Are Thomas and Juliet better together or apart?
That relationship quandary was at the heart of Magnum P.I. Season 5 Episode 17, and it made for a couple of entertaining cases, one comedic, one dramatic.
Higgins had no one but herself to blame for what was to transpire.
On yet another day beginning at La Mariana, Rick and T.C. were fawning like schoolgirls over their rekindled romances with Suzy and Mahina, respectively.
This set Juliet to pondering: Did she and Thomas spend too much time together?
This is a question with which couples who work and live together must navigate, so it’s relevant to many viewers.
Magnum correctly saw Higgins’ query as a trap. Fortunately, circumstances quickly gave him an out, as the work partners had two cases with which to deal.
Juliet should have been careful what she wished for, as she ended up with Jin.
For once, Jin was doing something nice out of concern for his Jin Dog client/friend Mrs. F instead of yet another get-rich-quick scheme (See Magnum P.I. Season 5 Episode 15 for a recent example of that).
Has Jin really returned that soon? Some recurring characters are best in small doses.
Being a “reformed” conman, Jin is understandably suspicious of others. When they first meet, Margot brought Jin’s leeriness on herself by imperiously treating him like the odd little man he is.
How Jin felt so close to a woman who had failed to learn his real name (it’s on his uniform T-shirt) over a year is hard to comprehend. As is his assertion that she would never leave town without telling him.
Higgins was right to be skeptical about Jin’s hunch. Exaggeration has long been his stock in trade. That’s why there’s that fairy tale about the boy who cried wolf.
Also, Margot’s record came up clean when Juliet looked into it. But, as later was proven, she had likely pulled off this scam before under a series of aliases.
Jin was determined to prove that he was right about Margot. He mainly showed that break-ins weren’t his strong suit, as Pippin had to pull him through the doggie door using his rope toy in an eye-rolling scene.
What would have been helpful to Jin was a fully charged phone. Then, he could have recorded Margot pulling off her scam. Also, Higgins could have tracked him much easier if his phone hadn’t died. But planning was hardly Jin’s strength.
Still, he improvised well while trying to stay a step ahead of Margot, especially with Pippin wanting to play with his buddy the whole time. Hiding in the trunk of her car was a questionable choice, although it did get him the answers he sought.
Although he wasn’t sighted much in this episode, T.C. did manage to help rescue his little buddy. Does Higgins drive around with a sniper rifle in her trunk, or did T.C. have that lying around Island Hoppers?
After being shot inside his place of business on Magnum P.I. Season 5 Episode 10, he would be well advised to lay in more of an arsenal.
It was great to see that Mrs. F, who initially appeared to be dead, was instead suffering from a gunshot wound. The downside was that Jin shrieking like a girl in surprise gave away his hiding spot.
Also largely absent was Rick, who appeared in only a handful of scenes. That’s because Zachary Knighton was directing the episode, his first directing gig since Happy Endings.
In a more dramatic storyline, Thomas and Katsumoto teamed up to take down an entitled rich man, which is always a laudable goal.
Gordon’s being fired by HPD after the events of Magnum P.I. Season 4 Episode 20 was bound to come back to bite him in the butt. Shockingly, it took this long for some sleazy defense attorney to use it against him.
Fortunately, Katsumoto has people — Thomas and Juliet — proficiently working outside the law. He had no choice since he was told to stay away from the case.
Give Magnum credit. When his attempt to watch the surveillance footage at the cigar club from the night of the murder failed, he went up and began questioning Tate directly.
The gambit failed because Tate recognized him, and he ended up with a restraining order for his efforts, but it was a worthy effort on his part. The constraints they were facing meant they had to resort to turning over rocks to see what crawled out.
Which brings us to Pierre, a sleazy P.I. played by Jon Lovitz. Pierre provided intel, which broke the case open, as they discovered that the Walkers had paid off a gardener, first in 2003, then again after Tate was arrested for his brother’s murder.
Lovitz has a rare distinction, having acted as different characters in both of Peter Lentov’s Hawaii-based reboots, Magnum P.I. and Hawaii Five-0.
Finding out a Walker maid had disappeared in 2003, they confronted the gardener, getting him to confess he had been paid off after witnessing Tate accidentally kill the maid. It was a simple matter of digging up a patio to get Tate’s victims the justice that they deserved.
To revisit Jin’s past escapades, watch Magnum P.I. online.
Didn’t Juliet show great restraint with Jin?
Do you enjoy the Magnum-Katsumoto team-ups?
Do you like having Juliet and Thomas work on different cases?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on X.