The BEST Episodes of Magnum, P.I.

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Sep 19, 2021

Network: CBS

Former Naval Intelligence officer Thomas Magnum resigns his commission to become a private investigator on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii. He lands a home in the guest house on the estate of millionaire author Robin Masters in exchange for testing the estate's security, but is forced to work under the strict and ever watchful eye of Jonathan Higgins, a former British Army soldier who serves as the estate manager, and constantly patrols the grounds with his two "lads" Zeus and Apollo, who are loyally trained Doberman Pinschers always ready to pounce on Magnum. Magnum makes good use of the perks that come with working on the estate, including driving Masters' sporty red 308 GTS Ferrari, Audi, and all-terrain Jimmy, as well as equipment such as high-end cameras and telescopes.

Watch Now
Death and Taxes

#1 - Death and Taxes

Season 7 - Episode 6 - Aired Oct 29, 1986

It is almost the 4th of July, and Higgins heads to Maui for an annual writers conference, and Rick and T.C. take a trip away, leaving Thomas on the Estate to face the horror of his tax audit. But that's nothing compared to the terror yet to come when Magnum becomes the focus of a crazed, obsessed killer, who repeatedly phones him with cryptic nursery rhyme riddles of upcoming killings. At first he thinks it is a crank caller, but the full reality of the sitution hits home when a prostitute is murdered in circumstances reflecting the clues given, and the menacing calls continue, with the deranged killer boasting about his crimes and giving clues of the next one...

star 8.90
125 votes
Directors: Alan J. Levi
Writers: Bruce Cervi
Basket Case

#2 - Basket Case

Season 3 - Episode 15 - Aired Feb 3, 1983

T.C. and Magnum train their respective junior basketball teams for an upcoming game. T.C.'s team seems to have the advantage until Magnum meets a plucky teenager with a great game, and persuades her to join his team. Magnum and Higgins take a shine to the girl, and discover that her foster parents are criminals who are using her as a pawn in running their con games.

star 8.88
167 votes
Directors: Ivan Dixon
Writers: Julie Friedgen
Resolutions (2)

#3 - Resolutions (2)

Season 8 - Episode 13 - Aired May 1, 1988

As Rick's wedding looms ever closer, Thomas continues surveillance on Linda to catch the psychopathic killer who is stalking her; T.C. faces a reconciliation with his estranged wife; Thomas gets surprising news about his theory that Higgins is really Robin Masters, as well as the true fate of Lily.

star 8.87
109 votes
Writers: Chris Abbott, Stephen A. Miller
The Arrow That is Not Aimed

#4 - The Arrow That is Not Aimed

Season 3 - Episode 14 - Aired Jan 27, 1983

Higgins sends Magnum to collect a valuable Kenzan porcelain plate, newly purchased by Robin Masters, from the airport, but the artefact, which was entrusted to the care of a Samurai warrior while in transport from Japan, has been stolen. At first, Thomas thinks the whole thing is a joke, especially when the Samurai, Tozan, claims that the plate was stolen by a ninja, but the situation is for real, and the pair team up to try and find the stolen artefact. But they must work fast, as Tozan’s centuries-old culture dictates that he must commit sepuku – which means taking his own life – if the precious plate isn’t retrieved...

star 8.84
172 votes
Directors: James Frawley
Writers: J. Miyoko Hensley, Steven Hensley
The Case of the Red Faced Thespian

#5 - The Case of the Red Faced Thespian

Season 4 - Episode 12 - Aired Jan 19, 1984

Higgins sustains a concussion hours before the guests are to arrive for a charity gala at the estate, and begins to lapse in and out of believing he is famed Shakespearean actor Sir Fearing Pangborn; Thomas enlists Rick and T.C. to cover security for the event while he takes up the slack left by Higgins's injury, and has his hands full when all the guests, dressed as famous characters of the 1920s in keeping with the gala's "Great Gatsby" theme, begin to arrive hours ahead of the appointed time; a crime wave breaks out when someone dressed in the same Charlie Chaplin costume as Rick is seen fleeing from a guest's room moments before thousands of dollars in cash and jewelry are reported missing and an addled Higgins is the prime suspect in the murder of one of the guests; as he begins to realize that people and events are not what they seem, Thomas takes his inspiration from the six-hour First Annual KHKU Agatha Christie Film Festival he viewed the previous night to solve the crimes a

star 8.84
134 votes
Directors: Ivan Dixon
Writers: Robert Hamilton
Operation: Silent Night

#6 - Operation: Silent Night

Season 4 - Episode 10 - Aired Dec 15, 1983

It is Christmas Eve, and T.C. is flying Rick to judge a beauty pageant, Thomas to play Santa Claus at a charity event, and Higgins to deliver a payroll to some of Robin Master’s workers, before he goes home to spend Christmas with his family in New Orleans. But the helicopter suddenly develops problems and they are forced to make an emergency landing on nearby deserted Frenchman’s Island. The remote isle is used by the Navy for shelling manoeuvres – and as the foursome try to find a way to safely make it off of the island, hopefully in time for Christmas, a Naval Captain, unaware of their presence, is hell-bent on upping his ship’s target practice scores, and a shelling on the island is imminent...

star 8.74
137 votes
Directors: Mike Vejar
Writers: Chris Abbott, Reuben Leder

#7 - A.A.P.I.

Season 7 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 22, 1986

At the 14th Annual Convention of Private Investigators, Magnum is to receive the 'Local P.I. of the Year' award, but the event is brought to a halt when Jean Claude Fornier, the famous French Detective, suddenly drops dead while giving a speech, after being poisoned. Magnum is helped - or rather, hindered - by several fellow crime-busting acquaintances as he seeks the murderer, and becomes entangled with a gang of drug smugglers, that the Inspector was hunting before he was killed...

star 8.68
124 votes
Directors: Russ Mayberry
Writers: Reuben Leder
Faith and Begorrah

#8 - Faith and Begorrah

Season 3 - Episode 23 - Aired Apr 28, 1983

Thomas is hired to follow Angie, the wife of his client Clarence, to see if she's being unfaithful. After watching Clarence in the ring training for his next title bout, Thomas is extremely reluctant to be the bearer of bad tidings. Clarence assures him that he wants proof that Angie is cheating, so that the fight's multi-million dollar purse won't be part of the settlement negotiations in the divorce proceedings she initiated. While he's on Angie's trail, Thomas meets a priest at the airport who turns out to be Higgins's Irish half-brother Paddy. Higgins isn't thrilled to see his sibling, especially when he discovers that Paddy has followed Ffolkes, Higgins's former commanding officer, to Hawaii after suspecting Ffolkes of stealing a relic during a search of Paddy's church for I.R.A. weapons. Paddy intends to hold hostage a certain English relic he pilfered from the custody of Ffolkes and Higgins until the one from his church is returned until Thomas steps in to mediate the standoff a

star 8.63
163 votes
Directors: Virgil W. Vogel
Writers: Donald P. Bellisario
Murder 101

#9 - Murder 101

Season 5 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 15, 1984

At the urging of the students in the private investigation class that Thomas is teaching at a local college, Thomas takes on the investigation into the disappearance of a fellow student’s fiancé as the class’s field work. The teacher and his pupils soon discover that while the student’s fears that her fiancé is having an affair are unfounded, this anything-but-textbook case involves a man sought after by both sides of the law for trying to prevent a crime.

star 8.60
130 votes
Directors: Ivan Dixon
Writers: Rogers Turrentine
Deja Vu (2)

#10 - Deja Vu (2)

Season 6 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 26, 1985

Conclusion of this feature-length / two-part story. As Thomas and Penelope investigate the mystery surrounding Geoffrey's death, they become close to each other, and Thomas with this and with flashbacks to his haunting dream that seems to have predicted Geoffrey's death, he feels as though he's almost stepped into Geoffrey's life. The pair uncover that Geoffrey was once part of a powerful group of assassins, and seems to have been killed to stop him from having chance to expose the group. Meanwhile, Thomas learns that Higgins is reluctant to use the stay in England as an opportunity to visit his father, whom he has not seen in forty years after a falling out...

star 8.53
88 votes
Writers: Chris Abbott

#11 - Transitions

Season 8 - Episode 11 - Aired Feb 17, 1988

When Higgins asks his help in finding Robin's latest manuscript after it is stolen, Thomas gets some unexpected help in the case when St. Louis P.I. Luther Gillis arrives unannounced on vacation. They set about trying to work out who is so desperate to get hold of the manuscript that they are willing to resort to attempting to kill Higgins and drugging Zeus and Apollo to get it, in scenes reminiscent of those portrayed in the stolen book...

star 8.53
93 votes
Directors: Harry Harris
Writers: Chris Abbott
Heal Thyself

#12 - Heal Thyself

Season 3 - Episode 12 - Aired Dec 16, 1982

When Karen Harmon, a nurse whom Magnum knew in Vietnam whom was once traumatised when a wounded soldier she was treating was killed in a bombing, and is now a doctor, is accused of the murder of three patients in her care, he is determined to help her clear her name. All but one of the entire hospital board believe her to be guilty, and when his offer of help is rejected by Karen and her now husband, Thomas feels compelled to look into the case anyway. A hounding reporter determined for a story does not help the issue; and the whole matter only serves to trigger off delayed stress syndrome for Karen from that fateful bombing in 'Nam...

star 8.48
171 votes
Directors: Leo Penn
Writers: Rob Gilmer
Little Games

#13 - Little Games

Season 5 - Episode 12 - Aired Jan 3, 1985

Higgins is outraged when Thomas's game playing crashes the estate's security computer system, thereby jeopardizing the selection of the estate for an upcoming multi-million dollar jewelery design competition; Thomas enlists Mac's help in reprogramming the computer in exchange for bailing him out of jail after he's been arrested for possession of stolen goods; after challenging Krista, the insurance company's wily security investigator who learned her trade at the knee of her jewel thief father, to test the Estate's security system after Mac gets the system up and running again, Thomas discovers that Mac has greatly overstated his programming abilities and that Krista has greatly understated her father's retirement.

star 8.48
124 votes
Writers: Deborah Pratt
Unfinished Business

#14 - Unfinished Business

Season 8 - Episode 8 - Aired Jan 20, 1988

Magnum prepares for the trial of Quang Ki, who attempted to kill both him and his family. But when the case is suddenly, unexpectedly acquitted, angered Thomas suspects some other hand is behind Ki's release. It becomes evident that his arch-nemesis will stop at nothing to destroy Thomas and his family, when he receives a video-tape containing terrible information about the fate of his former wife and young daughter. As Thomas plans his revenge against Ki, he is thrust into a quagmire of intrigue endangering a sensitive P.O.W. prisoner exchange programme...

star 8.48
122 votes
Directors: Russ Mayberry
Writers: Chris Abbott, Jeri Taylor
Under World

#15 - Under World

Season 5 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 25, 1984

As he's about to take off after delivering a pair of newlyweds to Maui, T.C. is offered a lot of money to deliver a briefcase to Oahu. On his approach to the Island Hoppers headquarters, he loses control of his helicopter and crashes into the ocean. After being rescued by fishermen, T.C. is rushed to the hospital, where he remains in a coma with his brother Gerald at his side. When the Coast Guard is in no rush to investigate what they consider to be a simple accident, Thomas and Gerald investigate the chopper's wreckage and discover that it was shot down. Thomas, Higgins, Rick and Gerald put their own lives in jeopardy as they set out to find who's responsible for T.C.'s near-fatal crash.

star 8.48
100 votes
Directors: Ivan Dixon
Writers: Reuben Leder
Did You See the Sunrise? (2)

#16 - Did You See the Sunrise? (2)

Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 30, 1982

Conclusion of this feature-length / two-part story. As Magnum, T.C. and Nuzo plan to get to Ivan before he kills them, the Navy – inparticular Colonel Greene and Admiral Hawkes – have their own concerns in the situation and questions regarding Mac’s death. But things are not as previously thought about Nuzo, and not only is T.C.’s life in great danger, but many other people’s too as a result, in part of an assassination plot of a Japanese prince...

star 8.48
130 votes
Directors: Ray Austin
Writers: Donald P. Bellisario
Mr. White Death

#17 - Mr. White Death

Season 3 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 18, 1982

Magnum, Rick and T.C. are at a wrestling match to try and collect some betting money owed to Rick, when they find themselves in a tight corner up against some heavies, but they are helped out of the tight spot by ageing, cheerful wrestler Earl. When their new acquaintance - a former boxing champion who now wrestles in down-and-out clubs - learns that Magnum is a Private Investigator, he asks him to find him son, whom he was forced to leave many years ago. Higgins finds that he indirectly knows Earl through an old war friend, and the pair strike up a friendship, but as Thomas searches for Earl's estranged son, it begins to seem that elements of Earl's story do not completely add up...

star 8.45
168 votes
Directors: Jeffrey Hayden
Writers: Reuben Leder
I Do?

#18 - I Do?

Season 3 - Episode 17 - Aired Feb 17, 1983

To smoke out the thief in a large family-owned business, Thomas feigns marriage to the CEO's niece, who drives a mean limousine and can't quite make up her mind how she feels about men, marriage and Magnum.

star 8.44
167 votes
Directors: Ivan Dixon
Writers: Rob Gilmer
The Aunt Who Came to Dinner

#19 - The Aunt Who Came to Dinner

Season 7 - Episode 20 - Aired Mar 18, 1987

Magnum's Private Investigator license has expired, and he is in the awkward, red-tape laden task of trying to renew it. But he has a welcome surprise when his Aunt, best-selling, Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Phoebe Sullivan, pays an unexpected visit to Hawaii from New York. The rather eccentric authoress has just finished writing a new play, but now is convinced that someone is trying to kill her for it, and that they have trailed her to the Islands. Is someone really after Phoebe, or is her mind getting the better of her?...

star 8.42
123 votes
Directors: Russ Mayberry
Writers: Chris Abbott
Let Me Hear the Music

#20 - Let Me Hear the Music

Season 5 - Episode 18 - Aired Feb 21, 1985

Magnum has been hired by country musician Lacy Fletcher to unearth five songs written over twenty-five years ago by legendary singer George Lee Jessup shortly before his death. Jessup wrote the songs for his girl-friend, but when Thomas tracks her down, the woman denies ever knowing Jessup or any knowledge of the songs, and it seems that Lacy is not the only person searching for the songs...

star 8.41
92 votes
Legend of the Lost Art

#21 - Legend of the Lost Art

Season 8 - Episode 10 - Aired Feb 10, 1988

Higgins wants Magnum to find the "Lost Art of the Ancients", a priceless ancient scroll from a fallen civilization, that could spell disaster if it should ever fall into the wrong hands. But the search for the long-lost artefact is laced with abduction, danger and deceit, as an old flame of Magnum's, a foreign double agent, and a ruthless rival of Higgins' are all out to find the scroll as well, and the dangerous path to unearthing it could ultimately lead to death...

star 8.41
98 votes
Writers: Jay Huguely
Tran Quoc Jones

#22 - Tran Quoc Jones

Season 5 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 29, 1984

At request of Robin Masters, Thomas begrudgingly is to provide protection for a political candidate whom he has reason to dislike. He is also waiting for a female client, but in her place arrives a young Vietnamese boy, Tran Quoc Jones, who wants to hire Magnum to find his long lost father, a pilot in the Vietnam war. Tran cannot go to the authorities for help as he is an illegal immigrant and would face deportation, and as Thomas does his best to trace the boy's father, he and his friends, especially T.C., become attached to the boy. But Magnum learns that the woman who was originally to have hired him was found murdered - and the politician, the dead woman and the young Vietnamese boy all tie in to the same case...

star 8.39
124 votes
Directors: Russ Mayberry
Writers: Chris Abbott

#23 - Limbo

Season 7 - Episode 22 - Aired Apr 15, 1987

Thomas is delivering key evidence in his latest case to the court house, when he is shot in the parking lot by a hit man. Thomas, in a coma, discovers he is not dead, but not alive, and needs to help Michelle, who is in danger, and being chased by killers. He meets up with the ghost of his former Naval buddy Mac. He also spends time with each member of the cast individually, and, in one way or another, says good-bye and how important they are all to him, in case he does not survive.

star 8.39
93 votes
Writers: Bruce Cervi, Chris Abbott, Jay Huguely
Paper War

#24 - Paper War

Season 7 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 12, 1986

When Higgins unwittingly causes Magnum to wipe an expensive computer game loaned from T.C., and Thomas accidentally erases a chunk of Higgins' memoirs stored on the computer, a feud breaks out between the pair. Magnum is trying to break a major, crooked gambling ring that is operating on the islands, but it is none too easy while in the middle of the falling out with Higgins, which starts out with each trying to out-do the other with "eye-for-an-eye" practical jokes, and quickly develops into a particularly bitter battle of one-upmanship...

star 8.37
102 votes
Directors: Tony Wharmby
Writers: Jay Huguely
I Witness

#25 - I Witness

Season 4 - Episode 21 - Aired May 3, 1984

When the King Kamehameha Club is robbed late one evening by thieves wearing animal masks to conceal their identities, Lt. Tanaka becomes so frustrated by the inability of Higgins, Rick and T.C. to agree about what transpired that he enlists Thomas's help in getting their stories straight. Since the men tell widely divergent versions of the night's events designed to show themselves in the best possible light as the evening's hero, it takes Thomas quite some time and effort to uncover the inside man at the club who tipped off the robbers.

star 8.37
129 votes
Writers: Chris Abbott, Reuben Leder