The Phoenix Foundation is working with Jerico Broadcasting, a major media conglomerate, to sponsor an international hockey exhibit in Los Angeles. MacGyver is representing the Foundation and visits an old friend, Sergei Litminov. Sergei introduces his friend to the top international player, Nikolai Rostov. MacGyver is surprised to learn that Nikolai is his roommate: his name was on the list of volunteer hosts and Sergei choose him. He goes to the organization booth to see who was responsible and discovers that his old high school sweetheart, Ellen Stewart, is the one responsible. She admits that she put him on the list in the hopes that he would to see her, and explains that she's been working with Jerico Broadcasting for the last few years. She worked her way up and currently is doing PR work. She talks about their time together in high school and admits that she misses MacGyver. As they chat, a private detective, Reese, takes photos of them together.
MacGyver takes Nikolai to his houseboat to unpack. While Nikolai goes upstairs for a shower, Ellen arrives to give MacGyver the official housing package. She offers to find someone else to take in Nikolai, but MacGyver insists that he's fine hosting the Russian. Half-dressed, Nikolai comes downstairs and is embarrassed to realize a woman is there. Ellen tells MacGyver needs to take Nikolai to the exhibition complex for the press ceremony and MacGyver invites her along.
While Nikolai talks to the press, MacGyver and Nikolai go for a walk and discuss their relationships. MacGyver admits he's seeing a woman, Maria, but she's currently away on assignment. When Ellen wonders if it's serious, MacGyver admits that he's had commitment issues ever since he lost his parents and his grandparents as a child. He admits that as a result he put up barriers against intimacy and Ellen admits she's relieved to think it wasn't her fault that he broke up with her in high school. She explains that since then she has been married three times and implies that she's currently divorced. She admits that she's missed him and the two kiss, while Reese takes more photos.
The CEO of Jerico Broadcasting, Ralph Jerico, is flirting with his assistant Lorraine. However, when she jokingly suggests that she can control him, Ralph warns her not to count on it. Reese arrives and shows Ralph the photos of MacGyver and Ellen together. Ralph tells him to find out who MacGyver is.
Nikolai is enjoying a hot dog with MacGyver when Ellen arrives and gives them the official Jerico exhibition pins. Ralph arrives with his bodyguards and tries to take Ellen away. When MacGyver intervenes, Ralph tells him that Ellen is his wife and to stay away from her.
MacGyver goes back to the houseboat and Ellen comes to see him. She apologizes for leading him on and insists that she didn't mean to hurt him. Ellen explains that Ralph beats her and shows him fresh bruises on her neck. When MacGyver wonders why she doesn't leave her husband, Ellen explains that Ralph is rich enough to find her no matter where she goes. Reese arrives and informs Ellen that she has to come back with him. MacGyver tries to stop him and Reese knocks him down and leaves with Ellen.
MacGyver goes to the JBN building to confront Ralph. He accuses the man of beating his wife but Ralph, unimpressed, brings Ellen out. She says that Ralph never beats her and a triumphant Ralph tells MacGyver that he's in over his head.
MacGyver goes back to the houseboat and discovers that Nikolai has left for the opening ceremonies. The Russian has left a message for MacGyver asking him to tape the ceremony. MacGyver turns on TV to the live broadcast and sees a news interview. However, he's surprised to see a figure in the background: himself. MacGyver heads for the exhibition complex.
Ralph and Ellen arrive for an interview while Nikolai and Sergei watch with the rest of their team. Much to their surprise, MacGyver calls Ralph's name, draws a gun, and shoots the businessman, killing him. MacGyver runs away and Nikolai goes after him. The killer stops in the parking lot and removes a mask: it's Reese. Nikolai sees the detective unmask and Reese spots him. Reese opens fire and Nikolai ducks behind a car. MacGyver arrives just in time to see Nikolai run away.
The police arrest MacGyver, believing he murdered Ralph, and ignore his request for them to find Nikolai. Using Ellen's Jerico pin, MacGyver manages to pick the lock on his handcuffs and slip out of the police car, hiding away on the bottom of a truck as it drives away. The police quickly discover that he's escaped and put out an APB for his arrest.
Ellen meets with Reese at a deserted warehouse and is confident that their plan went as intended. However, Reese warns that Nikolai got a glimpse of his face and knows that MacGyver isn't the killer. He thinks they should kill the Russian to be safe but Ellen is uncomfortable with the idea of killing anyone but her husband. However, Reese insists and tries to touch her. She angrily tells him to stop, insisting that they're just business partners. She agrees to Reese's plan and figures that since Nikolai has her phone number, he'll try to contact her.
While walking the streets, MacGyver sees a news broadcast with Ellen promising that the exhibition will continue. He goes to the stadium to see her and slips into her office. He discovers a plaster mask of his face and photos of him from various angles. He plays back Ellen's messages and hears Nikolai saying that he'll try to call later. Ellen comes in and explains that she needed to kill Ralph to get away from him. He did beat her in the past and she used makeup to make the bruises come out when she showed them to MacGyver. Ellen tells MacGyver that her failed marriages are his fault, and everything went downhill for her after he left her in high school. Her first husband was a drunk and her second husband left with all their money. Due to their prenuptial agreement, Ellen couldn't get away from Ralph without losing everything again so she set him up to be killed. MacGyver starts to call the police but Reese comes in holding a gun. As he takes MacGyver away, Nikolai calls and Ellen tells him to come alone to the stadium.
Reese captures Nikolai when he arrives and takes both captives to the incinerator room. The detective ushers them in, locks the door, and turns on the burners. As the flames start up, MacGyver uses stray metal rods to break the observation port on the other side of the flames and shut off the burner valve. He then uses the drawstring from Nikolai's pants, attached to the rod, to make a crude fishing pole, lasso the door valve, and unlock the door.
After destroying the plaster mold and the photos, Reese goes to get rid of the ashes. MacGyver sends Nikolai to call the police while he rams Reese with a camera cart. Ellen arrives and prepares to shoot MacGyver, insisting that he never loved her. MacGyver insists that they were in love, but they were young. Ellen drops the gun, crying, and falls into his arms while wondering why he couldn't love her.
Later, Nikolai and Sergei are packing to leave, and Nikolai displays the gold medal that he won. MacGyver tells them that Ellen will undergo a psychiatric hearing and needs a lot of help. After they've left, MacGyver takes out his old high school yearbook and looks at the photo of Ellen. On it that she wrote that they would be the perfect couple forever.
Written by Gadfly on Nov 10, 2019