Magnum, p.i. (1985) – Going Home and Paniolo


Thomas heads to Virginia in the first episode up this week, Going Home, which aired 31 October, 1985 and was penned by Gene Donalds and Chris Abbott.

He returns to Virginia for his grandfather’s funeral, and it opens up a slew of memories, pains, and troubles amongst the family. He’s never been a fan of his mother, Katharine’s (Gwen Verdon) husband, Frank (David Huddleston). Despite the fact that both of them were in the service, they never connected, and he doesn’t care for the way Frank treats his mother.

These troubles boil to the surface when a letter, a valuable heirloom, that his grandfather left for Thomas has gone missing, and amazingly, Frank has just bought a new cargo plane for his business. Thomas begins to see a connection between the two.

What follows is a strong and emotional episode that sees Thomas and the rest of his family dealing with loss and grief, the misperceptions of time and perspective, and how badly we can misjudge people.

It’s interesting to see how Thomas interacts with his family, and while there are a few chuckles in the episode, this one is played fairly straight with drama, and seeing how the characters interact, and that even Thomas can be wrong sometimes.

But he is also willing to admit when he does.

He also helps out his cousin’s young son deal with the loss of a loved one.

So, we learn that Thomas didn’t connect with his step-father after his own father died in Korea, that he had a step-brother named Joey, and that he doesn’t get home as often as his family would like, but as often as he likes.


Paniolo is a little lighter fare after the heavy family drama. This one was written by Jay Huguely and aired on the 7th of November, 1985.

Thomas is flown to the Big Island and asked to help out on a ranch by a young cattle rancher, Kenny Harbison (Michael Sharrett). It seems he and his ranchers have been having some problems with cattle rustlers, who are stealing the cattle, slaughtering them, and then selling them.

Thomas gets to play cowboy, though at first he’s less than enthused about the job prospect of working for Kenny.

When T.C. (Roger E. Mosley), Rick (Larry Manetti) and even Higgins (John Hillerman) show up, the episode takes on a bit of a John Wayne/Roy Rogers flavor, something that is reflected in Thomas’ inner monologue, and he saddles up to help out the ranch.

But as so often happens, the true villain is closer than we realize, and it may cause some true pain to Harbison when he and Thomas learn who it is. But only if Magnum can survive a shoot-out with some cattle rustlers who have him pinned down in a cabin!

This one was fun, not quite as light as some previous episodes, but enjoyable enough, and balances with the previous episode nicely.

Next week’s episodes look like a lot of fun, so until then, Aloha!


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