Magnum, P.I.

Season 7 Episode 7

Little Girl Who

Aired Unknown Nov 05, 1986 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
38 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Little Girl Who
Magnum's ex-wife, Michelle, leaves her five-year-old daughter with him for safekeeping as she escapes Vietnamese assassins out to kill her and her husband, General Hue. As he watches over the child, he begins to wonder why Michelle has suddenly left Lily with him and if Lily is his own daughter.moreless

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  • With her life endangered by Vietnamese assassins and forced to go on the run, Magnum's estranged ex-wife Michelle leaves her five-year-old daughter Lily Katherine to be safeguarded by Magnum, leading him to once again try to find his elusive wife. Classicmoreless

    This review contains spoilers.

    Well, where to begin... 'Little Girl Who' is a classic 'Magnum, p.i.' episode, and stands as one of my all-time Top 10 favourite episodes of the series.

    The episode is penned by co-creator Donald P. Bellisario's then wife (and who also portrayed T.C.'s girlfriend Gloria in a couple of fourth and fifth season episodes) Deborah M. Pratt. After writing the so-so fifth season episode 'Little Games', here Pratt comes up with an excellent tale, and it's a shame she didn't write more for the series.

    The story is a continuation / sequel of sorts to the second season's feature-length / two-part 'Memories Are Forever', which had been referenced in a number of subsequent episodes. Although 'Little Girl' who can be watched 'stand alone', it is one of the relatively few MPI episodes that is probably more enjoyable if you have watched the first part of the story ('Memories...') first.

    There are so many great touches and moments in this episode, and is one of those stories that I can watch over and over again.

    Magnum being left with a young girl who is speaking in a tongue he can't understand (although in a slight contradiction, in the first season's 'China Doll' he indicates he can speak some French) is wonderful, and thankfully, they didn't go down the over-cutesy path in which they could so easily have taken.

    There are also a couple of great Higgins moments, none more-so as when Magnum catches him enthusiastically acting out some war story or other to Lily.

    The climatic scene, at the Byodo-In Temple, is well-shot, and adds just the right amount of action to the story.

    As with some other fans, the only thing I didn't really understand is why Michelle couldn't have stayed with Magnum at the end of the story. I am assuming that it would have simply been far too dangerous for both of them, with continual assassination attempts, but in reality it just wouldn't have worked within the context of the show. Although it is a noticeable niggle, I'm prepared to overlook it and it isn't enough to spoil my love for this story.

    All-in-all, this is a wonderful story, and is MPI at its best. As I say, definitely one for my all-time Top 10.moreless
  • Magnum gets to play dad for one episode to a child who is probably his own anyway.

    "Little Girl Who" revisits one of the most successful storylines in the Magnum series, which was first introduced in season three's "Memories Are Forever". Michelle, Magnum's French-Vietnamese wife, reappears in Hawaii, again running from would-be killers. As she flees, Michelle requests that Magnum safeguard her five-year-old daughter, Lily, whose existence comes as a surprise to Magnum.

    For Magnum fans, the hardest part of "Little Girl Who" to swallow is that Magnum, who has been tortured and obsessed with the memory of MIchelle for five years (or more), simply decides at the end of this episode to let her go into hiding alone with Lily. At this point, Michelle is no longer married to Hue, she has a good head start on the Vietnamese, and has the U.S. Government poised to relocate her with a new identity, and yet for some reason Magnum balks. Admittedly, it seems that Michelle may not want Magnum back in her life immediately, but plans to reunite are never even seriously discussed.

    There are several problems with the episode. First, for years Higgins and Magnum have touted how security at Robin's Nest is second to none, and many estate guests (including Robin himself) have managed to stay there at length safely despite threats on their life. Indeed, if Robin's Nest were not safe from the Vietnamese government agents (who knew of Michelle's ties with Magnum), why did Michelle send Lily there in the first place? Thus why couldn't Michelle stay there herself? Heck, why couldn't Magnum, Michelle, and Lily all just live in the guest house for the rest of their lives eating Macho Tacos, drinking Old Dusseldorf, and trying on Magnum's gorilla mask?

    Next problem: why can't Magnum just go into hiding with Michelle and Lily? Who better to protect Michelle than Magnum himself--a macho, personal Navy SEAL bodyguard with benefits? Michelle is his wife, for crying out loud! Is Magnum so attached to his guest house and Ferrari that he can't trade them for his family that he has been yearning for since Nam?

    Michelle's previous husband, Hue, exposed both himself and Michelle to danger as a Vietnamese general spying for the U.S. Ultimately, Hue's activities cost him his life, but as he died he did all he could to protect Michelle. Michelle accepted the risk of living with Hue, so it seems logical she would accept that risk with Magnum. Could Hue provide for her long-term security better in Vietnam than Magnum might in America? Probably not. Unfortunately, in a dramatic shakeup of all for which the series worked to establish, in "Little Girl Who", Magnum comes off as less of a man than General Hue.

    Magnum's relationship with Michelle is supposed to be reminiscent of the ill-fated romance between Bogart and Bergman in "Casablanca", but at least Bogey had a good reason to put Ingrid on that plane. "Little Girl Who" tugs at the heart strings, but viewers quickly discover that the tugs are just nibbles on the line, and nothing we can really sink a hook into. It is a good episode in many ways, fun to watch, even worthy of a high rating, but more full of holes than the bullet-ridden windshield of T.C.'s chopper.moreless
Soon-Teck Oh

Soon-Teck Oh

Nguyen Hue

Guest Star

Kristen Carreira

Kristen Carreira

Lily Catherine Hue

Guest Star

Lloyd Kino

Lloyd Kino

Gen. Minh

Guest Star

Marta DuBois

Marta DuBois

Michelle Hue

Recurring Role

Jean Bruce Scott

Jean Bruce Scott

Maggie Poole

Recurring Role

Gillian Dobb

Gillian Dobb

Agatha Chumley

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The name of Lance LeGault's character is once again misspelled in the on-screen credits as Buck Green. His name badge clearly spells out his last name as Greene.

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Magnum: (narrating) Saigon. April 30, 1975. No matter how hard I tried, I could never put that day completely out of my mind. A chaotic ending to a chaotic time. A war that kept changing, even in retrospect. And every time I thought I'd put it behind me, it crept up and tapped me on the shoulder.

  • NOTES (4)

    • The German episode titles are "Im Tal der Tempel" ("In the Valley of the Temples") and "Die verlorene Tochter" ("The Lost Daughter"). The French title is "De qui la fille?", meaning "Whose Daughter?". The Italian title is "Un mondo migliore", meaning "A Better World".

    • A different piece of music, similar to that heard in much of the episode, is played on the closing credits instead of the regular theme.

    • This episode contains several flashbacks to Magnum's marriage to Michelle in Saigon in "Memories Are Forever".

    • Deborah Pratt, the writer of this episode and "Little Games", is also the actress who appears as T.C's girlfriend Gloria in the fourth and fifth seasons. At the time this episode was written, she was married to Donald P. Bellisario.