MACGYVER Review: “Hole Puncher”

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Things get a little murder-y on this week’s episode of , “Hole Puncher.” This week’s episode brings Murdoch back, as the team tries to decipher the identities of those behind a request for an assassination, and the would-be victim. The episode took on a whole new approach that previous episodes have not even dared to try, and the structure actually wound up working relatively well. The episode focused on team MacGyver on a whole, but split up into three parts; Mac undercover, Jack and Matty monitoring and helping from afar, and Riley and Bozer investigating a separate unsolved murder case. With the team split and focused on separate storylines, we got a real taste of what a true reimagined MacGyver might look like, with Mac out on his own, solving cases and saving lives.

The episode starts with the Phoenix team’s intramural baseball team. Apparently, the team is really good at fighting crime under the radar, but not so great at hitting a ball out of the park. With a failed attempt at the joke that is Jack’s motivational speech, the team gets called back to headquarters where they find out that a hit has been put on a man named “The Architect,” and Murdoch has been hired to assassinate the man. Fortunately for Phoenix, no one knows that Murdoch has been captured, giving Phoenix a chance to go undercover in his place and figure out who The Architect is, and who wants him dead.

"Hole Puncher" -- When the team intercepts a terror group's message meant for Murdoc, Mac poses as the psychopath to save the intended target and find out why they want Murdoc to assassinate him, on MACGYVER, Friday, April 7 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Pictured: Lucas Till. Photo: Guy D'Alema/CBS ©2017 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Matty convinces Murdoch to help train Mac to pull off pretending to be a cold-blooded psychopathic killer. Apparently Murdoch has a son he loves – don’t tell me how he convinced whoever this poor boy’s mother is to sleep with him – and Phoenix is taking the boy into protective custody. Matty tells Murdoch that he’ll help Mac unless he wants Phoenix to tell his son that he’s in prison for murdering countless people. Murdoch agrees, but his methods are bit like if the Joker tried to teach Robin how to be Batman. They’re not completely straightforward and don’t amount to much beyond demonstrating how insane Murdoch is and making Mac angry.

Murdoch sends Mac on a practice mission with no information, telling him that likely he won’t get all the information, ever, and he needs to be able to improvise. I don’t know how Murdoch was contacted by the couple that Mac goes to meet, or how he set up the meeting with Phoenix watching his every move, but the rest of the show’s storyline depends on Mac meeting this couple, so let’s just go with it and not ask too many questions at this point. The couple’s daughter has been killed, and they are certain it was by her abusive husband, but the Police couldn’t find enough evidence to even hold him for a trial.

Mac isn’t doing so great, as the couple’s sob story gets to him, and he almost forgets that the couple thinks they’ve hired him to assassinate the husband. When Mac goes to discuss a fee, though, he ruins the mission, as the couple runs out, and that’s when Murdoch tells him he sometimes does assassinations for free. Murdoch thinks of himself as a hero, a murderous vigilante taking out the scum of the world one bullet at a time. It’s twisted, but it sort of makes sense with his character – in some respects. But here again, let’s not ask too many questions and just enjoy the episode.

"Hole Puncher" -- When the team intercepts a terror group's message meant for Murdoc, Mac poses as the psychopath to save the intended target and find out why they want Murdoc to assassinate him, on MACGYVER, Friday, April 7 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Pictured: Tristin Mays. Photo: Guy D'Alema/CBS ©2017 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

So now Riley and Bozer have a task while Mac goes off and pretends to be a hired sniper. They follow the despicable husband as he happily goes on a flirtatious golf date with a side piece he’d been seeing long before his wife died. Riley is able to hack into his phone and discovers that the man has two side pieces that are now his main piece and side piece now that his wife is dead. First of all, how do you find time to date two other people while maintaining a marriage and not making any of these women suspicious that you’ve got other lovers? Dude must not work at all. Riley also discovers that the husband ordered fourteen golf clubs with GPS in the heads of the clubs – I guess so that you never lose that trusty nine iron? It seems like a weird thing to get, honestly. Even dumber when Riley and Bozer realize there’s only 13 clubs in a set, and apparently this guy ordered an extra one just so he could club his wife to death and ditch the club without making his golf game any harder. Seriously, a murder weapon with GPS in it? This guy is an idiot.

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Mac meanwhile, is led to the man who supposedly is ‘The Architect,’ but Mac still doesn’t know who is trying to kill him. When Mac questions the guy, the dude turns out just to be your average joe who works for a phone company. The man tells Mac that he has no idea who or why anyone would want to kill him, but when he tells Mac that he’s been working on a program to clear up the static that’s been excessively troubling customers for four months, Mac and the team realize that the static is how the organization that Patricia was a part of has been communicating ever since Patricia was discovered and locked away. Unfortunately, Mac’s cover has been blown when he snaps a picture of ‘The Architect,’ pretending to be dead, but doesn’t scramble the GPS signal in the photo. Luckily, Mac is able to hold off a sniper attack until Jack gets there to miraculously save the day. They catch the man leading the charge on Mac, only to have him reveal in Matty’s questioning that he wanted to get caught. Hmm, wonder what sort of drama this will lead to in the next episode!

TB-TV-Grade-A-

Season 1, Episode 20 (S01E20)
MacGyver airs Fridays at 8PM on CBS

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Tasha is a freelance writer currently based in Los Angeles. Originally from Kansas, when she’s not writing about or watching TV, Tasha is searching for the best BBQ place in LA to fill the KC BBQ hole in her stomach.
Keep up with all of Tasha’s reviews here.

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