Saturday, May 17, 2014

#115: Thin Ice

Season: 3

Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
MacGyver is in Minnesota to coach a college hockey team in the state finals while the full-time coach is recovering from a health problem.  The team's star player, Derek Kirby, is conflicted between playing the game the right way versus playing dirty to impress the NHL scouts whom his father is courting.  After severely injuring an opposing player, Derek must decide which direction he will go in, once and for all. 

Memorable Quote:
"When I played for Turk back in high school, he used to read this at the top of every season.  It's the Olympic oath.  I think he'd appreciate it if I read it now.  In the name of all competitors, I promise that we will take part in these games..." ~MacGyver
"...respecting and abiding by the rules that govern them, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of the sport, and the honor of the team." ~Kirby (interrupting MacGyver and finishing the quote)
"Let's play some hockey." ~MacGyver (followed by the sound of triumphant trumpets).  

See Memorable Quote.  I must admit, it was a little goose-bumpy. 

Hard to watch the part where the opposing player hits his head on the goal post and is knocked out cold and put in a coma. 

Best MacGyverism:
Takes a spring from a flashlight to fix a compressor.  

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • Always good to see MacGyver back in Minnesota
  • This episode wins the award for longest time we see MacGyver in a suit
  • The hockey scenes are really good and filmed well
  • The father does a good job as the unenlightened, super-serious sports parent
  • I don't know RDA personally, and I've often wondered how similar he is to the character and how much of his acting is him playing himself.  In this episode he says some things like "every time I lace up the skates, I wonder if I could have made it or not." Makes me wonder how much of that is really the actor himself talking.
  • "All right, we’ve got 20 minutes left to do it.  Let’s go!" ~MacGyver's intermission speech.  Not winning any awards as far as motivational speeches go.  
  • It's clearly stated multiple times that this is a college tournament, though MacGyver says that Turk was his high school coach.  And the whole thing has more of a high school feel with the meddlesome father, and I've never heard of a state championship for college sports. 
  • Wouldn't Kirby have been suspended for the last game, or would the other kid have had to die first? 

Final Analysis:
All in all this is a good episode and better than I remembered.  The acting is solid and there are a lot of good scenes with well-written dialogue.  It's a little gloomy and not all that fun to watch which is why I had it lower on the list.  


  1. Now here was a change-of-pace episode I really got into, even though I had zero expectation of liking it based on the previews. Growing up in small-town Minnesota myself, I connected with the hockey culture and the characters seemed believable, had complex motivations, and were easy to root for despite their drawbacks. The only part I thought seemed a little contrived was the extent to which the pro scouts celebrated brutal play on the ice, which defies credibility seeing as how the team would be paying you to score goals, not sit in the penalty box for picking fights. Still, unlike you I think it's very fun to watch and rate it #26.

  2. Regarding RDA and hockey, he was big into it, but he ended up breaking both of his arms in two separate incidents as a teen - the 2nd one had him in the hospital for at least a month, iirc - so pro-hockey was sort of a no-go after that point. He still loves the game and he used to play on the Celebrity All-Star Hockey Team - which may not be a thing anymore? Their website hasn't been updated in about 4 years.