MacGyver (S04E09) “Code + Artemis + Nuclear + N3mesis”

On the latest episode of MacGyver, emotions are running high. The immense loss has certainly taken its toll on MacGyver, but he isn’t willing to let the grief take him. Codex is his endgame, and he needs to keep moving or else he will break. (Spoilers Ahead)

It’s not just black and white

The team has pooled their resources together (and memories of Oversight), trying to comfort MacGyver (Lucas Till) in his hour of need. He has disconnected himself from reality, the truth of the matter is too painful, too fresh in his mind. Even Desi (Levy Tran) is unable to save him from the depths, he isn’t ready to feel those feelings. Codex needs to be stopped, that much is true, but at what cost?

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Oversight impacted them all. (Photo: Google) (MacGyver (S04E09))

A new threat rises, causing the impromptu memorial to be put on hold. When a rolling blackout plunges the county into darkness, Riley (Tristin Mays) is the best and brightest person for the job. Although it’s not as cut and dry, when the code that shut the grid down, is one that Riley helped to create. We get a much-needed glimpse into her past.

The best of intentions can draw out more sinister notions. Riley, Kai (Sea Shimooka), and Peyton ( Holly Deveaux) were (and still are) brilliant minds, wanting to save the world, but money was too hard to resist. This causes a rift in differences between the tight-knit friend group. After Riley’s arrest, it’s safe to say they all went their separate ways. This wasn’t quite the reunion Riley envisioned when she learns that Kai is the one behind the blackouts.

Working for the system

There are so many moving parts in this episode. We get to see the decline in MacGyver’s resolve and the brilliant mind of Riley, hard at work. The source code holds the key to stop this chaos from going any further, luckily Peyton, is still in possession of one. Though circumstances have changed, there is a familiar bond between Riley and Peyton, after all these years. Peyton has extended her gifts to do good things for people, and the world, becoming a role model to future generations.

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Time isn’t on their side. (Photo: Google) (MacGyver (S04E09))

We get to see Riley working in her element, trying to restore power to the grid. They find their way to the nuclear power plant, where MacGyver finds a common bond with the man in charge, Phil Lanksky (Ramon De Ocampo). As Riley works diligently away, it all seems successful when the system reboots, only to reveal that those precious few moments it was down, someone had taken control. All fingers point to Kai, and why wouldn’t they?

Desi and Riley have another task at hand, but their window of time is running out. With the threat of a nuclear meltdown now on the table, they need to work swiftly. It’s a good thing MacGyver and his mind are working on overtime, while Lansky understands his bizarre, outlandish design. Who knew a jet ski would be so helpful? MacGyver did. But is it going to be enough?

All Signs Point to Codex

Being paranoid is not very becoming of MacGyver, yet, it is the mind-set he is clinging onto. His obsession with Codex becomes increasingly clear when he tries to blame the latest catastrophe on them. It does bear the markings of their ideology, but something is missing in the design of it all. Russ (Henry Ian Cusick) is at the ready to try and calm MacGyver’s mounting suspicions, but he’s done with rational thinking.

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What is really going on? (Photo: Mark Hill/CBS) (MacGyver (S04E09))

Even though MacGyver won’t deal with the loss, it has taken a huge toll on his mentality and thought process. It all comes to a head when he discovers Lansky missing, and his latest contraption tampered with. Could Lansky really be with Codex? When MacGyver finds him hiding on the phone, it’s not what it looks like. Due to the information black-out, Lansky was reaching out to his family, warning them to get out of harm’s way. Maybe MacGyver needs to rethink his strategy.

While Desi and Riley were able to track down Kai, she seems to be oblivious to what is going on. She was hired to hack into the system, and create the blackout, but not to start a nuclear emergency. Good thing there are a few bread crumbs to help lead Riley to the real culprit, Peyton. She seems to have the same mind-set as Codex, but she is working on her own free will.

There are only grey spaces

With a meltdown imminent, there is nothing more for them to do. Accept their fates, and make peace with death. Although one, last glimmering hope finds Lansky dropping into the depths of danger, he knows the plant best, after-all. These are some of the biggest dire straits they have been in. Watching Lansky work diligently to save the day, Riley beats him to it.

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No other choice. (Photo: Screen Capture) (MacGyver (S04E09))

This comes with a great cost, and it feels as though the world has stopped for a moment. In order to bring the system back to normal levels, doors must be sealed, which would directly result in Lansky’s death. Is one person’s life more important than Four million? MacGyver takes it upon himself to make the final call, pushing the button, and watching the man die before his very eyes.

An Ocean of Grief

With another crisis averted, the team gathers in the war room. All but MacGyver. Russ is the one to go and find him, at his home, waiting for the world to end. He is in such a venerable position, with a fresh loss on his mind, that the hope has been eradicated from his thoughts. He has become a broken man, but Russ won’t let him wallow in his self-loathing for long.

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Gone, but never forgotten. (Photo: IMDB) (MacGyver (S04E09))

Oversight had left something for MacGyver. A Flash Drive, which he couldn’t make himself watch. Once he does that, then it proves that his father is really gone. He will have nothing. James is with his mother, and he has never felt more alone. Though Russ tries to assure him he is not, it’s not something he will easily be able to shake.

Could closure come with the flash drive? It doesn’t quite work out like that. Instead, Mac’s dad has left him a coded message, a string of numbers, that MacGyver will surely find meaning in. He’s not down and out just yet.

Closing Thoughts

This episode was heartbreaking to watch. Life may be going on, but it seems as though MacGyver has been left behind. His focus on finding Codex has clouded his vision, and it’s apparent that he isn’t okay, nor is that going to be in the cards for a while. He is in pain, and if he doesn’t deal with it, the darkness is going to consume him.

You can catch a new episode of MacGyver on Friday, April 17 at 8/7c on CBS

Previous reviews for MacGyver can be found here.