A new episode airs tonight – another one of the “old” episodes filmed for Season 4. Who’s also happy to see Frankie again?
(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 5×06 (MAC502)
Two weeks ago was the premiere of Episode 5×06 (Quarantine + N95 + Landline + Telescope + Social Distance). During the premiere, writer Stephanie Hicks tweeted that it had been very cathartic to write out their frustrations and fears surrounding quarantine and that she had been in the middle of re-planning her wedding when writing the script.
CBS released 10 Official Stills and a whopping number of 5 Sneak Peeks beforehand – plus the two clips that should have been uploaded after the episode aired (that they deleted half a day later after realizing their mistake).
The exclusive Sneak Peek article provided by TV Insider included a short interview with Henry Ian Cusick. He talked a bit about the sword-fighting scene:
(…) Because of COVID, it just takes up a lot more time [to shoot]. You’re testing and cleaning and resetting and everything just takes a lot of time with filming. They wrote it and the director said, “We’re going to cut it because it’s just going to take up too much.” We kind of fought for it and I’m so glad that that sword fight was back in. It just makes it a little bit more sexy, and Camilla’s character is aristocratic so it brings that element to it.
(via TV Insider)
We got a few BtS videos by Stephanie Hicks when the episode aired. Extra Brandon Bell stated on Facebook that he had fun working with he cast. On January 24, Tech Consultant Rhett Allain released his blog post about the MacGyverisms. A day later, Joshua Romeo posted a BtS video of the escalator stunt in the mall.
To recap: Episode 5×05 made 4.989 million live-viewers with a 0.55 in demo. Episode 5×06 had similar, but slightly better ratings with 4.994 million live-viewers and a demo of 0.57 in the group of 18-49 year olds. In the Live +3 Days Ratings, it added 0.982 million viewers (+19.66%) and 0.186 in demo (+32.90%); reaching a total of 5.976 million viewers and 0.75 in demo.
Compared to the other scripted CBS shows (21 in total at the moment), it places Rank 13 in average live-viewers per episode and Rank 11 in average demo.
Several of the writers plus Lucas Till joined the live-tweeting. According to Henry Ian Cusick, he was still filming when the episode aired. With about 2200 estimated tweets per hour, it still wasn’t enough for the hashtag #MacGyver to trend US-wide, but it was a lot more tweets than for #MagnumPI (about 300 estimated tweets per hour) or for #BlueBloods (about 819). Overall, the episode was very well-received on social media.
About the Rerun of Episode 4×04
Last Friday, we got a rerun of Episode 4×04 (Windmill + Acetone + Celluloid + Firing Pin). It was nice to see that the writers joined in on the live-tweeting; even posting new BtS material (e.g. a closer look at the egg drop apparatus or the bomb, renderings for scenes and a video of the prop crew testing the “plank walk”).
The episode had 3.552 million live-viewers with a demo of 0.3, which is the highest live-audience number for all Season 4 reruns so far.
What you need to know about Episode 5×07 (MAC417)
Tonight is the premiere of Episode 5×07 (Golden Lancehead + Venom + Pole Vault + Blood + Baggage). It was written by Joshua Brown and Andrew Karlsruher. It was directed by David Straiton; filmed with production number MAC417 in February last year.
We got the Press Release with a First Official Still on January 19; alongside the confirmation that we will see another guest appearance by Aly Michalka as Frankie.
ICYMI, here’s the synopsis:
The secret experimental cancer treatment Mac’s developing with a friend is discovered when culprits ransack their lab, kidnap Mac’s partner and plan to use the research to create a powerful new nerve agent.
On January 21, CBS relased 17 Stills on their press site. 11 tagged Stills are up on Getty Images; 16 untagged Stills are available on What2Vue. For once, we didn’t have to wait long for the Sneak Peeks since CBS was nice enough to release four of them by Monday already.
What you need to know about Episode 5×08 (MAC418)
Next week is the premiere of Episode 5×08 (SOS + Hazmat + Ultrasound + Frequency + Malihini). It was written by Cindy Appel and directed by Yangzom Brauen (who already directed Episode 4×10). This is the episode filmed with production number MAC418 (SOS + Hazmat + Frequency + Malihini) back in February last yar.
We got the Press Release on January 21. Here’s the synopsis:
Mac and team rush to help when Matty’s former mentor, Ian Cain (Robert Patrick), and his embassy staff come down with a deadly, mysterious illness. Also, Taylor and Bozer work with Jerry Ortega (“Hawaii Five-0’s” Jorge Garcia) to infiltrate a Codex cell.
On Tuesday, we got 16 Official Stills via the CBS Press Site; all of them featuring MacGyver and Desi during a shoot-out and meeting some Hazmat Guys. No untagged Stills have been released yet, but the episode got a little snippet in the current issue of TV Guide Magazine.
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).
- 5×07 (MAC417): Golden Lancehead + Venom + Pole Vault + Blood + Baggage (February 5)
Written by Joshua Brown and Andrew Karlsruher, directed by David Straiton
- 5×08 (MAC418): SOS + Hazmat + Ultrasound + Frequency + Malihini (February 12)
Written by Cindy Appel, directed by Yangzom Brauen
- 5×09 (MAC420/504): Rails + Pitons + Pulley + Pipe + Salt (February 19)
Written by Rob Pearlstein, directed by Christine Moore
There is a rerun of Episode 4×11 (Psy-Op + Cell + Merchant + Birds) scheduled for February 26.
Remember that episode titles and the episode order are not definite until an official Press Release by CBS. I sorted the upcoming, newly filmed episodes by production number:
- 5×10 (MAC503): tba
Presumed guest appearances by David Dastmalchian and Joe Pantoliano
- 5×11 (MAC505): tba
Presumably written by Teresa Huang
- 5×12 (MAC506): tba
Presumed guest appearance by Camilla Arfwedson
We don’t know much about these episodes or if they’re still on time with the schedule. There have been filming restrictions in California and LA recently, so it’s safe to assume that the schedule for the LA Unit (where Meredith Eaton has been filming) was affected as well.
A little birdie told me that one of the upcoming episodes is titled “barn find + oil slick + la punzonatura + lab rats + tachometer”. Because the filming schedule seems to be all over the place (more about that further down), I can’t yet determine the definite episode number, though.
Working on Episode MAC505 and beyond
To Recap: On January 14, Esther Elise Johnson posted that they had wrapped the episode with production number MAC504. Guest star Alexandra Grey arrived in Atlanta on January 20, filming her first scenes for the episode with production number MAC505 the day after.
During the premiere of Episode 5×06, the writers had revealed that Russ Taylors love interest Sofia will return. Filming resumed January 25 with Camilla Arfwedson posting a photo from inside her trailer. They had white lab rats in a maze on set on January 27. The next day, they filmed inside the Phoenix Jet.
On January 24 and 27, Christopher Jon Duddy uploaded a few photos while location scouting (the Hindu Temple of Atlanta and an abandoned church). Note that back in the promo videos for Season 4, there was a bleeped out spoiler video teasing us about people dying and someone getting married. Filming inside the church continued on January 29. We got to see Lucas Till as the plague doctor and Levy Tran dressed as a nun, so I’m already curious what the episode is about.
Filming resumed very early on Monday morning (February 1st), with crew members posting the first Instagram photos at 3.30am. The crew set up at Sweetwater Creek State Park; filming scenes with bad guys on trucks and a stunt person on a bike. Both Lucas Till and Tristin Mays were seen on set; freezing with temperatures of 35°F. According to First Assistant Director Esther Elise Johnson, it was the last day of filming for MAC505.
Filming on February 2nd took place at the Hindu Tempel of Atlanta and continued at the same location for two days; including a night shoot. Camilla Arfwedson posted a photo of her on set today; and it looks like her character Sofia is dressed perfectly for a gala event; matching Lucas Till wearing the Pilot Episode suit yesterday. So, who’s getting married?
Judging by clothes and hairstyles plus the change in filming days and the long hours lately, I’ve been wondering if they’ve been filming episodes in parallel. It’s been harder to follow what’s going on behind the scenes; with filming of MAC505 taking a lot longer than the earlier episodes they filmed so far this year. For now, I’m assuming they have been filming 505 and 506 in parallel and maybe even scenes for 507 already.
But judging by BtS material, cast and crew are still enjoying themselves. After several months, Justin Hires uploaded another BtS photo of Bozer inside Phoenix. Tristin Mays uploaded two longer videos this week; one of them showing how she transforms herself into Riley Davis in the early morning (including doing her own hair and make-up plus getting a nasal swab) and another one featuring the Junebug Challenge Dance Off.
Cast, Crew and other MacGyver-related News
The writers already teased us about it, but TV Line confirmed that we will see Riley’s hacker persona back in an upcoming episode; exploring an opportunity to groom young female hackers in similar situations as Riley in the Pilot Episode.
Starting todady, Lucas Till’s movie Son of the South is available on demand and in selected theaters. Lucas did several short interviews together with Lex Scott Davis (e.g. for AM FM Magazine, ScreenRant or BackstageOL) on the weekend to promote the premiere. On the official movie website, you can find a list of theatres and of VOD and Digital Platforms (with a direct link).
Reviews are ranging from scathing to praising (e.g. Variety) and everything in between (e.g. Chicago Sun Time). The IMDb-Rating has plummeted from 7.9 this morning to a 4.4 as I’m writing up this blog post, but it’s still early (with only 106 votes) and it actually holds a median of 9.5. (Note: the median is the value separating the higher half from the lower half; meaning that 50% of the voters rated the movie 9.5 and higher).
According to IssueWire, the movie has qualified for an Official Oscars submission and is “in consideration”. There’s a dozen of award circuit nominations announced within the next few months, so lets hope Son of the South gets some love by the industry.
For German speaking fans: There’s a German distributor (Busch Media Group), but no release date for German-speaking regions yet.