Magnum, p.i. (1987/1988) – The Love That Lies and A Girl Named Sue


The Love That Lies opens Magnum’s (Tom Selleck) case book this week. Originally airing on 18 November, 1987, this episode was written by Jeri Taylor (who would later go on to work on both Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Star Trek: Voyager).

Brenda Babcock (Eileen Brennan) hires Thomas to find the child she gave up 30 years ago. She and Thomas scour the island doe any hint of a clue, with Brenda becoming more and more disheartened with each letdown.

The other story at work here is centered on Carol (Kathleen Lloyd) who due to the high profile case she is prosecuting, ends up having to be tucked away at her mother, Abigail’s (Celeste Holm) place, and their relationship.

But like a lot of detective stories, the two threads come together as a revelation is given, and could up end Carol’s life. Thomas tries to carefully pry into Carol’s life, discussing her relationship with her mom, and trying to decide whether or not she should learn about the adoption.

Thomas speaks with Abigail, and really wants to find a way that things won’t hurt Carol…

Brenda won’t wait for the revelation, and goes to see Carol anyway.

With the revelation hanging in the balance, another private investigator reveals a kernel of truth, and leads to an emotional explosion for Carol.

It ends up being a very poignant and strongly written episode that gives Lloyd a chance to do something different with her character, and strains the relationship she has with Thomas and Abigail.


A Girl Named Sue sees the return of Carol Burnett as Susan Johnson, who is now a private investigator in her own right. The episode was penned by Stephen A. Miller and aired on 13 January, 1988.

Thomas is hired by Melissa Wainwright (Shelley Smith) to investigate her brother, Arthur (John Calvin), whom she believes killed their father (George Coe) and stole his will. Arthur meanwhile has hired Susan to investigate Melissa for the same reason.

Thomas is reticent to take the case, getting involved in family quarrels doesn’t pay off, but does it anyway, and ends up bumping into Susan in a gunfight. They quickly learn they are on the same case, sort of.

They get locked in a room together for a few minutes as a nod to their previous episode, and Susan even gets an internal monologue much like Thomas’ as they both work the case.

While the case has its moments, the episode definitely is more interested in seeing Thomas and Susan goofing off together, and trying to outdo one another (Susan even has a red Ferrari of her own) as they work for their respective clients.

The pair are a lot of fun to watch, and it was great to see Burnett return to the series before it came to a close.

Until next week, Aloha!


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