The first season of “MacGyver” has brought a lot of different things to the table, whether it be top-notch action sequences, fun character moments, or creative designs from the title character to work himself out of tight spots. It’s also a show that has gotten better and better with each passing week.
In preparation for the final episode of 2016 airing on CBS Friday night, we spoke with showrunner Peter M. Lenkov about a few different aspects of the story so far, including this upcoming episode and a return of the classic villain Murdoc a little bit down the road. (This is just one part of our interview with Lenkov — we’ll be getting into all things “Hawaii Five-0” tomorrow morning.)
CarterMatt – One of the things that I was most excited about was the decision to bring Bozer into more of [MacGyver’s] world. I love Justin [Hires] and find him really funny, so it was nice to see that. What went into the decision to include him more in the team during the first part of this season?
Peter M. Lenkov – When I pitched Justin the show, I told him I really wanted him to be like the audience and sort of get indoctrinated and get recruited, and see the world from an outsider’s point of view. I was very honest with him in saying ‘you have to be patient, because the first few episodes are not going to be Bozer-heavy. You’re going to be there, unaware of what [your] friend does.’ Then, we’re going to watch him slowly get into the world and become a part of it. I wanted somebody from the outside to see what it was like to get brought into it, and somebody who wasn’t in that field at all. I also thought that the drama of the relationship between him and Mac would be interesting to play. These things only work if there’s a conflict between characters, and that was interesting for me to play.
I know there are some interesting things coming up Friday night in between there being a big Riley story and her father turning up. Is there anything that you can speak to on that?
Each episode, like they should, keeps getting better and better because each person finds their groove and sort of learns from their mistakes. You know what works and doesn’t work, but you hope that the audience is patient enough, the network is patient enough to give it opportunities to grow and get better.
The episode’s really strong tomorrow, and the one thing they’re really selling in the commercials is that it’s a big stakes episode. It’s Christmastime, and there are a lot of things [as a result of that] that make the episode really special. One thing that is not highlighted, but is really good, is the relationship between Jack, Riley’s mom, and Riley, because as we said during the first episode, Jack dated Riley’s mom, and we’re going to explore that dynamic, what went wrong in that relationship, and why Riley when we first met her was so mad, she had this real anger towards him. That’s going to be explored.
I think the personal stuff is just as compelling as the big-stakes stuff in the plot, and that makes the episode really strong because you’re getting to see our people exposed and really vulnerable, and resolve something that’s very big, and that we did a decent job really selling the animosity between Riley and Jack.
I know you can’t give too much away, but any chance that we see Murdoc again later this season?
Oh yeah, he’s back in the episode I’m cutting right now, episode 12. He’s going to be back again. He’s like what Wo Fat was to ‘Five-0.’
A very special thanks to Peter for his time, and as mentioned, check back tomorrow for our interview on “Hawaii Five-0.” For now, you can preview the next “MacGyver” further just by heading over to the link here. Also, be sure to leave us a comment in the box below with some of the storylines you want to see fleshed out this season. (Photo: CBS.)