Originally meant to be the final episode of the series, before they were picked up for a shortened 8th season, this week’s trip to Hawaii has a sense of finality to it.
Limbo was written by Jay Huguely, Bruce Cervi and Chris Abbott from a story by Chas. Floyd Johnson and Tom Selleck. It aired on 15 April, 1987, and sees Magnum (Selleck), shot and left for dead in a warehouse.
Though he can see all of his friends, he cannot interact with him, and the episode ends with a very iconic image of Thomas walking away into a clouded sky.
Opening with a gunfight, the crux of the story involves Michelle’s (Marta DuBois) return to the island, but Thomas doesn’t get a lot of answers, at first because he is shot. It’s a very disconcerting start to the episode, especially when you know it was written as the end of the series.
Everyone gets to make an appearance, Higgins (John Hillerman), Rick (Larry Manetti) – whose release from prison is mostly explained, T.C. (Roger E. Mosley), Mac (Jeff MacKay), Agatha (Gillian Dobb), Buck Greene (Lance LeGault), , Carol (Kathleen Lloyd), Maggie (Jean Bruce Scott), Doc Ibold (Glenn Cannon), and little Lily (Kristen Carreira).
Mac, the real Mac, the dead one, tries to convince Thomas that he is dead, and that he only has a short time to make his goodbyes, and then move on. Consequently, the episode is filled with some wonderfully poignant moments, as depths of friendships are revealed.
A beautiful episode, and honestly, would have been a great way to end the series. (though I am not ready to have it be over yet).
Happily, there’s a few more episodes, and the final season gets underway with Infinity and Jelly Doughnuts, which aired 7 October, 1987 and was written by Chris Abbott.
Thomas remains in a coma, and his friends stay close by, to try and call him back from the edge. His mother, Katherine (Gwen Verdon) has flown to the islands to be with her son, and a priest, Father Timothy (Richard Narita) is keeping vigil over him as well.
It picks up right after the previous episode, the only real problem I have with these later episodes is that they start playing up the assumption that Higgins is, in fact, Robin Masters.
The story, nonetheless, is still wonderfully done, pulls at the heart strings, as friends and family refuse to let him go. All of them cling to the belief that Thomas can hear them, and keeps talking to him, in the hopes of bringing him back.
Even as his friends and family hope and pray, Thomas’ little voice is digging away at something about his shooting that bothers him, and brings him back to the land of the living, literally from the brink of death, but he’s not completely himself when he returns, and no one believes what he tells them about seeing them while he was supposed to be dying.
All the characters deal with the prospect of their mortality, while Thomas puzzles out what happened in the warehouse. And the answer may be closer than he thinks!
Can’t believe I’m on the final season!!
Until next week, Aloha!