Magnum, P.I.

Season 2 Episode 4

From Moscow to Maui

Aired Unknown Oct 29, 1981 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
42 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

From Moscow to Maui
A year after escaping from Moscow in a MiG-30 jet, a Soviet defector hires Magnum to help his girlfriend defect from an Olympic track team visiting Hawaii. She is under close watch of undercover K.G.B. agents, and Magnum, T.C., and Rick, with assistance from Higgins, must carry out their plan with military precision to free her.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • A standard episode of Magnum p.i., but which had a classic ending.

    I didn't really like this episode much. Although it had a classic ending with Higgins mistakenly thinking Magnum was talking about something serious. I won't say any more, as if you haven't seen "Moscow to Maui" yet, I'll be spoiling you.

    As for the episode itself, it was alright but nothing really good. Just an a below average to average episode. The ending of the story about the Russian couple and the defection from Russia was nice.

    I thought there were one too many diversions in this episode with Magnum trying to get to the Russian defector's girlfriend at the holiday park. It was one of the best parts of the episode, with Higgins talking to the older Russian while Magnum made his way to where the Russian defector's girlfriend was, while Rick created a diversion, making himself get escorted away by the younger Russian man.

    A good twist was that the 'third man' was in fact not one of the Russians but a hotel detective. That was another of the best scenes in this episode, Magnum and his kind of seminar in front of the projector screen, getting the mickey taken out of him by Rick and TC. I do love this aspect of Magnum p.i., the humour.

    To sum the episode up, dull-ish main plot but classic humour and humourous scenes.moreless
  • Magnum does everything he can to spark World War III, but is foiled as no one hardly gives a damn about missing Russian female athletes.

    **** SPOILERS **** This episode is hard to watch because everything is so darn ugly. The 70's and 80's were ugly enough, but the onslaught of frizzy hair, polyester 3-piece suits, wide collars and lapels, knee-high gym socks – yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck. Even the stock footage of a Russian fighter jet is grainy and ugly. Magnum's case is to help a female Russian Olympic athlete (who has the body of an unathletic stay-at-home mom) defect. The ENTIRE Russian Olympic team of soccer moms is guarded by TWO guys. One resembles Uncle Pauli from "Rocky" in appearance, mobility, and intelligence. The other one just sits around as Pauli's supervisor and eyeballs the women while they do stretches and calisthenics like he's the creepy guy at the park. Magnum notices he also has opposition from a hotel "house detective" that he gleefully code names "The Turk". Against this tight-as-a drum security force, Magnum levels the playing field by doing his trademark "sneaking" around the hotel grounds. He shrouds himself in a cloak of invisibility by crouching down, doing a bouncy sort of ½ run, and looking over his shoulder a lot… all completely out in the open. The hotel security guy notices Magnum's bizarre "sneaking" technique so he reasonably calls out, "Hey, what's going on here?" Magnum stammers, "There's nothing to be alarmed about!" (Doh!) The house detective reasonably asks, "So why are you sneaking around?" Magnum is stunned by the hotel employee's exceptional counter-infiltration and interrogation skills. He realizes there's only one way out - a Magnum super-punch. Whew! 1/3 of the security force is taken out. (And he was worried about this guy???) Then Magnum decides to kidnap the Russian supervisor and take him for an interrogation… at Magnum's house!?!?! The supervisor won't talk so Magnum shows him who he's dealing with by shooting his own table lamp. The Russian completely breaks down and sings like a bird! Then T.C. distracts the bad guys at the drop site for like 30 minutes by landing the chopper, standing under the rotating blades and shouting "What???" over and over. When the bad guys finally get sick of this back-and-forth, T.C. tries to deliver a Magnum super-punch, but the bad guy gets right back up and T.C. runs away like a girl. Then I think I got distracted by some squirrels running and playing outside...moreless
  • A year after a fighter pilot defects from the Soviet Union, he hires Magnum to help his fiancé, who is part of an Olympic track team visiting Hawaii, to defect also. But Magnum has an awkward feeling about the case. A very average episode...moreless

    There is nothing outstandingly wrong with 'From Moscow to Maui' as such, but it comes off as just a very average instalment of the series.

    I suppose Soviet defectors could be interesting if handled well, but in this story I find it rather plain and not very engaging. It also feels like it should be more cleverly written than it is.

    Part of the problem is that it takes a long time to really get going, and is too talky in places. Also, the episode seems to have a number of stereotypes, and seemed somewhat dated even when it was made back in 1981!

    Thankfully, things to pick up a bit later on, and the climax, with Magnum sneaking around in the truck full of coffins, is quite exciting.

    The best thing about the episode is the great final scene, where Magnum tells Higgins of a big defeat he once had – which turns out to have been on the football field, much to the annoyance of Higgins!

    This isn't quite one of the series' stinkers, there would be more of those in later seasons (five and six!), but this one just ends up very... AVERAGE.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • T.C.: Um, T.M., did you come up with this plan all by your lonesome?
      Magnum: Yeah. What's the matter?
      T.C.: I don't know. Well, I don't know yet. I just keep remembering the plan you had to get all the POW's out of Cambodia.
      Magnum: T.C., there is no comparison between that plan and this one.
      T.C.: I hope not. I don't need any more scars.

    • Magnum: (to Yuri) Remember I told you I didn't like getting egg on my face? Well, right now, I'm wearing a whole omelet.

  • NOTES (4)

    • The German episode title is "Kalter Krieg unter heißer Sonne", meaning "Cold War under the Hot Sun". The French title is "Asile politique", meaning "Political Asylum". The Italian title is "Da Mosca a Maui", an exact translation.

    • The dock where the action takes place at the climax of this story would be used later in the show's run as the home of Island Hoppers, T.C.'s helicopter flight company.

    • This episode is the first to indicate that Magnum was a Navy SEAL, the Navy's special warfare group, widely regarded as the toughest military school. At the time that this episode was made and broadcast (1981), Navy SEALs were widely unknown to the general public, with Magnum quite possibly being the first ex-Seal portrayed on television (or movies, for that matter). By the late 80s / 1990s, it had become a trend with many films and television series concerning ex-SEAL characters.

    • The closing credits contain the credit:
      We gratefully acknowledge
      The cooperation of the
      During the filming of this epsode.