Since “Magnum P.I.” debuted in 2018, the fledgling show has made great strides to establish itself as a breakout series. Over the last year, the show has steadily gained a dedicated fan base of new viewers as well as those who once followed the 1980’s version of “Magnum P.I.”. While the series struggled during its first season, it seemed to turn a crucial corner once it moved to CBS’s fabled Friday night lineup. Add in the fact that they started their second season sandwiched between two veteran shows — “Hawaii Five-0” and “Blue Bloods” — helped to push the show onto a much stronger path.
So when fans were asked to choose the best episodes for the year, the response was passionate. Fans were asked to base their choices on the last ten episodes of season one and the first eleven episodes of season two. Many sent in their responses via email, Facebook and Twitter. After 31 episodes, fans certainly know what they like about Thomas Magnum, played by Jay Hernandez, and the adventures he has with his friends Rick (Zachary Knighton), TC (Stephen Hill), Higgins (Perdita Weeks), Katsumoto (Tim Kang), and Kumu (Amy Hill).
TIED FOR THE TOP: ‘DAY I MET THE DEVIL’ (DEC. 13) AND ‘BLOOD IN THE WATER’ (MARCH 25)
Two episodes rose to the top with the most votes from fans and seemed to share a similar theme of friendship and loyalty. The top two best episodes for 2019 were the season two fall finale, “Day I Met the Devil” written by Alfredo Barrios Jr. and directed by Kristin Windell, and “Blood in the Water”, written by Gene Hong and directed by Karen Gaviola. Fans loved how both episodes show how Magnum and his friends are always willing to make sacrifices and risk their lives to save each other.
In “Day I Met the Devil” Magnum is sent on a supposedly top-secret mission to bring in an arms dealer. But the mission is actually a set-up in order for the mysterious Ivan (Peter Facinelli) to capture Magnum. Magaly Morales of Puerto Rico posted on Facebook about how it was a “great episode” and one of her “favorites because of the way they represented each story … with [feeling and joy].”
Likewise, Frankie McStein, from South Wales, wrote via email how she enjoyed the episode because the characters were allowed to “[play] to their strengths and [bring] something vital to the table” while “working seamlessly together.” McStein described the episode as “a masterpiece of writing, directing, and acting. It epitomizes the family that we’re shown [in “Magnum P.I.”]; no matter what … they will find each other and they will protect each other.”
Similar comments were made about “Blood on the Water,” a season one episode where Magnum and Higgins find themselves stranded in the treacherous Kaiwi Channel after being “yacht-jacked.” Jen Hofmann from Austin, Texas, wrote via Facebook that the episode “shows the growth of the relationship between Magnum and Higgins over their first year together, from their first meeting until the present. Higgins really helped Magnum get his business going and Magnum seemed to restore that investigative spark in Higgins that was missing. Both of their strengths and weaknesses are highlighted and we see how complimentary they are for each other.”
Nicole Mann from Germany also posted on Facebook that she liked the episode because the “[sparks] can be felt [between] Higgins and Thomas. I love this tension.” Many fans have commented about how much they enjoy watching Magnum and Higgins’ growing attraction for each other. This might have been why this episode was one of the best of 2019.
SECOND BEST OF 2019: ‘KNIGHT LASTS FOREVER’ (OCT. 11)
The powerful season two episode, “Knight Lasts Forever,” again shows Magnum’s friends risking their own personal safety to protect him. The episode has two mercenaries taking over Robin’s Nest and torturing Higgins in order to find out the true identity of the “White Knight.” Truus Welgraven, from Spain, wrote via Twitter, that the episode was her favorite because of the “amazing acting of [Perdita Weeks and Amy Hill] — two strong, powerful women. As always, the friendship between Magnum and his friends and the way they care about each other is stronger than [any] possible enemy or danger.”
Jen Hofmann also commented via Facebook bout how the “episode features the growing friendship and eventual partnership of Higgins and Magnum. Higgins would literally die to protect him and vice versa, even if they can hardly admit to any fond feelings for the other. Great teamwork by Kumu and Rick, TC, and Katsumoto as well, in order to save Magnum. (The episode) has all the important pieces for an edge-of-your-seat thriller.”
ROUNDING OUT THE BEST
Others that gathered a few votes were the season two episodes “Blood Brothers” and “Lie, Cheat, Steal, Kill”; and the season one episode, “A Kiss Before Dying”. Fans wrote about the stellar acting in all three episodes. In “Blood Brothers” Magnum recalls the time when he and Rick, TC, and Nuzo (Domenick Lombardozzi) along with Nuzo’s brother Paulie (Louis Lombardi) are stationed in Afghanistan seven years before; and in “Lie, Cheat, Steal, Kill,” Magnum helps his girlfriend Abby (Brooke Lyons) find out if her client is actually a murderer.
The acting strength of Tim Kang in “A Kiss Before Dying” was mentioned by several fans. In the episode, Magnum helps Det. Katsumoto catch who murdered his former HPD partner and mentor and the episode marks the start of a friendship between Magnum and Katsumoto, which continued into season two.
Really, for the entire “best of” list, fans were constantly bringing up the bonds of friendship and the acting strengths of the actors of “Magnum P.I.” This will definitely help the series retain its viewers once they go on a short hiatus in February 2020.