Did Magnum die in the last episode?

One of my favorite shows was Magnum P.I. I have watched the last show dozens of time but I cant figure out if he died or not. The show is very cryptic (sp?) to me. At face value it looks like he is alive at the end but I think there is alot of symbolism and hidden meaning that I guess I am not smart enough to understand. Please help me resolve this. Any thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated.

I don’t remember much of the last episode, but I don’t remember thinking he died. Its been a long time since I’ve seen it though.

I was not an avid watcher, but in what I thought was the last episode, he ended up reuniting with his long-lost son and rejoining the Navy.

The only attempt at symbolism I remember was at the end. He picked up a remote control, pointed it at the camera, and the screen faded to black.

The last episode of Magnum involved him finding his daughter (who he thought dead), TC reuniting with his ex-wife, and Rick getting married to an ex-prostitute. Actually the episode ended with Rick trying to stammer “I do” but we never see him say it. Oh yeah, and Magnum reenlisted in the US Navy.


Ok maybe I need to clarify my question a bit. In the last episode, magnum ends up strugling with a man with a knife. You never actually see who is stabbed. Magnum’s face looks like he just got stabbed but you cant really tell because the knife is between them. You see a handkerchief magnum was holding drop to the ground and then blood drops on it. The scene then fades to a bright white light for several seconds. Then it cuts to the wedding.

Maybe I am reading too much into this. I just remember feeling that it was really odd the way the white light was so pronounced. Also, at the wedding, magnum wont allow his daugther to come close to him at all. If he didnt die, why did the producers or whoever put this bright light into the show right after NOT showing who was stabbed?

You’re one season ahead of yourself. The episode you remember was intended to be the last episode, and therefore ambiguous-ish, but in fact they renewed it one last time, which made the whole death thing a bit lame instead of poignant.


I’m more interested in finding out what MacGyver’s first name was. Not to mention Remington Steele’s name (I think it was Harry) as I missed those episodes.

IIRC, the last episode also tackled the whole Higgins/Master Robins theme, and Higgins actually admits to being MR, but he recants this confession (I think these may have been the last words of the episode). Does anyone remember what he says? And were they the last words? For some reason it’s bugging me that I can’t remember.

Yes, Fate, you were thinking of the 7[sup]th[/sup] season’s closer:

Here’s the 8[sup]th[/sup] season’s opener:

And the 8[sup]th[/sup] season’s closer:

Angus Macgyver. Last season dream sequence.

Robin Masters is the writer, not Master Robin.

I watch too much TV.

Yes Higgins says something close to “Magnum, about me being Robin, I lied” and gives that sly little smile.

Magnum re-ups at the end after he meets his grandfather because he is afraid to become like his grandfather and quit everything and not finish it so he re-ups to finish his Navy intel career.

Magnum’s daughter was a flower girl for the weading and that’s why she wasn’t near him at the end.

So what are you saying AWB? Since Magnum was never shot in season 8 should we think that he is still in coma? And that none of season 8 really happened? And what should we infer from the fact that there is no voice-overs in the last episode?

Fate I can understand why you might be confused. To put all the above together:
At the end of the seventh season, the producers of Magnum, P. I. were uncertain if the show would be renewed by CBS for an eighth season (I can’t remember if it was because of uncertainty over signing cast members or because of declining ratings). Therefore, to end the seventh season, Magnum gets shot. In the episode you may have referenced in the original post, which is NOT the final episode of Magnum, P. I., Magnum is seen walking away into a fuzzy bright light while the refrain of a John Denver song is played (a kind of lietmotif for the entire episode). One is left with the impression that he has died (as I recall, you hear Higgins calling his name to him as he lies on the hospital bed in a coma, and the spirit of Magnum smiles, and turns to the bright light).

The show was renewed, following which we had the typical problem of what to do about someone who has ‘died’. Since the concept of dreaming a year away had already been used up, the producers opted for the simpler season start of having Magnum respond to the repeated calling of his name by Higgins, and waking up out of his coma; problem solved. Magnum made it through this last season (with, as I recall, interruptions; I don’t think they did a full slate of 26 episodes). In what turns out to be the actual final episode, Magnum re-enlists with the Navy, and shows up at Rick’s wedding in his white uniform. He has been united with his daughter (his child by his ex-wife Michelle). All turns out allright for all cast members (a far different ending than the one originally planned and put onto the screen at the end of the prior season, one must admit).

Does this help?

Yes, that helps explain the end of season 7. That is very interesting about the end of season 7. But, my original post wasn’t about season 7. I am confused about the very last episode of season 8. The whole struggle with a knife scene has got me confused. If you could watch the last episode now you would see what I am talking about. The white light I am talking about comes right after Magnum or the man he is struggling with is stabbed and blood is dripped on the cloth Magnum must have dropped.

Man this is driving me crazy. I wish I could email Belsario and ask him what REALLY happened in his mind.

The very last episode of the series, I guess that’d be 8, involved Magnum finding his daughter, Rick getting married, and Magnum reenlisting in the Navy.


Hey, I’ve got the name for this job, so I could not resist.

Quit beating on Fate, he is right! In the last episode before the very end, Magnum has a fight with a guy in a dark, creepy warehouse. There is a knife and someone gets stabbed. The light fades and we see Magnum alive and well like nothing ever happened.

So Fate is not confusing the seasons, his question was very valid and does deal with the very last episode. The one where Higgins admits to being Robin (or does he?) and T.C. gets back together with his ex and Rick almost maybe gets hitched.

Here’s my take, Fate. The light was a clever device to lead you to believe Magnum got stabbed. I do not think he did. I think they used that simply to scare the audience into thinking he was dead again (or hurt). So it was probably just a plot “cheat” on their part. The reason I say this is because after that scene we see a few others, Higgins included, talking to Magnum… Now if he was dead and his spirit was at the wedding, why would Higgins talk to a ghost? So Magnum was physically there and alive. And his daughter was the flower girl, so that’s why she was not with him at the wedding.

As for the lack of the trademark voice-overs in the final episode… I’ve never known about that one. I’m in the dark, too! The only reason I can think of is because Magnum talks to the camera twice in that episode… Which was typically only seen in the first few seasons (Higgins and T.C. each had a camera look once in those early seasons – after that, it seemed to me that only Magnum knew there was an ‘audience.’).

I know too much about this series. But I did want to tell everyone that Fate has the episode right…


Thank you so much magnum’s mustache! I was beginning to beleive I made the whole thing up.

Ok, so I guess we’ve (well, ok, you guys) cleared most of this up, but I’m still in the dark about the Higgins thing. Either I’m missing something obvious, or we’re never meant to know. Hopefully it’s the former, 'cause damn I wanna know. So I’ll ask the experts… Was he or was he not RM? (don’t know why I was calling him Master Robins… must be old age or something)

Ok here is my take on the Robin Masters thing. Early in the last show, Magnum tells Higgins that he intends to leave the estate and gives him his resignation letter. Magnum pleads with Higgins to finally tell him the truth since there is no reason to lie about it anymore. Higgins then admits that he is Robin Masters. Magnum asks him why he has lied all of these years and Higgins response is “tradition”. Later, at the wedding, when Magnum arrives in his Navy Uniform and tells Higgins, TC, and Rick that he has re-uped Higgins says “Magnum, do you remember what I said about Robin Masters? I Lied.” and then Higgins gets this grin on his face.

I believe that when Higgins admits to being RM he really means it and does so only because he thinks Magnum needs to hear the truth finally. In that scene I think that Higgins is concerned about Magnum because Magnum has been really dispondent lately. When Magnum shows up at the wedding, and Higgins sees that Magnum has finally found peace and direction, it is my opinion that feels it is safe to once again carry on with the lie.

This is just my take on it, though.