Family Matter

Episode:  034 (S2.E12)

Production  No.: 40192-034

Airdate: 12 January 1987

Writer: Paul A. Magistretti

Director: Alexander Singer

Nielsen Ratings:    16.1 rating / 23 share / 3rd (31st for the week)



MacGyver travels to Cajun country  to rescue Pete’s ex-wife and their son when they are kidnapped by a former DXS agent seeking revenge against Pete Thornton.



Richard Dean Anderson MacGyver
Dana ElcarPete Thornton
Scott CoffeyMichael Thornton
Penelope WindustConnie Thornton
Don Gordon… Frank Bonner
Beau Billingslea… Boone
Jeffrey Josephson… Obadiah Moss
Stephen Liska… Dunn
Thomas F. Duffy… Corey



  • Made mannequin from his jacket, a sweatshirt, life jacket fish net, rag and boat oar.
  • Put money on piece of life jacket floating in the water to distract bad guy.
  • Wire wrapped around starter switch on engine connected to rope made a “long distance starter cord”
  • Made explosion with gas can & oil soaked rag as a timer fuse.
  • Made exploding javelins from bamboo sticks filled with methane and sealed with mud



  • This episode is the first appearance of Pete’s son Michael and ex-wife Connie.
  • Micheal is played by Scott Coffey in this episode and Hank Stratton in his next appearance.
  • The boat explosion is seen as a flashback in the episode DOA MacGyver.
  • We learn that MacGyver enjoys cooking in this episode and has a taste for Cajan food


  • Somebody once told me that when you’re alone in enemy territory you have to stay low, stay careful and make a moving target.  ~MacGyver
  • Wish me luck. If I don’t make it back you could retire right here.  ~MacGyver
  • We heard and explosion, that’s all. MacGyver is damn hard to kill.  ~Pete
  • Sometimes the only way to solve a problem is to be in 2 places at once.  ~MacGyver
  • There’s nothing we can do right now. If we can get away we can come back.  ~MacGyver



  • When Pete gets into the kidnappers’ car, the rear door window is open in the close-up but closed in the long shot.
  • The tire marking which channel to take changes position from the time Pete and his kidnapper’s pass it to when MacGyver comes upon it a few minutes later.
  • During the “trial”, Pete tells Frank that the information about the ambush was classified until a couple of months earlier, yet Mac later tells Michael that the information had been classified until about five months earlier, when Pete had wanted to tell Michael about it but Michael had refused to meet with his father at that time.



Hardware Apartment
Keystone Building
56 N. Larchmont Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA
Phoenix Foundation
ARCO Center
200 Oceangate
Long Beach, CA


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