The world of MacGyver has been thrown through a continuous loop. Codex has gotten into their heads, and that is a dangerous thing. Will they be able to work through the chaos? Or will they crash and burn in a glorious fashion? Only time will tell. (Spoilers Ahead)
Guilty until proven innocent?
The last we saw of our team, they were questioning the validity of Matty’s (Meredith Eaton) involvement in Codex. Surely, she hasn’t been coerced with their enticing agenda. Russ (Henry Ian Cusick) is leaving little to the imagination with the interrogation. It’s a necessary evil, and he must take those precautions, but Matty isn’t that type of person.
She is not Titan, nor is she involved in Codex (We never doubted you Matty!). They’ve done exactly what they’ve set out to do, to make them all feel on edge and question each other’s loyalty. Apologies aside, there is no taking back the feeling of betrayal, something like that stays with a person. There isn’t much time to dwell on the inevitable, for a new threat has come to their attention. Well, to Russ’s attention, someone from his past needs help, and he heeds the call.
Time to save the day
While Bozer (Justin Hires) and Matty stay back at headquarters, Russ, Desi (Levy Tran), Riley (Tristin Mays) and MacGyver (Lucas Till) go into the remote unknown. This mission has a personal twist to it, and we get a much-needed flashback into the questionable life and times of Russ. Everyone has a past, some more checkered than others, and Russ has been dealing with his demons for a while now.
In the real world, people are complicated. Russ is grappling with that this episode as he comes face to face with his direct impact, and the mistakes he has made. Though he is guarded with his story, the team has his back. He left his heart, Emilia (Amanda Schull), in the small, impoverished town. She is missing, Kidnapped, and time has run out. Russ has been quite a mystery, but this episode brings us into his world and his mind.
Doing the wrong thing for the right reasons
Russ’s arrival is not a welcomed one, especially in the eyes of Emilia’s now-husband. It seems that the town has fallen on hard times. The reason? Well, that seems to be on him. Many years ago when he was head of Spearhead Operations he was tasked with protecting the clinic from the rebels. This is where he fell in love with Emilia, who saves lives no matter their affiliation. The complexities are clear, and the intentions were noble at the time. As we know, money talks and Russ is great at talking. Instead of fighting to the death, he made a deal with the enemy all those years ago, that clearly didn’t go quite the way he expected.
The team doesn’t like being in the dark, but they can’t turn their backs on innocent lives being disrupted. The local textile factory sets the scene and the horrors of what the people in the town have had to endure. The threat never left, instead, they have taken advantage of the townspeople and their desperate plight to stay alive. It’s an IED factory, run by Anton (Maximilian Osinski), whom Russ had a hand in making into the terrorist he is today.
In a pinch, it doesn’t take the team long to figure out a plan. For once, Russ’s dealings are at an advantage. It doesn’t take much for him to procure a meeting with Anton. People don’t really change, do they? Under the surface, there is still that ruthless businessman. Thanks to quick thinking on Desi’s part, the need for a doctor is high and with the promise of $5000 euros, how can the big bad resist? At last, with Emilia in their sights, it brings up something even more problematic. There are more hostages, and if she goes missing, they all die.
No stone left unturned
There seems to be an ever-shifting dynamic between Russ and MacGyver. When Russ goes off on a tangent, MacGyver is good at pulling him back into the here and now. In good conscience, the team cannot let innocent lives perish because of their rescue attempt. They are good at improvising, and now is the time to think outside the box. Even with danger at every curve, this doesn’t slow them down.
Desi has become an undeniable force of nature. She is fearless and doesn’t stand down, giving us some badass action sequences. There is no hiding their intentions now, as they relinquish the innocent bystanders from their hell. With only 8 minutes to put their plan in motion, that’s plenty of time to make a stand. Easy isn’t in their vocabulary though, so when MacGyver’s makeshift grenade launcher fails to perform, they need more time.
There is no denying that Russ is good at what he does. He is good at talking, so that’s how he buys time. With the baddies stuck beyond the ridge, he puts on a show for Anton. The games have gotten tiresome, and patience has run out, but Russ is quicker on the draw. Anton is subdued by a gunshot. Instead of giving him a swift death, Russ shows that he is a changed man. It’s time to right his wrongs.
The darkness is coming
A bittersweet goodbye for Russ and Emilia. They have both moved on with their lives, although their directions are more alike this time. There is a whole world ahead of them both, without one another. This gives a sense of closure, allowing Russ to move onward. Life isn’t always black and white, there is so much more to it than that.
MacGyver has been contending with his own thoughts in this episode. The unsaid is powerful, and there is much to be feared. Russ and MacGyver have a powerful heart-to-heart, it’s something both of them needed. There are times where one must go against the grain in order to get results. Russ didn’t turn Anton into the UN, it would’ve been a useless endeavor. He paid him off. It may work for a time, but they’ll be back one day.
The team must think more like Russ in the days to come. They will need to risk everything and will be pushed beyond their limits. It is inevitable, and so is the evil in the world. Back in the war room, Matty makes a cryptic call. The threat is real, and soon it will all be set in motion.
Instill doubt, and the rest will follow.
In flashbacks, we are given a better glimpse into their world. The depth of the backstories the writers give us help the story evolve, bringing us further into the calamity that is ahead. Between the undeniable attraction between Desi and MacGyver, and the daunting past that Russ fears to talk about, it’s all connected. Who was Matty talking to? I think it could be Oversight. It’s been a while since we’ve seen James. Now is the time. Dark times will soon be upon them all.
You can catch a new episode of MacGyver on Friday, March 27 on CBS at 8/7c.
Previous reviews for MacGyver can be found here.