103 – Rush to Judgement
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MacGyverOnline
Posted on 21 November 2006 - 01:03 AM                                    
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Every week I will be posting a new topic titled "Episode Discussion". In this we will discuss an episode, what we liked about it, what we didn't like, etc.


Episode 103 – Rush to Judgement

While serving as a sequestered juror on a racially tense trial, MacGyver sneaks out to investigate the crime scene for himself and uncovers some valuable evidence, but puts himself in contempt of court.

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MacGyverOnline
Posted on 26 April 2008 - 04:56 PM                                    
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I have some issues with the premise of this episode.

MacGyver decides to blatantly ignore the laws of his country and go look at a crime scene while sequestered as a juror.

And before anyone tries to say he was doing it for a greater good.. or he broke the law to find the real truth, justice, whatever.. consider this… He didn’t know what was out there, he didn’t know there was any real truth to be found, he just decided he was above the law and can do as he pleases.

That’s a really bad message to be sending and somewhat flies in the face of the general “follow the law” type messages MacGyver normally conveys.

Sure they try to cover it over by having him find the real killer. But as I said.. he didn’t know that when he first decided to break the law… and in any case, what kind of message does that send? It’s ok to break the law, if you think it’s ok?

Very disappointing to see a story like this come from MacGyver.

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Liz1976
Posted on 7 June 2008 - 05:23 PM                                    
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I have a love/hate relationship with this episode. hmm.bmp

I am with complete agreement with Rock, that no matter the reasoning, that for MacGyver to break the law, while serving on a jury flies in the face of the accused's right to trial by an impartial jury. I believe that the judge in the episode tells him that. What does that tell the audience? It's ok to break the law, in order to get to the truth, even though you have no idea what the truth is? mad.gif The funny is Pete, the judge and the District Attorney all tell Mac that he's done something wrong. But, he's so convinced he's able to get to the truth. What if the man on trial had in fact been guilty? Also, if Mac hadn't done what he did, the Bird Lady wouldn't have been further dragged into the case, and probably wouldn't have been murdered. There should have been more effort made to protect her. sad.gif

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MacGyverOnline
Posted on 7 February 2009 - 09:01 PM                                    
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I quite like the sub story about the bird lady.

How she used the idea of the birds telling her things to kind of hide behind and yet still say what she wanted or needed to say.

It's also an interesting narrative on how we judge people without getting to know and understand them.

People assumed she was a crazy old lady who thinks her birds talked to her, when in fact she seemed to be quite sane and just using the birds almost like a social mask to hide behind.




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elavia
Posted on 12 April 2009 - 11:36 AM                                    
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Good episode for me. Interesting message on prejudice and communication media, but is true that Mac brokes the law in search of extra evidence (he saids that only want to see the crime scene). For another point of view, the attorney´s work seems poor since he not check all the witness and search no evidence like Mac does.
I think that Mac do part of the attorney´s work because he feels that must do it.
The police must have protected the bird lady too... o maybe Mac (he knows that the killer was out there).

PD: sorry for my english..i hope that is understable.

 
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Miasma
Posted on 28 April 2009 - 08:33 AM                                    
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I watched this last night.
It's a decent episode. I don't mind Mac breaking the law. It's nice to see him not being a complete goodie-two-shoes once in a while. Sometimes he's a bit TOO perfect, I think, and that perfection makes him less likeable. Good to see he still has a bit of an edge to him.


 
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Beachbead
Posted on 28 April 2009 - 09:59 AM                                    
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i rememeber in one ep MacGyver said "I'm not perfect.....yet." but that was a early on ep and they was just crafting out who and what MacGyver was.
him being all perfect is not what I wanted to see in him.

 
                                                                     
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lucsch
Posted on 17 May 2009 - 10:37 PM                                    
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I like this one (but then I like them all!). I guess it doesn't bother me that he "broke the law." It seems like the law wasn't doing their job...not that two wrongs make a right. Mac's love of right and justice just got the better of him.

 
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MacGyverOnline
Posted on 14 June 2009 - 02:31 AM                                    
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Yeah I just think they pushed it too hard in this episode. As I said earlier it really seemed to be MacGyver does what ever MacGyver wants to do regardless of laws or procedures.

I realize he's broken plenty of laws in other episodes, but non of them where direct violation of a judge. That seems somewhat over the line for MacGyver and defiantly a wrong message to be sending.

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Angus
Posted on 23 April 2011 - 10:03 PM                                    
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I agree with others how they are disappointed macgyver broke the laws to find an uncertain truth. He was a jury member and not above the law.

I'm not sure how and why they tied in the racial angle.

Overall very disappointed in this episode. mad.gif

 
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Makedde
Posted on 25 June 2011 - 12:38 AM                                    
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I haven't seen the episode yet (I'll see it tomorrow, can't wait) but I don't really think its a big deal for a juror to see the crime scene. Mac probably wanted to get a feel for the scene, and put himself in the victims shoes and try to understand what they saw or heard or felt. You can't get all the information you if a lawyer tells you.
Personally, I think every jury should be given the chance to view a crime scene. It could be important.

Mac breaking the law...well, he's done that before. Sometimes people break the law when they believe its the right thing to do. And in this case, it sounds like the end justified the means.
Yes, he broke the law...but if he didn't, an innocent person would been sent to prison. That alone is enough to justify his actions.

"You may not believe this, but there have been times when I've had a lot more fun in the back seat of a car." - MacGyver (Golden Triangle)

 
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MacGyverOnline
Posted on 25 June 2011 - 05:15 AM                                    
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but he didn't know that when he broke the law. And that's the important point. He had no idea what he was going to find. He just decided that he was above the law and went off doing whatever he wanted.


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Makedde
Posted on 25 June 2011 - 04:36 PM                                    
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QUOTE (Rockatteer @ 26 June 2011 - 01:18 AM)
but he didn't know that when he broke the law. And that's the important point. He had no idea what he was going to find. He just decided that he was above the law and went off doing whatever he wanted.

If I was a juror, I'd do the exact same thing. I'd feel like I had a right to visit the scene of the crime.
I haven't seen the episode yet (three and half hours to go til I do) so I can't say what might have prompted him to go out and see the scene for himself. I'll have to watch it to try and get an idea of what he might have been thinking.

"You may not believe this, but there have been times when I've had a lot more fun in the back seat of a car." - MacGyver (Golden Triangle)

 
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MacGyverOnline
Posted on 25 June 2011 - 05:07 PM                                    
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I can't agree with people deliberately and blatantly breaking the law. And I think in this episode they overstepped the line and sent a bad message of "only obey the law if you feel like it."

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Makedde
Posted on 25 June 2011 - 10:09 PM                                    
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QUOTE (Rockatteer @ 26 June 2011 - 01:10 PM)
I can't agree with people deliberately and blatantly breaking the law. And I think in this episode they overstepped the line and sent a bad message of "only obey the law if you feel like it."

I watched the episode earlier and I can understand why he felt the need to have a look at the scene himself. We saw him copying the map of the crime scene and its clear he thought about what the guy said (the one who was shot) and realised there was something wrong. Now, he can't ask the questions to the prosecution so he is up against a brick wall. The only way he could find out if his idea was correct (and this is Mac we are talking about, he is smarter than an entire police force put together) was to go there himself. It was about the broken light and the light that was working. He knew the man couldn't have been identified. It wouldn't have taken long for Mac to figure that out.

The jury shouldn't have to sit there and listen to a bunch of people say 'he was over here, and then someone came up and they were standing here, and then this happened, and when it was over, they were both standing over there'...or whatever. In order to get a feel of the crime scene, you must visit the scene yourself. Its too hard to picture in your head what happened.

Even the judge couldn't condemn him for what he did. What he did was wrong - but while it was LEGALLY wrong, was it MORALLY wrong? I don't think it was.

Sure, we should trust in the justice system. But what happens when the system fails? The justice system is meant to protect the people, but what happens when it accuses the wrong person?
Also, they weren't interested in that bird lady even though she had vital evidence. An innocent man could have been killed because they didn't do their job properly. Thats another failure for the justice system. Mac was the only one who cared about what she said, and took her seriously. It took Mac to expose the truth that the bird lady knew.

Watching the episode made me think that in Mac's case, I would have done the exact same thing. While wrong, I certainly wouldn't condemn anyone who did what he did.

"You may not believe this, but there have been times when I've had a lot more fun in the back seat of a car." - MacGyver (Golden Triangle)

 
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Traveller
Posted on 9 March 2012 - 09:33 AM                                    
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I think it's an excellent episode. I have no objection to Mac breaking the law. Sometimes you have to take responsibility and neglect rules and regulations and laws to get to the truth. Especially when prosecutor and lawyer have made obvious mistakes, by not investigating the scene of the crime like they should have done. Had I been a juror on that case, I hope I would have had the courage to go against the law like MacGyver did.

There is one other thing, though, that has bothered me from the first time I watched this episode. And it bugs me more every time I re-watch it:
During the trial it is stated that the crime scene is situated in the most dangerous part of the city. Yet the Bird Lady asks Mac, a complete stranger, to bring the plant up to her. What's more, she has left her door open, so he can walk right into her apartment. Well, excuse me, but that seems highly unlikely to me. Even someone like this lady, who obviously has a screw loose, would be on guard, living in a neighborhood like this. She would at least lock her door. I know that the script writer had to find a way to bring Mac and the Bird Lady together, but he should have looked for a more plausible way.

 
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Rocket
Posted on 12 May 2013 - 11:12 AM                                    
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QUOTE (Traveller @ 10 March 2012 - 05:33 AM)
I have no objection to Mac breaking the law. Sometimes you have to take responsibility and neglect rules and regulations and laws to get to the truth. Especially when prosecutor and lawyer have made obvious mistakes, by not investigating the scene of the crime like they should have done. Had I been a juror on that case, I hope I would have had the courage to go against the law like MacGyver did.


I agree.

The part of this episode that niggles me is the way the preacher was trying to play the racism card when there was no suggestion of it in the trial. I think the story was fine without this and it was a distraction from a prfectly good courtroom drama.

I voted OK.

Rollerskating at right angles to reality

 
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Maclover
Posted on 24 November 2015 - 01:23 AM                                    
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I was in two minds with this one. It kind of broke the mould for Mac to not trust in the justice system and went against what you might expect for the character in that respect, though it was also Mac through and through to think that his solution was the best even though he must have known that there could/would be ramifications esp. if his thoughts were confirmed.

I guess the place to have brought up his misgivings about the light and shadow should have been mentioned when the jurors were discussing their verdict. What I thought was going to happen is that he was going to have played around with the light in the room and looked at its position on the cans of soft drink from the machine set up as per his map. I was quite surprised when he broke out of the hotel and went to the crime scene itself - a direct violation of a justice system that should work. However, given his recent experience of the 10% solution and the thought that some judges and officials weren't above the law maybe this clouded his judgement a bit. I would have been interested to see his solution for getting back into the hotel room too!

Then he involves Pete, giving Pete a similar ethical decision to make - I think, buddy or not, if I had been Pete I would not have been best pleased with the situation either. He must have been very sure of Pete's response to not be concerned that he was involving his friend with his breaking the law. However, he wasn't about to let Pete 'go down' for it even though I think Pete would have been willing to do so.

I think the scene with the preacher could have easily been omitted in favour of Mac spending a night in the cells reflecting on his decision prior to being bailed. He knew he had done wrong even if for the greater good (which is why he admitted it) I hope he got some community service for his sins - he would have relished it as I reckon he would have seen as 'fair' in view of what he had done (which I am sure he knew was wrong) and community service at Challengers is what he does anyway for 'fun'!

That said I hope I am never on a jury. I think I would be VERY frustrated with not being to ask my own questions and having to rely on each lawyer questioning a witness in a way that gets the best verdict for their respective clients. It does make me wonder how many times the wrong person is punished.

 
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MacGyverGod
Posted on 24 November 2015 - 02:21 AM                                    
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This is one of my more favourite episodes by Robert Sherman. I agree with some things but not everything. First of all don't forget the jurors were not supposed to discuss the trial amongst themselves as the judge said. You might wonder how you can properly act as a jury than. So Mac has his notes and his theories, but since he's not allowed to discuss it with his fellow jurors, I'm not surprised he went to take a look for himself and found a very important piece of evidence and a new witness. That's quite heavy stuff and send the trial in a whole new direction. Indeed what he did was not exactly legal, that's why I think he made his nicest gesture towards Pete that I can think of in the whole series by taking the heat for it even in public and being replaced and held into custody with a bail of 2500 dollars. I don't know what good community service will do for him. His punishment was custody and bail.

Actually since this I've always wondered what it's like to attend a trial. My mom once told me you could actually just walk into any trial if you want to attend it but that's just sitting in public not as juror, you have to be called for that. But I also wondered what it would be like to act as a jury. I don't know why. And I'm probably not smart enough to take notes and most certainly won't have the guts to break out of the hotel to go and see the crime scene myself. But I think it also kind of depends how hot everything is.

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KiwiTek
Posted on 24 November 2015 - 12:34 PM                                    
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I tend to agree with the comments around the blatant disregard for the law. It seems incredibly hypocritical to me that MacGyver preaches to others to follow the law etc etc and then completely ignores it himself.

It's made even worse by the fact that he is completely disregarding what is in fact the pinnacle of the law process, the public trial and judgement.

I think the writers of this episode got it very wrong and MacGyver is basically promoting that we ignore the laws and do as we please in this episode.


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MacGyverGod
Posted on 24 November 2015 - 03:58 PM                                    
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Well, Pete wasn't happy about it and he told Mac so. I think the point is Mac went to check the place out for himself probably with the idea it wouldn't hurt and not knowing he might actually find the gun and a witness. For all he knew he didn't find anything probably went back to hotel, sneak in one way or the other and nobody would be the wiser.

But now, you mention it. You might wonder how the episode would've gone if he didn't went out, but I don't think there would be much of an episode left. They were supposed to stay at the hotel and not discuss the case with each other, how can you keep your audience interested if he's not allowed to do anything? Maybe it would've been more interesting if he was like number 1 juror, like the woman in Trail of Tears.

I don't know it seems like Mac is indeed prepared to go beyond the law to help someone out in this case. Someone, he doesn't even know except from the trial and facts. I think most of us would say: 'sorry pal, you're on your own.' MacGyver doesn't.

I don't think the writer got it wrong. Both Pete and the judge said it was a violation of the court and trial rules and Mac knew that. It makes it wrong because he knows better but I think the writer intended this and he also punishes Mac for it by having him taken into custody. If that didn't happen in the episode and Mac got away with it that would've been worse. By taking Mac into custody I think the writer sorts of correct this mistake. Probably to show that the system does work and nobody should be working outside of the system, not even Mac.

I'll rewatch the episode soon because it's a bit vague all, maybe there is indeed a point and it was all very wrong. Maybe it's all considered as the grey area. It's not legal but it's not illegal either. He did find a new piece of evidence and a new witness. Something that may have been over looked if he didn't went out.

But it gets me to thinking. Are we prepared to do something beyond the law to help someone out? But than of course if we all do that, who needs laws than.

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KiwiTek
Posted on 24 November 2015 - 06:05 PM                                    
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QUOTE (MacGyverGod @ 25 November 2015 - 11:58 AM)
But it gets me to thinking. Are we prepared to do something beyond the law to help someone out? But than of course if we all do that, who needs laws than.

That's my point! He's promoting anarchy.

People can't just go around braking laws because they think they are in the right - that's the reason criminals break laws in the first place.

Plus, what happened to the rules around evidence being illegally obtained?? surely the gun qualifies as illegally obtained because Mac broke the law getting it?


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Maclover
Posted on 25 November 2015 - 12:03 AM                                    
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Well I guess he broke the law finding out about it, but I guess you don't find out how Pete told the Police to go and take another look. However, by whatever route it could have still been illegally obtained. At least Mac knew that he couldn't take the gun from the drain himself though I have no doubt he could have got to it.

Perhaps his actions were all about getting out of the Jury service in order to prevent a miscarriage of justice which he couldn't have done on the Jury despite his suspicions about the light, but that isn't clear. The whole episode makes me uncomfortable as I have a very firmly engrained beliefs about doing what is 'right' which I have always taken to understand means doing things inside the law and I always thought, in that respect, so did Mac. I think the episode showed a certain amount of arrogance and that isn't like Mac normally.

 
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MacGyverGod
Posted on 25 November 2015 - 03:19 AM                                    
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Hmm, maybe we can ask about this when themacgyverproject gets the chance to interview Robert Sherman. What gave him the idea to write the episode and why he actually made Mac cross a certain line.

I still think this was also to exploit that familiar MacGyver character trade of not being able to leave a puzzle alone. Maybe he didn't expect that it would go this far and that he is to deal with what he has actually done.

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Joe SAKic
Posted on 23 January 2016 - 05:10 AM                                    
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Mac's an epic failure in this episode! laugh.gif Well, he does 'manipulate' the proper verdict but his 'goody shoes' image takes a bit of a beating in the process. He breaks into a public vending machine, puts a whole new definition/lean to the term 'jury tampering', drags the elderly lady into the case and is ultimately responsible for her death, & how the heck are you supposed to address a judge in the US, anyway? He repeatedly calls him 'sir', a term which he uses throughout the series but can sound a little condescending, at times. I believe 'your honor' is the more appropriate term. But this could vary from country to country.

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MacGyverGod
Posted on 23 January 2016 - 07:37 AM                                    
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That judge reminds me of Mr. Feeny of Boy Meets World as Mr. Feeny reminds me of the judge in Rush To Judgment. Maybe Mac should've adressed him as Mr. Feeny and Cory Matthews should've adressed Mr. Feeny as your honor. Though they are not the same person.

I think indeed 'your honor' is the term to adress someone in that function but 'sir' will do. Or is it only when you're actually one of the teams? Defendant, lawyer, accused... hmm.bmp

I think the poison that was used was applied to this knife, passed to the mutton when it was cut and then activated by the wine. - MacGyver.
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zoeryan
Posted on 25 October 2018 - 12:46 AM                                    
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I agree that there are some issues with the beginning of the episode where Mac sneaks out. At that point in the story there wasn't enough injustice happening to justify that - they should have framed it so there was something more blatantly wrong than just Mac wanting to check out some lights. That said, Mac very rarely waits for the law or due process and goes after things himself time and time again, so it is somewhat in character. I'm not sure why Pete had to identify himself when he tipped off the lawyer, couldn't it have been anonymous? I liked the old lady, it was sad she got murdered - this was definitely not a great run for Mac even though justice prevailed in the end (for the murder anyway).

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