Magnum, P.I.

Season 8 Episode 9

The Great Hawaiian Adventure Company

Aired Unknown Jan 27, 1988 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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out of 10
26 votes
  • The rest of the gang are too busy with their own endeavours when Thomas tries to get them interested in a potentially lucrative business venture, particularly T.C., whose son Bryant falls in with a juvenile biker gang. A strange ep...

    This review contains spoilers.

    Although most of the episodes in the final season follow on from each other, 'The Great Hawaiian Adventure Company' (working title: 'Taking Stock') seems to be set quite a time after the events of the previous 'Unfinished Business'. Far from the traumas he experienced in that episode, Magnum here is back to his old self, and Higgins, T.C. and Rick are also in the middle of various changes to their lives.

    As I say, time seems to have passed since the events of 'Unfinished Business', most noticeably son Bryant (introduced in the sixth season's 'Missing Melody') staying with T.C., which feels to have been in place a few weeks by the time of this story. Rick is also moving on, dating Cleo (from season five's 'The Hotel Dick' and season six's 'Straight and Narrow'), and Higgins is taking a different tact on the writing of his memoirs at suggestion of a publishing company.

    With all of the change in the air, this episode really has feel of being very near to the end of the show's run. Coupled with that, the story also has feel that they were starting to run out of steam, and – as much as I would have liked to have seen another season – maybe wisely decided to call it a day.

    Although the eighth season has some good episodes, one of my main complaints is that there are few real cases for Magnum to really get his teeth into. To me, the title of this one, 'The Great Hawaiian Adventure Company', conjured up maybe a daredevil band of tricksters up to no good or suchlike; but as it turns out, it is just the name of a lucrative business venture that Magnum is trying to get people interested in.

    The episode is very much character-driven, and for the most part, very little of note really happens in the plot department. I'm all for episodes that dare to go with the leads (who are all very strong on-screen) instead of being more story-based, but on this one, it very much feels like a late-in-the-day half-hearted effort.

    With Bryant mixed up with the teenage biker gang (who I couldn't help but find unintentionally amusing, and very unmenacing), I thought we might be headed towards an exciting big biker showdown (maybe in the style of 'The A-Team's classic first season episode 'Black Day at Bad Rock', or 'Knight Rider's similar first season ep 'Good Day at White Rock'), but at the end, the whole biker element just petered out, and never feels anywhere near concluded.

    Then there is the climax of the story, with Bryant racing off in the small boat to get away from the bikers (...huh?) and naturally needing rescuing at sea. This came totally out of nowhere, and felt to be stuck on by the writers / producers at the last moment just to try and add some danger to the storyline. It doesn't work, and as I say above, the whole biker plot is never satisfactorily resolved and just disappears.

    For all that is wrong with it, I wouldn't quite rank this episode as bottom-of-the barrel – I like that it deals more with a slice of the character's everyday lives, and I can think of *far* worse episodes. It begins to sow the seeds for the series finale, and with the sense of change in the air, really has signs of being a very late episode. But I just expected it to be so much more exciting!