Magnum, p.i. (1986) – Little Girl Who and Paper War


It’s back to Hawaii! And Thomas (Tom Selleck) is in for a bit of an emotional ride this week. First up is Little Girl Who. This one was penned by Deborah Pratt and had an original airdate of 5 November, 1986.

Emotions and memories are brought to the fore, when Michelle (Marta DuBois), Magnum’s ex-wife, shows up in the islands, and she’s on the run, leaving him with her daughter, and Thomas has to wonder whether she’s his or not.

Both Maggie Poole (Jean Bruce Scott who always looks great in her Navy Whites) and Buck Greene (Lance LeGault) are back!

Higgins (John Hillerman) knows something is up when Thomas gets a telegram telling him to come, but he has no idea what that means for his friend… When Magnum arrives at the church, he is introduced to little, and very adorable, Lily-Catherine (Kristen Carreira) and a note asking him to look after her while Michelle helps her husband, General Nguyen Hue (Soon-Tek Oh), who seems to be in a lot of trouble.

Lily is a complete cutie, and Thomas begins to believe she’s his daughter, especially when the only English words she knows are “Detroit Tigers, Rick, T.C.” and “Thomas.”

Michelle can’t get off the island, and is actually listed as wanted for questioning. As Maggie and Thomas dig in they learn that there may be an assassination order out on Hue. T.C. (Roger E. Mosley) and Rick (Larry Manetti) help him prowl Little Saigon looking for Michelle, in the hopes of helping her and the General. Will he be able to save the life of the woman he never stopped loving?

Higgins meanwhile is creating living replicas of famous paintings, with help from one of the many societies he and Agatha (Gillian Dobb) are involved in.

There’s a lot of emotion in this episode, humorous, Thomas shares his rubber chicken, and heartbreaking… He takes off his ring for the first time in the series so that Lily can carry it. This is a solid, and strong episode delving very nicely into the characters, while balancing the trademark humor and drama.


Paper War was written by Jay Huguely and aired 12 November, 1986. This one is just a classic, it sees Thomas and Higgins squaring off against one another as the up the ante on a prank war, that for some reason sees Thomas accusing Higgins of being Robin. I’m fairly sure it was established he had met the author earlier in the series (course he thinks Higgins may have hired him), but with the death of Orson Welles, the character could not be reprised so it makes sense that they play up the Higgins as Robin angle.

The case Thomas is working on is inconsequential, it merely serves as a framing device for the escalation of events between the two characters.

It’s still a helluva fun episode though! The banter, the immature behavior, the pranks… And Thomas’ voiceover in this episode is hilarious as the two keep pushing one another’s buttons, and driving one another up the wall.

Prank after prank escalates until the pair are trapped together in an elevator that is in a building scheduled for demolition. While they harp and worry, argue and fight, Thomas begins to accuse Higgins of being Robin from all the slips of the tongue, claims and writing of memoirs.

This one is a lot of fun, and so very enjoyable.

Man, I love this show.


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One Comment Add yours

  1. MovieNut says:

    I never bought the whole “Higgins-is-Robin-Masters” thing. I DO believe that Masters was one of Higgins illegitimate half-siblings.

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