In a park near the beach, a young man (John Ritter) wearing a top hat hangs out with a young woman (Dianne Hull) begging money from tourists. He recites poetry to a pair of older women who eventually give him some loose change. She hugs him after his success but she doesn't think she can do it. The man tells her to "hang loose" turning to see an older man (Vic Morrow) walking in the park. Ryan, the young man, encourages Cleo to approach the other man and tell him he reminds her of her father. However, it falls flat as the man tells Cleo he can't help. Ryan tries to get some money out of the guy giving a history lesson about "alms". The man walks Ryan off to some trees offering $5 and makes some weird moves on Ryan. Cleo sees what's happening and grabs the man around the neck. As the man is distracted, Ryan grabs a 2x4 and whacks him on the back of the head. The man falls to the ground where Ryan takes his wallet.
At Five-O, Danno is in his cubicle talking long distance to San Francisco. Once he hangs up, Jenny (Peggy Ryan) sends him into McGarrett's office. Inside, McGarrett is talking to Che Fong (Harry Endo) and Kono about some other cases. McGarrett tells Danno to check some things relating to the Loring case because they "don't want to miss the obvious". Danno asks for the time to find a missing girl, the daughter of his landlady from Berkeley. Danno thinks highly of "Mrs. Michaels" and would like to find her daughter who has been missing for two months. She did send a postcard from Hawaii a few weeks before.
The man wakes up in the hospital searching through a drawer of his things. He nearly panics because his wallet is missing but the nurse tells him that was everything found in his clothes. Chin walks in wanting to know what happened to him. The man introduces himself as Ed Heron but he doesn't remember what happened. Heron says he told HPD everything and wonders why the state police are involved. Chin explains there has been a rash of muggings lately and it's a concern with the tourism industry. Heron still doesn't want to cooperate and would rather forget the whole thing. After Chin leaves, Heron gets dressed to beat feet out of the hospital.
Danno sits in Missing Persons as the sergeant (Norman Reyes) tries to reassure a father from North Dakota. His secretary (Camille Yamamoto) reminds him he needs to be at juvenile court at 12:30; he nods handing her a pile of pictures with the photo Danno brought in on top. Danno grabs it before the secretary can run off with it asking for "a little more than routine" and Dave takes the photo: "Michaels, Cleo. 17. Berkeley". Danno has checked for accidents, arrests, libraries and even utilities but nothing under Cleo's own name. Danno convinces Dave to run a few hundred copies of Cleo's picture to pass out to squad cars. Dave tells him he owes him a huge favor and Danno gladly agrees.
Chin walks into McGarrett's office briefing McGarrett about Heron wanting to drop the whole thing. McGarrett finds it strange as does Chin, who tells him it's like Heron doesn't want the police involved. McGarrett receives a phone call from the hospital saying Heron left right after Chin without a proper release or paying his bill. McGarrett tells them to not touch the room until he is able to send the lab technicians to the scene. McGarrett turns to Chin; he tells him to follow his gut feeling and find out what he can from the hospital room.
Ryan and Cleo drive by Ala Wai Canal in an open-air jeep. Cleo isn't happy about Ryan hitting Heron over the head or taking his wallet. Ryan isn't concerned about "a little bump on the head" and said he "deserved it". Cleo says it's one thing to beg but quite another to steal but Ryan gives her some crap line about Buddha considers the two the same and something about speaking or acting with pure thought, happiness follows like a shadow never leaving. As they drive, Ryan is heading for the locker matching the key found in Heron's wallet. Ryan muses Heron is probably a salesman and there could be just about anything in the locker. They arrive at the airport where Ryan finds the locker and the briefcase in side. Ryan takes it driving off only seconds before Heron arrives to find the briefcase gone!
In the hospital room, Che Fong (Harry Endo) lifts a good thumbprint. He asks Chin what he thinks with Chin answering, "we'll find out".
Ryan and Cleo return to a house where a girl (Kerry Sherman) is out front working on a candle. Inside, Ryan breaks into the briefcase as Cleo watches less enthused than Ryan. Opening the briefcase, they stared at the copious amounts of cash. Ryan freaks out in happiness dumping the money on the floor yelling to Allah.
Chin runs into McGarrett's office with Heron's real name and picture: Ernest Hampton. Chin says the man in the picture doesn't look like the same man in the hospital but the fingerprints match with Kono adding, "it's gotta to be the same cat". McGarrett reads on Hampton: wanted for embezzlement of an employee insurance fund of a grocery company with the total taken being $250,000! McGarrett realizes the urgency and matter of the case has changed: they're looking for $250,000 in cash. He tells Chin to work with a sketch artist to figure out the man he saw in the hospital and distribute through the usual channels: hotels, shops, cabbies, etc.
At the house, Ryan packs the cash into a cloth bag, as Cleo wants him to talk to her. Ryan plans to keep the cash and Cleo can't believe it. She knows it's not right to keep it but Ryan tells her the guy stole probably from a corporation "bleeding the public". She isn't buying it, calling it "rationalizing". She takes a stand as he takes her hand to leave but he asks if she loves him or not. Cleo chooses him over principle.
Heron/Hampton asks questions at the International Marketplace finding out some information from one guy. Heron/Hampton moves on as HPD keeps their eyes open for Heron and Cleo.
Danno visits a center run by a priest (Robert Witthans) hoping he has seen Cleo. The priest can ask around but tells Danno not to get his hopes up because many are seeking "shortcuts to Nirvana". He posts her picture onto a board.
Heron/Hampton finds the house and waits for the lights to go out before making his move. Heron quietly enters nearly tripping over the briefcase. Upon further inspection, he unhappily finds it empty. A girl on the bed moans gaining his attention. Now ticked off, Heron/Hampton goes to her and starts shaking her violently even slapping her wanting his money. However, she is completely out of it dying of an overdose causing Heron/Hampton to freak out. He leaves her on the floor where she collapsed throwing a candle to the wall. Heron/Hampton leaves but a fire has started!
In McGarrett's office, Chin and Kono confer with McGarrett saying they can't seem to find Heron/Hampton. McGarrett wants them to check every forger as he suspects Heron/Hampton may have gotten an illegal passport. He also wants them to track every available means of leaving the island. Chin knows that task is huge and leaves to start with Kono following. Danno sits nervously on the corner of McGarrett's desk awaiting word. The girl who died in the fire fits Cleo's description exactly and Danno is hoping against all hope she wasn't Cleo. McGarrett tells him to call the coroner and Danno does just that receiving an annoyed Doc (Al Eben). Doc tells him to meet him at Missing Persons at 1:00 p.m. and Danno agrees.
Heron/Hampton is still prowling around for Ryan more determined than ever. He walks into a bar called 'The Red Pants' where he tries to get some information from the bartender but gains the attention of a girl (Brooks Almy) sitting at the bar. All Heron/Hampton has is that the kid wears a top hat, an unusual jacket and frequents a candle shop. The bartender can't help but the girl contemplates her next move walking out of the bar.
In Missing Persons, Doc explains they have gone through x-rays and dental records with no success but able to lift fingerprints. Doc explains the process as Danno impatiently finishes it for him: rolling ink on the fingers and placing a piece of paper on a spoon-shaped piece of wood. Is she or is she not Cleo!? Nope! Doc goes on to say she didn't die in the fire but had 0.2 grams of heroin in her system. Before Danno leaves, Dave hands him a description of a man seen leaving the candle shop prior to the fire.
McGarrett and Danno arrive at what's left of the candle shop. According to the HPD officer, it was a place where kids make candles and a great way to start a fire. Chin meets them as he was able to figure out the man was looking for somebody and while he didn't have any names some kids tell the police he was looking for a kid who wears a top hat and a girl with long brown hair. However, the kids know the guy in the top hat lived at the shop named Ryan and his girl is Cleo, which gets Danno's attention right now. McGarrett pulls his team back, running down the case: Heron/Hampton arrives in Hawaii with his embezzled money hoping to score a passport, perhaps on his way to the Far East. His plans hit a snag when he's mugged but he doesn't want to talk to the police about his stolen wallet and takes off out of the hospital in a hurry searching for the two kids because they probably have the money. The HPD officer returns with what's left of the briefcase and Chin wonders if the money was burned up. McGarrett wants Che to look it over in hopes he can tell them for certain. Kono finds Danno passing on the message from Father K, the priest from the center. Danno leaves to meet him.
At the center, Father K points out the girl who recognized Cleo's picture. He tells Danno she's willing to talk, for a price. Danno approaches her pulling out some bills. When the girl reaches for the money, Danno stops her wanting the information first. She tells him Cleo is leaving Hawaii "probably tonight". The girl knows because Cleo told her and said she and Brenda, "a chick who makes candles" can use the "shack." Danno tells her the shack burned down and a girl was found inside putting the girl into a bit of shock. She is able to confirm Ryan is Cleo's boyfriend and she says they are probably at the airport. She mentions the other guy and she told him the same thing. She doesn't know who he is only he's looking for Ryan. Danno pulls out the flyer on Heron/Hampton and she nods it was him. Before leaving, Danno tells her Brenda died of an overdose, not in the fire.
Ryan and Cleo arrive at the airport in a taxi with Heron/Hampton laying in wait. Cleo continues to have second thoughts knowing they will be running for the rest of their lives, "the worst kind of slavery". Ryan keeps up the emotional blackmail saying he thought she loved him. She does but now she begins to question that. Ryan talks her into following him and leaves her at a seating area while he grabs some food for the trip. Cleo gets into the elevator with Heron/Hampton sneaking on when she isn't looking among the crowd. On the bottom floor, people go their separate ways except Heron/Hampton grabs Cleo. When Ryan returns, he finds Cleo is gone and is paged shortly after by Heron/Hampton. His demand is for the money in 20 minutes in an abandoned building across the field or he kills Cleo. Ryan dumps one container of food, making his decision.
Ryan arrives at the counter to board his flight for Hong Kong. About to reach the jet way, Chin and Kono grab Ryan pretty roughly, they're done playing games. Ryan plays dumb when Danno asks multiple times where Cleo is and he's through as well not buying one bit of what Ryan is saying. Ryan finally gives in telling them everything after McGarrett threatens him with 20 years of prison. He says Heron/Hampton wants to meet him at the old building marked loading door number one. McGarrett is disgusted by Ryan's lack of courage but Ryan justifies it by saying the guy wouldn't let either of them live so they could turn him in later.
Heron/Hampton anxiously waits by the cargo door of the building. Cleo assures him Ryan will be there. Meanwhile, an airport guy (Michael Morgan) leads McGarrett and Danno into a tunnel running under the airport emptying near the abandoned building. Heron/Hampton finally spots Ryan nearing the chain link fence. He enters the area as Five-O is stop dead in their tracks by about 20 to 30 feet of debris in the tunnel. They double-time it back to where they started. As Ryan gets closer, Heron/Hampton holds a gun to Cleo's head. Ryan is made to dump the bag with clothes and the money. Heron/Hampton demands they step back so he can gather the money. Ryan asks to be released but Heron/Hampton won't listen telling them it took two years of planning, another 14 years to accumulate the funds while hating his job, putting up with a loveless marriage and certain he would get caught every day. He's not going to let them go anywhere. That's not good enough for Ryan who goes for the gun. As the men struggle for the gun, it fires alerting McGarrett and Five-O as to their location.
McGarrett pushes over some barrels to distract Heron/Hampton who shoves Ryan into a room making a run for it. Behind him, Cleo runs to Ryan as Five-O surrounds Heron/Hampton who decides to take a couple of shots at McGarrett and Danno before going for the chain link fence. McGarrett tells him to freeze and winds up shooting Heron/Hampton in the leg to stop him. Chin shows up with the car as McGarrett and Danno reach Heron/Hampton. McGarrett tosses Chin the money to count it as an ambulance is called. Kono walks out with Cleo and Ryan, much to Danno's relief. He runs over telling Cleo they've been looking for her and found by putting some pieces together especially after they "found Ryan here getting on the airplane". With a slight comment, Danno has blown Ryan completely out of the water. Cleo now sees Ryan for the fraud he is but she isn't ready to go home yet. She's still searching, hoping to find what she's looking for. The problem is she doesn't know what she's seeking yet. However, she uses Ryan's words against him saying, "if you speak and act with pure thought, happiness follows you like a shadow" before walking away from all the men standing around.
This plot summary Copyright Bobbi Baker ©2019. No reproduction of any kind without permission.