Hawaii is known as a place to escape and just get away from it all. For most people, it’s the main reason they choose our island home as a vacation destination. But for some, it might also be a place they can hide out and seek refuge from their troubles or indiscretions. This week’s episode of “Magnum P.I.” explored that storyline as Magnum (Jay Hernandez) and Higgins (Perdita Weeks) help Det. Katsumoto (Tim Kang) investigate the murder of Georgia Preston (Catherine Dent).
The episode, titled “The Man in the Secret Room,” has Magnum moonlighting as head of security for the Royal Honua Resort (most will recognize it as the Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu). Magnum is doing a favor for his friend, Russell Harlan (guest star Lee Majors). Magnum meets the doomed Georgia, a guest at the resort, hours before she is found dead. Georgia tells him her name is Angela Hurst and that she is getting over her husband leaving her. As Magnum is still getting over his break up with Abby, he relates to Georgia who aptly tells him, “I guess I should be more distraught, but I don’t know, it’s hard to be sad around here.”
Of course, many can relate to Georgia/Angela, as we see her reclining on a beach chair steps away from Turtle Bay. The episode, written by Joe Gazzam and directed by Alison Liddi-Brown, expertly folds the theme of secrets and lies into the main storyline. Even the bittersweet subplot between Rick (Zachary Knighton) and Icepick (Corbin Bernsen) deals with the same theme — only this one hits a little too close to home.
THE MAN IN THE SECRET ROOM
Soon after Magnum meets “Angela Hurst,” she is found dead. It looks like she jumped from her balcony, but Noelani (Kimee Balmilero) finds evidence of a struggle and concludes she was pushed — and that her real name is Georgia Preston. Georgia was an investigative journalist who usually embedded herself in a situation to find her story. It seems as while she was pretending to mend her broken heart, she found the resort’s secret room — a room high-end hotels have off-the-books for special clientele who want to keep their visits off the radar.
When Magnum, Higgins, and Katsumoto find the hidden room, they also uncover evidence that someone had been killed in the room. They conclude that there must be a connection between the two murders. They reach out to the head bellman Red (Kelly Sry) who knows everything about the hotel. Red has secrets of his own, yet after the trio finds the body of Johnny Chen, who they deduce had been killed in the secret room, Red finally confesses what he knows.
SECRETS AND LIES DON’T MIX
Seems as if Red has been helping to hide a very dangerous affair between Mia Zhao, the wife of a local crime boss, Tony Zhao (Lanny Joon) and Johnny who belonged to Tony’s crew. He admits this to Magnum and Higgins, as Katsumoto has gone to confront Tony for killing Johnny.
The scene between Katsumoto and Tony was interesting since the crime boss is about as scary as a Bishop Street accountant. When Tony brags about being married and brings up the fact that Katsumoto’s wife left him for another cop in his unit, fans cheered when Kasumoto introduced his “sweet right cross” to the slimeball. But Katsumoto’s punch caused Lt. Kamila (played by Mike Cho, a former HPD detective who is the law enforcement consultant on “Hawaii Five-0”) to take him off the case. He tells Magnum and Higgins to follow the lead from Red before it gets cold.
Higgins realizes that it is Mia who didn’t want Tony to find out about her affair, as Johnny was ready to tell him and come out in the open about their secret. Mia needed to silence him and killed Johnny, as well as Georgia who probably saw Mia leaving with Johnny’s body. Higgins and Magnum find her to bring her to Katsumoto, just as Tony arrives to kill Mia. Higgins stops him by shooting Mia in the shoulder, just as Katsumoto and HPD arrive. Katsumoto gets the best line of the night as he tells Tony, “let me know if you need a recommendation for a good divorce attorney,” as Tony and his lying wife are packed into an ambulance.
The episode is definitely a good mix of Magnum trying to solve an interesting case, with a bit of sadness as we find out the real reason why Icepick was recently released from prison. As Rick is only too happy to have his surrogate father out from behind bars, his bloody cough really bothers Rick, and he asks Noelani to test one of Icepick’s bloody tissues to find out what is really going on with his father-figure. Noelani is a good friend, and when Icepick tells her not to tell Rick he has Stage IV cancer, she tells him, “you’re the closest thing that he has to a father. Don’t you think he has the right to know?”
So when Icepick sits Rick down and tells him he has maybe a couple of months to live, we’re all crying along with Rick. And when Icepick says “I’m gonna enjoy every bit of life I got left, and I want to spend as much time doing it as I can with you,” we’re all glad he didn’t keep this secret from Rick. If there’s nothing else to learn from this episode, secrets can sometimes kill you, but letting them go is often just as painful.