017 – To be a man
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How did you rate this episode?
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user posted image [ 4 ]  [8.51%]
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MacGyverOnline
Posted on 2 November 2006 - 04:21 PM                                    
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017 – To Be A Man

Airdate: 05 March 1986
Writer: Don Mankiewicz
Director: Cliff Bole
Guest Cast: Persis Khambatta as Zia, Dana Elcar as Pete Thornton, Sid Haig as Khalil, Allan Kolman as the Captain, Ajay Naidu as Ahmed.

Shot down and wounded by the Soviets in Afghanistan, MacGyver is given refuge by an Afghan woman and her son.






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Macs Lab Rat
Posted on 8 November 2006 - 11:28 AM                                    
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[COLOR=blue]votes a of 26 March 2006

Poor [ 1 ] [7.14%]
Average [ 1 ] [7.14%]
OK [ 1 ] [7.14%]
Good [ 3 ] [21.43%]
Excellent [ 8 ] [57.14%]
Total Votes: 14


archived comments


QUOTE (MacGyverGod Dec 13 2004 @ 02:13 AM )
Again one of the weaker episodes of the first season. I can't figure out why but it just didn't please me and this happened more then once in the first season. 


QUOTE (zhennu Dec 13 2004 @ 04:22 PM )
I have to find this excellente. xD The hang glider scene was sweet!  And then the uh...slingy that MacGyver used to knock the other guy off his horse? Nice aiming. xP 


QUOTE (MacGyver Dec 14 2004 @ 05:17 AM )
I thought this was an excellent episode! I mainly love the message that MacGyver got across at the end, that his killing the Afghanistan soldier was not justified and that's why MacGyver let him live. As it turned out, it wound up helping him escape in the end!

Also, I liked the hang glider bit and MacGyver's slingshot. Every time I see that, I can't help but think of David taking out Goliath with a stone in a sling!   


QUOTE (Asbjørn Jan 22 2006 @ 02:09 AM )
For rome reason, I'm very intrested in pain.. dunno why, but it made me like this episode... anyway;
There aren't many action shows that'll actually let the hero pass out from the pain he is feeling -one of the good things about the MacGyver series: he's human, not a machine.

- Of course Mac couldn't kill the guy, wouldn't be very characteristic of him, now would it?... 



QUOTE (MacsChick Jan 22 2006 @ 01:25 PM )
I have to agree, there. For some reason, I'm interested in pain and vulnerability, too. I guess part of that is that yes, it makes him more human, but also, he's just so sweet that if you're a woman, you want to mother him!  One of my favorite episodes! 


QUOTE (Sjaop Jan 22 2006 @ 11:57 PM )
I voted good, as I think the plotlines are a little too obvious, but I like the fact that he is wounded too (no, I'm not a sadist)
No I am not oversexed (well,...... maybe a little), but I think it is sexy to see how Mac is injured and being nursed. I agree on the fact that Mac's vulnerability adds a lot to the show.

I also like the fact that when he punches someone in the face, his hand aches


QUOTE (rockatteer Jan 23 2006 @ 08:56 AM )
I'd love ot see him punch someone, but not knock them out... him holding his hand, the other guy laying on the ground holding his jaw going... "Oooowwww .. what the hell did you do that for?"

Would be a funny scene 


QUOTE (MacsChick Jan 23 2006 @ 04:04 PM )
That would be a funny scene! And then Mac could be holding his hurt hand and reply, "I have no idea!" 



 
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Posted on 30 March 2007 - 01:08 AM                                    
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Isn't it a little odd that someone living in the isolated "outbacks" of Afghanistan in the mid 80's would have such a good grasp of the English language?






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Posted on 30 March 2007 - 06:50 AM                                    
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laugh.gif The booms they used on MacGyver are equipt with Bable Fish! laugh.gif



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Posted on 30 March 2007 - 08:32 AM                                    
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QUOTE (MacNymph @ 30 March 2007 - 10:00 AM)
laugh.gif The booms they used on MacGyver are equipt with Bable Fish! laugh.gif

*snickers* happy.gif

Yes, both the Russian soldiers and the Afganistan 'banditos' and locals seemed to have quite good English... I've always been tickled about the fact that Mac was 'rusty' in so many foreign languages, but most everyone else is fluid in his! laugh.gif

I suppose that it would not have been cost effective to have too many subtitles.... money better spent on Mac's wardrobe or crane-shots! wink.gif



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Posted on 30 March 2007 - 02:15 PM                                    
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QUOTE (MacNymph)
The booms they used on MacGyver are equipt with Bable Fish!

Oooohhhh.. so thats how they do it.. That explains the booming babel fish industry then roller.gif


This is actually quite a slow moving episode... which could throw some people off.

It doesn't have the high energy that other episodes have. The story just wonders along at a lazy pace.. which I guess probably fits how MacGyver is feeling.. so in that respect it works well.

Its still a watchable episode, but not one I would personally pull out to watch all that often.

I do have a couple of questions though, after watching this episode...

1... When did MacGyver become a jet fighter pilot? blink.gif

and

2... How did MacGyver know there was a crack in that big rock which he could poor water into to freeze?



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Posted on 30 March 2007 - 07:19 PM                                    
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QUOTE (Rockatteer @ 30 March 2007 - 09:18 PM)
Isn't it a little odd that someone living in the isolated "outbacks" of Afghanistan in the mid 80's would have such a good grasp of the English language?

But I heard they were tutored by Yanna, the fluent english-speaking gypsy girl.

2 good questions...no good answers.

Could it just been a lucky guess that the rock would be cracked to pour the water, or is that too much of a long shot?



 
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Posted on 3 April 2007 - 04:34 AM                                    
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QUOTE (Devon636 @ 30 March 2007 - 10:29 PM)
But I heard they were tutored by Yanna, the fluent english-speaking gypsy girl.

laugh.gif Touché!



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Posted on 3 July 2007 - 01:05 PM                                    
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I have newfound respect for a certain scene in this ep, right near the end, where Mac drives the jeep using his left hand to change gears since his right arm is bound up.

Having had to do that today for the same reason, all I can say is that it requires a heck of a lot of talent!

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Posted on 3 July 2007 - 04:55 PM                                    
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I remember reading this from somewhere in his biography, that RDA learned to drive on a frozen lake. Geeze... I can't even switch gears with the CORRECT hand - on a perfectly straight unfrozen road... Gotta give 'em credit.

rolleyes.gif jeep.gif



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Posted on 3 July 2007 - 11:07 PM                                    
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Its very common for people in the midwest to drive on lakes in the winter. It gets cold enough in Minnesota and Wisconsin that the lakes form really thick sheets of ice. When Lake Superior freezes over, the ice is thick enough to drive semi trucks on it.

I drove on a frozen lake, once, to be able to say that I did it.



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The stuff is already here, I just find a different way to use it. MacGyver

 
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Posted on 3 November 2007 - 02:55 AM                                    
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This episode really doesn't do anything for me; In fact I normally skip it.

As I said in an earlier comment the whole episode just wanders along at a lazy pace, There's no real action or excitement to it and I don't get any kind of enjoyment from seeing MacGyver injured either....
In fact it adds to my dislike of the episode.

It only gets an average vote from me.



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Posted on 3 November 2007 - 09:29 AM                                    
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I stand by my earlier comments. I think "To Be A Man" is an excellent episode! I think there's a good mix of action throughout the episode, along with some cool MacGyverisms- particularly the tank MacGyver shoots off at the bad guy. And the hang-gliding is cool too.
I also think it's one of the most powerful episodes for its message- especially when you think of the title. What does it mean "to be a man"? That you can shoot a gun and go out and kill people in a war? Or maybe that you realize that only you have control over your own actions and you are responsible for them?
I think it's something important that Ahmed grapples with- and learns a different approach from MacGyver.
I especially love that scene where MacGyver takes someone down with a sling- as I can't help but think of David taking out Goliath with a slingshot in 1 Samuel 16 in The Bible! biggrin.gif
This is significant because I'm reminded of David in more than just this scene. I also remember another incident in The Bible where David is being hunted down to be killed by King Saul (though not for anything wrong David had done). While on the run from Saul, David has 2 opportunities to kill him, but passes both up, saying that Saul is still God's annointed king and he doesn't have the right to take his life- only God can decide that.
I think this is also the message that resonates with me in this episode of MacGyver. Mac has a similar choice to kill one of his enemies- but instead decides to let him live. Ahmed, who has grown up with war going on in his country, can't understand why MacGyver did not kill the enemy. "Because I didn't have to," MacGyver replies. And because MacGyver chose not to kill the soldier when he had the chance, the grateful soldier allows MacGyver, Zia and Ahmed to escape at the end of the episode in return.
For me, this episode just speaks strongly to the sanctity of all human life and emphasizes the respect for all living things that everyone should have, like Albert Schweitzer talked about.
For me, powerful messages like this make up for any "lackluster" episodes as far as action goes.
(Though I think every episode of MacGyver has plenty of action- they're all great!) smile.gif



 
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Posted on 4 November 2007 - 08:52 PM                                    
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I really like this episode. I'm not sure if it's Mac's extreme vulnerability and complete trust in strangers or his message that life should be respected and that killing a defeated enemy is not necessary.

MacGyver is injured and relies on strangers for his safety and welfare. He trusts them to take care of him. He has no way to know if they are really going to help him or turn him in until Kahleed shows up. When Zia and Ahmed side with Mac, he relaxes.

I agree Rock, that this episode doesn't zip along at a fast pace. For some people, that may not be as enjoyable as those that rip along at a galloping clip, but sometimes its nice to slow down and enjoy the scenary.




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The stuff is already here, I just find a different way to use it. MacGyver

 
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Posted on 4 November 2007 - 09:04 PM                                    
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Actually I think it's the whole injured Mac thing that turns me away from this episode.

I really dislike episodes of any show where the main character is injured. I like my heroes at full strength.




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Posted on 4 November 2007 - 09:13 PM                                    
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Funny how we split on this issue of injured vs not along gender lines.

I've noticed before that many of the female members really identify with the vulnerability while many of the males identify with the strong healthy kick butt hero.

Just an observation.............



Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

The stuff is already here, I just find a different way to use it. MacGyver

 
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Posted on 6 November 2007 - 03:16 PM                                    
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Yep, you know I gave it an EXCELLENT vote for the shoulder injury.

Yep, yep, yep!!!

I also like the fact that Mac's good deed comes back to reward him, etc.

Lots of underlying messages in this ep, and I like it, but the whumpage is what first made it stand out in my mind. I'm shameless, I know, but it's true.

It's a sickness.

And I don't want to be cured.

biggrin.gif



"Now, come on, Pete! Look at me! I'm a hurtin' guy! I'm beat up! I need a month's worth of sleep! And I need a haircut!" MacGyver, 'Serenity'

 
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Posted on 6 November 2007 - 04:06 PM                                    
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Hmm- well, I don't dislike "To Be A Man" (or any other episode, for that matter) because MacGyver gets injured- but it's not a turn-on either.

I enjoy all the episodes. If MacGyver gets hurt, that just adds more drama to the episode, which is fine. But obviously being a man- it doesn't make me "Ooh" and "Aah" over him. wink.gif



 
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Astra
Posted on 2 January 2008 - 03:34 PM                                    
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QUOTE (MacGyver @ 7 November 2007 - 02:06 AM)
If MacGyver gets hurt, that just adds more drama to the episode, which is fine.


I think you're right with this one. It makes you worry more whether or not he will be able to beat the bad guys. We all know he can do it when feeling at his best, but this is just more challenging.

And I keep wondering whether Mac would have still been hurt, if RDA not had been already? Or do you think the whole episode was written without any pain at first? I wonder how that would have turned out. Would be very different.

But the way he tumbled down with the hangglider (nice stunt!) I think he would have been hurt one way or the other (but I thought it was a bit stupid by Mac, to be so visible at the hill top, he should have crouched down! He knew he was pursuaded).

QUOTE (Asbjørn Jan 22 2006 @ 02:09 AM )

There aren't many action shows that'll actually let the hero pass out from the pain he is feeling -one of the good things about the MacGyver series: he's human, not a machine.


Apparently I have seen to many hard core heroes running around with broken ribs etc. - I remember thinking "Why can't Mac walk if it is only a shoulder injury?"

Well, away from the injuries/pain for a minute: I wonder what would have become of Mac if Ahmed's mother had not allowed for him to stay. He was willing to leave, to not cause any trouble, or even threat to them, you could see it in his eyes, he was determined to do it alone. Wouldn't have come far, though.

Oh, and I would like to know who this woman in the office was, that looked together with Pete for Mac's progress with the plane? I haven't seen this episode in the right order - did we see her before or after again? Did she have anything more to do than looking worried?

Since we're already talking about women - I remember there was a discussion here months ago, whether Mac and Ahmed's mother did together or not... Personally I don't think that anything happened (though the music sounded very promising) but there were only two beds in the room, and you kinda wonder, where she did sleep, after all...

But honestly, what I wonder about most is always how easily people are leaving their homes. To leave everything behind, everything they know, they like, to face an uncertain future. Granted, they did not have much choice in the end (but I was sad that Mac's repairing of the pump was for nothing), but this goes for many other episodes as well. At the slightest chance everybody turns tail and runs over the border. What about friends, family that gets left behind? But that's a different story.

I again would like to know what became of the young Russian soldier. Somehow they never bother to tell us about the minor characteres. After he let Mac go - which was great, of course - I'm pretty sure he did not return to his superiors, especially with these threats hanging over his head.

So, did he grab the opportunity and cross the border in his shiny little tank himself, maybe? But why did he not take Mac and the others along with him?



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Posted on 2 January 2008 - 04:51 PM                                    
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QUOTE
Oh, and I would like to know who this woman in the office was, that looked together with Pete for Mac's progress with the plane? I haven't seen this episode in the right order - did we see her before or after again? Did she have anything more to do than looking worried?

That was Pete's secretary. I'm pretty sure she turns up again at the Phoenix Foundation, although it might be a different person, but it makes sense that a manager would have a secretary.

QUOTE
But honestly, what I wonder about most is always how easily people are leaving their homes. To leave everything behind, everything they know, they like, to face an uncertain future. Granted, they did not have much choice in the end (but I was sad that Mac's repairing of the pump was for nothing), but this goes for many other episodes as well. At the slightest chance everybody turns tail and runs over the border. What about friends, family that gets left behind?

They didn't have friends, family.. nothing, they weren't even in a town or anything, so I would say it was pretty easy to leave for greener pastures.

When you can see better opportunities in a new location than what you already have, it's pretty easy to move.

QUOTE
Somehow they never bother to tell us about the minor characteres.

Thats why they're called minor characters biggrin.gif they don't matter.

QUOTE
I again would like to know what became of the young Russian soldier. I'm pretty sure he did not return to his superiors, especially with these threats hanging over his head.

which threats are you talking about? I would have assumed he would just tell his superiors that he hadn't seen them. How would they know any different? I think the whole idea of that scene was that he was only able to let the go becasue there was no-one else around, which is what makes the scene more special, MacGyver had no-where.


QUOTE
And I keep wondering whether Mac would have still been hurt, if RDA not had been already? Or do you think the whole episode was written without any pain at first? I wonder how that would have turned out. Would be very different.

I think the fact that they tried to cover up RDAs injury indicates that it had nothing to do with the story. The story was probably written way before he was injured; they may have used his injury to their advantage, or may have used the story line and scenes to help cover up his injury.. but either way I think the story was written as an episode and not as a cover for RDA's injuries.


sak.gif



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Posted on 3 January 2008 - 03:01 AM                                    
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QUOTE (Rockatteer @ 3 January 2008 - 02:51 AM)
That was Pete's secretary. I'm pretty sure she turns up again at the Phoenix Foundation, although it might be a different person, but it makes sense that a manager would have a secretary.


Yeah, I remember the secretary from later episodes being a much older women, wasn't she? I didn't catch the name though to know whether that shall be the same person.

QUOTE
When you can see better opportunities in a new location than what you already have, it's pretty easy to move.


Yeah, in this case, I agree. But I will come back with this in other episodes, count on that tongue.gif

QUOTE
Thats why they're called minor characters biggrin.gif they don't matter.


Maybe to the people that only watch it as a TV-show. But I watch it as if it was "real", and though I haven't written any Mac-fiction so far, I see it with the eyes of a writer, who always asks: What happened after the director yelled "Cut!"? Real Life never stops, it goes on and on, and I look out for a good story to make out of it.

But I know of course that you can't answer every question in only 45 minute frame (well, maybe they could, if they cut down on long boring car chases etc. smile.gif )

QUOTE
which threats are you talking about?  I would have assumed he would just tell his superiors that he hadn't seen them.


Wasn't there a court martial hanging over his head? Maybe I did not understand everything of this scene, but when he came back, after Mac had thrown the roof over him, the superior said something like "If you find him, then .... and if you don't find him, then court martial".

So, that he still let Mac go, knowing what would happen to him, I only can explain by that he did not plan to return himself, at all.

QUOTE
I think the fact that they tried to cover up RDAs injury indicates that it had nothing to do with the story. The story was probably written way before he was injured; they may have used his injury to their advantage, or may have used the story line and scenes to help cover up his injury.. but either way I think the story was written as an episode and not as a cover for RDA's injuries.


Yes, but I mean, if he wasn't hurt at all in the original written story, how would they then explain that he turned to Ahmed and his mother for help? If he was fit and healthy, he just would have escaped as he had planned before all of this happened (and how exactly did he plan to escape, anyway? See - another question for an author!) - and then this would have become a whole different story IMO.

In Sci-Fi-Shows it is called AU - alternative universe. We could ask "What if Mac wasn't wounded" and this story could take a different direction.



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androgyny
Posted on 7 June 2008 - 02:44 AM                                    
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i rated this episode excellent simply because i found it totally cool that mac can fly a fighter plane. shallow, i know. but i just cant forget that scene. and somehow, i cant stop thinking about jack o'neill as well.



 
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dinoman
Posted on 25 September 2008 - 04:31 PM                                    
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I rated this one excellent, too. The whole injury stuff seems reasonable and normal for me. In real life you can't always get away so easily in situation like this (this is rare in real life, though), even James Bond gets poisoned and hurt (remember Casino Royale?) I think this only added some 'reality' to the character and make it more human.

I watched this episode after I finished season 5 and I found that Mac easily gets emotionally involved with women in season 1, to name a few: Chris in The Heist, Kate in The Gauntlet, Ahmed's mother in To Be A Man, and happened less in later seasons. Is it because he learnt to protect himself from being hurt by women?



 
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SHEILA
Posted on 19 January 2009 - 07:34 PM                                    
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I have a question, the afgan boy that was in this eps. was he in the movie Office Space? unsure.gif surprise.gif blink.gif



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MacGyverOnline
Posted on 19 January 2009 - 08:18 PM                                    
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Yes he was. He played Samir Nagheenanajar.

Ajay Naidu has been in quite a few TV shows and movies since MacGyver.

One of the more notable appearances for me was in the West Wing special episode "Isaac and Ishmael", about the 9/11 aftermath, in which Ajay played the Iraqi worker who sparked the security "Crash" at the White House.



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MacGirl
Posted on 23 March 2009 - 10:12 PM                                    
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Oh, funny! I totally missed that. Good catch, Rocky. I'll have to watch that TWW eppy again. It's been awhile since I've watched TWW, so I really don't need much of an excuse...



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Beachbead
Posted on 25 April 2009 - 10:42 AM                                    
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I felt so sorry for MacGyver when he bite down on a stick and was burned.



 
                                                                     
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SMeeceymouse
Posted on 8 May 2009 - 10:34 AM                                    
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I liked this episode, especially when the Russian soilder says "American next time I bring roof down on your head." and points the way to the boarder. I also like the way that Mac makes you see the consequences of your actions. We could use more of that in today's world.

jeep.gif



 
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macsgirl1
  Posted on 8 May 2009 - 10:59 AM                                    
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I agree with you. I felt bad for MacGyver, getting surgery in a dusty shack with no pain relief. MacG.gif



 
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SMeeceymouse
Posted on 8 May 2009 - 11:04 AM                                    
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Well, just think about a hundred some years ago maybe longer that was the only way to cure an infection. And I guess in some parts of the world they still do it. At least it was done with sterile technique.


matchs.JPG



 
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