S11E15 - “The Spirit Is Willie” - Plot

(Prepared by Bobbi Baker)

Act One

A yacht is anchored off Chinaman's Hat as a woman (Diana Scarwid) goes the deck as a man (Ross Borden) prepares to dive with help from a crewman (Ed Sheehan). She just got off the phone with Sebastian (Robert Vaughan) and she seems very nervous. Jeremy, the diver, wants some black coral before leaving, handing her his watch. He promises Carole he'll only stay down just enough "to get a good-size tree". He's been down about 20 minutes when Carole freaks out but Elliot tells her Jeremy has to come up in stages. However, there are excessive air bubbles but no Jeremy! Elliot goes to call the Coast Guard. Carole screams.

In McGarrett's office, Duke brings in a package that was delivered by messenger. McGarrett picks it up listening to it, as Danno tenses up suggesting the bomb squad should check it out. McGarrett ignores the advice saying, "this looks harmless enough" and cut the strings! As McGarrett opens it, the phone rings making them jump! Danno answers: it's the governor as the package is revealed to be Millicent Shand's (Mildred Natwick) latest book: 'The Case of the Frozen Assets'. The governor says he has a visitor asking for McGarrett and he'll never guess who it is, however, looking over the book, McGarrett knows who it is.

In the governor's office, McGarrett claims to be "psychic" guessing Millicent was the visitor. She says that's why she's in Hawaii; actually, she's there about Jeremy 'drowning' being faked. Millicent is sure Jeremy is still alive because his body has not been recovered even after four expert scuba divers conducted a 12-hour search. She explains she suspects Jeremy of "fortune hunting" by marrying her niece Carole who has inherited a large estate from her father, Millicent's brother. She goes on saying Jeremy conspired with a spiritualist named Sebastian Rolande to "bilk" Carole out of her inheritance by faking Jeremy's death and "bringing him back in a sˇance" to tell Carole to give $500,000 to Rolande so they can keep communicating. McGarrett tells her even if it's true there is nothing criminal about Carole turning over the money. However, Millicent was appointed Carole's advisor in her brother's will and while she can't stop Carole, there is a small window of time they can work to expose the conspiracy: that is McGarrett's job! Millicent will be on the family yacht should McGarrett require any assistance.

At the boat harbor, McGarrett meets with Danno and Duke wanting them to run a background on Rolande. He also wants them to call various agencies dealing with psychic phenomenon to find out anything they can, especially on Rolande's credentials. McGarrett climbs into his car to go to Rolande's house to meet Carole.

At the house, McGarrett speaks to Carole who explains Jeremy was hooked on spiritualism. He asks if Jeremy wanted her to make a substantial donation to Rolande's research group. Carole says Jeremy suggested it once or twice but she didn't share his beliefs then but does now. Carole says she's been able to see and speak to Jeremy in a sˇance, bringing her great comfort. Carole is certain Jeremy is dead and she has no doubts about Rolande. Carole explains there are still areas where there's "non-communication in the occult" and she now wants to help in researching those gaps. A man (Fred Ball) steps out calling for Carole telling her Rolande can see her now.

Once inside, Carole introduces McGarrett and Rolande who dismisses Willie. Rolande tells McGarrett Fitzwilliam is "an invaluable helper". They then discuss Jeremy and the lack of evidence that he's actually dead. When Rolande asks for Jeremy's watch, she explains Rolande is going to help her locate Jeremy's body. He takes the watch standing by the window as McGarrett asks if Jeremy was a personal friend, a believer in psychic phenomena with Rolande answering we're all believers deep down. When McGarrett asks about the sˇance bridging the gap between the here and now and the hereafter, Rolande says it's long been bridged and proven as he continues to concentrate on Jeremy's watch. He tells them Jeremy is choking with water surrounding him and Rolande needs to go to the deck of the yacht.

Rolande keeps up his messages from Jeremy in front of McGarrett, Millicent, Carole and Elliot. Millicent considers it all a show as Rolande pinpoints where Jeremy is: his foot is caught in a crevice of a fissure because he went too deep. Another boat goes to where the yacht is as the diver takes 40 minutes to search. Millicent isn't buying any of what Rolande is saying for a second. The diver resurfaces and yells across they found him with his foot caught in an outcropping!

Act Two

In McGarrett's office, Duke reports Rolande's credentials check out: "he's highly regarded as a medium by the London Research Society" and considered "genuine" by an institute in Marseilles. Duke is still waiting for some reports, as controlled experiments are always ongoing, as they're not dealing with an exact science. Danno has checked with Palo Alto, Duke University and "an outfit in Connecticut": they all know who Rolande is and respect his work. Millicent is sure Rolande is a fake, even if there isn't a conspiracy. McGarrett wonders how Rolande knew where to locate Jeremy with Millicent suggesting Rolande must have known and they conclude that would be murder. On the other hand, Rolande could be real and arresting him for murder without evidence would be foolish. Danno mentions a researcher from Duke University who is "semi-retired" on the North Shore: Professor MacKinnon (Eduard Franz).

McGarrett and Millicent go to visit Professor MacKinnon who answers the question of whether clothing or jewelry could give an impression of the owner: yes it could. Professor MacKinnon explains it is "beyond our intellectual acceptance of things" since humans aren't psychic. The professor explains the difference between a psychic and a medium: a medium is a contact between here and the world of the dead while a psychic can feel or receive telepathic messages. When McGarrett asks if they can cross into each other's fields, giving the example of Rolande and Jeremy: the professor isn't will to say anything is impossible but there is evidence on file that Rolande is a psychic. McGarrett allows Millicent to ask her questions: only she doesn't have any, only the opinion that all of it is "rubbish".

Millicent goes to see Rolande at his house coming across as a believer. She would like a sˇance conducted so she can speak to her brother and Rolande agrees. Later, Millicent calls McGarrett from the yacht telling him about the sˇance: 9:00 p.m. at Rolande's house and she's invited Professor MacKinnon. She feels Rolande will fail the test and be exposed for the crook his is to Carole. McGarrett reluctantly agrees to be there.

At 9:00 p.m., Rolande conducts the sˇance calling for "Martin" several times. He finally appears calling Millicent "Millie" and telling her about her first boyfriend. He also tells Carole that Jeremy is fine and they can speak again and again before disappearing. Once everything settles down, Rolande asks Millicent about the experience, "extraordinary".

Act Three

McGarrett goes to the yacht, now moored near the Ilikai Hotel, to speak to Carole. He asks some background: she and Jeremy were married nine months meeting in Boston after her father died and living in his house for three months. They then outfitted the yacht and traveled to Hawaii. McGarrett asks if leaving Hawaii was her idea or Jeremy's: she's been wanting to leave. The morning Jeremy died, he told her he changed his mind on spiritualism and he needed to "settle things" before they could leave. Jeremy even told her he was glad Carole hadn't given the money to Rolande but she added a codicil to her will in case "someone, somewhere" tried to help her and Jeremy. After the events of last night, Millicent was "subdued".

McGarrett tracks Millicent to her book signing where she denies being subdued claiming she was "thoughtful". She's wondering how Rolande pulled it off, especially the story about Tommy. As she signs books, McGarrett tells her she may have been right about a conspiracy between Jeremy and Rolande, at least at the beginning, but when Jeremy decided he was going to stick with Carole, it could provide a motive for murder. McGarrett cautions her it's still a theory at this point.

Back in McGarrett's office, he asks Duke if they've received a report from the London Research Society yet. Not yet and Marseilles hasn't given anything either. McGarrett briefs Danno and Duke the professor was impressed by the sˇance too and he wants to run his own test: to bring back a departed wife, a wife he never had! When Danno asks if Millicent is involved, McGarrett assures him she has been told she can't work on her own.

Millicent shows up at Rolande's house sneaking around the back. She walks in but hearing footsteps, quickly hides in a closet near the piano while Rolande and Willie walk down the stairs. Rolande is interested in the material requested from London that has already arrived. He goes to set up in the room telling Willie to let him know when the professor arrives.

Rolande prepares the room as Professor MacKinnon arrives. When Rolande walks to the front door, Millicent sneaks into the sˇance room hiding in another closet after other places won't do. Rolande says contact isn't guaranteed but it all depends on the subject's will and how strong the appeal is. Rolande calls out but finds a "contrary aura" but Ruth finally appears and is downright angry for being called MacKinnon's wife: they were never married! After Ruth disappears, Rolande calls Professor MacKinnon a fraud, as it's his turn to be angry. Rolande says the professor tormented Ruth in life and now he's doing the same in death! Rolande warns the professor that by not taking things seriously with the other side, he could find himself in danger. Rolande has Willie show Professor MacKinnon out. After they leave, he goes to the closet, pulling Millicent out demanding to know if she put the professor up to the sˇance while threatening her.

Act Four

Millicent shakes out of Rolande's grip telling him she's becoming convinced but still considers him a fraud. She has a deal for him.

On the yacht, Millicent tells a frustrated McGarrett about the deal: she wants Rolande to perform a sˇance on the yacht and if he can bring Jeremy back, she'll withdraw all her objections to Carole giving him $500,000.

McGarrett goes to see Professor MacKinnon with the theory that Rolande is faking it by acquiring information from things such as old letters. As the professor is getting out the old letters, he notices a photo of Ruth: it's how she appeared exactly at the sˇance! McGarrett asks if Rolande knew he was going there in advance and Professor MacKinnon says yes, the appointment was made over the phone. The professor tells McGarrett how Rolande did it: photographic imagery but the voice was filtered. When the professor mentions this, McGarrett has an idea of where he's seen Willie before: a puppet show on television! McGarrett then calls Danno: the reports from London have come in. There was a pair of "incidents" a.k.a. deaths, where charges were filed against Rolande the second time. Rolande was a beneficiary in each will and the charges were later dropped. Now it makes sense: Carole is the one in danger because she made Rolande beneficiary! McGarrett wants Danno and Duke to meet him at the docks and to bring along a sealed envelope from his desk. McGarrett thanks the professor for everything before leaving.

On the yacht that evening, Rolande begins his routine as McGarrett, Danno and Duke sneak aboard. The three find Willie about to use a projector to create "Jeremy" and they quietly get Willie out of the way. McGarrett then takes over surprising Rolande who tries to flee but is cornered by him and Danno. Millicent is impressed as McGarrett asks if she's all right. He then shows her how it was done with Carole breaking apart. Millicent comforts her, as they now know what happened.

In the governor's office, McGarrett briefs Rolande's estate is being searched for additional evidence including frogmen's gear Willie used when he killed Jeremy. Millicent knows where that is: the closet in the sˇance room! Millicent tells the governor he has a good group in Five-O and tells McGarrett he responded "adequately," which is high praise. As she leaves, she tells them she'll be seeing them in her next book. McGarrett has the perfect title: "The Spirit Is Willie".

This plot summary Copyright Bobbi Baker ©2020. No reproduction of any kind without permission.

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