Follow TV Tropes


Series / Magnum, P.I. (2018)

Go To
Jay Hernandez as Thomas Magnum

Magnum P.I. is the 2018 version of the original series. It’s about a former Navy SEAL who settles in Hawaii, and uses his military expertise to become a private investigator.

The reboot was developed by Peter M. Lenkov (who developed the MacGyver (2016) reboot) and Eric Guggenheim and stars Jay Hernandez as Thomas Magnum. The first episode aired on September 24, 2018 with a rating of 8.12 million viewers.

In the new version, Magnum moves to settle in Oahu after he and some American military personnel survived being in a POW camp during the War in Afghanistan in order to forget about the problems he had while he was captured by pro-Taliban forces. He uses his military skills and connections to help his clients and allies solve criminal cases throughout Hawaii.

CBS aired the reboot for the first four seasons. It was confirmed that Magnum P.I. will be a part of the Bellisarioverse, as Steve McGarrett from Hawaii Five-0 will be making an appearance, the Five-0 unit is referred to regularly, and several characters from Five-0 appeared in the first few episodes.

On May 12, 2022, CBS canceled the series after four seasons. On June 30, 2022, NBC (owner of the intellectual property by way of Universal Television) rescued the series and ordered one more season.

The show will end after the fifth season.

Magnum P.I. provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: Tim Kang once again plays a law enforcement officer, except that he has to settle for being in a force that has Oahu as its jurisdiction.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Although it's too early in the series to say whether the Ship Tease moments between Magnum and Higgins will lead to them becoming an actual couple down the line, from the very first episode it is established that the two have a bond and can be relied upon to support each other, despite their bickering.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Magnum and Higgins in the fourth season finale.
  • Bloody Smile: In "Day I Met The Devil", Magnum is captured by Ivan and beaten for the location of an FBI informant. He (lying) describes how the informant was blown up earlier by a drone and flashes a bloody grin. Ivan, who was flying the drone, isn't fooled and tells The Dragon to keep going.
    Ivan: Wipe that smile off his face.
  • Bluff the Imposter: Magnum is placed on a mission with a pair of supposed CIA operatives. He talks to one of a past mission he was on with the guy replying he'd read about it in Magnum's file. Magnum then talks to the nervous tech guy on a diner not far from Holland Air Base where he had his training. When the two try the inevitable double-cross, Magnum reveals how he knew they were fakes: The "secret mission" was a plot from one of Master's books and the diner he mentioned to the other doesn't exist.
  • Book Safe: Higgins keeps a Glock 26 hidden in a book in the Masters compound.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The ending of "The Long Way Home" has Magnum addressing the audience, saying that veterans having suicidal thoughts should call a hotline shown below.
    • Similarly, "Those We Leave Behind" has Higgins giving out a suicide hotline, for a more general audience than just veterans.
  • The Cameo: "From the Head Down" has Japanese-American chef Roy Yamaguchi as a lead for Magnum in solving the case of a missing bluefin tuna fish. He comes back in "Game of Cat and Mouse".
    • "Black is the Widow" has baseball player Christian Yellich.
  • Crime After Crime: Magnum lampshades this when he is captured by two blackmailers. He points out that up to that point they were only guilty of extortion and if arrested, they could probably cut a deal that would have them serve no jail time. However, if they want to continue with their scheme, they will have to silence Magnum which means that they escalate all the way to murder. They do not take his advice and end up with attempted murder charges for trying to kill Magnum.
  • Deus ex Machina: How Higgins, whose Visa has expired, is able to remain in the U.S. at the end of season 2- turns out there's an obscure law on the books that states if you own a business or property generating more than a certain amount of money, you're allowed to stay. Robin worked it so that Higgins now owns Robin's Nest and everyone who lives there are her employees, thus allowing her to stay. Keep in mind, this is all revealed in the last three minutes of the season finale.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: "Knight Last Forever" has the Masters Estate taken over by armed men led by a couple of wacky fans of his.
  • Dirty Cop: Dead Inside has Magnum and Higgins on the case at Katsumoto's request when he suspects that his partner might be dirty after crucial evidence went missing. Katsumoto initially suspected Johnson because he has a nice boat, which was acquired as a gift following his divorce. It turns out that their co-worker, Duggan, had been blackmailed into doing a drug dealer's bidding after he got shot in the line of duty and resorted to drugs after the prescription request was denied.
  • Everyone Can See It: Invoked in the penultimate episode of Season 4 when Magnum muses he might have feeling for Higgins.
    T.C.: Wait, let me write down the exact date and time you figured out what all of us have known for years!
  • Everyone Has Standards: "Hit and Run" has Magnum and Higgins hired by a hitman who turned down a job when he realized it was a 12-year-old girl but knows someone wants her dead. As he tells them, no matter what else, he'd never kill a kid.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: "The Deceased" lists Magnum's mailing address at 45 Kalanianaʻole Highway.
  • From Camouflage to Criminal: "I Saw the Sun Rise" has Magnum deal with two former Marines arrested by MPs for looting Iraqi artifacts after the 2003 invasion by the coalition.
  • Gilligan Cut: Magnum is tracking down the movements of a comatose woman with a shady past. He tells Higgins he doesn't need any FBI report as he's about to talk to her co-workers at a charity center as "they will know everything about her I need." Cut to the boss telling Magnum she has no idea who this woman is and he realizes she was lying to her fiancee about her job.
  • Hitman with a Heart: Magnum and Juliette work a case where an assassin named Xavier wants them to locate a child before another assassin does his job. When pressed, Xavier says that he has limits on who he's willing to kill in "Hit and Run". The episode mentions that he grew up as an orphan, which formed his willingness to drop contracts if children are targets.
  • Insane Troll Logic: When goofball crook Jin shows up, he's wearing an obvious fake mustache and beard. He peels them off to show a much smaller mustache underneath. When asked, he explains that "people are looking for a guy with a mustache but by wearing one that's obviously fake, they won't know it's me!" Magnum and Higgins can only stare.
  • Insistent Terminology: Every time someone calls Magnum a "private eye." He prefers the term "private investigator."
  • It Was Here, I Swear!: Thanks to a cat, Magnum and Higgins find a dead body inside a ransacked house. They chase off a thief and then call in the cops. When they arrive, the place is totally clean with no body found. The cop makes it clear that while he may not believe Magnum's story, Higgins backing it up does sway him.
    Katsumoto: Make a note, Magnum: Next time you find a dead body, take a picture.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: With Magnum and the HPD, since the former's just a private detective by profession. Tends to be just one-way (HPD to Magnum), as Magnum, to his credit, usually does not hesitate to contact HPD and even jeopardizes his friendship with T.C. in one episode by siding with HPD over his friend.
  • Loony Fan: In "Knight Lasts Forever", Magnum and company have to deal with mercenaries led by a couple who are confessed fans of the White Knight series.
  • Maintain the Lie: Jin brings his niece for a visit and asks the gang to keep quiet on how he used to be a crook and "I might have told her I own the place." TC bites his lip acting like Jin's the boss.
  • My Greatest Failure: When Magnum and his buddies were serving in Afghanistan, a fellow SEAL was wounded badly enough that he could not be transported to a hospital. His only chance was to have a surgeon flown in to him. However, heavy enemy activity grounded all helicopter flights. Magmum and his friends disobey a direct order and attempt to fly a doctor in. They are caught in a crossfire and the doctor is fatally wounded before they even get off the ground. Their comrade dies of his wounds and their commanding officer declines to courtmartial them on the grounds that the guilt from this will haunt them for the rest of their lives. He is correct.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: "The Harder They Fall" focuses on a murder that becomes a "Strangers on a Train"-Plot Murder scheme where a man murdered a construction worker who'd gotten away with a murder in exchange for the other man killing the drunk driver who'd killed the man's wife. After they're arrested, Magnum and Higgins have to drop the bomb on the man: The man he killed didn't commit that murder and the man is rocked to realize he murdered an innocent man.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Parts of the OP are based on the original OP frame by frame.
      • The first episode is titled "I Saw the Sun Rise" in honor of a line of dialogue in what was arguably the most famous episode of the original series.
      • It also briefly showed the Ferrari 308GTS complete with "ROBIN 1" license plate which later gets destroyed.
      • The episode "From the Head Down" has Magnum in a flashback having the same mustache as seen in the 1980s series. But it's averted when he later shaves it.
      • "The Cat Who Cried Wolf" ends with Higgins gifting Magnum a Hawaiian-patterned shirt identical to the type favored by Tom Selleck in the original series.
  • Open Secret: In episode 1, Magnum reveals to Higgins that he's aware she's a former spy. By episode 2, it has become known to Rick and TC. For her part, Higgins doesn't actually appear upset by this.
  • Parting-Words Regret: This is the reason that Ella in "Remember Me Tomorrow" is so motivated to solve her mother's last case: Before her mother died, the last conversation they had was an argument over Ella wanting to keep playing a video game instead of reading with her mother. Ella is worried that her mother died thinking she meant all the horrible things she said.
  • Phony Psychic: Whispers of Death has a phony psychic as a client. She tells the duo that she had a vision of a murder about to happen, with her client as the victim. They don't take her seriously until the "psychic" herself is found dead. Those crystals she gave her clients contained listening devices.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: The episode "No Way Out" has some basis on Edward Snowden and the leaks he made on how intelligence agencies have been conducting mass surveillance secretly.
  • Running Gag:
    • Several episodes have begun with Higgins trying to get Magnum's goat. For example, in one episode she takes a school tour to visit his house, even though he had a lady friend visiting him; in another, she "borrows" one of his favourite shirts to train her dogs with.
  • Scenery Porn: Like Hawaii Five-0 (not to mention the original series), the show doesn't stop showing aerial views of Hawaii and its islands.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Magnum, Rick, TC and Nuzo were all captured and held prisoner by the Taliban for two years. The experience and subsequent escape rendered them not wanting to return to their respective homes after being discharged and Nuzo decides that they should all move to Hawaii for the therapeutic effects of the islands' vacation destination atmosphere.
  • Shout-Out: "Island Vibes" is one for John Woo from Detective Kaleo dropping the name, Katsumoto suggesting that an assassin may have used two guns with Magnum and the suspect shooting at each through a thin wall.
  • Spot the Imposter: When Higgins goes undercover in a mental hospital as an American, her act fools just about everyone..except one patient, who figures it out fast. Why? Because the woman watches House every day and noticed Higgins says her "r's" in a hard tone just as Hugh Laurie does because the actor is actually British.
  • The Starscream: Dead Man Walking features a guy named Tower, who planned to usurp control of Mr. Shima's branch of the Yakuza by framing the Jumak (Korean gang) for his kidnapping of Mr. Shima's son in the hopes of breaking the truce between the two gangs.
  • Story Arc: Season 5 seems to be setting up Gordon trying to get back on the force after being relieved of duty at the end of season 4.
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: A recurring bit is Higgins using her Dobermans to often chase Magnum around. In season 2, Magnum finds Higgins herself held at bay in a house by a large dog. He naturally can't help laughing at how she finally knows how it feels and even takes photos of it. To top it off, the dog had been ready to go after Higgins but immediately calms down and lets itself be petted by Magnum.
  • This Is Reality: A Running Gag is an episode opening with an excerpt from one of Masters' books on Magnum's adventures. This leads to someone (Higgins or Magnum's buddies) cracking over how totally unrealistic that is. Which then leads to an adventure even wilder than the book.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting:
    • "Day of the Viper" has Magnum and Higgins tracking a lead to hunt down an assassin known as Viper Who turns out to be Higgin's old MI6 superior, Ian. Meanwhile, Rick masquerades as Magnum to check on a potential groom to be by the bride's parents out of concerns. Turns out that the waitress the groom was seeing is the fiancee, which resulted in the wedding called out out of paranoia.
    • "A Kiss Before Dying" has Magnum and Higgins stumble onto a grave that has the remains of a HPD officer who went MIA. Rick and TC escort a woman who turned state evidence against her yakuza husband under US Marshals protection.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "Close to Home" has Gordon being suspended from HPD work without his salary being paid. He then implied that the chief could order him to turn in his badge and sidearm for trying to save his wife by acting recklessly.
    • "The Breaking Point" has the HPD called in after they recover the body of Captain Buck Greene.
    • "Number one with a Bullet" has Magnum and Higgins identifying Greene. Later on, Magnum, TC and Rick find out that Greene's death has something to do from their time in the Navy.
  • Yakuza: Magnum tangles with the Tako-kai gumi's Honolulu-based group in "Dead Man Walking". While there are mostly male wakashus, Osi Shima recruits a Vietnamese-American woman who works as his personal bodyguard.


Chase in a mall

Magnum chases a suspect in a mall, who shows off his parkour skills.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / LeParkour

Media sources: