Magnum, P.I.

Season 2 Episode 22

Three Minus Two

Aired Unknown Apr 01, 1982 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
32 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Three Minus Two
A beautiful leading fashion designer hires Magnum to protect her when one of her two partners in their designer clothing company is murdered, and she suspects that the other partner may have been behind it. But the assignment proves tricky as several people had a strong enough motive for the murder, and someone is planning a revenge killing.moreless

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  • Guest star

    My favorite guest stars:

    Jill St. John

    Beverly Garland
  • A leading fashion designer hires Magnum when one of her partners is murdered, and she fears that she and her remaining partner are next on the list. A weak and disappointing closing episode to the season...moreless

    As mentioned elsewhere, this episode, despite being shown last in the season, has signs of being one of the first produced for the second year, evidenced by a number of shots in the story that have been used on the opening credits all season (most notably the famous 'snorkelling girl shot').

    As I mentioned on my review for 'The Elmo Ziller Story', that wonderfully silly episode would have been a great finale to the season, whereas 'Three Minus Two' is very much a dull and unengaging affair. It feels like a leftover episode tacked on to the end of the season; perhaps the 'powers that be' didn't like it any more than I do, and didn't select for it to be screened earlier.

    The episode is the only entry in the series to be written by Robert Van Scoyk; although he has some other detective show writing credits under his belt, he doesn't feel to be really at home with MPI, and maybe this is one reason why the episode doesn't come off too well.

    Fashion designer Jan Kona is played by Special Guest Star Jill St. John. Although she's not terrible, she doesn't really bring much to the part in my opinion, and the role could just as easily been filled by a standard guest part actress.

    The story feels to be very padded, and – as I've said about several episodes in the second season – could really have done with a b-plot to round things out a bit more. I found the murder plot to be dull and uninteresting, and found the final revelation as to who the killer was to be somewhat unconvincing.

    In some ways, this feels like a 'filler' episode used to bump the season's episode count up.

    Saving this episode from an even lower rating than I've given it, is a few saving graces – a couple of nice locations (Magnum and Jan by the ocean, and Magnum and T.C. in the Police impound yard), and some nice character touches, such as T.C. taking the photos, and a couple of good Higgins moments.

    All-in-all, not really one of my favourite episodes. Why oh why couldn't they have finished on 'The Elmo Ziller Story'?


    Second season overview.

    Well, the second season certainly is a mixed bag. After starting with the disappointing 'Billy Joe Bob', it has its greats (maybe none more so than the feature-length / two-part 'Memories Are Forever'), but also suffers from a noticeable dip in the middle, with a string of silly and weak episodes.

    Other highlights for me include 'The Woman On The Beach' (including Magnum's first brush with the supernatural), 'Italian Ice', and the oft overlooked 'Texas Lightning', as well as out-and-out comedies such as 'Tropical Madness' and 'The Elmo Ziller Story'.

    However, as mentioned, the season also has its poorer offerings, such as the dull 'The Sixth Position', and the just plain daft 'Ghost Writer'.

    The season also marked the arrival of a new recurring character, Lt. Tanaka (Kwan Hi Lim), who would liven up many future episodes. (Glenn Cannon also began his minor recurring role as Doc. Ibold).

    MPI can be split in two halves – the first four seasons, and the final four seasons. I like the first four best, but of those four, I'd have to say the second season is the most uneven, and with the lowest hit rate. But that's not to say it doesn't have its hits.moreless
Teri Ann Linn

Teri Ann Linn

Wendy Clane

Guest Star

Dick Jensen

Dick Jensen

Sgt. Kaio

Guest Star

Wayne Ward

Wayne Ward

Wayne Lochman

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (1)

  • NOTES (2)

    • The German episode titles are "Schönheit hat ihren Preis" ("Beauty Has Its Price") and "Bikinis und blaue Bohnen" ("Bikinis and Bullets"). The French title is "Tout au dernier vivant", meaning "All to the Last Living". The Italian title is "Tre meno due", an exact translation.

    • Despite being the last episode shown in the season, this is seemingly one of the first produced for it, evident by a number of shots (Magnum holding the girl as she scuba dives; Magnum almost dropping the expensive camera as Higgins hands it to him; T.C. holding the camera and smiling as he directs the models; and of a car exploding) that have been used on the opening credits throughout the second season.


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