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Hellfire - Recap

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MacGyver travels out into the wilderness to meet with his childhood friends Bill Farren and Bill’s wife Laura. The couple is working on developing a wildcat oil rig. Bill is working with their assistant Pete Torgut. They hit a gas pocket, indicating that they’re close to oil. Laura greets MacGyver, and then takes her to see her husband. MacGyver has geographical reports for Bill which indicates they should hit oil any time. A fuse blows and MacGyver rigs a replacement with a chewing gum wrapper. MacGyver then asks about what happened when Bill got hurt during his hellfighting days. Laura tells MacGyver that her husband spent three months in the burn ward. She asked him to quit and Bill agreed. She admits that if they run out of money and don’t bring the oil in, Bill will have to go back to hellfighting.



Bill and Pete find the oil on the geographical maps and they go outside to celebrate. The wind picks up and a light bulb on the derrick shatters. The spark sets off the oil. Pete tries to shut off the power but pipes land on his legs. Bill and MacGyver go to help him as the derrick goes up in flames. They manage to pull him loose and carry him to safety as the derrick collapses.



MacGyver straightens out Pete’s broken leg, then says all they have to do is wait until the firefighting crew arrives to stop the fire. However, their lease runs out in two weeks and they’ve got no gear, and they lost their dynamite in the explosion. Pete notes that there’s some dynamite in an abandoned strip mine 45 miles away. Laura is reluctant to endanger Bill, and reminds Bill of his promise. MacGyver says he can handle it with Bill as backup. The next day, MacGyver and Bill take the couple’s old truck to the mine. They find the dynamite in a shaky building and make their way across the rotting floorboards. They open a crate and find that the dynamite has leaked out sweating nitro. MacGyver tosses a bit outside to confirm that it’s volatile. Bill’s eager to get started and MacGyver wonders if he’s looking for some excitement. Bill says he just wants to feel the rush one last time.



As Laura and Pete prepares the hoses, MacGyver and Bill start to move the dynamite. A board gives out under Bill. He bumps into a shelf holding more dynamite and he freezes to hold it place. MacGyver takes his case outside and then goes back to help. He takes Bill’s case but the shelf starts to give way. MacGyver gives him the case and tells him to get out for Laura’s sake. MacGyver holds the shelf up while Bill gets out, then runs out just ahead of the explosion. MacGyver then rigs springs to a platform and they drive slowly away.



The next morning, Laura and Pete finish setting up the fire hose so they can wet down the firefighters and the dynamite. She explains to Pete that they’ll have to put the dynamite in the heart of the fire to blow it out with an explosion.

As they drive, MacGyver talks to Bill about Laura’s fears. Bill promises to tell him what happened some time. They cross a stream but stall halfway across. MacGyver determines the linkage spring is broken and uses a ballpoint pen’s spring to fix it. They continue on, unaware that one of the cases is leaking nitro. As they head down out of the hills, the nitro leaks onto one of the wagon springs and then onto the ground beneath the truck. The mini-explosions destroy the brake line and they start to speed downward. MacGyver manages to steer the truck into a nearby stream, absorbing the force of the impact.



They unload the explosives and Bill explains that he typically fights a fire with a remote-controlled vehicle. This time MacGyver will have to get as close as possible and drop the charge in into the well casing. MacGyver puts down some piping leading to the well casing, and then puts an abandoned jeep on the piping and an old refrigerator on the jeep to act as a heat shield. Laura fills a thermos with liquid nitrogen from the dynamite. MacGyver notices Bill hesitating and he tells MacGyver that he can’t handle it by himself. He insists on going in and admits that he lost three men in the accident that put him in the hospital. Bill refuses to listen to Laura and let MacGyver risk his life. When MacGyver tries to go in, Bill attacks him. Laura finally manages to break them up and then tells MacGyver he can’t do it alone. However, she’s not thrilled about Bill having to do it, and warns it’ll be the last time.



MacGyver and Bill start pushing their makeshift shelter toward the fire while Laura hoses them down. They get as close as they can and then send the thermos of nitro over on a cable. The cable gets stuck and MacGyver has them wet him down before going out to release it. Once he frees the cable, they inch it forward over the casing. They release it and run, and the charge goes off. The fire shuts down and the Farrens plan to make a derrick and dig a new hole. MacGyver offers his services and the Farrens cheerfully accept.



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Warning: MacGyver season 1 episode 8 guide may contain spoilers
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