In the end of the episode, we see an aerial scene of the Griffith Observatory right before the gathering in MacGyver's house. In MacGyver: Pilot (1985), right after the intro we see the Griffith Observatory and a scene after where MacGyver calls it "home".
In MacGyver: Awl (2016), MacGyver carries a bag that has the writing Mission City Star. According to the original show character biography Angus MacGyver was born and raised in Mission City, Minnesota.
In MacGyver: Can Opener (2016), MacGyver goes to prison under the alias Frank Morris. In 1962, Frank Morris along with Clarence and John Anglin escaped from Alcatraz in quite possibly the only successful prison break ever recorded.
In March 2016, Lucas Till and George Eads were cast as MacGyver and Lincoln, Eads' character is a man who could easily be written off as an eccentric conspiracy theorist but is a legitimate government employee with great capability for compassion. In the original pilot, Joshua Boone, Addison Timlin and Michelle Krusiec were cast as Gunner, MacGyver's best friend from high school, Mickey, an app developer who is aggressively progressive in her political views, with a soft spot for MacGyver and Agent Croix, Lincoln's sister who works for the Department of Homeland Security. In June 2016, Till and Eads remain in the cast as MacGyver and Eads's character renamed to Jack Dalton.
In February 2016, James Wan was originally hired to direct the pilot, but pulled out due of scheduling conflicts with The Conjuring 2 (2016) on it's post production at the time and was replaced by David Von Ancken. After the series got picked by by CBS in June 2016, the network scrapped the original pilot, with Wan to direct a new pilot episode.