Magnum, P.I.

Season 4 Episode 21

I Witness

1
Aired Unknown May 03, 1984 on CBS
9.3
out of 10
User Rating
36 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
When the King Kamehameha Club is robbed late one evening by thieves wearing animal masks to conceal their identities, Lt. Tanaka is frustrated by Higgins, Rick, and T.C. each having their own different accounts of what happened.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • An episode with three different point of views. Like that's never been done before.

    7.5
    The finale of season four is about a robbery at Rick's club and Rick, TC, and Higgins all have their own points of view about what took place. Great, another one of these types of stories. I've seen an episode of My Secret Identity that is almost exactly like this one. I guess we have Magnum to blame for that one. Basically it's the same story just different way of telling it and I was so afraid that the only guy we didn't really know besides the stars was going to be in with the robbers and I was right of course. Rick's is the typical all about me story just like the other two. way of handling how Higgins was in his story was quite funny. I like how Higgins tries to start one of his long stories throughout . version but most of the time is cut off because we know how . loves to listen to Higgins' stories. lol! Higgins' point of view was funny with all the karate parts (so obvious it's a stunt man of course because Hillerman not that young and vital to do his own stunts). Did anyone else notice that the robbers' masks changed a little with each telling as well? The ending where the robbers wanted the hostages to take ALL their clothes off including their underwear was pretty funny but I wanted to see them do it but that would be a little too X rated for a network show especially one from the 80s. Sure wish Magnum could have been a part of that! lol! Only kidding. Well, sort of. Cute ending where the man who "slept" through the whole episode was actually dead and the gang had to solve another crime I'll be it one we won't see.moreless
  • Three perspectives

    9.7
    Magnum does Rashamon, basically like in that film an incident has occured and at least three witnesses know what happened and unfortunately all three of them Higgins, Rick, and T.C. all are not completely honest about it. Magnum despite not wanted to miss the ball game (I don't blame him there are times when I don't want to miss the next episode of Battlestar Galactica)has to figure it out. It's funny and thought provoking (I have to warn you it's one you got to pay attention to or your going to miss something) because like Magnum we know their all telling the truth but their leaving a lot of information out which blocks us from seeing it completely.



    It's funny how all three of them make themselves seem strong and the others weak. All of them had that common desire to do something heroic while in that crisis but it's obvious they all didn't. In each perspective we compare and contrast from the smallest things like piano playing or even setting, as well as the main characters in it and what they all do. Higgins, Rick, and T.C. make themselves into rather cleched heroes. T.C. as some common noir hero, Rick a tough guy from almost a 70's film, and Higgins well still himself but a martial arts master. All of them make themselves big but ridiculous at the same time, we don't really bealieve in them actually doing those things but that's the point because fiction can be more fun than fact.



    In a way also it shows what the nature of the truth is, how unreliable witness testimony and remmembering can be, but are different perspeictives on how we perceive the truth.moreless
  • One night, the King Kamehameha Club is robbed by armed thieves dressed in animal masks. Rick, T.C. and Higgins all have different accounts of what happened, and Magnum must piece together the truth to deduct who the inside man was. Nice end to the season.moreless

    9.5
    This review contains spoilers.



    'I Witness' is a nice, novel ending to what has generally been a very good season. Borrowing the idea from the 1950 film 'Rashomon', it is fun to see Rick, T.C. and Higgins each give a different account of the robbery at the Club – with each of them trying to make themselves out as the hero.



    Other than the opening scene, in which Magnum wakes up in the middle of the night to watch a baseball game on TV, the entire story takes place at the King Kamehameha Club. Other than two brief scenes outside of the Club, there is no location work, with the bulk of the story being set in the Club's 'Rainbow Room', making it's first of a number of appearances, and which is built on a sound stage rather than being shot on location. The producers seemingly liked to make a location-light story at the end of the season (in that sense it is very similar to the third season's penultimate episode 'The Big Blow'), presumably to save costs after an expensive season.



    Although he does appear in the linking pieces, the episode is another of the season's 'Magnum-lite' stories (see 'Smaller Than Life', 'A Sense of Debt' and the excellent 'Holmes Is Where the Heart Is').



    Anyway, the story itself is very fun, with each character's varying recollection of what happened, and the varying details of each one. It's amazing how the series could go from high drama in one episode, to daft comedy like this in another, in such a smooth transition.



    The revelation of who the inside man is – none other than Keoki (Patrick Bishop), a recurring barman since the start of the second season – is quite a surprise, and very unexpected. Saying that, re-watching the episode, they do make a point of pointing him out to the viewer a number of times prior in the story, in case anyone has forgotten who he is.



    The ending is also quite strange, as they find that 'Rusty' – who everyone thinks has passed out from too much alcohol – has actually been murdered. Another similarity to the end of the third season, when (in 'Faith and Begorrah'), Rick and T.C. witness an unexpected murder.



    When I first saw this episode, I really liked it, and would have probably given it a solid 10 out of 10. Coming to re-watch it to review, I still really like it, but I found that, with knowing what to expect, I enjoyed it very slightly less. But I still give it a very reasonable 9.5.



    -----



    Fourth season overview.



    The fourth season can in many ways be considered 'third season: part two', as it mostly has the same high quality of story, and a very polished feel. Maybe it is no surprise that many fans consider the third and fourth season to be the series' 'golden era'.

    The season got off to an amazing start with the classic 'Home From The Sea', which is my all-time favourite episode. Other highlights include 'Letter to a Duchess', Christmas-set 'Operation: Silent Night', 'Let the Punishment Fit the Crime' (which some don't like but is a favourite of mine), and the Higgins-centric 'Holmes Is Where the Heart Is'.

    After they were played by different actors in the third season, D.A. Carol Baldwin (now played by Kathleen Lloyd), and Rick's underworld contact Ice Pick (Elisha Cook) became settled in the series as recurring characters.

    We also met old-school P.I. from St. Louis, Luther Gillis (Eugene Roche), who was introduced in 'Luther Gillis: File #521', and reappeared in 'The Return of Luther Gillis'. Liked by some, loathed by others, Luther would go on to appear once or twice in every following season.

    Also with the season, there are several 'Magnum-lite' stories – 'Smaller Than Life', 'A Sense of Debt', the aforementioned 'Holmes Is Where the Heart Is', and to some extent, 'I Witness'. While it was great for the other three stars to get some screen-time, some efforts came off better than others (some people detest 'Smaller Than Life').

    Although there is generally a high quality of episodes in this season, there is also a noticeable dip. 'No More Mr. Nice Guy', 'Rembrandt's Girl' and 'Paradise Blues' may each have their fans, but personally, I found them to be quite weak, and made the season sag a little. (I'd name the dull 'Paradise Blues' as one of my least favourite episodes of the show's run).

    Maybe the season wasn't as 100% solid as I remembered it, but it is still a very good year overall, and some might say, the last truly classic 'Magnum' season.moreless
Denise Nicholas

Denise Nicholas

T.C.'s Date

Guest Star

Joy Garrett

Joy Garrett

Joy Kelly

Guest Star

Ernest Harada

Ernest Harada

George Wong

Guest Star

Kwan Hi Lim

Kwan Hi Lim

Yoshi Tanaka

Recurring Role

Patrick Bishop

Patrick Bishop

Keoki

Recurring Role

Elissa Dulce Hoopai

Elissa Dulce Hoopai

Rosine

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

    • During Higgins' recollection of events, the mouth of the "gorilla" robber is seen moving through the opening in the mask out of sync with the dialogue.

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Magnum: Hawaiian sunsets are among the most breathtakingly beautiful in the world. Grandly vibrant, uniquely different every day, they paint a palette with boundaries that stop only at the horizons of one's imagination. However, when the sun goes down, it looks the same all over the world. Whether you're in Milwaukee or Maui, it's dark.

  • NOTES (2)

    • The German episode titles are "Rashomon, die Fortsetzung" ("Rashomon, the Sequel") and "Augenzeugen" ("Eyewitness"). The French title is "Le témoin", meaning "The Witness". The Italian title is "Testimoni oculari", meaning "Eyewitnesses".

    • Although the actors in the pig and gorilla costumes each have several lines of dialogue, they are not credited for their appearances in this episode.

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

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