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The Man From Marseilles

Episode Screen Caps Episode Number: 104
Season Number: 5.20
Air Date: 3/14/1985
Writer: Reuben Leder
Director: John Llewellyn Moxey
Producer: Reuben Leder
Exec Producer: Donald P. Bellisario

Recurring Characters
Kathleen Lloyd (Carol Baldwin), Kwan Hi Lim (Lt. Tanaka)
Guest Stars
Paul Verdier (Det. Jean Claude Fornier), Elissa Dulce Hoopai (Tiffany), Edward B. Randolph (Marcel Dubray), Joe Moore (Reporter)
Episode Brief
A famous, internationally-known French detective - the real-life model for a series of best-selling novels by Robin Masters - who is staying at the Estate, asks Magnum's help in locating a missing heir he's trying to track down.
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1 This is the fourth "Carol-centric" episode of the series, following "No More Mr. Nice Guy" (4.13), "Blind Justice" (5.7), and "Compulsion" (5.14). Her office is seen again. The letters on her door state that she is a "Deputy Prosecuting Attorney". Carol calls herself "a paperback junkie" and gets involved in a brawl with Magnum at the end. This is the only episode where Carol scraps with some bad guys.

2 French Detective Jean Claude Fornier (Paul Verdier) will return for a brief appearance in Season Seven's "A.A.P.I." (7.5).

3 One of the more memorable scenes of the entire series can be found in this episode - Magnum being forced to sing "Misty" at the Sing Sing Palace, a karaoke dive bar. Five other songs are heard being sung by patrons at the bar - "Sentimental Journey" by Ella Fitzgerald (sung by Jean Claude Fornier), "Heartbreak Hotel" by Elvis Presley, "Jambalaya (On The Bayou)" by Hank Williams, "Tracks of My Tears" by The Miracles and "On the Road Again" by Willie Nelson.

4 The Region 1 DVD version of this episode is missing around three minutes of footage! There is a scene where Lt. Tanaka speaks to Jean Claude in french (and additional dialog with Magnum), which is totally gone from the Region 1 DVD version. The Region 2 DVD does have the french dialog, as do most syndication packages. The total running time of the Region 1 DVD version is 44:51; most run in the 47 minute range.

5 Another Robin Masters novel is named and referenced - Die, and Die Again. The main protagonist of the novel is based on the real Jean Claude Fornier, an acquaintance of Robin Masters, and the overdose death of his wife Angeline. The novel is not the typical pulp paperback variety usually associated with a Robin Masters novel. According to Magnum, the story is a "taut, sad story of a man obsessed with riding society of parasites and predators...". A passage from the opening chapter reads - "As the inspector looked down the barrel of 9mm automatic held by the same man who had so cavalierly caused the death of his pretty wife. The snearing satyr of a man raised the gun, about to squeeze the trigger, when suddenly a shout was heard from above...".

6 Higgins says there is a client for Magnum waiting in "my study." Magnum looks at him and says, "Your study??" This is the second indication (or hint) in the series that Magnum is beginning to suspect Higgins as being Robin Masters (the first being Season Five's earlier episode "Compulsion"). A minute later, Higgins says "My study" again. This is somewhat contradicted later in the episode; After Magnum and Carol leave Higgins on the beach with the manuscript for Die, and Die Again, Higgins (alone) begins to read the novel and then says, "Unthinkable" and stops. This would seem to suggest that he is not Robin Masters, otherwise his actions would make no sense. (Noted by Timmer33 & John M)

7 Elissa Dulce Hoopai, usually seen playing the recurring waitress Rosine at the King Kamehameha Club, here plays Tiffany, the owner of the Sing Sing Palace karaoke bar. Like Ms. Jones in the previous episode, she receives much more screen time than usual.

8 Magnum's left shoulder scar can be seen towards the beginning of the episode. As usual, it looks different and is in a different location as seen in previous shots.

9 We get another clear look at the infamous "bearded lady" painting in Higgins' study. It is Picasso's Seated Woman in a Chemise (1923). (Painting ID'd by Dan)

10 Higgins appears to be wearing the exact same chauffeur uniform that he wore as his fictional character in the novel sequences of "Kiss of the Sabre" (5.11). (Noted by Tim)

11 Magnum tells Carol that the nearest take-out restaurant is twenty minutes away from Robin's Nest.

12 During the Sing Sing Palace scene, a close-up of one of the walls (when Magnum ducks down) briefly shows an album cover from the semi-obscure, Atlanta-based, funk rock band Mother's Finest. The album is Live, from 1979. A Toto poster can be seen right next to it, as well. In fact, most of the walls in the Sing Sing Palace scene (a soundstage set) are covered floor-to-ceiling with album covers and posters. Most are hard to identify because we don't a good closeup shot of them.
Jean Claude: Stop! Wait! Right there!
Carol: What?
Jean Claude: Your eyes!
Carol: My eyes?
Jean Claude: Oui! Your eyes!
Magnum: What's wrong with them?
Jean Claude: Nothing. They are exquisite under the light...right there.
Carol: What's he talking about?
Magnum: Your eyes.
Jean Claude: The way they set perfectly in your delicately sculptured face. The way your mahogany orbs so fetchingly...
Magnum: Mahogany orbs?
Carol: Don't interrupt!
Magnum: Mahogany orbs?
Carol: He's being poetic. Like Milton or Keats.
Jean Claude: Yes. Like Milton or Keats. I'm sorry. I have so much trouble with your language.

(To Jean Claude)
Magnum: So, all we gotta do is settle back, have a couple of cold ones, get with the flow and pretty soon we'll probably be talking with someone who could help us out.

Magnum: Far from being a typical Robin Masters book, with the exception of the title, 'Die, and Die Again' was the taut, sad story of a man so obsessed with riding society of the parasites and predators that he let his own life, and specifically his own marriage, become his own personal tragedy. ..... [snip] ..... The real Jean Claude Fornier found his wife dead in a seedy waterfront hotel room. The cause of death was a heroin overdose. And even though he didn't personally hand her the syringe, the man ultimately responsible for that overdose was Marcel Dubray. Sometimes the truth is too painful for fiction. This wasn't your typical Robin Masters affair and maybe he wasn't going to sell a whole lot of copies, but I was glad as hell that he wrote it. (Narration)

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