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To Be a Man

Original Air Date: March 5, 1986
Episode #017

MacGyver flies into Afghanistan to recover data from a satellite that went down. Soviets shoot down his jet, but he ejects just in time. He finds the satellite and retrieves the data, but a group of local militia men are after him. As he escapes from them, he is shot in the shoulder. Ahmed, a local boy who saw the jet crash, finds Mac and takes him home. Khalil, the militia leader - and the man who murdered Ahmed's father - arrives, looking for Ahmed's mother. Ahmed says that his mother has another man, and Khalil enters the house with his gun drawn. Mac knocks him back with a flying tank of butane, but as he falls, Khalil shoots himself. As Mac's shoulder heals, the Soviets continue to search for him. A sergeant and a militia man arrive at Ahmed's house. The militia man goes inside, while the sergeant searches the shed where Mac is hiding. When the sergeant gets too close, Mac knocks out one of the supports, and part of the roof falls on the sergeant before Mac punches him. Hearing the noise, the militia man runs to investigate, and Mac knocks him out with a shovel. Handing Mac the other man's gun, Ahmed tells him to shoot the sergeant, who starts to get up. Mac lets the sergeant go. Ahmed and his mother go with Mac in the sergeant's Jeep and head for the Pakistan border. The soldiers track them down and fire. The Jeep crashes, but Mac manages to stop the soldiers that are chasing them. Not far away, Mac and the others are surprised by the sergeant in a tank, pointing a gun at them. Returning Mac's kindness, he lets them go and points them toward the border.


MacGyver: One of the problems of flying a jet is that you don't have a lot of time to admire the scenery.

"I think the fact I didn't reply annoyed 'em just a little." Mac, after the Soviets fire missiles at him

MacGyver: Well. Scratch one obsolete jet. I can just hear old Pete Thornton saying, "Why does he always have to wait until the last possible second?"
[Pete was watching Mac on radar from headquarters.]
Pete: He always waits until the last possible second.

MacGyver: Hiding the parachute was standard operating procedure. But if the Russians know I'm here, it's not going to make much difference anyway.

"It's all too easy! Maybe for once it is really going to work out the way it was planned." Mac, forgetting Murphy's law

"He could help. I've seen him fly in the air, like a spirit!" Ahmed, trying to persuade his mother to let Mac stay with them

"You are the offspring of a diseased goat!" Ahmed, to Khalil

Officer: We still have to know why the American is here.
Officer 2: To contact the resistance.
Officer: You mean, the bandits.
Officer 2: Bandits, of course - I keep forgetting.

MacGyver: He's a pretty big guy. How'd you do that?
Ahmed: We dragged him to his grave like a dead dog, behind his horse.

MacGyver: Is your mother aware of all this?
Ahmed: She's a woman. She doesn't know about men's business.
MacGyver: So, where is she now?
Ahmed: Milking the goat.
MacGyver: Isn't that your job?
Ahmed: It's not a man's work . . . The goat doesn't like me. She won't give me milk.

Ahmed: How did you make part of our stove fly?
MacGyver: Well, now that's a professional secret.
Ahmed: Can you make other things fly? Can you teach me how to fly?

"You see? MacGyver can do miracles!" Ahmed, to his mother, after Mac fixes their broken pump

MacGyver: You're staring at me.
Ahmed's Mother: I just want to remember. Do you mind?
MacGyver: Not at all.

[MacGyver doesn't kill the sergeant.]
Ahmed: Why?
MacGyver: Because I didn't have to. That should be reason enough for anybody.

Officer: If you find the American, you will only lose your rank and six months' pay.
Sergeant: But sir--
Officer: If you do not find him, I will have you court-martialed for dereliction of duty.

MacGyver: Water's funny stuff. When it gets cold enough, it expands.

Sergeant: But next time, American . . . . next time, I drop roof on your head.

Ahmed: If you had shot him like I asked, there would be another to take his place - and he would have killed us for sure.
MacGyver: Something to think about, isn't it.

Ugly Duckling

Original Air Date: March 12, 1986
Episode #018

At a club, MacGyver watches a group of musicians play. When their song ends, Mac approaches the saxophone player. It's his former teacher, Professor Willis. The professor knows that Mac is there about the snake-eye missile program. His student hacked into the Defense Department's computers, and they want to talk to her. Willis agrees to set up a meeting, but he insists that the girl, Kate, be protected. Leaving the club, two men try to force the professor into their car. When one of them shoots at Mac, the professor is shot trying to stop them. The men escape, and Mac hurries to the professor's side right before he dies. Later, Pete explains that the professor was working on a system that would make the snake-eye missiles - which are common on the black market - programmable, to attack a specific target. Suspecting that the bad guys will go after Kate, Mac finds her in the professor's classroom. He asks about the project, but she says she has to go. Mac takes her home. Agents from the Office of Defense Intelligence arrive, wanting to take Kate in for questioning. She reluctantly agrees to go. At the office, the agents demand to know how she broke into the network; Kate offers to show them. While using their computer, she accesses the building's controls, shuts the power off, and escapes. She returns to the computer lab, where Mac is trying to get into her computer. She won't tell him her password, but after hearing her talk about how she isn't pretty, he guesses it: ugly duckling. Mac copies the info to disk, but the bad guys arrive. They knock Mac out and take Kate. Threatened with truth serum, Kate fixes the missiles for them. Mac finds the clue that Kate left and tracks her location via satellite. He frees her and they go after the men who have taken the missiles. The buyer wants the Clinton Narrows Bridge destroyed as a demonstration. Mac and Kate stop one set of bad guys, but the others begin to launch the second missile. Kate removes the guidance chip, so that the missile is merely a heat seeker; they fire the missile, it hits the second one already in flight, and both explode. Later, Mac returns to the club, where Kate has a date. Mac reports that the buyer and the guys behind the missile thefts have been arrested. Kate thanks Mac for everything and asks if she'll see him again. Mac tells her, "Count on it," and she goes to join her date on the dance floor.


MacGyver: They said you had one of your students working the problem with you.
Professor Willis: Just like we did when you were in my classes.
MacGyver: Well, yeah, but I don't remember ever breaking into the Defense Department's computer.

Professor Willis: Good ones like Kate, they are rare. Then there's MacGyvers who have to have their brains rattled every now and then to make sure they're still in tune.

"You think they didn't like my music?" Professor Willis, after getting shot by the guys who were after him

"You have one of the finest minds I have ever encountered." Professor Willis, to Mac

MacGyver: Pete, I owe it to Professor Willis; he wanted this girl protected, and I'm gonna do it.
Pete: Now wait--
MacGyver: So, best of luck; I'm a phone call away if you need me - I know all of that, Pete. Thanks. [Mac leaves the room, still quoting Pete.] Stay out of trouble. Keep expenses down. Come back alive . . .
Pete: Took the words right out of my mouth.

MacGyver: This was my desk, here in the corner. There's a heater back there; I'm no dummy.

Kate's Mother: Kate, why are you so rude to Mr. MacGyver?
MacGyver: I think it has something to do with defense mechanisms, Mrs. Lafferty. Hers.

Agent: Are you a relative or something?
MacGyver: Something.

MacGyver: It's not like she was selling the Pentagon to Gorbachev.
Pete: I know, Mac, but it's not exactly like she stole an apple off a push cart either.

MacGyver: Why didn't you just give them the answers?
Kate: 'Cause. They've got no right to treat me like a criminal.

Kate: You're trying to break in using these passwords?
MacGyver: Too easy?
Kate: Not my style.
MacGyver: What's your style?
Kate: That's your problem. I'm sure you can solve it.

Kate: All they do is tease me about being an egghead.
[Mac tries "egghead" as the password, and it doesn't work.]
MacGyver: Kinda tough, huh.
Kate: What do you know about it? Look, I'm not pretty. And the boys that do notice me, they run like rabbits when they find out I'm smarter than they are.
MacGyver: So you just decided to go it alone, is that it?
Kate: What is this, some kind of shrink session?!

"That's mean." Kate, to Mac after he guesses her password

MacGyver: You are not seeing who you really are, Kate.
Kate: You're wrong! I know who I am and what I am - and you know it too! Look!
MacGyver: That's your password.

MacGyver: You are special, Kate, and it's not so bad to be special. You just have to learn to feel good about it, that's all.

"They say sleep is relaxing. Well . . . not all the time." Mac, waking up after being knocked unconscious

MacGyver: One of the great things about satellite navigation is that they can pinpoint a location down to one hundred yards. Problem is, they still can tell who's liable to be waitin' there.

MacGyver: Everybody makes mistakes once in a while. The trick is learning to live with it.

"Friendship is something I don't take lightly. It's too hard to come by." Mac, after Kate says that he's her first real friend

Kate: All for one--
MacGyver: --and one for all! [He laughs] I can't believe you just said that.

Kate: What are we going to do?
MacGyver: We're going to assess the problem, and then come up with a solution. That's usually how it's done.
Kate: Yes, if you have enough time. . .

"I can't believe this worked!" Kate, about the trick with the mirrors

MacGyver: So, why don't you introduce him?
Kate: He's shy, especially around strangers. But get him alone in the lab? Can he compute!

Slow Death

Original Air Date: April 2, 1986
Episode #019

In India, MacGyver catches up to the train he missed and hops on board. Before long, two men with guns try to commandeer the train, and the conductor is shot before Mac manages to take out the gunmen. However, the train is forced to stop when other men blow up a bridge. The raiders gather the Westerners, and Hassan, the leader of the group, explains that they are looking for two men who sold their village poison instead of medicine. Since they don't know exactly who did it; Hassan wants the passengers to find out and turn the murderers in. After a suspect is proven innocent, Mac gets an idea and fashions a lie-detector. After the device confirms another passenger's innocence, Mac refuses to question anyone else unless Hassan agrees to turn the men responsible over to the courts. Hassan consents. Webster, another passenger, agrees to take the lie detector test; when he fails it, his accomplice - one of the train's porters - suddenly pulls a gun, and Webster runs out. As the others seize the porter, Mac follows Webster to the engine; despite Mac's warning about a booby-trap, Webster flips a switch and is knocked out by a surge of electricity.


"Of course. Your generation hasn't enough discipline to catch a train on time." Diana's mother, as Diana watches Mac trying to board the train

"You're a gentleman - you're beautiful!" Mac, after the engineer agrees to slow down so Mac can board

[Mac orders a sandwich.]
Dr. Grant: Surely not naked, unadorned meat?
MacGyver: Well, no . . . they usually slap a couple of pieces of bread on either side.

"How disgustingly healthy." Dr. Grant, after Mac orders milk

Ms. Collins: That was quite a stunt you pulled, after the way you, uh, broke the speed of light trying to catch this train. What's the rush?
MacGyver: Well, I'm a tourist. I didn't want to miss the scenic ride.

Andy: What do I say? Trust me? Gamble on me? . . . Love me.
Laura: I think that's what we both say.

Dr. Grant (apologizing to Diana): The site of beauty invariably dizzies me.
Diana's Mother: The stink of liquor does the same thing for me, Mr. Grant. Come along, Diana.

"A man puts a gun to my head and says he's not a terrorist . . . I take it with a grain of salt." Mac, working on a plan (involving salt) to thwart the hijackers

MacGyver: One of the interesting things about the local moonshine is it tastes a lot like kerosene - and it burns even better.

MacGyver (to his fellow passengers): We're not gonna lie to each other: it'll be a good week before anybody starts to worry about us. So all we have to count on is us. But that's alright. We'll make it.

Ms. Collins: How come you're not scared?
MacGyver: Well, you know that old saying "Lord, give me the strength to deal with what I can and endure what I can't"? Well, I'm enduring.
Ms. Collins: You know, in a weird way, you're a comfort.

Dr. Grant: Sometimes the fingers hurt like hell.
Diana: The fingers?
Dr. Grant: Mmm. It's ghost pain. It's a phenomena of amputation; the body remembers what's no longer there.

Dr. Grant: I took a step towards him, and I extended my arm. And then I said . . . something absolutely stupid like "I think you'd better hand me that gun."

Dr. Grant: What do you want out of life?
Diana: To be . . . purposeful. To be useful. To be needed.

"He has a right. But he's wrong." Mac, about Hassan's quest for revenge

MacGyver: Another day, a whole 'nother set of fresh possibilities. I'm a sucker for mornings.

"If you don't mind my saying so - that was real dumb." Mac, to a passenger who was caught trying to escape

MacGyver: One of the best ways to get inside a man's mind is to go through his body.
Dr. Grant: With my sphygmomanometer?
MacGyver: Well, a human being can try to lie, but the funny thing is, the body always has a way of telling the truth.

Dr. Grant: MacGyver, you have a remarkable flair for junk art.

"Um, that was love, not lying." Mac, explaining why the detector went off when Andy hugged Laura

"You ought to take your own lie detector test, MacGyver!" Webster, after Mac warns him about the trap on the train switch

The Escape

Original Air Date: April 16, 1986
Episode #020

While MacGyver is helping out in an orphanage somewhere in North Africa, one of the nuns introduces him to Sarah Ashford, who needs a favor. Sarah explains that her brother, a medical missionary, is in prison because he hid supplies that the government wanted to confiscate, and she asks Mac to break him out. Mac agrees and tells her to watch for his signal. Getting arrested is easy; Mac simply stops two policemen who are attacking a street peddler. Inside the prison, Mac creates a plan for escape; the pieces fall into place and Sarah, waiting outside, backs into the gate while the guards are distracted. Brian and Mac climb aboard and the car speeds away. In the nearby city, Sarah parks in an alley - and pulls out a gun. Brian says that they can dispose of Mac, who realizes that he's been lied to. Sarah confesses that she works for the Soviet government, delivering weapons to their allies in the third world. Brian is an arms dealer who stole weapons from her, and she needed him out of prison to retrieve what he stole. Sarah refuses to shoot Mac, but Brian grabs the gun from her and drives away. Mac is furious; Sarah insists that she only wants to find the weapons to keep them from falling into the hands of terrorists. Still suspicious, Mac says that he will help her find Brian if they will destroy the weapons. They find the dock where Brian is meeting with buyers. Mac makes a trail of gunpowder to act as a fuse and launches a grenade - after shouting a warning - to ignite it. In their haste to take cover, the buyers drop their case of money, and Mac grabs it before fleeing with Sarah. The truck full of weapons explodes. Later, Sarah and Mac give the money to the orphanage.


MacGyver: Sometimes, when they're after you . . . when you're just about surrounded . . . you realize just how seriously North African kids take soccer.

MacGyver: Well, like the man said: no good deed goes unpunished.

MacGyver: I think it's about time we got him out.
Sarah: He's in a maximum-security military prison.
MacGyver: Kinda makes it interesting, doesn't it.

"You are garbage. You are a convict. You see, here we have a true democracy. All are equal in the dirt." The head of the prison, letting Mac know where he stands in the pecking order

François: Relax. He gives that same speech to every foreigner who comes in here. It's only eighty percent true.
MacGyver: That's comforting.

"MacGyver. Call me Mac." Mac, introducing himself to François

"Only three sorts of Americans end up here: drug dealers, soldiers of fortune, or madmen." Kahn, trying to decide which category Mac falls into

MacGyver: I don't plan to be here that long.
François: Escape? Every new man talks about escape. Nobody succeeds.
MacGyver: Well, maybe it's about time I expanded the realm of possibilities around here.

François: You play soccer?
MacGyver: Badly.

François: You can look, but you can't touch. That little tint of blue which prisoners call the sky.
MacGyver: You may be right, François, but they can only lock me up, not my mind.

MacGyver: It just might work. You want to come along?
François: Yes . . . but no. I have been here five years, mon ami, for the crime of not bribing a judge. I have a wife, five children and six more months to go.

"The great risk in this ugly little prison world is that we forget to be human. We forget we had pride, feelings, courage . . . I would like to remember those things." François, on why he'll help Mac escape

"You interest me, American. Soldier of fortune? Political? I know - drug dealer. Smuggler. A man motivated by intelligent greed." Kahn, with a very incorrect assessment of Mac

Kahn: I could have Fuad ask you.
MacGyver: Yeah, you sure could. But it'd be kinda tough for me to fix up your PCP lab if I was dead.
Kahn: I think we have an understanding, MacGyver.

MacGyver: I must admit, you're not quite what I expected in a medical missionary.
Brian: Oh, well, never be taken in by surface appearances. Actually I raised a little hell before I came to believe in heaven.

MacGyver: It sounds like you think I'm gonna make it.
François: I have my doubts . . . but some men aren't designed to be caged.

MacGyver: The one useful thing about PCP is, it explodes. Add a volatile liquid and you've got a bomb you can wear anyplace.

MacGyver: The thing about ice, at a given temperature, it'll melt at a given rate. Just about as good as a clock - especially if you don't have a clock.

"Fuad, you are one miserable son of a diseased camel." Mac, after Fuad shoves François

MacGyver: I get it. And he's not your brother, and he's not a medical missionary. And I've got egg all over my face.
Brian: Blind faith tends to do that to people, now doesn't it.

Sarah: Nothing personal.
MacGyver: Everything's personal.

MacGyver: Let me tell you something, comrade. I've never hit a woman before, but you've come darn close.

Buyer: Some of these weapons are quite old. Antiques.
Brian: They still kill people, and I presume that's what you want.

Sister Ann: But MacGyver, how?
MacGyver: Oh, I don't know . . . Call it a small miracle.

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