MacGyver (S02E08) "Packing Peanuts + Fire"

Billy Baldwin guest stars in this episode as Riley’s (Tristin Mays) estranged father. Reluctantly Riley agrees to meet him to face to face. She has been down this road many times before, and is keeping her guard up. Making sure to get the encounter on tape, it goes as awkward as you’d expect. With the aid of a recovery program he has been trying to get his life back on track, but it may be too little too late. Riley asks Cage (Isabel Lucas)  to review  the recording of this latest encounter, and much to Riley’s surprise, Cage confirms that he is telling the truth, and is just looking for another chance. But Riley has been burned too many times.

Bozer (Justin Hires) has been tasked to take on specialized training so that he can further his development and worth within the Phoenix Foundation. Matty (Meredith Eaton) sends him off with some tough love and the promise that soon he will be out of the dungeon and out in the field. It’s a great opportunity, and he can’t mess it up or he will be out of a job. This episode puts a lot of focus on Bozer and his experiences, it’s nice to see different aspects of the team.

Matty has sent Jack (George Eads) and Mac (Lucas Till) to Brussels. They must “acquire” a priceless painting in order to draw an infamous art dealer out into the open. It seemed like an easy enough task, in and out, and they would be on their way. Jack being the cultured man that he is, sits on an antique chair which sets off an alarm. Being chased by armed guards, they are able to make a get away due to Mac’s improvisation and a well placed pool, they are able to escape.

Bozer’s training officer (Luna Lauren Velez) isn’t fooling around. She is hard on the recruits, which is a good thing. It will prepare them for anything they may face in the field. He picks up on something on one of their runs. He knows that there is something suspicious about a seemingly normal man. The urge to get to the bottom of things pushes him into investigating things on his own. Help comes in the form of a fellow recruit who, Leanna (Reign Edwards), who has also caught Bozer’s fancy. He uncovers a flash drive that has photos and information on every trainee in the facility. With his keen senses he was able to aid in the take down of an entire spy ring. Big win for Bozer!

With painting in hand they were finally able to make contact with the elusive art dealer, Enzo Lemaire (Roger Floyd).  Jack and Mac are met by Pawn (Curtis Armstrong), who authenticates the priceless piece of art, confirming it was the real deal. Things go sideways fast when they request a meeting with Mr. Lemaire. They are quickly denied and sent away, little did they know they were leaving empty-handed in more than one way. The original painting was switched with a fake. Needless to say, Matty was not impressed.

With Riley’s quick thinking, she was able to track the painting down to an underground auction place. This is where Jack decides to confront Riley about her strange behavior, she chose not to tell Jack that Elwood was back in town, we all know that would end badly for everyone.  Unfortunately they garnered some unwanted attention, and when you get a gun pointed at your fast you are quick to follow their lead. Captured, they found themselves at the mercy of Mr. Lemaire himself.

Cage and Mac were able to elude their captors. Due to some ingenious thinking by Mac, they were able to save the day, and a world of hurt for Riley. Unfortunately Jack wasn’t so lucky, but he took his rage out on Floyd by breaking his nose. Another win for the team, but it was Bozer who made a huge impact. There are big things ahead for everyone. It’s great to see this type of character development.

Riley decides to hear Elwood out. She already has a father figure in Jack, and something like that will never be replaced. But she’s ready to keep an open mind about things. It will be interesting to see where this relationship goes. I feel like she is being set up for failure once again. But if that happens, Matty will certainly pay him another visit and put him in his place.

MacGyver returns on Friday, December 1st. It airs on CBS at 7/8c.

Photo: Screenshot from author of review