Magnum Mania! Banner

Previous Episode Next Episode


Episode Screen Caps Episode Number: 160
Season Number: 8.11
Air Date: 2/17/1988
Writer: Chris Abbott
Director: Harry Harris
Producer: Rick Weaver
Exec Producer: Donald P. Bellisario

Recurring Characters
Eugene Roche (Luther H. Gillis), Shavar Ross (Bryant Calvin), Phyllis Davis (Cleo Mitchell)
Guest Stars
Ray Buktenica (Bruce Kunkle), Randi Brooks (Suzi Merrill)
Episode Brief
When Higgins asks his help in finding Robin's latest manuscript after it is stolen, Magnum gets some unexpected help in the case when St. Louis gumshoe Luther H. Gillis arrives unannounced on vacation. They set about trying to work out who is so desperate to get hold of the manuscript that they are willing to resort to attempting to kill Higgins and drugging Zeus and Apollo to get it, in scenes reminiscent of those portrayed in the stolen book.
8.1(33 votes)Rate Episode
1 Eugene Roche returns as mock-film noir, St. Louie gumshoe Luther H. Gillis for the fifth and final time. This is the fourth "Luther-centric" episode of the series, following "Luther Gillis: File #521" (4.2), "The Return of Luther Gillis" (4.16) and "Luther Gillis: File #001" (5.10). His appearance in Season Seven's "A.A.P.I." (7.5) was relatively minor and he was not the central character.

2 The opening scene features Magnum going through most of his "stuff" that we've come to know over the years - the rubber chicken, the gorilla mask, the bug mask, handheld computer games, his Navy football helmet, his A.A.P.I. award, his "Cat Lover of the Year Award", even the Raiders hat and whip from "Legend of the Lost Art" (8.10).

3 The thirteenth and final Robin Masters novel is identified, Transitions. The other (known) Robin Masters novels are: 4 We learn that Robin Masters feels that having more than one copy of a working manuscript is "bad luck". He also destroys his dictation audio tapes after the written manuscript is received. His longtime publisher is a "Ms. Donaldson".

5 In a real rarity, Magnum and T.C. both wear their Da Nang caps at the same time! This has only happened a couple times in the show's run - Season Five's "Blind Justice" (5.7) and Season Six's "The Kona Winds" (6.4). (Noted by Jay-Firestorm)

6 Bruce Kunkle has been Robin Master's accountant for ten years.

7 Higgins flips the Audi (sabotaged brakes) and suffers a broken leg and a banged up head. The scenes of Higgins driving the out-of-control Audi are almost shot-for-shot the same ones as seen in Season Seven's "Limbo" (7.22) when Michelle is driving. (Noted by N1095A)

8 Zeus and Apollo are shot with a tranquilizer gun (again).

9 The climax scene was filmed at a lookout parking lot at Makapuu Point with a splendid view to Kakapuu Beach and offshore Manana Island (aka "Rabbit Island"). For a short moment at mark 40:00 you can see the Makai Research Pier between the heads of Suzi Merrill and Bruce Kunkle (the location where most of the Island Hoppers homebase scenes were filmed). (Noted by Bernd-Christian Schulze)

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

11 Suzi Merrill's hotel, the "Paoakalani Hotel", is fictional. However, there is a Paoakalani Avenue in Waikiki.

12 Magnum phones Higgins from T.C.'s chopper! This is the only time in the entire series that Magnum uses a mobile phone! It is a first-generation (1G) analog mobile phone.
Magnum: I guess the earliest memory I have of my grandfather Sullivan is the kind of heart-to-heart talk we had while walking by the Rappahannock River when I was six years old. We used to hunt for wild asparagus down by the river to take home to my mom to cook for dinner. Anyway, on this particular walk my grandfather confided in me that probably the only thing you can count on in life is change .... that no matter how much you wanted things to stay the same they never did, and that change itself wasn't bad. It's just that, the transitions were sometimes tricky. Well, I'm not sure what he was talking about at the time. I was more interested in the asparagus than transition, but I never forgot it. And I guess if there is one thing that I could in some way pass on, it would be my grandfathers advice - don't be afraid of "transitions", they make you strong.
(short while later)
... Another thing my grandfather told me about change is that it doesn't always come along at a convenient time. In fact, it usually happens when you are right in the middle of doing something else, and that it's important to finish up whatever it is you are doing, even if it begins to feel like "dull routine". Because it's HOW you make the transitions that's as important as making them. At least, that's what I think he said. (Narration)

Luther Gillis: This is great. An honest to god case, not 24 hours after I drop anchor on this rock. An attempted murder at that! Who said the old lucky streak is running out? Any suspects?
1 At about the 25:47 mark, a boom mic can be seen as Luther Gillis is walking and talking to Cleo and Suzi at the estate. (Noted by Dr. Russell K. Elleven)

2 In flight, T.C.'s chopper skids (27:25) suddenly change to floats (28:08) and then back to skids again (30:05). (Noted by Bernd-Christian Schulze)

3 When Higgins is in the Audi and the brakes fail, there is a closeup shot of the inside of the car with him pulling on the parking brake repeatedly. This is actually the interior of a 3rd generation Camaro (1982-1992)! You can tell by the "baseball" shape of the shifter knob and the tell-tale shape of the vent on the forward part of the center console. The buttons on the stereo also give it away. (Noted by Coops)

4 At about 42:25 when Luther throws the manuscript over the wall, Suzi completely misses it and never caught it. It went flying ahead of her, yet she is seen clinging to it. Also, watch as the stone wall moves back and forth when Suzi jumps over it and hangs on the other side. The wall is clearly a fake. (Noted by Tim & artie)

5 Also in the climactic scene at the cliff side, Luther tosses the novel manuscript towards Suzi, over the wall, and the pages remain together even though they flap in the wind as it spins and flies toward Suzi, showing that the manuscript he tossed was bound. Similarly, when Suzi tosses the manuscript away, you clearly see it falls with all its pages bound together. Then, suddenly, you see a lot of loose pages fly outward away from the cliff below her feet in two separate locations (for dramatic effect)! If the manuscript wasn't bound, which is what they wanted the audience to believe, it would not have remained together when Luther initially tossed it and thus Suzi could not have caught all of it together. (Noted by John Koch)

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