MacGyver Season 1 Episode 3 Review: Awl

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You can’t tell me you weren’t expecting to hear Bob Seger the moment you saw Ralphie in his tighty whities at the start of  MacGyver Season 1 Episode 3. I was sure he would don Ray-Bans and start sliding across the floor. 

A Mission Goes Wrong - MacGyver

Hey, if you can’t do your best Tom Cruise while on your cell phone in your glass house in Malaysia while laundering money for a terrorist ring, when can you? (Even Tom wore a shirt, though.)

Maybe Ralph would have put on more of a show had he realized that he was being watched by Mac, Jack and Riley from a van across the street. 

Why hack a computer when you can hack a human?


He was easy to apprehend, but as Mac&Jack (™) lead him out of the house, a sniper shoots Ralph in the chest.

Riley takes off in search of a doctor, while the guys pile in Ralph’s car amid more gunfire.

Ralph was never really going to pull off Tom Cruise, so we are stuck with Joe Pesci from Lethal Weapon for the duration of the episode. He and Jack trade barbs, even as the poor guy can’t breathe, and Mac creates a one-way valve with a driver’s license (wow).

He finally stopped talking. Let's just enjoy that for a second


Jack loses the bad guys on their tail after Mac creates a smokescreen by setting the headrest on fire. Riley finds a doctor on a golf course, but he doesn’t speak English, of course. 

So Mac performs surgery(!), basically by letting Google Translate talk him through it. Risky business, indeed! 

He said in the voiceover that he got a “C” in biology – does anything faze this guy? The C student pulls out his Swiss Army knife, slices into Ralph’s chest and rigs a tire jack to spread his ribs (the sound effects are the worst). Then Dr. Mac uses the pump from the windshield wipers to remove all the fluid from his lungs (and the blood splashes onto the windshield – so gross)

I'm glad he's alive but I still want to kill him


Upstairs in the office building, Mac creates a syringe using a ball point pen and dental floss (this tops the makeshift SUV operating room, in my opinion)

I’m on board with all of this, including Ralph’s ability to stand, run and banter after having blood drained from his lungs minutes earlier. 

The part I have a tough time believing is Mac’s plan to fake Ralph’s death by slowing his heart rate with the promise of coming back later to revive him. Hmmm. 

That insane plan almost works, until the terrorists steal Ralph’s body and Mac has to rig up some gas masks from a dumpster so they can incapacitate the bad guys while rescuing “sleeping” Ralph. 

'I could take out those guys' isn't a plan


Despite the unbelievable medical savior situations, this episode was packed with the MacGyver ingenuity we’ve come to expect. 

While any “MacGyverb” is fun to watch, all the action left no room for the main character’s personality to come through. That void was filled by the chemistry between Ralphie and Jack. But with Ralph entering the witness protection program, he probably can’t come back as a recurring character who could upstage the guy the show is named after.  

What did you think of the third episode of the MacGyver reboot? You can always watch MacGyver online now to catch up on the first season.

Other Notes:
  • I guess this episode could have also been called “Daddy Issues,” since Jack talks to his dead dad regularly, while Mac hasn’t talked to his living father in years (I think?). Paging RDA, please?
  • Worst line of the season so far: “I think I can cross pooping my pants off my bucket list.”
  • I Hope Bozer has an expanded role as the season goes on.

Awl Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (37 Votes)

Megan King is a staff writer for TV Fanatic.

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MacGyver Season 1 Episode 3 Quotes

Why hack a computer when you can hack a human?


He finally stopped talking. Let's just enjoy that for a second