TVLine already schooled MacGyver fans on what Season 6 would have looked like with its final showrunner, Monica Macer, at the helm. But now we have been given a peek at how Season 5 might have ended under the CBS procedural’s original boss — and how it set up a major time jump for Season 6.
Peter M. Lenkov, who also sired CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 and Magnum P.I. reboots, lorded over the network’s MacGyver redo for the first four seasons. (CBS ended its relationship with Lenkov in July 2020, following an investigation into claims that the producer created an unhealthy work environment. In a statement, Lenkov responded, “Now is the time to listen and I am listening…. I accept responsibility for what I am hearing and am committed to doing the work that is required to do better and be better.”)
BAck in June 2020, a month prior to said exit, Lenkov worked up an outline for how Season 5 was going to end — with a teaser set in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, where we meet an 11-year-old named Jimmy. We soon realize that the lad is MacGyver’s son… and that the year is 2035. A moment later, it is revealed that Jimmy’s mom is Riley.
“[O]ur audience goes wild as they see the happy family our heroes have created,” reads the outline. “No laptops, no screens, no life or death missions — just a family in love, at peace….”
“It’s just a rough scriptment, but a clear direction that would have given fans something new in Season 6 — a Mac/Riley romance,” Lenkov wrote on Instagram Friday evening, alongside screenshots of the outline from June 2020. “Sure, this story gave us a glimpse of the endgame, but knowing that, watching their romance ignite in a new season woulda been some ride.”
When a new threat suddenly rocks the family’s idyllic world, Mac and Riley seek help from the Phoenix Foundation, where Bozer, Matty and Russ (currently on house arrest) still work. We also see that Eli Brown, the young inventor/new recruit that would be introduced early in Season 5 (played by Ben Wang), has blossomed into the team’s “new MacGyver,” while Desi is revealed to have left Phoenix six months prior, to start a private security firm.
Season 6 would have continued that story while also catching viewers up on the time-jumped early years of the Mac/Riley romance.
The Mac/Riley romantic endgame is an element that was also present in showrunner Monica Macer’s plan for a sixth season that would never be (read mich more here). As detailed by TVLine in multiple exclusive stories, the nefarious group behind the nanobots from Season 5 would have used that tech to turn the infected — Mac himself possibly included — into Manchurian Candidate-style operatives. To stop them, Matty would have sent Riley and her Brink buds undercover with the baddies, leading to a heated argument between Mac and Riley… and then an outpouring of feelings and a first kiss. (An early Season 6 episode would have revealed that Desi’s fiance was in fact alive, and the two would have reunited.)
Also in Macer’s vision, Bozer’s mom would have run for Congress/moved to L.A., and Russ and Sofia would have had a baby together following a Romancing the Stone-style treasure hunt.
What do you think of the original Season 5 finale time jump idea?