Wednesday, September 24, 2014

#99: The Prometheus Syndrome

Season: 7

Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
MacGyver is helping the arson squad catch a serial firebomber who calls himself Prometheus. After one of the bombs goes off and kills the squad leader, his place is assumed by the hard-hearted Rachel, who wants to do things her own way and without MacGyver's help.  Undeterred, MacGyver stays on the trail and discovers Prometheus's identity, but not without dealing with a few more bombs along the way. 

Memorable Quote:
Take my advice, MacGyver.  Make peace with your God.   ~Prometheus  

I like the way Prometheus's voice sounds when he uses the voice changer - kind of robotic and computer-like.  

Holy Rachel, Batman!  She's about as unlikeable a "good guy" character as it comes.  Montana looks like the Snuggle Bear compared to her.  And the acting performance is so in-your-face negative and over-the-top that it doesn't seem believable.  

Best MacGyverism:
Attaches bomb to mini-forklift and guides it into the wall.   

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • Early on we have a brief Mama Lorraine sighting!  I'm a big Mama fan.  Too bad we don't see her for more than just a few minutes.  
  • 3:54 - explaining Prometheus as "a character from Greek mythology who stole fire from the gods."  I love when MacGyver drops historical/mythological knowledge.  
  • The bomb scene where Earl dies doesn't make sense to me.  First, why are they risking their lives to disarm the bomb when everyone has been evacuated? Obviously it's ideally better to disarm the bomb than to let it go off, but was it worth having Earl die over?  The bomb blast wasn't even that powerful - it didn't level the whole city block or anything.  And why was Earl even there at MacGyver's side?  He wasn't adding any value in helping to defuse the bomb.  And why couldn't they move the bomb?  They say there's a motion detector, but later in the episode MacGyver picks up a different but similar bomb and puts it on a forklift. 
  • I get this one confused with Off The Wall.  I think because the run-down apartment buildings look similar.  Maybe, in fact, they're the same - I'll pay attention to that once I get to that episode.  
  • The jeep is back!  My favorite MacGyver vehicle. 
  • If Boardman and Victoria started the cafe fire, how did Victoria get caught up in it? You'd think they would have been smart enough to get out of the building first.  
  • 45:36 - little shake as he knocks out Prometheus

Final Analysis:
Not that great of an episode - should have had it a little lower.  It's a good mystery and is genuinely suspenseful, but there's not much about the episode that I enjoy (or "not much fun to be had" as I'm wont to say).  And Rachel is dreadful - as allies go, she might be MacGyver's worst in terms of personality and general unlikeability.     


  1. Our thoughts are closer together on this episode which had its moments but still felt a little too much like the work of a tired series limping its way to the finish line. Our biggest difference definitely concerns Mama Lorraine who was, um, definitely NOT one of my favorite characters on this series. Beyond that though, the suspense level was high with the first bomb defusal that killed Earl and the stalking scenes with the electronic-voiced Boardman in the basement of the abandoned newspaper. There also seemed to be some solid technical research in this episode, but I must say that by the time of the second and third bomb defusals in the final quarter of the episode, it was starting to get a little tedious. Boardman's "revenge" motive against firefighters for failing to save the victim of a fire he started seemed a little silly and, as you said, Rachel was a loathsome sidekick. Still, I liked this one more than I disliked it and there were some impressive pyrotechnics for 1991 network television to be found. I rank this one #86.

    1. Oh no, not a Mama fan?! For your own sanity, you might want to skip my later reviews of her episodes. :)

    2. I'll soft-pedal my Mama Lorain criticisms as much as possible in my responses to those

  2. Earl is played by Randy Mantooth of Emergency! fame, and Boardman is played by Dan Florek's (SVU) brother, and the security guard kid at the newspaper is Eric Close - whom I currently know from Suits. This is your friendly neighborhood IMDB report. XD. Would you believe I did that from memory?

    I like this episode fairly well. One of the better ones of the season, IMO, and better than Off the Wall.

  3. I'm in general agreement here. Decent episode, but the motivations of the bad guys are iffy at best and I don't know why they had to show us 3 bomb defusals that were EXACTLY the same! Talk about monotony! I was hoping each one would be a little different from the last, but it was not to be. Regarding Nick's comment about the scene where Earl dies, yes, why was he there to start with, why did Mac run into the building with only 4 minutes remaining while everyone else had been evacuated, and why was Earl killed and Mac wasn't even hurt. Not a very well thought out scene, in my opinion. Regarding the motion detector, that was the first thing Mac took care of with each defusal (the hinge pin bent over to make tweezers to remove the red wires from the motion detector). But why not then just put the bomb in a closet, elevator, safe, or any other area that could take the explosion, since as was mentioned, the bombs weren't even that powerful. I feel like they were designed simply to start the building on fire. Also, for the record, not a Mama Lorraine fan either. She adds nothing in my opinion. Give me Jack Dalton anytime for a wacky foil to Mac's straight man character.

  4. Reading over the comments here - (since we were discussing this ep a bit more over on the post for "DOA MacGyver")...

    The reason Mac and Earl were trying so hard to diffuse the bomb, rather than just let it go off, is they needed to know more about the bombs themselves. But, since the fires were burning so hot, they were melting/obliterating all of the evidence that would help them track the bomber. So Mac and Earl - the experts on the bombs already - were there to disarm it so they could get more pieces and have a better understanding of the device.

    As for why they're both there? So that if one doesn't make it out, the other knows whatever the new details of the bomb are to report. Of course, if they both don't make it, the new info isn't useful at all, but this is TV, at least one of them will make it out. =)

  5. Just watched this one and they way they have Mama Lorraine talk about the flash powder about how it works with the power of good and evil, I was expecting MacGyver to use it against Prometheus at the end. Some great suspense in this episode especially in the newspaper building.

  6. I'm only a few minutes in and I already dislike Rachel. That character is so over the top "tough career woman", as it occured so often in 90's TV shows. I really don't know where writers thought they where going with this.