Over the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, MacGyver is flying in to track down a U.S. early-warning satellite containing classified data. Pete Thornton and his team are monitoring MacGyver's progress, as is a Afghani radar station. They mobilize and radio MacGyver asking for identification.
On the ground below, a boy, Ahmed, looks up at the sky. In his house, his mother Zia struggles with a local soldier, Khalil.
The Afghani military opens fire on MacGyver's jet and he ejects just in time. The missile is destroyed over Ahmed's house and both he and Khalil notice. Khalil prepares to leave and orders Ahmed to get his horse. Ahmed angrily defies him, noting that Khalil isn't his father, but Zia tells her son to obey. As he goes, Khalil casually shoves Ahmed aside and rides to investigate the crash site.
MacGyver lands and hides his parachute then proceeds on foot. The sun comes up and he heads for the satellite, while Khalil and his commander, a Russian lieutenant, arrive. They spot MacGyver on a mesa and realize he's trapped. MacGyver finds the satellite and removes the data capsule. It's booby trapped and MacGyver manages to deactivate it just in time. The soldiers cut him off and others set up a mortar launcher. As they open fire, he constructs a hang glider out of the satellite debris. He soars away but the soldiers open fire. The glider wing takes damage and one shot grazes MacGyver in the right arm. The soldiers go after him as MacGyver manages to bring the glider down for a landing. Ahmed sees him come down in a shallow river and stagger away. One soldier arrives on horseback and opens fire. MacGyver makes a sling and throws a rock at the man, taking him down. However, MacGyver collapses and Ahmed runs to help him. The boy brings the horse and gets MacGyver away before the other soldiers arrive.
Ahmed takes MacGyver to his home and explains that he's helping because Khalil and his men killed Ahmed's father. Meanwhile, Khalil kills the downed man for failing to capture MacGyver, then tells the others to find MacGyver for the reward the Russians will pay. At Ahmed's home, Zia is not happy and Ahmed tells her about how MacGyver flew and knocked out a man. She agrees to let MacGyver stay one night and tends to his wound. Ahmed goes outside to watch for Khalil, and tells him that someone has arrived to take his place. When Khalil bursts in, MacGyver knocks the valve off and fires a butane cylinder as a missile. As he falls back, Khalil shoots and kills himself.
At the Russian base, the Russians are repairing their armored car. The sergeant reports to his superior, the captain, who wants to know why MacGyver is there, unaware the data capsule has been removed. They suspect that MacGyver is there to contact the resistance. The captain tells the sergeant to send Khalil to see him as soon as he arrives.
Ahmed drags Khalil away to bury him, then returns and gives MacGyver Khalil's whip. He expects MacGyver to beat him because Ahmed used him to dispose of Khalil. He asks MacGyver how he flew, and if he can teach Ahmed how to fly. Zia arrives and tells Ahmed to dispose of Khalil's horse and its silver bridle, and MacGyver tells him to take the whip with him. Zia assures MacGyver that he can stay until he recovers. She prepares to cauterize his wound with a red-hot poker, and explains that since the Russians have come she's had to deal with many bullet wounds. MacGyver passes out from the pain Meanwhile, Ahmed sends the horse off but keeps the bridle. He goes back inside and hides the bridle under his bed. Ahmed wonders if MacGyver will stay but Zia says he has no reason to. Ahmed insists that he'll stay because they need him.
The next day, Zia confirms that MacGyver's infected wound has cleared up. He goes outside to ask for food and notes that Zia has given him her husband's clothing. Meanwhile, Khalil's men have captured his horse and noticed that the silver bridle is missing. They report to the Russian lieutenant, who suspects Khalil fell victim to an ambush. At the house, MacGyver helps repair the pump and jokingly agrees to stay.
At the Russian base, the captain is eager to find MacGyver and find a way out of his assignment to Afghanistan. He tells the sergeant to find MacGyver and quickly.
Zia accidentally wakes up MacGyver and he tells her he'll be leaving the next day. She admits it meant a great deal to Ahmed to have him there and MacGyver notices that she's crying. Zia admits it's hard to say goodbye to someone who means so much.
The next morning, Zia sends Ahmed to look for the soldiers and he returns to inform them that the Soviets are coming. MacGyver hides in the hay outside and rigs a support pole with a piece of rope to collapse the roof, while Zia and Ahmed sit down to eat breakfast. Khalil's lieutenant arrives and barges in to search the place. He finds the silver bridle and demands to know where Khalil is. Outside, the Russian sergeant searches the barn and moves toward the hay. MacGyver brings the roof down on him and knocks the man out. He knocks out Khalil's man with a shovel as the sergeant recovers consciousness. Ahmed tells MacGyver to shoot the sergeant but MacGyver tells the man to run. As the sergeant runs off, Ahmed wonders why MacGyver didn't shoot the man. MacGyver says that it wasn't necessary. Zia agrees that they have to leave and MacGyver tells her that there's transportation nearby on the Pakistani border.
The sergeant finds the lieutenant and tells him where MacGyver is. He goes back to the Russian base where the captain tells him that he's going back on patrol due to his failure, and he'll lose his pay if he doesn't find the American. The sergeant takes the armored car and heads off toward the border. Meanwhile, MacGyver, Zia, and Ahmed take the sergeant's jeep and drive into the mountains. The soldiers spot them and set up to order fire with a bazooka. They miss with their first few shots and MacGyver has no choice but to keep driving. The soldiers finally score a glancing shot and MacGyver and the others are forced to abandon the jeep. MacGyver spots a boulder overhead and takes two tanks of water up along with a fire extinguisher. He and Ahmed pour the water onto the rocks, which are freezing cold from the previous night. He sprays the fire extinguisher on the water, causing it to expand further and widen the cracks in the rock. The soldiers arrive in their own jeep and the cracks widen enough for MacGyver to drop the boulder on top of the jeep.
MacGyver flees with Zia and Ahmed toward the border but the sergeant is waiting for them in the armored car. The sergeant tells them where the border is and warns MacGyver that the next time he'll drop a roof on his head. Ahmed is surprised and impressed that MacGyver letting the sergeant live paid off. MacGyver says they have enough time before they get to the border for two men to say goodbye.