Magnum, P.I. (1980–1988)
8.0/10
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Going Home 

Magnum goes home to Virginia to attend his grandfather's funeral. And when a family heirloom goes missing he accuses his step father of stealing it to save his business.

Director:

Harry Harris

Writers:

Donald P. Bellisario (created by), Glen A. Larson (created by) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview:
Tom Selleck ... Magnum
John Hillerman ... Higgins (credit only)
Roger E. Mosley ... Theodore 'TC' Calvin (credit only)
Larry Manetti ... Orville 'Rick' Wright (credit only)
Gwen Verdon ... Katherine Peterson
David Huddleston ... Frank Peterson
Joe Regalbuto ... Don Eddie Rice
Julie Cobb ... Karen
Irene Tedrow ... Mrs. Wilson, the Antique Dealer
James Staley ... Steve the Banker
Brandon Call ... Karen's Son Billy
Vera Hussey-Forbes Vera Hussey-Forbes ... Miss Winobe
David Traylor David Traylor ... Policeman
Bob Selleck Bob Selleck ... Grandpa Everett
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Storyline

Magnum goes home to Virginia to attend his grandfather's funeral. And when a family heirloom goes missing he accuses his step father of stealing it to save his business.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Certificate:

TV-PG
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 October 1985 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Manoa, Oahu, Hawaii, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only episode in which John Hillerman (Higgins) does not appear. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Magnum's Family Drama
7 July 2019 | by p3ss3ssodSee all my reviews

Magnum's producer's decide to start filling in some family blanks in this episode, a well seldom visited in the series up to this point. Aside from a few meandering memories and the series of flashbacks in S4E1, Home From The Sea, we get scant current family background from Thomas until this point.

Serving as a way of establishing his Mother as a new character (Gwen Verdon returns numerous times in future episodes) Thomas goes back to Tidewater for his grandfather's funeral and has to deal with his family, his poor relationship with his step-dad and the rest of the people he grew up with whom all seemed to have been doing little else with their lives up until Magnum's return.

This episode is full of brow-furrowing concern as Magnum deals with an apparently dysfunctional family now his grandfather's died. All kinds of intrigue arises, particularly from a missing family heirloom and questions are asked that betray Magnum's emotional biases.

There's a lot of familiar territory here and a focused story is padded out a bit unnecessarily with Magnum catching up with old buddies and a mess of irrelevant characters who play no impactful role in the episode's plot. Without any of rest of the cast from the Islands to keep him company we're given a crash course in his hometown high school history, with zero relevance to the story.

The Magnum recipe is always the tastiest when the guest star is given a priority to form a relationship with Thomas, or rekindle an old one. 'Going Home' plays very differently in an attempt to delve into Magnum's motivations and emotional baggage in his estranged family. It'll be no surprise to anyone that David Huddleston does a great performance as the 'villain' and Thomas's teen nemesis as the 'evil stepfather'. The failing of this is the two of them are kept apart for most of the episode which makes their exchanges brief and unsatisfying. For much of the last act Huddleston is actually 'missing' in an attempt to let Magnum get further from the truth so he can validate his own ideas.

It's hard to care so much about Magnum's family and friends when he himself has has no connection to them for the last five years (and beyond) so the show goes out of its way to try and do this. Magnum's forlorn single-mother cousin, his down and out taxi driver friend (aptly played by Joe Regalbuto) but the rest of the cast end up as small town caricatures whom will be entirely forgettable.

Then there's more ingredients removed from the recipe. No car chases, no gun fights, no fisticuffs, no stunt work of any description and the plot hinges on our investment in Thomas's want to do right by his Mother. There's always been a bit of a Peter Pan element to Selleck's Magnum and as he gets older in the show I think there became a need to ground him a little more in some kind of reality. Writing his mother in and how their adult relationship is (or isn't) working gives Magnum a tad more maturity.. eventually.

By the episode's end, without any major spoilers, we find Magnum growing a little emotionally. Thomas comes off as kind of bratty for much of this episode and the final act provides a bridge for him to cross and make peace with the past. This was a rewarding pay off at the end and something we've never really dealt with in the Magnum Universe before: family beyond friendships.

There's been numerous experiments in season six to broaden the Magnum experience, but any time the producers do this and take away the magical supporting cast of Higgins, Rick and TC you end up with something lacking. It's by no means the worst Magnum I've seen, but its defining features aren't quite as palatable as the usual fare.


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