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Magnum, P.I.

Season 2 Episode 8

Wave Goodbye

Aired Unknown Nov 19, 1981 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
39 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Wave Goodbye
When an ex-surfing champion, who was a friend of Magnum, Rick, and T.C.'s, is found dead on the beach, Magnum becomes concerned that the police are not treating the case importantly enough and investigates the suspicious death for himself.

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  • When a casual surfer friend of Magnum is murdered on the beach, he takes it upon himself to investigate, and becomes convinced that the Police are handling the case badly and are after the wrong person. An average episode with some very good bits...moreless

    'Wave Goodbye' is in many ways an average episode of 'Magnum p.i.', but thankfully there are a few very good elements which save it from being mundane.

    Things begin with a casual friend of Magnum's, Kacy, being murdered. You know the type – the friend that is never mentioned before or since the episode.

    I found the early stages of the story hard to get into, and a bit dull in places. From the first act or so, I had the episode down as a rather boring one, but thankfully things pick up quite a bit later on in the plot.

    The story is one of the more serious and in places more gritty of the season (especially noticeable coming after the comedy episode 'Tropical Madness'); and in some respects it feels like an offering from one of the show's later seasons, with the humour quite toned down compared to many earlier episodes.

    The only real comedy of the story comes as Higgins (in his only scene in the episode) bartering with Magnum to do a favour, and Magnum – after a speech about how they should just do good deeds for each other out of kindness – coming off the worse, as it would have been in his favour.

    The story is also notable for being the first real time that Rick and T.C. are given something to do without Magnum, as they pose as drug peddlers (Rick even mentions his old bar's nickname, "The Snow Palace"). It is a sign of the confidence in the pair that the writers and producers by now had; later we would see a couple of episodes totally based around them.

    Anyway, the episode really picks up as Magnum tracks down drifter Nick, a shell-shocked Vietnam Veteran, who Magnum is sure is innocent but may have witnessed the murder. Nick is played by regular 1980s guest star Wings Hauser; Hauser has a number of credits (he did a couple of 'A-Team's and 'Airwolf's, one alongside 'Tropical Madness' guest Devon Ericson), and he is outstanding as the tragically shell-shocked Nick. Out of all of Hauser's guest spots that I've seen, I would rank this as his best.

    Magnum also makes an unexpected admission when he admits to Nick that he himself has spent time in a psychiatric hospital.

    The episode is dated in one area, in that Kacy had sexual intercourse before she was killed; these days, the Police would be able to use D.N.A. to identify who she was with, but this was not about in 1981.

    When I watched this episode for the first time, I was surprised as to who the real culprit was, and didn't see it coming. It was a good twist ending that worked well.

    All-in-all, this is in many ways an average, and not instantly memorable, example of the series, but several elements save it from being totally forgettable.moreless
W.K. Stratton

W.K. Stratton

Off. Kelly

Guest Star

John Calvin

John Calvin


Guest Star

Wings Hauser

Wings Hauser

Nick Frangakis

Guest Star

Patrick Bishop

Patrick Bishop


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • At the end of the show, after Sergeant Jordan had told Officer Kelly to drop his gun, he started reading him his rights as they were walking down the beach (presumably going to Sergeant Jordans hidden car) and just left the gun in the sand.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Magnum: (narrating) Another cliché about getting information from bartenders is that no matter how sincere they sound, you know as soon as you're out the door, they're on the phone warning the guy you want to see. And this guy didn't strike me as being particularly different.

    • Magnum: (narrating) One of the clichés of my profession is that to get information from a bartender you have to slip him some bills of various denominations; Bills that you can't afford, with pictures of unfamiliar presidents. And usually for information that isn't worth it. However, this was a special case. I wasn't in the mood for games.

    • Magnum: (narrating) The death of a friend's never an easy thing to take, not in a rice paddy or on a pretty beach on Oahu. Either way, when they're young, it never makes sense.

    • Magnum: (narrating) Hawaii is one of those places that keeps topping itself. Just when you think you'll never see another sunset as beautiful, there comes a sunrise that only Gauguin could imagine. It kind of makes unemployment easier to take.

  • NOTES (2)

    • The German episode title is "Die Welle des Todes", meaning "Wave of Death". The French title is "La dernière vague", meaning "The Last Wave". The Italian title is "Sulla cresta dell'onda", meaning "On the Wave's Crest".

    • This episode marks the second of two unrelated appearances by W.K. Stratton. He can also be seen in the series pilot.