nice touch. 
  • End credits music is a 1920’s style song rather than the standard MacGyver theme.  I wonder if there are any other episodes that have custom end credits like this.  I guess we’ll find out! 

Final Analysis:
A creative yet ridiculous plot.  There are some good moments and I like the 1920’s, Old Hollywood vibe, but Pinky is annoying, Neil is unwatchable, and it’s too slapstick-y for me.  Good news though – this is the last of the dredge which means we’re moving on to bigger and better episodes!  


  1. Great Review! If you want to learn more about Henry Gibson, watch a few Laugh-In videos. He was in good company with Goldie Hawn, Ruth Buzzi, Lily Tomlin and Robin Williams. He is a great actor.

  2. Thanks Mom! I'll check him out on youtube sometime.

  3. I get your grievances with this one but I thought it was fun....far better than most episodes from Season 7. I'm generally with you in not being a fan of slapstick episodes on this show but for some reason this one worked for me. Pinky was annoying, especially in that dopey epilogue, but I kind of liked the banter between Karl and Neil. This episode was right in the middle of the pack for me....#69.

  4. I can see why Deadly Silents would not be a favourite but for some reason I felt a bit like Mark about it. The beginning where MacGyver and Pinky (how did they arrive at that name?!) are watching the silent film just made me smile, especially after Pinky said "Now hold on Pip (is that right?), here comes the best part - the construction scene!". He was right, it was the best part! MacGyver's grin and Pinky's chuckling as the end of the plank kept falling down and then the building facade came down over him seemed really genuine. "Some stunt ah!"! It was a really nice scene but I think it would have been interesting to know how MacGyver had actually become friends with Pinky, perhaps Harry had known him? This was undoubtedly the highlight of the episode and the rest of it was partly undone by the terrible Neil and the slapstick moments as Pinky became a bit more annoying, although it was a nicely done ending where he was nervous about the reaction to his films.

  5. I didn't comment on this first time around but I watched it again recently to give it a second chance. I'm afraid I still felt my ranking of 132 was about right although maybe it could move up slightly. I agree the idea is creative and there are some good moments;I quite enjoyed the escape from the tank but like Nick's Mum I wondered why they couldn't hold on to the bits at the side, but the plot was unbelievable, some of the acting poor, and whole episode was just too slapstick, and Pinky too annoying, for me. Henry Gibson has got a great pedigree but this just wasn't his finest hour.

  6. This episode makes me wants to sing the theme song for Pinky and the Brain. Does that make MacGyver the Brain? LOL.

    Opening the knife one handed was awesome. That must have been how he did it back in season 1 - Golden Triangle when he's on the rack. I seem to recall you questioned that one.


  7. I want to rewatch and count how many times "Pinky" is said. Btw, I recognized him from The Blues Brothers and The Burbs and Carl from Wayne's World.