Well folks, it’s Wednesday, and you know what that means – another episode of Magnum P.I.! This week’s episode is titled ‘Appetite for Danger’ and it lives up to it in a very literal sense. It’s all about a missing executive chef, and meanders in fun and unpredictable ways. It starts at a fancy gala where everyone is unconscious, then rewinds 29 hours earlier to show how Magnum wound up there wearing a gas mask and fighting armed men solo.
Before he goes to the gala, Magnum is on a fancy date with Higgins, enjoying the finer things in life, including glasses of wine. Higgins can’t help but give him a hard time about how frugal he is, despite clearly enjoying the finer things in life. Thomas clams up, and doesn’t want to go into details about how he spends money. But Higgins is dogged, and finds many opportunities in the episode to pester him.
As for why they’re on a date at this particular location, it’s thanks to their client. He’s treating them to a sumptuous meal, but not a life changing one. That’s because his head chef, a man named Kanoa Clark, is missing. There’s speculation it could be many things, including drugs, a new girlfriend or rivalry with his fellow chefs. And the reason he wants private investigators instead of HPD is because he strongly suspects many of his crew are illegal immigrants. So what’s a dynamic duo to do, other than find the missing man?
They quickly find some shifty financial statements and large cash deposits. The only way they can find out more about Kanoa’s relationship with the staff is to send someone undercover. And the perfect man for the job is none other than Gordon Katsumoto! Not only is he a foodie, but he’s a chef in his own right. He jumps at the opportunity to cook with some professionals for the low price of admission of asking them a few questions on the sly.
There’s also a couple of side stories in ‘Appetite for Danger.’ One is about Rick, who I’m still angry at, coaching T.C.’s junior baseball team, the Island Hoppers. He’s doing a piss poor job, and with his adopted son Cade’s help, T.C. has been watching the game and providing critiques to Rick.
The other main side story, and a much more emotional one, is about Kumu and Cade interviewing a man named Mr. Nakamura about his time in the Japanese internment camps as a child. We get some harrowing flashbacks, and the cruelty and racism of the American government is painfully apparent. Not only was George and his family put into a camp nicknamed Hell Valley, but his mother got badly sick, and later on he was separated from his little sister, May.
Back to the main quest, I love the montage of food preparation. Katsumoto gives the gig his all, and for his trouble gets nicknamed Microwave. Since he’ll be done in 30 seconds or less. Ouch. Thankfully the undercover cop is made of stern stuff, and learns about how the new boss, Jason, apparently got treated badly by Kanoa. Jason is now acting executive chef, so might have a grudge and motive.
Meanwhile Thomas and Juliette find that Kanoa had been working part time with a catering company called Glorious Island Catering. They strongly imply Kanoa had a drug problem, and say they haven’t been able to reach him as well. Then Gordon finds Jason outside being shaken down by two thugs, one armed with Jason’s own paring knife. Gordie makes quick work of them, and in the process secures the knife to take prints. He also learns that outside of the kitchen, Jason and Kanoa got along perfectly fine.
Equipped with some DNA evidence, Magnum and Juliette follow Gordon’s new lead to talk with one of the thugs, a big man named Loto. He says Kanoa and he met while he was in prison. Turns out, Kanoa had been teaching cooking to inmates. He also tells them that Kanoa had a new girlfriend, an attractive woman named Olivia Leong. And just after they look into that lead, they discover Olivia was recently kidnapped as well. Gordon talks with her ex husband she’s in the midst of divorcing, and he definitely seems like a smooth criminal. Just not the one they’re after in this episode.
Our duo tracks the kidnapped woman to the gala we saw at the beginning of the episode, and finds caterers working at the museum. Just one catch, they’re not really caterers. No, Glorious Island Catering is a front for a robbery crew. They case a joint posing as the help, then return hours later to rob it. But they’re not doing things the slow way this time, and dose the entire gala with knockout gas. Everyone except them and Magnum, who grabs a gas mask off one thug.
Though poor Higgins does get a dose of the knockout gas, Thomas is a gentleman and secures a gas mask on her prone face. Which turns out to be a good plan, because once he gets outside and tries to save Kanoa, things get complicated. He does manage to help Kanoa, but then two armed criminals are about to shoot him, at least until a conscious Juliette knocks the hell out of them.
Back with T.C., he’s still struggling through rehab. So Rick does something smart to help. First he has T.C. provide some wisdom to the Island Hoppers via phone, which helps them win the game. Then later Rick surprises T.C. at the hospital with the entire time to provide enough encouragement for him to cross the bars while walking upright.
Then Cade finds Mr. Nakamura’s missing sister, May. Though she died a few years back, she lived a full and happy life, and he helps the old man face time with his extended family. It’s a really touching moment. As for how the episode ends, Kanoa and sous chef Gordie make Magnum and Juliette a sumptuous meal, before they finally tell both men to sit down and enjoy it with them.
Overall ‘Appetite for Danger’ was a very solid episode of Magnum P.I., and definitely better than last week’s. Though we still lack a big bad to motivate the action, I’m happy with episodes of the week in the meantime.