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Who is Don Luis Higgins... and Why is He Doing These Terrible Things to Me?

Episode Screen Caps Episode Number: 125
Season Number: 6.19
Air Date: 3/20/1986
Writer: Jay Huguely
Director: John Llewellyn Moxey
Producer: Chris Abbott
Exec Producer: Donald P. Bellisario

Recurring Characters
Gillian Dobb (Agatha Chumley)
Guest Stars
Robert Hogan (Alan Johnson), Cesare Danova (Pres. Manuel Ibenez), Devon Guard (Laurie), Kanani Choy (Postal Lady), Anthony LaPaglia (Albert Stanley Higgins), Ernest Chan (Butler), Edward B. Randolph (King Fernando Mongueo)
Episode Brief
Higgins is preparing for a prestigious chess tournament, and the arrival of an important visiting dignitary, the President of Costa Del Rosa, who will be attending it. There have been threats made on the President's life, and Magnum is asked to apprehend those responsible. But both Magnum and Higgins have even more to contend with when yet another of Higgins' illegitimate half-brothers, the flamboyant Don Luis Mongueo, the last of the royal line of Costa Del Rosa, makes an appearance on the scene. But with the plots to assassinate the President, Don Luis emerges as the prime suspect.
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1 This is the eleventh "Higgins-centric" episode of the series, following "Tropical Madness" (2.7), "The Elmo Ziller Story" (2.21), "Black on White" (3.6), "Foiled Again" (3.8), "Faith and Begorrah" (3.23), "Letter to a Duchess" (4.6), "The Case of the Red Faced Thespian" (4.12), "Holmes Is Where the Heart Is" (4.18), "Luther Gillis: File #001" (5.10) and "Professor Jonathan Higgins" (5.13).

2 Following in the footsteps of Texas cowboy Elmo Ziller in "The Elmo Ziller Story" (2.21) and Irish priest Fr. Paddy McGuiness in "Faith and Begorrah" (3.23), we meet yet another of Higgins' estranged half-brothers, Don Luis Mongueo. Don Luis is from the fictional South American country of "Costa De Rosa". As with Elmo and Paddy, Don Luis is played by John Hillerman. Don Luis is the last of Higgins' half brothers to appear in the series.

3 The title of this episode is so long it appears as two separate captions during the opening credits!

4 This is the last of three episodes where T.C. does not make an appearance, the others being "Dead Man's Channel" (2.2) and "Going Home" (6.7).

5 An unknown Anthony LaPaglia plays the young Albert Stanley Higgins (Higgins' father) in the brief opening scene (set in 1921 South America). This was one of his first credited roles in television or film. At the time, he was a goalkeeper in the National Soccer League (Australia), playing for Adelaide City and West Adelaide. LaPaglia will later become a much sought-after, well-known actor in television and film (Frasier, Without a Trace, numerous movies).

6 We previously learned that Higgins plays chess at the "expert" level, and here he says that he has the highest "ranking" on the islands, yet Magnum wins five out of six games against him! Magnum employed his Uncle Lyle's (another "new" Uncle for TM) famous "Castle Blitz" maneuver, a Black opening trap ending with a queenside castle into checkmate! And after only seven opening moves!

7 Towards the end of the episode Thomas finds Higgins bound and gagged inside a storage area of some sort on the other side of the estate. It was initially thought that this scene was filmed in the interior of the Anderson Estate boathouse (which is used for outdoor shots of the guesthouse in the show), but it was confirmed by Magnum P.I. set decorator Rick Romer to actually be a soundstage set.

8 List of notable filming locations: 9 Magnum and Rick are apparently fans of legendary jazz pianist/composer Dave Brubeck. They desperately want to go to one of his upcoming shows in Honolulu.

10 The closing credits are longer than usual, clocking in at 1:40. Likewise, a longer version of the closing credits theme song can be heard.

11 Don Luis wears an Optimo style Panama hat, the oldest style. (Noted by Tim)

12 When Magnum goes to the post office and asks to change his postal box address (in order to learn the name of the assassin), the paperwork is in the name of "Stanley Alber" - which is pretty close to "Albert Stanley", Higgins' father's name. (Noted by Mark Lawrence)

13 Magnum smokes his thirteenth cigar of the series in this episode. (Noted by Jay-Firestorm)

14 The party scene at the Estate with Don Luis Higgins features a local Waikiki Mexican Trio act called Trio Los Valentinos (identified in the episode as "The Juan Garcia Trio"). They played many of the big hotels in Waikiki and opened for Don Ho on several occasions. (Noted by Manuel Lazaro)

15 In early 1943, Higgins was in Malaysia, the regiment was hopelessly outnumbered. During a lull in the battle, a Lt. Ian Bowerly recited Gunga Din very loudly, and to their amazement the Japanese were entranced by poem. They allowed everyone to leave the area except for poor Mr. Bowerly. As they left, they could hear him reciting other Kipling favorites literally for miles! To this day his fate remains unknown.

* Today this resort is known as the ResortQuest Waikiki Beach Hotel.
Higgins: Thanks to you, my final practice session was wasted on the "Uncle Lyle Blitz".
Magnum: The "Castle Blitz" and you can make all the fun of it you want, but you couldn't beat it, could you?
Higgins: Only because it was so idiotically infantile, it caught me off guard!
Magnum: Wait, wait ... wait, wait, what about my tickets to Dave Brubeck?
Higgins: Your "wins" are invalid! You were to use maneuvers of my choice! Now, if you wish to renegiotiate.

Magnum: Higgins, you're not taking the Ferrari!
Higgins: I am. Afterall, I'm the ranking player on the island. It is imperative that I arrive in style.

Magnum: Tell me a story. The "Gunga Din Story"!
Higgins: For god sake Magnum, this is hardly the time!...
Magnum: If you're Higgins, anytime is the time! The "Gunga Din Story", now!
Higgins: ...Malaysia, 1943 - Our regiment was hopelessly outnumbered and faced certain death. In our ranks was a young Lt. Ian Bowerly and during a lull in the battle he recited "Gunga Din", I suppose to keep up our courage in face of the inevitable. His eloquent recitation grew increasingly louder until it thundered through the jungle. To our amazement, the Japanese troops walked forward. Although they spoke no English they were entranced by the poem. They allowed us all to leave the area unharmed except for poor Mr. Bowerly. As we made our escape we could hear him reciting other Kipling favorites, literally for miles. To this day, his fate remains unknown.
Magnum: Thank you. I believe your half brother is going to assassinate the president of Costa De Rosa.
1 The "Castle Blitz" checkmate by Magnum is shown up close, and you can see the entire board clearly. The final position is not checkmate. It's not even close to being a checkmate position! Plus, what kind of move is a4 for Higgins!? He's supposed play chess at the "expert" level, and he says he has the best ranking on the islands, yet he plays into a mate in one seven moves into the game, while most of his minor pieces are still undeveloped! And, he apparently falls for the same trap ("The Castle Blitz") four times in a row! Surely, he would have altered a move or switched openings all together if it was so deadly!?

2 At around the 37:30 mark, when Higgins and Magnum are driving together, the shadows of camera equipment can be seen on the hood of the Ferrari. (Noted by Spence Calkins)

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