It’s not a surprise I’ve been struggling a bit with the back half of Season 5 of Magnum P.I. I still love the vibe and characters, but it just felt a bit lacking somehow. I complained about a recurring, big bad threat, and while that doesn’t materialize here, ‘Night Has a Thousand Eyes’ is nevertheless the best episode I’ve seen in recent weeks. Not only does it tell a cohesive story without any pointless bits, but it mixes things up in some novel ways. Best of all, Stephen Hill’s T.C. gets his chance to really shine here, and continues to be my favorite character of the series.
The big twist in this episode is that Thomas doesn’t work the case with Higgy. No, at the very beginning they both have to take a P.I. license renewal test, and get there an hour late. They’re both given 9 minutes to finish the test, and somehow Thomas passes while Higgy fails.
She’s aghast, since she’s never failed anything in her life. Thomas tries to be supportive for two seconds, but quickly starts gloating and smiling at his good fortune. Undeterred, Higgy vows she’ll pass it the next chance, and Thomas joins Rick on a surprising case. As for my favorite, T.C., he’s finally out of the hospital! He leaves with a jaunty “I’ve eaten more jell-o in the last 6 weeks than I have my entire life. I gotta get the hell out of here!”, but unfortunately it’s not all smooth sailing for the big man now he’s getting around with the aid of a cane.
Rick is helping a regular named Justin with legal troubles. Him and Thomas meet the man in prison. He’s there because one night when him and buddy Adam were driving home from La Mariana, they got crashed into by a cop car, and both Adam and the cop wound up dead. Justin in the passenger seat would have suffered the same fate, if not for a mysterious stranger breaking the windows and pulling them both out of the car.
The problem is, once the cops found both men outside, it wasn’t possible to tell who was driving. Not to mention it was Justin’s car. So Justin gets slapped with vehicular manslaughter when he hadn’t even been driving. Best case scenario, he’ll do 8 years in prison. Unless Thomas and Rick can help find the witness that dragged him out of the car and prove he wasn’t driving it.
All they have to work with are Justin’s recollection that the person that pulled him out had angel wings across his back, a logo. Normally Rick and Thomas would have months to find the man, but thanks to the DA playing hardball, they only have hours. So first they head to the morgue to check out Adam’s injuries, hoping to find proof he was driving the car they can show to the cops.
The injuries on the dead man are inconclusive, but there’s something of note. Axle grease is found on the body, which doesn’t make sense since he was driving it. Unless the grease came from the witness that pulled both men out. Perhaps a mechanic? Magnum does some quick digging and finds Angel’s Auto Shop, so they head over and break in. Inside they find another complication. Angel hanging bound and dead from a bar in his own shop. If that wasn’t enough, Gordie helps confirm later it was a chop shop, not a legit one.
Meanwhile Higgy keeps trying and failing to take the test a second time. She gets a couple opportunities, and the ongoing case and Thomas’ need of her help screws it up. Worse, it’s clear the man she’s asking for help is losing patience with the normally together Brit. Even though she’s not supposed to be doing any P.I. work, since doing so could threaten her citizenship, Juliet can’t turn a blind eye to someone in need. Especially when her beau Thomas is involved.
With a little help from Higgy and Gordie, Rick and Magnum follow a lead that the person that killed Angel was looking for the witness. A duo named Will and Kai worked at the chop shop, so Magnum uses a poorly encrypted app to leave some bait—the Ferrari! Rick and Magnum catch a kid clumsily try to break in, only to find he was a distraction. Someone else steals the Ferrari, so Magnum drives Rick’s car, driving Rick crazy in the process. He’s more than a little reckless, scraping the window off the side, but he catches the thief. Only to find Kai is actually a woman.
Kai helps confirm that Will is still on the run, but with some technical knowhow from Higgy (not to mention an assist from a reluctant Gordon) they find a junkyard connection. They also find something strange about a Saudi connection that seems out of place at first, but which proves relevant later. Side note, I really enjoyed how much Juliet acted like Thomas this episode, proving that the two are clearly rubbing off on each other, and learning bad habits. But it’s still very fun watching the prim and proper investigator be a little wild.
As for T.C., his first goal after getting out is making up with his gorgeous girlfriend, Mahina. With Shammy’s help he drives up to her at work, the fire station. But things don’t go well. She’s upset he didn’t contact her the entire time he was recovering, and says things are over.
When Rick and Magnum finally corner car thief Will at the junkyard, they learn some interesting truths. Such as how the cop that died in the accident was trying to kill Will, and how Will had been stashed in his trunk. His escape is what actually caused the accident, since the cop turned to look and thus hit Justin and Adam. Will remembers where Justin was sitting and can prove he wasn’t driving the car, but he refuses to talk with HPD, for understandable reasons.
Turns out, the reason people are after Will is he boosted a car belonging to a state senator named Morris. He’s apparently working with the Saudis, and they’re trying to clean up his mess. Will had the senator’s laptop as well, but sold it. Higgy tracks it down, but finds it’s been wiped clean. And just as that info is relayed, Thomas, Rick and Will get caught by armed Saudis.
Thomas does a masterful play to distract the men with his phone, and manages to get a gun in the process. A shootout ensues, and though all the good guys survive, the same can’t be said for Rick’s car. Though I haven’t loved his arc in recent episodes, I love the cranky, old man relationship he has with Magnum.
It ends with the state senator being arrested, since he had been working with Kenstal Global to sell land to the Saudis. T.C. talks once more with Mahina, and though she’s more understanding than earlier, she still says they can’t be together. For his part, T.C. comes to understand his mother better, and how she didn’t want to burden those she loved but hurt them in the process.
With Will’s help, Justin gets released, and there’s a big party at La Mariana for T.C.. Higgy also manages to pass the exam the third time, with a little helpful bribe. And it ends with a heartfelt discussion between Higgy and T.C.. Overall a really great episode of Magnum P.I., and hopefully one that puts the rest of the season on a better track.