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How Would You Rate This Episode?
10 (Perfect!) 1%  1%  [ 1 ]
9.5 (One of the Best) 5%  5%  [ 4 ]
9.0 (Excellent) 14%  14%  [ 11 ]
8.5 (Very Good) 35%  35%  [ 27 ]
8.0 (Pretty Good) 29%  29%  [ 22 ]
7.5 (Decent) 8%  8%  [ 6 ]
7.0 (Average at Best) 4%  4%  [ 3 ]
6.5 (Not So Good) 4%  4%  [ 3 ]
6.0 (Pretty Bad) 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
5.0 (Just Awful) 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 77
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 Post subject: Past Tense (3.5)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:47 pm 
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This is the official MM thread for Past Tense (3.5). All discussions and reviews for this episode should go here. If you wish to rate the episode, please do so with the poll. The avg. score will be the official 'community rating', which will be used on the episode page (updated monthly).

This thread is also linked in the episode page of the Episode Guide.


Original Air Date: 10/21/1982
There's terror in the sky when two bad guys posing as tourists hijack T.C.'s helicopter and force him to fly to a nearby prison where a break-out is taking place.


Last edited by J.J. Walters on Fri Dec 28, 2007 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 5:26 pm 
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I just caught this episode again on Sleuth this morning, and although it features Higgins heavily, I must say it is one of my least favorite episodes of season 3. Higgins is my favorite character and my favorite episodes are those that feature Higgins more than less. However, I just cannot get into this episode.

Maybe it's just that the events were too unbelievable beginning with TC's chopper landing in the middle of the prison yard and escaping with Lyden just after the prison riot begins. I am always reminded of this scene whenever I see Dr. Evil and Mini-Me asking their fellow inmates to start a riot so they can escape in “Goldmember.” Why would these inmates start a diversion and risk severe punishment and even death so that Lyden can escape? First, I find it hard to believe that the chopper wouldn't have been disabled by the guards firing at the engine before it took off.

Second, Oahu is covered with Navy and Marine Air Stations, Army bases, Air Force bases, and Coast Guard Stations. There could have been hundreds of military aircraft scrambled to locate and intercept TC's chopper in a matter of minutes. Oahu is not a very big island. I know this would have thrown a monkey wrench into the plot, but I think that's why I never really got into this episode, because of the "suspension of disbelief" required is just to great.

Third, I know Lyden had a vendetta (misguided as it was) against Magnum, but after devising such an intricate plan to hire the thugs from the mainland to hijack TC's chopper in order to effectuate his escape he puts himself in a inescapable position leading Magnum to his location. I know Lyden didn’t count on his accomplice being killed in a car accident in the beginning, but even if he had lived their escape would have been very unlikely since Magnum knew where they were going to be. Magnum would have been sure to have informed Lt. Tanaka or the Coast Guard in that situation. Lyden did not have the same sense of “honor” that Magnum and Higgins have. Lyden was driven by money. He was more of a mercenary than a soldier. So, why confront Magnum in that way? Why would he give Magnum a chance? To me this episode would have been more believable if Lyden had escaped, even by using TC's chopper, and then disappeared for a period of time and then stalked Magnum or hired an accomplice to hire Magnum on a phony case to have the client lead him to Lyden where Lyden could have ambushed Magnum. Of course, the ambush would have to be unsuccessful. We can only take this so far, after all.

Not that this has anything to do with the story, but the stunt double for Lyden was very obvious. You can tell the guy fighting with Magnum was a stunt double without even pausing or slowing the frames down.

I did, however, enjoy the scenes between Higgins and TC. You can see the camaraderie and friendship grow between them even before TC was shot. After they had just crash landed, one of the thugs wanted to execute Higgins and TC stepped in and said something to the effect that he would have to kill him too. Their friendship would be even more evident in future episodes and seasons such as “Operation Silent Night” (season 4) where TC empathized with Higgins after his failed attempt to sail off of the island. TC actually calls Higgins by his first name. In “Underworld” (season 5) Higgins is shot trying to find the guys that shot TC down. It was also Higgins who brought TC out of his coma. Higgins is such a great character. He has many sides to him. He can be a stickler/major-domo insisting that everything be just right, but he can also be someone you can always count on when the going gets tough.

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The answer is obvious, old man. Logic is irrelevant. It's simply Tropical Madness. (J.Q. Higgins)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 4:52 pm 
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Bravo IH!

I actually kind of like this episode, but only for the Higgins/TC scenes.

I agree that the plot was kind of hokey, though.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:16 pm 
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Yeah, major suspension of disbelief in this episode.

IslandHopper wrote:
So, why confront Magnum in that way? Why would he give Magnum a chance?


Apparently because 3 years ago he [Magnum] came with a squad of SP's .... and because of that, "300 men (mercenaries) got wiped out"! :? :shock: 300 men!? Wow!

I guess he was expecting him to come alone the first time (for some unknown reason). So he set up this whole complicated plan to have Magnum come alone this time .... not to fight man-to-man, but so he could mow him down from a machine gun nest with an M2! Predictably, he talks too long and can't even do this!

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Higgins: It's not a scratch! It's a bloody gouge!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:25 pm 
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The whole plan seemed like a Rube Goldberg machine to me.....

:lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 10:33 am 
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I must admit the episode didn't really do that much for me, but the last scene where TC and Magnum are in the tidal pool is a pretty good scene. :)

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Magnum: So far this case had cost me my right to the wine cellar, the last cash in my pocket, and nearly my life. If that clerk was lying to me, I was gonna come back down here and shove that Robin Masters paperback in his ear!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:40 am 
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I found the bunker used in this episode in south west Oahu on Nimitz Beach. (gm link)

It's small I know, but the picture on the right shows the second bunker down the beach.
Image

According to this page, the bunkers "are to be added to the National List of Historic Places." (It's the bunker pictured on the right, not the left.)

You can also see the Coast Guard helicopter in the picture above at right. There's a Coast Guard Reservation about 500 yards down the beach (east). I wonder if they planned on having the chopper and medics there for TC or thought it up after arriving on site.


Last edited by rubber chicken on Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:10 am 
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James J. Walters wrote:
.... not to fight man-to-man, but so he could mow him down from a machine gun nest with an M2! Predictably, he talks too long and can't even do this!


Lyden's machine gun is an M60 (7.62mm), not an M2 (.50 caliber).

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The answer is obvious, old man. Logic is irrelevant. It's simply Tropical Madness. (J.Q. Higgins)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 4:44 pm 
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Doh! It's an M60, of course! My bad. :oops:

Hey rubber chicken, nice job! I can't tell you how long I've wondered where they filmed the ending scenes. Thank You!

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Higgins: It's not a scratch! It's a bloody gouge!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:18 pm 
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I'm going to have to buck popular opinion here and I say I really enjoyed this episode. Yes, the plot is hokey and stretches the suspension of disbelief until it screams for mercy, but the episode is so well put together. The editing between scenes with lines of dialogue overlapping works really well, and I like the script having our heroes split into two teams whilst still working towards a common goal - albeit unknowingly. The ending seems badly edited compared to the rest of the show (the shot of Magnum seems really out of place) but, on the whole the camaraderie of the characters keep it working.

Best bit - Magnum rolling his eyes when Rick confesses that he and TSM have already searched TC's office (actually a really subtle piece of acting, showing TS really 'in the scene', that a lot of lesser actors wouldn't have bothered with).

Possible goof: Magnum locks TC's door on the way out, but when Tanaka and the police enter it doesn't look like they reach around the broken glass and unlock it.

Andy


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