Monday, August 27, 2012

MacGyver Mondays: "Ugly Duckling" (Season 1, Episode 18)

Mac faces his most powerful enemy: A sarcastic teenager
Title: Ugly Duckling
Airdate: 3/12/1986
My Age at Airdate: 2 years, 7 months, 24 days
Episode Type: Computer Hacking, Self-Esteem, Didactic

Alright, I seem to recall that this episode is NOT about MacGyver caring for a young waterfowl. I think that it might be a metaphor. But we'll see.


We open on a storage facility. A man is guiding a truck that is backing up. Uh oh. The truck is full of USAF missiles. So the two guys are unloading the missiles while a bunch of black-clothed figures are belaying down from the roof.

One of the trips and suddenly the guys are alerted to the ninjas (because what else could they be?) presence. The ninjas drive off with the truck.

Cut to the end of a drum solo at a happenin' club. MacGyver is there watching the band and looking about 25 years older than everyone there. Oh. Except the band and the two obviously bad guys that are watching the band. The camera keeps looking at the saxophonist. This might be because he's soloing, but I bet it's also because he's a character in this episode. The band finishes and the saxophonist walks over to MacGyver. They're friends!

Saxy is apparently a professor who has detected a glitch. He is a mentor of a student (just like he was for MacGyver) who broke into the Defense Department's mainframe or something. Mac just wants to talk to her.

Saxy wants assurances Girl Student won't get in trouble and then he'll meet with them.

So then Saxy is walking outside the club and a car speeds up and the two bad guys get out and try to get Saxy. But Mac comes out and they have to shoot at him instead (Stormtrooper Aim, natch). Mac sets off a car alarm while Saxy struggles with the two gun-wielding thugs. And of course he gets shot. He has a very emotional and touching death scene. But he does, in fact, die. And the camera flickers in and out of focus while the couples watching all around them hold each other.

Mac debriefs with Pete. Apparently the thing that Saxy designed/tested makes Surface-to-Air missiles into programmable weapons with pinpoint accuracy.

So Mac has to go find Girl Student before the bad guys AND the government find her.

Now the two bad guys are debriefing. Mustache and Balding. Wait. Mustache is Balding's boss. He sends Balding after MacGyver assuming that Mac will find Girl Student for them.

Girl Student comes in. She looks kind of like Corey Feldman. She has an attitude. It's mostly the hair that makes her look like CF. I always confuse Corey Feldman and Corey Haim. 

They're back at Girl Student's house. Her Mom is there. Mac tells what she did and Mom is appalled. She's very proper.

There's a knock on the door. GSMom goes and answers it. Two men identify themselves as Defense Intelligence and Mac comes over to inspect their ID's. He shows them basically the same disdain and attitude that GS has been showing him. And I think it's pretty ballsy to come over and deal with them when he's a guest in their home, but I suppose he is sort of an expert or something.

The DI guys want to take GS downtown to ask some questions. Mac and Mom advise her to go. And they take her.

So now they're asking her questions. They're trying to play hardball and it's working. They want to know how she broke in. She asks to use the computer in the room. She reaches a password prompt screen and asks them what the password is, explaining, with attitude that it will save time. HAHA and then it just goes to a READY screen. She types in ACCESS MISSILE DATA INVENTORY.

So basically, she has gained access again. If the only thing keeping her out was the password, then she's not showing them anything about how she broke in, is she?

Ok, so there ARE further restrictions. It's not as simple as all that.

Meanwhile, Mac is arguing with Pete (who is wearing THE BIGGEST GLASSES EVER) and he offers Pete a deal. He'll find out how she broke in AND what the glitch in the system is, if Pete can get the DI guys off her.

So now GS has (off-camera, of course) gotten through the security restrictions. While the DI guys freak out about the hassle of the security breach, she hacks into the computers in the building and starts messing around with the printers and the elevators and the door security and everything. And then the Fire Alarm. And then she hits the power. And she's gone :)

She's a pink and I like her.

Now we're in the Farmhouse with Mustache and wait I assume is a Texan. Texan wants a demonstration of the guidance system. He doesn't know what the target is yet but he will figure it out.

GS comes back to the lab and Mac is working on the computer. I can tell that he likes her and that she reminds him of himself.

MacGyver is trying to break into her computer. Trying different passwords. Trying to get to know her to try to get her password out of her. She's super sensitive about her self-image.

He types in UGLY DUCKLING and that's the correct password. She says "That's mean." But the really interesting thing that Mac brings up is that it's HER password. It's not him saying that she is. It's her.

He tells her that she's special and that she should feel good about it.

He puts the file on a disk and they go to leave, but uh oh Balding and his partner are there. Mac pins Balding's gun hand and kicks him and locks the door. He runs with GS to the lab and finds a sound oscillator. The bad guys get in right as Mac turns on the oscillator, gives GS some noise-cancelling headphones and puts some on himself. He cranks the amplitude all the way up and the bad guys writhe in pain. He slowly pushes the device towards them and the door.

GS notices that the machine is about to become unplugged. She tries to warn Mac, but, of course, he can't hear her. The plug comes out and instantly the bad guys are back up and surrounding them.

Balding knocks Mac over the head and they take the girl.

He wakes up with a splitting headache. He thinks that maybe GS has left him a clue on the computer. He tells the computer to LOAD DUCKLING and it does and it has the answer to the glitch. It's a frequency. He calls the FAA and has them scan the western United States for that frequency.

--Mac's DXS ID

GS is in the farm house. She has this radio that she put in her pocket back at the lab and she sends a signal on it, but stashes it before the bad guys come in. We have Balding, Mustache, and Cleft Chin.

Mustache tells her that he is going to get the information. He has a syringe of Sodium Pentathol so he can get it from her with or without the injection, it's her choice.

Oh I get it. The frequency she gave Mac was the frequency that she sent her beacon out on. It's like a homing device. So now Mac is watching them from a hill. They're going to do a test firing. GS is understandably upset that they'll be firing in the United States.

They lock her away. And she immediately starts to try to escape. Saxy must be the common link here. She hooks up the prison bars to a battery, electrifying them.

Mac has taken the guard out with Chloroform? What, does he have some WITH HIM at all times? Sketchy.

I guess GS took the jumper cables off the bars before she hooked them to the battery. So now she has one cable on the bars and is slowly touching the other one...and sparks fly. OH. She has a coin in the one she's touching to the bars. It's an arc welder thing like one that Mac has used before this season! It's cool to see it at work again.

Mac and GS reunite and he commends her on getting through a prison bar, but it's too hot to squeeze through. So he goes and finds a spray can (with hydrocarbons ) to cool it down. So then they're out. And chasing after the bad guys in Mac's Jeep.

GS tells Mac that they're communicating via walkie talkies. Then she expresses guilt about having told them how to fix the missiles.

He tells her that we all make mistakes and we have to learn to live with them. She is really grateful for this advice and tells him hesitatingly that he is her first friend. A touching piano version of the MacGyver theme plays in the background.

Mac's the best.

They have the exact same haircut, I just realized.

MacGyver and GS are going to triangulate the radio signals, but Uh Oh her radio is dead. That's ok. They'll use the acid from the cactus that's right by them. Easy Peasy. They're going back and forth coming up with the plan and it's really cool to see their minds working on the same.....frequency.

GS: All for one!
Mac: And one for all! I can't believe you just said that!
--I remember watching this episode for the first time and DYING because of the way he says that last part. It feels real. Like she ad-libbed the "All for one" part and he finished it but it tickled him that she said that. It's a lovely moment.

And then they get to work.

Meanwhile, Balding is getting the missile ready. All they need are the coordinates for the target.

Mac and GS get to work triangulating the signal. They find it and use their watches to calibrate for direction. So they can figure out where the missile is, but will they get there in time!?

Mustache is on the phone with Texan. Texan gives him the coordinates. They're going to take out a bridge. In 27 minutes. The Texan says that traffic should be lowest around when they're going to fire but Mac remembers that a marathon (that he has run in twice (brag)) is being run across that bridge today! Hundreds of people are in danger! They speed off in his jeep.

Now the Jeep pulls up to the site. They only have 12 minutes to figure out what to do.

They're going to use the shotgun that Balding has. They're going to use the mirrors from the Jeep and the lens from some binoculars to harness the sun's energy.

6 minutes to launch.

They have a very clear beam of sunlight focused on the shotgun, heating it up. The gun explodes, and the jeep that it's leaning against goes with it.

Haha. GS takes a moment to marvel at the fact that it worked.

Mustache wonders why the countdown hasn't started and Mac tries to fake it by counting down. But Mustache recognizes him as not being Balding (who has been knocked out by the explosion). Crap. So now Mustache is going to fire the other missile that they have stolen.

So the plan is that Mac and GS need to override the guidance (turning their missile into a heatseeker) and fire it within seconds of Mustache firing his.

Mustache fires his, Mac fires his. The marathon goes on. There are some tense beats and then

BOOOOOOOM Mac's missile hits Mustache's! They did it!

Texan watches and is disappointed.

Now they're in the club that they started at. GS is talking to a boy and looking more like Demi Moore now that she's wearing earrings.

Mac tells her that everything else worked out and that she will basically get her own lab come graduation time, but she keeps looking at the guy she's with. Aww...the ugly duckling has become a swan!

Lovely ending :)

See you next week


Sunday, August 26, 2012

WARNING: This Week's Countdown Contains Nearly 11 minutes of Evil

Ok, maybe not EVIL, per se. Or at least not to most people. Some people will find no irony in my Post Title and will think it is completely accurate. Others are going to have a fun, dancy time. 

I always know an idea for the podcast is a good one when I get a wicked little smile on my face. And Friday, when I thought of doing this, I got that little smile. :-D

For those of you keeping score at home, this is the first podcast published in the era in which my sister goes to college. That's something for the trivia books, people.

Alex Clare
The Black Keys
Green Day
Imagine Dragons
The Killers
Linkin Park
The Lumineers
Of Monsters and Men

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Off the Charts #5: Birthday 2012!

That's right, folks! In. The. Same. Calendar. Year!

Here's the podcast I made from the blog posts that showed up in my blog reader on my birthday. Last year it was 40 minutes for like 7 songs. This year, it's just shy of 90 for 14. There's a nice eclectic mix and you can learn about some of the blogs that I'm reading in my life!

Off the Charts #5: Birthday 2012

Ben Folds Five
Bourgie Bourgie
Camper Van Beethoven
The Crimea
Frank Ocean
Goldroom feat Chela
The Hood Internet feat Annie Hart and bbu
International Airport
Kevin Hearn & Thinbuckle
Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr.
Orange Juice
The xx

Blogs that helped create this episode by posting on my birthday (Thank you!):

Culture Pop
I Sing In the Kitchen
La. Ga. Sta.
Linear Tracking Lives!
Listen Before You Buy
Panda Head
Pigeons & Planes
Pretending Life Is Like A Song (this blog is private. I think Adam has been DMC-burned one too many times)
The Springfield Historical Society
Strawberries in Paris
The Vinyl Villian

Monday, August 20, 2012

MacGyver Mondays: "To Be a Man" (Season 1, Episode 17)

Title: To Be a Man
Airdate: 3/5/1986
My Age at Airdate: 2 years, 7 months, 17 days
Episode Type: Didactic, Espionage

I'm watching this episode with my wife so the pressure is definitely on to not pause/rewind. We'll see how this goes......


A fighter jet is flying through the night sky. MacGyver is apparently flying it over Pakistani airspace. He's on his way to Afghanistan to get a capsule from the inside of a satellite that they don't want the Russians to get a hold of. This is basically the same plot as "The Golden Triangle" only with different countries.

There's an Afghani military base that is going pretty nuts. They've asked him to identify himself. He hasn't responded.

Now we're on the ground with a maybe 13 year old boy who is standing outside while his mother (or someone) is inside getting attacked/raped/something.

The Afghanis are shooting missiles at MacGyver.

The plane blows up and the boy (it MAY be Kal Penn, or someone who looks just like him) watches it explode.

But it's ok because MacGyver has ejected, and the plan is that the Afghanis are supposed to believe that he's been blown up.

The boy's mother and a turbanned jerk come out of the house. TJ tells Boy to get his horse and Boy says "You're not my father!" But his mom says to do it anyways and TJ tells her that the Soviets will pay for parts of the plane and they'll pay even more for a pilot and he rides off.

(Ok, Boy is not Kal Penn. BUT he is the Indian guy from Office Space. An actor named Ajay Naidu. He is apparently uncredited in this episode.)

Boy goes an hugs his mom and points out that she is bleeding from the lip.

Mac stashes his parachute. A bunch of guys on horses and in cars are racing towards him. 

Dawn is almost here but he's also getting closer to the satellite.

The Afghanis are at the wreckage and they have now seen MacGyver running along a mesa. Do they call that land structure a "mesa" in Afghanistan? They do on this show.

Mac has gotten to the satellite on top of the mesa. 

The capsule is in a booby-trapped portion of the satellite. There's a loud and shrill beeping that he needs to disarm as fast as possible. And he does.

Easy peasy.

He doesn't know there's a bunch of guys after him. Until now. He sees them slowly ascending the mesa. He rolls away and starts assembling something from the satellite.

And now the Afghanis are shooting mortar at him.

But it appears that he's constructing a glider from it.

The Afghanis have Stormtrooper Aim with the mortar and Mac makes a PERFECT HANG GLIDER.

The Afghanis are shooting at him (Stormtrooper Aim) oh WAIT. They hit his hang glider and Mac's arm! He's in trouble.

Oh but Boy is tracking the hang glider.

So there's the army, the turbanned fellows and Boy all trying to get to him. Mac crashes into like a shallow river or something. I feel like maybe he hurt his leg, but maybe it's just his arm.

A dude is shooting at him and getting closer. Mac constructs a sling (David v Goliath style) from a piece of cloth and throws a stone at the guy, hitting him squarely and knocking him off his horse. He stumbles off as Boy runs up and tells him to get up and run but Mac says he can't

Now the Turbanned Fellows are getting closer and Boy is running for the Sling-Victim's horse. He runs over to Mac and tells him to get on. Mac does, but weakly. Boy leads the horse off.

Now the Turbanned Fellows are in the river, but Boy and MacGyver have left the river bed.

Boy has a vendetta against some guy who killed his father. I don't know if it's TJ or another guy. Sling-Victim is talking to some guy. Maybe TJ. Let's say it is TJ. Sling-Victim says that they got away and TJ shoots him.

FYI, my wife could write MacGyver Mondays. She's funny.

Ok, so I guess TJ is coming him to Boy's house because he has "unfinished business"

Boy and MacGyver have made it to Boy's House. Boy leads him inside and Boy's Mom freaks out. She says that it's too dangerous to have him there. Boy says that they have to help him and maybe he can help them.

MacGyver apologizes in his down-home vaguely Southern way and Boy pleads with her. She says he can stay for the night.

She begins to tend to Mac's wounds, sending Boy outside to keep a watch for TJ. He is to warn her when TJ is coming.

TJ rides up to the house and Boy walks up to him. TJ asks where Boy's Mom is. Boy begins to yell at him. Boy's Mom says that she'll go talk to TJ, but Mac asks if a cylinder is filled with butane and she says it is. He says to let TJ come to them. I bet he has a plan a-brewin'!

TJ walks up to the house and draws his gun. He bursts in an Mac hits the nozzle off the cylinder, turning it into a projectile that hits TJ in the chest knocking him down.

Boy tells Mac to shoot TJ, but Mac says that TJ shot himself and that he's dead. Mighty convenient. Welp, that's one bad guy dead. Who do we have next?

An army guy is talking to his superior. AG thinks that Mac is there to contact the resistance. I think we're going to have to defeat both AG and his superior.

Boy has buried TJ. He has taken TJ's whip and wants Mac to beat him with the whip because he lied to him about being alone with his mom. He used Mac to defeat TJ.

Boy is a little chauvinist. He talks about "man's work" and all that stuff. I think that Mac is going to have to teach him how....TO BE A MAN.

Boy's Mom sends him off to get rid of TJ's horse and Mac tells him not to forget the whip. She's being very tender with him. I'm predicting some kissin'. There's a bunch of sensual stuff.

Boy's Mom: It has been infected. It must be cauterized.
Mac: Ouch.

Boy sends the horse off, but not before expressing the desire to keep it.

Boy's Mom has a hot iron poker that is red from the fire. She has Mac bite on some wood and presses the poker to the wound. He passes out. And he's SUPER sweaty. She wipes him once with the towel and then once, tenderly with her hand.

OH boy has has kept TJ's horse's silver bridle (my wife assures me that this was the thing he was coveting on the horse.) And he stashes it under the bed. I wonder if that will cause trouble later......

Boy's Mom tells Boy that she doesn't think Mac will stay, but Boy is convinced that he will.

I don't know if it's a couple of days later or just like A day later, but Mac is up and hungry. Boy's Mom has dressed him in her husband's clothing.

TJ's men have found his horse and have noticed the bridle is missing.

Boy comes in with a bucket of water complaining that his back hurts. Mac is going to fix it, you guys. Boy is impatient and frustrated that things are always breaking. Mac says that he needs to have patience in his life. They wrap the pump piston in something to create a vacuum and VOILA. Water flows clean and voluminously. Boy is stoked and says that Mac can teach him how to fix everything and that he can stay. And Mac says yeah of course.

AG is debriefing the Turbanned Fellows that found TJ's horse and basically says find the American or else. So I guess they're going to be showing up at the house soon.

Mac tells Boy's Mom that he's leaving tomorrow. She says that Boy was happy that he was there. And then she's crying and he's wiping her tears and he's holding her hand....

AND THEN ITS THE NEXT DAY (more than kissing, you guys)

And Boy is out looking to see if people are coming for him. They have a post-coital-I-like-looking-at-you moment and then Boy comes running up and says the Soviets are coming. They race inside. Mac gets to work in the barn. He's working one-handed here with his other arm in a sling. He has looped a rope around one post in the barn and is now burying himself in hay.

Boy and his mom are pretending that there's nothing going on. A soldier comes to look at the house. This might be TJ's second-in-command because we've seen him before. He steals Boy's food. Because he's another jerk.

A Soviet guy is walking near the barn. He doesn't see Mac in the straw.

OH NO! The Turbanned Guy has found the silver bridle!!! The jig is up. They were playing it so cool.

The Army guy goes into the barn and Mac pulls it down on him and punches him out. Then Turbanned Guy (Food Thief) comes looking for the soldier and Mac hits him with a shovel.

The soldier regains consciousness and Boy wants Mac to kill him but he doesn't. It's a lesson for Boy. The soldier runs off. Mac says that the Red Army will be there soon so it's time to skedaddle. They're going to pack what they can and head for the Pakistani border.

Escaped Soldier runs up to a truck that AG is in and a bunch of other dudes and they are on the way back to the house.

Boy's Mom and Boy have packed and Mac is in the jeep (MacGyver's apparent sponsor, you'll remember) that the soldier and Turbanned Guy arrived in. And they race off.

The superior officer is yelling at Escaped Soldier and saying he needs to find the guy so as to ONLY lose six months pay and his rank. Otherwise it's a court-martial.

So the jeep is heading for the border. The soviets see it and load a bazooka. They miss, of course. They fire again. And miss again. And again and again. And then after all that, they hit the jeep! Boy's Mom immediately gives up hope, but...Mac has a plan. He grabs the water jugs and heads for the hills above where the jeep has rolled to a stop.

They pour the water into the cracks and begins to spray the cracks with a fire extinguisher, freezing the water and loosening a big chunk of the mountain. Mac waits for it.....and......breaks off a HUGE chunk which falls on the enemy vehicle. They are free to walk to the border....I guess because the Soviets ran away? Or because the rock is in the way.

Suddenly, Escaped Soldier is there with a tank. Boy thinks he's going to kill them, but instead he tells them where the border is, in exchange for Mac sparing his life. He drives off. It's kind of a sweet moment between him and Mac, actually.

Boy realizes that if Mac had killed that guy that they would have run into a soldier that didn't give a hoot about them and they would be dead. Mac has taught him another lesson.

They start walking towards the border. Mac regards Boy as a Man now, and the episode is over. I suppose we assume that they made it to the border with no problems...what a weird ending. But I guess it was never about crossing a physical border, was it? It was about crossing the border from Boy to Man. And they did that.

Welp, see you next week!

NEXT WEEK: UGLY DUCKLING (MacGyver takes on a fable about a duck that turns into a swan!?!)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

New Countdown, Old Bonus Segment

This week I resurrect a bonus song concept that I bet you'd forgotten! But, then again, you probably don't live your life with bonus song concepts floating around in your head. Or do you?!?!

No hunky teen TV star this week (Sorry Erin, but I can have you EXPECTING it, you know?) just pure, unadulterated, genre-ally hazy Alternative Songs!

Countdown #116

Alex Clare
The Black Keys
Green Day
Imagine Dragons
The Killers
Linkin Park
The Lumineers
Of Monsters and Men

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

P.O.S. Preorder!

That's right. THREE P.O.S. posts in like 2 hours, but that's how the internet works, people.

You can pre-order the new album here.

You can get a cd, an lp, a cd and a tshirt, an lp and a tshirt, a cd a book and a shirt, etc.

I would recommend doing one of the above.

P.O.S. New LP Tracklisting

Well well welll, it looks like the video that Pitchfork posted today is of the FIRST song on the new album We Don't Even Live Here.

Pitchfork posted it here. But I'm going to post it, too.

We Don't Even Live Here:

01 Bumper
02 Fuck Your Stuff
03 Where We Land
04 Wanted Wasted
05 They Can't Come
06 Lockpicks, Knives, Bricks and Bats
07 Arrow to the Action - Fire in the Hole
08 Get Down
09 All of It
10 We Don't Even Live Here (Weird Friends)
11 Piano Hits

And, apparently, Justin Vernon from Bon Iver will be contributing vocals to "Where We Land" which is cool. Some GAYNGS love.

P.O.S. - "Bumper" Video

I am hoping to publish something every day this week and so I had been kind of nervous about what I was going to talk about today. And then I saw this:

Which I'm PRAYING is on his new album We Don't Even Live Here which comes out on Sept. 18. [UPDATE: It looks like it's actually not going to be out until 10/23]

Actually, even if it's not, that's ok. This is the caliber of material he's making and that bodes VERY well for the new album.

This is the third new song of his I've heard this year and the other two are also SO GOOD.

So that makes me happy.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Big Scary

It's weird when you get music that's brand new to you, from a band that's relatively well established outside your field of knowledge.

I got an email containing the two singles from the debut album from Big Scary, Vacation. Big Scary, to me, are brand new, but, if their page tells us anything, they are kinda big in Australia. Not HUGE. But certainly not as new as I would have guessed.

But the point is not how new or established a band is. The point is, is the music enjoyable? I think you'll find, after listening to these two singles, that Big Scary makes VERY enjoyable music that I have yet to pin down.

I was only going to post "Gladiator" but I think listening to both gives you an idea of the range that these two are capable of.

Big Scary - Gladiator
Big Scary - Falling Away

Both from their debut, Vacation, which you can purchase at their website, on Bandcamp, or on iTunes.

It looks like the album isn't out worldwide until September, which is why it's not yet available on the US iTunes page.

Monday, August 13, 2012

MacGyver Mondays: "Every Time She Smiles" (Season 1, Episode 16)

Title: Every Time She Smiles
Airdate: 2/19/1986
My Age at Airdate: 2 years, 7 months, 3 days
Episode Type: Penny, Espionage

Before she was a desperate housewife or even Lois Lane, Teri Hatcher had a recurring role on a little TV show I like to call MacGyver. This is the first episode she 's on.  She was 21 when this aired.

OPENING CREDITS (If we don't have any more opening gambits in this season, I believe I'll stop putting this when we start Season 2)

Ok we're establishing that we're not in America. MacGyver is walking near a Merry-Go-Round and reminiscing about when he first rode on one.

He has a cast on. And he's talking about how he should never have skied in the Swiss Alps. He's walking among old men playing chess.

Ah, we're in Bulgaria. He sits down and starts speaking code with his contact. One of his opponent's knights has the microfilm on it. He takes the knight, lightly places it on the stamp section of a postcard, a microfilm comes off of it, and he places a stamp over it and leaves. Nicely done!

Now he's waiting in line at an airport. And who should come up to him but...TERI HATCHER! Her character has big hair and big xenophobia. She introduces herself as Penny Parker. She's super cute and super talkative.

Haha. She makes MacGyver look like Clint Eastwood in Gran Turino. Grumpy and not wanting to talk.

Uhoh. Some army guys and a blond guy in a suit come in and Penny puts something in Mac's pocket. Blond guy is an exboyfriend or something. But he clearly has a temper and a lot of power. He wants her to give him back some jewelry he gave her. He searches through her bag and  discovers them missing.

Meanwhile, MacGyver walks through the metal detector and it goes off. Blond Guy and his henchmen run after him. The pull out his bag and there are the jewels. Mac doesn't know what they are, but that doesn't stop him from hit the guards with his bag and running off. But he tries to go into the women's lavatory and a big hilarious Germanish lady yells at him as the guards catch up.

So now they're handcuffed together and they're locked in a room. Haha Mac gets it out of her that she withheld one ring from the jewels and that's why they're being detained. She thinks Blond Guy is just a lowly government worker, but I think it's pretty clear that he's not.

MacGyver is looking for a way out because the postcard with the microfilm was in his luggage and he needs to get it back.

He puts his ear to the wall. He hears a whirring sound. He grabs the metal coatrack and starts bashing the wall. He breaks the drywall. But there's chicken wire preventing them from getting through. On the other side is the baggage conveyer belt. 

He and Penny start bending hangers into figure 8's. They link the hangers together and wrap the link hangers around a chair. So now the hook of the hanger  is on one side and the other side is attached to a big-ass chair. So he hooks the conveyer belt and the chair flies through the wall. They get on the conveyer belt and ride out in style, to the confusion of the public. Haha it looks like they've been canoodling.

They run outside and try to get a cab. The problem is that they have handcuffs on. Oh, and Blond Guy put an order out with their pictures to all border patrols and they're to be treated as enemies or something. Not good at all.

Now Blond Guy is talking to his uncle, Bald Guy. The jewelry is his mother's. Uh oh. The jewels are worth a LOT of money. They are part of the crown jewels of Hanover. 

The microfilm that MacGyver has has Swiss Bank Account numbers that are where Bald Guy has been putting all the money he's been skimming at his government job. The jewels are a "small part" of that skimming.

So they need all those jewels back or else they're basically going to Siberia.

But Blond Guy has been monitoring the Underground that made the microfilm. Bald Guy says that he needs to find out who has the microfilm and that torture may be necessary.

Mac and Penny are walking through the same park with the people playing chess. His contact calls out to him and they go into a shed and the contact starts freaking out. Penny tells him Blond Guy's name and his face falls even further. Of course he knows who Blond Guy is. And he knows that Blond Guy is the nephew to General Bald Guy.

(Meanwhile MacGyver is picking the lock to the handcuffs with one of Penny's earrings.)

Blond Guy is the head of Security and the wrong guy to mess with.

Mac's Contact examines the ring and tells them about the looting of the crown jewels.

MacGyver asks if his contact can hide Penny until he gets the microfilm back. The contact is leading them to a hiding place, but the then Blond Guy and two suited henchmen come down the hill and start chasing after them.

MacGyver and Penny run away, leaving the contact to fend for himself.

They run to the Merry-Go-Round from the beginning. Mac turns the Merry-Go Round on full speed (we're talking red zone of the lever.) Then he throws some rings on the gears that are making it turn and the thing suddenly stops and the henchmen go flying.

So now they're sitting an a dark cafe. It's very romantic. She has drawn him a map of Blond Guy's apartment. It's going to be tough to break in. MacGyver thinks that the stuff is in Blond Guy's apartment because he'd want to keep it all safe.

Aww he and Penny are having a moment. He's very paternal to her. Also, her hair is HUGE! And MacGyver gives her a kiss for good luck (kiss slut) and then she gives him a big passionate kiss for even more luck.

So now Mac's Contact is siting in a dark room, shirtless getting a bucket of water to the face. Blond Guy and Bald Guy are torturing him. Bald Guy has a picture of his family that he thought were safe. His Contact starts spilling. He says that Mac called her "Penny".

Bald Guy tells Blond Guy that the microfilm is probably with the other stuff in his apartment, so Blond Guy is going to go there and shoot MacGyver on sight.

MacGyver is now at Blond Guy's apartment. He has scaled the wall and gone in through the (conveniently) unlocked window. He's having this inner monologue considering the trouble that talking to Penny has gotten him into, but he can't be rude, you know?

Ok, he has found the postcard, but there's a buzz at the door. And someone's knocking. It's Penny. The silly girl. Haha she came in the front door because the doorman knows her. Of course that's bad.

And now Blond Guy is coming into the place. So they have to hide. But Penny doesn't hide. She sits on his couch and distracts him. She might not be so dumb after all.

Mac is in the kitchen. He has removed the gas line from the oven and puts the line over a cookie sheet. He's going to mix rat poison, soap flakes, and tile cleaner. Now he's putting a dab of lard on a plate, a piece of newspaper, and some crystals from a bottle of oven cleaner. He puts it in front of the gas line.

Mac reveals himself to Blond Guy. Blond Guy tells him to look at all the soldiers outside. The building is surrounded. Blond Guy pulls his gun out and threatens MacGyver. He wants the microfilm.

Meanwhile the stuff in the kitchen is bubbling and smoking. Blond Guy goes to investigate and Mac knocks him out. The stuff in the kitchen explodes. He and Penny grab bathrobes to mingle with the tenants. But she grabs sexy lingerie. Hilarious. They jump in Blond Guy's car. Penny has grabbed the keys from his dresser and they escape.

Blond Guy is making plans to block the borders, have guards at the gas stations and all that. But he wisely tells a subordinate that "there is always a way to get through" which is rare for a villain to realize.

MacGyver and Penny are driving through the night. She's gushing about the beautiful countryside. Mac is worried about the gas level. But Penny knows where they can get gas that's not at a gas station.

Blond Guy is on the move. He has "an idea" he wants to check out.

Mac and Penny are in a nice house that turns out to be Bald Guy's house. But the gas can she was remembering is empty.

Penny: Hey wait a minute! There's that machine that they used to plow with...
MacGyver: ........A trac-tor?
Penny: Yeah!
--Laugh out loud comedy on this week's episode. Seriously.

So they're going to go get the tractor (or maybe just the gas for the tractor) but then Blond Guy comes in with a gun

Penny: OH SWELL! You're not gonna shoot us, are you?

Mac tries to convince Blond Guy that he has a choice in the matter of whether he kills them and continues to take orders from his corrupt Uncle.

Ok, so I don't usually say what the names of one-time-only characters on this show are, but Blond Guy's name is Stephan (pronounced STEFF-on). It might be "Stepan" or "Stepon" (like STEP-on), but

MacGyver: It's a matter of conscience, Steve. You do have one of those, don't you?

Hahaha he keeps calling him Steve. Awesome.

So they're on their way out, but then Bald Guy steps out of a doorway and ALSO has a gun. So Mac hands over the postcard to Bald Guy. Bald Guy tells Steve to kill both of them. Bald Guy explains that the other men are waiting at the crossroads for 10 minutes and then they'll come to the house where Bald Guy will explain that they had to shoot the two spies because they were trying to escape.

Steve attacks Bald Guy and Mac knocks him out! Change of Heart!!!! Uh oh. Dude is going to get shot. He knows his Swiss Bank Account number so he can help them escape and pay their way. I almost guarantee that Steve is going to get shot.

Bald Guy awakens as the guards pull up. So it's a race to the border. This show has a lot of races to the border. Borders were a big thing in the 80's.

MacGyver has Penny take the wheel and drive close to a truck that's ahead of them while Mac goes out the sunroof and jumps onto the truck. He connects the exhaust from the truck (which is a water truck) to the hose into the water tank and cuts another line so that it's leaking all over the road. The diesel and water are forming an immiscible liquid and causing the cars following them to swerve and crash.

They go under a fence and are in Greece! All three of them. A Greek soldier immediately drives up (what, are they patrolling the countryside??) and demands the passports, but then Penny recognizes him and it's clear that he is in love with her too.

Steve utters the title of the episode and Mac says "Shoulda known" and it's over. They're all safe. I guess I thought the writer(s) was/were going to go for a more tragic ending, but then they didn't.


So, that's the first of several Penny Parker episodes that crop up throughout the show. She's lovely and funny. AND HER HAIR IS SO BIG!

See you next week :)


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Countdown #115: NEW NEW NEW

I am so early in getting this episode done. Usually I have some idea about where the songs are the following week so I can arrange to play things or whatever to accommodate that, but that is not the case this week. 

My friend Erin says that these Countdown posts don't really have a lot of content aimed at her. In the interest of rectifying that:
Maybe the prospect of more of
the same will entice you back :)

Meanwhile, over here, we'll have the countdown. You might think that there's a lot of new stuff on this one. You're right.

Alex Clare
The Black Keys
Green Day
Imagine Dragons
The Killers
The Lumineers
Of Monsters and Men

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Shy Around Strangers - "It's Alright"

It is always so awesome when I can actually follow up on a band. Back in March, I wrote this blog post about Shy Around Strangers. I was very stoked about them then and I'm even more stoked now.

Someone was looking at that blog post and it reminded me about them, so I looked on my iTunes and the song didn't make the transfer to the new laptop, so I went to their Bandcamp page and from there jumped over to their website where I was INCREDIBLY stoked to see that they have released their SECOND single also for FREE!!

The debut EP should be coming out this month, unless there've been delays.

Just like before, I'm going to post the embedded player (this time from Soundcloud) instead of my own link to the MP3, because I want you to let the band know you're digging it.


Monday, August 6, 2012

MacGyver Mondays: "The Enemy Within" (Season 1, Episode 15)

Title: The Enemy Within
Airdate: 2/12/1986
My Age at Airdate: 2 years, 6 months, 27 days
Episode Type: Murder Investigation, Mole-Hunting

Well, well, well. HERE you are! I've been looking all over for you!

In celebration of BLOGPOCALYPSE, I am officially reinstating MacGyver Mondays. I will be attempting 3 or 4 episodes before K and L return and hopefully that will give me the cache of posts I need to keep the flow continuous.

Are you stoked? I am stoked as well.


We open on some woods. And a classic Mac voiceover. He's so grumpy all the time. I love it.

He's walking through an Eastern European forest. He meets his contact and makes some small talk about Kareem Abdul-Jabaar. He gives MacGyver the...microfilm or something.

And then Nazis are there. Or Soviet or something.

MacGyver distracts them with German gibberish and then throws his contact's quail to the dogs and runs off. The contact runs too. But Mac is just running for himself. A police car comes around the corner. And from the other way comes a motorcycle. Crap. Mac's surrounded. But the car cuts off the motorcycle and the driver calls out to Mac. It's Bannister! (Mac knows him. We don't know him.) They speed off. 

Mac's contact is probably being eaten by dogs now, by the way.

The car's brake line has a leak and they are barreling down the hill with no brake fluid. Bannister immediately starts saying his goodbyes, but Mac has other plans. He's going to pump steering fluid into the brake cylinder. While the car is careening.

They keep saying how far they are from the border in kilometers. So I, being an American educated in American schools, have no idea how far that is.

Mac does his thing and the brakes work!

MacGyver: Piece of cake!

MacGyver: So. How's the wife?
Bannister: She's fine. Juuust fine.
--Small Talk.

MacGyver arrives at work. Gives the security guard a letter and pictures from his sister in East Berlin, has a touching moment, and moves on with his day.

He walks in on a blonde being fondled and kissed by.....Bannister! He introduces MacGyver to his wife, Ingrid.

He goes to see the new director of his work...Pete Thornton!

Pete tells Mac that they've lost four top agents in the past...something. I'm trying not to pause or rewind these shows so that they don't take a long time.

Mac refuses to investigate. He needs R and R. He needs a vacation. He just keeps saying no to Pete who is practically begging him. He's moving to a place on the beach. Is this the houseboat? I don't know.

Pete has a Russian defector who can identify KGB agents, but Pete doesn't trust her (I'm actually not sure if he said it was a girl.) not to be a double-agent.

She comes in and says that Mac is a coward for not doing his duty. Mac argues that Pete is setting her up as a human target. She says she owes Pete a debt for getting her mother out of a Soviet gulag.

Mac still refuses. It's semi-awkward.

So Pete accepts that and asks MacGyver to be at this banquet for the Sciences or something. If he could please be there, Pete would be grateful. Mac sorta says yes and sorta says no.

So now we're at that banquet. Everyone is dressed up. There are lots of old women in sparkles. There's a robot waiter. It's the "Peace Through Science" banquet.

Mac comes in looking SMOKIN hot in a tuxedo. He makes small talk (hilarious one-sided banter) with the robot waiter.

Bannister makes fun of him being in a tuxedo and, very unsubtly, checks out Mac's ass. I mean, he takes a long look.

Pete Thornton walks in with the defector. He hits on her a little. Like you do.

They walk over to look at the ultra high-pitched sound machine. I wonder if we'll make use of that device later....

The defector is kind of a B to MacGyver, but I guess she still doesn't respect him. But then she sees a KGB assassin in the crowd, so she's useful. Mac says they should leave, but the defector tells him to take his hands off her. She says he doesn't know her.

A priest starts speaking to open the banquet. I will always remember this priest. So the KGB guy is clicking a switch that is emitting a high-pitched squeal. The priest is starting to be bothered and sweat. He tries to get his speech out, but then he grabs a gun that has been hidden up there and tries to kill the defector.

Mac grabs the ultra high pitch thing and aims it at him, breaking his glasses and causing him to pass out.

The priest is still giving the part of his speech where he pulls the gun. He's about to give them info, but the KGB guy flicks another remote and the priest starts to have a heart attack.

Mac and Bannister give him CPR for like 1 minute and then decide that he's dead. Um, that's not how you're supposed to do it, guys. But whatever. I guess it would be bad television.

Now we're in the hospital and the ME is examining the body. He's a funny old coot.

The ME says there was a fibrous blockage. Mac takes a sample.

A very grainy establishing shot puts us back at Mac's place. There's a knock on the door. It's the defector. She's being very very nice to him. There's this weird sexual tension that wasn't there before. Weird.

They move on to Mac's chemistry set. He puts an acid in water and then activates a magnetic field and the acid starts turning into nylon. The very thing that clogged the priest's arteries. Kind of cool, actually. I wonder if that would work.

Now we're in the Bannisters' bedroom. They're discussing the day. All very sweet stuff. Kissing and stuff. She starts to rub his back. And then she hits a switch on what looks like a stereo on her nightstand. He goes into a kind of a trance. It's becoming clear that their "honeymoon" was a brainwashing session where she broke him to her will.

She is able to probe him for details while he's in this trance. And also drop information into his subconscious. She tells him that the defector and MacGyver are behind the whole thing and that he has to kill both of them. Super creepy.

The phone rings and it's the KGB guy. He tells the wife that Mac and the defector are in like a science fair hall or something. It seems like maybe she's the one in charge.

Oh. I see. Mac and the defector are back at the scene of the crime. They're watching a tape of the events of the previous night. Mac notices the first high-pitched squeal that started the priest on his murderous, brainwashed, suicide mission.

The defector think she remembers where she's heard the sound before but can't remember exactly, so MacGyver constructs a hypnosis device from things around the room. Like you do. She says that she ALMOST trusts him, but that she needs him to kiss her first. They share a passionate kiss (he's a kiss-slut, even if he's not the one that suggests it).

Bannister's wife drives up with Bannister and continues to instruct him on his mission to kill Mac and the defector. He gets out of the car with a gun. The KGB guy and Bannister's wife get out after him.

Mac and the defector are in the science room doing word association. When Bannister's wife comes up on the screen, the defector says that she feels wrong about her. She suddenly remembers that she saw Bannister's wife back in Moscow in a Red Army uniform. She's Army Intelligence.

Then Bannister, his wife, and the KGB guy walk in. Bannister's wife reveals the plan to put Bannister in Pete's place. Then she tells Bannister to kill them. He slowly walks towards them, but MacGyver shoves the TV at him and his shot misses. Mac attacks the KGB guy and the defector attacks Bannister's wife. But then Bannister has his gun back and is pointing it at MacGyver.

MacGyver puts the KGB guy's gun down and begins to try to reason with Bannister. It looks like it's kind of starting to work. Bannister's wife says that Bannister is theirs, but Bannister puts the gun down. Bannister's wife hits the "heart attack" remote and Bannister collapses as nylon fills his heart.

The defector punches Bannister's wife and Mac gets to work making defibrillators out of candlesticks. If he can apply an electric shock, he can reverse process. It takes three shocks, but it works. He's safe.


Man, I forgot how awesome that episode is. The priest and the nylon heart attacks and the brainwashing and the hypnosis. So good from front to back.

It's good to be back, you guys. Hopefully I'm back for good this time :)


The State of Alternative Music

I talked a little bit about this on my podcast this week, but here's the link to that conversation I had with Alan from "Having Said That..."

Also be warned that there is a spoiler about an aspect of next week's podcast that I drop without any warning or anything at all.

Don't be shy about leaving comments on the post that I'm about to link to. I'll be watching. We can definitely keep the conversation going. Ask questions! Call us idiots! Pick YOUR favorite Brand New album!

The State of Alternative Music: A Conversation

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Haha I really am overselling the blogpocalypse of it all. Hope your expectations are sky high!!!!

So, this was a good episode with some fun changes. New songs. And a discussion on input volume levels!!! Seriously, though, I need your feedback. I explain before and after I intro #5, so please let me know!

Countdown #114

Alex Clare
The Black Keys
Foo Fighters
Green Day
Imagine Dragons
Linkin Park
Of Monsters and Men
The Offspring
Silversun Pickups

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August 2012 Media Update

July was a blur. I got this laptop that I'm typing on for my birthday, we did the 4th of July celebrations, my job got super super boring (not necessarily bad, but I'm hoping it picks up this week), and I began preparations for BLOGPOCALYPSE 2012!!!

It's an overblown title, but my wife and daughter are leaving on Saturday to visit some family in St. Louis and I am hatching all sorts of schemes about what I'm going to get done on the blog. Stay tuned!

Last Song/MP3 I listened to: This is surprisingly easy this month. We picked up my car from getting inspection repairs and I listened to Jars of Clay "Boy on a String" from their eponymous debut. It holds a lot of great memories for me. Listening to the tape my uncle first gave me this album on (weirdly phrased sentence), seeing them perform this and other songs with my friend Lisa, and performing in that same friend Lisa's music video for this song that she made senior year of high school. It's a pretty great song from a  pretty great album.

Last TV show I watched: This was the TOUGHEST category this month. I haven't been watching a lot of TV. Or at least that I remember. I watch about 1.5 episodes of Season 14 of the Simpsons when I work out and I worked out on Monday and I watched the end of "Strong Arms of the Ma" and all of "Pray Anything" both of which I feel hearken back to the more realistic episodes from the first couple of seasons. Mostly.

Last Movie I watched: Ok, maybe THIS is the easiest category. Lila's Grandmas have been watching her since last night and will bring her back tomorrow, so K and I had a free evening. We went out to eat and then got a DVD from Redbox. We watched "Friends With Kids" which I really really enjoyed (I don't think I realized how much I like Maya Rudolph until tonight) but which I feel would be lost on people that aren't roughly the age and stage-of-life that I'm in right now.

Last Written Work I read: So last month I was in May 2011 on my New Yorkers. Today at work (I told you, it's been slow!) I finished the January 16, 2012 issue. I know. I'm stoked, too! The Fiction in that issue was a really good story called "A Brief Encounter With the Enemy" and it was written by Saïd Sayrafiezadeh. (Here's a link to him discussing it with the New Yorker's Fiction editor)I really enjoyed it and am enjoying this project more and more as I get closer and closer to caught up!

When I write the next Media Update, K will be back in school and it'll be SEPTEMBER. AHHHHHHHH! :) See you then

New Desaparecidos Songs!

So, Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) used to also be in this band called Desaparecidos (which is Spanish for "the disappeared") but then he became CONOR OBERST (BRIGHT EYES) and they decided to call it a day in 2002 after only 1 album and 1 single. The album Read Music/Speak Spanish (Buy from Amazon) (Buy from Saddle Creek Records) is fantastic. And far too short!

Well, this year, they are doing some touring and are releasing a couple new songs! You can pick up the mp3's or the 7" tomorrow at their website

Here's one of the songs for you to listen to, MariKKKopa

And you can listen to the other one, Backsell, here. But it might just be for today, I'm not sure.