In Mongolia, MacGyver is scaling a mountain and approaches a plateau where a USAF fighter has crashed with a top-secret missile. Soldiers have set up camp and taken the pilot prisoner. MacGyver knocks out a guard at a machine-gun post, takes his uniform, and slips past the guards to the plane. He takes a flare gun out of the cockpit and puts it in his bag, then spots a survivor, the pilot. MacGyver finds out from him which tent the missile is in and slips the man his Swiss Army Knife to cut himself free. MacGyver slips under the edge of the tent and uses a set of specialized tools to start disarming it. He removes the main circuit but sets off a 30-second timer. With seconds remaining, MacGyver uses a paper clip to stop the countdown. He then rigs a rifle to fire into the ground and heads for the pilot, who has cut himself free. The gunshots attract the guards and the pilot gets out, while MacGyver knocks out a guard. They head for the edge of the cliff as the guards open fire. MacGyver opens fire to hold them off and gives the rifle to the pilot, then takes out a parachute from his backpack. He dons it and grabs the pilot, then flattens the barrel of the flare gun, grabs the pilot, and fires the flare gun. The blast shoves them far enough off the cliff to get clear and make a safe drop...Read the full recap
Opening Gambit: MacGyver rescues a downed Air Force pilot from his Mongolian captors.
Jerrold Freedman directed the episode under the pseudonym "Alan Smithee."
Filming locations: Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles
Richard Dean Anderson
(MacGyver) and Dana Elcar
(Andy Colson) are the only actors to appear in both this episode and the finale, "Mountain of Youth
Dana Elcar (Andy Colson) would later play Peter Thornton, the Director of Operations at the Phoenix Foundation. He was a recurring guest star during the first season and later joined the regular cast for the second and subsequent series.
Two of the MacGyverisms presented here were examined on Mythbusters
in the episode "MacGyver Myths."
The "chocolate creating a resin" was proven truth, while the sodium explosive was proven false.
MacGyver: God, I hate heights.
Gantner: They calculate the chances of anyone getting through to Marlowe and Stubens is... well, it's not great.
MacGyver: Well, give me "not great" on a scale of one to ten.
Gantner: Minus three.
Colson: The only way to get down to the first level is through the elevator, and we can't even open the doors up here. The whole shaft is protected by laser.
MacGyver: Infra-red or gas discharge?
Colson: Gas. CO2, ten thousand watts.
MacGyver: You take your elevator shafts pretty seriously.
MacGyver: Well, the bag's not for what I take, Colson - it's for what I find along the way.
Barbara: Don't tell me you know how to make a bomb out of a stick of chewing gum?
MacGyver: Why, you got some?
Barbara: I'd kiss you, MacGyver, but I've got this cold.
MacGyver: So what's a little cold between friends, huh?
* Paper clip to defuse a missile
* Branch and string to rig a rifle to fire, with burning matches as a timer
* Flare gun with a narrowed barrel as a rocket thruster
* Cigarette smoke to spot laser beams
* Binocular lens to reflect a laser back on itself
* Fire hose filled with water as a makeshift hydraulic lift
* Shirt used as improvised gas masks.
* Chocolate bars used to react with sulphuric acid and create a seal
* Sodium placed in a cold capsule and placed in a thermos as a timed explosive.