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The Prodigal - Recap

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MacGyver is enjoying a rare morning at home while waiting for his 10 a.m. appointment with a Frank Bennett. Frank arrives and asks MacGyver to help him disappear. According to the Federal Marshal, Wiley, Frank is going to testify before the government crime commission but Frank hasn't decided yet. Wiley is running late and MacGyver goes inside to call him. Two men pull up and grab Frank, then haul him into their car. MacGyver takes Frank's car, hot-wiring it with a paper clip, and follows the thugs. The thugs tell Frank that his brother Joey just wants to talk to them and insist that Joey needs him. They go to a lumberyard warehouse and MacGyver climbs over the fence and watches while Joey Bennett and his uncle Vincent pull up and go inside. MacGyver breaks into the trunk of Joey's car and takes out a tire jack, then unfastens the wheel screws on the car.



Inside, Joey apologizes but Frank isn't interested. Joey sends his men to the side so they can talk in private, and Frank says that he's not part of the Family any more. Joey says their mother is in the hospital and is fading in and out. As they talk, MacGyver slips in and rigs a table saw with lumber. Meanwhile, Joey tells Frank that he knows about the crime commission and Frank says he learned that Joey handles drugs. A kid in Frank's died two weeks ago from tailor-made drugs. Joey insists it's just business and Frank tells him he'll refuse to testify if Joey shuts down the drug business. Joey refuses, saying someone will do it, and slaps Frank when he says he's ashamed of his older brother. Joey orders his men to shoot Frank and Frank tells him to do it himself. Joey takes a gun and psyches himself up, and MacGyver activates the saw and a shop vac, shooting boards and sawdust everywhere. MacGyver gets Joey out over the fence and to his car. They leave and when Joey and his men try to follow, discover their wheels have fallen off. Joey tells Vincent to find them both.



Back at his apartment, Frank still isn't sure about testifying. Federal Marshal Wiley arrives and Frank agrees to testify. Wiley tells him that he'll testify and then be put into the witness relocation program. Frank wants to see his ailing mother first but Wiley and MacGyver say it'll be a bad idea. Frank asks MacGyver to drop in and tell his mother he's okay and he loves her. MacGyver goes to see Frank's mother Katarina. She says she understands but she's dying and needs to see Frank one more time. She begs MacGyver to bring her son to her one last time and he agrees. Joey comes in with flowers and sees MacGyver. Joey tells MacGyver to warn Frank and brushes past him.



MacGyver goes to the Federal courthouse to find Frank. As he goes in, he notices a car reserved for the Marshals. Inside, Frank finishes testifying and Wiley gets called outside to talk to MacGyver. MacGyver tells the Marshal about Frank's dying mother but Wiley knows all about it. He refuses to let Frank know because he'll endanger himself to see his mother, and Joey will kill him. He threatens to arrest MacGyver if he doesn't cooperate. MacGyver seemingly gives in but warns he's on Frank's side. Outside, MacGyver calls a tow shop and then slips under the Federal car and cuts the water line. He then goes inside to the concession shop and buys soda, dry ice, and pop rocks. He mixes it in the air vent, creating mist. The smoke filters into Wiley's office and they evacuate the building. He orders his men to take Frank to the safehouse.



Outside, the Marshals discover their car doesn't work. MacGyver drives up in the tow truck he rented and follows them down the street. Frank offers to take a look and they let him out. He spots the tow truck and the Marshals requisition it. MacGyver has them hook up the winch and then he lifts it off. Frank, realizing something is up, slips into the tow truck's cab when the Marshals aren't looking. MacGyver drives away with their car and the agents requisition another car to chase after him. MacGyver pulls into an alleyway and stops, and then releases the winch and drops the car to block the alleyway while they escape.



At the hospital, they discover that Katarina is gone. The nurse explains that Joey had Katarina discharged and taken to his home. MacGyver figures it’s a trap but Frank insists that he see his mother. They go to the home where Joey is trying to reassure his mother. She wants to know where Frank is but then confuses Frank for Joey. Outside, Wiley arrives and finds Vincent waiting for him. Vincent, a lawyer, informs him that the judge has turned down his request for a warrant. Wiley and his men wait outside. Meanwhile, MacGyver and Frank climb over a rear wall and Frank points out all the security is turned off. MacGyver figures that Joey wants Frank inside. Frank figures that Joey isn't going to try anything with Wiley outside, but MacGyver warns that Wiley doesn't know they're in there. Frank goes ahead and the mobsters take him inside. Joey tells Frank to go upstairs, and then impersonates Frank on the phone and calls Wiley. He says that he's at MacGyver's and he wants to be picked up for protection. Joey uses one of their tapped phone conversations to convince Wiley that he's Frank and Wiley falls for it. Outside, MacGyver sees the Marshals leaving and the security comes back on, and Joey's men release the guard dogs.



Katarina recovers consciousness and recognizes Frank, and talks about his childhood and how he promised he'd keep her safe. She says one final goodbye and dies. Frank covers her over and then looks out the window and realizes Wiley is gone. He gives the signal to MacGyver, who grabs some spring and a length of wooden pole from a garbage can. As the dogs close in, MacGyver jimmies a lock and manages to get inside just in time. Upstairs, Frank comes out of his mother's room and tells Joey that Katarina is dead. Joey has his man take Frank at gunpoint and they go down the stairs. MacGyver puts the pole on the stairs and rigs it with the string. When Joey and his men walk over it, MacGyver pulls the string and trips them. They fall to the bottom of the stairs and MacGyver gets Frank and they run upstairs to the attic. They bar the door with a wardrobe but realize it won't hold for long. Joey's men fire through the door and Joey is positive they can't escape: if the fall doesn't kill them, the dogs will.



Wiley is at MacGyver's apartment and realizes that no one is there. They head for the Bennett house. Meanwhile, MacGyver grabs cleaning fluid, camphor balls, a hat, some old socks, a telescope, a pulley, a yard spike, and some cabling. He fastens the cable to the spike, puts the spike in the barrel of the telescope, then puts the camphor balls in the sock and soaks them in cleaner fluid and puts the bundle in the telescope. Aiming, MacGyver lights the fuse and fires the spike over the wall and hooks it in the branch of a tree. He then uses the pulley on the cable and Frank rides it over the fence to safety. MacGyver goes next, escaping as Joey and his men finally break through the door. Joey gets to the window and admits that Papa would be proud of Frank's efforts. MacGyver wonders if Frank has any regrets, but Frank says that's how it has to end.



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Warning: MacGyver season 1 episode 9 guide may contain spoilers
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