The Gauntlet

Episode:  004

Production No.: 40191-002

Airdate:   27 October 1985

Director:  Lee H. Katzin

Writer:    Stephen Kandel

Gambit Director:  Lee H. Katzin

Gambit Writer:  Judy Burns

Nielsen Ratings:  14.3 rating / 22 share / 2nd (44th overall)




In the Middle East, MacGyver steals a map showing terrorist plans of attack. With the owners of the map 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.



MacGyver is sent to San Sebastian in Central America to rescue Kate Connelly, a photojournalist 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 lockdown 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 AndersonMacGyver
Robin CurtisKate Connelly
John VernonDave Ryerson
Gregory Sierra General Vasquez
Sam Vlahos Diego Montoya
Marco López… Gomez
Socrates Ballis… Captain
Abdul Salem… Camel Driver



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 a sand dune on the map for a faster getaway.

Wrapped camera strap with plastic clips around an electric fence wire to prevent electrocution.

Used camera timer to set off plastique explosive.

Used Firecrackers, candles, duct tape, and a Camera strap on the 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 driver’s seat and Kate’s compact mirror to make a periscope.

Overheated old jeep engine with oil on it to create a 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 so no-one would know which barrel MacGyver and Kate were in.


  • 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.
  • We’re not sure if San Sebastian is the country or the town as it’s only briefly mentioned in the Friends episode, but we do know it’s fictitious. In real life both Guatemala and Belize border Mexico via a river as shown in the episode.
  • The name of Montoya’s newspaper (El Tiempo) is Spanish for “the weather”



  • 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 overheat an engine. – MacGyver
  • Welcome to Mexico. You have anything to declare? – Border guard
    Wiseguy. – MacGyver
  • Every time something else goes wrong you say it is good! – Vasquez



  • 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 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 of the episode, Kate takes a picture with a camera that has just been swum across the river. Most cameras don’t work very well when they have been submerged underwater. Hers were 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.


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