Diehard devotees of “Hawaii Five-O” and “Magnum P.I.” got a late delivery from Santa to start the New Year, January 3. The much-desired and much-touted winter premiere crossover event merging both Peter Lenkov produced, police-esque dramas arrived with the “Hawaii Five-O” Episode 12, "Ihea 'oe i ka wa a ka ua e loku ana” (Where Were You When the Rain Was Pouring?), followed by “Desperate Measures” on “Magnum P.I.”

Almost from the moment that Jay Hernandez landed in Hawaii to assume the role of the accommodated private investigator, Thomas Magnum, a collective of fans clamored for a collaboration between the sophisticated gumshoe and the elite crime-fighting force.

Hawaii Five-O” serves under the auspices of the governor, as well as local island and federal regulation, “Magnum P.I.” serves at the pleasure of any high-paying client. Both McGarrett and Magnum have records of military service, and sometimes share similar higher-minded reasons for their work, although not to the same degree.

In this well-crafted merger of the minds and mannerisms of the leading characters and their support teams, the action, humor, and story all combine for a very satisfying viewing delight. The ladies carry the load deftly, too.

Not the usual two-timer

Action lovers had to delight in the opening minutes, which had “Hawaii Five-O” busting through a hotel room only to find no one there, and wondering if “Intel was bad” just as the phone rang.

McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) picks up, hearing the voice on the phone tell him that the perpetrator they are after is in the next room, and he has a hostage. They don't waste a second, but of course, bullets fly in a shootout across the staircases, and ultimately, the terrorized woman is dropped, while the subject gets away.

“You let him get away,” Magnum casually accosts McGarrett with his question. That leads to the introduction of the men and their associates. Clearly, “Hawaii Five-O” pulls rank over “Magnum P.I.” dubbed as a “creep and peep” by Captain Grover (Chi McBride). After bickering over jurisdiction and a corrupted memory card, McGarrett simply declares “we're working together.” Magnum and Higgins (Perdita Weeks) were only there to track a cheating husband, so they thought, but his meeting was actually with an unknown gentleman, over an unknown set of papers, not anything sultry under the sheets.

Daniel Hong wasn’t just the man who got away, and his wife is far from a jilted widow.

Quinn explains the supposition that the team is out for information and confirmation on Dayo Mei, the prison escapee spy willing to sell out any people or secrets. Once the collaboration is agreed upon, they split into investigative teams. Tani welcomes Higgins in dealing out Hong’s widow, and Steve and Thomas take a high-speed ride to Hong’s home. In a very playful scene, Steve relates that “I always drive. I like to drive” (especially in a Ferrari). Magnum responds with “Is this a ‘Rainman’ situation?”

Once in the home, they find exactly what they need. Chinese diplomatic documents confirm that Hong is a spy.

Magnum deploys his sleuth nature in picking the lock, and locating the docs under a refrigerator, while McGarrett deciphers the Chinese. An assassin greets them as they make their exit, and McGarrett takes his shot after Magnum is ordered to disassemble the weapon. Another memorable scene follows, with TC (Stephen Hill) and Rick (Zachary Knighton) lauding McGarrett as being like Jackie Robinson for his military feats.

After some technical wizardry, ala the magic table at “Hawaii Five-O” headquarters, the identity of the men involved in the exchange with the deceased Hong is discovered. The team goes to a location to investigate when the federal agents swoop in to intercept the collar. An explosion instantly takes six agents, and there is a seventh body.

The unknown man is a prison guard with the ability to contact the incarcerated Aaron Wright.

The prized possession that this ring of people has is an encrypted NOC list(Non-Official Cover List)-- a list of agents seemingly working for the Chinese but actually working for the United States. The lives of the agents are instantly compromised if any names are released.

In between the heart-pumping action, there is heart-to-heart talk between Tani (Meaghan Rath) and Higgins, who relates the pitfalls of workplace romance in their line of work, but ultimately encourages Tani to pursue anyone who “puts a light in your life,” realizing the feelings that Tani has for Junior (Beulah Koale). Tani tries to have her own heart-to-heart talk with Adam (Ian Anthony Dale), reminding him that he has “a family.” He agrees to meet her for coffee but then leaves with his plane ticket to Japan.

The first episode climaxes with “Hawaii Five-O” and “Magnum P.I.” both tracking another perpetrator at the prison. Thomas Magnum recognizes the man dressed as a guard amid the firing from McGarrett. He manages to get “the list” and tosses it to McGarrett. Still, the danger is far from being gone and the case is far from solved. Magnum proposes that he and McGarrett meet for a beer, so the door is always open for another mash-up.

Junior is just collateral

Tani feels inspired by Higgins’ wise counsel. She works up the courage to call Junior to ask him on a legitimate date at a trendy bar. He accepts, and the excitement is mutual.

The moment Junior gets into his car, however, he is strangled by a man in the back seat, and taken to a hideout.

With only Tani and Quinn “on shift,” the call comes in that Junior is being held as human collateral, and will be killed unless “the list” is turned over. Steve and Danny are being grilled by the real authorities. The ladies turn to Magnum P.I. and Higgins for help and they only have hours to save valuable lives.

Quinn’s GPS know-how guides her to track Steve McGarrett's vehicle, and another vehicle, where a handoff seems to be made. It turns out that Steve entrusted Kamekona (Taylor Wily) with the disc worth dozens of lives. Quinn and Tani literally have to make an escape from hell in the middle of the night, tossing their phones and identities, and Tani even crawls up through an elevator shaft.

They realize that the men they thought were legitimate agents were part of the spy ring, and the only way that Hong’s widow, Erin (Melissa Tang) could have such perfect timing and information on whereabouts and contacts is from being the spy ring leader herself.

It takes a phone call from Tani to get Kamekona to turn over the list to Magnum, and superlative computer skills from Higgins to set up a save for Junior. The spy widow lies about where Junior is, leading Tani to a heart-wrenching discovery of an empty white van. Arin gets swindled on getting the real list. Tani ultimately finds Junior in an abandoned container, and the moment is true tenderness without words. This was a great story arc and acting stretch for Meaghan Rath.

During the celebration of another case closed, Rick tries to woo Quinn, with no luck. Tani and Junior are still not talking. They are dancing the night away.

This crossover should be one that fans want to remember.

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