“Magnum P.I.: Season 4” (2021)
Developed by: Peter M. Lenkov and Eric Guggenheim
Featuring: Jay Hernandez, Perdita Weeks, Zachary Knighton, Stephen Hill, Amy Hill and Tim Kang
Detective Gordon Katsumoto: “Still don’t get why you guys are doing this.”
Thomas Magnum: “Mike and Terry wanted to free these people, and it cost them their lives. We didn’t know them but they’re still our brothers. We’re going to finish what they started.”
Released recently on DVD is the reimagining of the long running 1980s television series “Magnum” (1980-1988) that featured and made a star out of its leading man Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum. This new boxset, “Magnum P.I.: Season 4”, features Jay Hernandez in the titular role as a private investigator based in Hawaii who solves cases with the help of an eclectic group of friends and other contacts he has built up over the years.
This new iteration of “Magnum P.I.” centres on Thomas Magnum (Jay Hernandez), a decorated former Navy SEAL who, upon returning home from Afghanistan, repurposes his military skills to become a private investigator. A charming rogue, Magnum lives in a guest cottage on Robin’s Nest, the luxurious estate where he works as a security consultant to supplement his P.I. business. The “majordomo” of the property is Juliet Higgins (Perdita Weeks), a beautiful and commanding disavowed MI:6 agent whose second job is to keep Magnum in line, with the help of her two Dobermans.
As with the original series, “Magnum P.I”. revolves around Thomas Magnum, an ex-United States Navy SEAL who occupies the guest house on Robin’s Nest, the Hawaiian Estate owned by famous author Robin Masters. In exchange for allowing Magnum to live in his guest house, Masters writes a fictional book series about a “White knight” centered around Magnum’s time in the military. In addition, Magnum works for Masters as a security consultant; despite this, Masters never appears in the series. Also living on the estate are Juliet Higgins, an ex-MI6 Agent who serves as the estates majordomo, and native Hawaiian Kumu Tuileta, who is the estate’s cultural curator. In his off time Magnum solves crimes as a private investigator, often with Higgins who officially joins him as his partner in the second season. The two are frequently assisted by ex-United States Marines, Orville “Rick” Wright and Theodore “T.C.” Calvin. Rick is now a bar owner, while T.C. is a pilot whose main business is running helicopter tours of the islands. Gordon Katsumoto is a detective for the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) who frequently disagrees with Magnum’s investigation methods, but nonetheless respects his crime solving expertise.
All the reboot pieces are in place: Jay Hernandez is the new Tom Selleck. He’s a private investigator living in the guest house of an unseen millionaire’s mansion, and he’s working with a team of ex-military buds to keep the peace in Hawaii. This Magnum is lacking a mustache, but he’s still a charming Lothario who fits in a few critical shirtless scenes between skydiving in outer space and jumping from a speeding car to a flying helicopter without breaking a sweat.
Hernandez gives off the natural charisma needed to carry a procedural, and his cohorts are given brief moments to shine. The action scenes are so-so, even as the special effects are not that convincing but I assume this comes to the budget of the series overall. This new reboot fits within the new CBS model: easily digestible, easy-to-follow episodic action not far-removed from the network’s mothership formula, “NCIS.” To point out the flaws is pointless, given that things like disposable characters and questionable living expenses are baked into the recipe.
Island Vibes: As Magnum tries to keep his new relationship a secret and handle his cases solo, he’s now looking for a single mom being hunted by two very dangerous killers. A misstep abroad forces Higgins to become involved with an old employer.
The Harder They Fall: While Magnum and Higgins reunite and work the case of a construction worker’s tragic death, TC and Shammy get skyjacked by a pair of drug runners posing as tourists.
Texas Wedge: Magnum, Higgins and Rick go undercover at a ritzy country club when a young caddie is fired after being accused of stealing a member’s golf clubs.
Those We Leave Behind: Higgins’ therapist hires her to look into why one of her teenage patients died of suicide.
Til Death: When Magnum and Higgins are hired by an anxious groom to look into his bride-to-be on the eve of their wedding, what they think is a simple case of cold feet turns into a web of lies.
Devil on the Doorstep: A journalist hires Magnum to track down his anonymous source after they mysteriously go dark. Higgins receives a new assignment from MI-6. Rick’s old friend comes to the island, but TC is suspicious of his motives.
A New Lease on Death: When Rick is asked to assist with a federal investigation of Robbie, Magnum launches his own investigation. Higgins is hired to investigate the disappearance of a retirement community resident’s life savings.
A Fire in the Ashes: Magnum starts following Higgins to discover what she’s been hiding, as she’s secretly assigned to infiltrate a group threatening to take down MI-6. Rick struggles after an explosion takes the life of someone important to him.
Better Watch Out: A Christmas Eve ransomware attack on the Honolulu Police Department forces Lia to reveal a family secret to Magnum and Katsumoto.\
Dream Lover: When a woman hires Magnum and Higgins to locate a man she met briefly at a coffee shop and felt a spark with, they learn that he is hiding a big secret.
If I Should Die Before I Wake: A nun hires Magnum and Higgins to investigate a mysterious cash donation made to a parishioner undergoing medical treatment at the church. Jin’s new dog walking business takes a dramatic turn.
Angels Sometimes Kill: Shammy asks Magnum and Higgins to locate his missing friend, a homeless veteran. T.C. tries to get Cade to return to school, but quickly learns it’s not that simple.
Judge Me Not: When Hawaii Supreme Court nominee Judge Rachel Park is being blackmailed, she hires Magnum and Higgins who go to extraordinary lengths to help her out.
Run, Baby, Run: A bail bondsman hires Magnum and Higgins to track down a woman who skipped out on her $250,000 bond. T.C. and Katsumoto team up on an emotional search for Cade’s mother.
Dead Man Walking: When Magnum balks at notorious crime boss Osi Shima’s request to find his missing son, Magnum learns he’s been poisoned and has only eight hours to locate Shima’s son to earn the antidote, or else he dies.
Evil Walks Softly: The mother of a suspected bomber hires the team to locate her son and turn him in to the authority. Kumu and Rick help T.C. navigate his guilty conscience when he runs in to an old flame.
Remember Me Tomorrow: Higgins is in a complicated situation when 12-year-old Ella asks for help cracking a triple homicide that involves her mother. Magnum bonds with a terminally ill veteran and attempts to reunite him with his estranged family.
Shallow Grave, Deep Water: Magnum goes to extreme lengths to uncover the truth about a crime that may have involved his dear deceased friend, Nuzo.
The Long Sleep: A disoriented man hires Magnum and Higgins to investigate a crime he doesn’t remember after he woke up on the beach covered in blood. TC is taken aback when Cade’s biological grandmother makes a surprise visit.
Close to Home: Magnum and Higgins are sent on a deadly mission inside a high security correctional center when a ruthless criminal abducts Katsumoto and his ex-wife, Beth.