Original Air Date: October 21, 1991
MacGyver walks along the sidewalk. He is wearing a dark blue, long-sleeved shirt and blue jeans, and carrying a hockey stick and a large gym bag. Spirited island music plays, and the people in the neighborhood are outside enjoying the sunshine. Mac waves as he passes the musicians, and he reaches his destination - a local store. Several people are dancing near the store's entrance, including a young woman who dances over and playfully wraps a scarf around Mac's neck as he passes. He laughs and stops, leaning on his hockey stick and watching the merriment.
Inside the small store, a woman behind the counter is facing a tall, bald man wearing a dark suit. The man is flipping through posters on the counter top, which boast messages against terrorism and dictatorship. In a Haitian accent, the man tells the woman, Denise, that her niece has very dangerous ideas. Nervously, Denise says that her niece cannot hurt him, but the man counters that she knows disrespect. "Remind her, " he says, pointing out that he and his employer keep those in Little Haiti safe from misfortune. The man asks if she's forgotten what day it is, and Denise says no as she reaches for an envelope of money. As she hands it to the man, her niece, Cherine, appears at the door, telling her not to do it. Cherine tells the man that they booted creeps like him out of Haiti, and she vows that he won't get away with playing power games there. She says that if he bothers them again, she will call the police.
At this point, MacGyver enters the store, passing them, and the man busies himself with putting the money into his suit pocket. To Cherine, the man says that the next time they meet, he will introduce her to his friend: Baron Samedi. At this, Denise looks stricken. The man leaves. Rubbing his neck, Mac approaches the counter, and Denise greets him by name. Looking quite determined, Cherine tells Denise that she's late for a protest rally. Cherine picks up her posters, says, "Later, MacGyver," and exits the store. Forcing a smile, Denise cheerfully asks what she can do for Mac; he explains that he was skating with the boys and he took a shot to the neck. Mama Lorraine, his neighbor, said that he could probably find some liniment there. Denise says that she has just the thing, and she steps over to get it.
Outside, Cherine walks along the sidewalk to where her car is parked, and she goes to open the trunk to put the posters in. Suddenly, the man from the store gets out of a large black car that is parked behind her. Two other men emerge from the car and rush over to grab Cherine. As they pull her to the car, some of the people nearby turn away, as if determined not to see the crime that is occurring before them. Inside the store, Mac hears Cherine's screams for help. With Cherine inside, the black car takes off as Mac runs into the street to see what is going on. The car speeds toward him, and he dives out of the way, narrowly avoiding being hit. As the car passes the store, the man in the suit tosses a crude doll out of the window, and a frightened Denise picks it up.
Later, a policeman questions Denise about what happened, but she nervously denies seeing anything, or knowing who was in the car. She asks to be excused and goes back into her store. Mac has been watching, and he walks over, giving the policeman - Darrell - a brief description of the car. Mac adds that there were three men in the car, and Denise can identify one of them. Darrell replies that the whole block could probably ID the man, but he can't question everyone. He says that this is the third kidnapping in Little Haiti this year - not to mention the other crimes - but every time it's the same: no one sees anything. Realizing what is happening, Mac says, "They're scared." Darrell observes that if the girl's aunt is too scared to help, who will? He says that he doesn't have much to go on, but he thanks Mac for his help.
Mac goes inside the store, where Denise is standing behind the counter, crying. Mac asks, "Why?" She says through her sobs that he would not understand. He agrees that no, he doesn't understand why she won't do anything to help the police find her niece. She confides that the Tontons Macoutes, the secret police from Haiti, have Cherine, and they will kill her if Denise talks. Denise says that she has no choice, but Mac disagrees, insisting that she does have a choice. With a cautious glance at the door, she retrieves the doll from under the counter and hands it to Mac, explaining that it is a warning for her to keep silent.
At Haitian Creations, Mama Lorraine's business, Mama flashes some powder into a small bowl on her table as she chants for the pain to leave her client. With his eyes closed, the young man grins and says that he can feel the pain leaving him. With the chanting complete, Mama gives him a small amount of the medicine, instructing him to carry it at all times and his headache will not return. He thanks her profusely and rises to leave, holding the precious remedy with both hands. Pushing past the beaded curtain, he steps into the other room and crosses to the exit. At the door, the young man pauses to tell MacGyver that Mama is "wonderful."
Mac rises from the seat where he was waiting; he carries a paper grocery bag in to the other room to see Mama. He stops when he sees what is on the table, and says, "Wow." Mama scolds him not to make faces and informs him that the medicine is pure datura leaf from Haiti. She explains that it is powerful medicine against poison. Mac asks, "What if something was really wrong with that guy?" Mama replies that she would have sent him to the free clinic. She reminds Mac that she's no doctor - she's a spiritual advisor. (He knows.) He asks if she heard what happened, and Mama says she has. Mama says a prayer to Papa Legba, but Mac says that Cherine could use some help a little closer to home. He pulls the doll from the bag, saying that he believes it has something to do with the voodoo religion. Looking repulsed, Mama corrects him that is not religion: it is sacrilege.
She steps into the other room, and Mac picks up the doll and follows, remarking that someone is using it to scare the people of Little Haiti into keeping quiet. Mama explains that there is good and bad in everything, including religion. As a mambo - a priestess of vodun - she serves both the right hand and the left, the good and the bad. Some serve only the bad. She says that the doll means a curse has been placed on Cherine by the Tontons Macoutes. Mac asks how he can find those people; Mama replies that she knows one person who may be able to help.
Later, in the office of that person, Dr. Redempteur, the doctor inspects the blowfish that are swimming in an aquarium before turning his attention to Mac and Mama. Dr. Redempteur recalls meeting Cherine when he was lecturing at the college that she attends. He teaches Afro-Haitian culture and religion; he says that when Cherine heard that elements of the former Duvalier government were trying to gain power in the United States, she devoted herself to stopping it, by making speeches and organizing marches. Mentioning the girl's "great spirit" Dr. Redempteur solemnly asks Mama to say a prayer for Cherine on his behalf, asking for her safe return. Mac asks how to locate these elements of the old regime, and the doctor replies that it is difficult. He's heard rumors of secret meetings and ceremonies, but nothing more. Mac says that the man that took Cherine mentioned a name: Baron Samedi, and Mama says remorsefully, "Oh, no." Dr. Redempteur explains that in the voodoo belief, Baron Samedi is the keeper of the graveyard and lord of the dead and the undead. "Undead?" Mac asks, surprised. "Zombies," Mama explains. Mac repeats the word, in disbelief, saying that he thought those were just myths. Dr. Redempteur says that such cases have been medically proven, and he explains that in the right doses some combinations of toxins produce a coma state that is indistinguishable from death. To Mac, Mama says that vodun is ancient, and he can't expect to grasp it all in one day. Mac asks the doctor how to find these secret meetings. Dr. Redempteur says that he doesn't know, but he fears they gain new followers every day. He says that some of his former students and patients won't speak to him: he fears the darkness is winning.
Elsewhere, the man in the suit pulls Cherine into a sparsely furnished room with dark gray walls. A tall, thin man wearing a tuxedo and white gloves stands across the room, watching them and smoking a large cigar. He crosses the room and touches Cherine's face before asking, in a slightly sarcastic tone if she will not pay her respects to Baron Samedi. Defiant, she says that he's no spirit; she knows that his name is Devereaux. She says that he was one of Duvalier's "puppets." He snaps that he's pulling the strings now. She declares that he perverts the voodoo religion and uses superstition to frighten people into paying him protection money. She calls him a sick, evil man who is living in the past. He says ominously that the past can become the future. He tells her that they will bring back the old ways and restore strength to their people - perhaps even to Haiti. "And you will help," he vows. Cherine retorts that day will never come. He says that she is wrong, and he tells the man in the suit to hold her. The suit grabs Cherine's arms, and Devereaux removes the cap from the small metal container in his hand. Devereaux blows the powder so that it sprays into Cherine's face. She gasps and falls to the floor. The man in the suit says that she isn't breathing, and checking for a pulse, he finds none. Looking very pleased with himself, Devereaux gloats that now she will really be of use to them.
At Haitian Creations, Mac uses a blade from his Swiss Army Knife to split a seam on the voodoo doll as Mama covers her ears, bracing for the worst. Mama warns him about messing with "very evil mojo." Mac explains that he's trying to figure out where it came from. Examining the material from the doll, he finds silt, which he theorizes may be from a dry riverbed. Further inspection reveals an oily substance that Mac says smells burnt. He says that type of oil is used in generators and turbines. Mama suggests a power station, and Mac says, "The old Liberty Dam."
Not much later, Mac and Mama are outside, exploring part of the large concrete structure. Mama hears Haitian drums, and soon they see a group of people. From their hiding place, Mac recognizes the man in the suit. Mama knows that man as Concassuer, a torturer for Colonel Devereaux in Papa Doc's death squad in Haiti. Concassuer instructs his men to open the crude wooden casket that is on the ground at his feet. The men lift the lid, exposing Cherine, who is wearing a long, loose-fitting white dress on a bed of green leaves or grass. Her arms are crossed on her chest and her eyes are open but she is motionless - lifeless. Most of the people in the group stare intently at her with a hint of fear in their eyes. Concassuer looks satisfied with their reaction and orders the casket closed.
Still hiding, Mac and Mama can see Cherine, and Mac observes that she looks dead. "No," Mama says. "Worse." She recalls what Dr. Redempteur said about zombies, but Mac says firmly that he isn't buying that. Mama tells him to open his mind. Magic comes from the heart and from the Earth, and Mama says that many things in nature can either cure or kill. "So... what," Mac asks, "She's been drugged? Poisoned?" Mama replies that it is an ancient formula, which renders the victim lifeless so that only the mind remains conscious. Mama says that Cherine will be aware of everything, until her death. Mac asks if there's an antidote, and Mama says she brought some datura leaf, but Cherine will need more. Mama adds that depending on when the poison was given, Cherine may have only a few hours left.
As Mac and Mama watch, the men pick up the casket and carry it toward the entrance to the dam. Mama says that she can get past the guard with no problem, but getting Mac in could be tougher. The crowd proceeds to the entrance, followed by the musicians. Mama leaves the hiding place and continues down the hill. Soon she is in sight of the guard, and he calls her name as a friendly greeting. She tells him that she's heard a lot about the ceremonies, so she decided to check them out. The guard replies that she picked a good time to visit, because today they will make an offering to Baron Samedi. As Mac creeps quietly toward the door behind the guard, Mama declares the he cannot meet the baron looking like that; his tie is crooked, and it would be an insult to the baron. As Mama straightens the guard's tie - and keeps him from looking around - Mac sneaks into the building. Mama finishes with the tie and the guard thanks her as she hurries to the door.
She pauses in a dark, candle-lit area near a large straw figure and whispers for Mac. He suddenly appears and taps her shoulder. She jumps with a start and scolds him for scaring her. She suggests that maybe he should go back, but he says, "Are you crazy? I'm dying to meet this Samedi myself." He hurries into the hall and Mama looks up, saying, "Spare him: he doesn't understand!" She follows Mac into the dark hallway, and they hide behind two large steel barrels marked "Transformer Oil." Peering down the tunnel, they see guards on either side of the opening to the next hallway. Mac tells Mama to go on, and he will look for Cherine. Mama emerges quickly from the hiding place and passes the guards with no trouble. She enters a room where some of the crowd is dancing to the music of the drums. On the right side of the room, a curtain hangs across a stage. Concassuer sees her and hurries over to greet her. Calling her name, he warmly tells her that he's glad she's finally joined them. With a polite smile, she asks innocently, "Do I know you?" He says that he knows her, by reputation.
Elsewhere in the building, when the guards aren't looking, Mac slips out from behind the barrels and hurries down the hall. Opening a metal gate, he sneaks into a side tunnel that he soon discovers ends overlooking the room with the stage. As Mac watches, the drummers change the music to tap out a drum roll, and the curtain opens. Suddenly a bright flash appears on the stage followed by a large puff of smoke, and Devereaux appears. He's still wearing the tuxedo, but he's added a top hat to the ensemble and his face is painted in a white skeleton shape. He takes a puff from his cigar and steps to a microphone stand. He welcomes the "children" in the name of Baron Samedi, and in the name of the Old Ones, whom he calls by name. He tells the crowd that the hearts of the Old Ones "cry out to their people, who have seen their homeland torn apart by anarchy." He wails that they hear the pleas and feel their anger; the crowd applauds and voices their agreement. Devereaux says that they have the power to conquer all enemies, all obstacles - even death. At this, the drums play and one of the guards removes the lid of the casket, which is propped up on its end, so that Cherine is facing the audience. Her eyes are still open, but she still appears lifeless. Devereaux says that she was an enemy, but no more, because he sent her to meet the baron. Devereaux says that he will bring her back, and when he does, she will be his servant.
As Devereaux continues to talk, Mac wanders through the tunnel and finds himself at another metal gate, behind the stage. On stage, the guard replaces the lid on the casket. Devereaux tells the people to dance, adding that he will return to bring their little sister back. The curtains close, the more upbeat music starts again, and the people in the crowd dance. Mac sneaks onto the now deserted stage and opens the casket. He whispers, calling Cherine's name, but she doesn't move. He checks for a pulse. From her perspective, we see his face blurred and hear his voice slightly muffled, as if from a distance.
Out in the crowd, Concassuer asks Mama to imagine what such power could do in the hands of the right leaders. She asks pointedly, "Such as yourself?" Not just him, he says, arguing lightly that there's enough power to share. He asks her to join them and help convince people that they are the true power in Little Haiti. Incensed, Mama replies that she could not join this "circus show." Changing the subject, she says that she's going to move closer to the stage. He stops her, asking her to consider his offer, adding ominously that those who aren't with them are their enemies. She smiles patronizingly and says that she will consult the spirits. He cautions her not to take too long because even the spirits run out of patience. Glaring at him, Mama removes his hand from her arm and walks into the crowd, moving toward the stage.
Behind the curtain, Mac extends a shiny blade from his Swiss Army Knife and holds it under Cherine's nose; the blade does not fog up, which tells Mac that the girl is not breathing. However, a tear escapes from the corner of her eye and runs down her cheek as Mama joins Mac on the stage. Mac tells her that Cherine has no pulse and is not breathing, but he thinks she's alive. Mama replies that if she does not get the antidote soon, she will never recover. Cherine suddenly makes a muffled groaning sound, as if she's trying to speak, but Mama quiets her, saying that they'll get her to a hospital soon.
Suddenly, the trap door opens. Devereaux jumps out with an evil laugh, saying that hospitals are for the living, but Cherine has departed life. As he speaks, his guards surround Mac and Mama. Concassuer appears also, noting that Mama has made her decision. "Take him," Devereaux orders, and the goons grab Mac. Devereaux steps over with his little poison tin and blows the powder into Mac's face - twice. Mac slumps over and Devereaux declares him to now be one of the undead.
Minutes later, Devereaux has Mac's SAK; he extends a blade and moves towards Mac, who is lying on the floor, shaking. Mama is on the floor, kneeling by Mac, and she tells him to stay still and try to breathe deeply. Devereaux says that won't help him for long. Referring to Mac, Devereaux says that he can feel his joints stiffen, and soon he will hear his own heart beat slower and slower until it stops - unless he's given the antidote. Attempting to bargain, Devereaux wants Mama to perform the ceremony to revive Cherine. He observes that the people trust her, and this will convince the people that they have real power. Mama declares hotly that she's a priestess, not a showgirl. Devereaux sneers that she will do what he says, if she cares for her friend. Devereaux says that if Mama performs the ceremony, she can then revive Mac and they'll all go their separate ways. Mac gasps for breath and Devereaux asks with mock concern how she can watch him suffer like that. Devereaux turns his back, perhaps giving Mama a few moments to consider his offer. Mama tells Mac that she will do what she must do, as will he, and she secretly slips the antidote into his shirt pocket. She whispers that it will only sustain him for a very short time, but without more he will die. Devereaux turns back to Mama, and she says that she will perform the ceremony. However, she warns him that if he crosses her, she will show him "more than chemistry and acting." He orders his guards to take her to his chamber, and a couple of the men leave with Mama. Devereaux orders the remaining guards to put Mac into the casket; with a cruel smile, Devereaux tells Mac that he'll witness something few people ever see: his own burial. The goons replace the lid on the casket.
Outside, the casket is loaded into a truck that resembles a medium sized moving van, and the door is rolled down and secured. As the truck takes off, inside the casket, Mac struggles to move and finally reaches the datura leaf in his pocket. Slipping it into his mouth, he chews it and the medicine starts to take effect. However, he is still too weak to push the lid off of the box. Through a gap in the slats of the wood surrounding him, he spies a rope hanging on one side of the truck. He pokes a finger through a knothole and tries to hook the rope, but the truck suddenly turns right, and the casket slides away from the rope. The truck turns left again, and he slides back. This time, Mac is able to snag the rope, and he pulls the free end into the box. Tying a large knot in the rope, he waits. Soon the truck takes a sharp right; as the casket slides away, the rope is jerked taut and that side of the crude coffin is pulled away.
Mac escapes from the box, but he's still weak. He crawls over to get a shovel, and falls back, banging the shovel on the side of the truck, near the cab. The colonel's men hear the noise and stop the truck. Mac climbs over to sit on the casket in front of the door; when the door is opened, he jumps down, hitting both guards with the shovel. One of them is still standing, and Mac manages to bring him down with a punch. Mac then staggers to the cab and drives away.
He drives in a rather unsteady fashion to Haitian Creations and crashes into a few trashcans as he brings the truck to a stop. He breaks in and stumbles across the room, past the beaded curtain into the inner chamber. He grabs a handful of leaves from one of the plants and sits at the table. He places the leaves in a small cup and uses a pestle to crush them. He scoops some of the mush into his mouth and slumps over, still feeling the effects of the poison. He sits up quickly when he hears a noise. Rising from his seat, he steps over to hide behind a corner, grabbing an elaborately carved piece of wood to use as a weapon. Dr. Redempteur enters the room; Mac lunges from his hiding place, but he stops when he recognizes the doctor. Mac falls back against the wall as Dr. Redempteur says that he thought Mac was a burglar. Mac explains that he was poisoned and he let himself in to get the antidote. "What are you doing here?" Mac asks. Dr. Redempteur bends over to pick up the voodoo doll, saying that he was sent to retrieve that. Pointing a gun at Mac, he adds that he now has two jobs to complete for Colonel Devereaux.
Noticing the datura plant, Dr. Redempteur rattles off its scientific name, as well as that of the poison. Mac recognizes the toxin as being the one found in blowfish, such as the one in the doctor's office. "Bravo," the doctor says, explaining that Mac would need more to recover fully. He gestures with the gun for Mac to take a seat at the table. Dr. Redempteur steps through the beaded curtain to use the phone. With his back to the doctor, Mac says that the students trusted him. Dr. Redempteur replies that it was his job to gain their trust. Mac notices a bowl of Mama's flash powder on the table, and he secretly pulls it closer to him. Mac says, "Are you on Devereaux's payroll - or is he controlling you with a voodoo doll?" Dr. Redempteur scoffs, "Don't tell me you believe that superstition?" Mac replies that he likes to keep an open mind. Grabbing a handful of flash powder, he says, "Sometimes you just have to have a little faith." At this, Mac quickly pulls back a few strands of the beaded curtain and slams the powder on to the floor near the doctor's feet. It flashes and smokes, giving Mac a chance to leap from his seat, knock the doctor into a wall and punch him out. Then, taking the voodoo doll, Mac hurries to the door.
In a room at the Liberty Dam, Mama is chanting and working with various items to prepare for the ceremony to revive Cherine. Concassuer enters, saying that Colonel Devereaux wants her to hurry. Indignant, Mama tells him that if it's not done properly it can be deadly. "Just being in this room, breathing the air can kill you... so don't tell me to hurry," Mama says. With a cautious glance around, Concassuer tells her to put on a good show; he then hurries to the door, holding his breath.
Outside, Mac sneaks to the building's entrance and knocks out the guard. Inside, the drummers play as the curtains part on the stage. Mama starts the ceremony, chanting to Baron Samedi. Cherine is still in the casket that is propped up on end, so that she is facing the crowd.
In the tunnels, Mac works to rig a distraction. He wraps a piece of wire around a brick and sets it on the ground, tying the other end of the wire to the gate at the entrance to the side tunnel. Then, he places several of the large steel barrels on their sides, propping them on the brick.
On stage, Mama continues, approaching Cherine and administering the medicine as she urges the girl to come back from the baron's garden. Finally, Cherine's fingers twitch a little. "Don't let it win," Mama tells her. Soon, Cherine coughs, slumping over as she steps out of the coffin and falls to her knees. Backstage, hidden from the crowd Devereaux says that it's time for the baron's entrance, and he charges Concassuer to not let them leave the stage. Mama helps Cherine up, saying that she needs to move to get the medicine circulating.
Mac appears in the tunnel opening near the stage, and he stealthily sneaks past the drummers to get under the stage. He finds the trap door where the baron enters the stage. Nearby, he picks up a small tubular device, which he deduces is the remote switch for the trap door. A few feet away, Mac sees a square opening in the concrete floor; he peers down and discovers a small set of rooms where Devereaux waits, smoking his cigar. He steps around a corner to a makeup table and Mac sneaks down the ladder into the chamber. Mac hides as the baron grabs his top hat and enters the room again. As he climbs the ladder, Mac steps over and jerks the ladder backward, knocking Devereaux hard against the wall. Devereaux falls and collapses on the floor, unconscious. Mac looks in Devereaux's coat pocket and pulls a gun from it, placing it out of reach. Another inspection of the pocket produces Mac's SAK, and Mac gestures as if he'd like to hit the baron again for taking it.
The drum roll begins, followed by another flash and smoke. The baron appears on stage as before, with his tuxedo, top hat, and painted face. He steps to the microphone. "Hear me, children," Mac's voice says. Still helping Cherine walk, Mama stares in disbelief and hisses quietly, "MacGyver, are you crazy?" Backstage, Concassuer reaches for his gun, observing that does not sound like the colonel. As the baron, Mac tells the audience that they have been deceived and lied to. Pointing to the guards, he says that they use the gods for evil and they possess no magic, only greed. "They are your enemies!" Mac shouts, sounding quite like Devereaux. The audience seems to be considering his words as they keep looking at the guards. Mama steps with Cherine over to the microphone, and says, "Listen to the baron: he is speaking the truth!" Mac takes the switch for the trap door from his pocket, and Concassuer again reaches for his gun as he realizes that is definitely not the colonel. Another smoky flash fills the stage and Mama, Mac and Cherine hurriedly exit. Concassuer fires two shots into the smoke, but Mac, Mama and Cherine are already making their way down the tunnel toward the exit. Knowing that the guards are following, Mac has them enter the side tunnel. Once Concassuer and his men are in sight, Mac pulls the wire, removing the brick from its spot supporting the barrels. The barrels then roll toward the bad guys, who are soon knocked down by the onslaught; Mac, Mama, and Cherine continue towards the exit and safety.
Several days later at Haitian Creations, Mac enters, wearing a tee shirt, blue jeans and a blue jean jacket. Mama smiles, saying that she's glad they let him out of the hospital. She asks how he feels, and he responds, good as new. She tells him that Cherine will be out of the hospital in time to testify against Devereaux and his people. Mama adds that they abused the gods badly, and the spirits will be avenged. Mac says that with all due respect, he thinks the courts will put them away before the spirits do. Surprised, Mama asks how he can say that after all he's seen and experienced. Mac concedes that he has much to learn about her religion. Mama takes a candle burning in a small red jar and hands it to Mac, saying that it's for Papa Legba, the god of communication and understanding. She adds matter-of-factly that after all of Mac's luck, he owes the spirits a goat. Taken aback, Mac's eyes widen and he repeats, "A goat?" Mama tells him not to worry: "I told them you are a vegetarian," she teases. Looking relieved, Mac smiles.