It seems an age since I reviewed my last episode. Anyway, here’s my first review of the week!
[TV.com rating=7.5; Average]
When a casual surfer friend of Magnum is murdered on the beach, he takes it upon himself to investigate, and becomes convinced that the Police are handling the case badly and are after the wrong person. An average episode with some very good bits…
‘Wave Goodbye’ is in many ways an average episode of ‘Magnum p.i.’, but thankfully there are a few very good elements which save it from being mundane.
Things begin with a casual friend of Magnum’s, Kacy, being murdered. You know the type – the friend that is never mentioned before or since the episode.
I found the early stages of the story hard to get into, and a bit dull in places. From the first act or so, I had the episode down as a rather boring one, but thankfully things pick up quite a bit later on in the plot.
The story is one of the more serious and in places more gritty of the season (especially noticeable coming after the comedy episode ‘Tropical Madness’); and in some respects it feels like an offering from one of the show’s later seasons, with the humour quite toned down compared to many earlier episodes.
The only real comedy of the story comes as Higgins (in his only scene in the episode) bartering with Magnum to do a favour, and Magnum – after a speech about how they should just do good deeds for each other out of kindness – coming off the worse, as it would have been in his favour.
The story is also notable for being the first real time that Rick and T.C. are given something to do without Magnum, as they pose as drug peddlers (Rick even mentions his old bar’s nickname, “The Snow Palace”). It is a sign of the confidence in the pair that the writers and producers by now had; later we would see a couple of episodes totally based around them.
Anyway, the episode really picks up as Magnum tracks down drifter Nick, a shell-shocked Vietnam Veteran, who Magnum is sure is innocent but may have witnessed the murder. Nick is played by regular 1980s guest star Wings Hauser; Hauser has a number of credits (he did a couple of ‘A-Team’s and ‘Airwolf’s, one alongside ‘Tropical Madness’ guest Devon Ericson), and he is outstanding as the tragically shell-shocked Nick. Out of all of Hauser’s guest spots that I’ve seen, I would rank this as his best.
Magnum also makes an unexpected admission when he admits to Nick that he himself has spent time in a psychiatric hospital.
The episode is dated in one area, in that Kacy had sexual intercourse before she was killed; these days, the Police would be able to use D.N.A. to identify who she was with, but this was not about in 1981.
When I watched this episode for the first time, I was surprised as to who the real culprit was, and didn’t see it coming. It was a good twist ending that worked well.
All-in-all, this is in many ways an average, and not instantly memorable, example of the series, but several elements save it from being totally forgettable.
Other notes, bloopers and misc.:
* Higgins only appears in one scene of this episode.
* As mentioned, the Police nowadays could use D.N.A. to find out who Kacy had sex with.
* The final two shots on the closing credits are not featured in the actual episode. One is stock footage of Magnum in the Ferrari from the first season; and the second features Magnum in the shirt that he wears in the final scene, but (unless I missed it) is from a sequence that does not appear in the actual story.
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