Magnum, P.I.

Season 5 Episode 8

Murder 101

1
Aired Unknown Nov 15, 1984 on CBS
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

9.2
out of 10
Average
30 votes
  • Magnum has got a job teaching a course on private investigation, but when the students insist on a real case to work on, they end up investigating the strange disappearance of the fiancée of one of class members. Starts off fun but sadly goes downhill...

    8.0
    This review contains spoilers.

    This is one of those episodes that some viewers really dislike. Personally, I started off really liking it – it was a welcome light-hearted story after the serious 'Blind Justice' – but sadly, it loses its way and really nosedives midway through.

    As I say, it starts off reasonably enough. Most of Magnum's students may indeed be stereotypes (not least the vsurfer dude' Danny), but I found them to be a fun group, and it was amusing to see Magnum playing professor.

    The investigation that the class vote on taking isn't exactly interesting, but it starts off with potential, as Magnum and the class pile into Danny's beaten up van and begin searching for Stacy's missing fiancée. But unfortunately, soon after, the plot really loses its direction.

    I think it was a bad move script-wise to have the P.I. class cancelled halfway through the story. It causes the plot to lose its focus, and surely it would have been more fun for the class' investigation to stumble through to the end of the episode before being cancelled.

    With the class cancelled, all of the students other than Stacy disappear from the middle of the story, and it descends into a very average and generic investigation, and not a particularly interesting one at that.

    Usually I am pretty good at following the twists and details of Magnum's investigations, but I really lost the thread with the explanations of money laundering and suchlike – which was explained in a very awkward and unclear manner in my opinion.

    The rest of the class return for the final 'showdown' with the villains of the piece, but after their sudden disappearance mid-episode, it doesn't work as well as it should.

    In the end, Magnum's struggling class becomes a huge success, from the publicity of solving the case of Stacy's missing fiancée. Of course, the class is never mentioned again in the series, so presumably some other fate befell it.

    I really want to like this episode, and parts of it I do indeed warm to. But it ultimately winds up so unfocused, not to mention the confusing explanation regarding the disappearance of Stacy's fiancée, that it is just nowhere as could as might should have been. If it had come from an earlier season, I have a feeling it would have been much more focused and clever, but coming from the dodgy fifth season, it sadly falls down. At first I wanted to give it a higher score, but bearing in mind the problems mentioned above, I can only give it an 8.0 rating – which some will say is higher than it deserves anyway.
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