Consciousness of Guilt Lets the Humor Shine in Magnum P.I.

Jin and Jon are the new comedic dream team.

Don’t let the dramatic start to the latest episode of Magnum P.I., “Consciousness of Guilt”, fool you. Sure, the main story is about a murder. But the best part of the episode is a humorous arc involving Jin, with a fun little cameo from the legendary Jon Lovitz.

It all starts with a frantic call to 911. A man named Tate Walker says his brother Michael had a horrible accident and isn’t breathing. Fast forward to a skeptical Gordon Katsumoto checking out the scene and then talking with Tate. As his brother lies lifeless in the pool, Gordon catches Tate in an inconsistency. Then we jump forward again, with Gordon on the stand in Tate’s trial. It’s going well at first, until his shady lawyer plays a game of character assassination on Katsumoto. Despite evidence that seems to point to Tate murdering Michael over their dead mother’s estate, the trial ends in a hung jury. Worse, they’re not willing to retry the case without serious evidence. But Gordon’s not done yet.

Cut to Jin with headphones on, a shirt emblazoned with the title Jin Dog, and him dancing like a maniac to, well, Flashdance’s “Maniac”. Apparently the goofball is a dog walker now, and he uses his client’s code to walk in and grab the happy puppy, Pippin. Just one problem — a woman named Margot is there, and says Ms. Fredricks is on a cruise for a couple weeks, so Jin’s not needed until she gets back. Despite nothing seeming dramatically out of sorts, he’s very, very suspicious.

MAGNUM P.I. — “Consciousness of Guilt” Episode 517 — Pictured: (l-r) Jay Hernandez as Thomas Magnum, Tim Kang as Detective Gordon Katsumoto — (Photo by: Zack Dougan/NBC)

At La Mariana, Rick is regaling Magnum and Higgins with his horrible new leprechaun voice, which is a hit with his baby Joy. He’s been using it to entertain her since he’s finally living with his baby momma and bundle of joy. T.C. finally has things going his way as well, and is hot and heavy again with his lady friend, Mahina. Which leads to Higgins asking if her and Magnum spend too much time together, and are “missing out on missing each other”. Which falls squarely under “be careful what you wish for”, as Jin comes in hot.

He rushes into the bar, saying that Ms. Fredricks is missing and something is clearly wrong with this Margot person. And as “a former thief / con artist / male model”, he knows a criminal when he sees one. So a very unsure Higgins is roped into working with him, while Magnum goes to talk with Gordon about a potential murderer set free by the justice system.

MAGNUM P.I. — “Consciousness of Guilt” Episode 517 — Pictured: Taylor Handley as Tate Walker — (Photo by: Zack Dougan/NBC)

Gordon wants Thomas to find something, anything to convince the jury to retry the Walker case. He loops in Magnum, and says Tate is from East Coast money, a spoiled golden boy. Tate claimed he was at his private cigar club when his brother Michael suddenly died. Worse is the fact the judge that tried the case is a member as well. So Magnum and Rick decide to take a little detour to see what’s what.

Magnum and Rick walk into the cigar club in big pimping style, with a day pass as prospective members. Rick worked his magic, and he really knows his cigars. So much so that he’s able to pepper the club manager with questions and keep him distracted while Magnum snoops. Though he doesn’t find anything in the club’s records that might indicate Tate left the club early, Tate suddenly walks in, providing another avenue of investigation. They chat, and the man says he’s celebrating his freedom. He also knows who Magnum is, as he was warned about him by his lawyer. He warns Magnum off, and makes things more complicated with a restraining order.

MAGNUM P.I. — “Consciousness of Guilt” Episode 517 — Pictured: (l-r) Zachary Knighton as Orville “Rick” Wright, Jay Hernandez as Thomas Magnum — (Photo by: Zack Dougan/NBC)

Not content to quit, Magnum finds that Tate was dropped by his first attorney right before the trial. So he goes to see an old frenemy played by Jon Lovitz. He makes a living taking naughty pictures of people to provide evidence to spouses and significant others. Thomas walks right into his car as he’s taking some photos, and asks about the attorney, named Zoey. Lovitz had been asked by her to do some snooping about her would be client, and whatever he found made her jump ship. It’s something called Ocean Sunset Oldies, a LLC under Tate’s mothers name.

To the surprise of nobody, Jin is not great when he’s stressed. He’s inhaling cheese puffs over Higgins’s shoulder while she looks into Margot. Everything she finds seems clean as a button, but he pushes her to keep looking, while getting cheese dust everywhere.

In the ongoing misadventures of Jin and Higgy, he gets a text from the old woman he’s immediately suspicious of. For one thing, she calls him Jin, which is weird, since he tells Higgins Ms. Fredricks always called him John, despite his best efforts. Higgy has had enough, so she leaves Jin to his search. Which ends up with him trying to use the code to get into the house again, and finding it’s been changed. Which then leads to a hilarious sequence with Jin trying to use the doggie door to get in instead, and getting stuck like Winnie the Pooh. Only the clever use of a doggie toy and Pippin playing tug of war get Jin through, but then he finds Margot pretending to be the old woman and talking about signing over paperwork. He also spies she has a pistol.

Magnum and Gordon suspect that Tate might have paid off a witness named Harris $50K. Harris was a gardener at the mother’s estate. That search leads to a possible missing woman named Paula that Magnum cannot find. But that doesn’t stop either of them, so they head to talk with Harris about Paula. This leads to the revelation that 20 years ago, Tate killed Paula, and Harris came upon the body. Only to be paid hush money by Tate’s mother, and then again in the present by Tate. Magnum thinks Harris killed Michael, but he says it’s not him. Plus, Michael had called Harris about Paula’s murder. Then Gordie and Magnum realize there’s something odd about how Tate refuses to sell his dead mother’s house, and wondering why.

MAGNUM P.I. — “Consciousness of Guilt” Episode 517 — Pictured: Stephen Hill as Theodore “TC” Calvin — (Photo by: Zack Dougan/NBC)

Jin hides in Margot’s trunk, and seemingly finds the old lady’s corpse there. Terrified, he calls Higgins just before his battery dies. Realizing Jin wasn’t full of crap for once, she calls T.C. and asks for him to search the skies in an Island Hopper chopper. Then, as an added jump scare, Jin realizes the old lady isn’t dead, just hurt badly. Margot shot her, dumped her in the trunk and was getting ready to steal her money. Jin does his best to fight off Margot, but she manages to grab her gun and train it on him. Luckily Higgins is a better shot, and her and T.C. arrive in a chopper to save the day.

As for the main case, Magnum and Gordon get a warrant to check under a patio in the mother’s house, and find a skeleton. That’s enough to get Tate imprisoned for one murder, and more than enough evidence to look into the suspicious death of his brother Michael. It all ends with Magnum and Higgy realizing they don’t spend too much time together and dancing to slow music. Overall a pretty solid and fun episode, and thankfully one where Jin got to really shine comedically.

Josh Speer
Josh Speer
Josh Speer enjoys all sorts of things, but he grew up reading comic books. Stories of wonder and whimsy delight him, as do underdogs and anti-heroes. While admittedly a fan of many Marvel and DC characters (thwip thwip), of late he reads more independent comics. Big fan of Image, Dark Horse, IDW and lately even some Aftershock. Loves stories that are quirky, weird and which feature stunning artwork. Completely shocked that Marvel Netflix still exists on Disney+. Enjoys talking about comic books without getting lost in the minutiae, and focuses most on character relationships and development.

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Don't let the dramatic start to the latest episode of Magnum P.I., "Consciousness of Guilt", fool you. Sure, the main story is about a murder. But the best part of the episode is a humorous arc involving Jin, with a fun little cameo from...Consciousness of Guilt Lets the Humor Shine in Magnum P.I.