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 :)


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