Monday, September 10, 2012

MacGyver Mondays: "The Escape" (Season 1, Episode 20)

Title: The Escape
Airdate: 4/16/1986
My Age at Airdate: 2 years, 9 months
Episode Type: Prison Break, Arms Dealing

It's the last episode of Disc 5 and then we only have 2 more before the end of the first season!! So let's see what or whom MacGyver has to escape from.


We open on North Africa. A bustling cityscape. Mac is playing soccer with some North African kids at some sort of convent or something. There are nuns. 

A truck pulls up with a bunch of metal. And then this Blonde walks up with some clothing. The romantic theme music plays. MacGyver is smitten.

Whoa. She needs him to break her brother out of prison. Things just got real. Her brother is a medical missionary. He brought in some supplies. The government tried to take them because they're valuable, so he hid them and they locked him away.

HAHA. So she finishes telling him this and Mac's like, Ok let's get him out. And Blondie's like, But it's a maximum security prison! If she thought it was impossible, why is she asking Mac to do it?

So MacGyver is going to go in, see where things are. I guess he's going to get himself arrested. Two soldiers are picking on a storekeeper. Mac goes over there, and sprays them in the face with soda and boom he's arrested. Easy peasy.

Now he's in a truck with a bunch of other people.

And now he's talking to the Warden. The guy is a sleaze ball. Mac needs to get money or he won't be fed or have shelter. Such a corrupt place.

The helpful janitor takes him out of the room and they have some bonding time.

So now the prisoners are playing soccer. It's like a theme.

Mac asks Janitor who lives in this nice swanky section of the prison. Janitor tells him that Baldy, and his henchman, Mustache live there. Baldy owns the prison. Mustache is his enforcer.

While Mac is noticing Baldy and Mustache, and Baldy and Mustache are noticing him! Baldy tells Mustache to found out all he can about MacGyver.

Janitor takes MacGyver to his cell. He gives Mac the top bunk. Is that good or bad?

Janitor tells Mac that escape is impossible. Mac takes Janitor's soccer ball and his olive oil. It looks like he's making a papier mache something with the soccer ball as the mold. He's made a hot air balloon! He lights some cotton balls that he has attached to the wire at the bottom of the balloon and off it sails. One of the coolest things I've seen on this show.

Blondie sees the signal. She smiles and drives off.

MacGyver asks Janitor if he wants to come with him when he escapes, but Janitor says that he only has six months until he's released. And then Janitor realizes that not trying to escape basically means the prison has taken away his humanity and so he will help.

Blondie's Brother is being held in a special wing of the prison designated for political prisoners. Heavy security, extra guards, etc.

Mustache tells MacGyver that Baldy wants to see him. When MacGyver asks why, Mustache attacks him. Then MacGyver briefly gets the upper hand and Baldy sends two prisoners in to hold MacGyver while Mustache beats on him a little bit. Before Mustache can land the final blow, Baldy stops him and the three of them go back to Baldy's pad.

Mustache deposits Mac on the floor and Baldy gives Mac a towel to wipe himself up (so that he doesn't dirty Baldy's carpet).

Right off the bat, both men's attentions are drawn to a radio that sounds awful. MacGyver sets to fixing it. Haha right after he fixes it, he tells Baldy that he could also fix the refrigerator in his PCP (angel dust) lab. Which he says hilariously nonchalantly. Apparently the easiest drug to make in prison is PCP. Mac tells Baldy that he can double the PCP output if Baldy will get him in to see Blondie's Brother. Baldy agrees.

Hilariously, and bafflingly, they're going to do the visitation first. If I was Baldy, I'd have Mac do the drug stuff first and then, once I saw that he wasn't trying to blow up my operation or something, I'd hold up my end. 

I should write an instruction manual for MacGyver villains. It would be called Lock The Doors To Your Cars and Trucks: A Tutorial for Enemies of MacGyver and it'd go to the TOP OF THE CHARTS (the villainy advice hardcover charts)

So, Mac gets to see Blondie's Brother. It's the guy who plays Q on Star Trek: TNG. Everything's bugged and the Warden is listening, but Mac knows that he's not alone with the guy so they start improvising a little scene about gunships and huey choppers and stuff to throw the Warden off. 

The Warden hears the lie that BBQ (Blondie's Brother: Q) and Mac cook up about a whole bunch of money that BBQ hid and tells Baldy to find out everything about that and then kill MacGyver.

Janitor and MacGyver are talking. About friendship and freedom. Like Frenchmen and Americans of old. Mac asks Janitor if he knows how to run the PA system, but then a guard comes in before Janitor can answer. The guard tells Mac that his wife is here and they take him to meet her.

Of course it's Blondie. They kiss (kiss slut) and kiss and kiss. The Warden is listening to more false information, but he's slyly smiling. I wonder what that's about.

The next morning, MacGyver is peppy like he had a very enjoyable evening and he makes his way over to Baldy's place to work on the drug lab. He swipes a tape recorder under his jacket right away. And then Baldy leads him to the PCP lab.

Baldy begins to "casually" ask Mac about his meeting with BBQ. And then he leaves him alone. (Chapter 4 of the book: DON'T LEAVE YOUR ENEMY ALONE)

MacGyver starts to do something with a fan while Warden and Baldy have a weird, vaguely romantic moment.

Mac has hooked up things that have rubber blades that you would use if you were making a cake but didn't have an electric mixer? You know? He hooks that up to the fan and gets the tape recorder going. 

Then he grabs some PCP (they're in nice little blocks!) and puts it in his jacket pocket. He pours some "volatile liquid" on the pocket and has made "a bomb you can wear anywhere".

Warden is preparing for the helicopter/gunship attacks. He's basically putting the prison on full alert.

Now he's fashioning a PCP bomb with a good old-fashioned ice timer. He's hooking wires up so that they'll touch the metal of this washbasin when the ice melts. And then the PCP will blow up.

Janitor brings BBQ's guard some food he likes and slyly tells BBQ to be ready to escape today at noon.

Mac almost forgets to take the tape recorder and take down the cake thing. Then he knocks on the door to be let out. Mustache leads him into the room where Baldy confronts him. About all the phony information. Mac gives him some more hogwash. And leads them out of the cell.

Blondie pulls up in a funky old-looking taxi, gets out and makes like she's having car trouble right in front of the prison gates. The guards at the door look interested.

Mac passes the coat with the PCP bomb and the tape recorder to Janitor.

He leads Baldy and Mustache to the fire pit and tells them that the information about the Swiss bank account where all the money was going to be deposited was buried under that fire.

Janitor sets a timer and sets up the tape recorder in the Warden's office. Then he takes the jacket down to BBQ's cell and tells him to light the pocket of the jacket in 3 minutes.

The timer in the Warden's office hits zero and the tape recorder (which has been switched to a faster speed) starts and plays over the PA. It sounds like approaching helicopters. The guards start to go nuts. They sound the alarm.

Mac throws ash in Mustache's face and punches Baldy. He runs off.

BBQ's guard gets a call and leaves.

BBQ lights the pocket and ducks out of the way. An explosion busts the lock and BBQ runs with Janitor down the darkened hallway.

The ice melts and the wire touches metal and the PCP lab explodes. The guards think that the choppers are doing all this.

Blondie gets her car and smashes the gate in. Mac quickly hugs Janitor goodbye and MacGyver and BBQ escape.

Warden tells Baldy that he will be in an isolation cell for the rest of his sentence. I guess Baldy's lucky Warden didn't kill him.

Blondie pulls the car in crooked and they all get out. BBQ goes and stands by another car, Blondie shoots the engine of the first car. And Mac is confused. BBQ says that they don't need MacGyver anymore and now they can kill him.

Blondie points the gun at him.

The story unravels. Mac has been played. Blondie is a Soviet agent. She's delivering weapons to the third-world. BBQ is an arms dealer.

BBQ: Must we have all this maudlin revelations? Just kill him and get it over with before the Gendarmes show up.

--Now THIS is a proper villain. Perhaps he can write my book.

Blondie is having a change of heart. She points the gun at BBQ and tells him that she won't be killing anyone. BBQ gets in the car and Blondie slowly backs towards the car. BBQ grabs her gun hand and fires at MacGyver (stormtrooper aim, but really you can't fault him for his poor aim with someone else holding the gun and him firing backwards and all) and drives off, leaving Blondie with Mac.

She says that if she doesn't get the weapons, BBQ will sell them to terrorists.

BBQ is driving up to a dock. Presumably it's where the weapons are. Mac and Blondie are following on foot.

Mac agrees to help Blondie if she'll agree to destroy the weapons if they find them.

BBQ is meeting with some terrorists.

Mac and Blondie find BBQ's car. They sneak in to where BBQ is showing the terrorists the weapons. Mac sends Blondie to go get the car, the terrorists are haggling.

MacGyver grabs a box of grenades that still use gunpowder (they're very old) and he's going to leave a trail of gunpowder that leads to the pile of the other grenades and the rest of the weapons.

He tosses one grenade near to BBQ and the terrorists, they duck for cover. And he lights the trail.

Blondie pulls BBQ's car?! He left the keys in the car?! Sigh. I was so hopeful for him.

She pulls up right next to the lit gunpowder trail, but the wind raised by her arrival didn't disturb any of the loose powder and cause the flame to run out of fuel. So that was lucky....

Mac snatches the briefcase of money and hops in the backseat and they speed off.

BBQ's whole stash blows up.

Now we're back at the mission. Mac has turned the pile of scrap metal into a jungle gym. Blondie and Mac give the briefcase of money to the nun. (If she's a Mother Superior, it's still ok to call her a nun, right?)

And that's it!


Hope you enjoyed the episode as much as I did!



Shalini said...

I am new to MacGyver Mondays and WOW this is strange (she said in the nicest way possible).

James! said...

Haha. I'm the first to admit how strange it is. :) Every post reaches a point where I'm like "Why am I doing this?"

But I enjoy reading them later, even if no one else does :)