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Magnum Reloaded: Catching a black widow clinches case on ‘Magnum P.I.’

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    Higgins (Perdita Weeks), right, helps Magnum (Jay Hernandez) pose as a doctor on a dating app in order to find out if his client’s father was the victim of a killer who may be preying on wealthy men.

In baseball, when it’s all tied up, the bases are loaded — everyone hopes the last batter will hit a home run to clinch the win. The same can be said for this week’s “Magnum P.I.” as Magnum (Jay Hernandez) has to hit a few curveballs to resolve a case. The episode, titled “Black Is the Widow,” written by Neil Tolkin and directed by Kirstin Windell, has Magnum using his charm and good looks to find a woman through a dating app who might have murdered the father of his latest client.

Karen McDowell (Gia Mantegna) hires Magnum to find out who carjacked and killed her father, Roland (Jonathan Goldstein). She doesn’t think it was just a random act of violence, as he had just cleared his savings of a million dollars that same day. While she doesn’t really care about the money, she wants to know what happened to him, and if something strange was going on in his life. Magnum understands her desire, as it is tied to one of his core beliefs — to know the truth no matter how painful the outcome.


As Magnum looks into Roland’s life for more answers, Higgins (Perdita Weeks) finds the dating app Roland used and creates a profile for Magnum. They are hoping to find a possible “Black Widow” who preyed on the widowed single-father and perhaps conned him out of his life savings. Higgins makes his profile attractive enough for a woman who is trying to find an easy mark.

Magnum pretends to be Dr. Tomas Caballe, a lonely, world-renowned, vascular surgeon who has retired to Hawaii, lives on a massive estate, enjoys his wine cellar and his Ferrari. He lunches and brunches with a bevy of blonde beauties — and one brunette. It is the brunette, Abby Miller (Brooke Lyons), a lawyer for a small firm, who calls Caballe on his pompousness, but most are impressed by the obvious status and wealth of the suave doctor. Yet when they are pressed for answers about dating Roland, they don’t know too much and are genuinely shocked by his sudden death.

Except for one, Cleo Jennings (Jenny Wade), who seems to know a lot of personal details about Roland, and his daughter. She is the “Black Widow,” who Magnum correctly guesses, threatened to hurt Karen in order to convince Roland to hand over his savings. With her husband, Davis Sadler (Brandon Karrer), she conned the money and murdered Roland.

Karen does get the truth she wanted, but according to her father’s will, the money was supposed to go to a local research hospital and a Dr. Okana. In a video he left for his daughter, he explains the good doctor is a leader in rare orphan diseases and that Karen’s mother died from one. He wanted to help fund any research that could maybe one day save Karen’s life, as she inherited the same gene. Seems as if Magnum’s quest for truth not only helped Karen but many others as well.


While the case of the week has Magnum chasing blondes and pretending to like opera and wine, there were several familiar faces in the episode. Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich makes a cameo at the start of the episode, as a treat for the 2018 Little League World Series champions from Hawaii. The team has been invited to Robin Master’s estate to meet the National League MVP as a surprise setup by TC (Stephen Hill), Rick (Zachary Knighton) and Higgins. Hawaii players Kaʻolu Holt, Sean Yamaguchi and Aukai Kea all chime in to give Coach TC a hard time about shave ice not being a good surprise.

Yet when Rick rolls up in a golf cart with Yelich, the kids are thrilled. Yelich congratulates them on their Little League World Series win, telling the real-life Hawaii kids, “I loved watching you guys play. You guys did awesome,” as he high-fives the players and signs baseballs. Rick even gets in on the action when he throws a pitch to Yelich who knocks it way out of Robin’s Nest. It’s a great scene, right down to TC introducing “Auntie Higgins” to the players and Rick playing up the laughs for the kids.


The episode shows us how Magnum works hard for a client — even by setting himself up to be seen as the type of person he despises. When he meets Abby Miller as Dr. Caballe, she tells him about herself — she’s a hard-working attorney who surf-skis and does volunteer work with local veterans. She comes from a military family and she feels it is important to give back — just like Magnum.

She’s perfect him, but she is turned off by the pretentious “doctor.” So when Magnum shows up at her door to re-introduce himself as a simple guy, who likes beer instead of wine, and knows more about baseball than opera. He is the guy she described when they met: “Somebody grounded. Simple. Somebody who helps others and doesn’t do it for the money.” Add a Detroit Tigers baseball cap, a loaner Ferrari and an aloha shirt, and you have the real Thomas Magnum stepping up to the plate.

Wendie Burbridge writes the “Five-0 Redux” and “Magnum Reloaded” blogs for Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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