The Road Not Taken

Episode:  029 (S2.E07)

Production  No.: 40192-030

Airdate: 10 November 1986

Teleplay: Stephen Kronish

Story: Chuck Bowman

Director: Cliff Bole

Nielsen Ratings:  14.3 rating / 22 share / 3rd (47th for the week)



MacGyver meets his former fiancée in Southeast Asia, where they’re pursued by the military after a plan to rescue a nun and orphans goes wrong.



Richard Dean Anderson MacGyver
Dana ElcarPete Thornton
Marilyn Jones… Debra Easton
Salome Jens… Sister Margaret
Patrick Gorman… Gilbert Arnaud
Dana Lee… Chanthara
Richard Partlow… Pilot
Jesse Dizon… Soldier
Arsenio ‘Sonny’ Trinidad… Kahn



  • Cut Baseball apart to get the string wrapping on the inside of it.
  • Used animal fat, kerosene and string to make fuses.
  • Used bent tree branches and strips of cloth to make giant slingshots
  • Used rosary beads to focus sunlight to burn the vines and fire the slingshots
  • Used wire from broom handle as a saw
  • Built a skyrocket out of fertilizer, matches, tin can and piece of rag



  • Actress Marilyn Jones, who plays Debra Easton, was born in Grosse Point, Michigan, which is a suburb of Detroit and may explain why she is wearing a Detroit Tigers t-shirt throughout.
  • The orphanage is the same location used as Trumbo’s estate in ‘Trumbo’s World’
  • It would be impossible to get a single strong beam to shine from a coiled Rosary necklace.


  • Pete: Last time I saw Margaret she was being chased across the Sahara with fifteen children and a goat.
  • MacGyver: Not rushing you, am I?
    Pete: Listen, I may get there slower, Mac, but I get there.
  • Debra: Don’t worry. I was a sprinter in high school.
  • MacGyver: Hey, um, listen, I’m sorry about that tackle out there.
    Debra: The second time I’ve fallen for you.
  • Debra: There’s a secret entrance.
    MacGyver: Yeah, well, secrets have a funny way of gettin’ out.
  • Margaret: What’s he doing?
    Pete: I haven’t got a clue. But I’m used to it.
  • Debra: Still doin’ it, huh? Making things out of thin air.
  • Debra: A fuse? We don’t have any explosive.
    MacGyver: The guys out there don’t know that. And what they don’t know can only help us.
  • Debra: I’ve never been able to figure out how your mind works. How do you think of these things?
    MacGyver: Well, if it comes down to me against the situation, I don’t like the situation to win.
  • Margaret: I’m good with broken down machinery; it’s the only kind I’ve ever had.
  • “Hey, you spelled my name wrong.”  ~MacGyver, joking about the list of his crimes
  • General Chanthara: Tomorrow at high noon the entire village can witness your final performance.
    MacGyver: “High noon”? This guy’s seen too many Westerns.
  • Debra: We’re not gonna make it, are we.
    MacGyver: What happened to all that faith?
    Debra: I’m just a novice, remember?
  • Debra: I keep thinking that… that maybe I want children of my own. They tend to frown on nuns doing that.
  • Debra: I’ve changed.
    MacGyver: So would I – for you.
  • Pete: I guess I’ll see you next time you’re in trouble.
    Margaret: I’ll be looking forward to it.
  • MacGyver: I’ll never meet anyone like her.
    Pete: I know exactly how you feel.



  • When Pete, Sister Margret and the children are flying  to safety in the helicopter, they do a wide shot and show the helicopter is smoking, but there isn’t anybody in the back of the helicopter.
  • At about 30 minutes in, when Mac and Debra are running “in the middle of nowhere”, a power line is visible in the air behind them.
  • As Pete and MacGyver run from the Helicopter at the beginning of the episode Pete starts to trip and fall just as he leaves the shot.
  • When MacGyver cuts the piece of bamboo we see it is a short piece, but when he hands it to Debra it has doubled in length.
  • How did MacGyver get a new baseball and glove


Refugee camp 
Indian Dunes
Off Henry Mayo Drive,
Castaic, CA



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