In honor of the 30th Anniversary of the premiere airing of MacGyver
(which was 30 Sept, I'm a little behind), I bring you the next installment in the countdown! [link goes to a note from Lee David Zlotoff, creator of MacGyver]#98 - Log JamSeason
Mac goes undercover as a logger...Trope(s):
[Frequently used Tropes are listed in the first post
- Mac's friend Amyhttp://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/YouLookFamiliar
- John Considinehttp://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ExpansionPackPast
- logging experienceThoughts:
Lots of footage - stock or otherwise - of really great landscapes. Then stock footage of tree felling.
Mac's in Oregon to find out why a timber summit was cancelled. He has an 'old friend' who was supposed to run the summit, but she pulled out. Mac's friend - Amy - tells him there is a cover up of something and that's why she pulled out of the summit.
Amy's convinced that the logging company killed a man who had found out some shady stuff about the company. Mac isn't jumping on that train just yet - he likes proof and evidence - kinda like lawyers.
Sidebar about Amy's house - it is made of wood (like one of the loggers mentioned during their face-off earlier in the episode), and covered in wood panelling, but she's also drying herbs or flowers or something over her kitchen window. So, I'm gonna guess that her house was probably put together with sustainable methods, b/c if she cares that much about the forests, she'd make sure her house wasn't part of the problem.
Amy's estranged husband comes to her house with flowers - not sure what he's going for, but he sees Amy talking to Mac through the window and draws the conclusion that she's got a boyfriend or something? Which, I suppose is possible, but if they're not divorced yet, would be a bad idea.
Then we're introduced to one of Mac's many talents - he knows about logging and shows up at the logging site to be the new choker-man. Unfortunately, Jack (the estranged husband) is the foreman and he has no qualms subtly threatening Mac. It doesn't seem like a threat from Mac's perspective, b/c Mac doesn't know what Jack saw.
Next up is a member of the Yakuza threatening the owner of the company b/c he wants his logs that's he's not really supposed to have. Under-the-table log dealing. How nice.
On top of that, one of the drivers for the logging company recognizes Mac and lets owner-guy know that Mac was with Amy. He also admits that they killed Lopez (the guy Amy was telling Mac about earlier) - purely as exposition, as it has little bearing on the story, because Mac will figure it out later. Really - I don't know why the audience needs to be TOLD right now that red hat guy (the driver) and owner-guy killed Lopez. Aside from the fact that MacGyver
isn't a 'mystery' show.
There really should be a trope for 'I'll take care of MacGyver' - it's said often enough. *goes to look for something like that* There is the Leave Him To Me
trope, which sort of fits. Owner-guy doesn't make a grand declaration, but he tells red hat "I'll take care of MacGyver", so, close enough. *adds to list*
Oh Amy, smart move. She says she'll get them to stop clear-cutting "even if I have to sabotage your equipment to do it". So now when their equipment gets all fucked up, she'll be the prime suspect, b/c there is a whole bowling alley full of witnesses.
I'll also mention that the hockey-hair is in full swing in this ep.
And more stock footage, though, filming random logging stuff would probably be super expensive for just a few scenes, so the stock footage makes sense.
Now Mac has to spend time explaining to Jack that Mac and Amy (Jack's estranged wife) are *just* old friends and Mac has no plans to move in on Amy. So Mac's now playing marriage counselor. All of this shortly before a log nearly crushes the two of them and Mac has to save Jack from getting smooshed by the falling log. And the wires on the rig were cut, so guess who the prime suspect is? Amy, who made her sabotage threat in front of all the loggers.
The cops find giant wire cutters and tree spikes in Amy's shed. Owner guy (Foxworth), set her up - which he openly admits to the Yakuza who's getting the under-the-table logs. The Yakuza guy doesn't think he's done a good enough job and tells Foxworth the story of how he had to cut off his own finger - b/c this is one of those things that always comes up with Yakuza in pop culture. (Though possibly this guy cut off the wrong one? Since it's apparently supposed to be the left hand, and this guy lost the finger on his right.)
Jack makes a bit of a Heel-Face Turn while he and Mac are talking to the cop and he gets fired for his effort. Though, I'm not sure why the cop is telling Mac, Jack and Foxworth about the evidence they have against Amy or why all of said evidence is laying out on a table *not* in the evidence bags. He's touching everything and contaminating the evidence. Also, this is where smarty-pants MacGyver should've jumped in asking about fingerprints and other legitimate evidence, rather than the circumstantial crap they've got. Sorry 'we found these things in your shed' is not enough evidence for a full conviction. Lawyers and judges like good solid stuff they can sink their teeth into. C'mon Mac, step up your game!
Then Mac and Jack are discussing how Yakuza guy could be getting whole logs, especially when it's illegal to export whole logs from public land and stuff. So Mac thinks the paid-off driver is just by-passing checkpoints after things are inspected and such.
Jack goes to the police about Foxworth, and suddenly the cops need real evidence and more than just some 'words' to find something about about Foxworth. I can't tell if this means the cops are in Foxworth's pocket or if it's a plot convenience. It's plot convenience, b/c a little bit later, the sheriff comes back out with info that none of Foxworth's logs have gone to a scaling station in the last several months.
Mac rolls out w/ red had to see what's up and finds out that the logs get diverted and they saw off the marker paint and reuse the tags for the load. All very illegal stuff.
Of course, once Amy finds out about the lack of scaling station visits, she won't wait like the sheriff told her to. She has to go run off to the other mill to do - something. I have no idea what she's trying to do, other than be a plot point that Mac has to rescue on top of everything else he has to do.
Does Mac ever manage to get through a fight where he doesn't land on his ass?
Okay, if Mac had time to jump off that thing, why didn't the Yakuza guy? I mean, other than 'plot reasons'? B/c Mac jumped off and the other guy rode the log elevator belt for a good 15-20 more seconds, which doesn't seem like a long time, but it's enough for reacting and moving. Esp'ly if this guy really is a practiced Yakuza guy.
Then there's a reconciled marriage and a reconciled timber summit and we end with a Mac smile.
I don't know what it is about this episode that keeps it so far down my list. Maybe it's all of Amy's angry yelling at the beginning or the fact that it's not a very fast moving plot. It sort of plods along and there were a couple times I caught myself thinking 'omg, this ep is taking forever'. It's not a bad episode, it just isn't one that evokes an 'oh yes! i really need to watch this one!' from me.
In related news, Richard Dean Anderson - along with a whole slew of other Stargate SG-1
related guests - will be at Gatecon in Sept 2016! (more info over here: http://gatecon.com
) I am *so* going!