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|MacGyver Online Forums > Episodes > 020 – The Escape|
|Posted by: MacGyverOnline 2 November 2006 - 04:31 PM|
20 – The Escape
Airdate: 16 April 1986
Writers: Fred McKnight & Stephen Kandel
Director: Don Chaffey
Guest Cast: Kristina Wayborn as Sara Ashford, Paul Verdier as Francois, John De Lancie as Brian Ashford, Miguel Fernandes as Khan, Vic Polizos as the Commandant.
MacGyver’s elaborate plot to spring a missionary from a North African jail works perfectly… until MacGyver discovers that nothing is as it seems.
|Posted by: Macs Lab Rat 8 November 2006 - 10:50 AM|
| Votes from 12th October 2006
Poor [ 0 ] [0.00%]
Average [ 1 ] [7.14%]
OK [ 0 ] [0.00%]
Good [ 3 ] [21.43%]
Excellent [ 10 ] [71.43%]
Total Votes: 14
|Posted by: MacGyverOnline 26 November 2007 - 09:00 PM|
| I really like this episode. I love the way MacGyver tricked the guards into thinking he had a full on attack planned.
John de Lancie was great as always. You can see the chemistry between him and RDA. They just fed off of each other so naturally. JDL always has a air of mischief about him, even when he's trying not to
I wouldn't actually say JDL is a particularly good actor, but he is always fun to watch. And watching him act beside his friend RDA is even more fun.
Anyway this episode gets an excellent from me. It's one of the best for season 1 in my opinion.
|Posted by: MacGyverGrrl 26 November 2007 - 10:09 PM|
| I really liked this episode too. It is probably one of the best of Season 1. MacGyver's tricking the guards into believing he's launching a full on arial assault is just hilarious. The whole time I'm thinking "are these guys (guards) really that dumb?" Yes, they are.
Also Mac's fight scene where he jumps on the bench and knocks that big dude flat is pretty cool.
The writing in this episode is tight, well paced and fast moving. When RDA and JDL were interacting in the cell, it seemed almost like they were improvising the scene rather than delivering pre-conceived dialogue. They were very natural with each other and the scene didn't feel so much like two actors but two guys jsut hanging out.
I really like this episode and watch it frequently when I reach for Season 1. The only weak spot in the show is the actress playing the Russian agent. She isn't as bad as Ingrid from the Enemy Within, but she seems really insignificant compared to the other characters and the roles they play. Too bad too, she had such a central role in the setup of breaking JDL out of prison. I still like the episode, even though it featured another bubble headed blonde fluff instead of a strong actress with some real power behind her.
|Posted by: MacGyver 27 November 2007 - 05:05 PM|
| It's been a while since I've seen "The Escape". It's a fun episode with some good twists in the storyline. And MacGyver escaping from any confinement is always cool- like the way he gets out of the prison. And John de Lancie is fun to see in the episode too.
Oh yes- and I thought it was great to see MacGyver playing soccer with the kids at the start of the episode. I love how MacGyver takes time for kids to do things with them. And was it a Catholic orphanage he was working with, I think? I like that MacGyver's always willing to volunteer his time for worthy causes and organizations- ranging from Christian churches and such or environmental causes or the Challengers Club. He's always ready to help!
|Posted by: jackwabbit 28 November 2007 - 09:37 AM|
|I gave this one an excellent, as it's nice to see the human factor of Mac here. He made a mistake. It happens.|
|Posted by: MacGyverOnline 1 December 2007 - 07:56 PM|
| The scene where Khan? first sees MacGyver in the prison he comments about there being 3 kinds of Americans who come to that prison..
How did Khan know Mac was American?
|Posted by: trtlsoup 2 December 2007 - 03:10 PM|
Maybe how he was dressed...?
I can't remember if he had spoken at the time.
Looks like I'm in a minority here (I voted okay) I don't know why I didn't like the episode that much. I always like to see John de Lancie. He and RDA really work well together, proven by Legend, Stargate...
Chalk it up to that I didn't find the episode particularly exciting. *shrug*
|Posted by: MacGyverOnline 2 December 2007 - 05:46 PM|
| yeah it's not the most action packed episode, thats for sure. It has a lot of "story telling" (people standing around talking), but it does have some great MacGyverisms...
I think in a way it's one of the more iconic MacGyver episodes, although it may have a little too many coincidences in the plot, but MacGyver escaping from prison.. what more do you need?
|Posted by: Astra 2 January 2008 - 03:07 PM|
| I'll start at the beginning: Don't know whether that counts as nitpick, but in the opening scene, one of the boys does wear a blue and a red sock at his feet
I also had to admire Mac's ability of being able to fold himself up almost to a complete circle (when he was overrun by the kid). I like such little stunts! It looks funny and sporty (elastically) at the same time.
And then I have to admit I just did not quite get what exactly happened at the beginning. At first, when Sarah (or whatever her name might be) appeared, I had for a split second the feeling that Mac already knew her and just was surprised to see her again. As it turned out, that was not the case.
But why did she arrive together with the surprise he had ordered? How did she know? I thought she belonged to the whole thing! And the sister also seemed to know her pretty well. So she must have spent a lot of time at the orphanage, to get her trust, on the whim chance that Mac might turn up one day and she could ask him for help. Isn't that a bit farfetched?
I was under the impression that he never knows when he will turn up at all, due to his work commitments.
And then she spins her tale and he believes her. I thought it would have been great if he could have relied onto the help of Pete and the ressources, there. Just an ordinary check of the woman and they would have known if she is who she claims she is or not.
I mean, Mac can't run around and just help everybody that asks him to? He might end up helping somebody really nasty? Shouldn't he do his homework before that happens?
But helping he did, and here comes the next thing I wondered about: How did she know for which signal she had to wait? Could he know beforehand that he was able to make a hot air balloon? Or did he get this idea when he already was locked up (and seeing the ball)? Was the balloon alone the message, or was there a paper attached to it yet? And what was the message? That he had arrived savely in the right prison? Were there others he could have brought to, too? Imagine him ending up in the wrong prison
Oh, and when we already are bashing the blonde lady - I worried all the time she would break in two in her middle She really had a very thin waist.
And what exactly happened to her in the end? After the weapons were blown up? Did she return to serve for her country? Or did she become one more of the numerous people that Mac brought to America?
Sorry for sounding so critically, I did enjoy watching the episode. Those are just a few questions that I had while doing so. And I wanted to throw them out and see if anybody could come up with some answers.
|Posted by: MacGyverOnline 2 January 2008 - 05:24 PM|
The mother superior knew the women and it was she who asked MacGyver to help her.
I would have to watch this again, but I think the mother superior would probably have known about the womens "brother" for a while and also knew that MacGyver was coming by and suggested to the women that he might be able to help her. This would explain why she turned up at while he was there and would certainly be in line with the church's main role in such places of helping people. Also there was mention of MacGyver fixing the church organ, this too indicates that he had probably been there for a while.
I assumed his look of surprise was suppose to be about her being attractive. Thats certainly what it looked like to me anyway.
Hopefully theres an answer in there somewhere
|Posted by: Murdoc12 11 March 2009 - 11:48 AM|
|I really liked this one. Voted excellent. It had very good MacGyverisms.|
|Posted by: Beachbead 22 April 2009 - 12:37 PM|
|I voted good on this one it was a gritty episode.|
|Posted by: SMeeceymouse 30 April 2009 - 11:17 AM|
|I've loved JDL ever since he was on Days of Our Lives. In fact I think he could have carried of the Jack Dalton character if Bruce McGill wasn't available. My one question is. If Sarah was a Russian spy, how come she spoke with such a nice American accent? I loved the fact that they gave the money to the Catholic charity to help the children.|
|Posted by: MacGyverOnline 30 April 2009 - 02:07 PM|
Same reasons all aliens speak fluent English.
|Posted by: SMeeceymouse 30 April 2009 - 02:10 PM|
|Thanks Rocky I needed that laugh. Makes you wonder how all the aliens learned fluent English to begin with.|
|Posted by: MacGyverOnline 30 April 2009 - 02:18 PM|
| I guess it just goes to prove that they have indeed been watching (maybe living among us) us for a long time.
|Posted by: SMeeceymouse 30 April 2009 - 02:21 PM|
|That is a very scary thought. Very scary indeed. Explains alot though doesn't it?|
|Posted by: NightTinkerer 14 August 2012 - 05:20 PM|
| There are lots of "likes" and "dislikes" in this episode for me.
It's always heartwarming to see Mac interact with kids. I'll never get enough of that.
I laughed out loud when I saw Mac's double take as he first met Sara. I was wondering whether he really thought she was that stunningly beautiful or if he was worried she'd actually break in the middle if he touched her... her waist did indeed look unnaturally thin!
But that, however was not the reason I didn't like her... because there was something about her, even after she was helping Mac out in the end, that I just couldn't stand. One of the less likable female characters, in my opinion.
That said--some of you have already discussed the fact that she has no Russian (or foreign) accent, and that it's more than a bit implausible. Well, I was surprised to find that the actress, Kristina Wayborn, was born in 1950, in Sweden! She changed her name from Britt-Inger Johansson, which was her birth name. (In 1970, she was the winner of the Miss Sweden contest, and my guess is that her acting career got a boost after that). There are very few--if any traces left of her Swedish accent. So... some people are just good at learning languages!
Anyway--I *LOVE* the MacGyverism with the ceiling fan and the spatula! It was hysterically funny, practical *and* ingenious.
Watching RDA and John de Lancie together was a pure delight. I didn't know it when I watched this episode for the first time, but later, I heard they're good friends, and it totally makes sense. I just love de Lancie as an actor--his "Q" character in Star Trek was definitely my favorite villain--if you can even call him that.
Had it not been for the Sara romance and those unnecessary kissing scenes (I'm not talking about the husband-and-wife trick; had she not been using him it would have made sense to make up such a story to trick the guards) this episode would have been an "Excellent" for me. Now, it's just a "Good."
|Posted by: Traveller 15 August 2012 - 07:43 AM|
Well, your comment on the slim waist made me LOL, too. The woman probably suffered from a serious eating disorder. It scared me, the way she looked.
I very much regret her presence in this episode. Without her, it would be one of my favorites. But now, I just h a v e to look away every moment she is in a scene. Why? Not just her anorectic looks, but also her awful acting skills. Better: the complete lack thereof. In one of the first scenes, when Mac and Sarah are introduced, she cocks her head a few times in a way that is probably meant to be coquettish, but done so badly it makes me squirm.
Such a pity.
|Posted by: NightTinkerer 15 August 2012 - 02:19 PM|
Yes, she looked like she was suffering from some kind of eating disorder. I don't have anything against slim people, (or fat people, for that matter!) but she looked downright unhealthy. Some people are just thin by nature, but then what really matters is the way you dress. With a waist like that, you just shouldn't wear such a tight outfit, it looks downright creepy.
Though her weight (waist?) problem wasn't reason enough not to like her, I agree regarding her lack of acting skills. She just looks stiff. I, too, would have enjoyed the episode so much more if she wasn't in it. But I have to give her credit for her language skills, though.
|Posted by: Scwilson 7 August 2013 - 08:31 PM|
|Mac escaping from the prison was excellent. John de Lancie was great I liked him in Star Trek: TNG as Q. The episode showed that even Mac is fallible and capable of making mistakes.|
|Posted by: Rocket 22 March 2014 - 11:24 AM|
Hah! That's why he looked so familiar! He was Q...
I liked this one too, the high points for me being the spatula helicopter and the bench in the chops. I like the way Mac uses everything within reach to get the bad guys
|Posted by: Mr Duct Tape 12 November 2015 - 01:48 PM|
| it's a nice episode right until the escape from the prison. from then on it becomes a bit lame IMO.
The location of the prison has become quite a classic location for a few tv series I believe, it was if I'm not mistaken, the location for a couple of episode of 24.
|Posted by: uniquelyjas 7 April 2017 - 05:20 AM|
| I just watched this episode last night on METV. I'll admit I had no idea what he was doing with the fan and spatula and why he spent so much time on that. Then, when the plan went into action and I heard the recording it hit me! So clever!!
I also LOVED this line: "Fuad, you are one miserable son of a diseased camel." Mac, after Fuad shoves François Great way to not cuss but still get the point across! I'm an English teacher and I love creative expressions.
|Posted by: MacGyver85 7 April 2017 - 07:47 PM|
|I love that line too! Especially since he doesn't cuss. Also that balloon he makes is great!!!|
|Posted by: MacGyverOnline 7 April 2017 - 08:46 PM|
Yes that was a great MacGyverism. The whole episode is pretty cool really.
Years ago when I was about 10 my teacher told our class that people swear because they're not smart enough to know or find the words to express themselves. That comment has stayed with me throughout my whole life (despite using them regularly myself with friends etc) it's one of the things which fits nicely with the MacGyver character - he has an intelligence level such that he knows how to express himself without resorting to low-brow 4 lettered comments.
Having said that, such words seem to have an international understanding. It doesn't matter where you are in the world or what language a person speaks; if you tell the to **** OFF!!! they know exactly what you just said to them.
|Posted by: Rocket 8 April 2017 - 10:58 AM|
| My favourite 'Mac-swear' is, "I don't give a rat's pyjamas!"
I can't even remember which episode it's from, I just love it!
|Posted by: Joe SAKic 8 April 2017 - 11:58 AM|
.... dat funny!
|Posted by: RadiantRose 21 May 2017 - 01:48 AM|
As far as I know, doesn't mention what his own religious views are, but he certainly seems to have a connection to the Catholic church.
Deborah (the nun, not the negotiator) seems to have been quite devoutly Catholic, which makes me wonder if (a) she abandoned her Catholic views whilst she was with Mac but clung to them after their relationship ended or (b) she sinned quite a lot during the relationship or © their relationship was not very physical.
He also has Jewish friends and possibly Buddhist friends. In Season 7, he befriends an adherent of Santaria. To say nothing of the Muslim woman and her son in "To Be a Man".
|Posted by: MacsMinx 31 May 2018 - 06:42 PM|
| I really enjoy Mac's voice over when he's playing soccer at the beginning of this episode. I think it is really charming--it might even be in the top ten of my favorite pieces of writing from the entire series.
I like this episode for several silly reasons, too, but these are my favorites:
1. I always had a thing for John deLancie, so that's a major plus, even if he's playing the bad guy.
2. I like the architecture in a lot of the filming locations, so I have fun just staring at the pretty buildings on the screen.
Like jackwabbit and Scwilson, I enjoyed the fact that they showed Mac not realizing that Sarah and her "brother" were lying....it does make him seem more human and vulnerable. I have to admit, sometimes I think that they should do something like that on the reboot because it would show that Mac is a humble person who is capable of understanding that he doesn't always have all of the answers. That's one of the more admirable character traits that always set MacGyver apart from many others in the espionage genre.
|Posted by: Dragondog 1 June 2018 - 06:50 PM|
Jack in the Box
...I answer, over a year after it's posted
|Posted by: MacGyver85 1 June 2018 - 07:56 PM|
Sounds like something I'd do!
|Posted by: AmigaDeVenezuela 6 November 2018 - 08:44 PM|
The voice sounded familiar to me. Q from from Star Trek TNG, DS9 and Star Trek Voyager. Oh, and The Twilight Zone.
It was fun to watch John De Lancie and RDA interact.
|Posted by: zoeryan 6 November 2018 - 09:49 PM|
Oh how did I not place him before! And he stars with RDA in Legend, and is in several episodes of SG1.
|Posted by: sylvain1888 20 November 2020 - 03:51 PM|
|Posted by: Hannibal_Smith 21 April 2022 - 05:18 PM|
| "Two points breakdown! Cops beat peasant! That's what I like to see: tax money at work!"
Well, this one aged particularly well. Cops assaulting a street vendor is what triggered the Tunisian Revolution, and by extension the entire Arab Spring, and in exactly this part of the world, too.
(Ben Ali wasn't president yet when this episode aired, but he would be shortly, and he was already one of the most powerful men in the government).
|Posted by: MacGyverOnline 21 April 2022 - 07:09 PM|
You only have to look in your own backyard to see cops assaulting people for no other reason than they think they can get away with it.
In the US it's practically a weekly news item (sometimes daily) but it's also similar in other countries which think they are "first world' and "civilized" as well.
It's quite an eye opener to watch episodes of a show from the late 80's and realize that practically nothing has changed since the episode was made, and in some cases have actually gotten worse.
|Posted by: Hannibal_Smith 1 May 2022 - 06:08 PM|
Part of the reason I wish the Colton spin-off had gotten made is that I'm kind of curious to see what a TV show would have been like that was written by the MacGyver team with their social conscience and fondness for ripped-from-the-headlines storylines, but told from the point of view of black working-class PIs.
I'm pretty sure almost all of it would still resonate today.