Episode: “Trumbo’s World” season 1, ep. 6
Original air date: November 10, 1985
Mullet Status: Sub-tropical temperatures are not kind to MacGyver’s coif. Frizzy mullet is in full effect. Frullet (froo-lay) is how the French say it.
Plot Synopsis: After rescuing a female geologist trapped in a dilapidated tree house from a Basque military group in the Pyrenees mountain range, MacGyver jets off to Brazil to fight some soldier ants. Possible mistake in screenplay, wherein the opening gambit was meant to be the actual episode and the actual episode was Richard Dean Anderson watching a National Geographic documentary.
Outmatched Opponent(s): Although they foil his plans multiple times, MacGyver succeeds in killing the ants.
No, you’re not watching some crappy science fiction movie:
Love Interest (Y or N): No. Mac witnesses the gruesome death of his entomologist comrade Dr. Charles Alden, eaten alive by soldier ants, and when asked, “Have you been friends a long time?” replies, “I’ll miss him.” Then proceeds to map out an extensive plan to kill the soldier ants and eats a sandwich.
Explosion? (Y or N): Y; in the opening gambit.
Exploding Car Chase Whitewater Rafting Chase? (Y or N): Y; in the opening gambit.
Expository Dialogue? (Y or N): How about expository ¾ of an episode?
Awkward Zoom for Dramatic Effect? (Y or N): Y; in the opening gambit. You get an eyeful of raft when the Basque pursuers run into Mac’s trap. He had strung some barbed wire across the river and their raft explodes on impact. Nevermind that he tossed said bundle of barbed wire into his own raft with no repercussions.
Tools of the Trade:
- Distracts Basque extremists by laying hose to their shower over an open fire, thus heating the water inside to scalding temperatures (definitely not simply melting the hose) which creates pandemonium when one gets a face full of scalding steam (again, not burning his face off). Uses chaos to escape with geologist.
- Welds together a piston. He connects jumper cables to a generator at one end and then to a monkey wrench at the other. Two quarters are gripped by the monkey wrench and somehow facilitate the current and presto! The piston is welded together. I don’t get it either.
- Makes an anti-killer-ant suit out of something (?) spread over chicken wire and then hardened into a suit shape. Kind of like how piñatas are made.
- Creates flamethrower (used to kill the ants) by connecting a hose to a very large drum of gasoline, duct-taping a metal nozzle onto the end of the hose and then lighting the gas as it comes out the hose. Mac dumps something he calls Kitchen Magic into the gas drum to make it burn slower but a very lazy Google search by myself did not come up with any product that matches what he used in the episode.
If you’d rather learn how to do useful things like start making phone calls from your iPod Touch, why don’t you check out the What Would MacGyver Do website. (Rental Rehab is not responsible for any misuse of information that may occur after viewing that site.)
1. “Now I’m going to bet, somebody’s going to be in a lot of hot water real soon,” MacGyver before he gives a Basque extremist a facial with his hot water shower invention.
2. “Are they still after us?” asks female geologist about the Basque extremists chasing Mac in their pool fun raft. MacGyver replies, “No, chances are those guys are all washed up.”
3. “Aaaaaaaaaah!” Ants screaming while being torched by Mac’s flamethrower.
4. “Ah, what a life I lead. Riding the rapids in the Pyrenees mountains one day and the next crossing half the world to help out a friend with a very weird problem in a very strange part of the Amazon. I think I should get an unlisted phone number.” MacGyver making less sense than normal.
Thank You, Captain Obvious:
MacGyver wears a Calgary Flames baseball cap the entire episode.
Important Life Lessons: Soldier ants have the mental capacity of dogs. If you build a moat around your coca plantation (idea used before the flamethrower) then the ants will chew off leaves from nearby trees and ride their little leafboats across the moat. If you kill a soldier ant, it will scream. Stay out of Brazilian Amazonia.
Rental Rehab review by Kelli.