Magnum P.I. Season 4 Episode 9 Review: Better Watch OutDale McGarrigle at .
This holiday episode explored the meaning of ohana.
Yes, the family was at the heart of Magnum P.I. Season 4 Episode 9, the winter finale.
Also presented were the inevitable first cracks in Magnum and Lia's relationship thanks to a secret that she has been keeping from him.
Thomas and Juliet even managed to stage a festive stakeout, with the buff Magnum as Santa and Higgins as his sarcastic elf shepherding through the greedy kids.
It was a hilarious scene with Santa chasing Barry through the waiting children and their parents before Santa's helper laid out Barry.
The funny part was how Barry, the bail jumper they had been hunting, became a temporary part of their extended family. Mama Kumu will take in anybody, won't she?
At least Barry, admittedly a career petty criminal, had a heartwarming story about his family. He got caught because he was buying a black-market Playstation. 5 (which Kumu eventually found for him) as a special present for his ex-wife to give to their son before he got sent away again.
But Barry was just an enjoyable footnote in this Christmas story.
We finally learned more about Lia, and the secret about her paternity didn't make anyone happy -- not Magnum, not Katsumoto, not the HPD higher-ups.
How's that saying go? You can pick your friends but not your family. That was Lia's conundrum.
You never think about how crazy it would be at a police station on Christmas Eve, with too many criminals and not enough cops to handle that holiday overflow.
Then the ransomware hack only made things worse, with years of work under threat of being erased. The only line of defense was Higgins and a rather incompetent-looking I.T. guy.
And amid that pandemonium, Lia just disappeared, shortly after Juliet had told her that the hack originated on Lia's laptop. That was because Lia had put two and two together, but it looked suspicious at the time.
Since Higgins was already working through the backdoor that she had established into the HPD system, it was a small step to ping Lia's phone to find her.
That's when the walls that separated Lia's two worlds crumbled as Thomas discovered that crime boss Jonny Kim was her father. Not much of a father, mind you, but still, the situation indeed raised some red flags.
Worse yet, the likely culprit in the ransomware hack was Lia's half-brother Pin, the only family member who had treated her halfway decently.
And Lia's confession tour wasn't over as she had to tell Katsumoto about her heritage as well, which he took as severely as was to be expected.
It's comical that Katsumoto and Lia tend to look the other way when Magnum's breaking into a house benefits them despite all the clucking they do.
If Magnum and Lia hadn't broken into Pin's house, they never would have discovered the tied-up I.T. guy, who unwittingly revealed Pin's plan to get a man inside HPD to abduct a witness against The Company during the ransomware chaos.
And, despite Katsumoto's decision to sideline her, it was Lia who brought the case to its conclusion, figuring out that Pin would use the family cabin as a hideout and convincing him to surrender.
It was sad that the only one of Lia's relatives that she liked was having to take the fall for his criminal family, refusing to turn on the father who mistreated him.
Now, let's talk about Magnum getting all righteous because Lia hadn't told him about the criminal side of her family.
Their relationship so far has mainly been physical and, to some degree, transactional. It's no surprise that the couple hadn't been sharing their deep, dark secrets yet.
Yes, Lia's father's side of the family is criminals. And sure, she should have mentioned that to Katsumoto and her appropriate superiors. But Magnum has his share of skeletons, about which he hasn't likely told Lia yet. So why be a hypocrite?
It's like he's looking for excuses to get out of the relationship. Maybe, like Higgins, he realizes that his business partner should also be his romantic partner. Or it could be he's causing another of his relationships to self-destruct.
The holiday feast at La Mariana proved to be a healing time for almost all involved.
Cade was having difficulty accepting his good fortune since this extended family had taken him in after his mother had abandoned him. It took his talk with Rick to organize his feelings about his new situation. He articulated those quite well.
It took Robbie's death for Rick to again appreciate his friends around him. For all their bickering, T.C. was there for him, delicately asking about how he was handling his grief. That was why Rick could be there when Cade needed help putting into words what he was feeling.
This presentation managed to be an enjoyable Christmas episode without being schmaltzy. It brought home the ohana message. And didn't Kumu lay out an incredible holiday spread, figgy pudding excepted?
To revisit Cade's journey, watch Magnum P.I. online.
Are Magnum and Lia on the rocks?
How did you enjoy the La Mariana holiday party?
Is Rick getting past Robbie's death?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.