Three Bridges Is a Solid But Average Episode of Magnum P.I.

Mahjong, Triads and the continuing love life of Rick...

After last week’s Magnum P.I., I was really hoping for an episode to deliver not only a solid storyline, but also some important recurring threats to the team. Sadly, that’s not really what we get with “Three Bridges”. While it’s a fine story, it very much felt like a filler episode.

It starts with a lot of banter between Thomas and Juliette. He thinks they’re going to repossess a Stingray sports car. Juliette fires back he clearly didn’t read the email, cause they’re after the aquatic variety of stingray. What follows is a really poor attempt on his part to get a stingray in a net, which results in it flopping around on the floor right as the owner of the house arrives. Lucky for Magnum, the man has earbuds in and doesn’t hear or see a thing. They take their bounty to stay in La Mariana’s aquarium until they get paid.

We also get more of T.C.’s recovery this week. I was hopeful he’d make fast progress after the toe twitch, but it turns out two weeks have passed since that happened, with little progress to show for it. Understandably, he’s more than a bit bummed. Though he’s going to physical training, he’s ghosting Magnum and the rest of his friends. He’s even ghosting his mom. While the two have a complex relationship, no man should ever ghost his mama.

Back at La Mariana, Higgins gets to watch Rick awkwardly flirt with Piper some more, and calls him out on not asking her out. It’s clear Piper has a crush on the goofball, but he’s being weird about it. Magnum arrives and commiserates, but the actual main case this week isn’t the stingray (shocker, I know). It actually comes from a friend of Kumu’s.

Like many mature women, Kumu enjoys a robust game of Mahjong with friends. One of them, Ying, hasn’t been showing up lately. So Kumu arrives with orchids to see what’s wrong. It turns out, Ying was talking with a man named Han, supposedly from China. Unsurprisingly it was a scam, and Ying lost all her money in the process. She’s just a single mom with a child going to college, and is completely bereft. So Kumu asks Magnum and Higgins to help her out.

Magnum, Higgy and Kumu pore over thousands of interactions between Ying and Han to figure out where the con man is. In the process, Kumu finds a photo Han sent, and Higgins traces it to the Oceanside Hotel. Not in China, mind you, but in Hawaii. So Magnum and Higgy head over to investigate, only to discover the hotel has been shuttered and empty since the pandemic. Which is weird enough, but then an Asian man armed with a gun starts yelling at them, and takes them hostage at gunpoint.

Back with T.C., he’s moping and feeling understandably sorry for himself, but his mom arrives to visit. At first he’s upset about her visit, and he makes her work for it. But over the course of the episode she wears him down, and by the end they’re in a much better place than they’ve been for a while.

MAGNUM P.I. — “Three Bridges” Episode 512 — Pictured: Zachary Knighton as Orville “Rick” Wright — (Photo by: NBC)

As for Rick, I’m frankly pretty upset about his arc over the past two episodes. He goes to talk with Piper, and she gives him a hard time about avoiding her. She says now he has to ask her out, which he does. By the end of the episode, he gets snazzy for date night and is about to meet Piper, but instead goes to visit Suzie, his baby mama. While I should be happy they make up, I’m not thrilled the show just threw Piper to the curb so unexpectedly.

For the main arc, Magnum and Higgy find an entire organized crime operation in the derelict hotel. Turns out, the Triads are behind it, and have been doing a little human trafficking to force people to scam others. The two investigators get locked in a room for a while, then Magnum is taken to get ‘interrogated’ while another man named Tang is thrown in with Juliette. Fortunately, Juliette speaks Chinese, and is able to communicate with the man and get some basic information.

Magnum has a harder time of things. He tries to play the smart ass with his captors, and for his trouble he gets waterboarded. It’s not going great, but Higgins manages to get the best of her captor and takes his gun. Meanwhile Thomas uses his feet to grab shower curtains and use them to unlock his handcuffs, moments before his girlfriend arrives to bust him out. They share a kiss before HPD arrives.

That’s not the end of the episode, though. Gordon and HPD have some big moments raiding the Triads, and with their help Higgins does some research. Turns out, the man that scammed Ying was forced to do so, and then beaten and removed from the hotel. Higgy finds he’s going to be sold as slave labor, and when Ying is caught up, she pleads with them to save Han’s life.

MAGNUM P.I. — “Three Bridges” Episode 512 — Pictured: Stephen Hill as Theodore “TC” Calvin — (Photo by: NBC)

The episode culminates in a big raid where Gordon and the HPD arrive in the nick of time, taking down the Triads and saving a grateful Han in the process. Ying and Han reunite, and overall it’s a heartfelt moment. Best of all, T.C. finally relents and calls Magnum to schedule a time he can drop by. Again, not a bad episode, but I really hope the next one is more urgent and focused.

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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After last week's Magnum P.I., I was really hoping for an episode to deliver not only a solid storyline, but also some important recurring threats to the team. Sadly, that's not really what we get with "Three Bridges". While it's a fine story, it...Three Bridges Is a Solid But Average Episode of Magnum P.I.