MacGyver (S04E04) “Windmill + Acetone + Celluloid + Firing Pin”

In this episode of MacGyver, the writers certainly know how to keep the audience engaged. It has been a tumultuous couple of months for the team, but they are finally finding their stride. Maybe this chaos is exactly what they needed, to look on the brighter side of life. (Spoilers Ahead)

Onward and Upward

A distant flashback sets the tone of this episode, involving a scientist who has created a dangerous weapon, which could possibly give our heroes a fighting chance in World War 2. The scientist is appalled that he is aiding in the potential destruction of lives. It may seem out of place, but the writers do their due diligence in tying it in with the story. Nothing is a coincidence and the connections run deeper than we ever expected.

Riley (Tristin Mays) and MacGyver (Lucas Till) have reconnected, but there are still secrets resting just below the surface. We finally get to see our Blonde Boy Scout in action, uniform and all, educating the younger generation in the thrilling world of egg drops. They work so well together. Between saving the world and everything in between, you’d think they would trust in one another, but it’s never that easy.

macgyvers04e049 - MacGyver (S04E04) "Windmill + Acetone + Celluloid + Firing Pin"
The best blonde boy scout. (Photo: Google)
Back in business

The fleeting normality of their lives is interrupted, once again, by a pressing matter. A building in Germany has begun to collapse due to an explosion from below, it is the perfect mission for MacGyver. With undisclosed engineering tasks and untold dangers, it’s where he truly excels. Riley and Desi (Levy Tran) are along for the ride, although Desi has her own expertise to lend a hand, search and rescue is one of her many fortes.

Bozer (Justin Hires) has his own tasks at hand, and Russ (Henry Ian Cusick) happens to be his biggest motivator. What does Bozer exactly do for them? More than Russ could ever imagine, enter the challenge to prove his worth. It’s a challenge that neither can refuse, they both have a point to prove. Russ is more than just the man with the money. As it turns out, the two of them work very well together, and by putting their heads together, they are invaluable assets to the team.

Time isn’t on their side

The building is in distress, and so are the survivors inside. There is no time to waste, especially when the threat of collapse is imminent. Desi takes charge to find the remaining survivors. Her drive and determination make her the best person for the job, while Riley and MacGyver work to find the root of the explosion. It doesn’t take them long to uncover a new danger, caught in the depths of the building. A bomb has gone off, and another one threatening to do the same. So much for a simple rescue mission.

macgyvers04e043 - MacGyver (S04E04) "Windmill + Acetone + Celluloid + Firing Pin"
Risking their lives to save lives. (Photo: IMDB)

There is nothing ordinary about these bombs, I mean, why would there be? They have been around for nearly 75 years, dating back to World War 2. The risk is insane, but with no other choice, Riley and MacGyver must find a way to remove it from the building. The same building that is falling down around them. It seems impossible, but with the aid of out of the box thinking, they just might make it out of this alive.

Even though Bozer isn’t there in the thick of things, he is able to help in his own way. Russ is able to see how he works and adds to the insane solution. They need all hands on deck, in all aspects of the phrase. Lives at risk and their time is running short, but this won’t stop them from trying. Matty (Meredith Eaton), is a constant voice in their earpieces, she is the glue that holds them all together.

The truth will set you free

This episode presents us with many heart-stopping moments. Just when Riley and MacGyver were making leeway, they lose grip of the bomb and almost their lives. They may still be intact, but it won’t be for long. The delayed detonation has begun, and time is no longer on their side. There is no task that is unattainable, not for MacGyver. Instead, they dust themselves off and try again with another plan.

macgyvers04e046 - MacGyver (S04E04) "Windmill + Acetone + Celluloid + Firing Pin"
Time for some scientific magic. (Photo: Google)

Between the death-defying acts, MacGyver and Riley find time to have a much-needed heart-to-heart. MacGyver knows that Riley has been hiding something important. They used to trust in one another, instead, they have been pulling away. Nothing like the prospects of death to clear the air. In an emotional confession, MacGyver admits to seeing himself dying alone. He and Desi were never really a good match, more of a short-lived comfort. While Riley confesses to being in a serious relationship with Aubrey (Leonardo Nam), even that they are living together. It’s nice to see some more honesty.

Speaking of Desi, she works swiftly and diligently to find more survivors. When one survivor, Helen (Ylfa Edelstein), doesn’t end up on their radar, she risks life and limb to track her down. With all the impossibilities and dangers ahead, she refuses to give up hope. With time running short, she is able to find Helen, who is pinned in place. Even with a bomb about to go off, she can’t leave the woman or the other survivors. MacGyver needs to figure something out, or they will all perish.

Ingenuity Goes Far

As we know, when everything seems to go wrong, MacGyver can make it right. It all goes back to their science lesson with the boy scouts. Expect the unexpected and prepare for impact, without a devastating explosion. The writers have a way of keeping us on edge, right to the very end. Another job well done and more lives saved. On to the next mission.

macgyvers04e047 - MacGyver (S04E04) "Windmill + Acetone + Celluloid + Firing Pin"
Riley and MacGyver, make one hell of a team. (Photo: Google)

Russ uncovers a piece of history, a simple photo, which shows the scientist who created the ill-fated bomb, and a group of mysterious others. It’s not just an ordinary photo though, it is much more than they ever anticipated. The symbol is there, hiding in plain sight, the one they have been searching for. It seems as though this “society” has been in operation for a very long time.


This changes everything.

Closing Thoughts

There is something comforting about Riley coming home from another mission. Her doting beau is non-the-wiser, but how long can it last? Saving the world always comes with a price, and her biggest fear is losing it all. Their lives are not normal, they never can be, and somehow this is going to catch up to her. Heartbreak is in the cards, but it may not come in the way we expect.

You can catch a new episode of MacGyver on Friday, March 6 on CBS at 8/7c.

Previous reviews of MacGyver can be found here.