"Past Tense" is the fourth episode of the third season of Magnum, P.I. which originally aired on October 21, 1982.

Plot Edit

TC's helicopter is skyjacked and he is forced to land in a local prison and help a prisoner escape.

Synopsis Edit

Early morning. Magnum enjoys running on the road but has to tumble in the ditch to prevent being hit by a truck that is then involved in an accident. A car is burning intensely but Magnum manages to pull out the truck driver into safety. The traffic police is not interested in Magnum's suggestions because Magnum did not actually see how the accident happened. Both Higgins and two tourists turn up for a helicopter ride. TC apparently double booked them. Neither are prepared to give up (Higgins has a deadline for some photos and it's the last day for the tourists). All three go on board. In the air, the two turn out to be bad guys, pull out guns and force TC to lend in the prison yard and pick up an inmate. The helicopter is hit by prison guards and is losing fuel. It crash lands on a remote island. The inmate leads the party to the beach which is quite far. It's hot and there is no water. Higgins and TC push the three baddies down a steep hill but Higgins is not fit and cannot run fast enough. The baddies crawl up and manage to shoot and wound TC. Soon TC is in a bad shape, Higgins keeps him awake by his stories. They arrive to the back of an old bunker and an the inmate walks in to inspect it, one of the baddies joins him. They find one crate with weapons to the baddie's disappointment, he expected the whole arsenal. The inmate explains that they would not have rescued him for one crate if they knew. The inmate shoots the baddie, the other inmate hears the shot, runs in and is killed as well. Magnum and Rick are trying to figure out where to look for Higgins and TC. Lieutenant Tanaka of the police is not helpful. The inmate sits Higgins and TC on the beach, they would be killed if Magnum does not turn up soon. The inmate sets up a machine gun from the crate in the slit of the bunker. Magnum and Rick arrive on Rick's boat, Rick swims under water, gets secretly to the bunker from the back but falls in the ditch. Magnum walks up to the inmate who accuses him of betraying fellow soldiers. Magnum, who was in the Navy at that time, replies that they were bad mercenaries killing natives. He jumps forward, pulls the machine gun out and fights with mercenary knocking him off. Police helicopter arrives to rescue them.

Cast Edit

Main Edit

Recurring Edit

Guest Edit

  • James Wainwright as Lyden
  • Drew Snyder as Jack Curry
  • Pat Studstill as Floyd Bryce
  • Frank Atienza as Prison Warden Gilmer
  • Phil Sunada as Officer Keoli
  • Clay Wai as Ernie Cobb
  • R.J. Reynolds as Eugene Goorwitz
  • Walter Chotzen as Ice Pick

Trivia Edit

  • Walter Chotzen's only appearance as Ice Pick, the role to be subsequently played by Elisha Cook, Jr.
  • When T.C.'s helicopter is shot in the prison yard, you can see the painted charges. They are brown and explode to simulate the chopper getting hit.

Quotes Edit

Tanaka: Magnum, you stay in the bullpen. Right now, I'm on mound.

Higgins: You remind me of a chap I once served with in the Sudan, Binky Sliberton. Binky had the most disgusting way of using people, like the time Binky brought us all a gift of freshly killed chickens. We found ourselves surrounded by 300 furious Sudanese. It seems that Binky had wandered into the hut of one of the local witch doctors and...

Higgins: I must say Magnum, your propensity for alienating people never ceases to amaze me. What did you do to him??
  Season 3 (1980)
Did You See the Sunrise?Ki'is Don't LieThe Eighth Part of the VillagePast TenseBlack on WhiteFlashbackFoiled AgainMr. White DeathMixed DoublesAlmost HomeHeal ThyselfOf Sound MindThe Arrow That Is Not AimedBasket CaseBirdman of BudapestI Do?Forty Years from Sand IslandLegacy from a FriendTwo Birds of a Feather...By Its CoverThe Big BlowFaith and Begorrah