After last week’s great episode of Magnum P.I., I had high hopes for this week’s episode, called “The Retrieval”. Especially once I discovered that my favorite former convict, Jin Jeong, played a role in it. Unfortunately, I found this episode a step backwards, and don’t feel Jin was given enough to work with in order to really shine comedically.
It all begins with the team plus Jin outside at a wooden table eating Korean ribs and eggs for breakfast. Despite placing his order last, somehow Jin got an extra rib, which Magnum gives the cook a hard time about. It’s in good fun, but he guesses correctly that it’s just a tribal thing, since the cook is also Korean, and even gives Jin a little secret fist bump. It’s good that Jin gets a little boost, since the rest of “The Retrieval” does not go his way.
The main story involves a group of gamers that haven’t met in person, but who regularly play raids in a game called BattleCraft online. They Zoom our favorite investigators about a concern. Their friend Artemis2673 (they don’t know his real name) suspiciously missed a raid he planned, and they haven’t been able to reach him afterwards. One of them, named Minka, is especially concerned, and so Thomas and Juliette take the case, certain it’ll be an easy solution.
At first Magnum and Juliette are bored out of their minds watching replays of the BattleCraft games, until she finds the point where Arty went missing. He had placed a food order, and Higgy hacks that to find his real identity, Kilo Mona. This leads to information that Kilo has been missing at work as well, at the Oahu Family Clinic. When they go to his residence for clues, they find a bloody scene with signs of a struggle. Magnum retraces Kilo’s steps and uses a plastic bag to get a blood sample. Meanwhile Juliette checks his computer and finds pretty serious threats against Kilo / Artemis from someone that goes by Chewy. Including a photo of where Kilo lives.
Back at La Mariana, Jin is super twitchy with Rick and T.C. about his ex partner in crime getting out of prison. His name is Beau, and turns out him and Jin don’t have a great relationship. For one, he considers Jin his lacky, not even a sidekick. For another, he’s not there to visit. No, Beau needs his cut that Jin had been hiding away for him. Beau promised it to someone named Heavy Mike to protect him in prison, and if he doesn’t get it to him quick, there will be serious trouble.
So, Jin shows up at the crime scene Thomas and Higgy are working, leaning on their car trying to look cool. He needs their help finding a dryer where he hid a map that leads to the cut. The problem is, his landlord sold the dryer on Craigslist. Lucky for him, Higgy is a great hacker, and finds the new location of the dryer in moments. Which is about the last thing that goes right for Jin.
Ignoring Jin for a moment, Thomas and Juliette get an update from Minka, who knows a bit about the mysterious Chewy. Despite the threats he’d been sending, turns out Chewy is a 15 year old kid named Sam. He was upset because Kilo had implied he was cheating in BattleCraft, which took away any chance of getting sponsored. But he’s not a criminal mastermind. The only thing he helps with is providing the last known location of Kilo, which oddly enough was at the clinic he works at.
The clinic is air gapped, so Magnum and Higgins have to pretend to be there as clients. They talk with a Dr. Lim about wanting a family, and have a pretend argument about different parenting styles that very much doesn’t feel like it’s entirely make believe. Thankfully it works well enough, and the doctor leaves to give them space to talk, which Higgins uses to hack her computer. As she does, they talk about discipline and freedom, and Juliette reminds Magnum she went to boarding school, so he can guess where her parenting style stands. Then they find an email that the clinic had been robbed. Not of cash, but of frozen embryos. And wouldn’t you know it, the missing Kilo was a lab tech.
When Dr. Lim returns they give her the third degree, and she reveals Kilo’s keycard had been used to access the lab. She was sworn to silence by the true criminals behind it, but they also used burner phones and disguised their voices. The reason she didn’t say anything is she was warned not to involve the police, otherwise the embryos would be opened to the warm air and ruined. The only thing helpful she reveals is the embryonic container has a tracking chip, and she had been tracking it up until the signal suddenly cut out.
In the ongoing misadventures of Jin, him, T.C. and Beau go to find the dryer in disguise, pretending to work for an energy company. They manage to talk their way into an older woman’s house, and Jin finds the map. At first it looks like gibberish, but he’s a fan of Mad Magazine, and shows how folding it a certain way reveals a hidden message. One that seemingly leads to the buried loot.
Magnum and Juliette track the last location of the signal, and find a dead end. Literally. Not only was the transmitter ripped out of the container, but they find Kilo’s corpse nearby. And as a gamer myself, I was a little perturbed that the one time they don’t save the victim in Magnum P.I., it’s a gamer. But that’s a conversation for another day. Gordon is pissed that he was kept out of the loop, and Kilo’s friends, once informed, are bereft. You might think this was the end of this episode, but there’s a twist coming that keeps it going.
When our duo returns to Dr. Lim, she reveals that now the criminals that were extorting her are extorting patients individually. Meaning her efforts to hide the theft are over, and things aren’t great. Worse, it seems the criminals were extorting vulnerable individuals, such as cancer survivors. One is named Lana Turk, and it seems odd she hasn’t been in touch. So the two go to meet her, and find her about to pull out of the driveway with a bag full of cash. She talks with our team, and they convince her not to pay the ransom for her stolen embryos. Instead, they’re gonna try things Gordon’s way, and set up a sting.
As for Jin, he’s lazily lounging while T.C. and Beau dig up piles of dirt, only to realize that his map lead to the wrong place. So he tells them to move someplace else, only to remember the map was a decoy. He actually didn’t bury the cut, he gave it to his mentor, a man that goes by Squirrel. Information that doesn’t go over well with the two men that had been doing all the hard work.
Long story short, it turns out that Lana has been lying to everyone. She said she was married and had to put aside the embryos thanks to a cancer scare. But she’s actually divorced, meaning she doesn’t have access to her own embryos. Worse, she’s one of the people behind the whole theft, along with a partner named Nico. Magnum and Higgy track them to a mall, and both split off to chase one of the criminals. Higgy fights with Lana in a kitchen, while Magnum has to chase Spider-Man lite all around. Nico hurls the lid off the container to distract Magnum, so he’s forced to grab it and secure it before the embryos are ruined. Luckily Gordon is there to clothesline the criminal before he can escape.
“The Retrieval” ends with Jin forced to refill the holes that T.C. and Beau dug up, Beau getting his cut to Heavy Mike, and Thomas and Juliette talking more about kids. She’s worried their love won’t be enough in the face of their different styles, but he’s convinced they can make it work. A good enough episode, but I really hope for better next week.