After last week’s epic crossover between “Magnum P.I.” and “Hawaii Five-0” where Thomas Magnum (Jay Hernandez) and his friends helped Five-0 save one of their own, this week’s episode has Magnum and his partner Higgins (Perdita Weeks) back to business as usual. In the episode “Mondays are for Murder,” Higgins asks TC (Stephen Hill) to cover for her on their most recent case. She has a shoulder injury that keeps her from going undercover with Magnum as efficiency experts to find out if a corporate manager in a sunscreen company has been murdered.
Based on a story by Peter M. Lenkov and Eric Guggenheim, with the teleplay written by Alfredo Barrios Jr., the episode was a basic murder investigation with many suspects and little substance. Directed by Alexandra LaRoche, the episode did allow us to see more of TC and gave Higgins a chance to show a more vulnerable side of her personality. We also got a little more Five-0 as Magnum, TC, and Higgins break for lunch at Kamekona’s (Taylor Wily) Shrimp Truck. Kamekona is one of the main characters in “Hawaii Five-0.”
TC PLAYS “BAD COP”
For Magnum’s investigation, he and TC act as consultants who are brought into to examine productivity at Sun-Smooth, a local sunscreen company. Magnum has been hired to find out if their president of sales, Glenn Travers, died on the stairs of their offices by accident or if he was murdered. Along with Glenn’s death, the company is set to be taken over by a bigger company and the employees are scared about layoffs. The tension is high and Magnum and TC questioning the employees about their work performance, only makes their case even more difficult to solve.
Really, it seems odd that Magnum, and not Det. Katsumoto (Tim Kang), is looking into Glenn’s death. The whole “efficiency experts” set-up was pedestrian at best, but it was a vehicle to bring in Todd Stewart (Matthew Del Negro) who outs Magnum as a private investigator. Todd was the cheating husband who gave Magnum the “panda eye” in the pilot episode “I Saw the Sun Rise.” He recognizes Magnum as the P.I. who caused him to lose half of everything in his subsequent divorce from his wife. He does add a bit of comic relief as he helps Magnum and TC narrow down the suspect list in Glenn’s death.
Yet it is TC who is the highlight of this part of the episode. Higgins’ direction for him to play ‘bad cop” to Magnum’s non-intimidating “good cop” is pretty hilarious as TC probably could not hurt a fly. When Kumu (Amy Hill) tells him he can play bad cop because he is “big and scary,” they all agree that it’s more his size than his personality. So much of what makes TC such a great character rests on the shoulders and talent of Stephen Hill. TC is such a gem on the show, and like Hill seems to be, TC is really a kind-hearted man — and his megawatt smile just adds to his character’s appeal. The one saving grace to this storyline was having TC play a much bigger role in the case of the week.
HIGGINS OPENS UP
Another highlight of the episode was the scenes between Rick (Zachary Knighton) and Higgins, as well as the scenes with Higgins and the goat, Ellie. As Magnum’s partner, Higgins seems to be taking on more of the administrative duties, like dealing with clients and their fees. When she and Kumu find Magnum with Ellie, she realizes that he took the goat as payment for a case they worked for Mr. Castro, much like he has done in the past with chickens, homemade pies, and sweaters.
Yet when Mr. Castro (Edwin H. Bravo) comes to talk to Magnum, he thinks about Ellie, and he admits to Higgins that his farm is going under, Higgins knows that Magnum taking Ellie was Magnum’s way of saving Mr. Castro more heartache. She knows that this is Magnum’s way — that he wants to help people, regardless if they are able to pay or not. It’s a nice scene that allows Higgins to show some heart, as well as solidifies Magnum’s true character and servant’s heart.
Higgins’ scenes with Rick really helped Perdita Weeks to show even more of her character’s vulnerability. Rick catches Higgins taking off the shoulder sling while she sits at La Mariana working on looking up Sun-Smooth employees. Rick tells Higgins to be honest with Magnum about not wanting to work the case, instead of making up a “fake injury” in order to save herself some embarrassment. Rick tells her that “Thomas will understand. That’s the beauty of that guy, he doesn’t judge.”
At the end of the episode, Magnum tells Higgins he knows that she is not injured and that the reason why she didn’t want to work the Sun-Smooth case with him was because she once went out with Todd Stewart. But Rick is right, Magnum doesn’t judge and assures Higgins that it’s not a big deal. And that certainly is the kind of man Magnum is— kind, always thinking of others, even if that means taking a goat instead of a paycheck and allowing a friend to save her dignity.