"Father + Bride + Betrayal" was better than average. Neat MacGyverisms, and despite the fact the entire team was present, it focused mostly on Mac doing his Mac thing. Riley monitored some cameras via her phone until that proved useless and then got poisoned. Wilt did nothing, because that's what he (doesn't) do. Thanks, CBS: Wilt is the black guy who wears a mask and terrorizes a bunch of Hispanics with a semi-automatic. Remember when Wilt made masks and actually contributed to the team mission? Nah, neither do I. But it's fun to pretend.
When the episode isn't tied up with the mission, it focuses on George Eads' departure from the show. Which means setting it up so Jack has a reason to leave. He's been approached by the government to lead an elite team of hunters going after Tiberius Kovacs, the guy who Jack received a photo of in the previous episode. Why Tiberius is sending a photo to Jack, and if Tiberius is the one sending the photo, are things we'll have to find out in the upcoming episodes.
That brings us to the DIY, which isn't. Instead it's Jack at his apartment watching a newscast about a terrorist bombing. Mac shows up, and Jack lays everything above on him. He asks Mac not to tell the rest of the team he's departing. Matty presumably already knows, so Jack is only keeping secrets from Riley and Wilt. Okay, Riley is the daughter he never had and all, but why is he so concerned about Wilt's feelings? Overall, it seems like a dick kind of move to have Mac keep secrets from his friends and teammates, since the "secret" is going to come out pretty quickly anyway. When Jack isn't an idiot--and he's fairly intelligent this episode--he's a jerk. Oh well.
Thugs take Matty to a very un-jungle-looking jungle in South America to meet with crime boss Alonzo Olvera (Roberto Sanchez). And while Sanchez is no Dick Miller, he's definitely a HITG. And to give him credit, he does the part of the slimy but vaguely sympathetic crime lord pretty well. Alonzo wants to turn himself in and provide lots of evidence, if Matty will let him go to his daughter Camila's (Madalyn Horcher) wedding. He only trusts Matty in the government because Matty walks on water, and she agrees. That, and presumably if she doesn't agree Alonzo will have her killed, but they don't mention that.
Once everything is in motion, Matty briefs the team. Mac and Jack look shifty, and Riley and Wilt pick up on it. But, on with the mission. The wedding goes smoothly, and they retire to a conspicuously empty hotel (I think) at Pebble Beach for the reception. Terrorists bust in and it turns out they're with a minor outfit, creatively named Chronos, and looking for revenge on Alonzo for a "hardware" deal gone bad.
But let's face it, if there had been a night auditor there, they would have defeated the terrorists, rescued the guests, sussed out the killer, and brought the murderer to justice before the second commercial break. For is not the hotel night auditor the most perfect of all of God's creations? Not that I'm biased or anything. :)
Mac and Riley hustle Alonzo out, and Jack and Wilt take out the terrorists with golf clubs. Mac has some good MacGyverisms during this: he makes a breaching frame out of a mirror frame, chewing gum, and thermite powder. He also makes a blowtorch out of an aerosol can and a pilot light flame from a stove. But Alonzo is dead--poisoned--and there's a big ole honkin' puncture mark on his neck. Mac MacGyverisms a cyanide-detector to determine how Alonzo was poisoned and he must have been poisoned during the reception eighty minutes ago.
The evidence is on a tablet and the tablet is missing. Riley finds it but the killer nails her with the cyanide after her earbud cuts out. Mac finds her and MacGyvers a cyanide cure out of kitchen supplies in a fairly suspenseful scene. The guests are getting antsy and starting to break out of the locked reception hall, so Mac goes in and MacGyvers a microphone to detect the source of the feedback: a med-alert bracelet was powering the stun gun the killer used to knock Riley out. It turns out Alonzo's mother Abuela (Alma Martinez) poisoned Alonzo because she and her husband built the organization up from nothing and Alonzo was going to throw it all away. Mac gets the tablet from her purse and reveals she has a poison injector ring.
So poor Alonzo is dead but at least he danced with his daughter. And Phoenix has the evidence at the cost of his life. Sympathetic Hispanic crime lords on MacGyver don't have a long life span, do they?
Back at Phoenix, Jack breaks the news to Riley and Wilt as he's practically going out the door. There are long and mildly tearful goodbyes, and Jack strolls off down the hallway to either disappear from the show or die in a few weeks. He does mention earlier to Mac that Matty let Jack pick his replacement, and Mac will either like her or want to kill her. Since Sam Cage disappeared down the memory hole and the next episode has "New Recruit" in the title, I figure the new recruit will show up then. Because nu-MacGyver isn't complete without someone to shoot a gun so Mac doesn't have to.
Overall, "Father" was a decent episode. It underutilized Wilt but that's pretty typical for the show since no one seems to know why he's there. Another Hispanic crime lord buys the farm. The MacGyverisms are good, and I liked the fact Mac was MacGyvering something to save someone: often he's either trying to escape somewhere or blow up the bad guys. Jack gets a decent departure: whether they kill him off down the road, we'll see.
There are a few minor nits to pick: the hotel seems curiously vacant of staff even though it's hosting a major wedding. I work at a hotel/conference center, and the lobby and kitchen are not empty during receptions Maybe they do things differently in Pebble Beach? It's convenient to the plot that Team MacGyver doesn't have to save anyone else, but it's still odd.
The bits with Abuela as the killer are stranger. She gets the drop on Riley? And sneaks out of the chained-up reception hall to do it? I get she's a retired and ruthless crime lord, and she probably knew Alonzo was going to squeal, so she brought a cyanide injector ring along. Still, it doesn't seem to quite gel, and it's one of those "mysteries" where once you know there's a "real" killer at the wedding, you figure it has to be Abuela because Camila would be too obvious and no one else except the groom gets any dialogue or establishing shots.
Overall, "Father" was a decent episode that gave us an entertaining adventure, had Mac do some interesting things (and they brought back Mac "tagging" stuff with his mind, Sherlock style), and gave Jack a decent departure without making him an idiot and/or going too soppy.
But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?
Written by Gislef on Feb 2, 2019