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 has to team up with a retired master counterfeiter to locate and capture a ton of
very special paper -- the key ingredient in a billion-dollar counterfeiting scheme.
He's opposed by both the very clever criminals behind the counterfeiting scheme -- and his
retired counterfeiter's granddaughter, an attorney who distrusts MacGyver, and is
desperately trying to conceal her grandfather's past. MacGyver manages to revive the old
man's lust for living -- and convince his granddaughter to accept her own family history.
The story will take us into one of the country's major money counting houses, a trade show
for makers of currency and into the largest bank note printing house in the world.
In the course of "pulling off" this caper, MacGyver will
1) Produce near-perfect counterfeit bills by using Jack Daniels whiskey, cigar ash, rit
dye, an orange crate and six paper clips, 2) create a timed firebomb out of match heads
and a gum wrapper, 3) Cast a fishing line attached to a nylon cord to build an aerial
bridge over a pressure-sensitive floor, and 4) crack a security vault with a ten cent
The story begins as:
A completely bizarre hijacking takes place in the middle of Los Angeles. A large, shabby grocery
truck is hit in a ruthless, brilliantly co-coordinated attack. Streets are blocked
with simultaneous maneuvers -- the truck's driver and assistant are seized by masked,
heavily-armed men -- other men slap concealing exterior panels on the truck, changing its
appearance -- as a last pair force open the rear -- check the contents.
Improbable is the word. A commando raid on Wonderbread? The improbability is compounded as
we see what the "grocery truck" is really carrying. Paper. Rolls of paper and
observing it all, the man in charge, and an icy criminal entrepreneur, FORREST. As his
assault team drives the now-concealed truck away Forrest turns to the man beside him.
FLOYD GRUBER. Mid-seventies; everybody's grandfather, an aging pixie -- now clearly tense
and frightened. And defiant. He's old; he's retired; he will not work with Forrest.
Forrest is amused, pats Floyd's shoulder, and gets into his car -- starts off, tosing a
word back. Floyd will. Because the payoff is approximately one billion dollars. And the
price of refusal -- could be fatal...and he's gone.
On the echo, we see Thornton explaining the heist to MacGyver. The "grocery
truck" carried a cargo of unique paper. Made under top security by and for the U.S.
Government. For one purpose: to print money. And we see we're in a counting house, where
paper -- money is checked, counterfeits exposed, bills stacked, packed, baled,
multi-millions of dollars before our eyes. And now a thief has enough official paper to
make a billion dollars worth of queer. But, they'll need plates, an expert engraver.
Special techniques. Which is why Tine Corporation was brought in -- which is why Thornton
turned to MacGyver.
MacGyver tackles the problem in his own way: who would handle the special inks and
techniques that the unique paper requires? He runs through dossiers on a vast array of
counterfeiters -- finally narrows it down to a handful...a couple...one. Floyd Gruber.
Industrial chemist: master forger: world-class. And just out of prison, after serving
eighteen years hard.
And with that lead, we are into the human elements of our story. Floyd Gruber is the
elderly pixie we saw in the opening. Ex-con, now retired. Living with his only kin, his
granddaughter, ALEXIS BLAINE, who is in her late twenties, vital, attractive -- and a
successful attorney, desperately ashamed of her shady grandfather.
Who she loves. In her ambivalent way.
Floyd's lived with Alexis, in her trendy condo, since he finished his prison term -- but
he realizes that while she's responsible toward him, cares about him -- she also sees him
as a dark shadow on the perfect life she's made for herself. He wants to return to the
living-- she wants him tucked away in an old age home.
Not Floyd. Too much pride, too much life
All of which MacGyver picks up on, in a confrontation, with both Floyd and Alexis. She's
fiercely defensive, but MacGyver detects a number of apparently innocent items in Floyd's
room. Put them together in a small counterfeiting operation.
MacGyver manages a private talk with Floyd -- and elicits the truth. Floyd is seventy-four
and is retired. But for him, counterfeiting is an art form; the thing he does best. He was
just doodling -- for his own pleasure, doing a few one-dollar bills... then destroying
them. Until he got himself locked into heavy trouble. Farrell. He doesn't know the
man, but he's hard, well connected. He heisted the paper -- and now, he demands that Floyd
provide perfect plates -- or else Alexis will be hit.
The police wouldn't believe an ex-con and couldn't protect Alexis if they did.
And worst of all, there's no plates. It's a myth, a rumor. Floyd did such beautiful
handiwork that he got the reputation of having plates. Now -- that reputation has put his
and Alexis' lives into ultimate jeopardy and a challenge MacGyver can't avoid.
The problem is to (a) winkle out Farrell, and then (b) find the paper without � getting
How? Simple. Counterfeit being counterfeiters.
Dodging Alexis' angry concern, MacGyver and Floyd set up a small moneymaking operation --
becoming close as they perfect the process. Floyd is delighted; MacGyver's the young
apprentice he never could find -- a natural. Great hands... terrific with the inks... he's
having a wonderful time; we see him come back to life and vigor -- as they turn out a
bundle of near-perfect counterfeit money.
He then spreads the word on the streets. Floyd Gruber's famed plates are back in
circulation -- on a major level. He's made a deal with out-of-town interests.
Shaken, Farrell has to make contact. And MacGyver handles it as a wheeler-dealer straight
out of Toronto's underworld. He's cool, laid-back, businesslike and convincing to
Farrell... and Farrell buys his line, allowing MacGyver to deftly elicit the key
information. Farrell is Vice-President of Madison Banknote, a very legitimate specialty
printer: foreign currencies for small nations, stamps, and stock certificates --
everything needed to print money. And the stolen paper must be hidden on the premises.
Problem is: exactly where? They decide to go in and find out.
This is when Alexis discovers what's going on -- and explodes. Ready to blow all sorts of
Until she realizes that they have no proof -- that her life, and Floyd's are in this shaky
line. That MacGyver's plan is the only way they have. But she insists on going along.
And so, the caper is in motion. The invasion by stealth and MacGyverism of a top-security,
highly-guarded Bank Note printing fortress by a most unlikely trio.
They do it while Madison Banknote is hosting an international Money Show -- a vast array
of antique, rare, priceless and otherwise money, as well as anti-counterfeit equipment and
special printing displays. The place is full of exotic, stylish people and the security is
They have to create diversions, evade human guards~ and electronic snoopers -- locate the
paper -- and proof of Farrell's guilt.
In the process, MacGyver is instrumental in forcing a major human development between
Alexis and Floyd. He causes her to realize that she's inherited some of his pirate blood
-- and that by denying her own family roots, she is condemning her grandfather to a sort
of premature death. Now, working together -- they pull the caper off... solve the
problems... with a sense of triumph.
As a matter of fact, Floyd has a tempting idea: this perfect paper, their techniques, a
billion dollars ... Tempting, but -- no.
Still, a week later, MacGyver and Alexis watch a newly-vivified Floyd, at an art class,
working away -- a happy man. It's a life class, the nude model is fetching. Floyd is
painting her as the key portrait of a perfect one hundred dollar bill.
Click to view the other synopseses:
The Eraser (made, but
Labyrinth (made as The Human
Blood Money (never made)
Fire Mountain (made as Final
Approach, but modified)
The Hard Way (never made)