MacGyver heads back from a mission a day early, taking a USAF jet so he can be back in time for a surprise 60th birthday party for his friend Kelly Sutton. MacGyver arrives at the Phoenix Foundation and walks into the surprise party that Pete has planned. As they set up, Pete wonders where Kelly is. He's unaware that Kelly is at home and has the gas turned on. Kelly continues drinking heavily and considers photo of his children. Pete tries to call him but Kelly ignores the ring. MacGyver notices that Kelly has left him his favorite pool cue. Figuring something is wrong, MacGyver goes to Kelly's apartment and smells gas. Kelly has passed out from the gas. MacGyver uses a fire hose and an elevator to get the door open and turns off the gas. He gets Kelly to the window for fresh air. They go back to MacGyver's apartment and Kelly initially refuses to discuss the matter. He finally admits he's broke and figured his insurance would have paid off enough to pay his kids' college bills. Kelly explains that he invested the money in land development and was ripped off, but warns that the guy is dangerous. MacGyver insists on getting the con artist's name.
Pete runs a check on the man, James Crowe, and reveals he's been involved in a number of criminal activities. Pete introduces MacGyver to Joanne Remmings, a newly-hired terrorist and bunco expert. She's eager to get something on Crowe and knows that he's an inveterate horse race gambler and favors white clothing. The police can't find anything on him and Joanne suggests they use her knowledge to con Crowe. MacGyver is interested and Pete warns the Phoenix Foundation can't get involved. They decide to handle it personally and start planning, ignoring Joanne.
Crowe is at the tracks when Pete and MacGyver approach him and stage a conversation that they're betting on a horse and Pete is a cop. Crowe overhears the conversation and notices MacGyver take out a batch of tickets. When the race finishes, MacGyver boasts that he won big and Pete promises to cut him in on a big deal. After Pete leaves, Crowe approaches MacGyver and figures he covered a bunch of horses with his bets and was conning Pete. Crowe is interested in buying in on the deal Pete mentioned and arranges to meet with MacGyver in the stables. MacGyver goes there and hears someone following him. He ambushes his follower and discovers it's Joanne. She explains she was tired of sitting behind a computer and wanted to get field experience. They overhear Crowe and his men preparing to beat up a trainer who failed to dope a horse for him. MacGyver pulls off a couple of Joanne's hair pins and blouse buttons, removes her glasses, and makes her better looking. They approach Crowe early and MacGyver asks for his meeting. Crowe lets the trainer Benny go and talks with MacGyver, who explains that Pete is interested in Joanne. He claims Pete has some debts and Joanne jumps in, saying she plans to get Pete to hook them into a cocaine deal. Crowe admits he's interested.
Back at the Foundation, MacGyver explains that they weren't going to go with the scam she brought up. Joanne refuses to back down. After she leaves, MacGyver explains about the change of plans, which requires more people. MacGyver plans to bring in Kelly in disguise. Later, MacGyver, Pete, and Joanne meet with Crowe at a dam and they need the money to buy a one-pound block of ninety-percent pure cocaine. When Crowe hesitates, Pete threatens to walk out and Crowe agrees. They set up a meeting at a hotel room that night at 9 p.m. That night they go to the hotel and Pete makes sure his gun is loaded with blanks. They bring Crowe into the room, which has a two-way mirror into a second room. He's figured out their scam and gives them the cocaine. They prepare to give their target a briefcase full of fake cocaine with Crowe's bag there for testing. MacGyver, Joanne, and Crowe go into the second room and watch while a disguised Kelly comes in to buy the cocaine from Pete. They fake the deal going bad and Kelly draws a gun. Crowe panics and draws his gun, and fires through the mirror at the same time as Pete. Crowe figures he's hit Kelly and they quickly get him out while saying they have to leave the cocaine behind as evidence. Fortunately, Crowe missed and Kelly is fine. Outside, Crowe orders one of his men to follow Joanne as insurance.
The next day they meet at the dam and go over their plan, which involves MacGyver and Pete having to go into the police evidence room to collect the cocaine. Crowe arrives and MacGyver explains that they need $400,000 to bring into the evidence room. Once in, they'll use a fake case and go in, then take the two million out in a trunk that's evidence in a murder case. Back at the Foundation, Pete and MacGyver explain they're not going to put Joanne at risk. An unhappy Joanne goes back to her apartment and MacGyver pays her a visit with sandwiches. The lights go out and Joanne goes to check the fuses. Someone opens the door and cuts the phone lines. MacGyver uses a flashlight battery and connects the wires to Joanne's photography floodlights, and balances a letter opener on two matchbooks to make the connections. When Crowe's men come in, they bump the letter opener, it falls on the wires and makes a connection, and the men are temporarily blinded. MacGyver and Joanne make a run for his jeep and try to drive away, but Crowe is waiting for them. Crowe wants Joanne as insurance and MacGyver readily agrees since he doesn't have a choice.
Pete and MacGyver come up with a new plan, to get Crowe into the evidence room so the police can catch him red-handed. They meet with Crowe and fake not caring about Joanne. Suspicious, Crowe insists on going in with them and tells his men to release Joanne when he comes out with the trunk. The three men go into the police station and Pete draws a gun on Crowe while MacGyver takes the money in the case. They go outside where Kelly arrives in a van. They gag Crowe, undress him, and put him in the trunk. They put cocaine on top of him and MacGyver puts on Crowe's suit. He and Pete take the trunk into the police station, with MacGyver as a pickpocket Pete has arrested. Outside, a cop notices Kelly parked nearby but doesn't pursue the matter.
Inside, the evidence officer demands the proper form and goes to get the watch commander's signature. MacGyver slips a piece of paper into the cage lock so it doesn't lock when the officer, Tilly, leaves. Once he's gone, they go inside and tie Crowe to a shelf then blindfold him. Outside, the officer asks Kelly for his sports section and goes on about his business. Inside, MacGyver cuts open the bottom of the trunk and then disconnects the gate button, while Pete stores the cocaine in the trunk. They remove Crowe's blindfold and leave, and Crowe starts to untie himself. Pete and MacGyver emerge with the trunk and get to the van. They drive down the street and MacGyver unloads the trunk and waits on the street. Crowe's men mistake MacGyver in Crowe's suit for Crowe. When MacGyver sees them coming from a nearby camper where they have Joanne, he casually walks by them. They can't shoot him outside of the police station and go for the money.
Crowe unties himself and tries to get out. Tilly returns and has no idea who Crowe is or why he's there, and Crowe doesn't have an explanation. Tilly sounds the alarm and the police mobilize looking for the two other men with a trunk, while MacGyver unties Joanne and they get to the van. Crowe's men try to lift the trunk and the bottom falls out, revealing the cocaine. The police, looking for two men with a trunk, come out and arrest them. Pete and Kelly pick up MacGyver and Joanne and drive away in triumph.