Every Episode of Magnum, P.I. (1980-1988) RANKED

There are 162 episodes so I’m going to start at s1e1 and rank them in real time against each other as I watch them.

17 Likes

Work the lock ignore the dogs.

I still remember that pilot bit when I was home from school and saw Tom Selleck on the John Davidson Show promoting this new show, Magnum P.I.

3 Likes

This is awesome

1 Like

s1e1+2 Don’t Eat the Snow in Hawaii

magnum is late picking up his friend at the airport, and the friend gets kidnapped and murdered. he spends the rest of the two-part episode searching for the real killers.

notable one-liners:

  • a pair of beautiful swedish stewardesses wearing tiny bikinis are spending the weekend at robin’s nest. “it’ll sure be nice to get out of these suits and back into the water”
  • Higgins is getting accosted by a burly hawaiian street tough in an alley. he karate chops the man in the neck and says, “Sorry. I should have warned you, I was a commando instructor during the war”. The hawaiian street tough is completely unharmed by this assault.

for simplicity, i’m going to combine two-parter episodes in the rankings. so
s1e1,2 Don’t Eat the Snow in Hawaii us currently the #1 best episode of magnum pi in this list

and now i’m realizing the episode title is a pun on magnum’s friend dying. his captors forced him to eat 10 ounces of cocaine off-camera. pretty gruesome and probably a safe move by donald p bellasario not including that scene in the final cut

8 Likes

In like sin for this one.

What kid didn’t have a bro crush on Roger Mosley?

1 Like

s1e3 China Doll

hilarious bit of buddy comedy early in the episode with magnum and TC in the helicopter. really makes you hate magnum for putting his friend through this unnecessary nonsense and just saying, “i saved your life in vietnam”. there’s no reason for magnum to be on that flight, and trolling TC’s paying customers WHILE freeloading is so disrespectful. so, so disrespectful. like not only does he not have a reason to be there, he doesn’t even WANT to be there! he’s hung over and complaining about the sun, psh. FUCK THOMAS. i wish they would reboot this show on hbo because TC’s catchphrase would absolutely be, “fuck you, thomas”

the villain smashing up an antique porcelain shop with karate was pretty fun to watch

love seeing the crew assembled based on their individual skills
TC choppering
Rick pedaling and lying
Higgins appraising antiques

plotline resolved when he puts a gun to the karate master’s head and says, “don’t even try it, nobody’s that fast” followed by a gunshot and cut to black. so dark! just have the guy surrender wtf. magnum kills people, that’s just part of the show. he moves on with his life.

this is the new #1 episode on this list. we’re really starting to have fun with the characters now.

  1. s1e3 China Doll
  2. s1e1,2 Don’t Eat the Snow in Hawaii
5 Likes

I wish I could watch these with you.

I’m sad to say that I’ve never actually watched a Magnum PI ep. When I was in college, though, my buddy loved it. Weirdly, our schedules aligned so that he could watch Magnum (on like USA network?) while I was in class, and then I would run home and tag in so that he could get to his class and I could watch Quantum Leap syndicated on the same cable channel.

Damn I loved Quantum Leap. I was so desperate to finally see the end of the Evil Leaper arc that when my friend called from jail right at the beginning of the key episode I almost hung up on him without realizing: “No no nonononono this is my only phone call!”. (I picked him up).

Took me at least two more years before I finally completed that show. Sigh.

3 Likes

You friend was jailed for watching Magnum PI? That’s an outrage!

1 Like

reagan’s america

1 Like

s1e4 Thank Heaven for Little Girls and Big Ones Too

this christmas episode strangely opens with magnum correctly identifying a Gaugain painting, newly acquired by robin masters. he asks higgins how much it’s worth and higgins says 2 million… marks. idk how much that is in 2022 usd but it sounds like another great investment by genius robin masters

TC is the best friend magnum does not deserve. the two of them are in a boxing gym surrounded by 2 dozen amateur boxers, the surly boss punches magnum and TC immediately piles in. the next scene is the two of them running out of there, so i imagine the part where TC lifts one or two of the boxers over his head and throws them into a crowd of several other boxers was cut for time.

  1. s1e3 China Doll
  2. s1e1,2 Don’t Eat the Snow in Hawaii
  3. s1e4 Thank Heaven for Little Girls and Big Ones Too
4 Likes

s1e5 No Need to Know

a social commentary about the heavy-handed tactics of the english against IRA terrorists? on the american surveillance state brought about by cold war paranoia? i don’t think it works on any level tbh. one short ferrari chase and a car bomb, it needed more helicopter shit

this was our worst episode so far

  1. s1e3 China Doll
  2. s1e1,2 Don’t Eat the Snow in Hawaii
  3. s1e4 Thank Heaven for Little Girls and Big Ones Too
  4. s1e5 No Need to Know
2 Likes

Looking forward to this episode.

9 Likes

s1e6 Skin Deep

opens up with a really haunting monologue directly into the camera about this strange woman’s imminent suicide.

magnum casually slept 14 hours without realizing it. he’s a socialist hero, truly. works when he wants, once in a while. he almost exclusively does whatever it is that he feels like doing in that moment. magnum doesn’t achieve this lifestyle by eating the rich, but he nibbles.

ian mcshane in this one as the ex boyfriend who has been driven homicidally mad by paranoia that his ex girlfriend was cheating on him.

notable lines from the episode:
“i’m not here to harm you!”
“that’s what all reporters say, and none mean it!”

i liked when magnum gets shot in the jungle and loses his composure, believing he’s back in vietnam. and i especially like when he shared the experience with tc at the end of the episode, and they both deny being anything less than 100% secure in their mental states

  1. s1e3 China Doll
  2. s1e1,2 Don’t Eat the Snow in Hawaii
  3. s1e6 Skin Deep
  4. s1e4 Thank Heaven for Little Girls and Big Ones Too
  5. s1e5 No Need to Know
3 Likes

s1e7 Never Again, Never Again

magnum gets roped into hunting nazi hunter hunters. it sounds a little confusing but magnum is with the good guys in this one… or is he? magnum ends up in the delicate situation of having to figure out which of this week’s characters is actually jewish.

higgins gets a chance to show off his tactical military knowledge and defend robin’s nest. he opens up the gun chest, and overlooks all the long guns in favor of a tiny pistol. then he takes the tiny pistol and leaves his defensible position on the high ground, with big spotlights at his control, he leaves that position for no reason, goes out into the night alone on foot to try to apprehend them. amazing he only got knockout-darted

not sure about the end of the episode. higgins talks to magnum as if magnum was justified in slaying the old nazi lady, but we didn’t hear the gunshot on the boat that would indicate he executed her. maybe higgins was saying it was ok to turn her in to mossad? but that’s obvious. i guess magnum shot the old bag through a pillow and swam outta there.

  1. s1e3 China Doll
  2. s1e1,2 Don’t Eat the Snow in Hawaii
  3. s1e6 Skin Deep
  4. s1e7 Never Again, Never Again
  5. s1e4 Thank Heaven for Little Girls and Big Ones Too
  6. s1e5 No Need to Know
4 Likes

s1e8 The Ugliest Dog in Hawaii

michael v gazzo plays an italian-american gangster who is OBSESSED with this fancy lady’s fancy dog. this gangster tattooed the number for a swiss bank account on the dog, so that’s why he needs the dog back. idk if that’s how swiss bank accounts really worked in the 80s or why he didn’t tattoo it on himself. or better yet just write it down on a brick and bury it somewhere. seems like a big risk to tattoo all that on a dog you can’t trust

notable lines:
michael v gazzo: “I’m gonna get that mutt if it’s the last thing i do!” in that crazy voice of his. it should be a cartoon.

  1. s1e3 China Doll
  2. s1e1,2 Don’t Eat the Snow in Hawaii
  3. s1e6 Skin Deep
  4. s1e7 Never Again, Never Again
  5. s1e8 The Ugliest Dog in Hawaii
  6. s1e4 Thank Heaven for Little Girls and Big Ones Too
  7. s1e5 No Need to Know
3 Likes

That’s how it was done in the 80s; everyone tattooed their Swiss bank account number on their pets if they had both.

2 Likes

so they tattooed a fake swiss bank account number on themselves, so the bulls in the prison don’t see it when they see the prisoners naked and steal all their francs. and the real numbers had to go on pets

s1e9 Missing in Action

magnum meets a beautiful woman with ESP (extrasensory perception, a condition discovered in humans in the 1970s that allows certain spiritual individuals to see glimpses of the future, often with the help of crystals) and together they uncover a secret military coverup.

i love that higgins just happens to be an expert in deep hypnosis. a real renaissance man.

TC fucking with magnum this episode was great. fixing his ferrari for him and saying to one of his teenage interns, “throw that hammer over here!” and the kid throws a hammer right at the ferrari, only for TC to snatch it in the air just before the catastrophic moment. haha fuck you, thomas.

notable lines:

higgins: “magnum!! this is OUTRAGEOUS!”

strange that magnum points guns at US military guys. even shoots an officer. magnum lives by his own laws. and now, a moment of silence for the 3 guns that were thrown into the water in this episode.

  1. s1e3 China Doll
  2. s1e1,2 Don’t Eat the Snow in Hawaii
  3. s1e9 Missing in Action
  4. s1e6 Skin Deep
  5. s1e7 Never Again, Never Again
  6. s1e8 The Ugliest Dog in Hawaii
  7. s1e4 Thank Heaven for Little Girls and Big Ones Too
  8. s1e5 No Need to Know
4 Likes

s1e10 Lest We Forget

miguel ferrer from twin peaks portrays this old man in a series of flashbacks to 1941. the old man (old) hires magnum to track down his lady from 40 years ago. meanwhile, 40 years ago, the old man (young) gets into a knife fight behind a bar and ends up killing a guy. this puts old man (old) in the present day in a precarious position, because he’s about to be nominated to the supreme court, and a scandal like this CANNOT happen to someone on such a highly prestigious court. so even though he’s been getting away with it for 40 years, he can’t leave it up to chance that some woman from 40 years ago will accuse him of something he did where she’s the only witness. he wouldn’t be able to lie! he wouldn’t get away with it! (this is 1980 brain on drugs)

  1. s1e3 China Doll
  2. s1e1,2 Don’t Eat the Snow in Hawaii
  3. s1e9 Missing in Action
  4. s1e6 Skin Deep
  5. s1e7 Never Again, Never Again
  6. s1e10 Lest We Forget
  7. s1e8 The Ugliest Dog in Hawaii
  8. s1e4 Thank Heaven for Little Girls and Big Ones Too
  9. s1e5 No Need to Know
2 Likes

A long way to go to get to the Dana Delany episodes. Man, I really had a thing for her. Still do.