MacGyver Season 1 Episode 6 Fact Check

My take on the accuracy and plausibility of MacGyver Season 1 Episode 6: Wrench aired October 28, 2016 on a scale of (Accurate, Probable, Possible, Unlikely, Bogus).

If there are any other statements or events you would like me to analyze, please add a comment with a brief description and the time in the show.

2:15 Airbag to shatter glass and blow a hole though at least 3 feet of loosely packed dirt.

Unlikely (guess): While the airbag should be powerful enough to shatter the glass when placed directly against it, it is unlikely the airbag would have enough power to blow a hole though 3 feet of loosely packed dirt.

9:10 Mac: "3D Printed Polymer Detonator, invisible to X-rays"

Bogus: The packaging could be 3D printed out of plastic so it is invisible to X-Rays, but at 9:22 the internals of the detonator are shown to contain AA size batteries, a 7 segment display, wires, and PCB which contain metal and would show up on an X-ray.


10:19 Using bomb suits, a dumpster, and car to direct the blast of a bomb into the sewer system.

Unlikely (guess): It's hard to tell how much the bomb suits would direct the explosion; however, the manhole cover is probably at least 1" thick steel (most covers that are greater than 24" in diameter are at least 1" thick according to Neenah Foundry) vs. a dumpster that is 1/8" steel. Also, the car is parked on the plastic lid of the dumpster to hold the dumpster down.

13:15 Riley: "GSM SIM chips have a 15 digit serial number"

Bogus: My T-Mobile GSM SIM Start Kit has a 19 digit SIM Card Number.

15:20 Smartphone (can't tell what type) camera on a long ribbon cable

Unlikely: I can't tell what type of smartphone MacGyver uses; however, most modern smartphones keep cables as short as possible:

16:45 A smoking computer with embedded plastic explosives will explode soon...

Bogus: Plastic explosive can burn; however, fire will not cause plastic explosive to explode.

18:00 diesel fuel will dissolve plastic explosive


36:00 Disarming a bomb: a bolt must be unscrewed with a rope

Unknown: This seems highly unlikely to me.