Five-O Oddities, Goofs, Trivia -- Season 11

Copyright ©1994-2011 by Mike Quigley. No reproduction of any kind without permission. Original air dates are taken from information supplied by the Iolani Palace Irregulars and Karen Rhodes' Booking Five-O.


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OUR RATINGS:
**** = One of the very best episodes, a must-see.
*** = Better than average, worthy of attention.
** = Average, perhaps with a few moments of interest.
* = One of the very worst, a show to avoid.
239. The Sleeper*
Original air date: 9/28/78

This is by far the worst season opener -- an unbelievably boring episode with uninspired direction, indifferent acting and a mediocre script, plus a very dull score by John Cacavas which uses a clangy, overamplified harpsichord. The beginning is especially stupid. James Walden (Vic Leon), a "skilled operative" with 16 years' experience working for some unidentified U.S. intelligence agency, breaks into the house of scientist Sonya Hansen (Maria Perschy) and attempts to open her safe. She catches him in the act and shoots him dead. You'd think he would be a little smarter than this. McGarrett has numerous things for Five-O and HPD to check out: all the hotels, to try and find where Walden was staying; all the gun shops to find the pistol with the unusual calibre of bullet (10.35mm) which shot him; and the ribbon on the typewriter in Walden's apartment, which is silly, since this is a red/black felt ribbon, not an IBM Selectric ribbon which might retain the characters. Attention is drawn to the March Foundation, a government-financed think-tank investigating ways to counteract brainwashing which Walden was investigating. Washington sends agent Glen Fallon (Steve Kanaly, later of Dallas) to work along with McGarrett. When the two of them talk to the top brains from the Foundation, one of them, Dr. Conrad (Jim Ferrier), says "Your job [trying to catch the "sleeper" or spy among them] is going to be harder than Chinese arithmetic." Conrad is later crushed by a car driven by Hansen, and the crime lab determines that the killer car has "paint of German manufacture" (she was driving a Mercedes). I don't understand why Conrad can't flee off to the side of the parking garage when being pursued by her car ... instead, he runs up against the garage wall and the car slams into him. At this point, the soundtrack goes dead and the pre-commercial "wave" following is totally silent. McGarrett subsequently administers a lie detector test to Hansen in a somewhat informal manner, rather than with the usual yes/no type of questions. Suspicion then begins to fall on the boss of the Foundation, Dr. Rathman (Andrew Duggan, giving a bored performance -- his attempt at failed memory when introducing one of his colleagues is especially lame). After Basil Kent (John A. Hunt), another one of the foundation's scientists, is found dead on Rathman's boat, and a rare gun from Rathman's personal collection of 30 registered firearms is identified as the murder weapon which killed Walden, McGarrett has Rathman confined to a hotel room rather than a jail cell under the guard of a policeman. Rathman subsequently hypnotizes this cop in a stereotypical manner with a swinging watch (I'm not making this up). It's difficult to imagine how Hansen could have murdered Kent and carried his body along the dock to the cupboard on the boat that he is found jammed into with no one noticing. Fallon is finally revealed to be Hansen's "control" in an unbelievable finale, and the last scene between McGarrett and Rathman is cutesy-poo in a manner highly reminiscent of the endings of Streets of San Francisco shows.

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240. Horoscope for Murder*1/2
Original air date: 10/5/78
English actress Samantha Eggar appears as astrologer Agnes DuBois, who is working on a book about "astrology and the criminal mind," and thinks the stars have the solution to a series of recent murders in Honolulu. McGarrett and the Five-O crew are skeptical, to say the least, referring to her as a "ding-a-ling." However, one of Agnes' predictions is so accurate that McGarrett begins to think that she may be involved in the crimes. McGarrett bones up on astrology himself and in a funny scene harasses Danno, asking when he was born. Aside from the fact the lead actresses are both English, this episode is reminiscent in many ways of season ten's The Cop on the Cover starring Jean Simmons because it is relatively "light-hearted." Unfortunately, what this episode lacks is a sense of seriousness at the appropriate moments, not helped by Eggar's bubble-headed characterization. The other guest star, Tab Hunter as competing stargazer Mel Burgess, who committed the murders, is totally lame, though one can't totally fault him, since his part is very poorly written. Where is his character's motivation? He creates an elaborate setup using birth date information he gets via Cindy Rawlins (Kerry Sherman), an old girl friend who works at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Filling in astrological charts that he stole from Agnes, he makes it look like Cindy's current boyfriend, Rick Makulu (Kimo Kahoano, in his last Five-O appearance) was the killer. As Agnes says when she examines Rick's charts, "the planets are the classic configuration of the mass murderer," but McGarrett correctly speculates that the killer "[made] the facts conform to the stars." Although Cindy gets read her rights by Duke after Rick is found dead of an apparent suicide, she blabs away, even though advised that she can call a lawyer. The ending, with McGarrett using his newly-learned horoscopic knowledge to overcome Burgess holding DuBois hostage in the rafters of the planetarium as an audience watches, is totally stupid. The astrological mumbo-jumbo in the show presumably makes sense, since the end credits list an Astrological Consultant, Ursula A. Lewis. The music is by Fred Steiner, who wrote more scores for the classic Star Trek series than any other composer. It is not exceptional, but knows when to be serious at the right time, something this show sorely lacks.

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241. Deadly Courier1/2
Original air date: 10/12/78 --
Opening Credits
An unbearably stupid episode with a sci-fi/spy script by Seeleg Lester and Sam Neuman which encourages you to yell at the TV. If you could sum up this show in one line, it would be like the Governor says at one point: "There are a lot of things about this that I don't understand...." At the beginning of the show, courier Walter Sherman (John Zenda) arrives at the house of code analyst Soames (Lee Steston) with a briefcase full of top-secret information which blows up when it is opened. Prior to the explosion, Sherman has left the scene, acting as if he was in on the plot, but is quickly nabbed by Soames' associate. John Enslow (Stephen Elliott), Sherman's boss who is the director of the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence, arrives quickly and gets the Governor to enlist McGarrett's help to investigate Sherman's peculiar behavior before and after the explosion, something McGarrett resists. Enslow makes a big deal about how certain information about Sherman shouldn't become public, which is odd, since there is a huge headline on the front page of the Honolulu Advertiser blaring "Courier Involved in Fatal Delivery." When McGarrett arrives at the jail to interrogate Sherman, he treats the courier in a contemptuous manner, opening his badge and throwing it on the table where it immediately shuts. Later, from a Che Fong-like HPD lab technician played by Winston Char, McGarrett gets a piece of the briefcase, which has the initials "H.K.A." on it. Although this is initials, not a spelled-out name, McGarrett somehow manages to connect to this to HAKima's Leather Emporium, which is located in a mall at 1243 West 4th St., Honolulu 91208. Just as McGarrett, Danno and Duke are arriving at this store, there is an explosion which kills Hakima, the owner. During the subsequent investigation Danno goes to the Seaside Import-Export Co., based on an invoice which he found at Hakima's. This company is located at 3519 18th Street, Honolulu 96815, phone 808-555-8000. As he leaves McGarrett, Danno tells his boss that he has a date for the evening (so much for devotion to the job!). While Danno talks to Seaside boss Marla Kahuana (Irene Yah Ling Sun), using a totally unbelievable cover story, three scientists in a back room analyze his fingerprints through the chair's arms, despite the fact that the chair is covered with cloth -- the arms are not flat surfaces like wood or metal. The scientists checking out Danno have their own version of the HPD "iron brain," because they also X-ray his body to determine his true identity, seeing that Danno has a badge and a gun, and feed information about him into a "computer" which spits out information via a Western Union International Telex machine with Danno's own "identity number," which is 5803-796-59847-81, saying he is a cop who works for Hawaii Five-O. (We also learn this way that Danno is 5'7", has "sandy" hair and weighs 165 pounds.) If that wasn't stupid enough, Danno is then drugged (he says "I'm a pigeon for exotic things" as he takes the knock-out tea which Marla's assistant gives him) and then tortured and brainwashed by Marla with the help of electroshock and a weird multi-colored piece of glass. Marla convinces Danno that he spent the night with her as sleazy music plays in the background and they went to a concert by Vladimir Horowitz where the pianist played Chopin Etudes and Schubert Impromptus. Back at the Governor's office, when the Governor admonishes McGarrett for thinking that Enslow in on the complicated plot, McGarrett says "I won't think it if it makes you happy." The Governor says, "Don't be impertinent, Steve." The "trigger" to the couriers is discovered when Dr. McBride, a psychiatrist (Patricia Herman) interviews Sherman and reflected light from her pendant hits him in the eyes ... but where does the bright light come from in the first place? Near the end of the show, the now-brainwashed Danno is enlisted to misdirect another courier arriving at the airport with more top-secret information. He delivers the courier to Marla and her henchmen, one of whom knocks the guy out right in front of several bystanders. McGarrett, Duke and lots of cops are on the scene to grab the bad guys, but McGarrett is totally oblivious to the fact that Danno and Marla are coming up an escalator quite close to him as he yells at Duke. (There are some continuity problems here with Danno and Marla's ascent.) In a scene very reminiscent of another in Murder -- Eyes Only, Marla tells Danno to pull his gun and shoot his boss at the top of the escalator, which Danno fortunately is able to resist. Terrible! The only things preventing this episode from getting a bomb rating are some of the color photography, the fact that Irene Yah Ling Sun is a babe, and the very funny closing scene which plays like an outtake, with Danno realizing that he really didn't score with Marla. Click here to see this (requires QuickTime (Ipod compatible).)

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242. The Case Against Philip Christie*1/2
Original air date: 10/19/78 --
Opening Credits
This episode starts out at a party with the the title character (Lou Richards) having an argument with his wife Penny (Nicole Erickson), after she accuses him of having her tailed by a private investigator because he is suspicious of her having an affair. Penny goes upstairs, Philip follows her and when he finds the door to her bedroom locked, goes down the hall to phone her on the "extension phone" (but how can you call someone from within your own house like this?). Two shots ring out, and people from the party rush upstairs. Then Christie and Monty Jarvis (Earll Kingston), who later admits he loved Penny even after she married Philip, break down the door to discover Penny dead on the floor. Christie is the most likely suspect thanks to circumstantial evidence -- his "smoking gun" (literally) is found in his jacket in the closet and because he is a mechanical and electronics genius, he was supposedly capable of making the deadbolt on the bedroom door lock from the inside after he committed the crime. Except why would he do this, unless he knew in advance that Penny was going to argue with him and then lock herself in the bedroom? Stupid! McGarrett is called up for jury duty on the case, and puts his deductive logic to use in overcoming the other eleven who think Philip is guilty. This whole scenario is equally dumb from the beginning. The Governor tries to get McGarrett excused from his civic responsibility, but McGarrett is stubborn. The defense attorney, Springer (Eugene Lion) wants McGarrett on the jury because he has "an impeccable reputation for honesty and integrity." The deputy district attorney also wants him on the jury for opposite reasons, and probably because he figures that McGarrett's presence will be a good excuse for getting a verdict of innocence overturned on appeal! The D.A. (John Fitzgibbon) is s-o-o-o histrionic, playing his part in a hammy fashion with a near-English accent. Danno and Duke actually ask McGarrett questions about the trial while it is still in progress. Shame! Where is their police training? In what seems like a low-budget replay of the classic jury drama Twelve Angry Men, McGarrett is the lone holdout for Christie's innocence, locking horns with Minnie Cahoon (Janis Paige), the jury foreman (or foreperson). McGarrett discusses the trial outside the jury room when they are all having dinner in the restaurant, pitching his ideas to Minnie and a couple of other jurors in a loud voice. (When I was on a jury and we were having dinner in a similar fashion, I was admonished by the bailiff for even talking to a person at the next table about borrowing the salt and pepper!) Minnie is exasperated by McGarrett's efforts and would just like to get a unanimous guilty verdict and go home. She tells him, "I knew a lady once as obstinate as you -- she died a virgin!" McGarrett comments, "Good for her ... they're very rare these days." Things get nutty towards the end. First, Springer asks Duke and Danno to spend some time investigating Rogelio Villipeg (Fred Ball), the P.I. that was tailing Christie's wife after HPD has exhausted their efforts. (Danno later describes Villipeg as a "yo-yo.") Springer also puts Philip on the stand to testify in his own defense, traditionally regarded as a very bad move. Then McGarrett seemingly overrides judge Kwan Hi Lim (well played by Kwan Hi Lim), getting the jury taken to the murder scene while they are deliberating -- a highly unusual move in my opinion, even more unusual than letting McGarrett on a jury in the first place! The jury is supposed to make a decision based on the evidence that was presented in court and nothing else. By this move, McGarrett makes himself into another defense attorney, who not only gets all of the jury taken to the scene of the crime, but all the witnesses as well, who re-enact the events up to Penny's murder. The big "aha" moment as to actually did it is disappointing -- it was Howard Roman (Joe Moore), a fellow employee of Philip's, who came up the back staircase (why didn't anyone think of this?), shot Penny in the room, then hid behind the door and after it was broken down, mingled with the crowd who burst in) -- and takes second place to hints of a romance between McGarrett and Minnie. At the end, she asks him to lunch and he says, "I never eat lunch, Minnie." She goes on, "You married, McGarrett?" He replies, "No ... no lady would ever have me," and then kisses her. "You're a lovely lady, Minnie." She sighs as he bids her farewell. He says, "I wish I had met you ten years ago." The final scene has McGarrett on his boat, where he was seen at the beginning of the show. Danno asks him, "Do you ever sail this thing?" McGarrett replies, "This boat is not a 'thing', it's a lady, so treat it with respect." Bor-ing! The music in this episode by Cacavas is crap.

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243. Small Potatoes***
Original air date: 10/26/78 --
Opening Credits
Finally -- a quality show for this season, with a story that is pretty logical and has interesting characters and an outstanding score by Dana Kaproff (alas, the only one he ever did for Five-O). Johnny Noah (Richard Romanus) is a "small potatoes" hustler who arranges for people, including out-of-towners, to partake in illegal gambling around Honolulu. There is also the implication that he is involved in a call girl racket, being seen with young women who look like they are barely out of high school. Johnny has to answer to "The General," a Vietnamese gangster played by Seth Sakai. At the beginning of the show, Johnny's Rolls-Royce gets rammed while he is driving to one of the gambling dens, and when a briefcase containing $60,000 is found in the back seat of his car, the cops and the feds become very interested, especially when the money is traced back to a local banker, Mr. Lee (Danny Kamekona), who was a compulsive gambler. It turns out that Lee, a computer wizard, fleeced his own bank for a couple of million dollars. When the Feds start snooping around, Lee takes a leap off the top of his building. Where there are Feds, there is usually trouble for McGarrett, and this case is no exception, with Harold Kendricks (William Bryant) itching to get back at McGarrett for showing him up on an illegal alien case years before. Bob Sevey plays Bob Sullivan, another Federal investigator who tries to inject some common sense into the quarrelling between McGarrett and Kendricks, who McGarrett describes as "a jackass" to the Governor. Johnny has a "steady lady," Gloria, played by Zohra Lampert, who gives another neurotic performance like she did in the ninth season's Let Death Do Us Part. When she possessively tells Johnny "I don't want to watch all them chicks in heat," referring to Johnny's gambling groupies, Johnny blows up and tells her "There's something wrong with your kharma." McGarrett manages to coax Johnny out of hiding at Gloria's and meets him on a sailing ship docked in the harbor. While they are talking, a photographer takes pictures of the two of them. The angle of some of these pictures is impossible, being the same as the camera filming the show. Following this, for some stupid reason, McGarrett decides to go underground to one of Johnny's gambling dens, dressed in a pimp-like white suit and wearing a grey wig and moustache like Mission: Impossible's Rollin Hand -- as if no one in Hawaii could recognize him! One of the den's employees does that in about a minute after McGarrett arrives; then Kendricks, obviously acting on an anonymous tip from The General, raids the joint and arrests McGarrett. Fortunately, Gloria helps to spring him from jail, especially after he tells her that Johnny was going to leave town without her after dumping the two of them at the gambling joint. As the episode ends, Gloria is about to testify against Johnny in court, and The General, who is attending the trial, is arrested by McGarrett.

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Parisa, Kati   .... 55549??(Mute girl in East Wind -- Ill Wind)
Sandanarik, T. .... KL56789 (East Wind -- Ill Wind)
Davilo, Chas.  .... QU20056 (East Wind -- Ill Wind)
Kahala, Jimmy  .... 5557943 (???)
Hameo, Kale    .... 5550649(In Angel in Blue, the lead male character's name is "Kimo", his mother is played by a woman whose first name is Keokeokalae. "Kale" means "Charlie" in Hawaiian.)
Topo, Keoki    .... KL53204 (The "uncle" character played by Kwan Hi Lim in The Friends of Joey Kalima)
Sartain, Elena .... QU74301 (The character played by Lyle Bettger in Tsunami is Dr. Dimitri Sartain -- presumably this is some relation.)
Noah, Johnny   .... 5551871


244. A Distant Thunder***
Original air date: 11/9/78 --
Opening Credits -- End Credits
Danno goes undercover as a Nazi in this episode to investigate the National Socialist Movement which is harassing Robert Tamara (Cal Bellini), considered to be the "Hawaiian Kennedy." Tamara makes speeches mentioning human rights and against nuclear weapons with catch phrases like "the time has come to deal in attitudes, not platitudes." The Nazis' commander Wendell Stoner (James Olson) makes crank phone calls to Tamara, saying "You will burn in hell," threatening his wife Lois (Elissa Dulce, in her final Five-O appearance) and son. He tells several of his followers, "He's an ape out of the jungle who seeks national power to rule over Aryans." These Nazis are mean bastards -- they run over Tamara's son's dog Pixie! Their headquarters have slogans on the walls like "Keep mongrels out of office." McGarrett determines that to qualify as a Nazi, one has to be "fair-skinned, blonde, clean-cut, Protestant and Aryan," qualities which suit Danno to a T. When he cautions Danno that this assignment could be dangerous, Danno replies, "Surfing could be dangerous." McGarrett gets Danno a job in a garage as part of his cover, and Danno tells the owner, "I used to fool around cars." McGarrett says, "He's referring to the engine, not the back seat." Danno abuses a plainclothes black cop named Phil (Johnny Walker) in a classic scene designed to endear him to Stoner. He tells the cop, who is mouthing off to Stoner, "Beat it, Rufus ... I'm talking to you, nigger!" (This is the second and only other time in the entire series the "N-word" is used, the other being in the first season episode, #13, King of the Hill.) Danno's pseudonym is Walter Mantell. Stoner compliments him, saying "You fought that jungle monkey to assist me," and goes on, "The Jews fill our places of business, Blackie fills our bedrooms ... The Fuhrer was right, he realized what mongrelization was." Danno sucks up in return, saying, "I respect you for what you're doing for white Christian people everywhere." When Danno finally gets indoctrinated into the party, Stoner reminds him that, among other things, he must "maintain a high level of personal cleanliness." McGarrett is disgusted by the Nazis, telling Danno "We're dealing with lunatics here." He goes on: "The losers and the dimwits are usually the ones who wind up wearing swastikas or a Ku Klux Klan robe." The Nazis attempt to get a picture of Danno and Tamara in a homosexual setup -- Danno opens his shirt and puts his arm around Tamara and one of his fellow Nazis snaps a picture. Fortunately the camera gets busted in the ensuing fracas. When Danno's cover is finally blown, Stoner wonders if he is a "cop, FBI, Jew-spy." Danno snickers, "You're not Nazis, you're nut-zies." The party is not amused and prepares to execute Danno. Fortunately McGarrett, Duke and HPD manage to prevent this, as well as the assassination of Tamara by Stoner. When McGarrett finally confronts Stoner at the end of the show, he looks like he wants to dance with the commander. Stoner falls to his knees, saying "God will bless me for my work." Before the final scene with Bobby, which is weak, McGarrett insists that Stoner be read his rights after he is arrested. The music by John Cacavas, a bit better than average for this composer, manages in several spots to establish a "Nazi" atmosphere, including snare drums. When it's first revealed that Stoner is a Nazi, the drumming is combined with a speech by Hitler ... I think it would have been more effective to have the drums alone. I question whether Danno would be the best choice for this undercover operation, considering what a high-profile cop he's been for the last 11 years. Not only that, before he takes on this assignment, he's seen walking by Stoner's house in his Five-O suit to check on Stoner's truck (not a Ford, but a Chevrolet, license number 503814). The embroidery on "Walter's" gas station shirt has very similar lettering to that on Stoner's janitorial service uniform. This episode may have been inspired by events that took place in the village of Skokie, Illinois in 1977, when the neo-Nazi National Socialist Party of America planned a demonstration, raising various issues about freedom of speech.

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Here are some behind-the-scenes photos from this show: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5.


245. Death Mask**
Original air date: 11/16/78 --
Opening Credits -- End Credits
This is the only show where the episode title is in a different font; as well, the title disappears into the background. Cyd Charisse is art patron and sculptress Alicia Warren who has arranged for a display of antiquities from the era of Egyptian king Tutankhamun to be displayed at the Honolulu Museum of Fine Arts. A middle-aged fox, Alicia tells McGarrett "I'd like to do you sometime ... perhaps a bronze." Her fourth husband Bart (Robert Ellerstein) looks old by comparison, but the actor was actually born more than two years after Charisse. Bart warns McGarrett if he isn't careful, he will end up as husband number five. McGarrett is pretty polite to Alicia, but he ends a couple of phone calls from her very abruptly, as if she is wasting his time. At the beginning of the show, during an invitation-only event hosted by Alicia at the museum, a priceless gold mask is stolen by Waikiki hustler Mik Chandler (Tim Thomerson) and is almost immediately recovered ... but Five-O finds out later that the real mask was subtituted for a replica. Having stuffed the real mask in a garbage can, Chandler follows the museum's trash disposal truck when he gets out of jail on bail, and murders the driver of the truck who starts asking questions. Chandler is the boyfriend of Alicia's estranged daughter Jill Baker (Marsha Mercant), but it turns out that prior to Jill arriving recently in Hawaii where she hoped to be reconciled with her mother (her father was Alicia's first husband, now deceased), Chandler was involved with Alicia sexually and is the one helping her steal the mask from the exhibition. For his efforts, Chandler ends up dead. Jill's part is poorly written, and consists primarily of her emoting loudly in response to traumatic events. Western star Rory Calhoun plays Edgar Miles, curator of the museum, who also falls under suspicion by Five-O. McGarrett is very careful to get a warrant from a postal inspector to open Jill's mail, rather than snoop in it in front of her landlady. McGarrett has a couple of major brainstorms in the show, first when he scrapes gold off the phony mask in the museum, much to Miles' horror, and at the end when he uncovers the real mask under a sculpture of a lion's head at Alicia's house. Great color photography in this show, which includes numerous paintings in Alicia's studio (one wonders if any of these were Jack Lord's own, like in How to Steal a Masterpiece.) The slightly-better-than-normal music by John Cacavas features a pseudo-Egyptian vocal line reminiscent of Tiomkin's Land of the Pharaohs (not to mention Cacavas' hideous score to When Will Linda Die). The ending is Streets-of-San-Francisco sucky.

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246. The Pagoda Factor**
Original air date: 11/23/78 --
Opening Credits -- End Credits
This episode is a top runner for the "show with a title that makes no sense whatsoever" prize. At the beginning, McGarrett in disguise and driving a blue Ford station wagon springs Joey Lee (Brian Tochi) from Oahu State Prison to help with an investigation in Chinatown. (Joey comments he might later get busted for "aiding and abetting a cop.") The Governor thinks this idea stinks, and has no qualms about letting McGarrett know. McGarrett says he wants to make sure a Chinese organization like the Cosa Nostra doesn't get a foothold in the islands, referring to an "emerging sense of ethnic pride among the young Chinese." Joey's job is to keep tabs on Victor Fong (Dana Lee), the Kowloon "top dragon" from the mainland, who arrives shortly after to make a sales pitch to the local gang, most of whom seem barely out of high school. In fact, Fong comes across more like someone leading a school spirit pep rally than a menacing mobster. Dane Clark is Riley, an older cop whose beat is Chinatown. Considering how long he has supposedly been working in this area, you would expect him to utter at least a few words in Chinese, but he doesn't. Riley provides some comic relief when Joey's Kowloon gang is having a kung-fu rumble in front of the Fat Siu Lau Chop Suey restaurant with the rival Toy Li gang and Riley breaks it up. More than likely they would break him up! McGarrett asks Riley why he always looks the same, and Riley replies, "ginseng, rhinoceros horn..." Today, this would not endear Riley to people who are friends with endangered species. When McGarrett and the Five-O crew stop an assassination attempt, McGarrett is very rough with the Toy Li leader, Soo, played by Roland Nip. Nip's acting is terrible throughout, especially when he mugs his way through an earlier meeting with Joey, calling him "coolie" and "punk." Having sent the Toy Lis off to jail, the Five-O team take their automatic weapons and fire at their intended victims, the Kowloon gang, who are emerging from a restaurant opposite (aiming high, as per McGarrett's instructions) to strike fear into their hearts. Mr. Chan (TinHop Pang), a restaurant owner, spills the beans to McGarrett about Joey being in danger, commenting the Chinese community doesn't like to go to the police, but prefer instead to handle their own affairs. McGarrett then grills Joey's former girlfriend, now Fong's mistress Julie (Shari Au) about Joey's whereabouts, saying, "Look, honey, we're not playing games." She tells him nothing, so McGarrett turns to Riley, who pulls an idea out of a hat as to where the Kowloon gang will take Joey, now revealed as a traitor, to be executed. The mish-mash music score by John Cacavas, including some funk sounds, is pretty crappy throughout.

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247. A Long Time Ago***
Original air date: 11/30/78 --
Opening Credits -- End Credits
In a corridor at HPD, Danny meets Melissa Cole (the blonde, Toni Tenille-like Katherine Cannon), an old girl friend from the mainland, who has been busted for shoplifting. After he helps out with her bail and gets her a job and a place to stay (an apartment in a building called The Alexander, numbered 219), Melissa tells him he was "the nicest guy she ever dated." She remembers when Danno kissed her on the roof of her parents' apartment in San Francisco. She dropped out in junior year, the year he went to Berkeley. Danno, who looks totally dumbstruck when talking to her, says he has "thought about her a lot since high school." He gives her a big kiss, and she asks if he still thinks of her as a prom queen. They must "do it" because later when Danno confronts her over lies she told him, she says "Damn it, Danny, you're like all the rest -- one night and you think you own me." Information from the Seattle police let Five-O know that Cole is in Hawaii at the same time as her ex-boyfriend from the mainland, the psychotic Roy Crawford (Burr de Benning), who is being sought for the brutal murder of a liquor store owner. Moe Keale plays a greasy snitch named Kimo who works in a pizza parlor in the seedy part of town where a family size pizza with bacon, pepperoni and cheese costs $7.75. When Melissa visits Kimo, offering to pay for information as to Crawford's whereabouts, he leers, "Sure you don't wanna knock off a hundred?". Danno refers to him as a "fat pig" when Kimo taunts him during a grilling in the Five-O office, saying "You're getting cheap, Williams ... the lady had more to offer." Crawford and two associates, including security guard Simpson (Beau Van Den Ecker), pull off a million dollar robbery at a the Bank of the Islands where the manager named Guthrie is played by Bill Bigelow. There's an interesting stunt during the robbery where a steel reinforced Bronco with bulletproof glass drives through the window of the bank, then backs out after the money is grabbed with Simpson holding onto the hood where he gets shot off. When Guthrie is questioned about the robbers later, he says that he recognized Crawford's face as someone who was robbing banks on the mainland, which is interesting, since Crawford did not remove his gas mask. Later in the show, Melissa accompanies Danno to a local bar where Crawford has been spotted. She climbs into the back of a pickup truck just at the moment the disguised Crawford is getting into it and can't see her, which seems improbable. Although it looks like Melissa has been lying through her teeth to Danno and acts very friendly with her ex-boyfriend at his hideout near the end of the show, it turns out that Melissa was really hunting him down with the intention of killing him, because he was responsible for the death of her 2-year-old daughter who he had beaten up when drunk. The show ends with some banalities from McGarrett, which is annoying, since the focus should really be on Danno.

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248. Why Won't Linda Die?**
Original air date: 12/14/78 --
Opening Credits -- End Credits
Directed by Jack Lord (not in a particularly interesting manner), this episode features a very good performance by Sharon Farrell as Diana Forbes, a prissy, uptight schizophrenic woman who occasionally assumes the identity of her gregarious and promiscuous airline stewardess sister Linda, who she killed by drowning out of jealousy over her sister's boyfriends. Unfortunately, the script by Ken Pettus is lame, especially at the end where there are far too many unanswered questions. What really sabotages the show, however, is the score by John Cacavas, one of his -- and the series' -- worst. A prominent melody which sounds like Ennio Morricone's music is particularly inappropriate, almost to the point of being comic, whether it's whistled, sung or played by a solo cello. Terrible! There is some Canadian colour in this episode: both of the sisters were having an affair with a Member of Parliament from Toronto named Paul Evans who gets killed in the opening scene, not very convincingly. Although there is plenty of room for him to run around, he lets Diana/Linda's car knock him over a cliff. Later, the headlight of the rented car (from Char Auto Rental on Lagoon Drive, number 16543) is shown as broken, and there are fragments of paint from the car on Evans' clothing, yet it hardly tapped him. Five-O receives information that Evans was registered at the Ilikai Hotel, but when they go to check out his room, it is in the Rainbow Tower, part of the Hilton Hotel complex next door to the Ilikai. The coroner (John Zenda, who was in Deadly Courier earlier this season) is very snotty to Danno for some unexplained reason -- was something cut out of the finished show? McGarrett comments on the promiscuity of stewardesses, saying "Those stews get around, don't they?" During the final pursuit of Diana disguised as Linda by McGarrett there are continuity lapses as he pursues her to the cemetery where the real Linda is buried. There is a long shot where she drives up a steep hill (not followed by McGarrett), which looks like the one where a lot of action takes place in the twelfth season show Voice of Terror. At the end, after McGarrett reveals Diana to be Linda by pulling off her wig and she has a total breakdown, there are questions as to how Diana could have fooled the lovers who were attracted to her in her dual role ... how could "Linda" keep her wig on during sex, for example, or why didn't the boyfriends -- or Dr. Fleming (Lyle Bettger), Linda's shrink -- recognize similarities between the two women's bodies?

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249. The Miracle Man***
Original air date: 12/21/78 --
Opening Credits -- End Credits
Five-O is called in after the attempted assassination, broadcast live on TV all over the world, of Reverend Andy (Keith Baxter), an evangelist visiting Hawaii on a crusade. The assassin, Jim Nelson (Pepper Martin), calls Andy "Rasputin" and says that the minister had designs on his wife who donated $12,000, all their family's savings, to the reverend's crusade and then left her husband to join Andy's cult-like organization. Following this, she was killed in a California auto accident under suspicious circumstances. The Governor, who is disturbingly chummy with Andy and his sleazy manager Oscar Ross (James Sikking), says "evangelism is as American as apple pie." When McGarrett says that he wants to investigate the Reverend and his flock, the Governor says (perhaps with tongue in cheek), "You have my blessings". McGarrett is curious about "how religious crusades handle their money." As part of the investigation, Danno gets some information from financial advisor Tom Kewala (Harry Chang) about how corporations connected with Andy are hiding their dealings. After one of the reverend's most devoted followers Sister Harmony (Jean Marsh), a reformed streetwalker from England, is making moves to blow the whistle on him, Andy asks Oscar, "Would you take the word of an ex-whore against that of the Lord's own chosen minister?" Andy has thoughts about revealing skeletons in his closet and Oscar asks, referring to a different "sister" Andy was "doing it" with at a Honolulu retreat, who is the reason Harmony is freaking out: "You want to give it all up for some cheap tramp?" At the end of the show, McGarrett uses Harmony to expose Andy by broadcasting their conversation about subjects the reverend would probably prefer not to reveal to the public via a hidden microphone to the crowds waiting to hear him speak. Perhaps Five-O was ahead of its time in dealing with this touchy subject matter, later brought to the forefront of the news by hypocritical and horny evangelists like Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker, among many others. At the end, although the crowds at the Honolulu Concert Hall abandon Andy's crusade, he actually hasn't broken any laws! The effective score by Fred Steiner uses snippets of the hymn "Bringing in the Sheaves."

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250 & 251. Number One With a Bullet****
Original air date: 12/28/78 & 1/4/79 --
Opening Credits -- End Credits
An above-average two-parter focusing on mob influence in the Hawaiian music industry and disco scene. There are numerous disco hits on the soundtrack, and a featured role for real-life singer Yvonne Elliman as Yvonne Kanekoa, sister of disco owner Sonny Kanekoa (Richard Dimitri) who is up to his eyebrows in trouble. Yvonne's boyfriend, Johnny Munroe (James Darren) has authored two hit songs for her, but resists getting involved with local mobster and Sonny's new partner Ray Santoro (Antony Ponzini) who's working for kumu (Hawaiian mob) boss Tony Alika (Ross Martin, in the first of four appearances). Santoro's previous employment included handling "the Colombo family's musical interests," referring to a real-life East coast Mafia family. (Interestingly, later, the Mafia is referred to as "the Company.") When he is beaten up by goons working for Santoro and Alika, Munroe enlists the help of L.A. mob kingpin Allie Francis (Nehemiah Persoff, giving a great performance). Early in the show, McGarrett checks out the disco scene after Sonny's first partner Bernie Adams (John Barry) is blown up in spectacular explosion while driving. As part of his investigation, McGarrett talks to lounge singer Sally (Melveen Leed) who tells him, "One of these days I'm gonna get you so smashed I'm gonna find out what's behind that all-business front you put up." McGarrett replies, "Sally, you better watch out, I might take you up on that invitation one of these days or nights." There's an extraordinary scene in part two where Francis asks McGarrett what makes him tick. McGarrett reveals the motivation for his becoming a cop, replying when he was thirteen years old, he watched his father buried at the age of 42 which forced his mother to spend 20 years bringing up the family. He goes on: "On his way home from work, my father was run down and killed by some bastard like you who had just held up a supermarket." (Strong language for 1979!) He tells Francis he has dealt with hundreds of crooks, "each of them had a name, a face and dirty hands like you." While there is a lot of music heard in this show, it is all integral to the story, and the production values, including the photography and costumes, especially in the disco and club scenes, are above average. At the end, McGarrett brings Alika and Francis face to face, leaving them to sort out their differences as a couple of Federal agents prepare to talk to both of them.

Click here to see some outtakes from this show.

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252. The Meighan Conspiracy*
Original air date: 1/18/79 --
Opening Credits -- End Credits
The central gimmick in this episode is totally stupid. Businessman, "outstanding citizen" and philanthropist Matthew Meighan (Robert Reed) builds shopping malls which include a bank, and next door to the bank is a music store with a control panel that enables people to enter the bank from below using passageways and a complex mechanism that opens a door in the floor of the vault. The show begins with one such vault in a Honolulu bank being totally plundered of the valuables in its safety deposit boxes, which produces a very loud scream from one of the female bank employees. There are plenty of questions about the robbery, not only from McGarrett, who is so desperate for a solution, he gets two guys to drill holes in the vault's marble floor. Don't the local people who Meighan contracts to build the shopping malls have any clue that something is peculiar about the floor-moving mechanism and the passageways between the music store and the bank? As well, after Meighan's associates break into and rob the bank vault, they are supposed to fill in the space under it with steel and concrete. How can they possibly do this in a short space of time? These people are not tradespeople, at least as seen in the show, but shifty crook types. This is the kind of gimmick that Mission: Impossible used to do very well. In this Five-O episode, it's like the writer (Seeleg Lester, who wrote several of the all-time turkeys) came up with this idea and then worked backwards without thinking very hard. Too bad, because there are some interesting things about the story, especially the way Danno and Duke pursue various leads that lead to Meighan's arrest. (Danno gets an interesting lesson in how to track down corporations from a stockbroker friend.) Robert Reed as Meighan has some amusing repartee with McGarrett, who is frustrated because he can't come up with any "concrete" evidence (pun intended). The sexy Barbara Anderson as Meighan's wife Dorothy tries to act seductive to McGarrett, who addresses her as "board chairman ... or should I say chairperson." In an earlier scene, she and her husband are going to "go inside and pull the blinds," i.e., "do it." There's some amusement between Steve and Danno. Coming out of a Chinese restaurant, McGarrett says his fortune cookie suggested "a beautiful blond will soon complicate your life." Danno asks if he would like to trade fortunes -- Danno's was "You'll soon encounter a tall, dark, handsome man." This sequence is one long tracking shot which goes on for over a minute and a half, and is followed by another tracking shot as Danno talks to bank inspector Bob Sullivan (Bob Sevey) in downtown Honolulu which is almost a minute long. The ending of the episode -- with the Governor paying an unusual visit to the Five-O office -- is unbelievably mediocre. The smarty-pants theme for Meighan by John Cacavas seems somewhat appropriate, but the music for the episode is a far cry from the classic scores by Morton Stevens and others. The first two waves in this show have some of the least suspensful accompanying music in the entire history of the show.

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253. The Spirit is Willie*
Original air date: 1/25/79 --
Opening Credits -- End Credits
This show, directed by Reza Badiyi, reminds me of a quote from the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. In that film, Donald Sutherland visits a laundry, where a Chinese man tells him that his wife has become "different" because she has been taken over by the pod people: "That not my wife!" In an ideal world, someone would tell Steve McGarrett in this show, "This not Hawaii Five-O!" Elderly mystery writer and friend of the Governor Millicent Shand (Mildred Natwick), previously seen in Frozen Assets, makes a return appearance. This time she is on the case of spiritualist Sebastian Rolande (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.'s Robert Vaughan, giving an oily performance), an "unprincipled opportunist" who she thinks is connected with the murder of Jeremy Walker, the husband of her niece Carole (Diana Scarwid). The Governor asks McGarrett to help baby-sit the tut-tutting and eye-rolling Millicent, who was appointed by her late brother's estate as an advisor to Carole to make sure she didn't fritter away her inheritance. Millicent attempts to prove her case that Jeremy did not drown while scuba diving at the beginning of the show, but instead faked his own death so Rolande as well as the psychic's "research group" would benefit financially. Rolande gives Millicent a couple of impressive demonstration of his powers of bringing the dead to life, first by locating the drowned Jeremy's body, and then producing the sight and sound of Millicent's brother and Carole's father Martin at a séance, where Martin reveals some trivia about Millicent's early life. Professor David MacKinnon (Eduard Franz), a psychic researcher from Duke University now retired in Hawaii, is brought into the case, and when he tries to trick Rolande by asking to communicate with his dead wife (he never married), Rolande makes an old girl friend who did not marry MacKinnon appear. Rolande then denounces the professor as a trickster. Rolande is finally tripped up when Millicent makes him have a séance on Carole's yacht to talk to the dead Jeremy. The Five-O crew, now armed with knowledge from Europe that Rolande's psychic abilities are highly suspect, sneak on to the yacht and surprise his assistant "Willie" Fitzwilliam (Fred Ball), who is operating equipment which brings people back to life at the séances. Technologically speaking, it is hard to understand how this equipment works, including a projector that looks like a vacuum cleaner and some other gizmo which can help Fitzwilliam imitate the dead people's voices. As well, Rolande knows far too much, presumably because Fitzwilliam snooped in MacKinnon's box of love letters at his house and gleaned other information about Millicent's brother Martin, perhaps from Jeremy. The score by John Cacavas is nothing special, and at one point sounds very similar to the slow movement from Mahler's first symphony when Rolande is listening to music in his lavishly-furnished house.

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254. The Bark and the Bite**1/2
Original air date: 2/8/79 --
Opening Credits -- End Credits
McGarrett is asked by the Governor to keep an eye on bitchy San Francisco heiress Dilys Conover (Tricia O'Neil), whose mother was the Governor's close friend -- as if McGarrett has nothing better to do! Dilys has brought her yappy Yorkshire terrier Daphne to the islands, and it has to be placed in quarantine. When Dilys argues with McGarrett about this, expecting him to spring the dog, he asks if she's ever heard about rabies. She asks if he's ever heard about fascism, to which he responds, "Yeah, and fortunately we don't have either one here." McGarrett later describes Dilys to Danno: "An obvious kook ... she's harder to read than a wet newspaper." Near the end of the show, Danno refers to her as "Dilys the dilly." McGarrett contacts Dilys's sister Laura (Lynn Ellen Hollinger) in San Francisco, who is a mover in the Civic Purity League, the purpose of which is "improving the moral climate" in that city. Nita Talbot plays Eudora Finch, the screwball boss of the quarantine center and character actor John Saxon is Howard Caine (a.k.a. Harry Clive), "one of the top society burglars on the mainland" who is after an expensive ruby in Dilys's possession, the twin to one he already stole from her sister. A red herring is provided by Armitage, another crook after the jewels, played by Cooper Huckabee. At one point, At the end of the show, McGarrett gets served a summons by Eudora for taking Caine's bloodhound Dudley out of quarantine to help solve the case, and tries to weasel out of the fact that he broke the law. Finally, in exasperation, he says "Book me, Danno!" The smile on Jack Lord's face for the final freeze-frame is priceless. (Click here to see this scene. Requires QuickTime (Ipod compatible).) This and the sight of the sexy O'Neil in a bikini are the main things worth watching in the episode. The amusing score by Fred Steiner (orchestrated by John Morgan) makes frequent use of the popular song "Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?" Since this song dates from the mid-19th century, presumably there were no music rights involved here. This show has taken a lot of heat because it is concerned with McGarrett doing the Governor's bidding for one of his rich friends, but at least you can say that it is logical, though Armitage's character's part is lame, has some funny scenes and quirky characters, and Steiner's score quotes the main Five-O theme at the beginning of the show, which is more than you can say for most of the other episodes this season.

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255. Stringer***
Original air date: 2/22/79 --
Plot
At the beginning, Duke and Sgt. Napoli (Beau Van Den Ecker) are tailing two cars containing kumu boss Tony Alika (Ross Martin) and his men out in the middle of nowhere on a narrow road. Up ahead of them, Alika stops to meet up with "political power broker" Howard Kramer (Robert Clarke) and the two of them exchange an attaché case of money. Freelance photographer Tim "Stringer" Powers (Paul Williams), who is nearby taking swimsuit photos of Maren Wilson (Sandra Kerns), snaps some pictures of the money exchange just as one of Alika's goons shoots out the pursuing cops' tire, and the car plunges over a cliff. The topography of this sequence is not easy to follow, because Alika's men are seemingly parked close to Powers and Maren, whereas Alika and Kramer are below them, at the bottom of a hill. When he hears the explosion, Alika says "What the hell was that?" which is odd, since it is obvious that he intended something bad to happen to the cops, courtesy of his thugs. After the car rolls over and slams into some bushes, Duke is thrown free, but Napoli, still inside, is killed when it catches fire and explodes. At this point, Powers runs up and takes some photos of the car as it is burning. When he returns, bandaged, to the Five-O office, Duke gets another warm welcome from McGarrett (see episode #236, My Friend, the Enemy). Danno wants the lab to look at the tires of the car to find bullets, which theoretically should be difficult, since the whole car was totally fried. Sensing a big opportunity, Powers sells a photo of the burning car to the Honolulu Advertiser, and also decides to blackmail Kramer for $250,000 with the picture he took of Kramer, Alika and the money. When contacted by Kramer, Alika says he will take care of everything. Both Alika's men and Five-O scour the city, trying to track down Powers, whose other job is driving a Waikiki pedicab. When Five-O finally hauls him in, McGarrett tells Powers sternly that he is "playing a dangerous game." Despite this, Powers continues with his shakedown of Kramer, and the two of them meet up at Powers' loft apartment. Alika and his two men arrive soon and kill Kramer by tossing him out the window. Powers is prepared for this with a hidden camera that is taking photos every second or so behind a one-way mirror. Alika tells Powers to keep the suitcase of money, and to get out of town fast, because he wants to make it look like Powers was responsible for Kramer's death. When Five-O investigates shortly after, McGarrett tells Danno that he knows that Powers is innocent. Finding the hidden camera with the pictures of the murder, McGarrett finally has an airtight case against Alika which will be bolstered by the co-operative testimony of Powers, who returns to the loft to get the pictures. The story for this episode was co-written by star Paul Williams and it features an excellent score by Dick DeBenedictis.

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256. The Execution File *** (Original Version)
Original air date: 3/1/79 --
Opening Credits -- End Credits
Robert Loggia plays Russ Hendrix, an ex-cop with a troubled past, now a private investigator, who is on a crusade to rescue young girls from prostitution and knock off their pimps. Formerly a lieutenant with the HPD vice squad, he was kicked off the force because he beat up a pimp named Kamaki, who murdered a teenage prostitute. Kamaki gets shot dead by Hendrix in a strip club at the beginning of the show. Motivated by the fact his own young daughter who he had raised as a single parent was found dead after a brief career as a drug-addicted hooker, Hendrix has a special attraction to one of the girls he rescued, Lureen (Kaki Hunter), now living in a halfway house, who was "raped and beaten when she was fifteen." Hendrix' feelings for Lureen, now sixteen years old, seem to go well beyond those of a father for a daughter, though. Addressing her using various romantic terms like "baby," he takes her to a new home he is having built, telling her that he wants her to live in it with him. McGarrett figures out pretty quickly that the "pychotic" Hendrix is the man behind the killings, but Hendrix covers his tracks very well, and tells McGarrett he likes being tailed (in an obvious fashion by Duke, as usual) because he appreciates the "unsolicited police protection" that he is getting. John Larch plays the gangster Roger Maggers, giving an ineffectual performance compared to the very menacing one in season one's Yesterday Died and Tomorrow Won't Be Born. The scriptwriters must have searched hard to come up with this name, which gives Danno the opportunity to refer to him as "maggot." Nephi Hannemann, Chuck Couch and Jimmy Borges play some of the pimps who work for Maggers who are terrified by Hendrix's vigilante actions. Maggers contracts an out-of-town hitman to knock off Hendrix, but the killer doesn't do a very good job. After he wounds Hendrix, the hitman is shot dead by McGarrett and Danno, and Hendrix makes it back to his office and then to Maggers' house to take his revenge on the boss of the pimps. McGarrett is close behind, and we have to endure his pleading comments to the fatally injured Hendrix for several minutes. Though Loggia gives an emotional, operatic performance in the sense that it takes him several minutes to die, Larch by comparison ends up sounding like Rodney Dangerfield, even though Hendrix is pointing a gun at his head and calling him "scum" and "filth." Maggers is revealed to be not a particularly tough guy, since he starts blabbing away how many girls he has in his stable, and how much money they are bringing him. At the end of the show, Lureen suggests to McGarrett that "Russ loved me as a woman as well as a child ... do you know what I'm saying? ... The thing was, it would have worked out in time." When she asks McGarrett if this shocks him, he replies, "Nothing shocks me, little one."

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257. A Very Personal Matter**1/2
Original air date: 3/15/79 --
Opening Credits -- End Credits
This is a "contemporary issues" show dealing with doctors who overprescribe drugs. It's also a rare episode where McGarrett is totally wrong about his suspicions of a crime being committed. Some people consider McGarrett to be "Zeus-like" in the final seasons, but in this show, he gets his comeuppance. In fact, the show is wince-producing in that the audience can see all along that McGarrett is full of it! Cameron Mitchell, well known for his appearance on The High Chaparral, stars as Tom Riordan, an old Navy comrade of McGarrett ("the best bosun the Navy ever had"), now security chief at the Ilikai Hotel, whose son Tommy dies after an overdose of quaaludes. McGarrett vows to make it "a very personal matter" to determine if Doctor Danworth (Fritz Weaver) who prescribed Tommy the drugs is guilty of negligence. Unfortunately, McGarrett's loyalty to his old friend totally blinds him and he goes after the doctor with a vengeance, forgetting about things like the presupposition of innocence. Later, having doubts about persecuting Danworth, McGarrett finally says, "My God, maybe I misjudged the man," and later apologizes to the doctor. The credibility of this episode is seriously derailed by Simone Griffeth as voluptuous blonde aerobics instructor Gerry Colby, who McGarrett gets to try and trip up Danworth. His relationship with her is unclear -- is she an ex-policewoman? How does he know her? He warns her she will be doing "undercover work." She tracks Danworth down to his marina where she begs him for "downers." He tells her "You look pretty healthy to me." When Danworth figures out this is a setup (as can any viewer with half a brain cell), McGarrett denying that he enlisted Gerry to try and frame Danworth catches the Five-O boss in a rare bald-faced lie. McGarrett has a peculiar memory lapse when talking to Gerry, referring to Danworth as "Dr. What's-His-Name." (Maybe Jack Lord was distracted by Griffeth's good looks? Someone who worked on this show e-mailed me years later, saying that Griffeth spent a lot of time in Lord's trailer during the show.) Gerry's exercise class takes place near the War Memorial Natatorium in Kapiolani Park where she is more successful with her "undercover work," helping Five-O nab Kona Emery (Alan Austin), a drug dealer who helps break the case. When she met Emery previously on the beach to set up this meeting, the camera lingered for quite a while on her ass! Emery doesn't seem to realize this is a setup (duh!), and when Five-O suddenly appears, Danno chases Emery into the water and gets completely submerged, suit and all. Cameron Mitchell's performance is very good, helped by the fact that he was around 60 years old when the episode was filmed, suggesting that Tommy was born relatively late in his father's life, and emphasizing the emotional distance between the two of them that Riordan talks to McGarrett about.

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258. The Skyline Killer**1/2
Original air date: 3/22/79
Charles Cioffi, who was in three previous shows (Right Grave, Wrong Body; McGarrett is Missing; Head to Head), stars as muckraking author Norman Klane. His efforts to get an exclusive story from a Hawaiian serial killer conflict with McGarrett's unsuccessful investigation to find this "monster" responsible for the death of eight women. When Danno shows his boss an ad that Klane, author of the best-selling book Judgement on America, has placed in the local press offering a lot of money for a first-person scoop, McGarrett comments this is "the most despicable thing I ever heard of." (Really? After eleven years, that is the worst thing?) Cioffi, who looks a lot younger than his previous appearances, gives a bland performance. What this role really needs is for the role and the actor to be totally pushy and sleazy like Geraldo Rivera. McGarrett, Danno and Duke also seem to just going through the motions in this second-to-last-filmed show of the season. When Cioffi leaves McGarrett's office after the two of the wrangle over issues like freedom of the press, Duke comments, "That was quite a skirmish," though it wasn't as if Klane was throwing chairs at McGarrett. The killer is played by Walt Davis. We only see his mouth speaking into the phone in a monotonous manner until well into the episode. The killer's motivation is "those tramps exposing themselves at their windows, wearing those clothes that show..." The episode starts out with the murder of one such woman, Erin Black (Spray [sic] Rosso) who is killed while she is taking a shower. There are hints of nudity behind an extremely opaque glass door at the beginning, but closer inspection reveals she is wearing a flesh-colored body suit. When Erin sees the killer, she screams loudly and throws her hands up in a stereotypical manner. It's more likely she would have fallen backwards or used her hands to cover her boobs or private parts. Klane's 23-year-old daughter Mary Ellen (Rita Wilson) becomes the object of the killer's wrath near the show's end. She seemingly lives in Honolulu, and her father is so busy that he has totally ignored her upon arriving in Hawaii, and she has to call him to arrange a get-together at Sally's bar (Melveen Leed again plays Sally, previously seen in #250, Number One with a Bullet). It looks like Mary Ellen is staying at the Ilikai, judging from the view outside the window. Earlier, an external night shot of her father's hotel showed the Ilikai's glass elevator, but inside in a hallway was a sign suggesting it is the "Sheraton Molokai Hotel." Another previous episode (#147, I'll Kill 'em Again) is referenced when the killer purchases a used copy of Klane's book at Beecham's Used Books. There are some mind-boggling stunts, not only with the killer coming down the side of buildings (where no one seemingly sees him) but also on a high-rise construction crane at the end. Some of the long shots of the killer have him wearing a Beatle-like wig which is totally unlike actor Davis's actual hair style. As well, Jack Lord as McGarrett follows Davis on to the crane like a human fly in a scene that verges on being ridiculous, and very reminiscent of the way the "old" Roger Moore played role of James Bond near the end of his career as that iconic character. Two stunt men are actually listed in the credits, and the episode is directed by stunt man Beau Van Den Ecker, who became an Associate Producer for the twelfth season. Danno's reactions to McGarrett's antics on the crane are priceless. This episode contains an exceptional score by Dick DeBenedictis, plus some effective hand-held camera work.

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259. The Year of the Horse***
Original air date: 4/5/79 --
Opening Credits -- End Credits
This two-hour show is the last one featuring James MacArthur. After Terry Ramos, a woman smuggling heroin, dies on the plane to Hawaii from the drugs she ingested, McGarrett takes another trip to Singapore to investigate a dope smuggling ring which may be part of a "diabolical plot" to discredit the Governor. This time McGarrett poses as an insurance investigator using the alias Kevin Riley. He sometimes wears a leisure suit and also a large straw hat, and at one point the robes of a monk. The guest cast includes Barry Bostwick as martial-arts-practising drug kingpin Lucas Sandover, long "missing in action" from the Vietnam War, Victoria Principal as his wife Dolores who tells McGarrett "I've had other men ... I'm not pristine," Lawrence Dobkin as the mysterious bald-headed General Oban and George ("James Bond") Lazenby as John Cossett, Sandover's drug-dealing partner. Manu Tupou, last seen as the kumu boss Cappy Pahoa in A Death in the Family (season 10 finale), plays Eddie Chu, chief inspector of the Singapore Central Narcotics Bureau. Doc Bergmann appears at the beginning, also his last show, while stuntman Beau Van Den Ecker puts in an uncredited cameo as General Oban's driver. At the beginning of his investigation, McGarrett visits the Club Tropicala where Ramos, who was Oban's 23-year-old daughter, used to work as a dancer. As Jonas (William Beckley), the club's gay choreographer, shows McGarrett Ramos' dressing room, McGarrett is attacked by a crazed guy in a scary mask. (Earlier, showing McGarrett a large poster of Ramos, Jonas tells him in a burst-out-laughing line, "Look at that savage little rear end, darling. I've never heard any complaints about that department. And I should know.") In the dressing room, McGarrett finds a US Naval Academy class ring which is later traced to Sandover, despite the fact the inscription on the ring has been obliterated. McGarrett seemingly takes the ring without bothering to ask anyone if this is O.K. Later in his hotel room, McGarrett is attacked by the masked guy again, who this time is wielding nunchucks. Danno, who is accompanying McGarrett on the trip and seems very bored, discovers that Sandover has been MIA since December 17, 1969, when he disappeared in Laos and has been considered "dead for nine years." As McGarrett is about give Sandover's ring to some associate of his he is meeting on Mount Faber, a snake charmer shows his cobra. McGarrett tells him, "Beat it, pal, I don't dig snakes." Dolores tails McGarrett to this meeting place, despite the fact that her cab is over three and a half minutes behind him. There are some scary stunts on the Singapore cable car between McGarrett and Sandover. In the car behind, Danno's reaction is similar to that for McGarrett's construction crane antics in the previous show, The Skyline Killer. The finale features a high-speed ocean chase where McGarrett freaks out when the bad guys escape into international waters, saying that "anyone who deals in drugs at this level are mass murderers and violate human law." McGarrett is obsessed with getting Sandover to "surrender to American jurisdiction" abroad and tries to negotiate a deal between Sandover and Oban on the General's ship where he has taken Dolores and pumped her full of dope in order to get Sandover to surrender to him. McGarrett accuses Oban of being a drug kingpin himself, something which is never explored, because Sandover and Oban kill each other at the end. John Cacavas' music in the first hour contains lots of King and I orientalisms, but overall is pretty dull and no match for Morton Stevens' classic score for that other Asian city-based episode, Nine Dragons. At the finale, McGarrett sends Dolores off, saying "Goodbye, pretty lady." Danno takes her to the gate to meet her plane, never to be seen again on the show.

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