MacGyver - Friends

Updated: Oct 11

In season 2 of MacGyver, the original series, episode 20 - Friends, MacGyver returns home from an exhausting trip in Central America; one in which he almost dies. Not once, not twice, but three times he narrowly escapes death. Getting ready to relax, an intruder breaks into his house and forces him to the Phoenix Foundation, with a machete to his back. As it would turn out, it was all an elaborate prank by his mates to get him to come to his own birthday party.

Mac, however, is fighting off an existential doldrums—contemplating the meaning of life, the grand plan as Jack Dalton would call it. Throughout the party, Mac goes down memory lane, recalling previous adventures with various guests who are attending the shindig. Simultaneously he asks Pete Thornton to draft a letter of resignation, stating that he doesn't want to continue to waste his life with nothing to show for it. Maybe instead of always risking his life, marriage, or a normal life would have more meaning.

He is caught off guard when he runs into someone he had a fling with... and she is pregnant. Her husband, Mike Desmond, a professional football player stands at her side. Although not spoken, Mac quite possibly wonders at first if the child is his, and what it would be like to live a healthy, married life.

Continuing down memory lane, he begins to realize just how much of an impact he has made on the lives of others. Unlike Leo Tolstoy, John Stuart Mill, and many other historical figures, Mac's midlife crisis lasts a good 30 minutes or so; rather than years. He gives the following "speech" at the end of the episode:

When I was a kid, my grandfather used to say to me that, uh, a fella's life wasn't worth mentioning if he hadn't shared it with some folks along the way.

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Well, I... I guess it's taken this party to make me realize that about the only thing worth mentioning about my life is the fact that you've all shared your lives with me. And that I'd never have known any of you if I hadn't been doing the kind of things I've been doing. And I just want you all to know that you're all very, very special to me.