Is George Eads leaving MacGyver? Tonight’s new episode is set to be an emotional one, especially if you like the Jack Dalton character.
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If you have not read some of the headlines over the past few months, it was first reported last year that Eads would be departing the CBS show before the end of the season. This was not a decision made by the writers of the show or the network; instead, it was Eads’ own decision to depart the series. He was one of the show’s original cast members, and the relationship between MacGyver and Jack dates back before the events of the pilot episode. This is certainly not a role that the series ever intended to lose at this point in the run, at least based on the story that was told over the past two years. That’s why the exit in some ways feels so sudden, even if Eads has been MIA for a few different episodes so far this season.
As for the reasoning behind Eads’ decision to leave, it stems from a reported desire to spend time with his family. One of the important things to remember here is that while MacGyver is set primarily in Los Angeles, it actually films on the other side of the country in Atlanta. For actors who are based out of the LA area, that is a long commute between work and home — that can take a toll on a lot of people, especially veteran actors who have been in the business for a while. Some are able to make it work more easily than others.
Eads himself has yet to speak out publicly about his decision to exit the show, but we hope that MacGyver finds a way to handle his exit that makes sense for the overall story. Entering tonight’s new episode (which we will discuss more below), we knew that the plan was to keep the character alive — that allows Jack to have an ending that best suits him, and presumably, it does open the door for him to come back down the road if the situation presents itself.
How Jack departed
At the start of the episode, he made it clear that Mac that he was preparing to take part in a top-level, secret military operation — one that required a lean team and people experienced with the target. He just so happened to be one of them, and he wanted Mac to stay at the Phoenix rather than to go with him on his journey.
We were honestly surprised by how little of the story tonight revolved around Jack’s exit, as instead most of the story featured Mac, Jack, and the rest of the Phoenix Foundation team working at a wedding in order to perform a secret operation and unmask a killer. This episode had its fun moments, including Jack going nuts at the buffet, but also some sad ones. Whoever murdered Alonzo, a criminal, and father of the bride, poisoned him at the ceremony.
We did see Jack make his goodbye at the end of the episode, and it made for a few emotional moments. We’re going to miss the guy, especially since with his mission being open-ended, there’s no guarantee he will be back in the near future. It does feel like Jack’s departure from the team was reasonably sudden; otherwise, we like to feel like there would have been an even bigger story around it.
We hope that MacGyver continues to press onward and doesn’t suffer any significant blowback without Eads, given the fact that there are so many other brilliant performers in the cast and a top-notch crew. We think that they will navigate this departure to the best of their ability, though it may take some time.
Are you going to miss Eads as a part of MacGyver? Share right now in the comments, and stay tuned for some other updates on the series. (Photo: CBS.)