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Thief of Budapest - Recap

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In a desert in the Middle East, a tribal leader admires the beautiful white horse that he stole from a king, then goes outside to practice his swordsmanship. Elsewhere in the camp, MacGyver subdues a guard and takes the man's clothing, then sneaks into the tent where the horse is being held. MacGyver puts a special saddle on it from his backpack, then rides it out of the tent. MacGyver grabs a hooked staff from one of the guards and barrels through them, and the leader warns his men not to shoot the horse. They ride out in pursuit and MacGyver makes it to a nearby beach. The guards cut MacGyver off and the leader rides at MacGyver. The two men charge and MacGyver ducks as the tribal leader cuts the staff in half. They charge again and this time MacGyver unmounts his opponent, then breaks through the line of guards. As MacGyver gallops down the beach, a helicopter arrives and drops a line. MacGyver attaches it to a hook on the saddle and the helicopter lifts horse and rider up into the sky as the tribesmen stare.



MacGyver is off to Budapest in the middle of a road rally where he meets with an old friend, Grodsky, to collect some stolen intelligence. As MacGyver admires the cars, a young Gypsy girl, Yanna, bumps into him. MacGyver stops her and recovers his Swiss Army knife back. She offers to sell him a Gypsy blessing and he points out that she tried to steal from him. She agrees to give it to him from free and after wishing him well, leaves. She's halfway down the street before MacGyver realizes she's stolen his knife again. Meanwhile, Grodsky is walking the streets, unaware that the secret police are watching him. He's holding a pocket watch that contains a list of key agents in Europe. MacGyver meets Grodsky who says to meet him at the Cafe Mozart. Grodsky walks down the street but Yanna trips him with some marbles then steals the watch while helping him to his feet. MacGyver sees the whole thing as Yanna leaves. The secret police, lead by Russian Major Nicolai Kossov, approach Grodsky. He runs for it but is hit by a truck and killed. Kossov searches the body but finds nothing, then tells his men to find MacGyver. Kossov returns to the van and goes over the surveillance tapes with the local Bulgarian officer, Inspector Jan Messic. They identify Yanna as the thief and make plans to locate her and MacGyver. Messic assures Kossov that they will cover all of the routes out of town, but Gypsies like Yanna are hard to pin down. Kossov warns Messic that if he doesn't find Yanna, Messic will join him in Siberia.



Yanna is performing with her family when MacGyver locates her. She runs away and he temporarily loses her, but spots her in a garbage can. She gives him his knife back and he asks for the watch. She denies having it until MacGyver says his friend was killed for it. She agrees to get it back and says her brother Bruno has it. The police pull up and Yanna and MacGyver arrive in time to see Messic and Kossov arresting her family, including Bruno. When she realizes they'll kill her family if they don't get what they want, Yanna starts crying and MacGyver hugs her.



MacGyver and Yanna go to the camp outside town where the political prisoners are kept. Her father and brothers are led outside after giving away nothing to Yossov. They assume MacGyver has the watch and Yossov tells Messic to put more pressure on Yanna's family. Messic is clearly uncomfortable with being ordered to harass his own people on behalf of the Russian. Outside the fence, Yanna whistles a signal and her family hears them. As the guards harass Yanna's family, MacGyver spots a pile of discarded building supplies outside the camp's fence, including light bulbs. MacGyver goes to the pile and wedges light bulbs between two boards. When the supply truck arrives, Yanna pulls MacGyver's contraption under the tires. The bulbs burst and the driver thinks he's lost a tire. MacGyver sneaks into the back of the truck while the guards are distracted, then puts on a janitor's uniform. The driver calls the Gypsies over and they ignore MacGyver as he comes out with some supplies. He mixes together salt, sugar, and weed killer to make a crude explosive. He creates a time fuse and then joins the Gypsies and tells them to be ready. He then dons a guard uniform as the Gypsies stage a fight. When the guards rush in to break them off, MacGyver knocks out the driver of a bulldozer and then hooks a roll of barbed wire on the back of it. He starts up the bulldozer then breaks off the ignition key and removes the wheel. The explosive goes off and MacGyver lets the bulldozer run, trailing the barbed wire behind it. The guards try to deal with the bulldozer while MacGyver steals a van. The Gypsies get on board and they burst out through the fence, then stop to pick up Yanna. Bruno admits that he sold the watch.



That night, MacGyver goes to the tavern to find Reena, the fence that Bruno sold the watch to. He asks about her and the customers ask what his interest is. When he refuses to answer, a fight starts out and he ducks behind the bar, then tries to hold them off by igniting some peppers. That doesn't work but Reena comes in and calls the men off. He's unaware that one of the men has a photo of him. MacGyver goes upstairs and shares a drink with Reena, then asks after a watch. She has it on her and wants to know why it's so valuable to him. He gives in and tells her it holds political valuable information. Reena kisses him then says she can tell he's telling the truth. He uses a bobby pin with a drop of wine on it as a magnifying glass to show her the names on it. They're interrupted when Messic and Kossov break in with their men and start rousting the locals. Reena gives MacGyver the watch for free and he escapes across the roof. Bruno and Yanna pick him up in a cab and Yanna asks him to take her family with him to America. He finally gives in despite his misgivings, and tells Bruno to get mechanics coveralls for the entire family.



The next day, MacGyver, Yanna, her father and her three brothers arrive at the park where the road rally is being held. While Yanna steals a policeman's radio, MacGyver goes to a stop light control box and cuts up a credit card. He then inserts the strips into the timing wheels and slips away. Meanwhile, Messic has received a report that the stolen taxi has been spotted in the park. As he and Kossov head for the park, MacGyver and Yanna's family get into three of the racing cars. They drive the cars off the truck just as Messic and Kossov arrive. The police go after them but find the stoplights are jamming the traffic thanks to MacGyver's sabotage.



The motorcycle police get through the traffic jam and continue the pursuit, but one of them goes through a wall while making a jump. MacGyver leads the cars through the buildings and a second motorcyclist skids on wet tiles. They then take to the roofs and jump across an alleyway, losing Messic and Kossov. Yanna tunes in a transistor radio while the police continue the pursuit. MacGyver has her tape the transistor radio to the police radio so Messic can't communicate with his men. Messic realizes they're heading for the Church of St. Ivans but can't get through to his men. MacGyver attaches the radios to a batch of balloons, lifting them high into the air to jam all the police frequencies.



Finally, MacGyver has the three cars pull into a used car lot to let the police go by, then double back and head for the border. They drive across a river and Messic and Kossov are swept downstream trying to follow. They get back on shore and follow as MacGyver and the Gypsies enter a drainage pipe. Yanna's cousins get the gate open, then close it as Messic and Kossov slam through it. MacGyver and the others get across the border into Austria just ahead of Messic and Kossov. Kossov stops his men from shooting them, which would cause a major incident. MacGyver tosses Kossov a cheery wave, thanks the border guard, and then celebrates with Yanna and her family. MacGyver gives Yanna his Swiss Army knife and she gives him her saint's medal in return.

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Warning: MacGyver season 1 episode 3 guide may contain spoilers
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