Wilt and Riley run through the forest, calling for Mac. They see a column of smoke ahead and run to it, and Riley twists her ankle on a root. Wilt stops to bind it, and they hear a gunshot up ahead.
36 Hours Earlier
Mac, Riley, and Wilt drive up into the forest. They discover that the water is gone, and Mac explains that he unpacked it and they'll be roughing it without water, food, cell phones, or any other equipment. Matty assigned Mac to teach them primitive survival skills because every agent eventually finds themselves stranded in the woods.
They arrive at a grocery store that marks where they're going to leave the jeep off. There's no one out at first, and then a man comes out holding a banjo and sits on the porch swing and starts playing. Mac tells him that they're from LA and came to backpack and asks if they can leave their jeep there. The man says that it's not a good idea for them to go into the woods. Mac and the man stare at each other for a minute, and then they burst out laughing and Mac introduces his friend Fred to Wilt and Riley. Fred says that it's been quiet there and they can leave the jeep, and Mac takes all of his friend's things and hands out a backpack, a canteen, and a canteen. Fred jokingly says that not everyone that walks into the woods comes out and they head out.
The trio walk through the wood and Mac shows them how to navigate by the sun. Riley says that it's admitting to be away from a computer screen, and for the first day Mac shows them how to forage for goods. They eat cattails and aren't too impressed, and Mac tells them that they have to eat 240 days to build up the energy that they're using. They come to the remains of a campfire and Mac has Wilt and Riley look at what mistakes they made. The campers didn't surround the fire with stones, left cigarette butts, came through a valley that could flood, and wore cotton that could get wet and stay wet.
Jack drives Matty to a suburb house and she says that she's fine with doing it. He gets a text but ignores it, saying that it's good, and goes to the door. Ethan answers it and his wife Deena joins him at the door. He lets them in and Matty tells him that S-Company learned Ethan's location and are going to come after him. Ethan asks when they're going to leave.
That night, Riley tries to start a fire. Mac says that he had the same problem when his grandfather took him out camping. Someone watches them from the brush while Mac shows them how to use fireweed as tinder to start the fire. It catches immediately and they build up the fire, and Wilt grabs poison oak and Mac warns him not to put it in the fire. He then offers them more cattails for dinner.
The next day, Riley wakes Wilt up by tickling his nose with a branch. There's no sign of Mac, and Riley says that his boots and backpack were gone when she got up. Wilt figures that they're supposed to track him, and they find some boot prints but realize that they aren't Macs. There's another butt like the ones they saw at the campsite and it's wet, meaning that the owner was watching them while they were sleeping.
A man and woman, Giovanni and Emma, have rifles and push a tied-up Mac through the forest to a campsite. Three other men, Trevor, Cid, and Anton, are waiting and Emma introduces them to their new "guide". Mac explains that he doesn't have any food because he forages for his own, and Giovanni tells them to pack up and move. He then tells Mac not to try running, and Mac asks him what it's about. After a moment, Giovanni shows Mac a map with an X on it and tells him to get them there. Mac warns that it's a rough trick and shouldn't be attempted by first-timers, and Giovanni hits him in the gut and tells him that his life depends on getting them there.
Jack pulls over at a gas station and stares at his phone, and Matty asks what it is. He shows her a blurry photo of a man and says that an anonymous person sent it to him, and she tells him to have the lab analyze it. Matty tells him to grab some snacks as Ethan come over. She asks Ethan how his mother and daughter are doing, and refuses to tell him how S-Company found him because he's a civilian now. When she says that she was married, Deena and Mara come over and hear her and Deena is surprised to learn that Ethan was once married. Jack comes out with beef snacks and realize that he's interrupting, says that they should get going.
Mac leads the group through the forest and comes to a pile of boulders, and warns that ice will build up on them and make them slippery. Giovanni refuses to detour, and Mac says that he can make a safer way but needs his knife and the zippers from their bags. He has them wrap them around his shoes for extra footing, and then leads the way up the rocks. Cid sprains his ankle and Mac says that they need to make camp for the night and get a splint for Cid, and Giovanni sends one man to go with him.
Wilt and Riley hear the gunshot and Wilt wonders what they're going to do.
Mac hears the gunshot and comes back, and discovers that Giovanni has shot Cid dead. Emma trains her gun on Mac, and Giovanni tells Mac to pick up the pace if he wants to keep his friends out of it. They toss Cid's body over the top of the hill and Giovanni has Mac lead them off.
Somewhere in Nebraska, Ethan watches his sleeping daughter while Deena stares out the window. Jack is the only one playing license plate spotting, and Jack tells him to stop. Ethan assures Deena that they're going to have a beautiful life in Nebraska, and she ignores him.
The group continues on and Mac says that they have to gather water before they suffer from dehydration. He explains that he can make water from a nearby creek potable and Giovanni agrees to stop to get water. Mac makes a filter using pine branches and asks Emma how long she's known Giovanni. He warns her that if Giovanni shot Cid then he'd shoot her just as readily. Emma tells Giovanni that Mac is trying to turn her against him, and Giovanni tells him that the punishment will have to wait for later.
Riley and Wilt find Cid's corpse and are relieved to see that it isn't Mac. There's a radio on his belt, and Riley says that they could weave a rope and "fish" for the radio. They snag the radio and pull it up, but Riley realizes that it's a civilian radio that won't tune to the park ranger frequency. She can send out a signal but there's no guarantee anyone will pick up the transmission. Riley pries it open and starts tuning it to the government frequency.
Mac leads the others to the spot indicated on the map, and Giovanni has his people spread out to search the place. They find nothing and Giovanni beats Mac, figuring that he's playing games. He prepares to shoot Mac, but Mac says that a recent flash flood may have washed away and if they tell him what they're looking for, he can figure where it is. Giovanni says that he's looking for $18 million that he pushed out of a plane, and Mac calculates that it weighed 400 pounds and was in a wooden crate. He warns that the missing variable is slope of the ground that they're on, and uses the scope on Emma's rifle to make a crude surveying tool and calculate the amount of slope. Mac figures where the crate would have floated based on the information.
Riley bypasses commercial frequencies to reach the restricted government channels. She sends out an SOS and a park ranger responds. Riley asks for assistance and describes their surroundings as best she can. The park ranger contacts law enforcement and tells her to stay there.
Giovanni signs off on the radio they took from the ranger station, while his men gag Mac. He says tells Anton to backtrack and find Wilt and Riley, and wait for his signal.
Wilt and Riley make a signal fire to draw the rangers, and Anton finds them. He draws his gun on them and takes their radio, then calls Emma and says that he found Mac's friends. Emma tells Anton until they get the money. Wilt talks about how Anton's clothing is wet and suggests that they use poison oak to build up the fire. Anton doesn't know that it's poison oak, and tells them to build up the fire. When they toss the poison oak in the fire, it gives off fumes and they knock the distracted Anton out, take his gun, and demand to know where Mac is.
Mac leads the others to the crate and they pry it open. The money is all there, and Giovanni tells Mac to build something so one man can move the money or he'll have Anton kill his friends. Mac says that he can, and Giovanni shoots Emma and Trevor dead and tells Mac to do it.
Jack checks Ethan's new house and makes sure that it's clear. He then calls the others in, and Deena scrubs the kitchen counters. Matty tells Jack that she wants to talk to Deena but doesn't know what to say, and Jack advises her to tell her the past. Mara asks for a purple crayon for her coloring, and Deena comes over. Matty shows her how to make purple by mixing red and blue, and Deena thanks her. Coming over, Matty tells Deena that she can't imagine how hard it is for her. She figures that Deena wants to start her new life with the truth, and says that she and Ethan were married before he ever meet Deena. Once they're sure that the family is safe, Deena will never see them again. Deena says that she wants a good life for Mara, and Matty assures her that she will. Mara gives Matty the drawing she was making, and Jack and Ethan ask if they're good. Matty and Deena look at each other, and Matty says that they're good.
Mac makes a sled but then sets the crate on fire. He tackles Giovanni and knocks him down. Wilt and Riley run through the forest, calling for Mac. They see a column of smoke ahead and run to it, and Riley twists her ankle on a root. Wilt stops to bind it, and they hear a gunshot up ahead as Giovanni grabs the gun and shoots Mac in the leg. He prepares to finish him off, but Mac throws ash in his face and then knocks him unconscious with a rock before collapsing from shock and blood loss. Wilt and Riley arrive and bind Mac's wound, and he tells them not to try and take it out. He instructs them on how to use yarrow to pack the wound and put pressure on it. They follow his instructions and Riley figures that they finish Mac's sled and use it to drag him out.
Jack gives Ethan an envelope with the paperwork for his new life, and they shake hands. When Jack goes to the SUV, Ethan thanks Matty for everything and apologizes for her having to relive it. Matty says that she did it herself because she thought the pain would bring her the closure she needed. She just has a strong desire for Ethan and his family to be happy, and he admits that he couldn't have done it without hearing that. Matty tells him that he can't have any contact with his former life, they say goodbye to each other, and Ethan goes inside. In the SUV, Jack tells Matty that sometimes like doesn't work out the way they think it would. Matty agrees and figures she and Ethan are where they're supposed to be. Jack jokes with her and they get ready to drive off. The lab results come in on the photo and Jack tells Matty that the photo is of Tiberius Kovacs, a terrorist that Jack killed ten years ago.
Riley and Wilt drag Mac to the grocery store and tell Fred to get a cell phone. He gets it and they call Matty requesting a medevac ASAP. Mac tells Fred that his friends saved him and they passed the wilderness test.
Written by Gadfly on Jan 19, 2019