This week on CBS’ Magnum P.I., Thomas gets an unexpected blast from the past when Nuzo, his dearly departed BUDS bud, is posthumously implicated in a murder.
For Magnum, this represents an opportunity for redemption, seeing as he couldn’t save Nuzo’s life but now can preserve his friend’s honor. Airing tonight at 9/8c, “It’s a very different kind of episode and unlike anything we’ve ever done before,” exec producer Eric Guggenheim previously told TVLine. “We think it’s going to be pretty special, and we’re excited for everyone to see it.”
Stepping behind the camera for this episode was series lead Jay Hernandez, who spoke with TVLine about the challenges his directorial presented, conjuring a “ghost,” his thoughts on “Miggy” and, perhaps most timely, why he isn’t worried about the series’ renewal.
TVLINE | What’s this I hear, someone is trying to smear Nuzo’s good name?
Somebody is, but it turns out not to be the case. He simply got caught up in a bad scenario. Nuzo (played again by Domenick Lombardozzi) leaves a threatening voicemail on somebody’s phone, and that man ended up dead. Years later, the body gets discovered and the message on the phone comes back to haunt Magnum. He then spends the episode trying to clear his friend’s name.
TVLINE | What specific challenges did this script present for you as a director?
In terms of directing, it was challenging because we had a lot of interesting, great locations, but they were kind of all over the island. And we had a lot of water work, which always presents challenges and always makes the days complicated to shoot, logistically. We were doing a lot of stuff on the surface of the water, I had to go down under about 50 to 60 feet to get some stuff…. It was also tough because I had to try to focus on directing, but I was in every frame of the episode. I think there were maybe two very small scenes I was not in.
TVLINE | I imagine there are flashback-y elements to the episode as well?
Yeah, that was actually another piece that was in the script, it was pretty small and fairly insignificant, but we tried to shoot the heck out of it and make it really cool. I kind of got the idea for the feel of that flashback, which takes place in Afghanistan, from a documentary I stumbled across a couple years prior, called Restrepo, which is this outpost in the middle of Afghanistan that was constantly being assaulted by Taliban. The way it was shot, and how these soldiers spent their days, was very claustrophobic and monotonous, and that monotony was broken up by insane firefights. I was trying to try to replicate that as much as I could. That was one of the challenges, but also one of the more exciting aspects of directing.
TVLINE | There are probably as many different ways of making a flashback feel like a flashback as there are directors who have directed a flashback. “Do I put a filter on it? Do I muzzle the noise a bit? Do I change the aspect ratio?”
Yeah, those are always good discussions with your DP to try to capture it. It was interesting because we had this element that we had never done on the show, which was kind of like a…. “ghost” is not a proper term for him, but Nuzo’s character comes to Thomas as this, like, mental creation — as this “imaginary friend,” as Nuzo says. So, we had to find a way to make that transition from reality to Magnum’s internal space and do that with camera work, with lighting, and clearing out some of the background and everything.
TVLINE | Are there any developments for Thomas and Juliet (played by Perdita Weeks) in this episode?
To some extent, it’s building up to something that’s going to happen in the season finale (airing May 6). We’ve teased this relationship dynamic for a while, and the audience wants to see what’s going to happen with that. So, we’re doing something with that in the finale that’s pretty interesting. But ultimately, at least in my mind, I don’t think they should be together.
TVLINE | I was going to ask, what excites or interests you about them perhaps one day getting together, and what concerns you if that happens?
Well, my perspective is that if that happens, it’s at the end of the show. Not the end of the season, but the end of the entire show. So, I don’t think it’s going to happen anytime soon. I think that tension and the dynamic between Higgins and Magnum is a big part of why the show works, and if you take that away and they become a couple, the show loses a lot, and it would change in so many different ways. So, yeah, I feel like we’d kind of rob ourselves of some great stuff if we got into that too early.
TVLINE | The NCIS kids recently dropped by your neighborhood for a little crossover with NCIS: Hawai’i. Who would you like to crossover with next?
I don’t know. I mean, we did it with Hawaii Five-O [in Season 2] and that was a lot of fun. But I don’t know how these worlds interact [these days]. So, I’m going to leave that up to the professionals. .
TVLINE | I was just curious if you had any pals on any of the other CBS casts that you’d like to work with.
Well, Wil (NCIS‘ Wilmer Valderrama) is one of my best friends. I’ve known Wil forever, and it would be pretty fun to have him on the show.
TVLINE | And how’s it looking for Magnum P.I. Season 5?
Oh, we’re good. We’re golden. I think you could bank on that.
TVLINE | The whole Hawaii thing probably helps. CBS seems to like having one or two shows going over there at any given time.
Yeah, it’s solid. The numbers are great, it travels well internationally…. So yeah, I think we’re in good shape. And you know what, they’re happy with the show. They loved this season, a lot of the stories they were really digging. And the episode I directed, they loved to the extent that I’ve already been asked to direct another one next season.
TVLINE | Lastly, here’s an atypical question that someone mailed my scoop column. Lauren asks, “How come Magnum never wears a seat belt when driving?”
I do! I love that you asked this one. So, I do wear the seatbelt, I just put it under my shoulder. And that’s on me, not Magnum, because I’m a contrarian and I don’t like weird, arbitrary rules. I was like, “Why can we go around carrying guns and shooting people, but you make me wear a seatbelt anytime I get in the car…?” This is my way of circumventing that, you know what I mean? But technically I do wear the seatbelt.
Want scoop on Magnum P.I., or for any other show? Email InsideLine@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.
I do love the show.
Jay is right. The dynamic would change considerably if they were to get together now.
They should just wait till the end.
Kate and Castle got together by Season 5.
I’m going to assume he’s being truthful about the Magnum and Higgins thing, and I am very relieved. Talk about a relationship that should NEVER happen. Nothing about their dynamic on the show screams sexual tension, and prior to this season, the Higgins character was flat out dismissive and borderline disrespectful to Magnum. The way these characters are written, they only just barely tolerate each other. Let’s end the Magnum/Higgins speculation.. there are way more interesting stories to tell on this show than that, and even better, you can put them with people that actually makes sense for the characters.
I agree. I was really happy when I read that he doesn’t think they should be together either. I like the show better when they’re acting separately too because she was not a not a very likeable character in the beginning. Being rude and disrespectful doesn’t make for a good partnership. And only 12 year olds think constant fighting is a sign of love.
If you recall, the original series had Higgins as a rude and brash person
I don’t think he was saying he doesn’t think they should be together yet. I think he saying they should hold off on a it till the end of the show.
I don’t agree with you on that .
Can we appreciate the fact that, for once, CBS is actually promoting this great show? I thought for a moment they’d changed their name to the NCISNetwork. I agree about Magnum & Higgins. Their friendship is special, so just keep everything else tabled for now:) If it’s renewed, he needs a sweet girlfriend not in ANYWAY connected to law enforcement next season.
Magnum is a fantastic show. Each episode is great!! My wife and I are excited to watch it on Friday nights as a way to wind down from a busy week as teachers.
Great interview until that last bit about the seat belt. Really, Jay?!? Well, don’t complain when you’re are seriously injured when the car actually goes out of control with you in it.
But he does wear the seatbelt, he says it there so what’s your point?
Also, they aren’t actually typically driving on the show. It is usually a set with the environment moving around them.
Would someone with real medical knowledge weigh in here? Clearly Jay does this as part of his real life driving of automobiles.
Can’t believe we have 50 years of experience with shoulder belts and this guy thinks it a funny/quirky comment to say that wearing it wrong is a valid thing to say publicly. Why not just wear no belt so you can be thrown clear from a car like they thought in the 1960’s? Maybe he also believes the earth is flat because he hasn’t personally been to space. I’d be scared to ask him now…
Seems to me that in an accident in addition to exciting and traumatic injuries to the liver and spleen, there could be whiplash injuries to the spine as the body torques around the belt, or head/brain injuries as the body hits an airbag at an angle.
Gosh, this is such a dumb thing to talk about in 2022. What a tool.
Looking forward to watching this episode
Excellent interview. Yes, I agree they cannot become a couple who share a bedroom. But to tell her he more feelings about her is OK. It would be nice to see him take her out and maybe a kiss goodnight. That leaves her thinking about her feelings for him and building a much closer connection. Besides there are a lot of bad guys who probably want payback against Thomas. Ivan who Magnum believes has something left to do against him as payback. The guy whos brother he killed. If Tower didn’t die he definitely has a score to settle. There’s a lot. Jay is definitely coming into his own as a director. And yes we are waiting for CBS to announce Season 5. It’s driving us crazy.
Can we have Cole Vaughn (Niall Matter) as Juliet’s new love interest please… 😎
I love magnum watch every episode although I want them to get together I agree with magnum it is part of the continuing interest so can’t happen til much later for sure but it does have to happen!!
Love the show wish it could go on forever. As for Perdita Weeks…..I’m SO in love with this BEAUTIFUL actress. XX
I do not agree with Hernandez in his no relationship with Weeks. There would even be more emotion and potential trauma. They could have a love relationship being single.
Magnum PI is such a great show. CBS better renew it. CBS seems to always cancel the great shows. Friday nights devoted to Magnum PI and Blue Bloods. Come on CBS, do the right thing and renew Magnum PI.
I would like to see Magnum renewed and for the two stars begin a long term love relationship.
I am quite glad that writers don’t listen to actor/actress show opinions. Contrary to most of these comments a Magnum relationship between these two would open up a great variety of different variety.
Magnum PI rated on top of must watch shows. Tonight’s finale was so HOT 🥵. I love couples working together on action shows! Bring Magnum back for more!
Contrary to Mr Hernandez viewers direct the survival of a show. Having a long term love relationship allows a show much more opportunity. Absence of this viewers will look elsewhere for realism. Good luck and adios!
I hope you’re picked up on another network. My Autistic grandson loves the show and I record it and we watch together when I get him on weekends. His brother went to HPU and he is fascinated about the locals.
The more that I let the cancellation of Magnum sink in, the less I understand it. To me, every year has gotten better and better. It has been one of a very few programs that I just never want to miss. I hope that CBS rethink this decision and give it another go. CBS is becoming increasingly a channel that I am turning on. Ironically for years I felt that CBS had the best line up. As more & more reality shows are added to their line up, the less we are watching them.
Not happy at all about Magnum PI being cancelled loved that show !! A good decent show gets cancelled go figure!!
CBS CANCELS MAGNUM PI….WHY? THE BEST ENTERTAINING SHOW ON THE TV NOT TOO GRAPHIC AND SEXUAL JUST FUN AND ROMANTICALLY FUN TO WATCH. COME ON CBS USE THE BRAINS CELLS YOU’VE GOT AND BRING IT BACK.