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Honest Abe

Original Air Date: September 16, 1991
Episode #126


A security guard with a briefcase enters an airplane hangar. Passing a helicopter, he goes to a keypad on the wall and enters a code from a slip of paper. A door slides back and he enters a storage room, where he quickly finds an operating manual - marked "Top Secret" - for a stealth helicopter. He places it into the briefcase where he also has a small fire extinguisher and a manila envelope. He leaves the storage room and goes to the chopper, using a security card from the manual to gain access. He climbs inside and swaps the fire extinguisher with the one in his case. Outside the building, which is part of Harding Aeronautics (HA), a man in a suit walks to a blue sedan. Suddenly the helicopter flies out of the hangar past him. Two more men emerge from HA and run over. One of them aims a gun at the escaping craft, but the first man stops him, saying he might hit the chopper. One of them theorizes that the thief must have been the new temporary guard, and they go to track him on radar.

Elsewhere, in the town of Fillmore, MacGyver drives a gold-toned, four-door Ford Taurus(?); he parks by a curb and walks to a store called "Sherman's." Inside, Phillip, the store's owner and Mac's friend, is on the phone, making preparations for his son Jeffrey's bar mitzvah. MacGyver enters the store and Phillip greets him. Jeffrey, a large boy who's bigger than Mac, hurries over and nearly crushes him in a bear hug. The bar mitzvah is mentioned, and MacGyver asks what he's supposed to do. "Sit. Listen. Maybe say 'Mazel Tov!' when it's over," Phillip replies. He then mentions skeptically that his father, Abe, said he would be there. Jeffrey says that he believes Abe, which prompts Phillip to ask MacGyver to tell his son how Abe was never around when he was growing up. Trying hard to remain neutral, Mac reminds him that they met when they were in college, but Phillip, undaunted, points out that he was in therapy at that time because of his father. Phillip adds that Abe was a liar, too, because he always had a crazy excuse for missing things. Again, Jeffrey insists that Abe will be there, adding that he called the bus company and his grandfather was indeed on the bus. Jeffrey then asks Mac to go to the station to meet Abe and make sure that he makes it to the bar mitzvah. Mac promises that he will and Jeffrey crushes him with another hug.

At the bus station, Abe's bus arrives and Mac finds Abe - the guard who stole the helicopter! Of course, Mac doesn't know that, and before he can say much, Abe (who is rather flighty) mistakes Mac for his son and asks about his wife. Mac corrects the name of Abe's daughter-in-law, and introduces himself as Phillip's friend. Abe remembers him from Phillip's college days and he explains that he's in town for his grandson's bar mitzvah. Mac agrees that is why he's there as well, so Abe asks for a lift to the post office so he can pick up Jeffrey's present.

At the post office, Abe sees one of the HA guys outside, so he asks Mac to go in for him, claiming that he has a bad knee. The package is under the name Allen Dulles, and Mac observes that's the name of the old CIA director. Abe is impressed that Mac knows history so well, and Mac explains that he was in the business. A look of recognition crosses Abe's face and he says, "Wait - you're MacGyver! Western Tech, the DXS, the Phoenix Foundation . . ." Mac asks why he chose the name Dulles. Abe dismisses it by remarking that it's "kinda complicated," and gestures for Mac to go on to get the package. Mac passes by Lamana, the guy from HA, and enters the post office. Major Snead, another of the HA men, is inside a nearby van monitoring the package and he alerts Lamana that it is coming out of the door. Mac has just walked by; Lamana aims his gun and demands the flight bag. Mac turns, his eyes widening a bit as he sees the gun. He doesn't know what the guy is talking about, and Lamana repeats himself. Abe sees what's going on, so he starts the car and speeds over to Mac. Lamana fires and takes out one of the car windows. Abe yells for Mac to get in, and Mac dives in to the backseat through the spot where the window was. Abe speeds off and Lamana fires again, shattering the back windshield.

As they race down the road, Abe asks nervously if they're being followed. They're not, but Mac wants to know what's going on, since those guys asked for a flight bag. "Is that what's in here?" Mac demands. Abe fumbles for an answer, finally saying that it's sheet music. MacGyver reminds him that he originally said that it was Jeffrey's present. Abe replies that he was confused - it's sheet music. Mac asks who those guys were, and Abe says that they're fellow tuba salesmen. Frustrated, Mac sits back in his seat with a huff as the car hurries along, out of town.

Finally, Abe stops the car at Mac's insistence. Mac grabs the keys and gets out of the car; Abe also gets out. Mac asks again who those guys were, but Abe says he doesn't know. When Mac announces his plan to go to the sheriff, Abe doesn't think that's a good idea. Mac asks why, and again Abe remarks that it's kinda complicated. He admits that he isn't a tuba salesman, which at this point is no surprise to Mac. Abe explains that he works for the CIA, but Mac is skeptical. Abe continues that this is a matter of international security, and he requests that Mac hear him out. Mac agrees, and Abe reveals that the guys work for HA. Mac says that's a good start and asks what the guys want with Abe. "They probably want their chopper back," Abe answers reasonably. At that, Mac again starts to get in the car and go to the sheriff. Abe continues that he needed the chopper to complete his mission. Still skeptical, Mac says that *maybe* Abe works for the CIA, but he must contact them and tell them to call off the mission. Again, it's complicated because the mission is kind of illegal. Mac reminds him that things are serious: people are shooting at each other, plus he promised to have Abe at Jeffrey's bar mitzvah. Abe seems to agree, remarking that the CIA can finish the operation without him. He gets into the car and Mac drives them back toward Fillmore.

Meanwhile, Lamana and the third HA man, Elliot, go to see the sheriff while Snead talks on a car phone. Duke Luke, a deputy who's amiable but not too bright, introduces himself. Elliot says that he's with the FBI and they're looking for two men: it's a matter of national security. Snead interrupts, calling them over to the car, and they excuse themselves from the deputy. As they go to join Snead, Lamana is impressed and he congratulates Elliot on passing himself off as a federal agent. Snead tells them that their orders are to "terminate the old man and MacGyver."

As MacGyver stops at a sign, Abe suddenly turns the car off and grabs the keys. He exits the vehicle, saying that it's not right and repeats that he needs the chopper to complete his mission. Mac also leaves the car, asking about the mission, and Abe replies that he is to bring Marcel Peugeot to justice. Peugeot is the president of San Rochelle in the Caribbean, who is also - according to Abe - a maniacal, evil, despicable terrorist. There is a federal warrant for Peugeot's arrest, but there's no extradition treaty with San Rochelle so they can't touch him. Mac argues that this isn't the way, but Abe says that they're in too deep to call it off, since the CIA will disavow any knowledge of the mission. Mac says that he can provide a safehouse: they can fly the chopper to the Phoenix Foundation and, with any luck, still make it to the bar mitzvah. Abe agrees; they return to the car and travel to where Abe's hidden the helicopter.

As Abe removes the camouflage tarp that was covering the chopper, Mac looks through the flight book. Abe tries to access the chopper as before, using the key card, but it doesn't work. Abe suggests that he must have left the card too long in the sun. Carrying the book over, Mac states that they don't need a key. There's a sensor on the outside that can communicate with the on-board computer. Logically, Abe asks how they can communicate with the sensor; Mac proposes a laser, using something like Morse code. He theorizes that perhaps a flashlight at close range might work, so he goes to the car and gets one. Checking the book for the proper code, he flashes the light at the sensor and it works: a door pops open. Abe is impressed; he grabs the book and starts reading, rattling off various codes for weapons such as knockout gas. They board the chopper and take off. Unseen by Mac, Abe pulls a pin from the fire extinguisher between their seats. He puts on a helmet and holds the oxygen mask to his face, telling Mac that there's a helmet in the back seat for him. However as Mac reaches for the helmet, Abe activates the extinguisher and a small cloud of vapor washes over Mac. He slumps over, unconscious, as Abe apologizes and turns the helicopter around.

When they're almost to San Rochelle, Mac comes to. He asks what happened and Abe says that it was knockout gas, and that's how he's going to get Peugeot. Almost in disbelief, Mac covers his face with his hands as he reminds Abe that they had an agreement. Abe says that it's, as ever, kinda complicated, to which Mac barks, "Simplify it!" Abe says that the rumors that the CIA helped finance Peugeot and put him in power are true - and Abe was the one who lead the operation. Noting several other publicized scandals, Mac asks if there's anyone they didn't finance; Abe quips, "The Democrats." Abe says that he feels responsible about Peugeot and wants to set things right. Mac questions how "gassing and kidnapping me in a stolen helicopter is going to help make things right." Abe proceeds to explain that HA was supposed to make one stealth helicopter for the government, but they made another one to sell under the table. If he reported Harding, Abe wouldn't have been able to use the chopper.

They finally arrive at San Rochelle and they land the chopper on one of the dirt streets amid adobe buildings. Abe promises smooth sailing from then on, but they're greeted by three Jeeps full of armed men in fatigues.

The soldiers take Abe and Mac to Peugeot's mansion. He's on the terrace with his back to them but he watches them approach in a handheld mirror. Peugeot observes that Abe is two days early, so he asks if there is something he should know. Abe replies that he was just anxious to show Peugeot the thing they talked about. Accompanied by Peugeot's guards, as well as Mac and Abe, Peugeot goes to see the chopper.

Talking like a salesman, Abe rattles off the ways Peugeot could use a stealth chopper; Peugeot is impressed and wants to buy it. Since Abe's plan is to get Peugeot into the chopper and use the knockout gas on him, he looks to Mac for support. Mac says that Peugeot can't buy it without a test drive to see how it handles. Peugeot agrees and he and the head guard get into the back seat. Abe and Mac put on the helmets with oxygen masks and Abe starts the chopper. However, before they can take off, another Jeep approaches with the three men from HA. Peugeot wonders aloud what's going on, and Abe tries to dismiss it, saying that he's sure Peugeot's men can handle it. Peugeot says no and tells Abe to turn the helicopter off; the guard pulls his gun to ensure that the order is carried out. Abe complies and Peugeot exits with his guard. Snead, Lamana, and Elliot introduce themselves as security from HA and explain that Abe stole their chopper. Confused, Peugeot argues that Abe works for the CIA, but Snead says that Abe was kicked out of the CIA and he's now just a security guard who got greedy. Snead adds that if Peugeot buys a stolen helicopter, he'll be the laughingstock of the international world. Peugeot is furious and he orders Abe and Mac out of the helicopter. Guards drag them out and over to Peugeot. By the power invested in him by himself, he sentences them to hang by the neck until long after they are dead.

The guards lock Abe and Mac in a room in one of the nearby buildings and secure the large wooden door behind them. Abe rambles and sits down dejectedly, saying he feels bad about not listening to Mac and going to the Phoenix Foundation. As he talks, Mac looks around the room. There isn't much to work with: some crates, old barrels, a wood-burning stove and plenty of cobwebs. When Abe finally realizes that Mac's buzzing around the room, Mac explains that they're in an old monastery, in a room where the monks aged their brandy. Opening the cork on one of the barrels, Mac sniffs and says that it's almost pure alcohol. Abe says that this is no time to be "hitting the sauce," but Mac replies that he's trying to find a way out. He pours some of the alcohol into a bellows. He places the nozzle into the keyhole and pumps, and the adjacent room starts to fill with mist. When the room is pretty full, Mac finds a long string to use as a wick; he places one through the keyhole so it's hanging in the alcohol-mist-filled room. He ignites the other end with a spark, and he and Abe take cover behind some barrels.

Elsewhere, Elliot is communicating via the helicopter's radio: "Abe is what? MacGyver works for who?" Elliot turns to Lamana and says that there's a change in plan: they have to rescue Abe and MacGyver. Lamana thinks he's kidding, but Elliot reveals that his FBI act to the sheriff's deputy earlier was no act. He *is* with the FBI, and they've been investigating Harding. He offers Lamana immunity if he helps, but Lamana says there's no need because he's with the FBI as well, in the department of budget and management. He's also been investigating Harding, but he questions why they need to save Abe and Mac, two common criminals. Elliot shakes his head to disagree and Lamana realizes that they're undercover as well. Elliot says that Abe is still with the CIA - deep cover - and MacGyver works for the Phoenix Foundation. Elliot tells Lamana to create a diversion while he gets in a position to secure Major Snead and Peugeot. Lamana works to turn an old container of gas/alcohol into a bomb; using his tie as a fuse, he mutters that it's going on his expense account. When it's ready, he stands smoking, waiting for Elliot's signal. However, Mac's explosion goes off first, startling him into dropping the cigarette. The tie catches fire and he turns to flee, getting knocked to the ground by the explosion. Elliot had crept up to Peugeot's terrace and was pointing a gun at Snead and Peugeot, but he was startled by the unexpected explosion. He turns for a second, giving Snead a chance to aim his gun at Elliot and tell him to freeze. Meanwhile, unaware of what Elliot and Lamana had been up to, Mac and Abe sneak into the chopper. But before they can even start it, the head guard in the back seat tells them that they have "a very big problema."

Lamana, Elliot, Abe and MacGyver stand behind nooses on a raised wooden platform near the helicopter, as the guards prepare for the hangings. Mac observes Peugeot looking at himself in the same folding, double-sided mirror he had earlier. Mac asks for a last request. Peugeot refuses, and Mac mutters, "All you fly-by-night dictators are the same ..." Peugeot is a bit irked by that; Mac says that he just wants a shave, so he can look presentable when he meets his Maker. Peugeot asks if Mac will apologize if he grants that and Mac agrees. A guard unties Mac's hands and another guard brings an electric shaver, which Peugeot hands to Mac. "You did not think I'd be so stupid as to give you a blade?" Peugeot asks, obviously pleased with himself for thwarting Mac's ulterior motive. Mac sets to work, shaving his handsome face; Abe asks what he's doing. Mac whispers for him to get ready to hold his breath. Using the mirror, Mac flashes the sensor on the chopper, and lights on the control panel inside light up, indicating that it's been accessed. Mac continues as Peugeot grows impatient, telling Mac that he's worse than a woman. Peugeot decides that he's waited long enough: he doesn't want an apology, he wants a hanging. Mac asks for one more second and finishes the sequence of flashes that activates the knockout gas. A small panel drops from the chopper and a thick cloud of white vapor streams out. Abe and Mac take a deep breath, as Peugeot exclaims that the helicopter is on fire. As the others fall to the ground, unconscious, Mac unties Abe and they hurry to a safer spot until the air is clear.

Next, they're in the chopper, having loaded the still sleeping Lamana, Elliot, Snead and Peugeot into the back seat. Abe asks Mac if he knows what to do at a bar mitzvah, and Mac replies, "Sit? Listen? Maybe say Mazel Tov when it's over?" The chopper takes off and they fly into the sunset.

Back in Fillmore, outside the synagogue, Jeffrey waits looking hopefully down the empty street. Phillip walks over and puts his arm around the boy, telling him to accept that they're not coming. Jeffrey says that MacGyver's always dependable, but Phillip replies that he's with Abe now, so it's a whole new ballgame. Jeffrey agrees to go inside. Phillip tells the other guests that it's time to start and they move toward the door as Mac and Abe screech to a halt in the gold-toned Ford. Jeffrey sees them and excitedly tells the others, who step back outside to see what's going on. Abe asks indignantly if they were going to start without the grandfather; "And godfather?" Mac adds. Jeffrey asks what kept them, and Phillip urges Abe to tell the truth for once. Abe says vaguely that they ran into some colleagues of his. Jeffrey asks what happened; Abe turns to MacGyver and after a beat they begin, in unison, "It's ... kinda complicated."


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