Episode 019 – Slow Death
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MacGyverOnline
Posted on 2 November 2006 - 04:28 PM                                    
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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 19 – Slow Death

MacGyver’s train trip through India is derailed by a hijacker seeking revenge on the two unidentified westerners who sold poisonous medicine to their village.

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MacNymph
Posted on 8 November 2006 - 09:17 AM                                    
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How did you rate this episode?
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OK [ 1 ] [7.69%]
Good [ 4 ] [30.77%]
Excellent [ 8 ] [61.54%]
Total Votes: 13


QUOTE (Vina @ Dec 28 2004, 03:03 am)
 
Just a bit of trivia: It's also a pre-vegetarian episode as he orders a lamb sandwich on the train....and a glass of milk which the British doctor calls "disgustingly healthy."  That's our Mac!



QUOTE (MacGyver @ Dec 28 2004, 03:31 am)
 
I don't know that it was ever stated that MacGyver was strictly a vegetarian. (Of course, I might be wrong on that. Let me know if there is an episode where MacGyver says this outright.) I kind of thought of MacGyver as just being concerned about eating healthy which is why he eats tofu, bean curds, and a glass of milk, etc.

Anyway, I love this episode "Slow Death". First off, MacGyver jumping onto the train was just plain cool. Other cool MacGyverisms include making a lie detector and rigging the train's engine to give an electrical shock to anyone who tries to mess with it. However, I mainly loved the lessons taught in this episode. Yes, what the men did by poisoning Hassan's children was wrong, but killing them in return is just as wrong. "That's murder, not justice." (Of course, this is a lesson MacGyver reiterates in "The Stringer") I love MacGyver's line in "Slow Death" when he says, "He's got a right, but he's wrong."

And then I can't forget that he makes a sock puppet for the little girl at the start of the episode. And then at the end, he informs the nurse and doctor of what life will be like for them in that country. "Bad living conditions, low wages, etc.etc.," and then he wraps it up with a hug from that little girl and a smile on his face, "What a deal!" 

I love that part. Another great MacGyver episode!


QUOTE (sonyab @ Dec 28 2004, 10:38 am)
 
I love this episode I voted excellent.. From beginning to end all awesome. I have been waiting for this episode to be on here by Rocky so I could say. I don't think MacGyver believes in the death penalty. I don't think he is the kind of guy to want or believe in that.. What does everyone else think? I loved how he is to that little girl with that doll he makes awwwww..  The bad guy was about to get electricuted by that thing he made and he did warn him not to touch it. He does touch it and dies.

Awesome episode.




QUOTE (MacGyverGod @ Dec 28 2004, 01:39 pm)
 
A bit better then the last two episodes. India eh? I always wondered where he was in that episode. Isn't this the farthest trip he made or was that Thailand in Second Chance? Anyway as I said better then To be a Man and Ugly Duckling. I actually liked Hassan because he wasn't such a bad guy after all and I also like it that the entire episode takes place on the train. Interesting characters too. Laura and Andy, that doctor, Webster and his henchman, the black woman, the woman and her daughter. Better!! 


QUOTE (thyla @ Dec 30 2004, 05:40 am)
 
This episode kinda reminded me of "Murder on the Orient Express" (I believe originally by Agatha Christie). I also liked the exchange between him and the black lady. 


QUOTE (Vina @ Dec 30 2004, 05:48 am)
 
QUOTE
This episode kinda reminded me of  "Murder on the Orient Express" (I believe originally by Agatha Christie). I also liked the exchange between him and the black lady. 



Hey, Thyla! I was thinking that about Murder on the Orient Express too. And, yes, I wonder if he went out with her after it was all over?



QUOTE (MacGyverGod @ Dec 30 2004, 07:15 am)
 
QUOTE
And, yes, I wonder if he went out with her after it was all over?


Hey come on! Why would he?


QUOTE (Vina @ Dec 31 2004, 03:16 am)
 
QUOTE
QUOTE
And, yes, I wonder if he went out with her after it was all over?


Hey come on! Why would he?


Why WOULDN'T he?



QUOTE (MacGyverGod @ Dec 31 2004, 03:05 pm)
 

Oh please they portray him here as if he's a womensfreak. And the reason why he wouldn't? Maybe he would like to keep her as a friend instead as a lover. 


QUOTE (Vina @ Dec 31 2004, 04:31 pm)
 
QUOTE
Oh please they portray him here as if he's a womensfreak. And the reason why he wouldn't? Maybe he would like to keep her as a friend instead as a lover. 



YOU'RE the one who said "lover"--all I said was wonder if he went out with her...as in...dinner and a movie.


QUOTE (Teri @ Dec 31 2004, 05:42 pm)
 
QUOTE
I don't know that it was ever stated that MacGyver was strictly a vegetarian.  (Of course, I might be wrong on that.  Let me know if there is an episode where MacGyver says this outright.)  I kind of thought of MacGyver as just being concerned about eating healthy which is why he eats tofu, bean curds, and a glass of milk, etc. 

I was under the same impression.



QUOTE (Alex-Wylie @ Jan 9 2005, 08:28 am)
 
QUOTE
I don't know that it was ever stated that MacGyver was strictly a vegetarian.  (Of course, I might be wrong on that.  Let me know if there is an episode where MacGyver says this outright.)  I kind of thought of MacGyver as just being concerned about eating healthy which is why he eats tofu, bean curds, and a glass of milk, etc. 

Anyway, I love this episode "Slow Death".  First off, MacGyver jumping onto the train was just plain cool.  Other cool MacGyverisms include making a lie detector and rigging the train's engine to give an electrical shock to anyone who tries to mess with it.  However, I mainly loved the lessons taught in this episode.  Yes, what the men did by poisoning Hassan's children was wrong, but killing them in return is just as wrong.  "That's murder, not justice."  (Of course, this is a lesson MacGyver reiterates in "The Stringer")  I love MacGyver's line in "Slow Death" when he says, "He's got a right, but he's wrong." 

And then I can't forget that he makes a sock puppet for the little girl at the start of the episode.  And then at the end, he informs the nurse and doctor of what life will be like for them in that country.  "Bad living conditions, low wages, etc.etc.,"  and then he wraps it up with a hug from that little girl and a smile on his face, "What a deal!" 

I love that part.  Another great MacGyver episode! 



Hi!

I had to quote your whole reply because first you're right he never stated himself he's vegaterian but in WALKING DEAD Mama says "You know after all your luck you owe the spirits a goat."

"A goat?" Mac asks wondering.

"But don't worry I told them you're vegaterian."

And second you took the words right out of my mouth wink.gif there is nearly nothing more to say about this awesome episode (I also love the scene where he makes this sock puppet for the little girls, you can really see how much he loves kids), except for

LORD GIVE ME STRENGTH TO DEAL WITH WHAT I CAN AND ENDURE WHAT I CAN'T.

I was 13 back then and already believed in GOD for a long while but haven't heard this saying before. To hear it from my favorite hero made it even more cooler and something very special. I remember I wrote it down and put it right next to my Mac-poster over my bed.



QUOTE (MrMacFixIt @ Jan 12 2005, 03:09 am)
 
QUOTE
QUOTE

"a man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew." herb caen (1916-97) u.s. journalist, columnist, author.


*scratches head* wonder if that is what caused their "Adams Apple"???


Naw.. Adam got that when Eve said "let's get married" *GULP choke cough*


QUOTE (MacGirl @ May 31 2005, 05:58 pm)
 
I've watched this one many times, and never get tired of it. Cool MacGyverisms, and a terrific moral lesson. I just love the scene where he's trying to talk Hassan out of killing the people responsible. I totally agree with Mac's opposition to the death penalty... I don't believe it solves anything, it just makes society more violent and hardened.

Also got a kick out of "Lord, give me the strength to deal with what I can and endure what I can't." Not too often that you hear that kind of thing from an action hero!

Of course, I loved the scene where he makes the doll for the little girl. Just too sweet!

On a slightly different note, I always like how the more tender scenes are backed by a softer, gentler version of the theme song. Does anyone remember if they did that throughout the series, or just the first season or two? Neat way to show that Mac wasn't just another one-dimensional tough guy!


QUOTE (Amy @ Jun 1 2005, 05:58 am)
 

The only reason I voted just good on this one was that this one featured some pretty bad acting (Mac NOT included!). Otherwise I love this episode (as you can see from my signature) and I do love that line "He's got a right, but he's wrong." Great stuff in this one! 


QUOTE (stooge4444 @ Jun 19 2005, 07:06 am)
 
Yea, this episode was great. The only thing I didn't really like was that most of the time the passengers were waiting to find the two guys, they were way too calm and everyone seemed too friendly with each other like they didn't even care about the men they were trying to find. At least until the lie detector scene.

However, Mac was still the baddestasstest......

This episode has my favorite quotation because it's exactly what I say when people ask me for a drink:

@6:55 on DVD version...

Mac: I'll have a roast lamb sandwich. Big.....enormous.

James Grant: Surely not naked unadorned meat?

M: Well, no, normally they slap a couple pieces of bread on either side.

G: No, no, no. What I refer to is the food's blessed accompaniment, drink. What is it you am]erican's cherish? Burboun and rye on the rocks?

M: Well, actually I'd like a glass of milk...please.

However, I like to add "Lowest-fat."

Before this episode, I didn't know Mac love milk. 


~ MacNymph ~

Sometimes the uncontrollable urge to mess with people outweighs the millstone of humility.

 
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MacGyverOnline
Posted on 18 November 2007 - 12:51 PM                                    
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I love the line where MacGyver says "I know where you can find a dragon to slay" in reference to the grumpy old women. laugh.gif

Cracks me up every time.


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Posted on 18 November 2007 - 02:05 PM                                    
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This is one of my favorite episodes! I loved it as a child and still love seeing it now. "Slow Death" is an iconic episode for me- especially with the scene with MacGyver jumping onto the train. That's classic!
And it also delves strongly into MacGyver's character and personal values- mainly dealing with a sense of justice and choosing to not take revenge and learning to forgive your enemies instead. That's definitely a hard thing to do- but it's certainly the higher road.
And as a Christian, that especially resonates with me as this is also what Jesus talked about doing in The Sermon on the Mount. Don't just love your friends- love your enemies too. Love everyone- because God loves them. smile.gif
And I also really love the ending scene where MacGyver is with that little girl giving her a hug. That was just part of MacGyver's love and concern for others in action (i.e. with the sock puppet and all)- awesome!
Great episode that certainly delivers on cool MacGyverisms and leaves you with something important to think about. I appreciate episodes like that that can really connect on more than one level.
biggrin.gif cool.jpg duct.gif sak.gif MacG.gif

 
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Lothithil
Posted on 19 November 2007 - 07:53 PM                                    
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One of my very favourite episodes. I love every frame of this episode... especially the cheesy alarm-clock lie detector! happy.gif

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Old troubleshooters never die...
They just wait til the last moment and then rescue themselves!

 
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MacGyverGrrl
Posted on 19 November 2007 - 08:30 PM                                    
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Rock, I agree. I love that line..........."if you're gonna slay a dragon, I know where you can find one."

It gives a quick but accurate insight into Mac's somewhat irreverant sense of humor. I love that sly slightly sarcastic wit. I have a similar sense of humor (as if you hadn't figured that out after a year) so I can really relate.

Mac acts as a calming influence for the rest of the passengers. His natural leadership skills come out nad the other passengers turn to him for assurance.

The one thing I find a little off is when Andy tries to escape, Mac uses the whistle to scare Hussan's horse. The bandits are all running and shouting and waving guns around, but htey don't even take the whistle away from Mac. I'd think they would not have been real happy with him spooking horses since that could be used as a distraction to help someone else escape. Just a thought.

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 19 November 2007 - 09:31 PM                                    
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I would have actually thought all the yelling and running around would have spooked the horses more than a dog whistle would. Can horses even hear that range of sound?

Anyway, yeah it is surprising they didn't take the whistle from him.

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Posted on 20 November 2007 - 07:28 AM                                    
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QUOTE (Rocky)
Can horses even hear that range of sound?


In 'Jenny's Chance' the horses react to an ultrasonic noise... so if it is an error, at least the writers are being consistent! happy.gif

Everyone, sometimes, needs a camel.

Old troubleshooters never die...
They just wait til the last moment and then rescue themselves!

 
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Posted on 20 November 2007 - 12:57 PM                                    
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Oh yeah your right... and that actually just reminded me of something I heard once about someone using a high frequency sound device in the end of the riding crop to make his horse run faster or something..

So I guess they can hear high frequency sounds.

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Posted on 20 November 2007 - 06:17 PM                                    
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Did they even know he used the whistle? I didn't think they did...

hmm.bmp jeep.gif

That which has been established will endure even with time and at a distance.

I can't tell you anything about what happens after the cameras go off, mostly because I'm usually unconscious by then.

 
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Posted on 21 November 2007 - 11:14 PM                                    
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They'd have to be blind to miss it. Mac's blowing the hell out of it right in front of Hussan's horse and looking right at Hussan.

Maybe Hussan was so happy not to have been thrown from the horse, he overlooked the whistle. biggrin.gif

And horses can hear high pitched noises.........its the only thing I can think of that causes them to freak out for no good reason other than to see if you are paying attention while you are riding them.

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 22 November 2007 - 05:56 AM                                    
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I said before that I really like this episode...It's one of my favorites as far as the main plot goes, but one of my least as far as supporting cast...most of the acting is terrible, and I thought the side plots were cheesy! smile.gif I also love some of the lines Mac has...dragon one included! lol.

Grrl, I'm with you on that sense of humor...I love it! smile.gif

I kind of thought with the whistle that maybe in all the confusion they just didn't see it...he does kind of have it cupped in his hands and hidden, though it's obvious to us what he's doing.

Yeah, MacGyver, I got the "love your enemy" feel from it too, and I really liked the close look at Mac's sense of justice. "He's got a right, but he's wrong" just speaks volumes.

"It's amazing what one can do when one doesn't know what one can't do." Garfield the Cat

"Another day, a whole 'nother set of fresh possibilities. I'm a sucker for mornings." MacGyver

 
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Posted on 2 January 2008 - 02:46 PM                                    
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Want to throw in a few cents as well, though everything already has been said. So just a few random thoughts:

- Great opening with Mac jumping the train
- Love the gentle theme-song when he was making the puppet
- like that the bad guy wasn't so bad in the end (though I really wonder how "we don't want to hurt anybody" and blowing up a whole bridge with a train on it goes along - it could have happen the whole thing tumbled down and then good-bye, revenge!)
- love Mac's line "I'm a sucker for mornings" - his smile was so genuine!
- I think for a train in India there were quite a lot Westerners there all together!
- very nice episode from the first season

And I can't help it - I really like that Diana. She has a very warm attitude. And I'm glad she finally was able to speak up for herself, to not spend the rest of her life under impact of this awful mother. And this is the only issue I do have with this episode: That the "dragon" turned 180 degrees in the end and even offered money - I think that is just not likely.

It might be a kind of a decision made in a hurry, to spend the rest of the life there, and maybe she should have overthought it a bit more yet, but no way I am believing that the mother will do anything to help with that. Not if she is just one bit like my own. She would just say "You're crazy" and leave. So I don't believe that - not when knowing what we saw before of her. Such people only do one thing: leave others looking small and unimportant, to feel themselves better.

What I don't understand - why the heck didn't they know by which men they bought the medicine? Why didn't they just bring along the guys that did? Maybe I overheard it - was it the doctor - the son of Hassan, himself, who had died? Did he go all alone?

And didn't they search for two men from the beginning? But only one "bad guy" was dead in the end. What happened to the other one? And how could they be so sure that they were in this train exactly, anyway? It must have been at least days, if not weeks after they bought the medicine and lost the children - they could have fled anywhere in that time!

So, there are a few details I don't get, but this doesn't change the fact that this is indeed a great episode.

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Posted on 25 June 2008 - 11:48 PM                                    
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The women who played the "old dragon" in this episode was Candice Bergen's mother.


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Posted on 26 June 2008 - 05:04 PM                                    
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I thought I saw a resemblance.

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer."

--Henry David Thoreau

brains+brawn+beauty+personality=MacGyver

 
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Posted on 7 November 2008 - 08:24 PM                                    
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Here's the only thing I don't like about this eppy:

The lie detector drives me crazy!

Here's why. Lie detectors (technically called "polygraphs") don't really detect lies or truth. They detect stress, which is why they use a blood pressure cuff. However, an innocent person who's nervous about being questioned will set it off, while someone who doesn't care about lying and will not show any physical reaction (in other words, a psychopath) will "pass". This is why polygraph results are not admissible as evidence in American courts.

So I'm a little surprised that one was used in this eppy. Then again, they were on a train, and Mac didn't have many options or much time.

Do not pity the dead. Pity the living, and above all, those who live without love. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

You don't eat things like that, you call pest control! Kate in The Gauntlet

What's that?
Lateral... cranial... impact... enhancer. *whack* Last Stand

 
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Posted on 25 April 2009 - 05:57 AM                                    
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I loved the part where hes running and just makes it, and then he goes and makes a doll for the little girl.

The German episode title is "Halt auf freier Strecke", meaning "Stopped Between Stations".

 
                                                                     
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Posted on 29 April 2009 - 02:30 PM                                    
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Why do they make up their own names for the episodes instead of just using the real episode name?

By which I mean translate the real name into the German equivalent so Slow Death would be (and please forgive my German here) Langsam Tod?


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SMeeceymouse
Posted on 29 April 2009 - 02:50 PM                                    
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I just loved this episode from beginning to end. It shows that good prevails (most of the time) over evil. MacG.gif

 
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Posted on 12 March 2010 - 01:53 PM                                    
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Classic episode. One of my favorites with classic dialogue. Mac is the king of cool and calm in this one.

 
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NightTinkerer
Posted on 13 August 2012 - 12:22 PM                                    
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I did enjoy this episode a lot. I doubt the MacGyver of the later seasons would have made such an entrance, but some of his best qualities does indeed show in "Slow Death."

Needless to say, I love the sock puppet and the way he charms the little girl. smile.gif
And as some of you have already pointed out, Mac has a calming influence on the other passengers, and even the attackers.
I really enjoyed the subplot about the crippled doctor and Diana. They both regained a lot of self confidence and a sense of meaning in the end.

I've never been to India, but from what I heard, trains in India are usually much more crowded... and very much dirtier too, I guess. wink.gif

I noticed there's a behind-the-scenes interview in the media section from the shooting of this episode... I thought it was hysterical that RDA asked to try and drive the train, and just seconds later, the engine broke, delaying their shooting schedule. roller.gif

Voting "excellent" on this one, though it's not one of my top ten favorites.

 
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Makedde
Posted on 23 August 2012 - 06:52 PM                                    
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QUOTE (Rockatteer @ 26 June 2008 - 07:51 PM)
The women who played the "old dragon" in this episode was Candice Bergen's mother.

The mother of Laura? She's a terrible actress, is all I can say. One of the worst I have seen.

"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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MacBeth
Posted on 18 October 2012 - 10:20 AM                                    
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I just rewatched this for only the third time ever: I saw it when it first aired, and I watched it once five years ago, when I got back into the show and into its fandom.

My memory of it had been that it was a lousy episode, with some of the worst acting ever. I only watched it again today because it was next in sequence in a new rewatch.

And guess what? It's actually a pretty good episode -- or at least a reasonably good story. The good bits are overshadowed by the occasional clunker of a line, and the patches of truly vile acting (Frances Bergen (Laura's mother) didn't so much phone in her performance as scrawl it on a note and shove it under the door). But in between the rubbish there's some good stuff. I liked the quiet impact that Mac had on the other passengers. I liked the chemistry between him and Andrea Collins; I would have liked to see more of that.

I really enjoyed the MacGyverisms, including the "lie detector" -- which I found myself regarding as a deliberate fake, adequately convincing for its audience, put together as a stunt to flush out a confession.

user posted image

And, of course, I loved Mac and the little girl.

user posted image

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NightTinkerer
Posted on 18 October 2012 - 11:10 AM                                    
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QUOTE (MacBeth @ 18 October 2012 - 08:23 PM)
I just rewatched this for only the third time ever:  I saw it when it first aired, and I watched it once five years ago, when I got back into the show and into its fandom.

My memory of it had been that it was a lousy episode, with some of the worst acting ever.  I only watched it again today because it was next in sequence in a new rewatch.

And guess what?  It's actually a pretty good episode -- or at least a reasonably good story.  The good bits are overshadowed by the occasional clunker of a line, and the patches of truly vile acting (Frances Bergen (Laura's mother) didn't so much phone in her performance as scrawl it on a note and shove it under the door).  But in between the rubbish there's some good stuff.  I liked the quiet impact that Mac had on the other passengers.  I liked the chemistry between him and Andrea Collins; I would have liked to see more of that.

I really enjoyed the MacGyverisms, including the "lie detector" -- which I found myself regarding as a deliberate fake, adequately convincing for its audience, put together as a stunt to flush out a confession.

[Cut the LOL-pics to save some quoting space]


Hehehe, Beth, those are hysterical! roller.gif
Thank you *so* much for posting them!

Generally I think the acting is better in the later seasons, (with the exception of the seventh season), and the episodes age with more grace (in general). But watching this episode with my 80's glasses, it's a definite "Excellent." smile.gif

 
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Joe SAKic
Posted on 6 March 2013 - 08:55 AM                                    
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I was hoping this episode would be a really great one - being a long time Indiaphile. I would give it a marginal thumbs up at best though.

Two things that jumped out at the start was the British Train attendant and the 'Bar' Car. These two scenarios would only be observed in the Raj or British India (Pre 1949) never in 1980s India. I can only think that writers only watched the film ' A Passage to India' set in the 1930s to bone up on their India train setting IQ. Small potatoes really but glaring to those of us who've traveled alot by train within the subcontinent.

On the other hand the plot was a very appropriate one and slightly ahead of it's time, imo. Many headlines in the subsequent decades about multinationals 'poisoning' Indians in both packaged product and agriculture.

The subplots were a bit lame here, I'm afraid, and that coupled with the limited set made it a bit of a yawner at times. Nevertheless - RDA's performance as usual - is the straw that stirs the drink and made it worth the price of admission. The little girl with the Mac-made-doll was endearing and the Indians looked and sounded authentic. 5.5/10

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Scwilson
Posted on 6 August 2013 - 09:16 PM                                    
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sak.gif The Macgyverisms were cool and the moral issues made this episode stand out.

 
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Posted on 6 August 2013 - 10:03 PM                                    
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QUOTE (Scwilson @ 7 August 2013 - 05:16 PM)
sak.gif The Macgyverisms were cool and the moral issues made this episode stand out.

Yeah it's one of the cornerstone moral issues that ran through the whole show really isn't it. Even right up to the last episode where MacGyver tells SAM that we should be telling ourselves that we can solve our problems without taking human life.

This must be the first episode we see that issue raised? I can't recall any earlier episodes specifically addressing this.




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KiwiTek
Posted on 6 August 2013 - 11:13 PM                                    
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QUOTE (MacBeth @ 19 October 2012 - 06:20 AM)
user posted image

roller.gif


When you're out of resources, it's time to get resourceful. ~ Harvey Mackay

 
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Scwilson
Posted on 7 August 2013 - 08:25 PM                                    
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jeep.gif Mac was reluctant to take human life, even if they were trying to kill him. I always wondered how Mac got along in Vietnam? The series never explored Mac's past in Vietnam.

 
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YopeGyver
Posted on 8 August 2013 - 06:39 AM                                    
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QUOTE (Scwilson @ 7 August 2013 - 11:25 PM)
jeep.gif Mac was reluctant to take human life, even if they were trying to kill him. I always wondered how Mac got along in Vietnam? The series never explored Mac's past in Vietnam.

That would make for an intriguing fanfic.

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