Magnum, P.I.

Season 2 Episode 5

Memories Are Forever

Aired Unknown Nov 05, 1981 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
55 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Memories Are Forever
Magnum catches a brief glimpse of a woman on a passing boat that he is certain is Michelle, the girl he married during the Vietnam War and whom he previously believed to have been killed shortly afterwards in a bombing raid. Though all he has of the brisk sighting are some blurry photos, T.C. and Rick help as he scours the area looking for her. But there are several parties that intend to see that Magnum is unable to make contact with Michelle, and the search sees them stumbling into dangerous political territory.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Magnum gets a shred of a clue that his wife Michelle is alive and on the island. He becomes obsessed with finding her.

    Seriously – this is Magnum at its best. Selleck simply IS Magnum and is never acting. I convinced they are the same person and he's living this role. I can't accept Magnum "acting" in any other movie or T.V. show. This episode is flawless because it's only about Magnum. Oh, and as a bonus, Rick gets his a$$ beat. Things start out with a glimpse into the sleazy side of Magnum's profession. He's working on a divorce case, gathering information on a cheating spouse. As he watches the cheating couple, he reflects on love and happiness, considers the motivations of his client, and decides to not interfere with their lives. At that moment, Thomas gets a lead that his long-lost wife might be on the island. He experiences some remarkably real and intense emotions as he is compelled to go looking for her. He meets up with T.C. and Rick, but then they run into some goons and there is a fight. T.C. throws one punch and then runs down the street, leaving Thomas and Rick to fend for themselves. Rick enters into the fight with some intimidation tactics, saying, "Let's see how hot you are without a piece, fuzzball!" The fuzzball comment probably terrifies the bad guy. Then Rick, who is committed to only throwing his chest at attackers (never, never punches), charges the bad guy, wildly flailing his arms and bumping his chest against the bad guy twice. Unscathed, the bad guy beats Rick down into the pavement. Later, you get to hear Buck Greene's bada$$ voice in a confessional and then Part 1 is over. Drinking game suggestion: drink each time Thomas, Rick, & T.C. boldly refer to someone as a "turkey".moreless
  • Working on a routine case, Magnum catches sight of the woman that he is sure he married during the Vietnam War, and who he believed to have been killed in a bombing raid. As he searches for her, he walks into a political minefield. A key story of the showmoreless

    This review covers the first half of the episode, as shown in two-part format.

    Well, where to begin... the feature-length / two-part 'Memories Are Forever' is a key 'Magnum, p.i' story, and in many ways, after the show's early establishing episodes, the one that set the pace for much of the rest of the series.

    I wonder why this story wasn't used to kick off the second season, as most seasons of the series began with feature-length outings, and this story would have began the season much better than the disappointing 'Billy Joe Bob'. Maybe it was down to a two-hour slot not being available at that time, or maybe the story simply wasn't ready. I like how the story unfolds. It is not fast paced, but does not sag either; instead allowing the viewer to soak up the atmosphere and appreciate the depth that the series had over some of the other detective / adventure shows of the day.

    I find this episode works best if you've seen a number of previous episodes; when I very first saw this episode, I had only seen about three or four episodes previously, and didn't really fully appreciate the story. But when I came to watch it again, after watching the series from the Pilot, I understood the characters better, and really appreciated this story much more for it.

    There are some great Magnum / Higgins moments in this story (Higgins is shown to be writing his memoirs for the first time, in what would become a recurring detail), and is a great example of how this truly Odd Couple deep down have great respect for each other.

    There is also a great scene for Roger E. Mosley to get his teeth into, as T.C. tries to convince Michelle is no longer alive. I also like how the flashback to Vietnam leads on to the present, with T.C.'s 'Nam chopper flying along the coast into the present day. The shot doesn't really make sense when analysed, but works perfectly.

    The plot of Magnum once having a bride, although an idea not conceived until this story, fits in to the history of the character perfectly, and is very believable. (As a side note, Magnum had previously commented in the first season's 'Beauty Knows No Pain' that he had never been married; but this could be explained away by the fact that he simply did not want to talk about it then).

    Marta DuBois is mesmerising as Michelle, and the part is cast perfectly. We also see General Hue (Soon-Tech Oh) for the first time, and, although we only hear is voice in Part 1, Lance LeGault as the tough Colonel Buck Greene. LeGault, who had previously played another character in the first season's 'Missing In Action', would go on to play the recurring Colonel Decker in 'The A-Team'; I like all of LeGault's work, he has the deep-voiced by-any-means character down perfectly.

    Paul Burke also appears as Admiral Kitchner; rather confusingly to the casual viewer, Burke played different Admirals in different later episodes of the series.

    On thing I really like about this episode – and this one is very personal to me – is that we get to see a close-up of Magnum's driving license. It gives his birthday as 1/05/46. Although this date would be contradicted in several later episodes, I like this date, as my birthday is also January 5th!

    Review continued in Part 2.moreless
Matthew Stinson

Matthew Stinson


Guest Star

Soo Yong

Soo Yong

Old Woman

Guest Star

Brian Fong

Brian Fong


Guest Star

Jeff MacKay

Jeff MacKay

Mac MacReynolds

Recurring Role

Lance LeGault

Lance LeGault

Buck Greene

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Magnum: (narrating) Dreams are supposed to represent your subconscious wishes and conflicts. It's sort of a private movie you write, produce, and direct. Only you can't hide your eyes in your dreams, even when they are scaring you to death.

  • NOTES (7)

    • The German episode titles are "Michelles Rückkehr" ("Michelle's Return") and "Schatten der Vergangenheit" ("Shadow of the Past"). The French title is "Souvenirs ineffaçables", meaning "Indelible Memories". The Italian title is "I ricordi non muoiono mai (1ª parte)", meaning "Memories Never Die".

    • We get two close-up shots of Magnum's driving license during this episode.
      It reads (with a photo in the top right corner):
      546 10 8740 (social security number)
      Magnum Thom Sull
      11435 18th Ave
      Honolulu HI 46816 0 2 3
      3RN 6-04. BI M N 1/05/46
      It's not clear whether the date (1/05/46), is his birthday or not. If it is, there is contradicting dates given in several later episodes.

    • The two-part version of this episode breaks as Colonel Ki follows Michelle from the Church – the picture freezes and the caption 'To Be Continued' is shown before the 'Executive Producer Donald P. Bellisario' credit. Both credits are presented center-screen instead of the standard bottom left.
      The closing credits of part one are over a shot of Magnum and Michelle hiding under the restaurant table in Vietnam during the bombing. (Different music to the regular theme tune is used on the end of this story).

    • This story was originally broadcast as a feature-length adventure, but, as with most feature-length episodes in US TV, also exists in two-part version, the format in which it is more commonly repeated.

    • In this episode, it appears that Rick has started smoking again (we see him smoking twice in Part I). A couple of episodes previously, in 'The Woman On The Beach', was saw him smoking while under stress, commenting that he'd given up but he'd just started again.

    • The closing credits mis-spell one of the character's names, as "Col. Ky's Driver" – Ki, as confirmed on the opening Guest Stars credits, is spelt with an "I", not a "Y.

    • Strangely, some versions of the two-part version of this story have the opening credits from the sixth season (second version, used from 'The Kona Winds') in place of the original second season opening.