MacGyver Reboot Update #102

We finally reached the most important Friday this year so far – the Season 4 Premiere is tonight! While filming continues, we’re spoiled with new promo material every day now.

Promo photo for Season 4 (Mark Hill/CBS, via Tristin Mays)

(Big Spoiler Alert: You WILL get heavily spoilered about characters and storylines in Season 4 by reading this post and its comments or by clicking on the links provided! For daily news and to join the discussion and/or speculate away, you can find me on Twitter and head over to the MacGyverOnline Forums.)


Season 4 Storylines and Promo News
Season 4 premieres tonight! We got some more exciting promo material since my last blog post:

  • New/Old Interviews: We got a few not-so-new, but still interesting interviews to read and watch; done with Lucas Till at the Corus Upfront in Toronto back in June 2019. On January 31, Rudy Blair uploaded his interview. ET Canada posted their video interview on Wednesday. Yesterday, Global News posted the video of Lucas appearing on The Morning Show.

Since the Corus Upfronts Interviews were recorded about half a year ago and before filming for Season 4 had even started, Lucas couldn’t reveal much about the storyline this season. He probably hadn’t even gotten a script of the new episodes to read yet.

BtS photo of Episode 4×01: Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix (via Meredith Eaton)

He did talk a bit about the stunt work and about filming his movie “Son of the South” during the Morning Show interview.

  • New Interviews: We got a lot more of new interviews than I ever expected and hoped for; considering the show got pushed to midseason. Fun times! On February 4, Matt Carter posted a new interview with Lucas taken just a few days ago. A day later, TV Line posted their interview with Henry Ian Cusick. Additionally, ET Online posted a new interview with Lucas, alongside an exclusive clip of the opening scene. The local CBS stations also had an interview up with Lucas on the same day. Ian had also done an interview with Melissa Byers that was posted on the Emmys website. Today, Parade Magazine released their interview with Lucas who spilled quite a bit about the first episode (more on that further down).

Being already in the middle of filming the season, Lucas talked with Matt Carter about working with Henry Ian Cusick and the character of Russ Taylor, about the different energy in the new season and about the possibility of him directing an episode.

Promo photo for Season 4 (Mark Hill/CBS, screenshot via Tumblr)

As Lucas told ET Online, the new season is a bit different and slightly darker, and looks and feels more mature. Also, he revealed to CBS that Executive Producer Peter Lenkov had initially been a bit concerned about making too many changes; fearing it could alienate the audience.

You see Mac grow up in his way of thinking. ‘You can’t save everybody,’ is what part of the season turns into and it’s not just black and white. There’s not just good and bad, and that’s what the season becomes in the first 13.

(Lucas Till for ET Online)

Despite the darker tone, Lucas said in the interview for CBS that there’a still a lot of fun in the episodes. Ian told TV Line he’s never had more fun in a TV role before; being able to be “bigger”, joking around and even improvising his lines every now and then. But he also revealed to Melissa Byers the had been very nervous coming on set; being the “new guy” after the others had already worked with each other for months and even years.

  • Portraits and Group Photos: Last Friday, the new potraits and group photos shot by Still Photographer Mark Hill popped up online.

They had never done new photos after the promo material for the pilot episode with Lucas Till and George Eads. Heck, there isn’t even an official promo team photo for the first three seasons. As you can imagine, the fans were over the moon; re-posting and -tweeting the new photos on social media like crazy. The portraits are being used on the bio page for CBS Press Express and are available on Getty Images; along with one of the team photos.

Promo photo for Season 4 (Mark Hill/CBS)

On February 3, Justin Hires uploaded a short video (taken by Tristin Mays) of him posing for his portraits. Interestingly, he has one additional portrait while the others only got two single portraits each.

  • Episode Titles Galore: On February 3, CBS released the titles for the initially ordered 13 episodes.

Well, the majority of the titles since the equations weren’t fully revealed. We can assume that most titles will have plus signs only – but for now, I’ll put in question marks as placeholders.

  • Extended Trailer and Sneak Peeks: On February 4, we got a new, extended preview. Just a day later, ET Online presented an exclusive video clip of the Opening Scene, alongside a short interview with Lucas.

Like the first preview, the extended preview features scenes from the first four episodes. We get to see more scenes of MacGyver teaching and Riley in her non-Phoenix workplace.

Episode 4×01: Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix (Mark Hill/CBS via Getty Images)

In the Opening Scene, we see MacGyver wave his way through traffic at speed, running along campus – only to finally arrive in his own classroom and the chemistry lesson he was apparently late to.

The music is still the same length, though they dropped the beginning that was reminiscent to the Original Show. Also, the new logo is red with a different font. The cast order is Lucas Till, Tristin Mays, Justin Hires, Meredith Eaton, Levy Tran and Henry Ian Cusick.

  • Spoiler Alert and BtS Previews: On February 6, CBS released a short, spoiler-filled video with the cast. Later, CBS uploaded a BtS Preview Video. Last Week, Astrid Martinez from TV News Channel CBS46 had visited the cast on set. Yesterday, they aired the short segment on TV. Today, CBS uploaded another video from set, this time with the cast talking about their best life hacks.

Of course, the spoilers are all censored (aka bleeped out). Though from what I was able to understand, someone gets married and a lot of people will die. Sadly, all the clips on the official YouTube-account are restricted to US-viewers only. If perusing the MacGyverCBS-account from Europe, the videos are not listed. Also, the set visit was really short. I hope we get to see more photos and interview segments; maybe shortly before the episode airs.

Screenshot of the Season 4 Opening Title Sequence

What you need to know about Episode 4×01
The episode airing tonight is titled “Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix”. It was written by (former) Co-Showrunner Terry Matalas and directed by David Straiton.

In case you missed the synopsis:

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

On January 7, CBS had released a red logo with black writing. We can assume it’s for the not-so-mysterious-anymore organization named “The Codex” that will test our heroes and their abilities to save the world.

Promo photo for Season 4 (Mark Hill/CBS, screenshot via Tumblr)

According to TV Line, Season 4 will pick up 18 months after the Phoenix Foundation was disbanded and the team members were stripped of their high-level clearances. We already knew MacGyver works as a college professor and we’ve seen BtS photos of Bozer promoting his own movie, but Lucas revealed to Parade Magazine what the other members of Team Phoenix have been doing: Riley works in Silicon Valley, Desi works as a bouncer and Matty is doing TED talks. Also, not only did Mac and Desi broke up, but Bozer’s love life is also on the skids – and someone is in a secret relationship!

In an interview with TV Guide Magazine, Lucas Till revealed that Russ Taylor will buy up the Phoenix, so we can assume some tension between Russ and former boss Matty. Also, he told Astrid Martinez when visiting the set for Channel CBS46 that his dad will have a guest appearance. Maybe as a fellow professor?

CBS had uploaded 26 Official Stills onto their press site. Sadly, not all of them are available in HD quality, but most of them are finally up on SpoilerTV. We also got several Sneak Peeks for the episode. In case you missed them: The First Look Video via TV Insider shows is the first meeting between MacGyver and Russ Taylor. In another Sneak Peek, we get to see the “rebooted” Team Phoenix on their first mission.

Episode 4×02: Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed (Guy D’Alema/CBS via Getty Images)

What you need to know about Episode 4×02
The episode airing next Friday is titled “Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed”. It’s written by Stephanie Hicks and directed by Alexandra La Roche.

Here’s the synopsis:

Department of Defense General John Acosta (Xander Berkeley) recruits MacGyver to steal a highly classified project from a military lab in order to find flaws in its security. But when it’s discovered that the general is planning an attack using the weapon, Phoenix must stop Acosta before the weapon is uploaded.

CBS uploaded 15 Stills in total onto their press site. At the moment, 14 of them are available on Getty Images (watermarked). Weirdly, the cast list for 4×02 is the exact same as for 4×01, so there might have been a mix-up with the episode order being different from the production order.

Season 4 Episode Overview
Here’s a short recap about the episodes we can look forward to. The infos were either provided by CBS, by people working on the show or taken from IMDb (cast and crew info), from SpoilerTV or similar sites (episode titles and storyline info) and from The Futon Critic (airdates).

Promo photo for Season 4 (Mark Hill/CBS, screenshot via Tumblr)

As you can see, there will be a 3-week-break for March Madness like every year. Episode titles and airdates are not definite, though – until an official Press Release by CBS. And even then, changes are still a possibility.

  • 4×01: Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix (February 7)
    Written by Terry Matalas, directed by David Straiton
  • 4×02: Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed (February 14)
    (Presumably) Written by Stephanie Hicks, directed by Alexandra La Roche
  • 4×03: Kid + Plane + Cable + Truck (February 21)
    Written by Rob Pearlstein, directed by Lily Mariye
  • 4×04: Windmill + Acetone + Celluloid + Firing Pin (February 28)
    Directed by Eagle Egilsson
  • 4×05: Soccer + Desi + Merchant + Titan (March 6)
    Directed by Duane Clark
  • 4×06: Right (?) Wrong (?) Both (?) Neither (March 13)
    Directed by Roderick Davis
  • 4×07: Mac + Desi + Riley + Aubrey (April 3)
    Guest appearances by Tate Donovan (as James MacGyver) and Peter Weller (as Mason)
  • 4×08: Father (?) Son (?) Father (?) Matriarch (April 10)
    Presumably directed by David Straiton
  • 4×09: Code (?) Artemis (?) Nuclear (?) Nemesis (April 17)
    Written by Brandon Botta and Casey Tollett Botta, directed by Mike Martinez
  • 4×10: Tesla (?) Bell (?) Edison (?) Mac (April 24)
    Directed by Yangzom Brauen
  • 4×11: Psy-Op (?) Cell (?) Merchant (?) Birds (May 1)
  • 4×12: Loyalty (?) Family (?) Rogue (?) Hellfire (May 8)
    Presumed guest appearance by Rob Giumarra
  • 4×13: Save + The + Dam + World (May 15)
    Directed by Carlos Bernard
  • 4×14: (title tba)
  • 4×15: Resort + Desi + Riley + Witness (tbd)
    Written by Stephanie Hicks, directed by Avi Youabian
  • 4×16: Jack + Kinematics + MgKNO3 + GTO (tbd)
    Written by Jim Adler, directed by Ericson Core
  • 4×17: (title tba)

A little recap: Filming for Episode 4×15 (Resort + Desi + Riley + Witness) started around January 16 and is directed by Avi Youabian. The cast filmed scenes in the War Room, in an elevator, inside the Equitable Building and at the Candler Hotel. There was a bullet-riddled Maserati, a wheelchair and a bleeding Riley, a sandy beach in Hawaii and several night shoots.

Working on Episode 4×16 and beyond
Episode 4×16 is titled “Jack + Kinematics + MgKNO3 + GTO” and was written by Jim Adler. Filming for the episode directed by Ericson Core started around January 24. The cast set up at Fulton County Airport, at East Point Wagon Works and at the Arcade. They also destroyed quite a few bottles of red wine for the camera. Additionally, we got a photo of Lucas Till in MacGyver’s military dress uniform; filming what looks like army personnel waiting on a casket to arrive in the hangar.

BtS photo of Season 4 (via Grecia)

On February 3, filming continued in warehouse-like locations we’ve seen before. Mike Milligan was back for stunt work and geo-tagged his posts with “Croatia”. Lucas Till uploaded a video of Mike “losing it” on the stunt floor.

On February 4, they filmed on different locations around Downtown Atlanta. People nearby were able to get some photos and videos; e.g. of Lucas Till and Henry Ian Cusick filming or of Lucas during lunch break. According to Matthew Albright, they filmed at Interpol HQ as well.

On Wednesday, they filmed more scenes with – presumably Jack’s – GTO. Tristin Mays was happy to find another tiny door right on set. Both her and Lucas took photos and videos with it.

Promo photo for Season 4 (Mark Hill/CBS, screenshot via Tumblr)

Yesterday, there was heavy rain in Atlanta; making it difficult to get to set unscathed and to film outside (they were scheduled to shoot in Grant Park). It looks like they had to reschedule for filming outside. Considering it’s snowing now, they might have to do some changes to today’s schedule as well. For now, they do film some scenes outside what looks like the old DXS building.

All in all, cast and crew are exciting for tonight’s premiere; posting a lot on social media. Even Lucas Till has been uploading some Instagram Stories as I type this post. Sadly, Twitter doesn’t seem to be working properly right now, so let’s hope it’s fixed before the premiere so we can get the show’s hashtag trending!

Episode 4×01: Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix (via SpoilerTV)

Crew, Cast and Character News
Central Casting Georgia has been looking for Caucasian or Hispanic Background Actors, for Business People, for Airport Background Actors with or without cars, for Police, Hazmat and Detectives, for a Caucasian Featured Man, for a Taxi Driver, for Park Background Actors and for an Airport Patron. They’ve also been looking for Stand-Ins for Tristin Mays and for Marvin Ross.

It looks like Aly Michalka (who played Frankie Mallory in Episode 1×19) might be back on set for Episode 4×17. Also, it looks like some more of Lucas’ relatives and friends might have background spots in upcoming episodes.

About that Time Jump (encore)
As mentioned before, Time Jumps are not a rarity in TV-Show-Land – but it’s rare to have such a long one. And while the writers and producers practically get a “blank slate” to change and shape the show into whatever they wanted from the beginning, it’s not easy to not getting the long-term fans all worked up and angry or anxious about what’s coming and what’s been undone.

Episode 4×01: Fire + Ashes + Legacy = Phoenix (via TV Insider)

It’s nice we got so much promo this year. But there are a few things I’m not too happy about from what I’ve seen in the Sneak Peeks and read in the interviews.

  • MacGyver being reckless: In the Opening Sequence, we see Mac weaving in and out of traffic. What looks like a chase for a mission, turns out to be MacGyver just being late for his class.

While Mac certainly is not hesitant to be reckless and put his own life in danger to save other people’s lives, he would never endanger anyone else just because he overslept.

  • The Team falling out of touch: Apparently, Team Phoenix hasn’t talked to each other during the “hiatus”.

Maybe they wouldn’t see each other as often; especially with Jack still away and the team grieving over Charlie (and Mac feeling awfully guilty). I can see Desi falling out of touch with the others; for once because she joined last and second because if she actually dated MacGyver and the relationship fell apart (more on that further down), the others may have “sided” with Mac.

Promo photo for Season 4 (Mark Hill/CBS, screenshot via Tumblr)

I can accept everyone struggling with losing a job/position they loved – but I just can’t believe they would have fallen out of touch for a year or more. Even if Bozer moved out of Mac’s house (and he must have, otherwise it makes no sense at all). While Mac has a tendency to withdraw himself from others, Bozer sure doesn’t. This is rather out of character and was just done to have a reason to Russ Taylor swooping in to “save” them. I’m sure, there would have been a better idea how to bring Russ into the team. Personally, I’d preferred maybe Mac saving his life, then deciding they need each other to save Phoenix and get rid of the new bad guy collective.

  • MacGyver’s love life all happening off-screen: The last few episodes of Season 3 hinted at a beginning romance between Mac and Desi; ending with Mac and Desi planning to go on a “date”.

There were several hints at Mac and Desi having been dating and breaking it up again off-screen. Them having been a couple was just confirmed by Lucas with the Parade Magazine interview. Why didn’t we get to see that? While it can be interesting to see an ex-couple reconciling and to learn a story through flashbacks, I fear it’s only implemented to add tension throughout the entire season until they find back together. Both Lucas Till and Levy Tran have good chemistry together, I don’t see why they didn’t let the viewers come to the same conclusion and see the relationship progress naturally over time. (Though to be honest, I’d rather see MacGyver and Riley ending up together; spending a lot of time talking about Jack and struggling with his absence, and later spending a lot of time without talking about Jack.)

Episode 4×02: Red Cell + Quantum + Cold + Committed (Mark Hill/CBS via Getty Images)

Best of TV Awards: Round 1 Results
The Reboot is still competing in the “Best of TV Awards” held by Canada Graphs – and already won in several categories in Round 1! Here are the results that are available so far:

  • Favorite TV Program (Rank 1)
  • Best Director: Brad Turner for Episode 3×13 (Rank 1)
  • Best Episode: 3×13 (Rank 1), 3×22 (Rank 2), 3×11 (Rank 4)
  • Favorite Character: Mac (Rank 1), Jack (Rank 2), Riley (Rank 3), Bozer (Rank 4)
  • Best Writing (Rank 1)
  • Best Stunts (Rank 1)
  • Best Non-Human Character or Prop (Sparky; Rank 1)
  • Best Couple (Bozer + Leanna; Rank 1)

Voting for Round 2 has already started! You can find the voting page here. Remember: This time, you can only vote once for a category, but sometimes you have multiple selections to choose from.

Promo photo for Season 4 (Mark Hill/CBS, screenshot via Tumblr)

These are the MacGyver-related categories currently open for voting and to keep an eye on in Round 2:

  • Best Couple (Bozer + Leanna)

ICYMI: Last Summer, the Reboot had won a surfboard at the Teen Choice Awards (in the category “Choice Action TV Show”). It finally arrived at the Paramount Studio Lot.

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