James MacGyver is the father of Angus MacGyver and the son of Harry MacGyver.
MacGyver’s mother died when MacGyver was 5. James 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 was 10, leaving him in the care of Harry.
Season 1 (offscreen)
After Phoenix Foundation Director of Field Operations, Patricia Thornton, was arrested for being a mole, James authorized CIA operative Matty Webber to investigate him as part of her interview as a possible replacement to Thornton.
In the beginning of Season 1, Jack Dalton urges MacGyver to get in contact with James; knowing from his own experience that Mac might regret it for wasting so much time to make up with his father. MacGyver agrees to write him a letter.
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 him.
In the Season 2 Premiere, Mac 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 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.
In the Season 3 Premiere, James MacGyver visits his son in Nigeria; stating that he needs to come back because Jack got himself in trouble. MacGyver agrees to come back for this one mission, but then decides to stay with Phoenix to catch Murdoc.
In episode 3×17 after becoming suspicious that James is once again hiding things from him, MacGyver discovers that James has Cancer and is receiving regular chemo therapy.
Reboot series (Seasons 2 and 3)
2×23 MacGyver + MacGyver
3×04 Guts + Fuel + Hope
3×05 Dia de Muertos + Sicarios + Family
3×17 Seeds + Permafrost + Feather
Hand to hand combat
Speaks Spanish (fluently)
Rebooted version of James MacGyver