MacGyver (S04E05) “Soccer + Desi + Merchant + Titan”

In this season of MacGyver, the episodes have been action-packed and the danger is at an all-time high. Just when you’ve been lulled into a false sense of security, the writers throw in another unexpected twist. This is by far one of my favourite seasons of the show, and they are just getting started. (Spoilers Ahead)

Saving the world requires sacrifice

Russ (Henry Ian Cusick) has been running himself ragged, obsessed with uncovering the secrets of Codex. His sleepless nights have paid off, leading them down another well-versed rabbit hole (which MacGyver (Lucas Till) expertly deciphers). Codex is dependant on money, just like any other organization out there. Why not hit them where it hurts? The Merchant (James Callis), who handles such delicate situations, is the one they must track down.

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Russ’s obsession has uncovered a big something. (Photo: IMDB)

They must infiltrate a charity soccer match, where The Merchant gathers funds by coercing players to throw a match, or two. It’s a dirty business, but it also draws in millions of dollars for Codex. How do they get an in? Desi (Levy Tran) just so happens to be a talented soccer player. In this team, everyone has a role to play. Hiding in plain sight, they do what they do best.

It doesn’t take long for Desi to track down one of the suspected “dirty” players. It turns out that The Merchant likes to prey on the downtrodden and desperate. Gabriella (Jade Albany Pietrantonio), who happens to be a pawn in his game, isn’t a bad person. Gambling has destroyed her life, and she’s just trying to find a way back. As we learn, he isn’t someone you refuse. Gabriella had been injected, implanting a chip inside of her. One push of a button and death comes swiftly. Too bad she chose to take the high road, there’s no coming back from that.

Time for another plan

So many innocents have already died by the hands of Codex, and it’s not stopping. Their perspectives and plans need to be altered, the only way in now is putting it all on the line. It comes as no surprise that Desi takes on the role of bait. Russ uses his connections to get them into the lucrative gambling club, let the games begin.

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Unstoppable together. (Photo: Google)

Riley (Tristin Mays) and MacGyver pose as a married couple, melding in with the crowd. Russ’s vast wealth gives them an edge, and Desi is more than happy to go all in. There are bits and pieces that come to the surface in this episode. MacGyver and Desi were close for a while, and that just doesn’t go away. His thoughts and attention seem to gravitate towards her and visa versa.

It doesn’t take long for Desi to capture The Merchant’s attention, thanks to MacGyver. As we have come to learn, even the most laid out plans can be disrupted. After Desi has sealed the deal to throw a game, the team had The Merchant in their grasps, but a phone call changes it all. Titan, the head of Codex will be there for the match. They could bring down the whole operation.

Go big or go home

The Merchant can’t risk his new investment backing out, so he ensures Desi’s cooperation, injecting the chip into her neck. She needs to trust in MacGyver, he would do anything to make sure she gets out of this alive. Throughout this episode, there have been sweet, subtle moments between MacGyver and Desi. They care for each other, but it seems to go deeper than that.

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The Merchant, a dangerous man. (Photo: Google)

The team must work against the clock, or Desi dies. Riley works her magic, finding a way to pinpoint where The Merchant is. Time is of the essence after Bozer (Justin Hires) and Russ uncover a “decoy” Titan. None of this seems to be working out in Desi’s favour, especially when her defining moment is rapidly approaching. It’s hard as a viewer not to get sucked into these stories, especially when they are captivating heart-stoppers.

Stall tactics don’t last for long, no matter how hard they try. MacGyver only has one chance, while Desi makes her bold mood. Death is imminent, but thanks to MacGyver’s ingenuity he is able to block the deadly transmission. How does he celebrate? Sealing the deal with a long, passionate kiss. Desi and MacGyver were never over each other, it’s always been simmering there under the surface.

One step forward, two steps back

In the chaos, even though they were able to pinpoint where The Merchant and the real Titan were sitting, it was too little too late. Slipping out of their grasp once more, they still have something to celebrate. They have thrown codex off of their match-fixing days, costing them a significant amount of money. One step at a time.

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Matty the big bad? I don’t think so. (Photo: Google)

There are cameras all over the place, so something was bound to be caught. If they can get visual on Titan, the closer they get to dismantling Codex. Russ, with his neverending connections, uncovers something, or rather, someone. As the team gathers in the war room back at Phoenix, you can feel the edge in the air. As Matty (Meredith Eaton) joins them, everyone seems to collectively hold their breath.

Why do they all look like someone ripped their hearts out? That’s because it is. Matty is Titan.

Where do they go from here?

Closing Thoughts

The writers have done it again, and the cast has expertly woven the threads. I can’t help but think that Matty’s situation isn’t quite what it seems. The pieces don’t fit, but we have been duped before. I don’t see them throwing away all these experiences they’ve had together. That isn’t who Matty is. This is the ultimate betrayal if it’s the final truth, and I’m not sure how they are going to recover. There is more to the story, and I can’t wait to find it out.

A new episode of MacGyver airs Friday, March 13 on CBS at 8/7c

You can find previous reviews for MacGyver here.