If the devil is in the details, then Magnum has gone through many layers in order to meet the devil. In the second fall finale of “Magnum P.I.”, Thomas Magnum (Jay Hernandez) certainly meets a version of the devil, a man who seems intent on ruining Magnum’s life, or worse. Magnum’s devil is Ivan, played by guest star Peter Facinelli, in this week’s episode, “Day I Met the Devil.” Ivan is the mystery man who hired the mercenaries who tortured Higgins (Perdita Weeks) and terrorized Kumu (Amy Hill) in the episode “Knight Lasts Forever” from earlier this season.
Written by Alfredo Barrios Jr., who also wrote “Lie, Cheat, Steal, Kill”, the episode is full of tension and drama as Magnum’s friends Rick (Zachary Knighton), TC (Stephen Hill), and Higgins, along with Katsumoto (Tim Kang) and Shammy (Christopher Thornton), race to save Magnum who has been sent on a top-secret mission in South America. Magnum has been called up from the reserves by his former Captain, Buck Greene (James Remar), for a special operation to find Marwan Hayek (Manuel Uriza), a fugitive arms dealer Magnum dealt with when he served in Afghanistan.
Hayek is hiding out in the Triple Frontier, which is a lawless area between Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina. The mission is one without backup, and if it goes bad, Magnum is on his own. Director Kristin Windell expertly paces the action and humor, which helps to offset the suspense of Magnum’s predicament. The episode seems to present Ivan as a possible series villain who is sure to return to haunt Magnum in the near future. Magnum even says to Higgins, “Ivan’s got something bigger planned, and we have no idea when he’s gonna strike next.”
THE DEVIL THAT YOU DO NOT KNOW
In the original version of “Magnum P.I.”, Ivan was a Russian KGB officer who killed Magnum’s friend, Lieutenant “Mac” MacReynolds he terrorized Magnum, Rick, and TC when they were being held in a POW camp when they served in Vietnam. In the current version of the show, Ivan is a bit of an enigma for Magnum, as all Magnum knows about Ivan is the fact that he wanted to know the true identity of “The White Knight.”
The White Knight is a character based on Magnum and his adventures with Rick and TC. After Ivan found out that Magnum is the White Knight, he then kidnapped Buck Greene’s son, David (Jason Remar) and blackmailed the Captain to send Magnum after Hayek in exchange for the return of Greene’s son. Capt. Greene does not tell Magnum the truth, however, and when Magnum asks Greene if he can take Rick and TC with him, his request is denied.
Magnum is paired with two strangers — Roy Till (Anthony Montgomery), a CIA officer, and Gene Curtis (Facinelli) a DIA weapons analyst. As they meet up with Hayek, Magnum begins to wonder about his partners especially when he finds evidence to suggest that Hayek is working for the FBI as an informant. Once he realizes that Till and Curtis are not who they appear to be, he escapes with Hayek and makes his way into the jungle — only to be caught by Curtis — who re-introduces himself as Ivan.
THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS
While Magnum is trying to escape from Ivan — Rick, TC, and Higgins are gearing up to come and get him. They are tipped off when Capt. Greene calls TC after his son David is killed when Greene went to the spot where David was supposed to be released. TC calls Higgins and Katsumoto and Greene admits to them that he sent Magnum on a suicide mission and tries to give them all the information he can to get Magnum back.
Rick realizes that even with Higgins’ MI6 friends and Icepick’s connections they can’t do anything in Hawaii and suggest that they head to the Triple Frontier. As they start to board Robin’s private jet, Katsumoto and Shammy arrive to help. Katsumoto doesn’t care that his job could be on the line, “we have a friend who might die if we don’t do something,” he says. Their faces show how much they agree, as well as their resolve to get Magnum back, no matter how dangerous the trip may be.
The team head to the last spot where Magnum was seen and because everywhere they go Rick “knows a guy” — they chopper into the jungle just in time to find Magnum and save him.
The scenes where they work to find Magnum are funny and help to alleviate the anxiety behind the danger they are all facing. Rick passing out AK-47’s like it’s Christmas, and Katsumoto finding Juan (Isiah Matanza), a kid who learned English by watching American television, specifically ’80s television shows like “Murder, She Wrote” (which coincidentally crossed over with the original “Magnum P.I.”) and “The Dukes of Hazzard,” helped even out the tension of the episode.
Still, while the team arrives just in time to save Magnum, we’re not really sure why Ivan wanted Magnum. Yet whatever he is up to is certainly illegal and most likely a threat to national security, especially considering what great lengths he goes through to find Magnum. Ivan is probably hiding the real truth behind why he wanted Magnum but based on the ease in which he escaped, we’re pretty sure Magnum is right— “something tells me that this isn’t over.”