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|MacGyver Online Forums > Episodes > 018 – Ugly Duckling|
|Posted by: MacGyverOnline 2 November 2006 - 04:24 PM|
18 – Ugly Duckling
Airdate: 12 March 1986
Writer: Larry Gross
Director: Charles Correll
Guest Cast: Darcy Marta as Kate Lafferty , Lee deBroux as Hatcher , Dana Elcar as Pete Thornton
Richard McKenzie as Willis , Ned Bellamy as Larkin.
MacGyver comes to the aid of a 15 year old computer whiz who’s captured by terrorists and forced to fix the guidance system of a stolen US missile.
|Posted by: Macs Lab Rat 8 November 2006 - 10:40 AM|
| votes from 28 March 2006
Poor [ 0 ] [0.00%]
Average [ 1 ] [7.69%]
OK [ 1 ] [7.69%]
Good [ 3 ] [23.08%]
Excellent [ 8 ] [61.54%]
Total Votes: 13
|Posted by: MacGyverluver 29 November 2006 - 05:58 PM|
|[FONT=Courier][SIZE=7][COLOR=red]I absolutely loved this amazing episode. I am not an attractive person or particularly smart, but I have a loving and funny family that helps me all the way. My father is aorta like Mac funny, helpful, smart, energetic, and hardworking. My mother has all these qualities but in a different way. Personally I could see myself as Kate and I could put my father as Mac. It is an episode that has moved me every time I watch it.|
|Posted by: Macs Lab Rat 30 November 2006 - 11:15 AM|
| I vote good on this one.
I remembered it really well from when I first saw it when I was a kid. The cactus battery and making the gun hot i especially remembered along with the sound to get the bad guys to back off. I remember at the time wondering why on earth Kate didn't tap him on the arm and draw his attention to the plug.
Episodes like this with the old computers in them make me suddenly remember how old the show is. Mostly I totally forget .
|Posted by: MacGyverluver 17 December 2006 - 03:39 PM|
|I love the part where she says, "All for one," and he replies, "And one for all. I can't believe you said that." That was just such a cute scene. Personally I like the episode when he works with kids, it brings out a side of him that is even more lovable.|
|Posted by: rutejack 30 May 2007 - 06:16 AM|
|Another one of my favorite episodes of season 1. a girly version of Mac way and so young...cute. when I watch this ep I remember how old the computers were...they are so diferent now, the design I mean. Favorite quote: "Friendship is not something I take lightly.too hard to come by." learned a lot from this one.|
|Posted by: MacGyver 11 November 2007 - 08:42 PM|
|I stand by my earlier comments. "Ugly Duckling" is definitely one of my favorite episodes. I love MacGyver's comments about friendship. And I love the fact that MacGyver was friends with people in a lot of different positions in life. He reached out to people all over that he ran into- even those that could be considered to a "lower class" or whatever. I think that's one of his great qualities- being willing to associate with all kinds of people. And I think the theme and message of the episode resonates well with me too- because though the ugly duckling phase in life is awkward and tough to go through- at the end of it, the ugly duckling transforms into a beautiful swan! But I think to really emerge to that swan state- we have to realize that we're already infinitely beautiful just the way we are. In fact- "broken and beautiful" as a Mark Schultz song says.|
|Posted by: stampsfan 12 November 2007 - 12:19 AM|
|My fave episode EVER! I can relate to where Kate is coming from as I faced a lot of tough situations in life but I had great friends and family and God who helped me through and the huge smile on Kate's face at the end of the episode and Mac's smile back to her sums up what is so great about this episode...when you can make a positive difference in someone's life, no matter how hard it can be along the way, it is SO worth it!|
|Posted by: MacGyver 12 November 2007 - 05:37 PM|
|Well said, stampsfan. I totally agree- that also sums up one of the main things I love about MacGyver and why it's such a great show! (Best ever as far as I'm concerned)|
|Posted by: jackwabbit 13 November 2007 - 08:52 AM|
| Ok, I admit it. I changed my vote after reading the posts above.
My mouse immediately jumped to 'poor' on this one, as for me it is probably the worst episode of MacGyver ever. But I confess to only watching it once. (Don't think I could do it again.) So, maybe it's not so bad. Maybe it grows on you.
Everything about this episode drives me nuts, but the girl at the end the most.
Oh, look, NOW you're pretty because we put make-up on you and gave you cooler clothes and oh, look, NOW you have a boyfriend, so you MUST be cool now. Because we all know that cool clothes and make up and a boyfriend are what really matters in life. You couldn't have just felt better about yourself and had higher self esteem and continued to be a dork but felt good about it and realized that long term that would serve you best because you'd have a great career as a Nobel prize winner or something. Nope. You had to have the magical transformation to princess, because we all know that all girls want to be princesses, right? They don't want to win Nobel prizes. Princess works.
Just plain drives me nuts.
I grew up very much a tomboy with no make up, no cool clothes, and a complete sense of cluelessness. My beautiful, blonde, tall, popular sister had all that-enough for both of us.
So, I'm a little sensitive to the whole 'oh, you were ugly but we'll fix you up and you won't be' thing. You don't need fixed up at all to be gorgeous.
I'm still plain, I still wear average clothes, I'm still shorter than my sister and I'm still brunette. But I'm just fine, thanks. I never wanted to be a princess. I did want to be a doctor and a scientist, and I am. I'm (generally) happily married to a wonderful man who accepts that. It's all good.
And the episode tried to do that point, then ruined it at the end.
So, while I gave it an average to be nice, I won't be watching this one again.
|Posted by: jackwabbit 13 November 2007 - 08:56 AM|
| p.s.-end rant. Sorry, got carried away, but I stand by it.
Oh, and before someone says you can have both, yeah-a few people can pull that off, but not many. Too many hats makes your head sore.
|Posted by: Astra 13 November 2007 - 01:40 PM|
Well, I can't help agreeing with you there! The end also never did work for me.
I don't think she looks any prettier than before, and as for the boyfriend... he looks pretty much like a geek that nobody likes, himself.
So the "ordinary", the "cool" teens still seem not to respect her much. But that's okay, once you get self confidence and get to know real friends that like you the way you are so you don't have to change to fit in. That worked for me, anyway. Never did need the others after that. Never did need them before that, also, actually.
But overall I like this episode. I liked how she and Mac worked together, how they were able to read each other minds.
I especially like the look at Mac's face when the bad guys get them and Mac says, that it had been a good idea, actually (or something like that) with this machine that made the loud noise. I never understood though whe she not just touched his arm to get his attention that something was off?
|Posted by: MacGirl 13 November 2007 - 07:03 PM|
| Well, I think the ending was more to show that her confidence had gotten a big boost. If you feel ugly and unwanted, you're going to try to fade into the woodwork as much as possible, looks-wise (as she was trying to do with the plain, tomboy clothes). If you feel good about yourself, it'll show on the outside, with a nice hairstyle, clothes that flatter you, etc.
Don't forget, the title was Kate's own computer password. It was how she felt about herself that was the real issue.
|Posted by: MacGyver 13 November 2007 - 07:37 PM|
| Regarding the clothes thing, I kinda figured Kate dressed up some for her night out at the club with MacGyver and the "boyfriend" (or maybe he was just a friend or whatever.)
And for the record, I think girls can be princesses and win Nobel Prizes. Or either one. Or neither one. It doesn't really matter. I don't anyone's wrong for wanting to follow different career paths or dress a little differently. But I think the point of the episode was being comfortable with yourself and realizing that, "you can do anything you want to do if you put your mind to it."
(I love this new MacGyver smiley! Ha ha)
|Posted by: MacGyverOnline 13 November 2007 - 08:03 PM|
| I think the whole end of the episode was a visual representation that the ugly duckling had turned into a swan.
They where trying to show that Kate had gained confidence in herself. She was happy with who she was and maybe even see that there are other kids with similar interests she could be friends with, and she really wasn’t as different as she perceived herself to be.
As for the rest of the episode.. I liked it. It gives us some interesting background to MacGyver's teenage years, with his computer sciences class, teacher etc.. as well as hearing Macs DXS ID number
I think too, that this episode has one of the most important messages for any teenager.. “be yourself, and be proud of it”.
It’s interesting that even in season 1 we start to see the beginnings of the “social issues” episodes which would become so prominent in later seasons.
All in all, this episode gets an excellent rating from me.
|Posted by: tandt14 14 November 2007 - 12:48 PM|
| I voted "OK" for this episode. There is NO such thing as a POOR episode of MacGyver even though this is my least favorite episode of them all. Yes, the story was good but there was something that just didn't quite "work" for me. The chemistry between the girl and MacGyver just didn't seem right. It's hard for me to explain...I guess, to me, it seemed as if RDA and the girl were trying a tad too hard to make it seem as if the girl was an young, female version of MacGyver.
Again this is only MY opinion.
|Posted by: MacGyverOnline 14 November 2007 - 01:52 PM|
| It might just be bad acting.
For the girl who plays Kate (Darcey Marta), MacGyver was her first ever TV acting role.. 7 appearances and 8 years later, she disappeared off the acting radar, apparently for good.
So this might account for some things in this episode. I feel there where scenes where unfortunately her inexperience shone through brilliantly.
Can’t help but wonder if this episode could have been better with a more experienced actor.
|Posted by: Astra 14 November 2007 - 02:08 PM|
Did she? Did she suddenly become one of those girls every guy turns his head when she is walking by at the street? I don't think so. I still see good ol' Kate there in the end, no difference to me.
Maybe somebody starts to notice that she has a nice smile. Well, surprise - she had it all the time! Why didn't they see so earlier? What is suddenly making the difference?
Because that is the problem with all the other movies jackwabbit meant: They take a already pretty girl/woman and make her ugly with glasses and bad hair and once this all is taken off - voilá! A swan.
But there are people that never will be such kind of swan. I know I don't have the ability to walk on highheels and to wear a short skirt and to swing my hips - but I don't care.
I think that is the same question as with the hen and the egg. Did nobody like Kate because she always kept to herself, or did she keep to herself because nobody liked her? Who started first?
|Posted by: MacGyverOnline 14 November 2007 - 03:01 PM|
Thats the point. She never was ugly. But she thought she was. so the difference is that Kate now feels good about herself and now realizes that she's not ugly.
But I think I just realized the crux that both you and Wabbit are talking about.
The story never actually explains why Kate suddenly changes. We go from seeing an awkward smart girl, who sees herself as an outcast, helping MacGyver to a sudden socially apt "popular" teenager and theres no reason given as to where this sudden boost of confidence comes from.
So yeah, from that point of view the story falls on it's face, because we're left to fill in the blanks, which isn't too hard to do if you know the Ugly Duckling story, but if you've never read it or heard it, you'd be pretty much scratching your head.
I still think there are important messages in this episode aimed directly at teens about feeling good about yourself and not falling pray of social and peer pressures. I know from being involved with "peer-support" groups in high school, and my own teenage years, that peer pressure and wanting to be accepted and "normal" is a huge issue for teens. In many cases it's actually ranked as the number 1 concern for teenagers.
SO yes they failed with the ending, but I still like the episode.
|Posted by: MacGyver 14 November 2007 - 03:57 PM|
This is certainly true. MacGyver has dealt with important social issues all through Seasons 1-7. That's always been an aspect of MacGyver's character- it may just be that in later seasons, there were more of the "very special episode" deals that were specifically devoted to a certain topic. (I'm thinking of "The Challenge", "Runners" and "Twenty Questions" episodes- all of which are great episodes that get across an important message.) But I think this is something MacGyver does well, perhaps more subtly, throughout the series.
|Posted by: jackwabbit 14 November 2007 - 07:09 PM|
Yeah, just a little too 'after school special' for me.
Again, sorry for my rant above, but...yeah...never liked the morally heavy handed social issue Mac episodes here...
|Posted by: trtlsoup 17 November 2007 - 01:50 PM|
I agreed with your rant, because I was that kid too. Tomboy, loner, too smart for the "regular" kids, not pretty enough to hang with the popular crowd (my older sister, in with the "preppy" crowd) Parent(s) were clueless, so I ran wild... I grew out of it eventually, but yeah... it's a lonely life for a kid/teen.
But because I felt an affinity for this character, I liked the episode the first time I saw it. Except for the end. I know that they had to wrap the episode cleanly, but I would have liked to see her confident with herself without seeing her surrounded by kids immediately.
I haven't voted yet... can't decide if I liked it enough for a "Good" rating. *shrug*
I do like how Mac treats kids. He doesn't talk down to them. Maybe it's an extension of the actor... Either way, RDA and kids always seem get along.
I'm going to watch it again. Maybe I'll have a clear picture what to look for.
|Posted by: trtlsoup 20 November 2007 - 07:02 PM|
| Well, I watched the episode this morning... I gave it a Okay.
I'm sticking with my first impression. Not a really strong episode as characterizations go, but it's watchable.
What I did notice is that it ended rather abruptly, like story wasn't quite finished when they got to the party scene. Weird.
|Posted by: SwissArmy 10 April 2008 - 03:01 PM|
| This was an episode i really enjoyed. Like another fan said i love it when he works with kids. This is a fun wpisode and love the lookback at the way computer were.
|Posted by: Liz1976 13 July 2008 - 02:14 AM|
|I like the episodes with kids too. And I showed this one to my daughter who really connected to it. She is 8, so she doesn't pick upon some of the other nipicks like we do. She came to me about the Ugly Duckling part and reminded of the story and we talked about the girl's self esteem. Just as a bonding eppy with my kids I vote good, as an episode I like it---the beginning is sad though--another person that Mac knows and loves that dies!|
|Posted by: SHEILA 14 July 2008 - 07:52 PM|
|I vote ok on this epo.It was hard for me to get past some of the cheezness in it.I did like the facr that Mac helped Kate out .I also think that she should have came back for another epo too. But I guess that is what fan fiction is for.|
|Posted by: androgyny 23 July 2008 - 10:04 AM|
|i like this ep. because of the MacGyverisms. i didn't really get the ugly duckling thing since the girl is not uglye ,imo.|
|Posted by: Liz1976 23 July 2008 - 10:14 AM|
No she's not. But she percieves herself as ugly. Often the way that we view ourselves and the way that others see us, or the way that God sees us is vastly different. And teenage girls are very sensitive about their looks. I know I was. Any other girls want to admit to it? We can have a whole discussion about body image. It doesn't help when you watch shows where all the women are beautiful. Have you guys ever noticed that there are no or few ugly or fat women in space. Like Stargate SG1--how often do you see an unattractive, or even slightly overweight woman. In a decent sized part?
|Posted by: dinoman 26 September 2008 - 04:28 PM|
| I like this one, too. It's always nice to see Mac dealing with children/teenagers, he just has a kind of 'charisma' in it, just like he said in one of the latter episodes: 'I was told that kids like me once they get to know me' (something like that).
Kate was also a brilliant girl. It's rare for Mac to find someone who can really understand what he's doing and actively participate in his plan, most of the time people just asked 'what are you doing?' (including me)
I voted excellenat, BTW.
|Posted by: Geekgirl 30 March 2010 - 04:27 AM|
| I voted good, even though I really like the episode. The endign bothers me, like others have mentioned. A boyfriend (no matter how much he can compute) is not what a girl needs to have self confidence. But then again, maybe they were trying to show that Mac gave Kate the boost in her self esteem that she needed to find herself a boyfriend not sure if that's the angle they were going for or not.
My daughter really liked the episode...she just had to ask why the computers were so big and the screens/font looked funny. Ok, it's hard to explain to a 7 year old that was just the way things were back then. And 5.25" floppies, she's never even seen one...Oye.
As for Kate, I really liked her character. I did back when it first aired. I was the weird, friendless, ugly duckling in Jr and Sr high. College was much easier since I went to a male dominated engineering school and found smart/geeky/weird friends ( a few were even women).
I loved how Kate and Mac were able to bounce ideas off of each other and the fact that Kate began to create an arc welder while trapped in the generator shed in order to free herself. Smart Girl, one who could actaully keep up with Mac.
Now, the triangulation part for locating the missile, a bit unrealistic since the radios weren't spaced far enough apart and they really had no idea on frequency of the other radio that the bad guys were using...but not a bad bit of fun. I remember this episode being so cool from an engineering/science usage perscpective as a kid, but now that I have the training to understand all the principles behind the macgyverisms, I have to cringe a bit....nope Mac probably couldn't have aimed the reflected sunlight accurately enough over the distance to blow up the shotgun shell, and nope the missiles should not have intercepted each other since they were launched at different times and from different directions and at presumably the same speeds. Oh well, these are minor things.
In the end, a good episode, woulda rated it excellent except for the ending irked this ugly duckling....
|Posted by: MacGyverOnline 15 October 2010 - 03:31 PM|
| I just realized that in this episode we heard MacGyver's teacher say that MacGyver's a bona-fide genius, which got me back to thinking about MacGyvers IQ level again but I can't find the original topic we had about it
|Posted by: Beachbead 25 December 2010 - 01:36 PM|
|I liked this Episode it reminded of myself not being pretty in school and being picked because I know some what more then some people, and because I didn't wear what everyone else was wearing. I would of loved to see her come back for another episode to see where she is now.|
|Posted by: MacGyverOnline 25 December 2010 - 05:17 PM|
| I still love the line "There is a password right?"
|Posted by: Beachbead 25 December 2010 - 05:48 PM|
| I liked it when he said "Friendship is not something I take lightly. Too hard to come by."
And it's the truth, friends come and go but the ones who stays are the true friends.
|Posted by: MacGyverOnline 25 December 2010 - 11:13 PM|
| yeah that line was always one of those stand out "life lesson" type lines I took from the show.
I think it kinda tied in with something my brother had said to me a few years earlier about peer-pressure and stuff. He said friends that try to make you do stuff you don't want to do aren't really your friends because real friends accept you for what and who you are and like you for it, they don't try to make you do something you don't want to do.
And when I heard MacGyver say that I thought of my brothers line and put them together to realize that MacGyver was right on the money.. friends.. real friends... are too hard to come by - don't take it lightly.
|Posted by: MiracleMac 19 April 2012 - 05:46 AM|
|I voted good. This also my favorite episode and this was the first episode what I saw first time from that whole series. So, that triangulation trick is very cool. And one time I was testing my radiophones and the both phones were in ''on'' position. The one phone was on table and the other was on my hand, so then something happened and the phone catch some wrong signal and I heard one man was talking something. And then later I remembered that same thing was in MacGyver, but they using radios and the loops on antenna.|
|Posted by: NightTinkerer 11 August 2012 - 04:53 AM|
| I find it a little difficult to rate this episode... don't know why, really. Maybe it's because I don't really know what to think of Darcy Marta, I can't really decide whether I like her or not.
It's always great though, to see Mac interact with kids. Some of you have already debated the Hollywood cliché that a woman just needs to put on a bit of makeup and turn into a beautiful swan. But in Kate's case, I think it was due to Mac's encouragement that her self confidence got a boost, which made her come out of her shell and start interacting more with people. That she did put on a bit of makeup was just a part of the process, I think.
Some of the MacGyverisms (and Kate-isms...) in this episode felt way to implausible, though. I'm not a scientist or an engineer, but just to mention one thing, I found it rather... hilarious when she caused the elevator circuits to short out just by tapping into the computer system. And in my world, "close all circuits" would give an opposite effect, shouldn't it be "open all circuits?"
OK, I'll give it a "Good" rating anyway.
|Posted by: KiwiTek 11 August 2012 - 05:28 AM|
Unless "close" is a command to shut down the circuits rather than a literal action to be taken upon the circuit as in "close down" all elevator circuits.
It makes sense to me that a building management system would have terms which make sense to the operators rather than reflect the physical action they might initiate because the whole idea is to make the process simple so you don't need to understand how every part of the building works or how electrical circuits work, you just type close all circuits and they all shut down just like your computer does when you close it down.
um... the whole theme of the ugly duckling story isn't that the duck was ugly, it was different from the others and therefore perceived itself to be ugly. Which is exactly what Kate was doing. I think the makeup at the end was a visual way of showing that she had blossomed into her own swan, TV being a visual medium and all.
|Posted by: Rocket 21 July 2013 - 10:55 AM|
| Hadn't seen this one in a while, but watched again today.
As a story it's OK, it has that Season 1 quality of still finding it's feet a bit.
What struck me were the similarities between Mac and Kate - both with really dark eyes and similar haircuts and the same way of getting proper excited when an idea strikes, even if everyone else hasn't quite caught up yet. Not sure if it was deliberate, but it works well - almost as if Kate is an echo of how Mac might have been at that age.
Following RDA having a broken wrist during the last few episodes, it's also noticeable how careful he's being with it here and how much stuff he's still doing left handed. You'd probably not notice if you hadn't watched the episodes in order though.
The ending was a bit cliched, what with the party and the make-up and all, but I agree with others here who say that it's just a visual confirmation that Kate is coming out of her shell. If they were filming this story today she'd have found the cool geek crowd to hang out with, but it didn't exist in popular television culture at the time and so I think they're just showing that she's acquired some cool-credentials of her own
|Posted by: MiracleMac 8 July 2014 - 12:06 PM|
| Look at that, Collins 32S3 Transmitter made ears hurt
|Posted by: Joe SAKic 8 July 2014 - 05:35 PM|
| and they are not exactly selling for peanuts on eBay these days .....
|Posted by: denizen 8 July 2014 - 08:32 PM|
|Ouch! Very pricey indeed!|
|Posted by: cmbj67 27 July 2014 - 02:28 AM|
| I voted good but actually this episode is between good and excelllent.
I like him with Kate. As Rocket said, she has intelligent eyes like him.
And I like him soooo much in that red shirt
|Posted by: Mr Duct Tape 29 October 2015 - 04:00 PM|
A solid episode that clearly shows how MacGyver can be a good role model for young people. It was cool to see the friendship between Mac and Kate blossom throughout the entire episode.
|Posted by: KiwiTek 7 November 2015 - 03:47 PM|
| This episode prompted a call from the Pentagon asking how they got their hands on sensitive information about the Titan missile.
|Posted by: Mr Duct Tape 7 November 2015 - 04:07 PM|
|Wow that is wicked|
|Posted by: RadiantRose 21 November 2016 - 12:28 PM|
Yes, if they'd been similar ages, they would have made a lovely couple.
I don't think I would have noticed that he was mainly driving with his left hand if I hadn't already known he had an injured arm. I am impressed. I never quite got the hang of driving with both my arms functioning correctly.
|Posted by: Barry Rowland 21 November 2016 - 02:43 PM|
|I generally liked the show and love to see Mac with younger people. I voted "Good" for the episode, but can't say it was one of my favorites.|
|Posted by: Joe SAKic 21 November 2016 - 03:01 PM|
|Man, this episode hasn't aged at all. Terrorists commandeering projectiles to threaten mankind .... and all under the backdrop of a coding-mad and geeky world. Okay, okay, the size of the computers have a changed a tad, and the clothes, hairstyle etc ... but this episode would make an excellent reboot candidate for the new series' consideration.|