Angus MacGyver works for the Phoenix Foundation, a covert agency operating under the disguise of a think tank.
MacGyver’s mother died when he was 5. His father James MacGyver (Tate Donovan) didn’t deal well with his wife’s death; becoming emotionally distant to his son due to feeling constantly angry. He eventually left when MacGyver turned 10, leaving him in the care of his grandfather Harry MacGyver (Michael O’Keefe). It was Harry who gave him his first Swiss Army Knife (SAK) to help him bend paperclips into new shapes.
MacGyver’s best childhood friend is Wilt Bozer (Justin Hires). Bozer and MacGyver bonded over the loss of beloved family members, Bozer saving him from school-bully Donnie Santos and both preferring being called by their last names. They spent many hours building their tree house as kids and moved in together into Harry’s house when coming to LA as adults.
After being recruited to DXS, MacGyver worked in a core team with Jack and Nikki Carpenter (Tracy Spiridakos) under Patricia Thornton (Sandrine Holt). Mac and Nikki dated two years prior to the events of Season 1.
In the Pilot Episode, Mac and the team infiltrate a party in Italy to steal a biological weapon from a terrorist. The mission goes awry, with Mac and Nikki getting shot and falling into Lake Como. While Mac survives, the bioweapon is stolen and Nikki’s body can’t be retrieved. The team recruits Riley Davis (Tristin Mays) who’s currently serving time in prison. Riley is the daughter of Jack’s ex-girlfriend Diane (Michael Michele) and manages to track Kendrick and the bioweapon – and Nikki, who’s apparently still alive and working with Kendrick. At the end of the episode, the DXS packs shop and rises under a new think-tank-cover called the Phoenix Foundation.
In Episode 1×03 (Awl), Jack urges MacGyver to get in contact with James again; knowing from his own experience that Mac might regret wasting so much time to make up with his father. MacGyver agrees to write James a letter; stating that his father is a bit old-fashioned.
Bozer doesn’t know about MacGyver’s true occupation until he is almost killed by Murdoc (David Dastmalchian) in Episode 1×08 (Corkscrew). MacGyver convinces Thornton to hire Bozer for the Phoenix Foundation as a lab tech. Later, Bozer is allowed to join the team on field missions.
In the mid-season finale Episode 1×12 (Screwdriver), it’s revealed that Nikki worked undercover for the CIA to bring down the Organization and the mole that infiltrated DXS/Phoenix. As it turned out, Thornton had framed Nikki and hired Murdoc to take out MacGyver. In Episode 1×13 (Large Blade), Thornton is replaced by Matty Webber (Meredith Eaton), Jack’s former boss at the CIA.
In the Season 1 Finale, MacGyver tells Jack that the letter got returned and he can’t seem to find another way to contact his father. Jack agrees to accompany Mac to go looking for James.
In the Season 2 Premiere, MacGyver and Jack are called back to work after being more or less unsuccessful in the hunt for MacGyver’s father.
During the season, Mac follows several clues that James MacGyver seemingly left him. Frustratingly, the clues (i.e. his old watch) seem to lead him to nowhere, but MacGyver finds evidence that Matty knew his father and investigated him. Confronting Matty about it, she denies having ever met James MacGyver.
In the Season 2 Finale, Mac meets up with Matty to quit since he still feels she’s hiding the truth. It’s later revealed to the audience and Team Phoenix that James MacGyver is Oversight and therefore not only the head of the Phoenix Foundation, but also actually MacGyver’s boss since he joined DXS. It was also him that arranged for MacGyver and Jack being partnered up in Afghanistan. Feeling betrayed, MacGyver hands in his resignation; stating that he can’t work for someone he doesn’t trust.
For 3 months, Mac stays in Nigeria, building wells and fixing stuff. He falls in love with Nasha (Sibongile Mlambo), a local school teacher.
In the Season 3 Premiere, James MacGyver visits his son in Nigeria; stating that he needs to come back because Jack got himself into trouble. MacGyver agrees to come back for this one mission. After his Phoenix co-worker Jill Morgan (Kate Bond) gets killed by Murdoc, he decides to stay with Phoenix for a while, planning to go back to Nasha as soon as Murdoc is put behind bars again.
At James’ insistence, MacGyver agrees to try to build a relationship and to get to know each other a bit better. They start with having regular lunch dates in his father’s favorite Diner.
In Episode 3×06 (Murdoc + MacGyver + Murdoc), Murdoc kidnaps and hides Nasha to get MacGyver to help him retrieve’s son Cassian (Brady Bond). While MacGyver reluctantly joins Murdoc on a mission to save Cassian, Jack and Bozer manage to free Nasha mostly unharmed. At the end of the episode, MacGyver realizes that it’s too dangerous for Nasha to be with him and decides to “take a break”.
After getting suspicious that James is once again hiding things from him in Episode 3×17, MacGyver discovers that James has cancer.
Outdoor survival expert
Hand to hand combat
Speaks Spanish, Mandarin
Rebooted version of the original version of MacGyver, played by Richard Dean Anderson.