This review contains spoilers.
I wonder what was wrong with my when I first watched this patch of season seven – I commented on the previous episode, 'Forty', that I liked it more now that I came to re-watch it years later. And that is the case even more with 'Laura' – it didn't do much for me when I first saw it, many moons ago, but coming to see it again now to review, I see that it is one that I have badly overlooked for many years.
The episode is, of course, notable for its special guest star, Frank Sinatra. When Sinatra said he was interested in doing an episode of 'Magnum, p.i.', he was given three scripts to consider, out of which he liked this one best.
Sinatra puts in a very good, and very involving, performance – as he hunts for those who brutally raped and murdered his young grand-daughter (the Laura of the title), you really feel for him, and urge him on to get his revenge.
Although I am maybe a little too young to fully appreciate what Sinatra was all about, even so I've come to really like his performance as Doheny in this episode, which makes it one of the stand-out instalments of the season.
This episode does not have much of a typical MPI feel, especially when compared to early episodes. It has a much more stylistic feel, and – particularly with its use of music – at times almost feels more like and episode of 'Miami Vice'. In fact, it is very much in the vein of 'Death and Taxes' from earlier in the season (which itself is often dubbed MPI's 'Miami Vice' episode). And like 'Death and Taxes', it makes heavy use of a Genesis song, in this case 'Tonight, Tonight, Tonight'.
The episode is pretty much a serious fare through-and-through, with only T.C. serving as small but welcome comedy relief, when he learns that Magnum is making a documentary about being a Private Investigator, and senses a chance to advertise Island Hoppers.
The climax of the episode is particularly notable, with the aforementioned Genesis track playing for ages and ages, with no dialogue, as Doheny hunts down those who killed Laura.
I can't believe that I've overlooked this episode for some long; As I said in my review for 'Forty', maybe my viewing tastes have matured over the years. Many would place this episode on their Top 10 favourite episodes of the series; although I wouldn't go that far, even so I now consider it as one of the best of the season.