For weeks “Magnum P.I.” fans have been excited to see the highly anticipated crossover with fellow Hawaii-based television show, “Hawaii Five-0.” This week’s episode, “Desperate Measures” written by executive producers Peter M. Lenkov and Eric Guggenheim, is part two of the crossover event which started in the “Hawaii Five-0” episode, “Ihea ʻoe i ka wā a ka ua e loku ana?” (“Where were you when the rain was pouring?”).
Directed by Maja Vrvillo, the episode is an exciting conclusion to the “Hawaii Five-0” episode, which introduced the “Magnum P.I.” characters into the Five-0 universe. Since the first season of “Magnum P.I.,” audiences have always known that both shows have co-existed in the same world. “Hawaii Five-0” characters Kamekona (Taylor Wily) and Dr. Noelani Cunha (Kimee Balmilero) have recurring roles on “Magnum P.I.” and Sgt. Duke Lukela (Dennis Chun) has also appeared when HPD was called upon when Det. Katsumoto (Tim Kang) was in trouble.
The episode has Five-0 task force members Tani Rey (Meaghan Rath) and Quinn Liu (Katrina Law) reaching out to Magnum (Jay Hernandez) and Higgins (Perdita Weeks) after their partner Junior Reigns (Beulah Koale) is kidnapped and held as leverage by Chinese operatives. They want the NOC list, a Non-Official Cover List of covert operatives which shows their codenames and their real names. Magnum and Higgins helped Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and Five-0 get that list out of the wrong hands in the first part of the crossover. Now the CIA has McGarrett, his partner Danny (Scott Caan), and Grover (Chi McBride) detained as they try and keep the NOC list from going anywhere — even if it means sacrificing Junior to the Chinese.
Tani and Quinn are now on the run from the CIA in order to try and save Junior’s life. Their only hope is their new friends Magnum and Higgins, who call on their own teammates, Rick (Zachary Knighton) and TC (Stephen Hill) to assist Five-0. Katsumoto arrives at Robin’s Nest to warn Magnum about HPD being tasked to bring in Tani and Quinn, no questions asked. He joins the cause after he tells Magnum that he has “a problem going after Five-0 without a good reason.”
Magnum and Higgins realize that they have to find the NOC list in order to save Junior. They figure that since McGarrett, Danny, and Lou haven’t been released from CIA custody and they are still looking for Tani and Quinn — McGarrett must have hidden the SD card that contains the NOC list. Tension is high as they only have until noon to come up with the list.
Tani is nearly vibrating with fear and anxiety as she has more on the line than just a want to save a fellow team member. Tani is very much in love with Junior and she is very committed to finding him and saving his life. Right before he was abducted, she had finally taken the plunge and asked him to meet her for a drink. Her desperation is probably based on the feeling that she might have made her move a little too late.
FIVE-0 BREAKS THE TENSION
Magnum and Higgins’s first move is to search McGarrett’s house for the SD card with the NOC list. Once there, Higgins is held up by a fierce Eddie, McGarrett’s very loyal dog. When she cannot get him to respond like the “The Lads” Zeus and Apollo, the Dobermans she uses as guard dogs at Robin’s Nest, she asks Magnum for help. Magnum takes great pleasure seeing her being held at bay by Eddie and snaps a few pics to use as her caller ID on his phone. Eddie immediately responds to Magnum and is rewarded with belly rubs. It’s a hilarious scene as Eddie certainly flipped the tables on Higgins and her dog whispering ways.
Higgins figures out that McGarrett probably passed the card on to one of the few people the Five-0 team trusts — Kamekona, who is also one of Rick and TC’s friend as well. Rick and TC take Tani and Quinn to get the SD card from Kamekona. In a tense, but very funny scene — where Tani calls Kamekona and tells him, “Give them the NOC list or I’m gonna burn down your truck” — “Kammy” hands over the card. When Kamekona calls Rick and TC “lolos” he is using the pidgin word for “dummies” (in Hawaiian lōlō means “paralyzed, numb, feeble-minded, crazy”). He’s not saying Rick and TC are dumb, but more like they are jokers, as he doesn’t know at the moment that they are working with Five-0 to get the NOC list to save Junior.
Both scenes are a nice way for the episode to overlap into the “Hawaii Five-0” world, and also break the tension that still exists as Junior’s life is on the line. Even after getting the SD card from Kamekona, the team still has their work cut out for them to find someone to break the encryption so they can let the list know they are in danger.
The team quickly realizes that Higgins’ hacking skills are good, but time is not on her side. They find the actual programmer who wrote the code to encrypt the SD card. When he erases the SD card, Tani flies into a rage punching him and screaming at him that he killed Junior. It seems as if every time they have an up that can save their friend, the team gets sent back to square one. They decide that they are still going to make the trade for Junior. Magnum, Higgins, and Tani take the SD card to the meeting spot, leaving Tani, Rick, and TC as back up so they can get Junior in the 90 seconds they will have as Erin decrypts the card.
Of course, it all goes wrong, Junior is not where Erin says he is, and Magnum watches helplessly as he, Higgins, and Quinn are held at gunpoint while Erin’s henchman works on opening the SD card. So Magnum takes a chance and starts monologuing and telling the truth about the card being blank, just in time to overtake one of the gunmen and get the upper hand on Erin. She gives up Junior’s location and the team, along with Katsumoto, storm where he is being held, and Tani is the first to find him and release him from his bonds.
WRAPPING UP THE CROSSOVER
The episode definitely ends on a happy note, as we see Tani and Junior cleaned up and slow dancing to Israel Kamakawiwoʻole’s “White Sandy Beach” at La Mariana, the very bar Tani had asked him to meet her for a drink the day before. TC and Kamekona are having umbrella drinks, while Rick and Quinn play darts, as Rick tries to ask her out — this time not “in the middle of an abduction” as he tried to do earlier in the episode.
As Magnum and Higgins watch Tani and Junior so happy together, Magnum makes a toast to the two of them for saving one of Five-0 as well as all the agents on the NOC list. Higgins asks Magnum if he thinks they will ever “cross paths with Five-0 again.” When Magnum says “It is a small island,” we know exactly what he means. If the crossover is any indication of what a success the crossover between “Hawaii Five-0” and “Magnum P.I.” has been — we certainly hope they will cross paths again.