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004 - The Gauntlet





004  ( #40191-002 )

13 October 1985
Lee H. Katzin
Stephen Kandel

Gambit Director:
Gambit Writer:
Lee H. Katzin
Judy Burns

  Episode   Nit-picks

Nielsen Ratings: 13.0 rating / 19 share / 3rd (47th overall)

Opening Gambit

In the Middle East, MacGyver steals a map showing terrorists plans of attack. With the maps owners hot on his tail he evades his pursuers through the small town, eventually being chased out into the desert to a waiting hot air balloon, where he makes his escape – after fixing a bullet hole in the balloon.

Main Story

MacGyver is sent to San Sebastian in Central America to rescue Kate Connelly, a photo journalist who has missed her deadline. But both she and MacGyver are captured taking pictures of an international arms dealer trading with the local Military leader. Their prompt escape sends the town, and country, into military lock down to prevent the pair from escaping with the incriminating photographs leaving Kate and MacGyver on the run from their military pursuers as they try to find a way to get their evidence, and themselves, out of the country.


Richard Dean Anderson ... MacGyver
Robin Curtis ... Kate Connelly
John Vernon ... Dave Ryerson
Gregory Sierra ... General Vasquez
Sam Vlahos ... Diego Montoya
Marco López ... Gomez
Socrates Ballis ... Captain
Abdul Salem ... Camel Driver

  • As MacGyver climbs out to repair the balloon hole you can see a rope running from the basket off to the right of the screen, pulled very tightly.. obviously to hold the balloon in place for the shot.
  • As MacGyver runs up the sand dune there is part of either a vehicle or rigging visible at the right edge of the shot.
  • Macs watch changes from black to silver when he's waiting for the fireworks in the bell to go off.
  • Mac sets off the explosion by inserting the plug of a camera flash and activating the timer. This, however, is impossible. Plastique is a very powerful but very stable plastic explosive. A detonator is needed to set it off. A simple electric spark or current from a battery operated camera would never initiate the explosion.
  • At the end Kate takes a picture with a camera which has just been swum across the river. Most cameras don't work very well when they have been submerged under water. Hers was already broken so would have filled up with water as they crossed the river.
  • When Kate knocks out the solder with her camera, his hat comes off. But then when we see the next shot his hat is back on.

Used SAK to push the key out of a lock then retrieved it on map placed under the door. Used map as pea shooter. Wrapped map around iron bar to hide the bar, then used it as a weapon.
Used map & duct tape to patch hole in hot air balloon. Slid down sand dune on map.
Wrapped camera strap with plastic clips around electric fence wire to prevent electrocution.
Used camera timer to set off plastique explosive. Used Firecrackers, candle, duct tape and a Camera strap on church bell as a noisy distraction
Connect jeeps together with the winch rope to prevent them from pursuing him.
Used rear vision mirror of bus taped to the drivers seat and Kate's compact mirror to make periscope. Overheated old jeep engine with oil on it to create smoke screen
Used leather straps and duct tape on the steering wheel, drive shifter & gas pedal to make Jeep drive itself.
  Made smoke distractions by burning oily rags in metal drums and rolling them down the hill.  


SAK uses  Skills used:
     - Used the blade to open the window latch.
     - Used the blade to push the key out of a
        keyhole from the opposite side.
     - Cut hot air balloon tether.
     - Cut candle down to required size.
- Engineering
- Hot air ballooning
- Survival skills (catching food)
SAK type  SAK blades/tools used
Gambit: Wenger handyman
Main:    Tinker
  - Main blade
Duct Tape uses
- Taped the map to seal the leak in the hot air balloon.        
- Taped fireworks and candle to bell.
- Taped  mirror to seat on the bus.
- Taped down the gas pedal in jeep.
  • MacGyver specifically states for the first time that he prefers not to use guns.
  • MacGyver states that he grew up in Minnesota and was a Cub Scout.
  • The country isn't named in the episode, but Guatemala is the only South American country which boarders Mexico via a river as shown in the episode.
  • The name of Montoya's newspaper (El Tiempo) is Spanish for "the weather".
Memorable Remarks
  • It just goes to show you, a good map will always get you where you want to go. - MacGyver
  • So, your name's MacGyver and you're harmless. -Kate Connelly
  • I thought your camera was broken? - MacGyver
    I fixed it. MacGyver style. - Kate Connelly
  • Please tell me how things could be worse. -Kate Connelly
    Ah, you're right. You convinced me. We're in a lot of trouble. - MacGyver
  • So, how are you gonna start a fire? Make lightning, or rub two sticks together? -Kate Connelly
    Well, I thought I'd use a match. MacGyver
    Aw, shucks, MacGyver, I was looking forward to seeing some more of your Boy Scout
    stuff. -Kate Connelly
  • MacGyver, you don't eat things like that. You call pest control. -Kate Connelly
  • Never drop crumbs on the trail. Cos you never know what kind of critter might be behind you picking up the pieces. - MacGyver's old scout leader
  • I'll never forget the motto she taught us.. Be prepared. - MacGyver
  • It's been said the best company you can have in a strange country is a map - MacGyver
  • Great thing about a map, it can get you in and out of places a lot of different ways. - MacGyver
  • This is the first time I ever deliberately tried to over heat an engine. - MacGyver
  • Welcome to Mexico. You have anything to declare? - Boarder guard
    Wise guy. - MacGyver
  • Every time something else goes wrong you say it is good! - Vasquez

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