Magnum, P.I.

Season 3 Episode 15

Basket Case

Aired Unknown Feb 03, 1983 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
33 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Basket Case
T.C. and Magnum train their respective junior basketball teams for an upcoming game. T.C.'s team seems to have the advantage until Magnum meets a plucky teenager with a great game and persuades her to join his team. Magnum and Higgins take a shine to the girl, but discover that her foster parents are criminals who are using her as a pawn in running their con games.moreless

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  • T.C. and Magnum are training their respective junior basketball teams for an upcoming game, when Magnum meets a young tomboy who could help his team win. But Magnum becomes suspicious when none of the girl's background rings true. A lesser episode...moreless

    This review contains spoilers.

    The third season really started the trend for odd, offbeat episodes of the series (think back just a couple of episodes to 'In Sound Mind' for one), and 'Basket Case' is another such example.

    This is another sports-based episode; the show seems to like to dish one up every season or so. As I've said in previous reviews, I'm not a sports fan, but I do like this episode a little better than the second season's football-based 'One More Summer'.

    Young Dana Hill gives a strong performance as tomboy "Willie". The character could have ended up being really grating and two dimensional, but Hill really brings it to life and is probably the best thing about the episode.

    Hill was doing the rounds as guest star on the popular shows of the time (she also did a couple of episodes of 'The Fall Guy'), and this episode is a good showcase for her. It is sad to think that she passed away at only 32 years old due to complications from diabetes, which she had battled through her life.

    The story is a pretty easy-going one, and although there are villains of the piece (Willie is being forced to engage in various cons for her **** foster parents), it is not really as crime driven as typical MPI episodes. I really like the series trying different things, and although I haven't given the episode a top-end rating, I do like what they were going for.

    I also like Willie's friendship with Higgins – it turns out that even old Jonathan Quayle has a heart!

    Over the years, I've heard some people say that they don't like that Magnum's basketball didn't win in the end, but personally I quite like this. It comes as a nice change from the standard "pulling it out of the bag" and winning in the final seconds, a much overused cliché.

    I find this a hard episode to sum up. I like that they tried something different, but at the same time it is not one of my favourites. I'd personally rank it as one that's fun to watch once, but doesn't have the re-watchability of some of the other episodes of the series.moreless
William Schallert

William Schallert


Guest Star

Dana Hill

Dana Hill

Theresa "Willie" Henderson

Guest Star

Jo Pruden

Jo Pruden


Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (3)

    • The German episode titles are "Willie ist los" ("Willie Is Wrong") and "Die Spielmacherin" ("The Game Maker"). The French title is "Teresa". The Italian title is "L'arma segreta", meaning "Secret Weapon".

    • For her performance as Theresa in this episode, Dana Hill won the 1984 Young Artist Award as Best Young Actress, Guest in a Television Series.

    • In place of the usual theme, a different score heard within the episode is used during the closing credits of this episode. The trend of using alternate pieces of music instead of the usual theme would continue in other third season episodes.