Let's see what we have here. A 1940s film noir Private Eye sets out to solve a complex Agatha Christie-like murder mystery. There are "old Hollywood style" opening credits and music. The main cast are playing fictional characters. The main house and guesthouse sets are completely redone. We find out at the end that the whole episode is Magnum's dream, which is based on a story he recently wrote called Murder by Night
, his first attempt at fiction. This is, of course, after he "wakes up" the first time (and finds Higgins praising his work), but realizes he's STILL dreaming. And then we have a humorous, self-referencing final scene with 1940s Thomas Magnum reading Headquarters Detective
(a real pulp 'zine from the 40s) and choking on cigarette smoke. An obvious joke on the amount of cigarettes he smokes throughout the episode!
Yeah, I can get into this type of episode! I think it's safe to say that you will never see this type of setup for any other show, ever! Brilliant! And only on Magnum P.I.
This episode also features one of the best punches ever seen in the show, fittingly on Rick (I mean, Rev. Bentley). In the scene where Bentley tries to search Magnum's office, Magnum throws him against the wall, holds him with one hand, then shows him his fist. He holds his fist in front of his face for a good 2-3 seconds before he drills him, hard! Classic film noir! The way they film it, it really looks like he hits him, too!