Writer: Deborah Dean Davis
Director: Ivan Dixon
Producer: Rick Weaver
Exec Producer: Donald P. Bellisario
Elisha Cook Jr.
(Makua Wahine Luka), Dick Jensen
(Mano), Deborah Calbero
(Alealea), Jeannie Elias
(Rita), Larry Pennell
(Norm Vogel), Kimo Hugho
(Trader), Karen Keawehawaii
(Bag Lady), Bill Couch
Magnum is working on a case when he sees a young native Hawaiian girl become an accidental witness to a murder. With the gunman after her, Magnum saves the young woman as they escape by diving into the sea and is injured with a gunshot wound in the process. He regains consciousness several days later on the remote, secluded island of Kapu, after being rescued by a native fisherman from the island, and suffering from a hazy memory of the incident. There is no sign of the girl, and the island natives insist that he was the only one found. Thomas tries to remember the events that lead to him being on the island, but as he tries to uncover the secrets of the island and its people, it begins to seem more and more as if they don't want him to find any answers or to leave.
Elements of traditional Hawaiian culture are heavily showcased in this episode, including traditional dress, Makahiki
ceremonies, Outrigger canoes
's (with Hula
dancing and a smoked Kalua pig
), and Hawaiian language.
The island of "Kapu" is fictional. It is heavily based on the real Hawaiian island of Niihau
, "The Forbidden Isle", which is home to only native Hawaiians. A close-up shot of a map
is seen in the episode which shows the location of "Kapu" as just a few miles north of Molokai
(the three other islands NW of "Kapu" are also not real islands). The word Kapu
, however, has a long history in Polynesian culture. The modern Hawaiian usage of the word means "something that is taboo, or forbidden". Kapu is often used on 'No Trespassing' signs in the Hawaiian Islands.
This episode has several similarities to the classic Star Trek
episode "The Paradise Syndrome
" (where Captain Kirk is injured, loses his memory, and is nursed back to health by a primitive tribe of natives) and the 1985 Harrison Ford thriller Witness
(where an Amish boy witnesses a killing and cop Harrison Ford goes into the Amish society). (Noted by Shermy & Little Garwood)
The "village" scenes were filmed on the southwest coast of Oahu at Kaula Bay
" and Milo Cove). The Kaula Bay beach location (where Magnum throws the fishing net) was used in Season Six's "Rapture
" (6.11). This is only the second time the series has filmed on the west coast of Oahu. (Noted by rubber chicken)
5 Hawaiian Hall
at the historic Bishop Museum
in Honolulu is used as a filming location for several indoor scenes (with Higgins and Rick). It is simply referred to as "The Museum" in the episode. The Bishop Museum was founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop, husband of Bernice Pauahi Bishop
. Hawaiian Hall was built in 1898 and contains the world's largest collection of Polynesian artifacts.
An original musical score
by Mike Post
and Pete Carpenter
is used to great effect in the opening scene, and later during Magnum's island escape attempt.
Famous Hawaiian singer, dancer, and showroom star Dick Jensen
) makes his fifth and final appearance on the show. He previously had small roles in "Death and Taxes
" (7.6), "The Kona Winds
" (6.4), "Blind Justice
" (5.7) and "Three Minus Two
8 Aloha Tower
(opening scene) and Honolulu Harbor
are used as filming locations.
Local Hawaiian singer Marlene Sai
(Makua Wahine Luka
) makes her only credited TV or Film appearance. Sai got her start in showbiz singing with Don Ho
at his mom's club Honey's
) is Rick's cousin. This is the first family member of Rick's we've seen since Season Four's "Distant Relative
In the scene with Norm Vogel at the jewelry store, one of the paintings from Higgins' study
can be seen in the background.
Magnum uses the phrase "Unfinished Business", a slight foreshadowing of Season Eight's "Unfinished Business
"Luau Louie's" is mentioned by Rick. Magnum and "Mac" went to Luau Louie's in Season Three's "Did You See the Sunrise?
" (3.1). "Mac" was killed by a car bomb in the parking lot.
In the end-credits, a brief outtake shot (still only) of Mano and Magnum in a canoe can be seen that was not in the episode. (Noted by Shermy)
Magnum: Somewhere, way far in the back of my mind, I knew where I was and why, but I couldn't bring it around in front of me where I could see it. And the harder I tried, the more it slipped away from me. Almost as if this village itself was draining away part of my memory, along with my strength. Was there a girl, or was she only a part of my disturbing dreams? Had she brought me here, or had I come on my own? I knew if I was going to find out what had happened, I was going to have to leave this place, with help, or without.
(short time later)
... Kapu, the "Forbidden Island". The place furiously protected by a group of Hawaiians who no longer welcomed strangers to their land. I wondered how long they would tolerate me here.
Icepick: Does it ever occur to you that you are always having to bail your friend Magnum out of trouble?
Rick: Not always.
Icepick: Well, I think you ought to consider hanging around the better class of friends.
Rick: Thomas is ok. Thanks Icepick.
Rick: If T.C. says there's no tail-wind, there's no tail-wind.
In the opening scene, Alealea is pushed down an escalator and her shell necklace breaks (with the shells flying through the air in all directions). When we see Alealea falling to the ground all of the shells are lying neatly and perfectly still on the ground. The shells should be still be rolling around and spread out much farther. (Noted by Bernd-Christian Schulze)
Also in the opening scene, seven shots are fired from Vogel as he kills Sutherland and tries to kill Magnum and Alealea, but his gun is a six-shooter and he doesn't reload. (Noted by J.G. Manoukian)
At 31:38, a man in the museum shows Norm Vogel a map of the Hawaiian Islands. When they are walking to the wall map, the north shore of Molokai is correctly shown (without the fictional "Kapu" island just north of it). In the closeup shot of the map, we suddenly see the island of "Kapu".
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