These are the
original episode synopses which are listed with the Background
Bible document. This document has circulated on the internet and been sold on Ebay.
We can't prove that these are authentic, but it seems reasonable that they could
have been first drafts for the episodes. One copy of this document seen on Ebay had
an issue date of April 1986, which would have been around the time season 2 was in
MacGyver is locked into a warm and growing friendship with a loveable, elfin old man who
turns out to be a top-rank killer-for-hire; hired to kill somebody MacGyver is seeking.
The target is a corrupt banker, the fugitive focus of a multi-million dollar
In the course of our story we will see the mean streets of Los Angeles while our
MacGyverisms may include, 1) The use of gravity to create a powerful water cannon, 2) The
escape from an assassination attempt by using dress-goods mylar fabric to create a perfect
illusion to "disappear" from a guarded room, 3) A distraction created by
combining an Alka Seltzer tablet ~ a grapefruit to produce mobile citrus, arid 4)water as
a solar-powered ignition device.
The story involves:
MICHAEL BERINO, a bright, aggressive, young man equipped with a Harvard MEA and a
well-developed sense of greed. As a rising VP of an international bank, he has position,
power -- opportunity. To do a lot of very lucrative money laundering. One deal involves a
group of shady middle-Eastern -laundering a fortune in cash, intended for the illegal
purchase of military supplies. Figuring they can scarcely file a complaint, Berino seizes
both his chance and the cash -- resigns -- and vanishes into lush retirement.
Except...the shady middle-Easterns were very well connected. With the Mafia. Who promptly
put out a major contract, hiring JIMMY "THE ERASER" KENDALL, Numero Uno of
enforcers, to make the hit on Berino. Simultaneously, operating from his own sources,
Thornton's learned about the putative deal -- and what went sour. He asks MacGyver to
locate Berino -- not for the money, for the names of the group he gulled.
That's our launching pad. Starting from two very different places, MacGyver and Jimmy
Kendall encounter each other in the process of hunting Michael Berino. And a curious
Jimmy Kendall is a charming Irishman, a wry leprechaun in his fifties -- and a consummate
actor. He tells MacGyver that he is Berino's father, alienated years ago...now
reacting to his wandering son's sorry plight. He shyly asks for MacGyver's aid and
And gets it.
As they pursue Berino, MacGyver and Kendall fall into...friendship. Jimmy reminisces about
the failures and lacks of his life, the wandering, the lack of friends -- all true. He
wanted to be a baseball player; dreamed, struggled -- was good enough to reach the
majors... for two weeks. And then realized that he was just not quite good enough, never
would be. A bitter pill, but he swallowed it, followed other paths...he doesn't specify
which. But we get an emotionally accurate picture of a drifter, a loner...and an empty
man, who now, on the verge of retirement, finds the son he never had...MacGyver.
And MacGyver, fatherless since he was fourteen, responds.
Along the way, the middle-Easterns reappear, launch an attack, which MacGyver foils, with
Jimmy's surprisingly professional assistance. In the process, MacGyver picks up a
clue...and on his own, locates Berino. Pulls him out of another assault, spirits him off
-- with Jimmy right on their trail.
In the climatic action, Jimmy moves in to make his hit -- his last one.
But MacGyver's picked up a few clues -- realizes the truth -- and shields the terrified,
sweating Berino with his own body, gambling that the emotional bond is real, that Jimmy
Kendall won't shoot. Jimmy doesn't. Can't.
He's killed a lot of men -- but they were out of the mob's dark world, they deserved
killing. He can't ice MacGyver...it would be murdering his own son.
He pulls back. MacGyver relaxes.
And Berino slugs MacGyver -- and runs...heading for escape, with his money.
MacGyver scrambles up -- and Jimmy, with dazzling off-hand skill, fires. Putting a pattern
of bullets two inches in front of Berino, stopping him as surely as if he'd thrown up a
stone wall. Giving him back to MacGyver. MacGyver grabs the terrified Berino -- turns --
and Jimmy has vanished. The gift made, the farewell unnecessary.
Two weeks later, Berino has furnished the authorities with all the information necessary,
the case is closed... and MacGyver receives a package, at the Tine Corporation. Some
tension: is it a bomb? No. It's a baseball -- Jimmy Kendall's baseball, signed with the
names of the great, from that training camp, four decades ago. A parting gift.
And a continent away, in Florida, we see Jimmy Kendall, relaxed, retired, watching spring
Click to view the other synopseses:
The Eraser (made, but modified)
Labyrinth (made as The Human
Blood Money (never made)
Fire Mountain (made as Final
Approach, but modified)
The Hard Way (never made)