I can hardly believe it, but here we are, the last episode of Magnum P.I. “The Big Squeeze” is an episode that tries to do as much as possible in the remaining time, so let’s not waste any.
It all starts with Thomas and Juliette in full romance mode under the bed covers. They’re in such a great place they’re running late to a dinner with Rick and Suzie. Thomas suggests they save time and water by showering together, but Juliette opts to find a shirt since her top was discarded downstairs. And inside his shirt drawer, she finds a ring in a red box.
This discovery totally throws Higgins off balance, and she’s talking with Kumu about it later. Kumu asks if she doesn’t want to get married to Thomas, but it’s not that. She’s not entirely sure why the revelation upset her so, just that it did. Luckily she’s saved by the bell since Thomas texts to let her know they have a new case.
The moment she meets up with Thomas, things are awkward. But she tries to focus on the mission as they meet at the appointed spot to chat with a Michael Reeves. A well-dressed black man ushers them inside, where they find an unfortunate surprise. Their client isn’t Michael Reeves, it’s Sam Bedrosian! AKA the scumbag from “Run With the Devil.” And while he does want payback, it doesn’t take the form we might have expected.
Bedrosian sneers that at first he wanted them killed, but then grew to appreciate their gamesmanship. Now he wants to offer them a job, at zero pay. The reason they’ll take the job? He has a recording taken from “Ashes to Ashes,” where Magnum and Higgins admitted they kept information from HPD that could get them in trouble. And he’s holding the recording over their heads unless they do what he wants. If he uses it, not only could Thomas and Juliette be taken down, but so could Gordon.
Bedrosian is a gleeful asshole, played pitch-perfect by Patrick Fabian. Though I wanted a big bad all season who was responsible for everything that happened, I’ll settle for a truly bad man making our team’s life hell one last time. Thomas and Juliette are taken by Bedrosian’s man to a crime scene and given plastic gloves. They need to find answers to what happened at a specific crime scene but without the benefit of a lab, HPD, and all in a limited time frame.
Our duo does their best to grasp the scene and find that the dead man, Gavin Larson, was forced at gunpoint to open his safe. They’re not sure how his killer got inside since there’s no sign of a break-in. Higgy manages to copy the number of the last person to text Larson, while Magnum spies a suspicious blood drop away from the crime scene and dips his glove into it, balling it up for later use. My favorite Sherlock moment is when Higgins uses a meat thermometer to ascertain how long the body has been cooling and surmises the incident occurred eight hours ago.
They’re let go but are told to check in with Bedrosian’s number two guy once they know more. Back at La Mariana, T.C. is telling Rick he wants to remove his stake from La Mariana so he can expand Island Hoppers. Rick is generous and tells him that’s fine, though Kumu spies his face, and sees the lie. Rick is worried about keeping his bar running without the financial support.
Suddenly a female officer gets a call about a tip, and arrives at the crime scene Thomas and Juliette had been forced to investigate. Two of Bedrosian’s men are inside, cleaning the scene and putting Larson’s body in a tarp when they hear the cop arrive. She spies movement, and so pretends to call dispatch and tell them nothing was wrong. In secret, she enters the house via another entrance. Sadly, a ping alerts the two criminals inside, and Officer Cole finds herself shot.
While Magnum and Higgins were told not to involve HPD, they ask Rick to have a friend in the department run the blood sample. Then Thomas asks his girlfriend why she’s being so strange. She won’t say, but he figures it out and reveals that the ring wasn’t for her. It was Rick’s ring since he was going to make it official with his baby mamma, Suzie. And though Higgy is initially relieved, she feels regret when Magnum jokes they’ll just end up marrying other people.
I’ll just be honest, the next scene didn’t proceed naturally and kind of came out of left field. Magnum and Higgins find themselves in a hotel room with a man gagged and bound after chasing the ping of a burner phone, which I thought was given to them by Bedrosian’s man. That’s not the guy bound to the phone with a sock in his mouth, though. No, this guy was having fun time with an escort, when someone named Mac barged in. Apparently, this leads to a Larson connection, though at this point in the episode, I really wasn’t sure how. Luckily it gets tied up once it all wraps.
Gordon arrives at the scene where Officer Cole was attacked, and we discover she survived the incident. Then the blood sample is traced to a parolee named Neil McRae. Unfortunately for our investigators, they discover this when they’re talking with McRae, who is posing as the missing escort’s brother. This leads to a really fun fight scene. McRae fires off warning shots and runs, with Magnum on his heels, as Higgy does her best Ghost Spider impression and gets real vertical. Thomas races into an elevator right before it closes, and fights the man in close quarters. A knife is drawn, a phone is used, and Magnum almost gets his guy, but McRae escapes with a handy hostage and takes her Jeep.
As they’re assessing what happened, Thomas and Juliette realize that the escort from earlier had her purse in an odd position, and discover a hidden camera in a false bottom. They think that Larson was paying the escort, named Emilia, to get footage used to blackmail marks. They confront Bedrosian with their suspicions, and they’re right. The pool of people he’s blackmailed with Larson is large, and one of them might be responsible for Larson’s death. But then the criminal gets a text, and suddenly fires them, holding onto his recording of them both.
Back at the hospital, Katsumoto gets an update about Cole being stable, and a motormouth cop helps him realize Magnum and Higgins are already investigating his case. He pulls them over and badgers them for more information. By putting their heads together, they realize Bedrosian might be blackmailing the governor of Hawaii with Larson’s help, and that Emilia might be the person that got the blackmail. This would mean that Bedrosian has the governor under his thumb and that what he’s after isn’t the killer of his man, but the blackmail info he’s been gathering. Now it’s a race to find McRae before he gets to Emilia.
Katsumoto meets with the governor’s aide and asks about why the governor paroled McRae, who is now on a rampage. She brushes him off, but he then walks outside and into an undercover vehicle. Some cops inside inform Gordon that the aide grabbed her phone the moment he left, and contacted McRae. It’s clear he’s planning on using the leverage from the blackmail, and selling it to the highest bidder.
Our duo tracks Emilia to her client’s fancy villa and gets met by her drawing down on them with a shotgun. Once they calm her down, she reveals she was forced into Bedrosian’s blackmail ring by her son. He has a rare condition, and Larson helped pay for his medication, and then forced her to sleep with people to secure compromising info. It’s all on a thumb drive, which is what McRae is after. And then things get worse when Bedrosian’s armed goons arrive.
Since they don’t have much in the way of weapons, Thomas and Juliette use what they can find to their advantage. For Juliette, she makes the best of a shotgun with only a couple of shells. Magnum, meanwhile, smashes a painting over one goon’s head, catches another’s knife in a book, and generally makes a mess of the villa. He also uses a semi-automatic from the first goon he takes down to go full Scarface for a brief, glorious moment.
Just as one goon is about to find Emilia and her son hidden away, Juliette takes him out with her last shell. And then we have the challenge. McRae is found and taken into custody, along with the thumb drive. But Gordon tells Thomas and Juliette they can’t connect Bedrosian to Larson or the armed goons. So he gives them the thumb drive to trade for their freedom. Luckily, they make the right decision and give it to the authorities, who announce over the news they’re investigating the governor, who resigns while Bedrosian furiously breaks his television.
Like many episodes of Magnum P.I., “The Big Squeeze” ends at La Mariana. Kumu agrees to buy out T.C.’s stake, Suzie is sporting her shiny new wedding ring and Thomas and Juliette are dancing to the music. She apologizes for her reaction to the ring and tells him if he asks her to marry again, she’ll say yes.
It wasn’t a perfect episode of Magnum P.I. and sadly didn’t manage to involve all the cast (sorry, Jin, Shammy, and Higgins’ puppies). But overall it was a fond sendoff to a great show, even though it was clear they might have had to rush things at the very end. I’m glad I was able to cover the series and thank everybody who has read my rambling reviews. Be sure to stay tuned to The Workprint for ongoing coverage of TV, movies, and streaming shows in the future!