In Review: MacGyver – Corkscrew

When MacGyver comes face to face with Murdoc, an international assassin hired to kill him

Synopsis: When MacGyver comes face to face with Murdoch, an international assassin hired to kill him, Mac must defend both himself and Bozer.

Review: It was only a matter of time before they got Murdoch to show up and this is the episode in which we get to see the revamped version. He’s no Michael Des Barres, which is a good thing because to have an actor try and follow in his footsteps would have been the wrong play. David Dastmalchian does a pretty good job, but his version of Murdoch is a little more cold and calculating and less about the spectacle. But what ruins it is the fact that they actually capture him. The great thing about the original Murdoch was the fact that he always got away and was always assumed to be dead. Which after awhile made him a constant nightmare for Mac. 

Basically in a nutshell Murdoch uses MacGyver’s friends in order to try and draw him out. Thornton even goes as far as to lock MacGyver in a room without anything that he can use to get away and he still manages to escape. Only to find that Murdoch has gone after his room mate.  After Jack has wasted a load of bullets on Murdoch and broadcasted for all the world to hear that he is out of Bullets. MacGyver uses a manufactured on the fly Bottle Rocket to slow Murdoch down. Its surprising that Jack didn’t wind up taking a bullet during this showdown. Both assassin and protector were very poor marksmen and this is despite only being a couple of yards away from each other. What is this. ‘The A-Team’?

Of course Murdoch is not detained for long. After some quick exposition stuff, which allows Bozer a moment to draw the perfect sketch that identifies Murdoch. The arch nemesis draws Thornton, Jack and Riley into a trap at a used car lot.  Thornton, Jack and Riley fall for the bait and somewhat carelessly as well. Murdoch being every bit as resourceful as MacGyver has rigged three sniper rifles via computer and radio signal to kill Thornton, Jack and Riley if Mac does not show up. Of course Mac takes the bait and eventually defeats Murdoch by rigging up a more powerful radio signal using an old car radio and other bits and bobs and Murdoch is captured.

MacGyver makes things up with Bozer for having lied about his secret agent status and then we skip to a diner in which Mac meets Nikki Carpenter who tells him that it wasn’t her that put the hit on him, but warns that more attempts will be made because the agency she works for wants MacGyver, Thornton, Jack and Riley dead.

I’d rather had seen a final scene in which Murdoch escapes custody if perfectly honest. But I suppose they had to bring Nikki back into it somewhere down the line.

Over all this episode acted as set up for a bigger conspiracy, but have to say that I am still disappointed by the fact that they caught Murdoch. I’d rather he’d gotten away or been assumed dead.

Sandrine Holt as Thornton continues to lack the chemistry with MacGyver that we seen between the original Pete Thornton and MacGyver. Which is sad because it be pretty cool to see that sort of friendship develop again. Mac continues to talk about his Grandfather, but we are as yet to meet him. 

David Dastmalchian does a pretty good job of making Murdoch different enough from the original to keep things interesting. But does not manage to pull off the showmanship of the original, which is probably a good thing given the direction that this new show is going in.

MacGyver - Corkscrew
  • The Good: David Dastmalchian
  • The Bad: Jack Dalton & Murdoch Gun fight. I don't care. Someone would have been hit from that kind of range.
  • Story
  • Acting
  • MacGyverisms
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
2 Comments on this post.
  • dee
    13 November 2016 at 4:14 pm -

    You got what Nikki said wrong. She doesn’t warn him of people SHE works for, but of the people HE works for. She implies Thornton lied to him about the death of a friend/colleague.
    Also, isn’t it his Dad he talks about? I can’t remember that he mentioned a grandfather.

    • Ian Cullen
      13 November 2016 at 4:58 pm -


      Nikki also warns him about the people she is working for. There is more implied aside from her casting doubts on his loyalties to the Phoenix. If you recall she implies that Murdoch is not the only person he’ll have to worry about coming after him.

      Also it was his grandfather mentioned in this episode. It was when he was talking in the third person. He mentioned his dad in an earlier episode when Jack tried to get him to phone him. He is estranged from his father, but we do not know why.

      In the original series we got to meet MacGyver’s grandfather on several occasions and pretty much learn that everything Mac knows about improvising on the fly comes from what he learned from his grandfather.

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