The second season of “Magnum P.I.” started off with major changes that have helped elevate the new series to stronger ratings and a wider audience. CBS moved the series to Friday nights, following the perennial favorite “Hawaii Five-0,” which also allowed “Magnum P.I.” to become the lead-in for the hit series “Bluebloods.” Ironically, “Bluebloods” is led by actor Tom Selleck who played the original Thomas Magnum in the 1980s version of the series.
The Friday night move for “Magnum P.I.” gave viewers a chance to see Hawaii on television for two hours straight each week. It also provided the sophomore series the prime opportunity to crossover with “Hawaii Five-0.” The much-anticipated crossover event aired on Jan. 3, with both shows gaining 2.5 million viewers based on their Live+7 rating (which measures live viewing plus DVR viewing up to seven days after the show airs).
Fans are concerned about “Magnum P.I.” going off the air when the Peter Lenkov led “MacGyver” returns on Feb. 7 and “Hawaii Five-0” takes over the “Magnum P.I.” timeslot. “Magnum P.I.” is slated to return in the spring to finish its season, but no dates have been released as of yet. “MacGyver” was listed as a mid-season replacement by CBS but fans did not realize it would actually replace “Magnum P.I.”
There are two more episodes of “Magnum P.I.” scheduled to air before their hiatus, a season one repeat of “Blood on the Water” on Jan. 24, and a new episode on Jan. 31, “A Game of Cat and Mouse,” which has recurring cast member Bobby Lee returning as Jin. Before we face several weeks without a weekly dose of Magnum (Jay Hernandez), his devoted friends Rick (Zachary Knighton) and TC (Stephen Hill), his partner Higgins (Perdita Weeks), as well as friends Katsumoto (Tim Kang) and Kumu (Amy Hill) — here’s a look back at the start of season two. It will help to bring us up to date until the series returns.
SEASON TWO CHANGES
Season two started with Magnum trying to get Higgins to be his partner in his private investigation business. After Higgins entertains an offer to return to MI6 in London, she finally agrees to join him in “Knight Lasts Forever.” She tells Magnum she has “found something here that I don’t want to lose.” Their partnership had a great start in the first season but now seems to have reached a new level of trust, especially after they have both risked their lives for each other on multiple occasions.
Another change has to do with Magnum’s relationship with HPD Det. Gordon Katsumoto, who slowly learned to like and respect Magnum during the first season. Yet when Magnum kept the detective in the dark about the return of Hannah (Jordana Brewster) in the season one finale, Magnum promised to gain his trust back. Thankfully, once Magnum sincerely apologized to Katsumoto in “Dead Inside,” their friendship got back on track. For the rest of season two, Katsumoto stepped up each time he was called to help Magnum with a case even to the detriment of his HPD career. It will be interesting to see what happens with Katsumoto — and his friendship with Magnum — as the season progresses.
HANGING OUT AT RICK’S PLACE
Another major change this season has to be Rick leaving the King Kamehameha Club and buying his own bar, La Mariana, with TC’s help. This allows the group to have a place to meet and celebrate after cases and a spot to hang out that is different from Robin’s Nest. The “Magnum P.I.” production crew actually built a La Mariana set at their soundstage which is based on the real La Mariana Tiki Bar and Restaurant at Keehi Lagoon.
It seems to be the spot to not only enjoy each other’s company but to also get bad news. It was at La Mariana that Rick found out that his surrogate father, Icepick (Corbin Bernsen), has Stage IV cancer, which is why he was granted early parole from prison. And it is where Magnum’s girlfriend, Abby (Brooke Lyons), said aloha to him before she moved to the mainland. TC has had to face his competition in the helicopter business Kamekona (Taylor Wily) in the booths of La Mariana on a few occasions.
But it’s also a place for good music and good times, and one great moment shared at La Mariana was when the band Train choose Rick’s place to debut their new song “Mai Tai.” We also got to see Flippa (Shawn Mokuahi Garnett) from “Hawaii Five-0” play on stage, and it was also where the Five-0 team came to dance and celebrate after Magnum and his crew helped save Junior’s (Beulah Koale) life in “Desperate Measures” — the “Magnum P.I.” episode of the crossover.
THE SEASON SO FAR
Before “Magnum P.I.” goes on hiatus, we have Magnum and Higgins working cases as partners, Katsumoto under review at HPD, TC’s helicopter business Island Choppers in direct competition with Kamekona, and Rick is dealing with all of the issues that come with owning his own bar. What is interesting to note is that what we have seen in season two really has helped to separate the reboot from the original version of “Magnum P.I.” This certainly helps the series with their own future and the hope for the show to be renewed for a third season.