Magnum, P.I.

Season 3 Episode 18

Forty Years from Sand Island

Aired Unknown Feb 24, 1983 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
33 votes

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Episode Summary

Forty Years from Sand Island

As part of the research for an upcoming Robin Masters novel, Higgins contacts a witness in the 1942 murder of a WWII Japanese internment camp inmate by a civilian guard and soon after is badly injured in an accident when the Ferrari's brakes fail. When the mechanic confirms that someone has tampered with the car, Magnum sets out to find who wants to stop Higgins' research and uncovers blackmail and shady politics at the center of the case.


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  • After Higgins is nearly killed when the breaks fail on the Ferrari, Magnum believes that it is connected to Higgins' research on a World War II internment camp, where a Japanese prisoner was murdered by a civilian guard. A sophisticated feeling episode...moreless

    This review contains moderate spoilers.

    'Forty Years From Sand Island' comes after a run of third season episodes that were quite watchable, but not really outstanding; 'Forty Years...' outshines them for being a sophisticated feeling episode, with a good case for T.M. to solve, and bolstered by several great Higgins moments.

    The episode is very much a straightforward detective case, with less action than many episodes. Although I typically enjoy a bit more action, I can take a change now-and-again, and quite like this episode for it.

    There are also some good guest performances, including Keye Luke, a Chinese actor with a varied film career, before becoming a regular 1980s American TV guest star (he was in 'The A-Team's second season episode 'The Maltese Cow' (1983) amongst others, and did a lot of animation voice work). These performers bring some gravitas to the episode.

    As mentioned above, there are also some great Higgins moments, including him mistakenly believing that Magnum has brought him some flowers at the hospital; somehow knowing over the phone that Magnum is drinking his cognac and smoking his cigars, and – most memorable of all – his wheelchair rolling down the hill in the hospital grounds, furthering to his injuries!

    There are also two intertwining subplots to the story, involving T.C. covering for Magnum on the case that Magnum was investigating before Higgins' crash, and Rick owing betting money to Ice Pick. These scenes add some nice cushioning to the episode and add more humour.

    The final scene, with no-one caring that Magnum has been shot in the shoulder, is also amusing, as is Higgins forgetting that he supposedly can hardly move, when he goes to chase after Magnum.

    All-in-all, this is a polished feeling episode. Even though it lacks the action that some might like, it has an interesting plot and some great moments.moreless
James Shigeta

James Shigeta

Dr. Richard Enoka

Guest Star

Keye Luke

Keye Luke

Saji Goto

Guest Star

Marilyn Tokuda

Marilyn Tokuda

Nancy Nakamura

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions