It must be about time for a holiday hiatus.
That was the message that came through loud and clear on Magnum P.I. Season 4 Episode 8, as a couple of storylines that needed to reach their ends finally did so.
First up was Rick’s tormented debate over what he owed to childhood friend Robbie.
This storyline had only been going on since Robbie was introduced on Magnum P.I. Season 4 Episode 6. It just seemed a whole lot longer.
The answer to what Rick owed was, existentially, not much.
Yes, Robbie once did Rick a solid, taking the rap and doing time for a crime they committed together.
But Robbie turned around and used that noble act as a crutch for the rest of his prematurely shortened life.
As a felon, he didn’t get the same opportunities as those without a criminal record. So Robbie opted to take the more lucrative options available through crime instead work his way back to legitimacy through minimum-wage jobs.
But when Robbie murdered an undercover agent, accidentally or not, he decided to cash in on Rick’s old debt, fleeing to paradise rather than Mexico or Central America. Because Rick would wallow in guilt and-or nostalgia rather than ask the hard questions.
Only T.C. and Sloane, the rogue FBI agent, forced Rick to think and to realize that he had been harboring at best a murder suspect and at worst a fugitive.
Even worse, Robbie and Sloane brought a handful of dangerous Albanians to Oahu in their wake. So was anyone surprised when Rick’s car blew up? Rick was just lucky that he wasn’t the one inside it at the time.
And the storyline carried over because the Albanians had to assume that Robbie had spilled what he knew to Rick.
Rick was too wracked with guilt over Robbie’s death that he had to take matters into his own hands rather than accept the police protection that he should have.
Now and then, we have to be reminded that Rick has skills beyond barely running a bar. He is a super sniper with the ability to take revenge on the Albanians. And it would be hard to claim self-defense from his sniper’s perch.
Fortunately, T.C. knew Rick well and could predict where Rick would set up with the Albanians as his targets. T.C. knew the right things to say to get through Rick’s grief.
Of course, Rick’s travails were secondary to the actual storyline: Higgins’ enforced servitude to Mi-6.
It was time for this to be over. Not to denigrate Magnum, but If he was able to figure out precisely what Juliet was up to during her unexplained absences, how genuinely effective could she be as a spy?
Granted, Magnum knows her better than anyone else in their little social circle so that he would be more aware of her changes in behavior.
But Higgins had been out of the spy game for a while, and Eve was leaving her very exposed. So a little unwanted backup never hurts.
Just like T.C. wouldn’t respect Rick’s wishes, Thomas was right not to listen to Juliet’s urgings for him to stay out of her business.
She needed him, especially after Eve somehow allowed herself to be captured. So it was a good thing that Magnum followed his gut.
Thomas followed slim lead after slim lead to work his way into Cavendish’s nest of spies, then picked off one after another of his men in his effort to locate Higgins.
Some small part of Juliet had to be that enjoyed mauling the impervious Eve. Despite being watched by Cavendish and his lackeys the whole time, she still managed to tap out a message to Eve to create disputes in the ranks, at least until Eve’s phone revealed Higgins’ true mission.
It’s little wonder that Cavendish still wanted to hire Juliet after shooting Eve. Then, after Magnum’s distraction, she managed to take down Cavendish’s lieutenant Oliver.
Still, Higgins had to finish the mission, in part to protect herself but mainly to protect Mi-6, despite how badly that organization had treated her at a low point in her life. Compare her reaction to Cavendish’s quest for revenge.
Thomas’s quick thinking saved them in the computer room. Why wouldn’t Cavendish’s thugs have patted down Magnum looking for a second weapon while Cavendish was busy gloating?
It was satisfying when Higgins conquered Cavendish, and HPD marched out all his disgraced agents. But where did that hard drive end up anyway?
It was surprising that there was so little fallout for Juliet. A quick debriefing by a couple of frumpy CIA officers, then she was home to make a halfhearted apology to her friends for her deception. But will life as an estate manager again now feel dull?
It did seem fitting that she was the one to go out to console the conflicted Rick. She got what he was feeling, a combination of loss battling with being thankful for having the support of friends that knew enough not to listen to them when they were being well-meaningly pigheaded. No one else there got that.
To revisit Higgins’ Mi-6 exploits, watch Magnum P.I. online.
How long will it take Rick to get past Robbie’s death?
Were T.C. and Magnum right to ignore Rick and Juliet’s wishes?
Can Higgins ease back into her old life?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.