MacGyver artwork created by Tarlan

Episode 704   The Prometheus Syndrome


Pete Thornton (credit only)
Earl Stringer
Mama Lorraine
Security Guard
Ralph Boardman/Prometheus      
Rachel Bradley
Joe Roswell
Richard Dean Anderson
Dana Elcar
Randolph Mantooth
Kimberly Scott
Robert Ackerman
Eric Close
Dave Florek
Jenette Goldstein
Jack McGee


The adventures of a secret agent armed with almost infinite scientific resourcefulness. In this episode MacGyver becomes involved in the effort to find a psychopathic arsonist.

The episode begins with an explosion, with at least one fatality. It is one of a series of firebomb attacks by an arsonist calling him/herself PROMETHEUS - named after the titan who stole fire from the gods and gave it to man. MacGyver is asked to use his skills to see if he can build a replica of the firebomb from the remnants found at the scene of each explosion.

When another firebomb warning comes in, MacGyver goes with Earl Stringer - the fire chief - but an attempt to defuse the bomb fails and Stringer is killed. Macgyver realizes that it was remotely detonated after he had initially disarmed it. As it needed line-of-sight, he makes enquiries at an apartment building opposite. The abandoned apartment used to belong to a woman, Victoria, who was killed in a fire. The manager of the building recalls that she had a boyfriend but can only remember that he worked at a recently closed down printing company.

MacGyver goes to the printing company and is shown around by a young security guard (played by Eric Close). Looking for more evidence to link Victoria's boyfriend with the fires, MacGyver goes to another part of the building and is left alone by the guard. He learns that the lead to the printing company was actually a trap, and though he cannot defuse the firebomb, he manages to escape.

The security guard rushes back upon hearing the explosion, meeting him at the bottom of a flight of stairs. Heading back to the fire station, he arrives in time to discover Stringer's replacement, Rachel, gagged and strapped to another firebomb. Prometheus is waiting and forces MacGyver to handcuff himself to the chair by Rachel. He tells them that the reason for his attacks is to take revenge for the woman he loved on Stringer and Rachel, believing they did not do enough to save Victoria in the fire, even though Rachel sustained severe burns on her hands during that fire. The fact that Ralph Boardman (Prometheus) set that original fire with Victoria to claim on the building insurance, is immaterial to him.

Despite having the use of only one hand as there is not enough time to free himself, MacGyver manages to open the bomb casing and disarm the bomb, using the knowledge gained from previous attempts to defuse the similar firebombs. He lets Rachel distract Prometheus while he ambushes the arsonist.

Notable: Jack McGee plays Joe Roswell in this episode. He would later play Big Lester Banks in The Magnificent Seven episode "Achilles".

With thanks to Ivanna for some of the above.