Warning: spoilers ahead for Episode 7 of Magnum P.I. Season 5, called “Birthright.”
Magnum P.I.’s first season on NBC was back with a new episode on March 26, but it wasn’t quite business as usual. Not only did T.C.’s mother come back into his life while Higgins found herself thinking back on her own decisions about her mother, but Katsumoto was back on the job for his first case as an HPD detective in Season 5. I for one was happy to have good old Gordon back at his desk again, but “Birthright” has made me wonder if his big win in getting his job back means bad news for none other than Detective Childs.
Katsumoto getting his job back seemingly meant that Magnum and Co. could work with their most trusted friend at HPD again, and Childs probably wouldn’t be needed as more than a backup for favors if Katsumoto couldn’t (or wouldn’t) help. In “Birthright,” Childs did pitch in with Magnum and Higgins’ case of the week when he identified a stolen necklace they were chasing as a fake (and kept helping himself to Katsumoto’s “Welcome Back” doughnuts), but Katsumoto’s return on top of things going just a little bit too well for comfort leave me worried about Michael Rady’s character.
Normally, an episode that involved two main characters breaking down in tears – T.C. during the reunion with his mom and Higgins after opening up to Magnum about her mom – wouldn’t seem like one that goes too well, but T.C. had a breakthrough about his mother and is willing to give her a chance, and Higgins being emotionally honest and letting Magnum see her cry can count as a win. The only real victim in “Birthright” outside the case of the week’s characters is probably the front tire of the Ferrari after a criminal shot it out.
In contrast, Childs seems to be settling into life in Hawaii, including trying to persuade his girlfriend to come visit and planning to propose to her (for the third time). His future was just looking a little too bright in Episode 7 of a 10-episode season full of long form storytelling (after NBC rescued the show for two more seasons and 20 total episodes) for me not to start worrying that something bad is going to happen to arguably the most expendable character.
All of this said, I may just be assuming a worst-case scenario because 1) I watch enough television to get nervous toward the end of any season of a dangerous show, and 2) I’ve come to really like Childs. It’s entirely possible that the biggest challenge coming his way is finding out if the third time truly is the charm with proposing to his girlfriend. I just can’t help but feel that if something is going to happen to one of the key characters of Season 5, it’ll be Childs.
Hopefully I’m just being paranoid, though! It’s not like the season has been devoid of tragedy, after what happened to Greene, which the promo for the next episode indicates will be revisited sooner rather than later:
Find out with new episodes of Magnum P.I. on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC. A lot has changed in the current fifth season, not the least of which is that Magnum and Higgins’ relationship is officially (and publicly) romantic, with no more risk of the other members of the ohana catching them in the act while still trying to keep their romance a secret.
The show is officially beyond what actor Stephen Hill referred to as the “darkest hour,” but only time will tell if the plot will be as bright and sunny as the Aloha State as Season 5 approaches its end. If you’ve missed any of Season 5, you can find all the episodes that have aired so far streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription.