MacGyver (S04E12) “Loyalty + Family + Rogue + Hellfire”

This episode of MacGyver marks the first of a two-episode finale. Although the series has filmed more than 13 episodes, due to ongoing (unfortunate) circumstances, it seems we may have to settle for a shortened fourth season. Hopefully, this means that we will get our Season Five (decision still pending). Think you have it all figured out? Prepare to have your mind blown. (Spoilers Ahead)

All in the family

MacGyver (Lucas Till) has been at war with himself. He’s still dealing with his immense loss and is losing his grip on the world he used to know. He may not be alone, but at the moment, it sure feels like it. The disconnect has been present, even if he alludes to having it “all together”. It’s far from the truth, he is barely hanging on. That doesn’t mean his mind isn’t as sharp though, on the contrary, he seems to pick up on even more now. Even the presence of Codex and his aunt, interrupting his morning run, isn’t enough to shake him.

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Auntie knows best. (Photo: Screen Capture) (MacGyver (S04E12))

He is preceptive and open to the possibilities his aunt presents to him. There is more there than meets the eye and even though it seems like he may be swayed, which isn’t entirely the case. New truths enter his peripheral that gives him a different perspective. His mother’s death wasn’t caused by cancer, but by the same people who have tried to destroy the only family he has left. Gwen (Jeri Ryan) is good at the game, but MacGyver may be better.

Going Rogue, Going Home

Russ (Henry Ian Cusick) and his obsession, hone into the obvious. MacGyver has bought into what Codex has been selling. It’s something that he can’t be blamed for though, they are very enticing with their message. Although Russ himself seems to have an unhealthy passion for taking Codex down. They all want to see justice prevail, but what does that exactly look like? It doesn’t take long for them to point their fingers at MacGyver, questioning where his alliances truly lay.

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Has Mac been compromised? (Photo: Google) (MacGyver (S04E12))

Desi (Levy Tran) has been swept away in this chaos, not giving MacGyver the benefit of the doubt. He has his reasons, always has, and they need to learn to trust in his line of thinking. It hasn’t steered them wrong before and he has always gotten them out of the next catastrophe. This one feels different though. It’s hard not to think that Mac has been compromised and that he is taking a turn to the dark side, but sometimes making friends with your demons is a necessary evil. It may be what saves them all in the end.

Mind over matter

It’s time for MacGyver to trust in his gut, rather than his head. Now that he is no longer welcome in the inner workings of the mission, nothing is stopping him from paving his own way. He happens to do so with the ingenuity and know-how that has helped him and the team come out on top before. Although this time, he is against them. From the outside, it may seem like he has strayed, but this is something that needs to be done. There is no right, or wrong, only protecting the future, and Mac is the only one who seems to have it all figured out.

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Time to do things his way. (Photo: Screen Capture) (MacGyver (S04E12))

Everything is calculated, it isn’t just left to chance. Mac isn’t the type of person you want to pit yourself against, he will always have the upper hand. It doesn’t take him long to incapacitate The Phoenix Foundation, easily relinquishing Scarlett (Amber Skye Noyes) from her holding cell. He needs this edge in order to prove that he is on Codex’s side. Even if it means putting everything (everyone) he has known and loved at risk. This is something MacGyver needs to do. Russ and Desi are the ones to feel his wrath, but the remorse cannot be hidden. He cares, always has, always will.

Not all as it seems

Matty (Meredith Eaton) has given Bozer (Justin Hires) and Riley (Tristin Mays) the task of finding MacGyver and getting him back to them in one piece. They are the ones who know him the best, so they may be the only ones to “reason” with him. In this episode, Bozer is the ever-present voice of reason, vouching for MacGyver, even when others won’t. Riley is quick to track MacGyver down, but doesn’t give him away. She has always had his back and its refreshing to see that even in these dire circumstances, it hasn’t changed.

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Bozer, always the good guy. (Photo: IMDB) (MacGyver (S04E12))

Scarlett and MacGyver, on the other hand, have gotten themselves into another “situation”. It’s time for them to liberate Shiva from its confines at a secret, Phoenix facility. Mac needs the weapon in order to prove that he is serious, to gain an in with Codex. Of course, like any other “rescue” mission, this one comes with its difficulties. Phoenix is aware of their intentions, but they aren’t quick enough on the draw. Riley is at the ready, to help Mac in his hour of need.

This is not the end

Russ has let power go to his head and his mission to destroy Codex has altered his senses. He and Matty were able to get the full cooperation of higher-ups, to bring Codex to their knees. A drone is ready to fire when the signal is given. Russ seems to be ready to shoot first and ask questions later, there is something severely wrong in his line of thinking. Codex has done a number on him and he is unwavering in his mission to stop them.  Matty tries to be the voice of reason, unfortunately, it seems to fall on deaf ears.

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MacGyver, dealing with his demons. (Photo: IMDB) (MacGyver (S04E12))

What could Mac be doing? Where is he going? Luckily, Bozer is able to pick up on the breadcrumbs that Riley has left behind for them. He has proven to be more than an asset for the team, giving them the location of Codex’s compound. Surely they can catch them unaware? If only the drone’s operators didn’t have other orders. Seek and destroy, no matter the cost.

Saving lives, is saving lives

Roman (Zach McGowan), who has been sent by the real boss, is at the compound to keep his eyes on Gwen. The fact that there is another unseen face pulling the strings, brings another disturbing dynamic to the story. They are right to have their initial doubts about MacGyver, but he more than proves himself when he warns them of the incoming missile.

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Who is really the one in control? (Photo: Mark Hill/CBS) (MacGyver (S04E12))

Leave it to MacGyver to use his skills to get them out of a difficult situation. With innocent lives on the line, he cannot sit idly by. This is where Shiva comes in handy, he is able to deter the threat and throw it off course. Although the second missile is threatening his hard work, he has someone looking out for him, Matty, who is able to send the drone into early retirement.

Perhaps he still has friends after all. Even after all he has done, they need to trust in his methods, there is always a reason behind them. Russ, on the other hand, is showing his true colours. He doesn’t trust Mac and will do anything to stop him.

A whole new world

Riley and MacGyver have formed a deeper bond because of this ordeal. Don’t think it went unnoticed that they held steady to each other when the presence of death was upon them. They have been in each other’s lives for such a long time now, it comes as no surprise that they have a strong, emotional bond. There is no going back now and with the trust of Codex, they are welcomed into the fold.

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The Package Deal is on board. (Photo: IMDB) (MacGyver (S04E12))

Gwen brings them to a vast, underground city. This is where they will find their salvation and perhaps, their redemption.

Now is the time to improvise.

Closing Thoughts

I am still trying to wrap my mind around this episode. The writers are truly brilliant, the way they are able to shape these stories, filled with intensity and so much emotion. This season has been different from past ones, it’s darker, but that has proved to be a good thing, giving it a much-needed edge. I am not sure where we are going from here, but the finale next week is sure to blow us all away.

There have been debates whether they will give us the remaining episodes, deeming episode 13 a “midseason finale”. CBS has been very hush, hush on that decision. Season 13 was meant to feel like a Finale no matter the case, so we will get the action-packed “ending” we are craving.

The second part of the finale for MacGyver airs on Friday, May 8 on CBS at 8/7c.

You can find previous reviews for MacGyver here.