MacGyver (S04E11) “Psy-Op + Cell + Merchant + Birds”

On this episode of MacGyver, don’t expect it to be all happy-go-lucky. Those simple times have passed by and there is a new world opening up. Pain is real and unrelenting and MacGyver finds out the hard way. (Spoilers Ahead)

Wide Awake and Never Wrong

We don’t find the “typical” episode, where the team is off on another adventure. Instead, MacGyver (Lucas Till) has been captured, but he isn’t alone. The Merchant (James Callis) is there with him. Yes, the same one who tried to kill Desi (Levy Tran). Were they both put there by a common enemy? All signs point to Codex.

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Russ and Desi playing their part. (Photo: IMDB) (MacGyver (S04E11))

Although, not all is what it seems. The whole thing is just a ruse put together by The Phoenix Foundation and the copious amounts of money Russ (Henry Ian Cusick) has at his disposal. Matty (Meredith Eaton) sits back and lets Russ take control, which is not an easy task. They need intelligence in order to get ahead of Codex and what better way to do so by “breaking” The Merchant? It’s the perfect plan, too bad there are unseen obstacles in their way.

Down and Dirty

Playing a part isn’t easy, but MacGyver moves almost seamlessly into his role. Defected from The Phoenix Foundation, a lost cause on his own. It’s the perfect ploy, but he’s dealing with a highly intelligent man. It’s going to take a lot more than being “roughed up” to get The Merchant’s attention. They don’t have much room for mistakes, even MacGyver’s story is starting to sound questionable.

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Common bond? (Photo: IMDB) (MacGyver (S04E11))

In order to sell the situation, MacGyver has to go deep into his psyche. They need The Merchant to cooperate with their plan, but he has other ideas. The delicate balance of the mission is at stake, they must “sell” it for what it’s worth. It’s too little too late though, The Merchant is on to them and an S.O.S has been sent under their radar.

It’s always a trap

Codex is coming. They really are a few steps ahead of the game and they want to reclaim what is theirs. The Merchant. It comes as no surprise either, it was only a matter of time before they cracked the code. The Phoenix Foundation is good at what they do and there is no doubt about that, but so is Codex. It was never the illusion they thought it was.

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Trouble in paradise? (Photo: IMDB) (MacGyver (S04E11))

They are on their own. Codex has its hands in every other agency after-all. MacGyver is full of rage, but that does nothing to absolve the situation. It doesn’t help that Desi is losing grip on who the real MacGyver is either. Both sides are, but he claims the one who loves her is the real one. Yes, they went there. It fits with the natural progression of the story, perhaps this is what will bring him back when he goes to the brink.

Take no prisoners?

With no way out, they are trapped. It doesn’t take long for Codex to overwhelm and subdue their numbers. They know what they want and aren’t afraid to take it. The Merchant is out of their hands and back into Codex’s grasp. Desi gets a few kick-ass jabs into her red-headed foe, but it isn’t enough. How can they get ahead of something that is moving like a freight train?

In an unexpected twist, Russ pulls off the impossible, yet again. Being prepared with backup plans A, B, and C seems to work well. Now that they have a slight edge over Codex (for once) and a possible lead to their whereabouts. They are closer to saving the world. There is a change coming and it’s moving in a slow and deliberate manner. Trauma and loss have changed MacGyver. Will his darker self be joining the game sooner rather than later?

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Riley’s feelings run deeper than we think. (Photo: IMDB) (MacGyver (S04E11))

Last, but not least, we get a glimpse into some other potential drama. The moment between Riley (Tristin Mays) and Bozer (Justin Hires), as he discovers she is finding a new place to live. Desi and MacGyver need their privacy, that’s true, but she has never been unwelcome. Something is brewing there under the surface. Riley has been through so much and the only constant she’s had in her life is MacGyver. They are family (and nothing more). Right?

Closing Thoughts

In this episode, the writers have done a great job of playing with our minds, but they seem to have a knack for that. MacGyver’s “acting” was more than that, he was speaking real truths while in the cell with The Merchant. There is a part of himself that believes in what Codex is doing and that’s all they need of him. That’s all it takes to get into someone’s head. Can he truly turn to the dark side? I’m sure we will soon find out.

A new episode of MacGyver airs on Friday, May 1 at 8/7c on CBS.

You can find previous reviews for MacGyver here.