The Unexpected Way MacGyver's Series Finale Will Close Things Out After CBS Cancellation

lucas till's macgyver with partners at a town festival on macgyver

Friday nights will be changing soon on CBS, what with the network having announced in the early days of April that its popular MacGyver reboot fronted by Lucas Till was cancelled, with the remaining Season 5 episodes being used to wrap the story up. Understandably, the stars were disappointed by this turn of events, while also grateful for the time they got to spend playing these characters. Now, CBS has revealed exactly what viewers can expect to see from the series finale, but it doesn't sound much like an overall conclusion.

Given that CBS chose to reveal MacGyver's cancellation news so late, the most recent showrunner and fellow producers didn't really have a way to figure out how to properly bring the network drama to a close in a proper fashion. Thus, the series finale will probably feel more like your average mid-season episode, or perhaps even a full season finale, just one that won't actually lead to any follow-ups. In any case, here's what the official episode synopsis has to say:

When Mac and Riley go missing and wake up 24 hours later in a corn field with no memory of how they got there, they must unravel the mystery to find who took them, and how to get rid of the nanotrackers in their bodies, no matter the cost.

To be sure, even though this MacGyver plot doesn't sound specifically like one meant to cap off a five-season run on CBS, it still sounds like an exciting episode all around. Specifically, it sounds very much like the premise for an escape room, or a video game in that same mysterious realm. (How is there not a badass next-gen MacGyver video game at this point?) I think we can all very much expect Lucas Till's Mac and Tristan Mays' Riley to figure out their situation accordingly without anyone losing their lives over it.

The official images that CBS released from the episode depict a town carnival being held, with Mac and others seen among the rides and festival-goers. It's presumed that the festivities will take place after Mac and Riley figure out their situation, but perhaps something happens to them at the carnival itself, and they wake up in the same field after all of the rides and booths have been taken down and moved. Or maybe it'll be in a different field entirely.

However it goes, Henry Ian Cusick's Rusty looks like he's having a blast while doing some hat-oriented imbibing.

henry ian cusick's rusty taylor drinking beer from helmet on macgyver series finale

(Image credit: cbs press)

This isn't the first time that MacGyver is going into the end of a season with finale plans being upended. Season 4 was in the latter days of production when everything had to get shut down due to COVID-19, so that season's originally planned finale had to get shelved.

For fans' sakes, here's hoping MacGyver's series finale does such an outstanding job in the Friday night ratings showdown that CBS and others are convinced to bring Lucas Till's Mac back to audiences in some way, shape or form. Perhaps the network can find a way to shift the series over to become a streaming exclusive through Paramount+, though that announcement likely would have happened already if there was any promise there.

With just two episodes left to go, as well as an ongoing lawsuit, MacGyver airs Friday nights on CBS at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.