What is it these days with primetime network shows having huge action set pieces revolving around trains these days? It was only a few weeks ago that we saw “The Blacklist” utilize a mysterious train route for a storyline, and on Friday night’s “MacGyver” episode, we got a chance to see what they could bring to the table here.
We certainly understand after watching this why television shows would be so intent on wanting to utilize trains for these action set pieces, given that you can do a lot of cool stuff in a contained place, and you can raise the stakes very easily. At one point in this episode, Mac had to fix a sabotaged train in order to save not only everyone aboard, but especially a whistleblower who could have valuable intel on their boss, someone firmly involved in the arms trade.
Once again, this was a case of the title character managing to make a lot out of a little, and for the most part, this was incredibly fun to watch unfold. We never quite ran out of confidence that Mac would succeed in stopping the train from careening off-course, but there was enough innovation and fun in here to keep the pacing up.
Through five episodes, the larger issue that the show continues to face is that of Nikki, Angus’ ex who is still very much on the loose. Sooner or later, we do have to devote an entire story to this, right? It’s clear that Mac is also struggling to move on from her, even if we saw over the course of this episode him showing no problem getting a little bit frisky aboard the train when the situation called for it. We do want to believe that he could have another relationship in the future, but he’s not there yet. He has to let go of some of the pain that he feels, and also realize that at some point, putting his life on the line could hurt other people. (In thinking about it, maybe the latter is troublesome for the series — we need Mac in danger!)
Grade: B. The show’s still gotta do more to get supporting characters involved, and it needs more compelling villains than it does beyond Nikki. If it can figure these out, we’ll start to see a show rise to another level.
Next week – For a little more insight into what’s coming up, head over here! What’s interesting about this storyline is that you are going to be seeing Angus face off against an old adversary. (Photo: CBS.)