MacGyver (S04E01) “Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix”

Fans have been waiting for the arrival of new MacGyver episodes for a very, long time. The wait did not disappoint, instead, the writers seem to go above and beyond with each passing season. Life changes, but some things will always remain the same. There is no “normal” in the life and times of MacGyver, nor do we want it that way. (Spoilers Ahead)

Starting Over

It seems as though there have been major developments in the world of Team Phoenix, or rather, the lack thereof. The Phoenix Foundation is no longer in operation and the team has gone their separate ways. Each of them has fallen into a mundane routine, aside from Bozer (Justin Hires), who seems to be living his best life. But there is something missing, something they are all longing for, and this is when the new, mystery man, Russ Taylor (Henry Ian Cusick), is going to give them.

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Who is this Russ Taylor? He seems to have quite the reputation that precedes him, and it isn’t a good one. As a former MI6 agent who benefitted from making money off of corrupt, rich people. It sounds like a set up for disaster. Claiming that he is a changed man, and that world is behind him, people deserve to redeem themselves, right? When they introduce new characters on this show, you can’t help but have that sense of unease. Can he be trusted? Well, can anyone be trusted these days?

MacGyver (Lucas Till) may have his apprehensions, but he longs to be part of something bigger. As he has been shaping the minds of his students, it is lacking the “end of the world” adrenaline he has grown accustomed to. So when Russ asks for help, it’s something he can’t refuse, and neither can the others. Saving the world is what they do, and it doesn’t take long for them to fall back into the same routines.

Keep the past, in the past

It comes as no surprise when they are presented with a nearly impossible task, with a time crunch. Those two tend to go hand in hand. Speaking of hand in hand, before we move this along. During all these months on hiatus, it seems as though there was an intense spark between Desi (Levy Tran) and MacGyver, which wasn’t meant to last. There is an awkwardness between the two of them, but this mission is worth more than their past heartache.

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Desi + MacGyver = Over and done with? (Photo: Google)

Riley (Tristin Mays) is ready to get down to business, she is still just as brilliant as ever. With Bozer monitoring their latest conquest, it’s a great feeling of familiarity. Something that has been missed, both by the fans and by the team. It is evident, this is what they are meant to be doing. They work well together, especially under duress. They must intercept a biochemical weapon, one that could wipe out a whole city’s population in mere days. No pressure right? They’ve been down this road before if only Russ wasn’t using them.

There are no true malicious intentions in Russ’s design, he is trying to right all the wrongs that got him to this point. He wants to do better and to prove that he is more than his past. Trust may not come easy, but he makes a sound case. Things become problematic when the code they deciphered (and by they, I mean Riley), leads them to a classified file, with clearance they’ve never seen before. Good thing they have an ace up their sleeve, Matty (Meredith Eaton). She can’t help but get in on the action as well.

Better Together

Now that the team is officially all together, it doesn’t take long for them to get down to business. Especially when it is revealed that one of their own, Bishop (Joshua Leonard), has his hands on the dangerous weapon. It doesn’t take long to track him down, although he would question their not so prompt timing. Bishop is unhinged, he is ready to cleanse the world and the people of their sins. It comes as no surprise that he ends up taking his own life before they get anything of substance out of him.

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The Team can do it all. (Photo: Google)

Bishop’s death also leads to him unleashing him twisted ideas upon the world, in the form of a torpedo, that will reach the unsuspecting city centre in a less than ideal time crunch. This is where MacGyver truly shines, when all else fails, he must find the solution, or die trying. Russ, although smarmy at times, seems to be finding his own groove beside the team. He’ll learn to trust in MacGyver, just like everyone else does. There is always a method to his madness.

With another out of the box plan, it’s time to save the world. Who knew that diapers and everyday chemicals would help them with another crisis? Well, MacGyver never doubted it, even when he was cemented in place, in harm’s way. All for the greater good, right? Russ earns some redemption when he commandeers a helicopter, saving MacGyver just in the nick of time.

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‘Good Guy’, Russ, saves the day. (Photo: IMDB)
Back in action

What now? There is no Phoenix, oh, but there is. Russ has that all figured out as well (of course he does!). He bought Phoenix, and he wants them all to come back. There may be some changes, but most of it will remain the same, aside from the funding, that is now going to be done privately. Perhaps, Russ isn’t so bad after all.

They may have lost everything, but with each other, they are capable of doing great things. This is where they belong, and as MacGyver puts it, “This is home.”

Final Thoughts

This was one of the best season premieres they have had to date. The writers must be commended on their hard work to bring us such a great episode, and the actors knocked it out of the park. If this episode is the indication of what is to come, we are in for one hell of a ride.

You can catch a new episode of MacGyver on Friday, February 14 on CBS at 8/7c.

Previous reviews for MacGyver can be found here.