We all know that partnering with another person is always the trickiest part of any job. So it is always interesting to see how important it is to police officers and members of our military to have a partner or a team to rely upon. The Navy SEALs believe “two is one, one is none,” and treat their team as an extension of themselves. Police officers can say the same about their partners — human or canine, once they are a team, their bond cannot be broken.
This week’s episode of “Magnum P.I.,” titled “A Kiss Before Dying,” was a testament to the connection between partners, and the confirmation of an interesting friendship being built between Magnum (Jay Hernandez) and HPD Det. Katsumoto (Tim Kang). Written by Barbie Kligman and Ashley Charbonnet, and directed by popular “Hawaii Five-0” director Bryan Spicer, the storyline has Magnum and Higgins (Perdita Weeks) helping a determined Katsumoto investigate the murder of his former partner Stanley Tak.
HANGING WITH BOOKY
One of the best parts of the episode has to be seeing special guest star Roger E. Mosley, who portrayed TC in the original “Magnum P.I.” Mosley plays John Booky, who “landed in Hawaii in 1980” (the year the Selleck-led “Magnum P.I.” started on television) and is the wise neighborhood barber to TC (Stephen Hill), Rick (Zachary Knighton) and Magnum. Booky is a fellow battle-brother as he seems to have experienced the same kind of war experience as the younger vets.
Booky’s war was Vietnam, and while he was not treated like the hero he should have been honored as when he returned to the states — he shares the same sentiment about Hawaii as his friends. “This place was my refuge. This was a place to lift my spirit, restore my soul,” Booky says. TC can relate, as this is also why they all came to Hawaii — to have a second chance after their time as POWs in Afghanistan. The scenes with Booky were a mix of nostalgia, as well as a reminder of how differently veterans are treated today after fighting for our country.
TC BRINGS THE LOVE
TC and Rick drive the secondary storyline when they work as bodyguards for Gina (Heather Mazur). She is trying to reunite with her daughter Kelsey (Hawaii actress Adrienne Wilson) after turning state’s evidence against her ex, yakuza boss Eddie Harada (Garret T. Sato). Gina thought that Kelsey would be safer from any retaliation from the yakuza if she was out of her daughter’s life. After 20 years Gina has returned to Hawaii to make amends.
While their reunion is rocky at best, it is TC and his understanding of what it means to be abandoned by a parent that convinces Kelsey to hear her mother out. TC tells her his own mother left without a reason and without ever trying to reconnect. He tells Kelsey that Gina just wants a chance to explain. It’s a nice moment for Hill to shine in his own way as TC.
The episode really shines when Magnum and Higgins bring Katsumoto a murder case, after “the lads,” Zeus and Apollo, find a human bone while hunting in the woods. When Katsumoto begins to examine the bones, both canine and human, he realizes from the dog collar and a titanium pin in the left hand of the victim identify the remains as belonging to his former partner, retired HPD detective Stanley Tak. Katsumoto is heartbroken and takes his anger out by punching a tree.
While he is tended to at Tripler Hospital, he tells Magnum about his relationship with Tak, who taught him the job and how to work a case. Tak was his mentor, partner and friend. He and his dog went missing eight months after he retired. Magnum sees how upset Katsumoto is after finding that Tak didn’t die in an accident as the detective had believed, but had been shot and buried along with his dog, Ralph. Katsumoto feels responsible and even though he is ordered to turn over the case to another detective, he and Magnum, with Higgins backing them up, continue to work the case.
It was refreshing to see Katsumoto show intense emotion at finding Tak and having to break the news of his fate to his widow (Susan Park). Kang sometimes portrays Katsumoto as emotionless. But in the last several episodes he seems to have found the heart of Katsumoto, a detective who is very good at his job and is beginning to see Magnum as a growing ally. As they work the case together, Katsumoto begins to thaw, even breaking some of his own tenets as a police officer to find Tak’s killer.
The case eventually leads them to a suspect in the last case Tak was working — Mike Trevino Jr. (Deniz Akdeniz), a paramour of a missing girl. When Trevino realized Tak had found the girl’s remains, he killed Tak and Ralph to cover up his crime. Tak was a good detective and he certainly passed on his skills to Katsumoto. When Katsumoto gifts Magnum with Tak’s patrol and detective badge, we can see that perhaps these two reluctant partners are finally ready to work on more than just solving cases.