Thomas got by with a little help from his friends.
He had no choice after getting on the wrong side of a crime boss on Magnum P.I. Season 4 Episode 15.
Magnum must have developed a good reputation as a private eye on Oahu if a Yakuza crime boss would select him to find his kidnapped son and heir.
You would think that a crime boss already would have someone in his orbit to investigate the abduction. After all, every sleazy mob lawyer would have a P.I. on retainer, right?
But no. Magnum, always eager for his next case, stepped in it this time by not checking out his client in advance.
Poor Thomas. He received some tasty samples from the chef at a sushi restaurant only to discover that he’s been slipped poison.
It didn’t ring true that Magnum would refuse to help Shima. Like many of his previous clients, the Yakuza boss couldn’t use traditional avenues such as the police or the FBI, primarily because of who he is.
But unlike those other clients who came hat in hand, Shima had to play hardball by telling Thomas he had eight hours to find his son or else no antidote. That’s hardly asking nicely.
Even though Magnum got suckered into the meeting with Shima, he did one smart thing calling Higgins on his phone under the table and getting Shima to repeat everything about his situation.
That put Juliet and company in charge of determining how to save Thomas while he worked on figuring out who had Kota.
They even had an ace in the hole in Jin, wisely used in small doses this outing.
Playing a most unlikely health inspector, Jin managed to get bugs planted inside the sushi restaurant, crucial for Higgins’ plan to locate who had supplied Shima with the poison.
T.C. spooked Sato, who called Shima, which enabled Juliet to locate his number and hack his phone.
It was laughable that fresh-faced Juliet played the heavy at the poison supplier’s house while ex-military man Rick watched. Sure, the dealer was a chemistry nerd, and she’s ex-Mi-6, but come on.
He did give them the crucial information that Shima had no antidote, and he supplied a stopgap compound to help with the poison’s symptoms until they could retrieve the cure.
So at least Juliet knew what the poison was and how to counteract it.
Meanwhile, Thomas was busy trying to stay alive long enough to locate Kota while making new friends among Shima’s enforcers, the aptly named Tower (the big guy wasn’t named Tiny this time) and unexpectedly a female, Tia Min.
It’s a good thing that a Magnum-MacGyver crossover never happened. This allowed Levy Tran to play a different character on Magnum.
Tower was monosyllabic, as all such man-mountain characters usually are. That left Tia having to be the conversational foil for chatty Thomas.
Tower securing evidence that implicated the Korean gang seemed off. Neither group benefitted by violating the truce.
What made more sense was disagreement within the Yakuza about the truce. Somebody could kidnap Kota and have the blame fall on the Koreans.
Tower didn’t seem like that deep a strategist. But as the only other gang member that was introduced, he became the culprit by default.
Likewise, there seemed to be more to Tia than she let on.
She showed unexpected courage when she went in to rescue Magnum, who never should have been sent into the Jumak facility alone as shaky as he was.
During their battle against the Koreans, Thomas saw enough to realize Tia wasn’t the thug she claimed to be. Instead, she was an undercover HPD officer.
Once Tia let Magnum escape, he and his compatriots could have walked away and let the two gangs kill off each other. But, as Katsumoto noted, innocent bystanders get killed during gang wars.
Once they proved Tower’s involvement, Higgins and Rick determined where Kota was being held and rescued him.
Since Kota was safe, Thomas could crash the gang parlay and reveal what he had learned. Even though he was hardly 100 percent, Magnum could still out-think Tower, granted a reasonably low bar.
It’s a shame that Tia was left undercover in Shima’s organization. Now that Thomas is single again, he and she could have been an interesting couple. Ah, well. She’ll come out from under some time.
When he got back together with Higgins, Magnum must have been pretty out of it, essentially telling her how much he carries her in their partnership. She had to be just humoring his recuperating self when she agreed with his assessment later.
His P.I. operation would be nowhere without her hacking skills. And if they hadn’t become partners, he’d still be bugging her to do things for him.
The tug-of-war competition at the end was a head shaker.
We’re supposed to believe that the event depends more on strategy than strength and mass, that the team with six individuals the size of T.C. or bigger would have lost? Seriously?
For all Magnum adventures, watch Magnum P.I. online.
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Does a little Jin go a long way?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.