Magnum, P.I. – Memories are Forever

by Alan Rapp on April 17, 2018

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Magnum, P.I. – Memories are Forever
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Magnum, P.I. - Memories are Forever television review

Today’s Throwback Tuesday post takes us back to Hawaii. While taking pictures for a divorce case, Magnum (Tom Selleck) catches a glimpse of a familiar face through a telescopic lens of the wife he lost during the Vietnam War. Unable to get a clean shot of her face, Magnum has trouble convincing either T.C. (Roger E. Mosley) or Rick (Larry Manetti) that Michelle (Marta DuBois), who was reportedly killed in a bombing in Saigon, could still be alive and partying on a boat in the Honolulu harbor. However, a close-up of her necklace (featuring the same symbol as on our private dick’s ring) does finally spur Magnum’s friends into action. Hell, even Higgins (John Hillerman), despite being thoroughly confused by the entire situation, is on-hand to help.

Aside from daily soap operas, this love story is about as complicated as you will ever see on television. It turns out Michelle was married once before. Believing her first husband dead, she married Magnum in the waning days of the United States’ days in Vietnam. Despite knowing Thomas to be her soulmate, Michelle chose to return to her first husband when she discovered he was still alive. Knowing Magnum would not leave without her, Michelle sought the help of Buck Green (Lance LeGault) to help fake her death. And now, six years later, she has returned still married to General Hue (Soon-Tek Oh) who is secretly helping the United States Government as a spy known only as Tiger.

Despite the romantic score of the episodes being a bit heavy-handed at times, “Memories are Forever” is one of the best of the series. Not only does it introduce us to Michelle but it also gives us the first appearance of Colonel Buck Greene and allows for Selleck to play on deeper emotions than most episodes of the series. Ending in a shoot-out in Little Saigon, a scene that would become one of the show’s most famous, Magnum says farewell to Michelle although their brief time together would create a new reason for her to return years later. Magnum and Michelle’s romance didn’t change our lead character from week-to-week, but the themes introduced here were strong enough for the show to explore them again (including making them a large part of the series finale).

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