MacGyver season 3 episode 18 review: Murdoc versus Helman


Every single thing that we’d heard about MacGyver season 3 episode 18 suggested this: It would be awesome. How could it not be? David Dastmalchian was back as Murdoc, and for the second time on the new series, Michael Des Barres made an appearance. His character of Nicholas Helman was the man responsible for training Murdoc to be the killer that he is, but tonight, the tables were turned in a fascinating and action-packed way.

For much of the episode, it seemed as though Helman was roaming around on a killing spree. Yet, what he was actually doing was working in order to fulfill a hit. His target? Murdoc himself! He found his way to the black site, where Bozer was with Murdoc while the rest of team Phoenix was working elsewhere. Not too long after the fact, we got a chance to see these killers go head to head in a way that felt fantastic and absolutely crazy … though not as crazy as what Murdoc’s actual plan was.

As it turns out, Murdoc had actually ordered the hit on himself, knowing that Helman would come for him and that he could use him as a distraction to try and escape. What he underestimated was that Nicholas would have killed him were it not for Bozer, which is what Murdoc didn’t actually kill him when he had a chance. Murdoc got out of prison, but not for long since eventually, Mac and his father working together on the ground in order to ensure that he was stopped … and brought over to a different prison.

We have a hard time imagining that this is the last opportunity that we’ll see Murdoc try to bust out of prison. It’s kind of his MO, but we did find some enjoyment in learning precisely the Phoenix was going to punish him for what he chose to do this time — he forced him to have to be in an adjacent cell to Helman, who could sing and annoy the you-know-what out of him for the immediate future.

As it turns out, there are new ways to punish a Murdoc. At the end of the episode, there were also some new ways to watch Mac bond with the people in his life. He and Desi are getting closer, and he and his father are starting to bond — that’s good, given that Oversight is still battling a health crisis.

CarterMatt Verdict

The episode tonight was everything that we could’ve hoped for and then some — a clash of the titans between the original Murdoc and the new one and also a chance to see Team Phoenix get to flex their muscles in some ways that they haven’t already.

As much fun as this episode was, we don’t want to lose sight on the performances from both Dastmalchian and Des Barres here, who really embraced the inner crazy here and gave us a great opportunity to sink our teeth into these characters.

If you missed it…

Be sure to check out the link here for our full interview with Michael Des Barres from earlier this week.

What did you think about MacGyver season 3 episode 18? Did it live up to your expectations? Be sure to share below. (Photo: CBS.)

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