MacGyver has a problem to solve that will require a lot more than duct tape: thanks to archenemy Murdoc, Bozer just learned that his best friend is not some “think tank” wonk, but an international spy.
And though the roomies made small inroads last week toward patching things up, “There’s some residual stuff to sort through, for sure,” says Lucas Till, who fronts the CBS freshman (airing Fridays at 8/7c). But “once the dust has cleared,” he adds, Bozer (Justin Hires) “starts embracing” who and what Mac really is, and with more than a little exceitemnt. “He is like Joe Pesci in Lethal Weapon.”
MacGyver, in turn, is processing a potential truth from ex-girlfriend/colleague Nicky (Tracy Spiridakos), who during a diner rendezvous served up much food for thought with the suggestion that he is not working for the good guys.
And how does Mac react to that? “He’s gone from trusting Nicky to thinking she’s dead, to not trusting her, to thinking — whether or not he admits it out loud — ‘If I find her, maybe there’s something for us to talk about,'” says Till. “But you realize in that diner, ‘Nah, he’s probably just going to hate her forever,’ and then she drops this bomb on him, that maybe she is doing what she’s doing for bigger reasons that we originally thought. That maybe Thornton’s the bad guy. Who knows!”
Mac thus grapples with keeping a big secret of his own, from the rest of the Phoenix team. “From a dramatic irony standpoint, it’s yet again something to hold back from Jack (George Eads), so Jack can give him s–t about it at a later date,” Till reckons with a big laugh. “Either way, it creates conflict.” That said, the Mac-and-Jack bromance “is really the core of the show,” so don’t worry that Nicky will so easily undermine it. “We all like some conflict,” Till notes, “but their brotherhood is what drives everything else.”
As for the eventful hour’s battle of wits with the aforementioned Murdoc: though the elite assassin (guest star David Dastmalchian) was ultimately led away in handcuffs, Till assures he will turn up again and again, just like the bad penny he was in the original series. Played then by Michael Des Barres. “He’d show back up as, like, a theatre director, wearing a prosthetic mask,” Till recalls of Murdoc’s infamous resurrections. “And he’d be there pulling the mask off… and pulling it off, and mussing his hair… while Teri Hatcher [as Penny Parker] is just sitting there screaming…. And you’re like, ‘OK, you could have run away from him that whole time!'”
Mac of course has tricks of his own (if not latex masks). Till’s favorite thus far was employed in the bomb episode, titled “Wrench.” “If only for the simplicity of it, I liked the endoscope I made with the Swiss Army knife, chewing gum and the camera from the inside of a phone, and then you use the [phone] screen as a monitor to see what you’re looking at as you put it under the door.” To pull if off on screen, “There was a bit of a cheat just for time’s sake, but you could make it work.”
Has a “cheat” ever been so big, though, that Till had to cry B.S.? “All. The. Time!” he admits with a howl. “I was actually really frustrated with one, one day — I won’t tell you which — because I was like, ‘There is no way in hell this would ever work.’ And the only reason I was upset is because it took the validity out of all the other ones that are scientifically correct.”
Luckily, a costar was able to help Till look past the improbable. “George [Eads], in his infinite wisdom, said, ‘Iron Man was fake, and look how good that movie turned out!’ So I was like, ‘Fair enough,'” Till recalls. “And then when I saw the episode, I was like, ‘You know what, that looks so cool!'”