Magnum, P.I.

Season 2 Episode 18

Texas Lightning

Aired Unknown Feb 18, 1982 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
38 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Texas Lightning
On Magnum's birthday, he's hired by a woman to be her bodyguard at a high stakes poker game aboard a luxurious yacht, unaware her poker skills are really a cover for espionage.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • On his birthday, Magnum is hired by a Texas widow to be her bodyguard at a high stakes game of poker. But the event is far from what she claims, and he gradually finds out that there's more to her than meets the eye. A good episode but so nearly a classicmoreless

    This review contains spoilers.

    'Texas Lightning' is a great (and often overlooked) later second season episode, which with just a bit of tweaking could easily have become a solid series classic.

    The episode takes place on Magnum's birthday, the first of two episodes written around it (the other being the seventh season's 'Forty'). Although some episodes are closely set to their original U.S. airdate, Magnum's birthday here doesn't seem to have any relation to the date of the original broadcast.

    Julie Sommars as supposed card shark Jeannie Lowrie... I couldn't quite make up my mind about her. When she was posing as the poker ace, I found it hard to buy, but then it turned out she wasn't really a poker ace at all, so it kind of excused that a bit. She does have some good rapport with Magnum, and winds up being an interesting character with far more to her than is first let on.

    I wasn't sure about the later stages, stuck on the island, when she and Magnum obligatorily got kissy-kissy; I felt they definitely had a relationship of sorts going, but found this romance a bit forced and sudden.

    Later stages of the story could have made the episode a solid 10, but I found the actual poker stages of the episode to be a bit average, and they pull the episode down from its potentially perfect rating.

    Other than the poker scenes, I really like the story, and Magnum and Jeannie being stuck out at sea on the small boat, and ending up on the island, are some of the second season's best scenes in my opinion.

    And then there are the aerial shots, of T.C.'s chopper, and the bad guys' Bell 206 JetRanger. The climatic scenes are some of the best featured in the entire series, and no-doubt helped inspire Donald P. Bellisario for his other popular series, 'Airwolf'.

    The closing stages of the story are a real twist, in a story that has already had a number of twists and turns. One thing I like about the series is that a story can start at one point, and end at somewhere completely different, in a place that you'd never expect.

    Overall, I really like this story, which is, as I say in my opening, often overlooked. If only those earlier stages were better, this would be a series classic.moreless
Julie Sommars

Julie Sommars

Jeannie Lowry

Guest Star

Jack Hogan

Jack Hogan

Matt Thompson

Guest Star

Tony Brubaker

Tony Brubaker


Guest Star

Michael Santiago

Michael Santiago


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Higgins: (philosophizing about Magnum's potential death) I know, however desolated I would be, I would also experience a certain catharsis that is singularly missing.
      T.C.: (looking rather confused) Ahh... run that by me again, Higgi-baby. Only this time in English.

    • Higgins: (about Magnum's plan to join a high stakes poker game) It's Higgin's law, if you will: Opportunity plus Magnum equals financial disaster. Inevitably the disaster befalls an innocent bystander.

    • Magnum: And don't tell me it's 'cause they didn't have anybody who looked good in a tux.

    • Magnum: (narrating) Life on the islands has an irresistable rhythm—days merging together like waves on the beach. That's why I never understood why people get excited over artificial events. For example, a birthday should be a private time, with maybe a run on the beach to celebrate, not the big, embarrasing fuss a person's friends always make over it. I should know because it was my birthday, and I knew Rick and T.C. would be planning something special. What I didn't know was that the day would be one of the biggest disasters of my life.

  • NOTES (1)

    • The German episode titles are "Das As im Ärmel" ("The Ace up the Sleeve") and "Agentenspiele" ("Agent Games"). The French title is "La preuve", meaning "Proof". The Italian title is "L'asso nella manica", meaning "The Ace up the Sleeve".