Magnum, P.I.

Season 2 Episode 1

Billy Joe Bob

1
Aired Unknown Oct 08, 1981 on CBS
8.1
out of 10
User Rating
45 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Billy Joe Bob
AIRED:
Billy Joe Bob comes to Hawaii to hire Magnum to find his sister. Magnum has his hands full trying to keep Billy Joe Bob from beating up every local who gets in their way and trying to find Carol Ann, who has gotten in over her head with the wrong crowd.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A hot-headed Texan with a penchant for socking people in the face hires Magnum to find his missing sister, who, unbeknown to him, has got in with the wrong crowd and fallen into prostitution. A mediocre start to the second season...moreless

    7.0
    The second season kicks off with this so-so episode. After leaving the first season on such a high with 'J. "Digger" Doyle' and 'Beauty Knows No Pain', two of my favourite MPI episodes, things come back down to Earth with a bump here.



    The new season brings in a new recording of the theme tune (which would only be used for this season) and an updated mix of shots on the opening credits. I used to like "the old days" when shows would use shots from episodes; nowadays most opening credit sequences are over so quickly.

    Anyway, also with the arrival of the second season, the King Kamehameha Club has a new location for external shots. Personally I prefer the one used in the first season. Also, Keoki (Patrick Bishop), a recurring Club worker, makes his first of a number of appearances in this episode.



    James Whitmore Jr. (who would go on to play another character in the third season's excellent opener 'Did You See The Sunrise') gives a fair performance as the hot-headed Billy Joe Bob of the title, but the character is also part of the problem with the episode, in that it is near impossible to really warm to him.



    T.C., Rick and Higgins get very little to do in this story (Higgins doesn't even appear until halfway through), and is probably another reason why I'm not overly keen on it.

    And I find the plot just rather plain and uninteresting.

    The sequence of Magnum and Billy Joe picking up girls to try and get a lead on Billy Joe's missing sister feels like it should be really funny, but just comes off as so-so. In fact, the whole episode FEELS as if it should be better than it actually is.



    Also, when Channel 5 in the U.K. reran the series in 2002-3, this was one of two episodes they skipped (the other being season seven's 'Out Of Sync'). I'm not sure if it was due to the bad guys using nunchaku (until very recently, they were banned in the U.K.), or the climatic scene with Billy Joe planning to hang Ito. Either way, I never got to see this episode until the release of the Season Two DVD set.



    All-in-all, not one of my favourite episodes. There are worse, but as a season opener, I just find it rather disappointing.moreless
  • A good start to Magnum p.i.'s first full season.

    7.7
    I had thought it was another actress (Pamela Susan Shoop) playing Billy Joe Bob's sister in this episode, based on my memory of when I first tested out my Magnum p.i. season 2 boxset. However when I watched the episode in full a few weeks ago I realised it wasn't her. I wasn't disappointed as the actress who played the role did it very well. And it was clever how they made you think she was dead, because it was very convincing, what happened in the first scene when she was pursued by the car whilst out jogging.



    James Whitmore Jr who played Billy Joe Bob was very good. One minute he was calm and then he was in angry mode as he searched for the people who had killed his sister.



    The end credits of the season premiere were different, in that I think (if I remember right) it was just James Whitmore Jr seen in the clips shown (of him flying TC's helicopter over to the villain's island.



    I wouldn't call this episode a classic but it was a good enough episode.moreless
  • A cultural stereotype at its worst (besides the T.C. character) goes around punching everyone in the face, looking for his crackhead sister.

    1.0
    **** SPOILERS **** Hey, Magnum finally gets a haircut for this episode! Things start with some amazing 1980's special effect techniques. First, a close up of a car hood and the sound of squealing tires. Second, you see a girl flying through the air. Last, you see bubbles coming up from a canal or something. You don't actually SEE the girl get hit by the car, we all know what's up in a low-budget way! The dead girl's brother, Billy Joe Bob, is the dumbest stereotype of a cowboy ever. He shows up at the King Kamehameha Club with a stupid name, a fake accent, and he punches people in the face for "gettin' in muh way!" Magnum finds out that Billy Joe's sister was a crackhead prostitute so he lends Billy Joe Bob my favorite red Hawaiian shirt so they can troll for hookers and information in a bar. Magnum orders a scotch on the rocks for himself, and gives a shout-out to Billy Bob's lameness by ordering him a Tom Collins (bahaha!). When some hookers finally show up, it appears that Magnum is going to blow it by using a lame fake western accent and calling them "pretty little heifers," but they don't seem to mind at all. (Man, you gotta love hookers!) Then a Chinaman shows up with nunchucks and clocks Billy Joe on the head. Magnum demonstrates his superior fighting skills (with ALL manner of weapons) by using a trashcan to disarm the Chinaman - but then the hookers sneak up on Magnum and conk him on the head w/ the nunchucks so he goes out like a light. When Magnum and Billy Joe wake up the next morning in a parking lot, they have headaches but are back on the feet in no time. (Yay!) Magnum goes to visit the top bad guy, but Thomas' pants are pulled up so high over his lavender golf shirt, the baddies just can't take him seriously. The police see Magnum walking around and decide this is the perfect time to reveal that Billy Joe Bob's sister is actually ALIVE and they just lied to her family to trick the bad guys into - absolutely nothing!!!! This makes complete sense… if you're a police officer… who is retarded!!! If you've watched this far, there's still time turn it off. Seriously, no one should have to endure this much disappointment in one afternoon. This episode sucks.moreless
James Whitmore Jr.

James Whitmore Jr.

Billy Joe Bob Little

Guest Star

Seth Sakai

Seth Sakai

Hito Sun

Guest Star

Marla Pennington

Marla Pennington

Carol Ann Little

Guest Star

Patrick Bishop

Patrick Bishop

Keoki

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • NOTES (3)

    • The German episode titles are "Der letzte Cowboy" ("The Last Cowboy") and "Methoden wie im Wilden Westen" ("The Way of the Wild West"). The French title is "Billy Joe". The Italian title is "Profumo d'oriente", meaning "Scent of the East".

    • James Whitmore, Jr. and Tom Selleck made two unsold pilot films together prior to Magnum, P.I.: "Gypsy Warriors" in 1978 and "Oston and Kilbride" in 1979. They also appeared together, with Larry Manetti, in The Rockford Files' sixth season episode, "Nice Guys Finish Dead".

    • This was one of two episodes that U.K. broadcaster Channel 5 skipped during their run—the other casualty being the seventh season's "Out Of Sync"—deeming the episodes "unsuitable for broadcast in the show's day-time slot."

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