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Strictly Business

Original Air Date: April 8, 1991
Episode #123


Light creeps in a large darkened area as a garage door opens, but much of the room remains shrouded in darkness. A black truck drives in, and the door rolls down quickly behind it. The truck stops in the light of a spotlight, and Murdoc gets out. A voice remarks that he's right on time and instructs him to remove his weapons. He lays a gun on the hood of the truck and the voice tells him to proceed through a nearby metal detector, which goes off as he passes through. "ALL your weapons," the voice insists. He steps back and removes six more deadly instruments from various hiding places on his person. Passing through the detector again, it doesn't go off. "Satisfied?" he asks. Lights show the way to a table, where two men and one woman sit on the opposite side, facing him. The lady begins to speak, revealing that this is the board of directors for Homicide International Trust, or HIT.

The lady welcomes Murdoc back, telling him that his talents have been missed, but he scoffs, reminding them that not long ago they tried to kill him. The spokeswoman explains that he was trying to retire, and they couldn't take the chance that he would jeopardize the organization. She states that although he now wants to rejoin the group, there's a problem: they can tolerate no failure. Murdoc demands that they name one contract that he has not carried out; one of the men answers, "MacGyver." Murdoc softens slightly, remarking that since MacGyver helped rescue his sister from HIT, he owes MacGyver a debt of honor. The lady retorts that there is no room for honor in what they do, and the other man adds that MacGyver has been a detriment to their overseas operations for many years. Murdoc agrees that they have a point, and he vows to kill MacGyver for them. The other board member says that he has promised that before and suggests that perhaps MacGyver is too formidable for him. Murdoc laughs, explaining that he has a definite advantage: MacGyver fights fair. At this, a knife springs from Murdoc's sleeve into his hand, and in a flash, he tosses it at the lady. She ducks and it plants itself in her chair. "I cheat," he says, almost proudly.

Cut to MacGyver's houseboat. Mac returns home to find his table beautifully set, full of food with two lit candelabras. There's a gold toned statue of Cupid with his bow drawn in the middle of the table. MacGyver sees a familiar figure at the far end of the table. "Murdoc," he says. Murdoc remarks breezily that he always thought the place lacked sort of a formal touch. MacGyver doesn't reply, and Murdoc observes that Mac doesn't look happy to see him. Mac asks what he wants; Murdoc replies that he simply wants to thank him for saving his sister. He tells Mac to sit and try the food, adding that the food is vegetarian. Mac sits, but doesn't eat. Murdoc continues, revealing that his sister has since passed away. Mac asks if it was HIT. Murdoc explains that no, it was an avalanche that happened while she was skiing. Mac says quietly that he's sorry, but Murdoc seems to brush it off. He picks up something from the table and nibbles a bit, stating that the death of a loved one forces a person to re-evaluate things and get back to business. As he speaks, he reaches for a button under the table. Metal straps spring from the arms of Mac's chair, trapping his wrists.

The Cupid statue begins to rotate, so that the arrow is pointing toward Mac, as Murdoc asks if he could really picture him retiring to take up playing golf or fishing. Murdoc explains that with the way the world is now his talents are in great demand, but HIT wants him to remove the one blemish on his record. As he talks, he paints his own special brand of poison onto the tip of the arrow. He sets a burning candle under the rope that will trigger the bow, and he sets up a video camera to record the show for HIT's benefit. MacGyver watches, struggling in vain several times to free himself. "Admit it," Murdoc says from behind the camera, "I've won." Watching the rope about to burn through, with a frustrated huff, Mac agrees that Murdoc's got him. Murdoc states that Mac doesn't know how happy that makes him. Surprisingly, just before the bow fires, Murdoc presses a button that frees MacGyver, who leaps to safety. Mac lands in the floor, furious that Murdoc is still playing his sick games. Pointing a gun at Mac, Murdoc is now quite serious. "No games. Strictly business," he explains. Since MacGyver saved his life before, he set up all of that to return the favor. Now that they're even, he can hunt MacGyver with a clear conscience. Warning MacGyver that he's a target, he leaves, firing a warning shot and telling Mac to keep his head down when he tries to follow.

At the Phoenix Foundation, Pete Thornton is in his office, doing exercises in focusing to help strengthen his eyes. His secretary tells him MacGyver is on the line. Pete tells her that he'll call him back, but the secretary relays the message that it's about Murdoc. Pete takes the call. Mac discloses that he's Murdoc's target, so he's leaving town. Pete can't believe that Mac is running; Mac explains that Murdoc will use anyone to get to him, and he doesn't want anyone to get caught in the crossfire. Pete realizes that this is about him, and he asserts that he can take care of himself. Mac quietly asks if his eyes are any better. Pete admits that they're not. Realizing that Mac has to run, Pete tells him of a safehouse on Overlook Mountain. He instructs Mac to take one of the company's cars and to stay in touch. Mac won't make any promises about the latter request. In the basement, Murdoc has tapped the phone line and has been listening. He echoes MacGyver's "Thanks, Pete," before taking off.

Cut to MacGyver driving a white, four-door car on a scenic mountain road. Rounding a curve, he sees Murdoc, standing in the back of a black pick-up truck in the middle of the road, pointing a rocket launcher at him. Mac hurriedly backs up, but as he pauses to change direction, Murdoc fires. The car explodes as Murdoc tells Mac to "rest in pieces." Murdoc runs over to inspect the burning car: the interior isn't nearly as charred as one might expect. Murdoc angrily punches the car when he sees that it is empty and the passenger side door is open. Near the open door, MacGyver's things are strewn about and Murdoc picks up Mac's Phoenix Foundation ID and his Swiss Army Knife.

Mac runs through the woods, breathing heavily. He pauses by the boarded-up entrance to an old mine, dropping to his knees. Blood trickles from his left ear, and a bloody stain remains after he rests the right side of his head against one of the boards. He gets up and makes his way on, with Murdoc not far behind, following his trail.

Almost falling, Mac runs out into a clearing where he sees a collection of cabins at what looks like a camp. Turning his head to look around, we see that half of his face is covered in blood from a gash by his right eye. Suddenly a bell clangs loudly near him, and a girl runs, calling for her mother. Mac takes a step or two after her, saying that he won't hurt her, but the girl's mother runs out with a shotgun pointing at him. She demands to know who he is. He pauses for a moment, barely able to stand as he tries to answer her question. "I don't know," he says. "I can't remember." He starts to fall, saying weakly that he just needs to rest. He collapses and the girl and her mother step closer. The girl asks if her father sent him and observes that he's "really hurt bad." They drag him to one of the guest cabins as Murdoc watches from the underbrush close by.

With his face clean but still bruised and his gash taped shut, MacGyver sleeps, tossing as he dreams of the candle burning the rope. As Cupid's arrow flies, Mac jerks awake with a start. The lady is by the bed. She welcomes him back as her daughter watches from a few steps away. He asks how long he's been out. Not long, the lady informs him. She asks if remembers anything, but he doesn't. She says that she checked his pockets but didn't find an ID. He surmises that he must've lost it in the crash. As random images flash in his mind, he rambles a little about a crash and an explosion. His host observes that she should call the Highway Patrol, since someone else could have been hurt in the crash as well. She also says that she'll call the doctor in from town because amnesia is beyond the scope of her first aid kit. Mac thanks her and pauses, waiting for her to supply a name. She's Suzanne Walker, and her daughter's name is Amy. Outside, Murdoc is near the door, watching and listening. Mac apologizes for scaring Amy earlier, and she replies affably that it's okay and that she hopes he feels better soon. Suzanne and her daughter return to the main house after securing the cabin door with a padlock.

As they reach the main house, Amy declares that she likes him and doesn't think he works for her father. She wants to go talk to him, suggesting that she might be able to help him get his memory back, but her mother tells her no because they can't take that chance. She tells Amy that they have to be very careful, but one day they won't have to live like that. Assuring Amy that she loves her very much, she vows that no one will take her away. Amy seems to see the point; Suzanne tells her to go cover the canoes while she makes the calls. Amy goes outside, but when Suzanne picks up the phone she learns that it doesn't work.

Through the door of the guest cabin, Murdoc spies MacGyver who is tossing while he rests. Murdoc puts a silencer on his gun and is about to shoot the padlock when he hears the sound of running. Peering around the corner he sees Amy sneaking into the cabin through a secret entrance. Apparently getting an idea, Murdoc kneels and works to replace the picture on MacGyver's Phoenix Foundation ID with his own. Inside, Amy sits as MacGyver still rests uncomfortably, dreaming of the crash. As the flames engulf the car, he wakes up with a violent start, sitting on the edge of the bed. Amy asks if he had a bad dream. A bit surprised to see her there, he replies that it was something like that, then asks if her mother knows that she's there. She answers honestly that no, her mother doesn't know. Amy asks if her father sent him, and she raises her voice a bit as she tells Mac that if that's the case, he can tell her father to leave them alone. Mac calmly tells her that he doesn't know what she's talking about. From something she said, he deduces that her father tried to take her away from her mother. She confirms that is true and asks him not to tell anyone; he says that he won't.

Outside, checking the phone lines, Suzanne sees that the wires have been cut. She begins to panic, calling Amy's name as she takes off for the guesthouse. Murdoc stops her. He says that he won't hurt her; he introduces himself as MacGyver and "explains" that he was chasing "Murdoc" who ambushed him on the road a few miles back. When Suzanne admits that her daughter found a man who matches the description; she asks what the man he's chasing has done. Murdoc tells her that he's a professional killer and asks where the man is now. Looking solemnly at the guesthouse Suzanne adds that she thinks Amy is with him.

Inside, Amy is telling how two men hired by her father had tried to pick her up one day after school. Mac listens to her story, then admits that for all he knows, he may work for her father. She dismisses that idea saying that those men had "suits, haircuts: nothing like you." Mac replies, "Thanks. I think."

Elsewhere, Suzanne is showing Murdoc the cut wires. "Definitely Murdoc's handiwork," he begins, truthfully. "I could fix it if I only had some duct tape." He asks her to help him; she agrees asking what she can do. Murdoc instructs her to get her daughter away from the man. He also advises Suzanne to leave the shotgun with him claiming that if "Murdoc" (who is cleverly faking having amnesia) suspects that his cover is blown, he'll kill both her and her daughter.

As Suzanne fumbles with the padlock, Amy darts over to leave by the trunk that disguises the secret entrance, imploring that MacGyver not tell her mother she had been there. She makes it out as Suzanne opens the door. Trying to be casual, Suzanne says that she's sent for the doctor. She adds that she's looking for Amy: has he seen her? With a nod to the secret passageway, Mac almost smiles as he explains that he's been sworn to secrecy. Suzanne goes to check and breathes a sigh of relief when she sees that the trunk is empty. Suzanne hurries toward the door the door, apologizing if Amy bothered him and explaining that Amy is stubborn. Mac offers that he thinks Amy is just lonely. He says that Amy told him about the situation with Amy's father; he asks if that's really the best for them, to be playing "hide-and-seek." Suzanne snaps that this is "no game, Mister," declaring that it's also none of his business. Her words bring to Mac's mind the memory of Murdoc's line, "No games. Strictly business," as Suzanne leaves the room and locks the door again.

In the kitchen at the main house, Murdoc and Amy are standing face to face - figuratively speaking, since Murdoc's considerably taller. Amy starts to walk around him saying that she's going to get her mother. Murdoc grabs the collar of her coat threateningly as Suzanne enters. Murdoc releases her then smiles falsely, acting as if he'd been trying to assure Amy that her mother would soon return. Amy insists to her mother that it's a mistake and that he (that is, the real MacGyver) wouldn't hurt anyone. Addressing Suzanne, Murdoc tells her to take "the child" to the nearest phone to get the police. As they start for the car, Murdoc insists that she leave the keys to the cabin with him. She does, and she and Amy go outside to the car. Suzanne gets in and starts the engine, as Murdoc turns to head for the guest cabin. Amy stands at the passenger side, ignoring her mother's command to get in the car. Amy says that she doesn't trust the man with the gun because he smiles too much; Suzanne tries to assure her that "MacGyver" is their friend, but Amy doesn't believe it. She feels like something bad will happen if they leave him alone there. With a glance at her mother, Amy runs off toward the guesthouse. Suzanne calls after her, then goes into the house, calling MacGyver's name. Murdoc is nowhere to be found, but she does find the shotgun, which she carefully picks up.

Amy makes it to the cabin where she watches as Murdoc enters with a gun in his hand. As the door opens, Mac sits up, squinting as he looks toward the door where Murdoc stands, shadowed due to the light from behind him. "Are you the doctor?" Mac asks. "That's right," Murdoc replies, "I'm here to take care of you." He steps in, closing the door behind him as a look of recognition crosses Mac's face. "I know you," he says. Murdoc quips that he should hope so after all this time. He demonstrates a camera that is rigged to take a picture when his gun is fired. Mac asks why he's doing this. Murdoc says that he doesn't have time to explain since he plans to be gone before the police arrive. Amy has crept to the door and is watching. As Murdoc aims the gun, Amy cries, "No!" as she pounds on the door. Murdoc is distracted enough for Mac to whack him with a nearby chair as he shouts for Amy to get away from the door. She does and he charges, jumping through the glass panel on the door and rolling down the nearby slope into the underbrush. Amy joins him and they turn to run off. Murdoc appears from the cabin and starts to follow but Suzanne rushes up with the shotgun, telling him not to move. He tries to continue his act of being a good guy, but she isn't buying it. He moves slowly toward her, ignoring her command to freeze, and she pulls the trigger. Nothing happens. He snatches the gun from her and pulls the shells from his pocket, saying that it isn't safe to leave a loaded gun lying around. He grabs her and calls out to MacGyver to meet him at the abandoned mine nearby where they will finish their business. He takes off, threatening to kill Suzanne if Mac keeps him waiting. When they're gone, Mac and Amy emerge from their hiding place. Amy picks up the shotgun; Mac takes it from her, but she says urgently that if they don't do something, her mother will die. Mac seems to agree and asks where her mother keeps the shells for the gun.

In the mine, as Murdoc surveys the scene, Suzanne figures out that he lied to her about everything. He corrects her that he simply swapped identities. At the camp, Mac sends Amy biking to get the authorities. He loads the shotgun and starts quickly for the mine. Along the path, he finds his Swiss Army Knife, stuck conspicuously in a branch, pointing the way. Retrieving the knife, he continues on with shotgun in hand, as Murdoc works to set a trap.

Mac arrives at the mine; entering, he passes through a short tunnel before finding a web of thin wire blocking the path. Murdoc appears in the larger space on the other side of the web. Mac raises the gun, aiming it at him. Murdoc holds one side of his black leather coat open, daring Mac to shoot. Mac starts to pull the trigger, but he can't. Murdoc informs him that it isn't in his blood. Pressing a button on a box in his hand, Murdoc tells MacGyver that he has bigger things to worry about as an elevator rises out of the shaft in the background. Suzanne is tied underneath; if MacGyver doesn't make it out of the tunnel a long fuse will burn out, igniting explosives that are strapped to the elevator's cable. However, if he cuts the wires on the web or puts tension on them, explosives will cause the tunnel to fall in around him. Mac asks why he's doing that; Murdoc explains that it's his own version of 'Beat The Clock' and 'Jeopardy', adding that it wouldn't be very satisfying to kill some "empty-headed amnesiac." Wishing Mac good luck, he runs off. Looking at the lowest wire, Mac has an idea. He opens the shotgun, setting it carefully by the web. Using the SAK and the bullets he makes a paste that secures the wire to the shotgun: he cuts the middle part of the wire and slides underneath the opening made by the gun. He quickly runs over to part of the fuse and breaks it, but another flash ignites it and the fuse continues to burn toward the explosives. At the same time, a flash appears on a nearby sign, leaving the message, "RIP MACGYVER." As Mac reads the sign, he gets flashes of his previous run-ins with Murdoc and his memory is returned.

Murdoc appears with a crossbow, applauding Mac's efforts. He fires, but Mac uses the sign to block the arrow. As he reloads, Mac jumps down and they fight. Murdoc gets the upper hand until Mac catches his second wind and sends Murdoc into a nearby nook, where rocks fall in on top of him. Mac goes to rescue Suzanne who has been nervously watching the fuse as it burns toward its destination. Murdoc's wrist is jutting out from the pile of rocks; a knife pops up into it as he climbs out of the rubble, dusty but otherwise unaffected. As Murdoc reaches Mac, Suzanne manages to kick him back as Mac frees her just in time. The explosives detonate, breaking the cable and the elevator plummets down the shaft, dragging a long rope with it. Mac and Suzanne back up as Murdoc gets to his feet. The rope, still being pulled down the shaft, trips Mac. As Murdoc moves in for the kill, the rope wraps around his leg dragging him down the shaft as he screams MacGyver's name.

That night, Mac, Suzanne and Amy are outside the mine as search and rescue teams hunt for Murdoc. Suzanne says that she's been thinking about what Mac said. She and Amy have talked and they're going home. She'll talk to Amy's dad and if they can't work things out then he's in for a fight. A rescue worker approaches, asking if they're certain that Murdoc fell down the shaft. Mac realizes that they didn't find a body. The rescuer says logically that no one could've survived a fall like that. Mac solemnly tells him, "You don't know Murdoc."


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