If you’ve finished watching Friday night’s MacGyver episode, odds are you just enjoyed a signature story for Matty Webber and an exceptional Meredith Eaton performance. For most of the episode, we wanted to believe that Ethan would come back both to America and back to her as her husband. However, times changed for him dramatically in his years apart from her. He started a new family and eventually moved on with his life. This was heartbreaking, to put it mildly. Matty had kept so much of her pain away from the team and now, that pain is everything … but she still has a job to do. Matty is as tough as they come and we know where her devotion will be moving forward.
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In our interview below, Eaton details her reaction to reading the script for this episode, the heartbreaking situation that Matty finds herself in, and what could be explored with the character coming up.
CarterMatt: What was your first reaction to reading the script for the episode and seeing everything that Matty goes through? As an actor I’m sure it’s complicated. It’s devastating what happens to her, but at the same time the material for you to play is fantastic.
Meredith Eaton – I’ll be totally transparent — when I read the script I didn’t sleep for days because I was like ‘wow.’ This was quite the opportunity and I put a lot of pressure on myself as a person to do the best job that I could. The writers trusted me with such complexity and this role is one of the most challenging ones I’ve ever portrayed because of that. There are so many different layers to Matilda Webber.
It’s devastating. The audience is going to be left with their hearts in their throat – I was left with my heard in my throat. It was up and down and back around again and it’s heartbreaking, but the challenges I faced in shooting this and hoping that I did the writers proud … I hope the audience takes away a different understanding of this character and an admiration for her. She has gone through so much love, loss, and pain and really still tries to do the best she can at her job without letting any of that get in the way.
What was it like going back and playing these different flashbacks into Matty’s life? It was a chance to see a totally different side than we’ve seen from the character before.
I loved being able to show a lighter, fresher, happier Matty — a young Matty in love with the whole world in her hand. The electricity between Matty and Ethan is special. We shot the first flashback scene and it was one of the coolest scenes shot on MacGyver. They really gave Brendan Hines the coolest entrance — it reminds me of Deadpool when he’s coming through the door to KC & the Sunshine Band. It was just magic, and you never know if it’s going to work or it’s not going to work, but those scenes were so fun to play because I don’t normally have that opportunity — and wearing a wedding dress, though my real husband didn’t love that too much (laughs).
Where do we go from here?
I don’t know. That’s the thing — I haven’t been told yet. Anything is possible.
Are you interested in seeing Ethan again on the show down the line? Obviously the romantic side of things has concluded in this particular way, but there are still a number of interesting dynamics to explore here.
I think it would be fascinating. There are so many different ways that could get mileage and be maximized. He is such a charming character and there is a lot that could be shown — and of course the circumstances of him now being married [to someone else] and having a child. What would that look like if they did work together again? I think that it could prove for a whole world of possibilities.
And, he’s very likable as a character — that’s why Matty fell in love with him so instantly. There was a real charm and pizzazz about him. I think there could be a lot of interesting storylines if they choose to have him on the show.
So did you go to the writers after all of this and say ‘can I have a happier love interest now?’
Not really. After three seasons I have such trust and faith in our writers — they flesh things out really thoughtfully. I hope they’re going to take Matty in a really great direction and if that includes a love interest, fine; but, it’s not on the forefront of what’s important to me. What’s important to me are the scenes where we see the relationship between Matty and Mac, because that’s such a primary relationship on this show. Those are the types of scenes I really love.
Are there any scenes in this episode that have left an indelible mark on you, and you’ll continue to look back on them while playing this role moving forward?
Definitely the scene with Mac was one of those prominent scenes for me. It shows the audience how bonded these two characters have become. Then, there’s the scene where Matty sends Ethan off to Mumbai — it’s really important because you learn that she is responsible like he is for making that decision that changed the course of her entire life. What would have happened if she did not give him the go-ahead? Would Matty have had children?
Then, there’s the scene of watching Ethan reunite with his [new family] and the pain that she swallows, realizing that she never had that opportunity to have that life and seeing how that impacts her in present day. Those are the types of scenes that I think about now in filming episodes, because that is what has molded Matty into the person that she is.
Related News – Check out our full review for tonight’s new episode and more
We want to give a very special thanks to Meredith for sharing her experiences and thoughts with us about this important episode. This was easily one of our favorite MacGyver episodes!
What did you enjoy the most about this MacGyver episode and Eaton’s performance? Be sure to share in the comments. (Photo: CBS.)