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Magnum Reloaded: Digging up buried secrets pushes ‘Magnum P.I.” beyond professional boundaries

  • COURTESY CBS
                                Magnum (Jay Hernandez), left, and Higgins (Perdita Weeks), second from right, reach out to Rick (Zachary Knighton), second from left, and TC (Stephen Hill), right, to help Magnum’s defense attorney girlfriend, Abby Miller (guest star Brooke Lyons) when she realizes that the client she successfully defended in a murder trial is actually guilty.

    COURTESY CBS

    Magnum (Jay Hernandez), left, and Higgins (Perdita Weeks), second from right, reach out to Rick (Zachary Knighton), second from left, and TC (Stephen Hill), right, to help Magnum’s defense attorney girlfriend, Abby Miller (guest star Brooke Lyons) when she realizes that the client she successfully defended in a murder trial is actually guilty.

Keeping a professional distance between friends is sometimes difficult to do — especially when businesses overlap or collide with each other on a fairly regular basis. In this week’s “Magnum P.I.”, Magnum (Jay Hernandez) and Higgins (Perdita Weeks) are asked by fellow private detective Harry Brown (William Forsythe, who originated the role on “Hawaii Five-0”) to help Magnum’s girlfriend, defense attorney, Abby Miller (Brooke Lyons). Abby hired Harry, instead of Magnum, because she thinks it’s not a good idea to mix a personal relationship with any professional business.

The episode, titled “Lie, Cheat, Steal, Kill” was written by Alfredo Barrios, Jr. and directed by Ron Underwood, presented Magnum with an interesting case that has him reaching out to all of his friends for help. What made the episode really strong was the fact that they all used their own personal expertise to help solve Abby prove that her client, Oahu State English professor and novelist Neal Conlan (Jesse Bradford), who she defended in a murder case, is actually guilty murder.

KEEPING IT PROFESSIONAL

Like most episodes of “Magnum P.I.” the concept of “getting by with a little help from my friends,” is one of Magnum’s unspoken mottos. In this case, Rick (Zachary Knighton) and TC (Stephen Hill) are vital in helping Magnum and Higgins find the buried bodies of Tabitha Hall and Wendy Mills, who were both Conlan’s students. Wendy disappeared five years before Conlan published his first novel, and Tabitha was his teaching assistant who disappeared before he published his second novel.

Katsumoto (Tim Kang) helps them with HPD and SWAT support as he takes Magnum’s advice to set up a sting, with Kumu (Amy Hill) bravely playing Wendy’s mother, in order to get Conlan to confess. The entire storyline has Magnum’s friends blurring the lines of professionalism in order to help put a killer away for good.

It was great to see all of them drop the idea that they should not mix business and friendship to find justice for Tabitha and Wendy. Abby thinks that Conlan killed Tabitha because he was obsessed with her. The novel he wrote after his mistrial for murder revealed a psychopathic obsession with her. But what Magnum and Higgins realize after finding Wendy buried beside Tabitha, that Conlan killed both girls for their unpublished novels. He wanted to publish their writing as his own, which in turn made him famous.

BURIED, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

Magnum and Higgins convince Katsumoto to put together a sting operation to catch Conlan once and for all. Abby sets him up to think that Kumu is Wendy’s mother and that she has evidence that ties him to Wendy’s disappearance. Kumu is covered by Katsumoto and HPD but Conlan pulls a fire alarm in her hotel and kidnaps her.

Kumu is a quick thinker and comes up with a lie in order to contact Magnum, who she tells Conlan is her nephew Tom. Magnum convinces Katusmoto to let him go and make contact with Conlan and get him to confess before Katusmoto sends SWAT in to take Conlan out. Katsumoto doesn’t want to do it, but Higgins tells him that Magnum can do it, and Abby agrees, saying “If Juliet thinks Thomas can do it, I do, too.”

It’s a tense scene, with Kumu being held at gunpoint by Conlan, but Magnum gets him to confess and a SWAT sniper disarms Conlan in order for Magnum to kick his gun away and pull Kumu away before she is hurt.

CROSSING OVER WITH FIVE-0

Many “Magnum P.I.” fans are also “Hawaii Five-0” fans, and besides Harry Brown and Noelani (Kimee Balmilero) who helped Magnum, with Katsumoto’s blessing, figure out who Wendy Mills really was, there were two other characters who crossed over into this week’s episode. TC and Kamekona (Taylor Wily) recall “The Godfather” when TC asks Kamekona to stop stealing his chopper business. He reminds Kamekona that he has several other businesses, the Shrimp Truck (often seen in “Hawaii Five-0) and “that Italian joint those guys from Five-0 sold you.”

The funniest part had to be when Kame tells TC, “One day, I will come to you and I’m gonna ask you for a favor, and you’re not gonna refuse me.” TC agreed, but we’re still not sure what he has actually agreed to. In the closing scene when we are treated to Kame’s cousin Flippa (Shawn Mokuahi Garnett, who also wrote the song he sings, called ”Last Nite”) singing on stage at La Mariana, TC thinks he has paid back the favor. But Kame tells him he just asked if Flippa could play, he didn’t ask for a favor. It’s definitely going to be fun waiting to see when Kamekona will ask for that favor to be repaid.

SAYING ALOHA TO ABBY

At the start of the episode, Abby doesn’t want to give Magnum and Higgins the case because she doesn’t want to mix her professional life with her personal one. Yet interestingly, it is Abby who notices that there is something brewing beyond a professional relationship between Magnum and Higgins.

When Abby decides to leave Hawaii after she is disbarred for hiring Magnum to prove Conlan’s guilt, she ends her relationship with Magnum. She tells him, “I think that there might be somebody else out there who is better suited for you. Somebody who knows you in a way that nobody else ever will.” She’s looking over Magnum’s shoulder at Higgins.

Sadly, Magnum is blindsided. He obviously liked Abby, and when she leaves him, he doesn’t quite understand what she means. But it’s obvious that he is very hurt by her breakup. Now to see if he takes his advice to trust her, and find the girl that suits him. She just might be right under his nose.


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


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