In Review: MacGyver: Season 4 – Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix

Ex-MI6 agent Russ Taylor recruits former Phoenix Foundation members Mac, Riley, Bozer, Matty and Desi

Synopsis: Ex-MI6 agent Russ Taylor recruits former Phoenix Foundation members Mac, Riley, Bozer, Matty, and Desi to hunt down a bio-weapon that’s planned to be used by a mysterious organization for a devastating attack on a major U.S. city.

Review: I last reviewed MacGyver during the shows second season. At which point I figured I’d give it a break. Since then the show has become more of its own thing and has improved somewhat since the departure of George Eads. So to that end, I figured I’d chime in on the occasional episode of the shows 4th season.

The Story

18 months have passed since the US Government shutdown The Pheonix Foundation and pretty much made the team unemployable for any Government related work. MacGyver is working as a chemistry teacher, while Riley is working in a store sorting out people’s computers. Bozer is following his dream of becoming a movie director and seems to be making a success of it. While Matty is on the lecture circuit doing similar stuff to Ted Talks. But when MacGyver is approached by former MI6 agent Russ Taylor all of that changes. Mac doesn’t trust Taylor to begin with due to the fact that he used to run black ops and made himself a fortune by playing one side against another, but Taylor seems to be genuinely seeking redemption for his past and is looking to make amends. To that end, he asks MacGyver to help him track down a bioweapon that was stolen and stop it from being launched, which requires Mac to reform the team. Riley and Bozer prove relatively easy to talk into it, but Desi and Matty prove to be a little more difficult. Matty only really coming on the scene when the team needs her contacts to get the dirt on their main suspect. An ex DSX operative who faked his own death.


The Acting

Henry Ian Cusick is a brilliant addition to the team in his role as Russ Taylor who comes off as a somewhat smart, slippery and a tad eccentric, which is the type of role that the actor specializes in. I loved his establishing scenes with Lucas Till in which Taylor is trying to tail MacGyver in order to get his attention. The actor is fearless in his approach and seems to have instant chemistry with the main team. The scene where Matty joins up is a lot of fun as there is a little tension about who is running the operations.



I like where this is going with Russ Taylor becoming the guy behind relaunching the Pheonix Foundation as a force for good. The fact that the character starts out as not having any moral compass to speak of is going to make for some interesting character development as he gradually redeems himself. Also, the fact that The Pheonix Foundation is now privately run means that the various characters can pick and choose missions, which could well lead to some stories that have somewhat of a social conscience to them. A little like in the classic series.

Although, this will never top the original series in my eyes. I do think the show is in a better place now and seems to have found an interesting new dynamic for the characters with the recent addition of Desi and now the newest member Russ Taylor. So I am probably locked in for the season.

As far as MacGyvers box of tricks goes. I really liked the unique way he found of stopping the torpedo from being able to detonate once it had hit its target. He used a powder, which makes water into a soft gel. Clever stuff. But I do miss the good old days where Mac took you through what he was doing in stages with voice over, which is something this show has never really done too much of.

MacGyver: Season 4 - Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI & Stunts
  • 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:
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