Magnum, P.I.

Season 6 Episode 16

This Island Isn't Big Enough...

Aired Unknown Feb 13, 1986 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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out of 10
28 votes
  • When Rick's boat returns from a cruise deserted, Magnum searches for the answers to what has happened to his friend and the passengers onboard, who now are all presumed dead.

    Really a poor episode!
    The story itself has many weak (and obscure) points, and the side character of Detective Katsumoto is embarassing, to say the least: maybe both for Clyde Kusatsu's acting and for the role he has to play, that is ridicolous.
    So ridicolous that the actor himself while poorly paroding the Duke, often seems ready to burst out laughing. And to think that the idea of the episode could have been good: Magnum, T.C and Higgins desperately looking for their missing friend, escaped from an attack on a boat, and on the run.
    Maybe the episode could have shown us, on one hand Rick's escape, and on the other one his friends' attempts at finding him.
    But that's not the case. We just see Rick vanishing in the water and then he disappears form the episode too till its very end (as if he could really be dead: but, come on, we KNOW he isn't dead,we easily understand it at least for the light tone of the episode, so the attempt at suspance miserably fails).

    After a complicated and tangled investigation (that muddles us up, but probably Magnum too) our heroes manage to find Rick and the bad guys, save him and arrest the others, and here the ep ends without giving us other (necessary) information.
    For example, why have the bad guys killed everybody on the boat except for Rick? Why have they (presumably) saved him, since he, already hurt in the open sea, was going to drown? Why have they took him with them on the island? Whay do they decide to kill him only when Magnum and the others arrive on the island?

    And, finally, another question: for heaven's sake, why should Rick always be the ridicolous character? Even in a semi-dramatic plot like this, he must be given silly lines.
    When I first saw how the ep was going to develope I thought "Wow, maybe this time Rick ain't gonna be the usual fool".
    Well, I was wrong: even when delirious there's no drama in his character.
  • RIck goes missing, and it is up to Magnum, T.C., and Higgins to find him. Their investigation crosses paths with Gordon Katsumoto, a John Wayne-impersonating detective whose hot lead on some counterfeiters may point them to Rick.

    Several elements combine to make "This Island Isn't Big Enough..." particularly odious. Most offensive is Detective Gordon Katsumoto, "played" by Clyde Kusatsu, whose quality of acting in general is about on par with his atrocious John Wayne shtick. Sadly, the other guest stars are no better, and don't have Kusatsu's excuse that they were forced to imitate the Duke. Even Magnum's acting is not engaging in this episode, let alone any of the other regulars (Rick is just plain embarrassing). Any appearance of Carol Baldwin (Kathleen Lloyd)--the weakest semi-regular guest star of the show--automatically drops the episode a point in my book. Acting aside, the plot of "This Island Isn't Big Enough..." is more convoluted than a kidney tubule, and just as tortuous, er, torturous to watch. For example, we know for sure that Rick is missing, that there is two million dollars floating around, that they brought in a token blonde who may or may not have anything to do with the case, and that there will be a terrific shootout in the end. To figure out how these elements relate to one another, if at all, would take a DVD remote, subtitles, and perhaps a pen and paper. I'm opting to move on to the next episode.
  • Out on his boat, Rick and his passengers are attacked by thugs. With no-one back home knowing what happened, Magnum finds himself joining forces with a detective who thinks he's John Wayne as they investigate. One of the worst eps of the entire series...

    This review contains spoilers.

    I criticised the previous episode, 'All Thieves on Deck', but at least it had a few redeeming moments. On the other hand, 'This Island Isn't Big Enough...' is a high candidate for worst episode of the entire series in my opinion.
    I had totally forgotten this one until I came to re-watch it to review – maybe my brain had blanked it out as it was so bad!

    Detective Gordon Katsumoto, the John Wayne-wannabe, is played by Clyde Kusatsu, making his hundredth (!) appearance in the show. Whenever they wanted a Vietnamese / Asian actor, chances are they'd use Kusatsu!
    Kusatsu might be okay as a guest bit actor, but for a role like this, he is totally miscast. His scenes impersonating Wayne are as much unconvincing as they are toe-curlingly embarrassing. The sequence where he is examining the hotel room and finds the money, talking to himself in his (supposed) John Wayne drawl, is one of the worst sequences in the show's run!

    The rest of the cast, including the main four actors and regular guest star Kathleen Lloyd (Carol), also feel like they're just going through the motions with this one, and the episode decidedly feels like filler material, to bump up the season's episode count.
    It comes to something when the only real notable element of an episode is when Ice Pick's real name (Francis Hofstetler) is revealed!

    I could barely follow the plot of this one – maybe I just didn't care enough to pay attention, but even so, I just could not make the connection between some of the occurrences.
    Only at the very end of the episode, where Rick is finally found on the island, going insane, and the bad guys are taken care of, that the episode vaguely hints that there might have possibly been a good story somewhere in there.

    I like Katsumoto's closing line, that in a film of the story, Magnum could be played by Burt Reynolds (Tom Selleck was sometimes dubbed "TV's Burt Reynolds" back in the day), but other than that, I'm glad to see the back of a truly terrible episode.
    There are so many quality instalments in MPI's run – I just hope that someone new to the show doesn't start with this episode, it's enough to put them off for life. A strong candidate for worst episode of the entire run.
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