A new episode airs tonight – the one that fans have been looking for for almost a year, but are dreading at the same time.
(Spoiler Alert: You will get spoilered about Season 5 storylines and characters by reading this post and its comments or by clicking on the links provided. For daily news and to join the discussion, you can find me on Twitter and on the MacGyverOnline Forums.)
About Episode 5×04 (MAC419)
Last week was the premiere of Episode 5×04 (Banh Bao + Sterno + Drill + Burner + Mason). It was written by Justin Lisson and Sophia Lopez and directed by Peter Weller; filmed with production number MAC419 (Banh Bao + Drill + Burner + Mason). They released 9 Official Stills and 3 Sneak Peeks beforehand.
Corey Jung added a few more BtS photos and videos the next day. On January 12, Matthew Albright uploaded a BtS video of the window stunt. Tech Consultant Rhett Allain typed up a blog post about the MacGyverisms; adding several videos.
Episode 5×04 had 5.173 million live-viewers and a 0.6 demo rating in the important demo group of 18-49 year olds. This episode had the best ratings of all Season 5 episodes so far. Compared to the other CBS scripted shows (21 in total), it places Rank 12 in average demo and Rank 13 in average live-viewers per episode.
Several of the writers joined the live-tweeting, but again none of the main cast besides Henry Ian Cusick. With about 380 estimated tweets per hour, it wasn’t enough for the hashtag #MacGyver to trend; unlike #BlueBloods with about 2300 tweets per hour (trending Ranks 13 and 14 US-wide for about two hours). For comparison: #MagnumPI had about 84 tweets per hour.
Overall, the episode was well-received on social media. A lot of fans liked Ben Wang’s first ever TV appearence as Eli; asking if he will come back in a recurring role. It’s also the best-rated episode on IMDb at the moment.
What you need to know about Episode 5×05 (MAC416)
Tonight is the premiere of Episode 5×05 (Jack + Kinematics + Safe Cracker + MgKNO3 + GTO); the episode many fans have been waiting for. It was written by Jim Adler and directed by Ericson Core (who already directed Episodes 2×02, 2×22 and 4×11).
This episode was filmed with production number MAC416 (Jack + Kinematics + MgKNO3 + GTO) back in January and February last year. As mentioned last week, the title of this episode has been a topic often talked about within the fandom since the revelation of the script title page and the emergence of BtS photos of a military funeral and a wake in Mac’s home.
After being very patient, we finally got the Press Release and a First Still on January 11. Here’s the synopsis:
Using a cryptic postcard as their only clue, Mac and the team must solve a fallen friend’s final case and bring him justice.
Many fans still secretly hoped for a guest appearance by George Eads until the guest stars were revealed in the Press Release. CBS later released 17 Official Stills. All but two feature Mac, Desi and Russ outside; presumably chasing someone down an alley. You can find 14 tagged Stills on Getty Images and all untagged Stills on Seat42F.
We only got the two Sneak Peeks last night; again fuelling the discussions among fans about Jack’s potential demise. As mentioned before, Lucas Till’s stepmom Lavonda Till had visited the set to watch Lucas’ dad John Mark Till filming some scenes as a background actor. She had uploaded several photos onto Facebook before she deleted the photos and locked her profile (due to fans commenting on the post).
It must have been a very special day (although both Lavonda and John already have been on set of the Lake Como scene for a guest appearance in the Pilot).
We got some more BtS material this week; e.g. by Kelita Deeter Miller or by Henry Ian Cusick.
What you need to know about Episode 5×06 (MAC502)
While information about Episode 5×05 has been scarce, they were quick with promotion for the “Quarantine Episode” that airs next week. This is the second episode that has been filmed for Season 5.
After a first spoiler-teaser via TVLine on December 29, we got the Press Release and the First Official Still on January 4. A day later, CBS revealed in their Notes for Nerds Newsletter that MacGyver will write a song dedicated to his favorite immunologist. Yesterday, we got 10 Official Stills via the CBS Press Site.
Some fans have been disappointed that the Official Stills didn’t show the trio doing mundane things in quarantine, but the trio plus Desi out and about tackling bad guys. We’ve only seen about a handful of BtS photos for this episode, so everyone’s very curious.
Keep in mind that due to the pandemic, it’s possible that Still Photographers (like Danielle Korman for this episode) will usually come on set when they film scenes either outside or in big, airy spaces. They might later add some screenshots as Stills. Also, as with the other “new” episode 5×03, we might get some exclusive extra material next week.
Here’s the synopsis:
During COVID-19’s first stay-at-home order, as Mac, Bozer and Riley quarantine together, they try to stop a crime in progress at their neighbor’s house. Also, Russ’ romantic fling takes on a longer and more complicated turn when they quarantine together.
Season 5 Overview
Here’s an overview of the upcoming Season 5 episodes. The infos were either provided by CBS, by the website for the Writers Guild of America West, by social media accounts or IMDb (cast and crew info), by SpoilerTV (press releases) and The Futon Critic (airdates).
- 5×05 (MAC416): Jack + Kinematics + Safe Cracker + MgKNO3 + GTO (January 15)
Written by Jim Adler, directed by Ericson Core
- 5×06 (MAC502): Quarantine + N95 + Landline + Telescope + Social Distance (January 22)
Written by Stephanie Hicks and Andrew Karlsruher, directed by Andrew Ahn
- 5×07 (MAC417): Golden Lancehead + Venom + Pole Vault + Blood + Baggage (February 5)
Written by Joshua Brown and Andrew Karlsruher, directed by David Straiton
Presumed guest appearance by Aly Michalka (Frankie)
There is a rerun of Episode 4×04 (Windmill + Acetone + Celluloid + Firing Pin) scheduled for January 29.
Remember that episode titles and the episode order are not definite until an official Press Release by CBS. For now, I sorted the other episodes by production number:
- (MAC418): SOS + Hazmat + Frequency + Malihini
Written by Cindy Appel, directed by Yangzom Brauen
Presumed guest appearances by Jorge Garcia and Robert Patrick
- (MAC420): Rails + Pitons + Pipe + Salt
Written by Rob Pearlstein, directed by Christine Moore
- (MAC503): tba
Presumed guest appearances by David Dastmalchian and Joe Pantoliano
- (MAC504): tba
Presumably written by Teresa Huang
Due to the recent Covid-19 surge, most of the LA productions extended their Holiday Hiatus. We don’t know if the LA Unit for MacGyver (where Meredith Eaton films) had been affected as well and/or if they’re still on time with the filming schedule.
Working on Episode MAC504 and beyond
Filming for the episode with production number 504 started last Friday. At least that’s what I thought until Lucas Till posted several Insta Stories on January 11. It looks like they’re working on finishing up the episode with production number MAC420 that was in the middle of filming when production was shut down on March 13 last year.
To recap: Last week, Hussein Agamiri uploaded an Instagram Story with the crew set up for filming before a narrow, but high square with a green screen on top. This Monday, Lucas posted videos of him climbing up a fake mountain (or rather, hanging on ropes while getting instructions for another take). He’s wearing the same clothes as back for Episode MAC420. It’s not clear yet if they’re finishing up what was left or if they resorted to re-film the entire episode.
Tristin Mays also posted Insta Stories from set and inside her trailer; admiring the boots and jacket she got to wear for filming. Grip Steven Serna provided a BtS photo to show us the “fly swatters” installed on the set. During the next days, they continued filming on outside locations and inside the warehouse they have been filming in and around several times before.
It was a nice surprise but also rather strange that after weeks of “radio silence”, they chose to post so much BtS material again. But I’m not going to complain; who knows when this lucky streak is over. Generally, they seem more secretive about the newly filmed episodes than the “old” ones.
Cast, Crew and other MacGyver-related News
Surprisingly, we finally got a new Casting Call – the only one since November 12: Central Casting Georgia has been looking for Guards (preferably with tactical experience).
We got some prop BtS photos for Episode 5×02 as well; e.g. of the laser cutter, of the toxin vial or options for Desi’s burglar gear bag. Guest Star Mei Ritchart (Young Desi) also added a few new BtS photos for the same episode this week.
ICYMI: The trailer for Lucas’ upcoming movie Son of the South got officially released on YouTube last week. Both Movie Coverage and Movie Trailers Source as two of the accounts with the most followers have over 110’000 views so far.
It looks like Vertical Entertainment took over from Clear Horizon Entertainment to start on the promotion. On January 13, they created new accounts for Twitter and Instagram (though the old ones are still up) plus one for Facebook; presenting a new poster for the US. The movie will be available on demand and in selected theaters February 5.
So far, I haven’t heard anything about upcoming promo appearances. In a non-pandemic year, this movie would have probably hit the Film Festival circuit for several months. Sadly, we can’t expect many interviews and certainly no red carpet events, but we know from BtS material that they had done some interviews on set during filming days.