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!?!)

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