Things get a little tough between Thomas (Tom Selleck) and Rick (Larry Manetti) in this week’s first episode, Distant Relative, which aired 20 October, 1983. It was written by Nick Thiel. This is another one of those episodes that, if the series had been serialized, like those today, would probably have had an impact on the entire season.
Thomas agrees to chaperone Rick’s younger sister, Wendy (Alice Cadogan), while she’s on the island, visiting her brother, who hasn’t seen her in over a decade. He’s paid for her schooling and imagines her to be a proper young lady. But that is nothing like the young woman Magnum takes out. A bit of a rebel, and a party animal, Thomas loses track of her at a club (as opposed to the screening of Bambi Rick asked Tom to take her to).
When she not only goes missing, but is found dead in an alley, Rick is quick to blame his friend, and while Thomas and T.C. (Roger E. Mosley) want to help and protect their friend, Rick is angry, hurt, and his whole world is in upset. He becomes fuelled by the desire for revenge when Icepick (now played by Elisha Cook) provides him with a name… will Thomas and T.C. stop Rick from getting himself killed, or killing the wrong person??
There are some lighter moments in the episode as well, Carol Channing has a brief cameo, and Higgins (John Hillerman) and Agatha (Gillian Dobb) annoy Magnum with some aerial dogfighting with model planes.
As the episode ends, Thomas and T.C. try to rouse their friend, but it looks like he’ll need until the next episode to feel better.
Limited Engagement, is next up. It aired 3 November, 1983, and was written by Richard Yalem, Jay Huguely and Stephen Katz. Thomas is working undercover in a grocery store, for a chain that has been hit by crooks on a regular basis. Dealing with customers, including T.C. who insists on causing problems for Tom, and an annoying kid, there is tons going on here, even before a pair of elderly ladies, the LaSalle sisters (Mildred Natwick and Martha Scott) tumble into his life.
It seems the pair of them, and a group of other older folks, including a former major leaguer are in danger of losing their home, thanks to a slum lord named Harvey (Jim Hutchison). He’s intent on getting the entire group out of the house and have given them three days to get clear of it, and pay their back rent. Thomas is infuriated, and turns to Higgins for help, who agrees to host a charity bingo tournament for the group, and hopefully raise enough money to buy the house.
But things aren’t going to go smoothly, of course, because Icepick wants to not only attend the charity event, he wants to pull some of the balls, and Rick is running down connections and leads for Thomas, and he comes across some troubling information…
What if the LaSalle sisters are involved with the robberies?
Another fun little episode, season 4, so far is a really strong, and fun season… until next time, aloha!