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Magnum, P.I.

Season 3 Episode 14

The Arrow That Is Not Aimed

Aired Unknown Jan 27, 1983 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
33 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

The Arrow That Is Not Aimed
Higgins sends Magnum to collect a valuable Kenzan porcelain plate, newly purchased by Robin Masters, from the airport, but the artifact, which was entrusted to the care of a samurai warrior named Tozan while in transport from Japan, has been stolen by a ninja. Magnum teams with the samurai, but they must work fast, as the samurai code of honor dictates Tozan must commit seppuku if the precious plate isn't retrieved.moreless

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  • Guest Star

    My favorite guest star

  • When Robin Masters' valuable Kenzan porcelain plate is stolen by Ninja warriors, Magnum works with the Samurai to whom the plate was entrusted to get it back, before the Samurai's custom dictates he takes his own life. An enjoyable Japanese-themed episodemoreless

    I really like this episode. Although not a fanatic, I am casually interested in Japanese culture, and more than anything else, the late, great Mako really makes this story. He has such presence, and really brings his character alive.

    I enjoy the scene where Higgins scorns Magnum for having dog repellent – Higgins insisting that it is "contraband and subject to confiscation" is wonderful, suggesting he runs the Estate like a prison!

    Watching the episode nowadays, it is maybe amusing that Magnum finds it to hard to believe that Ninjas are involved. Ninjas had faded from culture in the early 1980s, before they became recognised again in the 1990s (spearheaded by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles craze).

    I probably sound like a record saying this on various episode reviews, but the story has plenty of the three key ingredients: drama, comedy, and action.

    The plot itself in this episode is passable but maybe not one of the greatest, but that doesn't really matter, as this is more a character driven piece. Tom Selleck and Mako work well together, and it is a shame that this is Mako's only appearance in the series, as I would have loved to have seen Tozan make a return appearance later on.

    There are also some very artistic shots in this episode, especially the one of Tozan's silhouette at sunrise, as he plans to take his own life.

    One thing I did pick up on – Seth Sakai is used AGAIN. Although he is a very capable actor, it seems that just about every time they needed someone to play a Japanese villain, they turned to him! He appears in six episodes in total, each time playing a different character.

    The last scene is maybe disappointing in that we don't get to see Tozan before he leaves; instead we get Higgins' ire over Magnum's dog repellent (I won't spoil the scene). Although this is reasonably funny, I would have much preferred to see Tozan's departure, and his farewells to Magnum and Higgins.

    Overall, this is a very likable episode. I give it a decent 9.0.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • This episode features a rare occurrence as the title of this episode is voiced by one of the characters. Tozan explains to Magnum that "Tonight, we will learn the lesson of the Arrow that is not Aimed".

  • QUOTES (2)

    • (Higgins is unsheathing his sword)
      Magnum: You know what they say about Samurai swords - you unsheath them, you gotta draw blood.
      Higgins: I know!

    • Higgins: Magnum, you never cease to amaze me. I must know how you arrived at this remarkably astute conclusion with your limited knowledge of art.
      Magnum: Would you believe me if I told you it came to me in a dream?
      Higgins: Yes, because your conscious mind certainly isn't capable of such superior detective work.

  • NOTES (1)

    • The German episode titles are "Das japanische Abenteuer" ("The Japanese Adventure") and "Tozan, der Samurai". The French title is "Kenzan". The Italian title is "Samurai".