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MacGyver Goes Undercover, Performs Farm Worker Utopia

by Curtis Marez

After being knocked unconscious and  sprayed with pesticides by agribusiness thugs, MacGyver awakes partly transformed, with a large cut on his temple and new cough familiar to the farm workers around him. His transformation is further suggested when he goes undercover to investigate both union leader Tony Garcia's murder and the grower’s use of an illegal growth chemical. 

While it could be criticized for framing its hero as a sort of white savior, we might also read this 1990 episode of McGyver titled “Bitter Harvest” as a kind of utopian speculative fiction or alternative history—what if powerful white men identified with farm workers and used their power to extend farm worker lives?

 

Farm Machinery Murder Weapon

by Curtis Marez

The use of a tractor-drawn disc harrow to kill a U.S. agent investigating the murder of farm workers recalls historic agribusiness ideologies that frame imagine technology as a weapon aimed at controlling labor.

MacGyver as Undercover Farm Worker

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Performing a kind of speculative farm worker utopia, MacGyver goes undercover in the grape fields.

from MacGyver (1990)
Creator: Michael Vejar
Distributor: Paramount TV
Posted by Curtis Marez
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