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The 'Hood

Original Air Date: September 23, 1991
Episode #127

On a quiet city street, two surfers on bikes pedal by and a young woman rollerblades along the sidewalk. A burly man on a motorcycle rolls along, noticing the girl on the rollerblades. Across the street, in front of a gray two-story building, MacGyver parks a large white moving truck and gets out. As he goes to the back of the truck, a white haired man on a porch across the street shouts to the world, "I'm alive! I'm free! I am in touch with the universe! I AM!"

"So am I!" Mac's landlord, Mel, shouts back as he emerges from his building. He tells Mac that the man does that every morning: he's better than an alarm clock. Mel says that Mac will get used to it. Mac looks unconvinced, but he turns to open the roll-up door of the truck. Inside is filled with Mac's things, and Mel expresses surprise that Mac salvaged so much from the houseboat. Mac explains that he had a good smoke detector.

At this point, Kelly Dobbs, a perky twenty-something with light brown hair calls Mel's name and runs over from the other side of the street. She's carrying a cosmetics case. She recognizes Mac from Mel's description. She introduces herself and in almost the same breath explains that she lives across the street in one of Mel's houses. She adds that she's an actress; she's only done one beer commercial so far, but her agent assures her it's only a matter of time. Declaring that Mac will not have time to be settled in by that evening, she invites him to dinner. She asks for his number, but before Mac can respond, Mel supplies the number, explaining that he had let the phone guy in. She asks what Mac does, but she interrupts herself, saying that he can tell her about it over dinner.

Turning her attention to Mel, Kelly explains that her roommate Molly has an audition. However, Molly also has a manicure appointment for "Mama Lorraine." To cover for Molly Kelly will take her place at the manicure, but Molly has Kelly's car and her purse, so Kelly doesn't have any money. Admitting that they're two months behind on the rent, she asks Mel if he can lend her bus fare to the appointment. Giving Mel a sad face, she says he wouldn't want Molly to lose her job, would he? Mel replies sarcastically that he couldn't afford it. He gives Kelly the money. She hugs him in thanks, says that she'll see Mac at dinner, and runs back across the street. Looking after her, Mac calls her a nice kid, but adds jokingly that she should learn to loosen up a bit.

At a mansion across town, Kelly has introduced herself as Molly, and she works on giving Mr. Knox a manicure. He speaks with a Southern accent and flirts a bit, telling her that Molly is a pretty name and insisting that she call him "Lyle." He suddenly winces and jerks his hand back, quipping that he thought she was supposed to leave the finger. She apologizes and digs in her case for a bandage as two men wearing cowboy hats enter the room. Mr. Knox calls their names - Tyler and Bobby Lee - and Tyler says that they need to talk. Kelly offers Mr. Knox the bandage, but he's turned his attention to his visitors. Without looking at Kelly he says that he'll live, and he hands her money from his wallet. She's delighted with the big tip he's given. He tells Tyler to come with him so they can talk, and instructs Bobby Lee to wait there. Seeing Kelly, Bobby Lee is happy to remain in the room; he saunters over as she packs her tools. He drawls that she's the cutest thing this side of Lubbock and asks her name. Looking amused - yet wise to his flattery - Kelly replies, "Molly." Bobby Lee sits down near her, bemoaning that he's new in town. He wishes he knew someone who could show him around. With a smile, Kelly says that there's always a tour. He takes one of the business cards from her case and reads the name, asking if he can call her sometime. Kelly closes the case and remarks that he gets points for persistence. She starts for the door; he follows but he seems to realize that she's not impressed. He contritely suggests, maybe in the next life, and he opens the front door for her. She smiles and says that he can call. Mr. Knox shouts for him and he closes the door after Kelly. She starts down the driveway but stops suddenly, remembering that she left her sunglasses.

In the other room, Mr. Knox gives Bobby Lee information about a man named Victor Nesbitt. Bobby Lee takes off his jacket, revealing two holsters with guns. Mr. Knox explains that Mr. Nesbitt is an accountant who works for him and Tyler, his brother, but Nesbitt's conscience has been bothering him about the way they do business. Kelly finds her glasses, but she pauses by the front door on her way out when she overhears Bobby Lee ask if Nesbitt could be paid off. Mr. Knox tried, but Nesbitt is determined to testify against them. He remarks that Nesbitt really wants to be a hero; Bobby Lee replies confidently that he knows how to handle a hero. He adds that killing Nesbitt won't come cheap. Mr. Knox crosses the room to hand Bobby Lee an envelope, but he spies Kelly in the foyer. He asks how long she's been standing there. Kelly explains with a breezy laugh that she forgot her sunglasses, adding hurriedly, "Don't get up." She runs out the front door, wedging it closed by threading a nearby rake handle through the door-knocker. The men run to find another way out. Kelly makes it to the street, where she spies a pickup truck about to take off. She runs over and jumps into the back of the truck as it pulls away. The men reach the street; watching the truck, Tyler says that they need to find her. Pulling Molly's card from his pocket, Bobby Lee says that shouldn't be a problem. Mr. Knox tells Bobby Lee that he just picked up another contract.

In the garage at MacGyver's new loft, the door rolls up as Mel helps Mac bring his things inside. Mel is explaining about Kelly and Molly who work "seventeen jobs" while waiting for their big breaks. The subject turns to rent and Mel asks Mac for his first and last months' payment. Mac gets the money as Mel explains that his sculpting business hasn't exactly taken off, but everyone in the neighborhood chips in. Mel points out the space set aside to be Mac's section of the garage, adding that he'll try to keep "Robo" confined to another area. Mel describes Robo as another his projects.

In one of the rooms at the Pink Motel, a guy wearing jeans, a plaid shirt and a baseball cap opens a packet of salt for his fries; when a bit spills, he tosses it over his left shoulder. Bobby Lee enters the room. He greets Willy and sits, helping himself to a fry. Bobby Lee says that Willy will finally be able to make his father proud; since the old contract is pressing Bobby Lee for time, Willy can take the new one. Bobby Lee hands him Molly's card. Grabbing a nearby pistol, Willy pretends to shoot the card and laughs.

At the loft, Mel is still helping Mac unpack. As they tote boxes upstairs, Mel explains why he left his law practice: he enjoyed law in the sixties when he could actually help people. When the eighties arrived, he found himself defending drug lords and gun runners, so he quit. He's happy, though, and the neighbors are like his family. Mac says that he understands; Mel says that he doesn't yet, but he will.

Mac's phone rings. He answers - it's for Mel. Mel explains that he forwarded his calls to that number, since he knew Mac wouldn't mind. Mel takes the phone and Mac goes to continue unpacking. Mel's face turns serious as he listens. He asks, "Are you sure?" He tells the caller that he'll be right down and hangs up, looking stunned. Mac asks what's wrong, and Mel replies that Kelly has had an accident. He has to go to the morgue to identify her.

Mac goes with Mel to the morgue, where a man apologizes for calling Mel. The man explains that all they had to go on to identify the body was the license plate of the car. Opening one of the vault doors, the man rolls out a slab holding a body that is covered in a sheet. Pulling back the sheet, the man tells them that the car was found at the bottom of a nearby cliff. Mel looks at the body and steps away, looking rather distraught, as Mac tells the morgue attendant that isn't Kelly.

Elsewhere, Kelly is sitting on a bus, trying to look inconspicuous. The passenger in the seat in front of her is watching a portable television, and a stunned Kelly watches the news report that tells about Molly's "accident."

Mr. Knox and Tyler also see the news report. Tyler exclaims, "He got the wrong girl!" Mr. Knox is already phoning Bobby Lee; he demands to know how Bobby Lee could have made such a mistake. Bobby Lee, who also saw the report, sheepishly admits that he "farmed out" the job, giving it to his cousin. He owed Willy's father a favor and had agreed to help Willy get into the business. Bobby Lee adds that he was busy setting up his cover for the other hit. Willy points out Molly's card, and Bobby Lee reminds Mr. Knox that she had used a fake name. Mr. Knox still blames Bobby Lee, and he orders him to clean up the mess he's made. After Mr. Knox has hung up the phone, Willy is a bit concerned that his new career is over, but Bobby Lee tears up the card, calmly assuring him that he can fix everything.

On a sidewalk in "the 'hood" Mac notices flyers on a telephone pole, for a play called "Red, White and Blood." Mel is coming out of Kelly's place, and he reports that she hasn't left a message. Mac asks about the play; Mel explains that Kelly wrote it and starred in it. Mac asks if Kelly could be at the theatre, but Mel doesn't think so, since she could only afford two weekends for the production. A colorfully dressed African-American lady hurries over to them, and Mel introduces her to Mac as "Mama Lorraine." In a Jamaican accent she explains that she heard about Molly and came to comfort Kelly. Mel agrees that they came for the same reason, but Kelly isn't home. Mama says that she has a bad feeling about the situation; Mel tells Mac that Mama Lorraine runs the beauty salon where Molly and Kelly worked, and she's also a voodoo priestess. Mama corrects him that she's a spiritual advisor. She says that she had a terrible dream about Kelly, and she declares that someone is trying to hurt her. Mel says he's learned never to ignore one of Mama's dreams. Mac asks Mama to stay at Kelly's place, in case she calls. Mama agrees, and Mel and Mac walk away to go talk to the police. From a nearby parked car, Bobby Lee watches.

Across town, Kelly gets the attention of a meter maid. Kelly tries to summarize what has happened in her fast, rambling way. The meter maid tries to calm her down, offering to get a detective and go to Kelly's place to discuss it. Kelly refuses, knowing that her place isn't safe, since that's the first place they'll look for her. Kelly suddenly remembers the theatre and runs off, calling back that she'll be at Theatre One, as the meter maid calls out, "Wait! Who are you?!"

Mel and Mac are talking to a local policeman, Sergeant Lee: Mel demands to know how the media got the story before the next of kin was even notified. Mel insists that the cops put out a missing person's report, but Sgt Lee replies that he can't unless a person has been missing for forty-eight hours. Mel insists that Kelly is in trouble, but he confesses that they don't know exactly what kind of trouble. He mentions Mama Lorraine's dream, and Sgt Lee scoffs. Mel angrily asks why policemen are always around when no one needs them, and they start to bicker, until Mac steps in reminding them about the situation at hand: Kelly. Sgt Lee finally offers to ask around and see if anyone has seen her. Mac says that is fair and Mel reluctantly agrees. Sgt Lee drives away; Mac says that he'll go to the theatre and Mel can go check Kelly's hangouts.

At Kelly's, Sgt Lee calls. Mama answers and he explains that a meter maid spoke to someone fitting Kelly's description who said she would be at Theatre One. Mama thanks him, saying that she knows the place, and she jots it down on the notepad by the phone. Hearing footsteps, she turns only to be punched in the face. She falls, unconscious, as Bobby Lee hangs up the phone. He tears off the note that Mama has just written.

Mac arrives at the theatre and finds the front of the building locked. He enters by a side door and walks backstage, calling Kelly's name. He hears someone rustling behind the curtain. Grabbing a nearby prop to use as a weapon, he raises it and jerks the curtain back. It's Kelly, she's pointing a gun at him, with her head turned the other way, not looking as she quickly says that she didn't hear anything. Mac tells her that it's him, and she's very relieved. Waving the gun around, she says that she didn't recognize his voice, but then again, how could she, since he hardly spoke a word when they met? Mac reaches out to take the gun from her but she bends it, revealing that it's a fake. She asks if he heard about Molly, and he replies that he has, adding that they thought it was her. She rushes through an explanation of how it was murder and they were really trying to kill her because of what she overheard. She says that she's scared to go home since by now the bad guys must know that they made a mistake.

The lights come on as Bobby Lee says, "Ain't that the truth." Pointing a gun at them, he tosses the fake gun aside and takes Mac's prop/weapon from him. Bobby Lee says that he's decided that Kelly is a bit too pretty to die. She asks about Mac and Bobby Lee says that he doesn't mind letting him live, although he'll be slightly inconvenienced for a few hours. Not fooled, Kelly says, "Sure, while you just go off and kill somebody." Mac tells her he'll be okay. Bobby Lee directs Mac to get on "that bed thing" on the stage, which is set to look like a dungeon. Annoyed at his ignorance, Kelly clarifies that it's a torture rack.

At Kelly's house, Mel has found Mama. She's okay, and she can remember the guy who hit her: "he had a grin like a fool and a right hook with devils in it." She says that they have to get to the theatre.

Mac is strapped into the torture rack, and Bobby Lee is stretching it to the limit, pulling Mac's arms uncomfortably over his head. Kelly reminds Bobby Lee that he said he wouldn't hurt him, but Bobby Lee replies with a laugh that people pay doctors good money for that type of treatment. He steps over to Kelly's side, saying that he just needs a few hours to take care of some business. Someone will come by and find Mac, and Bobby Lee and Kelly will be long gone. They start for the exit, but Bobby Lee suddenly stops, saying that he forgot to lock the back door. He crosses the stage and steps around a corner, hidden from Kelly's view. Keeping watch for him, she moves slowly toward Mac, but Bobby Lee fires a warning shot, telling her that if she moves again, he may not miss. Bobby Lee finds the end of the rope that's holding a large light fixture above Mac. He sets a book of matches on fire and places it by the base of the rope. Mac, who's gagged with a blue bandanna tied around his head, notices. Bobby Lee ushers Kelly out.

Mac looks around for something nearby that could be helpful. He's able to reach a metal rod that was leaning against the table. He swaps it to his left hand but it isn't long enough to activate the release lever. He notices a fake skeleton on a rack above him and he uses the rod to move one of the skeleton's arms, so that it's hanging from the rack. Using the rod, he guides the skeleton's hand, releasing the lever just in time; he pulls the straps off of his wrists and ankles and jumps out of the way as the light fixture comes crashing down. Mama and Mel run in, asking if he's okay. He's fine, but he tells them that the guy who did that took Kelly. He goes to investigate the matchbook cover that Bobby Lee used to ignite the rope. The book is charred, but Mac reaches for a nearby candle.

At the motel, Bobby Lee enters the room with Kelly - he wants Willy to look after her for a while. Looking a bit nervous, Willy wants to speak to Bobby Lee, who steps over to him. Willy turns on the television, so Kelly can't hear them. Willy asks what he's doing. Bobby Lee says that he could spend the rest of his life looking at her. But, in case Kelly's just stringing him along, he wants Willy to tie her up loosely, and if she tries to escape, Willy will just have to "make the Knox brothers happy" and carry out the contract on her.

At Theatre One, Mac lights the candle and drips wax onto the matchbook cover. The words "Cadillac Jack" become visible; Mel says that is a local diner. Mama and Mac go to the diner. Mama waits outside, and Mac joins her, having learned nothing from the people inside. Mama looks around, saying that she can feel it: Kelly has to be around there somewhere. Mac glances next door - at the parking lot of the Pink Motel - and he spies a truck with a Texas license plate. He tells Mama that she might be right. They move in for a closer look at the truck.

Inside the room, Willy has tied Kelly to a chair, and he steps into the restroom "to shave," leaving the door cracked. Kelly tries to work herself free from the ropes as Willy watches in the mirror.

At the truck, Mama notices a horseshoe and a rabbit's foot and observes that "this is a very superstitious truck." Mac steps over to the motel room window; through the blinds he sees Kelly get free. She creeps toward the door, but Willy emerges from the restroom, pointing a pistol at her and saying that she just made his career. Mac sees a hotel housekeeper pushing a cart across the parking lot and he gets an idea.

Inside the room, Willy tells Kelly that they're going to take a drive and he'll show her the cliff where he dumped her roomie. There's a knock at the door, and Willy grabs Kelly, pressing the barrel of the gun into her back and warning her to keep quiet. Mama Lorraine opens the door with the housekeeper's key and rolls the cart into the room; Willy asks what's going on. Mama pulls a clipboard from the cart, saying that she's supposed to clean the room - her list shows that they've already checked out. Willy says crossly that they didn't want to be disturbed, and Mama retorts that they should've put the sign on the door. Impatient, Willy tells her to put it up as she's leaving. Mama indignantly tells him not to talk smart to her; she angrily hurries out the door saying that she's going to get the manager. Willy steps over to the cart, calling for her to take it with her. As he starts to push the cart, Mac's feet shoot up from the laundry bin, catching Willy in the chin and knocking him out.

At the Crown Sterling Suites, Victor Nesbitt is checking in. Bobby Lee walks by, dressed as a maintenance person. Nesbitt asks the clerk to have a cab waiting for him at four o'clock sharp; Nesbitt then goes to the elevator. Across the atrium, Bobby Lee climbs a scaffold that is partly hidden by lush green plants. Keeping Nesbitt in sight in the clear glass elevator, Bobby Lee watches him go into his room.

At the motel, the still unconscious Willy is tied to a chair. Kelly douses him with water to wake him up. Mac asks about Bobby Lee's target, but Willy denies even knowing Bobby Lee. Mac says that they know about the Knox brothers, and he demands to know who Bobby Lee has been hired to kill. Willy says firmly that he wants to talk to his lawyer. Mama enters the room, saying to Mac that Mel is going to send the police there. Willy, confused, says that he thought she was the maid. Mama tells him ominously that she is someone he doesn't ever want to mess with. Mac starts to tell her to forget it when he notices a rabbit's foot hanging from Willy's belt loop. Mac snatches the rabbit's foot, saying that he didn't want to do it, but Willy has forced his hand. Handing the charm to Mama, Mac tells her, "He's all yours." Will asks nervously what she'll do, and Mac explains, "Voodoo, man." Mama catches on and asks Mac if he's sure. He is, so she tells him and Kelly to step back. They do, and Mama waves the rabbit's foot around a bit. She tosses it into her pouch, as she tells Willy about the spirits that are all around. She throws a bit of flash powder from her pouch, and screams that he cannot fight her mojo. She gets in his face, threatening him with what her magic will do and he begs the others to make her stop. Mac asks again, with an urgent tone in his voice, who Bobby Lee is going to kill. Willy cracks, telling how Bobby Lee is going after Nesbitt at the Crown Sterling. Mama suddenly bursts out laughing, saying she didn't know how much longer she could keep a straight face. Mac leaves to goes thwart Bobby Lee, and Mama picks up the pistol. Setting down on the bed near Willy, she tells him quite seriously to be good, because he doesn't want to really make her mad.

At the Crown Sterling Suites, Bobby Lee is on the scaffolding. He readies his gun and watches for Nesbitt. Mac crosses the lobby; suddenly Kelly shouts his name and runs over to him. Bobby Lee notices. He takes aim at Kelly as she stands talking to Mac, but Mac notices the red dot of the scope on Kelly. As Bobby Lee fires, Mac knocks her out of the way, so they're both hidden from Bobby Lee's sight by plants. Since Bobby Lee's gun has a silencer, the rest of the hotel's occupants continue obliviously about their business. Mac sees Bobby Lee up on the scaffolding, and Mac darts across the atrium to get to an emergency fire hose. Bobby Lee shoots at him but misses. Mac pulls the hose across the room and wraps it around the supports for the scaffolding. Bobby Lee turns his attention to Nesbitt, who is coming out of his room. Bobby Lee aims, but a housekeeper is blocking his shot. Mac takes the other end of the hose and ties it to the top of the elevator before shouting for Kelly to hit the button for the top floor. She does and the hose is quickly pulled taught; it topples the scaffolding and Bobby Lee crashes into small table. Security comes to take him away. Kelly gushes to Mac that they did it as Nesbitt makes his way to the front door, unaware of the excitement that has just occurred.

Later that evening, Kelly, Mac and Mel climb the stairs to Mac's loft, dressed as if they've just come from having dinner. They're discussing that Willy is trying to make a deal where he can testify against Bobby Lee and the Knox brothers in exchange for a reduced sentence. Mac opens the door to his place and is very surprised to find a large mural of a jungle and a woman in a bikini covering one of his walls. Part of the mural reads, "Welcome by Robo." Mac stares, wide-eyed at the mural as the artist appears from the kitchen. Mel introduces Robo as a "rehabilitated graffiti artist." Robo proudly explains the meaning of parts of his drawing as Mac, still in disbelief, says, "My wall . . .!"

Mama Lorraine enters the room, followed by a stream of neighbors bearing food and a large boom box, playing music. Mama explains that they're having a feast to remember Molly and to celebrate Kelly coming home safe, not to mention their new neighbor. The line of neighbors circles around Mac and they offer their greetings. Mama tells what food people have brought and she directs them to the kitchen. Robo steps over to Mac and says that if he doesn't like the painting, he can get remove it. Trying to take it all in, Mac tells Robo that they can leave it for a while, adding with a smile that he'll get used to it.


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