After watching how Magnum and Higgins’ newfound relationship played out in “The Passenger“, it hits some rougher waters in “The Breaking Point“. Not at first, mind you. It starts with Magnum making delicious-looking, super fancy avocado toast for Higgins. But then all hell breaks loose when Rick needs a place to stay, and he picks the Robin’s Nest. AKA where Thomas and Juliette are currently cohabitating while pretending not to be a couple.
By far the best part of the episode is the return of a series favorite, Jin Jeong. He’s the constant goofball and conman turned honest citizen. Or as honest as he can be. He’s always working on some score, and in this episode, he’s living his best Storage Wars life with the help of T.C. Jin also immediately bothers Higgins about their ‘pact’ to have babies together if they were both single after a year, which she’s pretending is still the case and which leads to Jin’s cringeworthy attempts to woo her. Luckily she gets saved by the bell with a new client!
This client is overwrought by the death of his sister, Corrina. She was a recovering addict turned lifeguard, whose body was found after she overdosed. The brother wants answers as to what triggered the relapse, so our P.I. pair take the case. First, they try and get more details from HPD and get intercepted by Detective Childs. Higgins decides to play it straight, and they get a look at the case file.
A careful look reveals that Corrina didn’t overdose intentionally. No, someone else injected her. So they have to find more clues at her place of work, Sherwood Beach.
With an assist from Gordie, who has a connection at Ocean Safety Services, Magnum and Higgins are able to visit Sherwood Beach undercover. They both become lifeguards, working where Corrina spent her last day. There’s a lot of fun banter between the two, especially with them trying to show each is better suited to being a lifeguard based on their military service.
The episode also has a lot of friction between the couple, especially after Magnum gets asked to put sunscreen on a beach babe. Juliette also isn’t pleased about Rick invading their living situation, and convinces Magnum to deal with his presence quickly so they can have more fun getting to know each other.
At first it’s unclear who might have wanted Corrina dead. She seems beloved by many at Sherwood, and her supervisor speaks highly of her. But Thomas and Juliette quickly find possible vectors for conflict, including some musclebound surfers and even other lifeguards who may have wanted her position.
As for Jin and T.C.’s misadventures, Jin quickly looks very bad at winning storage units, and even bids against himself at one point. After winning one, he gloats about how much money he’ll make. T.C. gets suspicious, and Jin admits he got a tip about the unit from an acquaintance, and learned it belonged to a criminal now behind bars. So it wasn’t surprising there’s a lot of purloined valuables within. Including a purple heart medal, which T.C. insists they have to return to its owner.
Back on the beach, Higgy and Magnum split up to find clues. Magnum also saves a young child from drowning in a dramatic scene. Higgins does her tech wizardry thing and maps out phone coverage to discover what phones were active the day Corrina was killed.
Meanwhile, Magnum makes friends with some jacked up surfers, and discovers that they actually were friends with Corrina, not adversaries. As proof, they point out a beachside wave camera, which shows the day the woman died, and how it happened after she rescued someone from the water. They also discover Corrina had two types of sunscreen on her body when she died, which might help narrow down her killer.
Following the wave cam footage, they arrive at the residence of the man Corrina saved, Jesse Carmen. Inside they discover a second fridge full of fish. Better yet, each fish has a bag of drugs stuffed inside. After notifying HPD, Childs and the team pinpoint the Oahu Fish Market as the place where the illicit drugs are sold. Though Childs lets them watch the sting, he tells them not to interfere. Then Thomas and Juliette see Jesse Carmen escaping, and apprehend him.
Just as the police are taking Carmen into custody, Magnum can’t shake that something doesn’t feel right. If the killer left traces of sunscreen on Corrina’s body, then Jesse wasn’t the killer, since he was always wearing long sleeves. Turns out, the real killer was Corrina’s supervisor at Sherwood Beach. He was letting the drug smuggling operation happen there for a piece of the action.
The Breaking Point ends with some heartfelt moments and a chilling one. T.C. and Jin find the owner of the purple heart medal and return it to a Pearl Harbor veteran. Magnum and Higgins attend the wake of Corrina as her brother spreads her ashes. And then Childs gets a call, and goes to the morgue, only to find Greene’s body. Which likely means the men that killed him are gunning for Magnum and company next.
Another solid episode of Magnum P.I. season 5. I appreciated how this one had more action scenes to contrast with the humor, and am invested to see where the Greene storyline takes things.