IN REVIEW: MACGYVER: SEASON 4 – Psy-Op + Cell + Merchant + Birds

Mac is placed inside a fake prison cell with a top Codex operative

Synopsis: Mac is placed inside a fake prison cell with a top Codex operative, The Merchant, in order to gain his trust and get intel on their next move.


The Story

This week’s episode of MacGyver sees Mac pretending to be a prisoner in a Chinese prison in order to try and trick The Merchant into revealing everything he knows about Codex and find out what their next move will be. Things seem to be going well until The Merchant realizes it is a ruse and makes use of a few keywords in order to trick Pheonix operatives into using the words as search terms and inadvertently send a message to Codex.


The Acting


This episode sees a return for James Callis who is absolutely brilliant as the manipulative and highly skilled Merchant who very cleverly outmaneuvers MacGyver who is still pretty unstable from recent events and the loss of his father. Lucas Till puts in a pretty convincing performance and even has me convinced for a half minute or so that MacGyver may just turn to the side of Codex when he is trying to work The Merchant. I also thought that Henry Ian Cusick was brilliant especially during the scene early on in the episode where he says that he should be playing the role of the prisoner in their con because he does not think MacGyver is stable enough. A point which pops up a few times during the episode when MacGyver seems to be funneling The Merchant for information a little too aggressively.



This was a really good episode in which we see the team try and use Psy-Ops in order to try and con a con man. I really enjoyed the back and forth between MacGyver and The Merchant in the cell and the tension that we saw from Russ Taylor and Maddie who were monitoring things. The whole operation of Mac trying to get the information he wanted from The Merchant was like watching a complex and strategic mental chess game between two experienced operatives.

I also loved how MacGyver’s emotional state is still causing him some issues particularly when it comes to his relationship with Desi who has been giving him a fair bit of rope to work through his emotions. But we also continue to see how Desi and Mac’s relationship is effecting Riley who has secretly fallen for him, but I kind of hope they knock that storyline on the head pretty soon because it feels a bit CW and not in a good way.

On a better note. We get another kick-ass fight sequence between Desi and the Codex agent known as Scarlet, which is handled nicely with some close-quarters work.

MACGYVER: SEASON 4 – Psy-Op + Cell + Merchant + Birds
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI & Stunts
  • 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:
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