Ellen died in September 1995. Her husband James MacGyver (Tate Donovan) didn’t deal well with her death, becoming engrossed in his work at DXS. He eventually left when MacGyver was 10, leaving him in the care of Harry MacGyver (Michael O’Keefe).
After the events in the Season 3 Finale, the Phoenix Foundation was disbanded and the team members were stripped of their high-level clearances. In Episode 4×01 (Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix), the new owner Russ Taylor (Henry Ian Cusick) gets Team Phoenix back together. During the first few episodes, they encounter an organization called “Codex”.
The Phoenix Foundation and its predecessors have a history of teaming up soldiers with scientists. Many of the operatives at Codex are former OPI/DXS agents; disillusioned about the state of the world. Their ultimate goal is to initiate “File 47”; the activation of engineered disasters around the world to trigger a chain reaction, resulting in the complete collapse of human civilization so it can be rebuilt.
When tracking down Elliot Mason (Peter Weller) in Episode 4×08 (Father + Son + Father + Matriarch), James reveals to MacGyver that his cancer is back. They find Mason, but soon realize that it was a trap and that Gwendolyn is still alive. She tells Mac that File 47 was actually his mothers idea while working for DXS; offering her nephew to join Codex and “reset the world” together. At the end of the episode, James sacrifices himself so MacGyver can escape; pointing out beforehand that his son is the more valuable asset and the only one who can stop Codex from killing billions of people.
In Episode 4×12 (Loyalty + Family + Rogue + Hellfire), Gwen tells MacGyver that his mother didn’t die from cancer, but was killed by the same people that wanted Gwen dead.
Reboot Series (recurring character)
4×10 Tesla + Bell + Edition + Mac
4×13 Save + The + Dam + World
4×12 Loyalty + Family + Rogue + Hellfire
James MacGyver (married)