Everyone loves a high-seas adventure story — especially when the heroes escape from pirates and are rescued by their friends. In this week’s “Magnum P.I.,” Magnum (Jay Hernandez) and Higgins (Perdita Weeks) are stranded in the middle of the Pacific Ocean after being forced by two thieves to abandon Robin Masters’ brand-new yacht. The episode takes us through their struggle to swim to land, as well as through flashbacks to their first meeting and the start of their eventual friendship.
The episode “Blood on the Water,” written by Gene Hong and directed by Karen Gaviola, takes us through the dramatic scenes of Magnum and Higgins trying to survive without any means besides their wits and the clothes on their backs. Their friends Rick (Zachary Knighton) and TC (Stephen Hill) — with some help from Shammy (Christopher Thornton) and Kumu (Amy Hill) — move quickly in order to save them. It’s an episode that reminds us about how the power of perseverance, as well as friendship, can literally and figuratively come to our rescue.
FALL DOWN SEVEN TIMES, GET UP EIGHT
The Japanese proverb “Nana korobi ya oki,” literally means “seven falls, eight getting up,” according to the website Presentation Zen. The saying is about having resilience and it is a phrase that summarizes the very core of both Magnum’s and Higgins’ personalities. The two have certainly have fallen in their lives — been knocked down by love, death and by luck — and still managed to get back up again.
The phrase is used often in this episode, which starts with Higgins and Magnum, as they are driving Robin Masters’ new yacht to Oahu, getting a mayday call over the radio. A fisherman says he is stranded and needs help. Higgins and Magnum head over to his coordinates and offer to give him a lift. When he pulls a gun on Higgins and orders her off the yacht, she refuses. While Magnum tries to distract the gunman, she disarms him.
But Magnum and Higgins don’t realize the thief has an accomplice who comes out of the bottom of the fishing boat and shoots at Higgins. She is hit in the arm and falls overboard, as Magnum calls her name and dives in after her. The two are left stranded as the men take off with both the yacht and the fishing boat.
Magnum dresses her wound with his shirt, and the two bicker about what to do next. Magnum knows that getting to a small atoll he noticed before they got the fake mayday call is their best bet to save Higgins’ life. She is bleeding profusely and basically “chumming the water.” For a former Navy SEAL this kind of rough-water swim is probably a walk in the park, but for an injured Higgins, it’s a struggle. Even with the kind of iron will the majordomo possesses — one who after seven falls will most definitely get up for the eight time — Higgins can’t make it without Magnum, who can definitely relate to getting back up more than eight times in his own life.
NO RISK, NO REWARD
While they are stuck out in open ocean, Rick and TC, who’ve gotten a concerning call from Kumu, work to figure out what happened to their friends. Using Rick’s many connections, they find out that a two-man team is robbing high-end boats like Robin’s using fake distress calls.
They track down the main operator, Double K or Kahi Kina (Paul Yen) and ask Katsumoto (Tim Kang) to question him. When Katsumoto chastises them for “acting like Magnum” when they don’t have evidence against Double K, the two friends are stuck.
Then they see Officer Gary Chung (Hawaii actor Kamakani De Dely) who runs the property desk at the police station. Rick knows “Gare Bear” and distracts him from his duties long enough for TC to nick Double K’s phone. The scene is hilarious with Gary telling Rick, “I’m living vicariously through your cellphone, brother” while Rick shows him pics of beautiful women from his club. The phone helps the two find Robin’s yacht and the coordinates where Magnum and Higgy might be.
HOPE IS NOT A COURSE OF ACTION
While the two are swimming for their lives across the Molokai Channel they put their tenacity to the test. The Molokai Channel, better known to Hawaiians as the Kaiwi Channel, means “the bone” in Hawaiian, and thus, the Channel of Bones is indicative of the danger and difficulty a waterman faces within its watery depths.
Add to the fact that Higgins is losing blood, and swimming with one arm, the two are using all of their inner and physical strength to make it to safety. While they swim, Magnum recalls the first time he arrived at Robin’s Nest, and how Higgins goaded him from the start. When they finally make it to the atoll, he admits that her insistence helped him to get out there and make a name for himself as a private investigator. Robin had offered him the guest house and the use of his cars as a way for him to get back on his feet after his time as a POW. It was Higgins and her lesson of “get up eight” that helped him really get back on his feet.