Monday, February 6, 2012

MacGyver Mondays: "The Gauntlet" (Season 1, Episode 4)

Title: The Gauntlet
Airdate: October 20, 1985
My Age at Airdate: 2 years, 3 months, 4 days
Episode Type: Rescue

OK just from the title, I'm going to assume this will all be about MacGyver having to retrieve some sort of glove, be it armored or silk, only time will tell....


Ok it looks like we're in the Middle East... A car is slowly working its way through town, a man is yelling at his camel....and MacGyver is creeping over the rooftops, talking about Mrs. Freifogel, his den mother. I love tales of his youth.

He is breaking into an office to steal a map that depicts the location of "some heavy-handed troublemakers. The door out is locked, so he tries to go out the window, but the camel guy yells at him and alerts the soldiers in the square.

Mac slides the map under the door, pushes the key out onto the map and slides it back under the door. Good thing the key didn't bounce and the space under the door was big enough....minor details. He gets out of the building, but the soldiers see him and continue to shoot at him. They have a typical case of what I call "Stormtrooper Aim" (....from Star's a movie?.....Calista Flockhart's future (ex?)husband is in it.)

So Mac sees a woman in a black...hijab(? Is that what that is?) putting away laundry. He uses the map to shoot some conveniently located peas at her ankle so that he can steal a robe-thing. Unfortunately, he's still the only white guy in town, so a soldier catches him and demands the map back. MacGyver says that he really needs it and knocks the gun out of the guy's hand and then clobbers him. With a map? But how?! Ah, clever MacGyver has put an iron rod in the map for just such an occasion.

The rest of the soldiers come around the corner as MacGyver leaps over the wall and into the desert. He's running and they're shooting, so he puts the map down and sleds down a dune on top of it and escapes in a hot air balloon. The soldiers wait a LONG amount of time before the realize they can SHOOT A HOT AIR BALLOON WITH BULLETS. Which they eventually do. They actually hit the balloon which is amazing (due to the aforementioned SA affliction)

And now MacGyver uses the map and some duct tap to patch the hold and escape. Of course, the map would have been torn to shreds on the tiny shards of glass (aka "Sand") that he ran it over but maybe it was laminated or something.

MacGyver (voice-over): Just goes to show you, a good map will always get you where you want to go


OK, we're opening in Mexico? Or South America somewhere.

Oops. Central America. So close.

He tells a quick story about selling apples with his Dad in a town that didn't feel right. When he asked his Dad why, he is told that the town had lynched an innocent man. I hope that's pertinent to the story and not just a supremely shocking way of saying "This town doesn't feel right either"

Some soldiers (I never noticed how many evil soldiers this show has. I guess if you put a uniform on a man, you don't have to explain why he's acting evil, because he's just following orders....whoa. Deep thoughts.) are picking on a woman.

MacGyver bribes them (!?!) with a 20 dollar bill so that the girl can get away. He keeps a 20 paper-clipped in his passport? Weird.

He's now in a newspaper and asking the printer about a photographer by the name of Kate SomethingSomething (Prescott maybe?) (I bet she's the hot, feisty girl of the episode. Who's got some Passport Dollars they can spare on some good old fashioned Plot Gambling?)

The printer pulls a gun on him and is very suspicious. Printer's wife calls out that he's probably telling the truth.

Oh wait. That's Kate Something. She's played by the girl that was in...hang on...I gotta look this up...

So there's a guy in a white suit and hat and dark sunglasses that she has all these pictures of. He's not supposed to be in this hemisphere unless he's in jail. Apparently MacGyver got him deported.

MacGyver tells her that her publisher wants her safely back home and not endangering herself with this story. She agrees and goes happily back to America......haha. No, she of course refuses because she's got a big story cooking here.

Printer says that the story will also help get rid of the evil Generalissimo.

...Star Trek III! She was the Vulcan that went down and helped Spock go through puberty or something!

So, MacGyver agrees to break into White Suit's hacienda so that she can photograph White Suit selling arms to Generalissimo and take them both down.

Printer (offering MacGyver his gun): Senor, you're going to need this.
MacGyver: Actually, I do much better without them, thanks
--MacGyver sticking to his....principles.

MacGyver uses a camera strap with a plastic clip to tie the electric fence up so they can get in.

They've arrived just in time to see Generalissimo show up. Kate starts snapping pictures. They decided to go with the "see what she sees through the camera as she takes the picture" shot.

HAHA White Suit is the Dean from Animal House. He's so good at being evil.

She has to switch cameras because she's out of film. This episode is officially outdated.

She needs one more shot: The Handshake. BOOM got it. They turn to go and run right into the guards. They're caught!

While everyone acts super tough about everything, MacGyver starts hatching a plan. He volunteers Kate's film so that he can get her camera bag. He hands one camera to the Bad Guys and puts the other on the table behind him. He dips his fingers into some loose plastique that's just lying there and puts the plug for the flash into the plastique. He turns activates the delayed shutter on the camera and basically tackles Kate. The plastique explodes and Mac and Kate are on the run. MacGyver almost gets electrocuted, but he doesn't.

The Generalissimo sends his army to ransack the Printer's place. And I'm pretty sure they killed Printer!

While comforting Kate, MacGyver sees some firecrackers. I bet he uses that later. They go into the church to come up with a plan

With the airport closed and troops everywhere, they realize that the only way out is across the border into Mexico.

MacGyver grabs another strap off of her camera bag and goes up to the bell tower. He sees G and WS arrive. He lays out a candle, the strap and the firecrackers. He duct taps the candle and the firecrackers to the inside of the bell and straps the bell up with the strap. Wait. I guess there are two candles. One in the bell, one on the strap. I sense timed diversion!!! MacGyver loves timed diversions!

They leave the church and MacGyver takes the cable from one truck, goes under a second truck, and attaches it to the axle and bumper of a third truck.

The timed diversion goes off and there's a great moment where MacGyver tries to give Kate a boost into a bus, but she says "That's not necessary" and climbs in herself.

So Mac tapes a side mirror to the top front of the bus and explains that he's making a periscope. Then he frantically asks Kate for her compact. We won't put that down to him assuming that all women have compacts on them at all times, but that he, in his very observant nature, saw that she had makeup on and guessed that this particular woman might.

The jeeps chase after them and there's some spectacular car crashing. Kate, ever the shutterbug photographs it. Now it's just 100 km to the border. But MacGyver says that WS won't give up that easily.

And in fact we see that G and WS (henceforth known as G&WS) are hot on their trail.

Kate is telling Mac about how she woke up owning three very expensive cameras, and she only has one left, but it's her lucky camera.

Kate: If anything happened to this baby, I'd die....or kill.
-- a woman too wrapped up in her material goods or really really blatant foreshadowing? You be the judge.

They get to know eachother as they go, MacGyver being all dreamy for his part and Kate being all "Aww, you're so dreamy" for hers.

They see a spotter plane and can't get under cover fast enough to  not be spotted.

Kate is forever taking damn pictures. Seriously. I think she has a problem.

They go off-road to avoid being seen and wind up in like a river or something. There's playful like marimba music or something. But don't worry, she still has her lucky camera.

Flirting and cameras, that's what she's about.

MacGyver catches a lizard in a trap and cooks it up for her. How does he not have women throwing themselves at him??

Oh, wait. Here's Kate throwing herself at him. The firelight, the lizard, welp time for she going to try to seduce him? BOOM there's the offer. And there's the acceptance. Put the kiddies to bed. MacGyver's kissing a girl again.

Sunrise. We'll move past the implied Central American sex romp and watch G&WS find the bus and WS hatches a plan to do a pincer attack on M&K. G tells WS that if his plan doesn't work, he'll destroy him. Sounds like trouble in paradise.

MacGyver and Kate (M&K seemed TOO lax, you know?) take out two soldiers by a jeep by pretending she's passed out and tricking them into lowering their guard. She hits one of them with her lucky camera. Oh no. It's broken. She's devastated. MacGyver consoles her, gives her some noogies (seriously.) and they're back on their way in the jeep.

They get all the way to the border, only to stop short when they see all the Generalissimo's men setting up in front of the river that is the border.

So. The titular Gauntlet is going to be this. It's not a glove, but rather something you have to run. Like, running the Gauntlet. Here's a link to what I'm talking about.

Mac decides that if they can't go around them, they'll have to go through them. He's not quite sure how though. So they drive off and find a convenient abandoned farmhouse! Well, a farmhouse is chock full of things MacGyver can convert into weapons, armor, etc. They should just stop the episode here.

They still have that spotter plane flying around and this was seriously just said:

Spotter Plane: Running low on fuel, returning to base
Generalissimo: I don't care if you're low on fuel. Keep looking.
--Quality Leadership

So Mac and Kate have been making bombs and a smoke screen and all this stuff. Basically, they're overheating the jeep and having oil and stuff all over so that it just emits a bunch of smog. It gives them time to deploy the bombs (which are barrels with stuff in them, I guess)

Mac hooks up the jeep to go on its own and sends it careening down the hill. So now it's go time.

Kate: If things don't work out.........I'm really glad I "got to know you" (quotes added by me, because come on. we know what she's saying)
MacGyver: Me too. (seriously! that's his solution to everything!)

They light the barrels and send them rolling down the hill. The soldiers shoot the barrels and they explode!

Except they don't shoot one of the barrels. The one that has Kate and MacGyver in it! The barrel plunges into the river and Kate and MacGyver swim to the freedom of Mexico!

Oh yeah, and the Generalissimo tells WS that he always keeps his promises (So WS is dead)

We close as Kate has jury-rigged her camera back together ("I fixed it, MacGyver style!") and she takes a picture with her, MacGyver and the two Mexican border guards that helped them out of the river. I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of Ms. Kate Connelly. (In fact, I know it. Look for her near the end of Season 2 (38 weeks from now.))

Thanks for reading! See you next week!


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