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The Gauntlet

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The Gauntlet
[[Image:
The Gauntlet
|250px|center]]
Season
1
Episode number
004
First broadcast
21st October 1985
Written by
Directed by
Opening gambit written by
Opening gambit directed by
{{{gambit_director}}}

MacGyver goes up against an entire army when he helps an American journalist escape across the border of a South American dictatorship.

SummaryEdit

Opening GambitEdit

In the center of a busy desert village with a significant military presence, MacGyver makes his way across a series of flat roofs before using a rope to descend to a window, using a flagpole mounted on the building as a step. He picks the lock of the window with his Swiss Army Knife, and lets himself into a room containing a map containing plans that could be dangerous if allowed to remain in these hands. After grabbing the map, MacGyver tries the door, but finds that he is locked in, and tries to climb back out through the window. The armed soldiers see him and come running as MacGyver ducks back inside. He approaches the door once again, and slides the map underneath the bottom. He then uses his Swiss Army Knife to push the key that is keeping him in through the keyhole and onto the map, which he then pulls back under the door.

Now able to unlock the door, MacGyver takes the map and flees, relocking the door and hiding around a corner. As the soldiers charge into the locked room, MacGyver doubles back, decends to the first floor, and calmly exits the front door of the command post. A soldier from the room above sees him enter the square and fires repeatedly, causing MacGyver to take off running, with the soldiers in pursuit. MacGyver uses the rolled up map as a pea shooter, and launches a small green pea at a woman doing laundry. Hitting her in the ankle, MacGyver uses this distraction to take a garment from the drying line and take off once again.

His clothing now changed, MacGyver is about to scale a high wall, but is stopped by an armed soldier. MacGyver talks the man down and gets within a few feet of him when he slashes with the rolled up map, knocking the gun out of the soldier's hand, and then subduing him with a blow to the midsection. MacGyver then lets go of the map somewhat, and an iron bar falls out. He then scales the wall sucessfully as more soldiers approach and fire at him.

MacGyver runs over dunes of sand in the open desert, followed closely by guards who are more than happy to shoot at him. Reaching a ledge of sand, MacGyver unrolls the map and uses it as a sled to slide down the hill and gain distance from the soldiers, allowing him to reach a hidden hot air balloon. As he begins to float away, the soldiers contiue to shoot, and a bullet tears a hole in the balloon. MacGyver grabs a few strips of duct tape and the map and climbs the ropes from the basket to the balloon. He then tapes the map over the hole, and having patched the leak, climbs back down into the basket and floats away to safety.

Act OneEdit

The scene is set in a busy Central American village, bustling with automobiles, farmers, nuns, goats, and armed soldiers all out and about. MacGyver arrives in the village center on a large bus. Right away, MacGyver sees several groups of soldiers harassing the citizens of the village, and steps in when he sees a group of three soldiers grabbing at a young woman. He bribes them away from the girl by pulling out his American Passport with a twenty dollar bill paper clipped inside. The soldiers are happy to take the money, and the girl walks away unharmed.

MacGyver finds what he is looking for in a small building. He walks into an empty lobby, but follows the sound of a small printing press into a second room where a man named Diego is feeding single sheets of paper into the press. MacGyver inquires as to the whereabouts of a photographer named Kate Connelly, stating that he had been sent to find her on behalf of her publisher, Arthur Prescott after Diego pulls a gun on him. At this point, a female voice is heard, telling Diego to relax and let the visitor into the nearby darkroom to speak with her. Once inside the darkroom, MacGyver informs Connelly that her publisher wants her back in the States, due to the current military presence where she is. As they are talking, Connelly continues to develop pictures, and MacGyver recognizes a man seen in two shots as Dave Ryerson, a man he 'met once', and one that should not be in the hemisphere, save behind bars.

Back in the main room with Diego, Connelly explains to MacGyver how they have been following the involvement of Ryerson and his crime syndicate with the head of the secret military police in the country, Antonio Vasquez. Connelly implores MacGyver to assist the pair in capturing photos of a deal between the two parties, which will be taking place at Ryerson's hacienda. MacGyver agrees to help them on the condition that Connelly leave the country with him right after.

Later, outside the wall of the hacienda, MacGyver uses the strap of Connelly's camera bag to neutralize two security wires carrying a high voltage charge by clipping the end onto the top wire and wrapping the strap around the pair to create a large enough gap above the wall to slip through. MacGyver and Connelly scale the wall with the photography equipment, and hide behind some foliage while they watch Vasquez' car enter Ryerson's complex. The two men embrace each other, and continue to a remote courtyard where Ryerson's wares are on display: a collection of light and heavy weapons. MacGyver and Connelly, who have come closer and continue to snap pictures, learn that a supply of tanks is to come in three months as well. Connelly runs out of film and switches to another camera, whose shutter is heard by the guards. MacGyver and Connelly are taken captive by Vasquez and Ryerson, who singles out MacGyver, introducing him as an "old buddy", and welcoming him to "our country".

Act TwoEdit

As MacGyver, Connelly, Vasquez, and Ryerson trade insults and threats back and forth, MacGyver notices a supply of plastique on the weapons table. When the men demand Connelly's cameras, MacGyver hands one over to them, and as they empty the film from it, MacGyver breaks off some of the plastique and improvises a bomb by "plugging in" the second camera to the wad of plastique and setting the camera's timer. He manuevers himself and Connelly out of the way just as the timer goes off, creating a small explosion and mass confusion. MacGyver and Connelly slip out a side gate, knocking out a soldier, and lock the gate behind them. Ryerson unlocks the door, and the men are in close pursuit as the pair slips out the main gates in the nick of time.

Back in the village, Vasquez' soldiers are ransacking the publishing house, and MacGyver and Connelly approach just in time to see them carry out Diego's lifeless corpse. MacGyver leads Connelly into a deserted church, where he comforts her and reassures her that Diego's death is not her fault. Because of the incident earlier, the entire area is under lockdown - increased military presense, roadblocks, and no airport - so MacGyver decides that the two will have to take the film across the border to Mexico themselves, which is more than 100 kilometers away. MacGyver takes a leather strap from another of Connelly's bags and leaves the chruch, taking a candlestick from a prayer table on the way out.

MacGyver watches the village from a bell tower. Buses and jeeps containing soldiers are driving back and forth, and Vasquez and Ryerson arrive in their private car. Up in the bell tower, MacGyver takes out the strap, candle, and some firecrackers he had seen on the way into the church. MacGyver uses the strap to tighten the rope holding the bell of the tower. Pulling out a roll of duct tape, MacGyver attaches a piece of tape to the one half of the candle and fastens it to the chime of the bell. In a similar fashion, he attaches the firecrackers to the inner part of the bell, above the candle. Having also attached the second half of the candle to the leather strap with duct tape, MacGyver lights both candles with a match and returns to the church, where he makes a quick donation before leaving.

Outside, MacGyver leaves Connelly for a moment and slides underneath a bus. He grabs a cable from a winch on the front of a jeep, slides with it back under the bus, and attaches it to another jeep. Returning to Connelly, the two prepare to depart. In the bell tower, the strap is burned through, and the bell begins to ring as the firecrackers go off. As the people below scramble, MacGyver and Connelly climb into the bus through a window. MacGyver breaks off the rearview mirror and duct tapes it to the driver's seat. Using Connelly's compact as a second mirror, MacGyver starts the bus and drives, safe from gunfire, using the mirrors to see as he steers from the floor.

As they drive out of the village, one of the tethered jeeps follows close behind until the cable connecting it to the parked jeep is pulled taut, causing the jeep to flip over in dramatic fashion as the bus leaves the village borders safely.

Act ThreeEdit

MacGyver and Connelly are driving the bus down a long dirt road. Vasquez and Ryerson are searching for them, and have set up an extensive search net, including a spotter plane, which picks up the bus before MacGyver plunges it into thicker foliage. Losing control on the bumpy path, MacGyver steers the bus down a steep slope before plunging it into a river. The bus now useless, the two continue on foot. Making camp for the night, MacGyver builds a fire and captures a lizard in a trap for dinner. After eating, the two share a romantic interlude under the stars.

After daybreak, Vasquez and Ryerson come across the abandoned bus. Realizing they must be on foot, Ryerson convinces Vasquez that placing his men stategically around the path to the border is the best way to capture MacGyver and Connelly, and Ryerson learns that his future in the country depends on their successful capture.

Elsewhere, MacGyver comes amicably out of the brush towards two soldiers patrolling the road. He is carrying Connelly in his arms as if she is injured, and walks right up to them. MacGyver literally tosses Connelly into one of the soldiers' arms, and they use the confusion to knock out the pair, MacGyver using his fist, and Connelly using her camera, breaking it in the process. MacGyver and Connelly take the soldiers' jeep and drive away. As they approach the border, MacGyver stops the jeep in the protection of some bushes, and the two see that there are several dozen soldiers waiting down the hill by the river that separates them from Mexico.


Act FourEdit

As MacGyver and Connelly watch the soldiers downhill, they realize that there is no logical way to go around them, only through them. They drive back to an abandoned garage they had passed on the way to the border to prepare an attack. After ripping off the hood of the jeep, MacGyver pours dirty oil over the engine of the jeep, in hopes it will create a thick cloud of smog when heated. Before leaving, MacGyver pours a clear liquid from an unmarked gas container into the jeep's leaky radiator, and then MacGyver and Connelly drive off with a plan and a horsecart of barrels being towed behind them. As they head towards the border, they are once again spotted from the air, but continue on to the top of the hill overlooking the soldiers, river, and Mexico, but are covered from the enemy's sight by the smoke given off by their jeep.

MacGyver and Connelly get out of the jeep and begin to prepare by unloading the barrels. As the soldiers begin to advance up the hill towards them, MacGyver uses a few strips of rubber to tie down the jeep's steering wheel, and a piece of duct tape to hold down the gas pedal before shifting the jeep into drive, sending it careening towards the soldiers below, until it slams into another jeep and bursts into flames. Vasquez gives the order to fire at anything that moves, and the first things to move are the barrels that MacGyver and Connelly roll downhill with burning rags as fuses. As the soldiers fire on them, they explode. Once the soldiers realize this and stop firing at the barrels, MacGyver and Connelly roll downhill in a larger wooden barrel, and plunge into the river before freeing themselves and swimming to the Mexican shore, while back on the other side of the river, Ryerson learns with the cocking of a gun that his fate will not be pleasant.

Back on the Mexican side, Connelly sets a timer on her camera, and she runs back to pose with MacGyver and the two Mexican Border Patrol guards for a snapshot that ends the episode.

Memorable QuotesEdit

Kate Connelly: What is that stuff?
MacGyver: Plastique. Silly Putty with a bang.

MacGyverismsEdit

A complete list of problems solved by MacGyver is also available.
  • MacGyver makes his way across a series of flat roofs before using a rope to descend to a window, using a flagpole mounted on the building as a step. He picks the lock of the window with his Swiss Army Knife, and lets himself in.
  • MacGyver slides a map underneath the bottom of a locked door. He then uses his Swiss Army Knife to push the key that is keeping him in through the keyhole and onto the map, which he then pulls back under the door, allowing him to unlock it and escape.
  • Reaching a ledge of sand, MacGyver unrolls the map and uses it as a sled to slide down the hill and gain distance from the soldiers, allowing him to reach a hidden hot air balloon. As he begins to float away, the soldiers contiue to shoot, and a bullet tears a hole in the balloon. MacGyver grabs a few strips of duct tape and the map and climbs the ropes from the basket to the balloon. He then tapes the map over the hole, and having patched the leak, climbs back down into the basket and floats away to safety.
  • MacGyver uses the strap of Connelly's camera bag to neutralize two security wires carrying a high voltage charge by clipping the end onto the top wire and wrapping the strap around the pair to create a large enough gap above the wall to slip through.
  • MacGyver breaks off some plastique and improvises a bomb by "plugging in" a camera to the wad of plastique and setting the camera's timer. He manuevers himself and Connelly out of the way just as the timer goes off, creating a small explosion and mass confusion.
  • Up in a bell tower, MacGyver takes out a leather strap, candle, and some firecrackers. He uses the strap to tighten the rope holding the bell of the tower. Pulling out a roll of duct tape, MacGyver attaches a piece of tape to the one half of the candle and fastens it to the chime of the bell. In a similar fashion, he attaches the firecrackers to the inner part of the bell, above the candle. Having also attached the second half of the candle to the leather strap with duct tape, MacGyver lights both candles with a match. When the strap is burned through, and the bell begins to ring as the firecrackers go off. This creates a diversion that allows MacGyver and Connelly to get away safely.
  • MacGyver slides underneath a bus and grabs a cable from a winch on the front of a jeep. Then he slides with it back under the bus, and attaches it to another jeep. As MacGyver later drives a bus out of the village, one of the tethered jeeps follows close behind until the cable connecting it to the parked jeep is pulled taut, causing the jeep to flip over in dramatic fashion as the bus leaves the village borders safely.
  • MacGyver and Connelly climb into a bus through a window. MacGyver breaks off the rearview mirror and duct tapes it to the driver's seat. Using Connelly's compact as a second mirror, MacGyver starts the bus and drives, safe from gunfire, using the mirrors to see as he steers from the floor.
  • MacGyver comes amicably out of the brush towards two soldiers patrolling the road. He is carrying Connelly in his arms as if she is injured, and walks right up to them. MacGyver literally tosses Connelly into one of the soldiers' arms, and they use the confusion to knock out the pair, MacGyver using his fist, and Connelly using her camera, breaking it in the process. MacGyver and Connelly take the soldiers' jeep and drive away.
  • After ripping off the hood of the jeep, MacGyver pours dirty oil over the engine of the jeep, in hopes it will create a thick cloud of smog when heated. Before leaving, MacGyver also pours a clear liquid from an unmarked gas container into the jeep's leaky radiator, which helps provide them cover by creating a thick smoke.
  • MacGyver uses a few strips of rubber to tie down the jeep's steering wheel, and a piece of duct tape to hold down the gas pedal before shifting the jeep into drive and sending it careening towards the soldiers below, until it slams into another jeep and bursts into flames.
  • Fun with barrels: After sending the smoking jeep down at the soldiers, Vasquez gives the order to fire at anything that moves, and the first things to move are the "surprise-filled" barrels that MacGyver and Connelly roll downhill with burning rags as fuses. As the soldiers fire on them, they explode. Once the soldiers realize this and stop firing at the barrels, MacGyver and Connelly roll downhill in a larger wooden barrel, and plunge into the river before freeing themselves and swimming to the Mexican shore.

Notes and TriviaEdit

BloopersEdit

  • When setting up his distraction in the bell tower, at first MacGyver is shown taping one half of the candle onto the leather strap, beneath the leather strap and the bell's rope. The next time it's shown, the candle is taped to top of the bell's rope, beneath the leather strap. The plan may have worked either way, as the candle was beneath the leather strap in both cases.
  • When sending the barrels down the hill Macgyver is seen pushing the same wooden barrel down that seconds later both of them are supposedly inside.

Cast & CreditsEdit

A complete list of Cast & Credits is also available.

Starring Edit

Actor Character
Richard Dean Anderson MacGyver

Guest StarsEdit

Actor Character
Robin Curtis Kate Connelly
Gregory Sierra General Antonio Vasquez

Special Guest StarEdit

Actor Character
John Vernon Dave Ryerson

Co-StarringEdit

Actor Character
Sam Vlahos Diego Montoya
Marco Lopez Gomez
Socrates Ballis "Captain"
Abdul Salem Camel Driver

Other Credited CrewEdit

Credited Name Position
Judy Burns Writer - Opening Gambit
Lee H. Katzin Director - Opening Gambit
Stephen Downing Supervising Producer
Jerry Ludwig Executive Producer
Terry Nation Producer
Vin Di Bona Line Producer
Lee David Zlotoff Creator
Stephen Kandel Writer
Lee H. Katzin Director
Henry Winkler
John Rich
Executive Producers
Judy Burns Co-Producer
Steven Milkis Associate Producer
Stephen Kandel Executive Story Consultant
Randy Edelman Music
Pam Polifroni Casting
Joanne Koehler Casting Associate
Jules Brenner Director of Photography
Stan Jolley Production Designer
Peter White Editor
David Menteer
Bob Schneider
Unit Production Managers
Robin Chamberlin First Assistant Director
Gary Law Second Assistant Director
Bonnie Dermer Set Decorator
Tommy Welsh Wardrobe Supervisor
Rudolph Garcia Men's Costumer
Shirlene Williams Women's Costumer
Dee Manges Make-Up Artist
Lynn Del Kail Hair Stylist
Kathy Barrett Script Supervisor
Billy Myatt Special Effects
Dean Hodges Sound Mixer
Steve Danforth Music Editor
T.A.V. Sound Sound Editing
Rosa Gonzalez Assistant to Mr. Milkis
Buddy Joe Hooker Stunt Coordinator
Michael Casey Property Master
Modern Videofilm Video Post-Production
Glen Glenn Sound Recording

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