Spoilers ahead for Episode 6 of Magnum P.I. Season 5, called “Dead Ringer.”
Magnum P.I. initially seemed like it could end on a slightly somber note in “Dead Ringer” when it came to the career of Katsumoto, on top of the question of how Magnum and especially Higgins would react to Rick and T.C. figuring out their secret in the previous episode. There were a lot of developments in “Dead Ringer,” and fortunately, the episode definitely didn’t end on that somber note. Actor Stephen Hill has opened up to CinemaBlend about the “long form” storytelling in Season 5 with the move to NBC.
But first things first! “Dead Ringer” gave the ohana some wins, with Katsumoto’s speech to the HPD brass working to get his job back, Magnum too happy in his new relationship to keep lying to Rick and T.C., and Higgins ready for the secret to come out anyway. Some of the biggest questions of Season 5 – some of which were leftover from Season 4 when the series was still on CBS – have been answered… while others have not.
For example, does the show have more in store with what happened to the late Captain Greene in the foreseeable future? Will Detective Childs stick around now that Katsumoto will be back? What does the future hold for Magnum and Higgins (and roommate Rick) now that their secret is out? Is Rick’s dream of a future with Suzy going to pay off, now that his hope is restored? And what will Kumu say to Magnum and Higgins about their relationship, if anything, since she didn’t catch them in the act? Kumu is a voice of reason, after all!
Only time and the remaining episodes of Season 5 can hold the answer to those questions, but they’re proof enough that Magnum P.I. didn’t turn into a complete procedural in the network switch. The cases are rarely the same (even though Mittens the cat still gets a mention from time to time), but stories don’t all begin and end in the span of one episode. The show uses what star Stephen Hill calls “long form storytelling,” as he described what it has been like to continue playing T.C. for five seasons and counting. He said:
I think we are getting used to long form storytelling. It's not about just movies in two hours and you get to know a guy. Like the movie with The Rock – Black Adam – if you didn't know the comic book, you only have that one movie to get to know that character. But especially for people that have not seen the new Magnum yet, they got four seasons to go back and catch up and really learn and you get to learn these characters and binge-watch.
Stephen Hill cited Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s film Black Adam (which reportedly made nearly $400 million at the box office before the end of 2022) as a project with the run time of a movie and backstory from comic books. The Magnum P.I., TV show (itself a “new” reboot of the ‘80s series of the same name starring the mustachioed Tom Selleck) can tell the ohana’s story with well over the feature-length two hours in the first season on NBC, plus the more than 75 episodes with these characters from the four seasons on CBS. Hill continued:
You know people love binge-watching nowadays, and I've done it for shows. I'll be careful what I watch, because I get stuck and I'll try to binge watch four seasons in a weekend. [laughs] People get to do that and you come away from it feeling like you read a novel because there's so much information for these characters. So I think people are in for a treat, that get to go back and watch and then come into Season 5 with this excitement [and] enthusiasm with the way that we have it here in Hawaii.
It’s no surprise that Stephen Hill mentioned excitement and enthusiasm when it comes to viewers, as he also shared how much their support meant to him in the show’s “darkest hour” after the CBS cancellation and before the confirmation of an NBC rescue. Amy Hill, who plays Kumu, also had a message for fans and the connection she feels with them now.
For now, fans can continue looking forward to new seasons of Magnum P.I. on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC, ahead of the final season of The Blacklist (which airs its 200th episode directly after “Dead Ringer” on March 19), and revisit earlier episodes of Season 5 streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription.