Sunday, October 26, 2014

#91: The Gun

Season: 6

Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
A teen sells his deceased father's old gun for drugs, and the drug dealer then uses it to shoot a policeman.  Ballistics reveal that the bullets match a famous weapon called The Harrison Gun which was used to kill a U.S. presidential candidate, and the gun becomes a hot commodity for an arms buyer who wants to add it to his collection.  MacGyver is also looking for the gun to help clear Breeze, who was at the scene of the crime and is the chief suspect in the policeman's shooting. 

Memorable Quote:
Well, that is about 1000 guns that nobody is going to use on anybody else.  ~Pete. 
Yeah, 1000 down.  Only a hundred million to go.  ~MacGyver

Great scene where MacGyver walks into the gun plant and confronts the arms dealers who are questioning Breeze.  There's a strong feeling of confrontation in the air, and I admire MacGyver's willingness to walk right into the intimidating environment to protect Breeze.  There isn't any fighting, though MacGyver does get into a 2nd Amendment debate with the arms dealer who happens to be Jerry Wasserman (who we just saw as Nick Milani in Live and Learn).  The thugs do a good job of looking mean and menacing in this scene.  12/6 UPDATE - here's a conversation I had with Jerry where he shared some memories about this episode among other things.

The Laura/Todd dynamic is a little odd, like how Laura is shocked to learn that he has a drug problem even though he lives with her.  And it seems odd that she displays the gun so prominently in her home evan after her father bought the gun so that it would never see the light of day again.

Best MacGyverism:
Only one to choose from here - MacGyver doing something while they're in the crate full of weapons to blow the door off.  I don't know what exactly he's doing since unfortunately there is no voiceover, but Breeze says it best:
  • "What's he doing?"   ~Laura
  • "He's trying to get us out of here.  Just relax, that's what he does."  ~Breeze
A nice rendition of what I call the Minor MacGyver theme plays in the background.  The whole thing ends with the door blowing off and boxes of guns falling on the bad guys.  Meanwhile the three of them are tied to the back wall by some big yellow straps as Laura flails about.  I imagine it took some time to get them down from there but we don't get to see that part.

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • Nice floral Hawaiian shirt by MacGyver in the beginning.  
  • Our second Breeze episode so far.  I like Breeze - likable guy and a good actor.  
  • 7:17 - good scene where MacGyver impulsively steps in front of the cops who have their guns aimed at Breeze.  
  • 11:08 - a wacky speech by the arms buyer who is asking the dealer to find him The Harrison Gun.  "Maybe all you can see when you look at this gun is a piece of metal, but this gun is different, Mr. Maddox.  This gun changed the world with a single act of violence.  It is a symbol, a holy relic.  Placed in the right hands, it could be held up to desperate men and make their blood boil.  This gun symbolizes anarchy, violent overthrow, a change in the world order.  It could also be used as a rallying point to create new markets.  And profits for both of us.  Get me that gun, Mr. Maddox, or there will be no more business between us!"  I understand the bad guys wanting the gun is part of what makes the story go, but the writers went a little too far with this ridiculous speech.  
  • 16:12 - Pete gives MacGyver some money for Breeze's bail which leads to a bizarre, random line from Pete.
    • "Thanks Pete."  ~MacGyver
    • "Don't thank me.  I was born a warm and wonderful human being."  ~Pete 
  • Nice to see Pete do some field work on his own (following the car, taking out one of the guards).  Normally he's with MacGyver so we don't often get to see him work alone. 

Final Analysis:
We've already covered teen alcoholism and homelessness as season 6 issue episodes, and now it's time for the gun episode.  But an issue episode doth not necessarily a bad episode make, and I like this one.  It's got a creative plot about a famous gun that keeps turning up, and I find the episode compelling and fun to watch.  Next up, we stay in the inner city for some more urban drama.  


  1. I must say you really surprise me with this one as you gave a fairly poor review to "Blood Brothers" based on its preachiness, but I found this episode infinitely preachier than "Blood Brothers". In particular I found the scene where he got into a political argument with the hooligan gun manufacturer to be over-the-top. I also wasn't buying how readily Breeze stumbled into this crime and found himself accused. Now the episode wasn't without its attractions as I also like Breeze as a character, loved the music in this episode, and enjoyed the ending with MacGyver, Breeze, and Laura strapped into the back of the airborne gun crate, although you know you're dealing with dumb bad guys when they store you away in a crate full of weapons and ammunition with plans to kill sea.

    The whole tone of this episode left a bad taste in my mouth as it seemed contrived for political purposes in a way that "Blood Brothers" wasn't. I'm not necessarily opposed to that but thought it seemed ham-handed here and delivered with the subtlety of a sledgehammer to my pinky toe. I rank this one #123.

    1. I did mention preachiness in the Blood Brothers review, but my reason for not liking the episode was less about that and more because I found it depressing and unenjoyable. Oddly enough, I don't mind the preachiness here and I Iike when he gets into it with the gun maker despite it being a somewhat mechanical retelling of an old debate. Good point about storing them with a crate full of weapons which later they would have dumped at sea - I didn't think of that but you're right, that makes no sense.

  2. Hello. I've been reading your site for a couple of weeks now and have really enjoyed the reviews, comments and banter. It's great to see other serious MacGyver fans after so many years. I was, and still am, a HUGE MacGyver and RDA fan ever since the beginning. I had a mullet during the original run to be more like him, got a brown leather jacket similar to his and still carry a Swiss army knife. The show is also a big reason I became an engineer. It made me love the sciences even more than I already did. My friends and I would always discuss Monday night's episode every Tuesday at school. It was our ritual. I remember being pretty upset when the series ended in 1992, like it was the end of an era (which it was!). Then I was thrilled in 94 when the TV movies aired!

    Regarding this episode and specifically the explosive in the crate, I think he took the C4 explosive out of some of the grenades, made a patty out of it and then connected the copper wires to them. Then somehow he found a battery to use as his power source. You're right, they didn't explain it at all and didn't do the typical voiceover or explanation. Very cool MacGyverism though!

    I liked this episode as I am not a big fan of guns. It had the typical over-the-topness (the speech by the arms buyer, the weird sister, etc.) but a pretty successful episode despite this.

    I'll comment on other episodes but wanted to start here since it's where I'm at in the series and it's fresh in my memory.

    Keep up the good work!

    1. Awesome, thanks for sharing Corey and welcome aboard! Your scientific expertise will be welcome as I am lacking in the engineering knowledge department! I also carry a swiss army knife thanks to MacGyver.

  3. I'll be glad to help whenever I can. Looking forward to it!

  4. I liked the part where Mac, Pete and Breeze are in Pete's office after Breeze gets bonked on the head, and Mac's on the computer; Mac says he's looking for "the girl I saw in the wrecking yard" and Pete's all, "WHAT?!?" like Mac's trolling for a date or something. You can tell by the way Mac throws his hands up in the air that may have come out the wrong way. Hahaha.

  5. Oh Nick! You forgot to mention Macgyver's blue shirt that clashes with the blue building! ROFL! He can become a gecko and hide in the walls of the blue building! Hahahaha! That scene was so distracting. :)

  6. I get stressed out of my mind when MacGyver gets someone out of a dangerous location only to stick around in a vulnerable place. When he talks the bad guys into letting his friend leave Maddox guns, they hang around in the parking lot and talk about the name of the person who has the gun the bad guy is looking for. I am inclined to make a list of the number of times that MacGyver gets out of a dangerous situation only to remain in a vulnerable location for 10 more minutes.