Trail of Tears - Recap

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In a courtroom, the attorneys in the case of the Lakota Tribe vs. New Plains Electric give their summations. Mr. Samuels for New Plains notes that Barry Whitecloud doesn't want the power lines run across the Lakota lands. However, the treaty states that Black Stream Creek marks the boundaries of the lands, and their lines will be three miles southeast on Bitter Flats. New Plains called representatives from the Phoenix Foundation, MacGyver and Willis, to show that there's no indication that electromagnetic waves from the lines are harming the local wildlife. The president of the company, Everett Johnson, is going to be at the new facility to oversee the startup, which has been delayed three times by Whitecloud's lawsuit. Whitecloud does the best he can and insists that there's some kind of scandal involved and by the time they discover any problems, it'll be too late. He notes that Lakota holy men have been going to Bitter Flats for centuries. The judge limits the jury's deliberations to environmental damage only.

The jury finds on behalf of New Plains. As Samuels leaves, Willis notes that he twisted their testimony. MacGyver talks to Whitecloud and notes they were subpoenaed, and they had no choice but to testify. He offers the full resources of the Foundation to prove his assertions but Whitecloud figures they're trying to buy off their consciences. He notes he quit an expensive law firm to represent Indian rights but he's ready to quit. Willis heads back to Los Angeles but promises to send all of their information. MacGyver notice a man listening to them as they leave. Whitecloud goes into the restroom and an old Indian, Standing Wolf, appears behind him. Standing Wolf urges Whitecloud to take action. When Whitecloud says he isn't interested, Standing Wolf looks deeply into his eyes.

The man watching MacGyver, NPE's head of security Dick Russell, warns Johnson what he overheard. Everett warns that if MacGyver stumbles across a long-hidden secret, they could discover that Bitter Flats belongs to the Lakota. Johnson tells Russell to arrange an "accident" for MacGyver.

MacGyver drives out to the New Plains construction site, while Russell and his assistant follow. Whitecloud is there, armed, and notes that it's a place of power. MacGyver realizes that he has explosives and plans to blow up the facility. Whitecloud says he had a vision and must destroy the place. He throws MacGyver clear and goes after him, dropping his pack and rifle, and the facility blows up. Russell and his man draw their guns and open fire. MacGyver and Whitecloud run into the woods and Russell finds Whitecloud's backpack. He puts a call through to try and track where he could have obtained the C-4.

Whitecloud warns MacGyver who Russell is and tells him that they're heading for a friend's cabin. Meanwhile, Russell completes his call and figures where Whitecloud is heading.

As Whitecloud leads MacGyver through the woods, he explained that a spirit came to him in the form of a man. He took Whitecloud to Bitter Flats and then took the form of a wolf, showing the lawyer the power there and how it was killing and Indian boy. Whitecloud vows to stop New Plains no matter what it takes.

Russell and his assistant get to the cabin and Russell approaches it. He sets off a crude alarm system and Whitecloud's friend, Vietnam veteran Phil Crow, draws a bow and arrow on him. Russell claims to be a friend of Whitecloud's and had a note to meet him at the cabin. He shows him Whitecloud's rifle to convince him he's a friend and Phil drops his guard.

Whitecloud tells MacGyver that any deaths he causes is on NPE's head. When MacGyver insists that terrorism isn't the answer, Whitecloud tells him that the few cases he won within the system were at the white man's behest. They arrive at Phil's cabin and set off the alert, and then go inside. They find Phil, shot dead. Whitecloud gets some more detonators from Phil's collection and explains that the C-4 is hidden elsewhere. MacGyver figures that Russell traced the C-4 and shot Phil with Whitecloud's rifle. Whitecloud vows to go to the power plant and kill Johnson at the opening. MacGyver warns that he knows something that NPE doesn't want revealed. When Whitecloud wonders why Russell isn't waiting for them, Russell comes in and explains he wanted Whitecloud's fingerprints in the cabin. Russell shoots MacGyver in the chest with Whitecloud's rifle and prepares to shoot Whitecloud. However, Russell's assistant sets off the alert, distracting Whitecloud and letting him escape. Russell and his assistant go after him, leaving the dying MacGyver behind.

Whitecloud gets away and Russell goes back to the cabin. He discovers that MacGyver is gone. As they go after him, the injured MacGyver tries to get away, falling down a hill. He spots a mine shaft and hides inside. He sees a fire and the figure of Standing Wolf appears before him.

Russell and his assistant give up their search and leave, planning to report to Johnson at the plant in the morning.

Standing Wolf performs medicine over the dying MacGyver, pulling the bullet from his chest. MacGyver wakes up and Standing Wolf explains that his body gave up the bullet. Standing Wolf introduces himself and MacGyver figures that it's a dream. Standing Wolf takes him out and wonders why he's there, and admits it's strange. MacGyver realizes they're at Bitter Flats, sometime in the future where the towers have been constructed. They come to a stream and drink, and MacGyver looks up to see that Standing Wolf has transformed from a man into a wolf. MacGyver looks up and sees the tower glowing with red energy. His wound starts to bleed and he sees an Indian boy lying dead in a stream, glowing with the same red energy.

MacGyver passes out and wakes up back in the mine shaft with Standing Wolf in his human form. The spirit assures him he'll be all right. MacGyver says that what he saw wasn't about violence and Standing Wolf agrees. He suggests that Whitecloud plans to count coup on his enemy by humiliating him by touching him with a stick and come away unharmed. The spirit realizes that MacGyver is there to help Whitecloud see the truth. He tells MacGyver to rest and then lies down himself.

The next morning, Whitecloud makes his way through the woods to where he hid the C-4 and recovers the rest of it.

MacGyver wakes up and finds his wound bound with supplies from a nearby first aid kit. There's also a feather lying on his chest. The long-dead corpse of a wolf lies on the ground near him. MacGyver spots the bullet from his stomach lying on a long wooden case. Inside the case are mining tools and maps of the area that show the course of stream in 1894 was to the east of Bitter Flats.

At the power plant, Whitecloud places timed explosives and then slips outside. Russell and his assistant arrive but don't spot him as he hides. As he slips away, MacGyver arrives and shows him the 1894 map. MacGyver also has the map from five years later showing the map to the west of Bitter Flats. Whitecloud doesn't believe they can resolve the matter in court. MacGyver explains that he had a dream, the same one that Whitecloud had, and insists that Whitecloud got the message wrong. He repeats what Standing Wolf said about counting coup but Whitecloud insists on killing Johnson in revenge for Phil's death. He warns MacGyver to stay out of his way and keep away from the power plant, and MacGyver realizes he planted the explosives. Whitecloud punches him unconscious and leaves.

MacGyver wakes up and goes to the power plant but Russell and his assistant captures him. He tries to warn them about the bomb but they don't believe him.

In the woods, Whitecloud prays to the spirit of his grandfather and sees Russell locking MacGyver in a storage shed. Russell leaves his assistant to watch MacGyver as Johnson and his camera crew arrive. Russell tells Johnson that Whitecloud escaped but they captured MacGyver and have him locked up. Johnson tells him to dispose of MacGyver once the publicity tour is over. Next, a school bus of children for the tour arrive and the kids go inside.

Inside the storage shed, MacGyver spots an air pressure valve. He turns a broom into a makeshift missile and "fires" the broom into the door, breaking it down and knocking out Russell's assistant. MacGyver runs into the plant while Whitecloud arrives and goes in after him. As Johnson poses with the children, MacGyver runs into Russell and manages to lock him in a closet. Whitecloud finds him and MacGyver asks him to warn the children. Whitecloud insists on killing Johnson once he warns the kids. Johnson arrives with the tour and Whitecloud tells the cameraman to get the kids out while he prepares to kill Johnson. MacGyver tries to convince that the vision was a warning to turn away from violence. Whitecloud doesn't believe it, until he sees that one child is the Indian boy from his vision. He tells MacGyver where the bomb is and orders the kid to leave. MacGyver tries to defuse the bomb and Whitecloud warns he needs a cotter pin. Realizing what the feather signifies, MacGyver uses it as a cotter pin to stop the timer just in time. Whitecloud screams and then taps him with his bow as the boy laughs, realizing what it means.

Later, Whitecloud meets with MacGyver and explains that he was released without bail until the trial. The Foundation's satellite photos confirm the original location of the stream. The mining company forged the plans and later merged with NPE, and Johnson knew all about it. The DA is filing charges against Johnson for conspiracy to murder. Whitecloud invites MacGyver to come to his first sun dance in a year. As MacGyver considers the offer, he sees Standing Wolf turn and walk away, satisfied.