In Review: MacGyver – Screwdriver

Using a screwdriver and bug spray. MacGyver must find the US government mole who is leaking classified intel

Synopsis: Using a screwdriver and bug spray. MacGyver must find the US government mole who is leaking classified intel to the organisation that is trying to take down The Phoenix Foundation. Also Sarah returns to help with the mission, and Nikki reappears, but Mac can’t tell which side she’s on.

Review: Okay. Where do we start here.

The opening of this episode sees Jack being tortured, which is really the writers way of torturing the remaining viewers as George Eads continues to play Jack as a larger than life wannabe comedienne. It makes you long for the days when these shows used real actors.  Thankfully MacGyver comes in and saves us the agony of anymore pain of Jack singing badly and trying to pull off the I’m such a smart ass I really don’t care persona, which is just damn irritating and unrealistic. Had I been doing the torturing, I’d spared myself and just shot him.

The one good thing about this episode is that it takes chances, but the problem is in the execution.

Basically Nikki is back on the scene and Sarah, who is once again played by Amy Acker, has found out where she is. Things soon get messy when Nikki reveals that she has been under deep cover for the CIA and the whole thing where she had MacGyver shot in the season opener and the subsequent fall out from that was part of her buy in.

We are then treated to the predictable Jack saying that he does not trust her while simultaneously sulking that Sarah is going to get married and such. And of course Mac is allowing Nikki the benefit of the doubt, which in turn eventually brings Sarah round to his way of thinking once Nikki has taken a bullet from a death squad sent by the organisation, which is called Chrystalis.

Bozer manages to get some screen time along with Riley as they attempt to extract information from Murdoch, who really should never have been captured in the first place.

After a few twists of the plot, which were all rather predictable. Mac and his cohorts come up with a plan to flush out the mole. And the mole turns out to be Patricia Thornton, which really has me breathing a sigh of relief because the character was not working, but am also really annoyed that it wasn’t Jack or Bozer who are frankly more annoying. All that said. There is a part of me that is thinking that this maybe a double bluff and Thornton may have been played for a patsy. I hope my suspicions prove to be wrong because again it would be to damn predictable and convoluted and really quite boring.

Both Amy Acker and Tracy Spiridakos carry this episode as Sarah and Nikki and Lucas Til continues to do his best with what he is given. 

If Thornton does not return and get redeemed. I will be relieved because she wasn’t working out. In the classic show Pete Thornton, the character that Patricia is based on, was both father figure and task master for Mac. And that is something that is lacking in this series. A mentor figure for Mac. The dynamic of Mac and Jack in this show doesn’t work either.

So if the writers are going to knock off a few other cast members. It will be a good thing because I’d like to see Lucas Til cut loose as Mac and try it as a more lonewolf character as apposed to being a sort of pack leader.

The issue with this reboot is they have moved to far away from the things that made the original show so good.



MacGyver - Screwdriver
  • The episode trims some of the fat by getting rid of Patricia Thornton. At least for now
  • Bozar and the over the top performances from George Eads as Jack. And a predictable plot
  • Story
  • Acting
  • MacGyverisms
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
One Comment
  • John
    9 January 2017 at 8:00 am -

    Nothing beats the original Macgyver series. Each episode of the reboot seem like an incomplete story. Watching episodes from the original is like watching a movie, complete coherent. Musical scoring is also terrible. The lonewolf formula made the original Macgyver series. The ensemble is too cliche.

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