This review contains moderate spoilers.
After seven seasons, the producers of 'Magnum, p.i.' felt that the show had run its course and decided to bring it to an end. And there way to round it off, was to kill off our beloved hero. There was outcry from fans!
The episode starts only moments before Magnum is shot, leaving him to spend the rest of the episode walking around in limbo, guided by the ghost of (the original) Mac. No-one else can see him. I felt that these scenes were played well, with just the right amount of comedy thrown in, to give it amusing moments but as not to spoil the seriousness of the story.
The episode also features one of the biggest line-ups of recurring guest stars: Mac, Lt. Tanaka, Agatha, Doc. Ibold, Carol, Maggie, Buck Greene... they're all here. The only regular guest who does not appear is Ice Pick. The only other episode that I can think of that features such a large recurring guest line-up is season six's 'The Treasure of Kalaniopu'u'.
Although it can be watched 'stand alone', this is one of the show's (relatively few) episodes that is probably better with knowledge of previous stories, particularly those regarding Michelle (and daughter Lily) to get full effect.
This episode is also of particular note for me. I have seen re-runs of the earlier episodes on ITV in the early 1990s, and when Five came to run the whole series in 2002-3, I watched (and recorded) each and every day. However, I had never seen this far down the series and was looking forward to seeing this famous episode. Anyway, the morning that this was on, I started my video recorder (as I was still using then), sat down to watch... and about two minutes in, just before Magnum is shot, the street suffered a power cut! I couldn't believe the bad luck!
Thankfully, a few weeks later, a friend of a friend provided me with a copy of their recording of the episode (albeit rather poor quality), so I was able to catch up.
This story is quite a hard one to watch – is it really the end for Magnum? Thankfully, the show was renewed for an eighth, final season, where things were tied up more satisfactorily. The moment at the end of this episode though, where Magnum finally strolls off into heaven (or so it seems) still is a sad moment.
Although I wouldn't quite give this a perfect 10, I still like this episode enough to give it a very decent 9.5. I'm just glad it wasn't the end!
Seventh season overview
After two shaky seasons (although I've since come to decide that season six wasn't THAT bad), the quality of 'Magnum, p.i.' returned for the show's seventh season.
Saying that, it gets off to a start by what is by far the weakest of the show's feature-length / two-part stories, 'L.A.'. It is saved from bombing even more than it might, thanks to the good chemistry between Tom Selleck and guest star Dana Delany.
But once past 'L.A.', the season not only returns to form, but offers up some series classics. 'A.A.P.I', which sees the return of many previous 'one off' guest stars, sets a trend, and solid classics 'Death and Taxes' (dubbed "MPI does 'Miami Vice'" by many), 'Little Girl Who', and 'Paper War' follow in succession. A few episodes later, we get more great installments such as 'Solo Flight', and 'Laura' featuring Frank Sinatra.
The season isn't ALL perfect – there are a couple more take-it-or-leave it examples, and terrible 'Murder, She Wrote' crossover 'Novel Connection', and later 'Death of the Flowers', are some of my least favourite installments of the show's run.
But on the whole, the quality is very high, and brings MPI back to its former greatness.
The season finishes on a seemingly final note, as Magnum is killed off. Fear not though, as the show was thankfully renewed for one more season to round things off more pleasingly.