Magnum Mania! Banner

Previous Episode Next Episode

Death and Taxes

Episode Screen Caps Episode Number: 133
Season Number: 7.6
Air Date: 10/29/1986
Writer: Bruce Cervi
Director: Alan J. Levi
Producer: Tom Selleck
Exec Producer: Donald P. Bellisario

Recurring Characters
Joe Santos (Lt. Nolan Page), Jean Bruce Scott (Lt. Cmdr. Maggie Poole)
Guest Stars
Kenneth Tigar (Milton "The Ripper" Collins), Gary Frank (Jeff Spangler), Dick Jensen (Det. Kinohe), George O'Hanlon Jr. (Det. Spilner), Carolyn Shofner (Laura Stiles), Warren Aki (Kana)
Episode Brief
It is almost the 4th of July, and Higgins heads to Maui for an annual writers conference, and Rick and T.C. take a trip away, leaving Magnum on the Estate to face the horror of his tax audit. But that's nothing compared to the terror yet to come when Magnum becomes the focus of a crazed, obsessed killer, who repeatedly phones him with cryptic nursery rhyme riddles of upcoming killings. At first he thinks it is a crank caller, but the full reality of the situation hits home when a prostitute is murdered in circumstances reflecting the clues given, and the menacing calls continue, with the deranged killer boasting about his crimes and giving clues of the next one.
9.4(61 votes)Rate Episode
1 This is the first episode to be produced by Tom Selleck, and what a great one it is! His next one will be the superb season finale "Limbo" (7.22).

2 Unusual for the show, there is no opening preview for this episode.

3 This is the second "Fourth of July" episode (featuring Magnum's annual tradition of spending the 4th of July alone), following "Home From the Sea" (4.1). The "Fourth of July" theme will be featured again in "Solo Flight" (7.16).

4 Higgins, T.C. and Rick only appear in one scene in this episode.

5 This episode has a noticable Miami Vice "vibe" to it, a show that debuted two years prior. Similiar to Miami Vice, it has many night scenes, a wild, freaky killer, a gritty feel, a modern, synth-driven score, and song-length musical scenes featuring Phil Collins (which Miami Vice had a plently, most famously in their pilot episode). (Additional Notes by Ryan D)

6 Kenneth Tigar ("The Ripper") appeared with Tom Selleck in the 1979 movie (and failed television show pilot) The Gypsy Warriors.

7 The Genesis song "Mama" (from their 1983 self-titled album) is heard in its entirety (and used to great effect) in a sequence shot with Magnum searching for The Ripper's next victim. Following in the footsteps of Miami Vice, this is the first time the show has featured a contemporary pop/rock song as in-episode music, and was one of the first TV shows to do so. Genesis songs will be featured in two more upcoming episodes ("Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" in "Laura" and "The Brazilian" in "Unfinished Business", both from their 1986 album Invisible Touch).

8 Lt. Nolan Page (Rockford Files alum Joe Santos) appears for the first time! He will appear in four episodes total.

9 List of notable filming locations: 10 Magnum's annual tradition of spending the 4th of July alone at sea was previously featured in the classic Season Four episode "Home From the Sea" (4.1).

11 "The Ripper" has newspaper cuttings of some of Magnum's previous exploits (some from previous episodes, some not): "Thomas Magnum Honoured by Cat Fans" (from "Photo Play"), "Clever Canine Leads Private Eye to Casebreaking Clue" (not from an episode, but we do see a couple of flashback shots of Magnum following the dog), "Local P.I. Nabs Suspect After High Speed Chase" (again not from an episode, but we see a brief flashback shot of the car chase), "Magnum and Kobata Lead King Kamehameha Club To Senior Swim Finals" (an event that we hear more about in this episode) and "Local Investigator Solves Psychic's Murder Riddle" (from "Fragments"). These articles will be seen again in Season Eight's "Forever in Time".

12 Several scenes from the "Pilot Movie are seen in flashbacks, including Phillipe in Vietnam and Magnum's climactic showdown with "La Bule" in an airport restroom.

13 Lt. Cmdr. Maggie Poole returns for the first time in nearly three years. We last saw her in "The Look" (4.9). Also, for the first time, we see her in civilian clothing, with her hair down!

14 Well-known local Hawaiian singer/entertainer Dick Jensen (Det. Kinohe) makes his fourth of five appearances on the show.

15 Magnum wears the "Get Wet!" cap for the second time. It will be seen again in "Paper War" (7.8) and "Death of the Flowers" (7.12).

16 In the denouement, the Cross of Lorraine can clearly be seen on Magnum's surfski. This is one of the few times it can be identified on the surfski.

17 The closing credits do not contain the usual Magnum P.I. theme song. Instead, a Mike Post/Pete Carpenter original score is used.

* Club Hubba Hubba, 20/20 Club, Swing Club, Smith's Union Bar (still open today), Benny's Danceland, Esquire Theatre, Marian's Grill and the China Sea Tattoo parlor can all be seen.
** The pool was previously used in "Thank Heaven for Little Girls and Big Ones Too" (1.4).
(to Magnum)
Higgins: Only a man with your predilection for Maui chips and beer could refer to Rick's inedible sauce as Teriyaki.

Magnum: I once had a paper route in Tidewater, the "Daily Sentinel". It was my first major job. I made $12 dollars a week, and a penny for every delivered paper, and I never got nervous at income tax time, because I knew the IRS always gave me my money back, reluctantly. Sending in your 10-40 form has always been as much a part of the American way of life as hot dogs at the ballpark on the Fourth of July, only now I've found myself having to file a lot more than a 10-40. I wasn't getting my money back anymore, and I had'nt been to the ballpark since, well ... before the paper route. I told myself not to feel persecuted. I told myself that people who get audited are choosen at random. I told myself it was nothing personal. (Narration)
(to Maggie) I knew it, they are out to get me!!

Magnum: What do you want from me?
The Ripper: (laughs) Don't you know? You're supposed to catch me. You're supposed to ... stop me from slicing up Number Two and Number Three.
Magnum: Well, you blew it. Number Two was supposed to be last night.
The Ripper: (laughs) Oh no, no, no, no, no Magnum. You blew it. Number Two was last night.
Magnum: What are you talkin' about?
The Ripper: And I think you are going to love Number Three. Riddle me this. What has four legs in the morning, and two legs in the afternoon, and three legs in the evening? (hangs up phone)
Magnum: I've heard this. A man.... The answer is a man. (hangs up phone)
(que up Genesis' "Mama" as Magnum begins to look for The Ripper's next victim)

Magnum: How did you know about LaBoule?
The Ripper: "A wise old owl lived in an oak. The more he saw the less he spoke. The less he spoke the more he heard." Why can't we all be like that wise old bird?

Magnum: Milton Collins. Even after I heard his name, I still couldn't remember him. I didn't have a record of him in my case file, but something did show up in my appointment book. I'd had a meeting at the club one day with a Milton Collins who wanted to know if his wife was cheating on him. I only had to tail her once to find out the guy he thought she was seeing was only painting a portrait of her for their anniversary. It was so easy, I couldn't even take his money. That must have been the favor he thought I'd done for him. Then, I forgot all about Milton Collins. I guess he thought a lot of people did. And, maybe he thought he had to do something about that, I don't know. I guess that's what bothered me the most; I'd never know why, why he killed, how he knew about Phillipe. Maggie found out that he was stationed in 'Nam the same time I was, but so were a lot of other guys. I guess he was right. At least in his mind, he did still "win"; he died with all the secrets. It wasn't the first time I'd have to accept that sometimes there were no answers. I don't know why I started to feel the need to be by myself on the Fourth of July, the day my dad died, or why I still feel the need to this day. I just do. (Narration)
1 At the end of the episode, as Magnum is paddling out on his surf-ski he says, "I don't know why I started feeling the need to be by myself on the 4th of July. The day my Dad died". Magnum's Dad didn't die on the 4th of July. His Dad was buried on July 4, 1951 as seen in "Home From The Sea" (4.1) so obviously his Dad died prior to July 4th. (Noted by IslandHopper)

Shoot me an email if you'd like to have something added or corrected

Magnum P.I. on DVD

All 8 seasons are now available for purchase! External DVD Reviews

Rubber Chicken's Guide Magnum P.I. Locations

Magnum on the Web