It's night at Oahu State Prison with the guards making bed checks. Lewis Filer (Hume Cronyn) emerges from under the bunk watching the guard continue his checks. Filer double-checks his homemade dummy covering it completely with a blanket before picking the cell's lock with a spoon. He sneaks into a storage room lighting a candle before making a phone call with another homemade device. Filer gets the operator at the prison and asks for "extension 231" and for the operator to keep ringing the phone. It's shortly after 2:00 a.m. when the guard (Edward Burns) goes to answer the phone and filer picks that lock with the same spoon! Filer is able to sneak into another room before the guard returns to his desk. Filer then calls 'Oahu Telephone Service' night man (William Kamahele Sr.) pretending to be Warden Challis (Richard Morrison) with a telephone emergency. If they didn't have one before, they do now because Filer rips out all the telephone lines at the junction box he uses! Filer pulls down some coveralls from Oahu Telephone Service from a ceiling vent. Once that's done, he looks out the window to see the phone truck outside. At 3:20, the repairman leaves the truck unattended. At some point, Filer manages to make it inside the truck, careful to not be seen by the guards, at least straight in the face. Once the truck is searched, they let the truck drive out!
McGarrett arrives Oahu State Prison to speak to Warden Challis who tells him and Danno how Filer managed to escape stashing things and making a dummy head from papier-m‰chˇ. McGarrett figured it was only a matter of time before Filer escaped. Warden Challis calls it "humiliating" as if the walls didn't exist. McGarrett says when Filer got a hold of the training manual for 'Telephone Circuitry' it was done. Warden Challis admits giving it to Filer as part of his rehabilitation program. Warden Challis says the worst part of all is an I.O.U. Filer left because he took $2200 from the prison safe. McGarrett tells him Filer intends to pay it back and Danno adds, "with hot money but you won't be able to prove it". Chin walks in with the name "Elmo Ziegler". The name is somewhat familiar to McGarrett but it goes way back. About 20 years ago in Miami, Ziegler had a buddy named Grundy who was Filer's cellmate. Grundy had a picture of Ziegler but it's now gone. McGarrett wonders why Filer would need the picture; he orders Chin to contact Miami and have them send everything they have on Ziegler.
Filer tries out different guises to make himself into Ziegler. Meanwhile, in McGarrett's office, he tells Danno to use all the pictures they have on Filer in the flyer to distribute. Kono walks in with a long list of items missing from the phone truck. McGarrett scans over it saying Filer could start his own phone company with the equipment taken. McGarrett wonders why Filer picked last night to break out, the plan was flexible enough he could have broken out at any time. Chin walks in with news from Miami: Ziegler died two years before but he was a fixer for the syndicate when he was alive. Chin also contacted the FBI and they're sending the Ziegler file to arrive that afternoon.
Filer as Ziegler goes to see Goro Shibata (Jiro Tamiya). Filer looks for bugs in the hotel room before he tells Shibata he knows about his new venture of bringing cocaine to the islands. Filer also knows about the $4 million worth of merchandise out on a fishing boat but if he tries to land it he is going to find himself in jail. Shibata asks his first bodyguard (Wilfred Moe Keale) to call a contact in Miami. Harry, the guy in Miami, says Ziegler is dead at least legally. Filer doesn't flinch as Shibata hangs up the phone. Shibata is impressed by Ziegler's cover of being dead and brings up details of the real Zeigler including a monocle. Filer readies to leave warning Shibata that McGarrett is laying in wait for him. Just as he is about to walk out, he puts on the monocle! When Filer leaves, Shibata is not pleased feeling there is a hole in his organization and he intends to plug it no matter what.
Filer goes into a utility room already tapped into the phone lines eavesdropping on Shibata's call to the "Starfish". A radio operator (Lane Bradford) answers the call as Shibata tells him the weather "could blow up" and there's "a leaky hull". Shibata wants the boat to go to "drydock".
In McGarrett's office, they have a picture of Ziegler and McGarrett makes a bug assumption it's the face Filer will use. McGarrett wants Danno to get with a police artist to age the man 20 years and give them different options. McGarrett wants the results added to the flyer, which Danno asks, "wouldn't it be simpler to put out an APB on anybody?" About to leave on task, Filer calls in. McGarrett wants a trace and he starts the recorder. Filer tells him to be 2.3 miles east of Kaena Point at 4:15 that afternoon to stop cocaine from arriving on Oahu. Danno runs in but the trace went nowhere and McGarrett shares what Filer told him. Danno says there's some credence to it because it's on the grapevine. The team runs out of the Palace to go to Kaena Point.
Filer swims up to shore near Kaena Point in full scuba gear. Five-O is right on time along with the helicopter registry N74119. Everyone watches including Shibata as the helicopter hovers to meet a red sedan. Filer throws a monkey wrench into the works yelling through a bullhorn pretending to be McGarrett. Danno takes off running. The radio operator from the Starfish is aboard the helicopter telling the pilot to "split". Everybody takes off in every direction with Chin and Kono stopping the red sedan and Shibata's first and second (Daniel H. Awai Jr.) bodyguards. Shibata tells his driver to "ease" out of the area. Meanwhile, McGarrett runs to the beach where Danno is already standing on an outcropping. Filer is gone as McGarrett says, "okay Filer, score one for you."
The team regroups in McGarrett's office with McGarrett asking about the helicopter. McGarrett wants Chin to talk to several agencies and anyone who was in or flew over the water near Kaena Point yesterday. McGarrett wants specific vessels that were in the area. Danno walks in with news of the "Rood twins" and how they will be back on the street in an hour. He checked on their recent travels: Hong Kong police identified the twins as being there a month before. McGarrett hears enough putting Kono on surveillance duty of Shibata, "don't be too subtle about it, huh?"
The 'Starfish' radio operator calls Shibata about the disaster of the aborted drug drop. The radio operator is all about coming onshore but Shibata says he has leak on board. When the operator says it's not them, Shibata knows they have a bigger problem. However, his problems become worse as he is summoned to the door only to see Kono and other officers in the hall. Shibata comes up with a plan: get Ziegler's help.
Kono follows Shibata to a boat harbor where a diver goes into the water at the end of the dock. Kono isn't the only one watching. Filer as Ziegler watches too as the radio operator waits on his boat. Meanwhile, McGarrett and Danno show up at the harbor to back up Kono. Kono briefs McGarrett the guy just disappeared. Danno also reports street talk that Shibata is looking for Ziegler. McGarrett knows they're somewhere making a deal. Danno wonders why Filer would bother impersonating Ziegler. McGarrett has a brainstorm that Filer's game is a race for the goods. He and Danno jump into the car leaving as Filer watches. Once they leave, Filer goes below deck to meet Shibata who has just come aboard. He wants a cut even though he claims the opposite. What he wants is the action so for a $1 million cut, Filer/Ziegler agrees to help them in their exchange but only Filer/Ziegler will know the exact location so as to not risk any leaks. Shibata and Moose, the radio operator, discuss their true end game: they'll kill Ziegler once their exchange happens because he's already legally dead! Once Filer re-enters, they all agree to the deal.
Danno walks into McGarrett's office in the middle of the night as McGarrett and Chin narrow the vessels down to the "Starfish". McGarrett wants the Coast Guard to keep an eye on her but she can't be boarded because "she's flying a foreign flag in international waters". Danno knows which disguise Filer is using after talking to a dock steward: Filer rented a yacht and a crew but for only two hours for $200! McGarrett chuckles knowing who they're looking for, "or do we?"
Shibata looks through binoculars watching Filer who is looking at Moose through his own binoculars. On walkie-talkies, Filer asks if Moose can board the "Starfish" and tells him to bring her in up to two miles out. When that happens, Shibata will go to the bank for the money. Filer gives him instructions to be conspicuous when picking up the money but to go out the side door of the bank and wait for a blue and yellow taxi, the driver will know where to go. The driver will hand him a mailbox key and he will take the instructions from there and lose the police. As the instructions are going back and forth, McGarrett, Danno and Chin join Kono who can see everyone but can't listen in because he doesn't know what frequency they are on. They look through binoculars identifying Filer and smuggler Moose Oakley. McGarrett can't let it continue because he realizes Moose has the goods, not Shibata. Afraid Filer has put himself in a corner, McGarrett leads the team across the street to pick up Filer only Filer sees them coming. When they bust in, all that's left is a half mannequin.
In McGarrett's office, the Coast Guard verifies it the "Starfish" because she "rounded Diamond Head ten minutes ago". McGarrett says they're coming in "the front door". McGarrett sends Kono out on a task as the phone buzzes it's Filer! Danno is about to run out but McGarrett stops him and he listens in on the phone call. McGarrett and Filer discuss the "circus" from the day before and the fact that Shibata is going to kill Filer. McGarrett knows Filer plans on McGarrett picking up Moose so he can steal Shibata's money. Now McGarrett knows Filer's true intentions.
Shibata picks up the money and meets the cab as the Rood twins tag along. Chin reports in to McGarrett who tells him Moose is a decoy and to not lose Shibata no matter what. Meantime, Kono watches Moose as he ends a deep-sea charter and calls into McGarrett. Chin continues following Shibata into an apartment building with lots of HPD back up. McGarrett rushes to the apartment building telling Kono to pick up Moose and not to forget the fish, McGarrett wants to know what's inside them!
Inside the building, Shibata and the Rood twins head to the elevators where a security guard directs other people to another car but it's Filer. Using a stopwatch, he stops the car between floors and puts 'This Car Out Of Order' sign before taking another elevator to intercept Shibata. He directs two women to another elevator so he can travel alone.
McGarrett arrives at the apartment building where Chin briefs him. As far as they know, Shibata and the twins are still somewhere in the block: the whole area is under surveillance. Filer then pretends to be elevator maintenance and works his way above Shibata. Outside, Danno arrives on the scene in a souped up Chevrolet Chevelle. For now, McGarrett wants the block sealed and everyone to keep a lookout for Shibata and the twins. Filer sets up on top of the elevator car lowering a sheet of glass and a "Clarion model X-600": a device for transmitting ultrasonic sound. He demonstrates "two" on a scale of "one to ten" shattering the glass. He asks for their guns, upping the scale to "four" when they refuse, he pushes the button making them scream. He moves up to "six," which can be lethal and they give up the guns. Shibata says he'll kill him or what he's pulling. Filer is undeterred, lowering a line and hook for the suitcase, which they turn over. Filer goes into another room opening the case.
Downstairs, a smoke bomb goes off that McGarrett immediately blames on Filer. He tells multiple HPD officers to cove the exits as he and Danno rush upstairs. Outside, Filer is now an old woman carrying two purse straps stumbling down an alley. Inside, Danno tells Shibata to cool it; he doesn't have anywhere to be! McGarrett finds the case in the other: empty! McGarrett orders everyone to look for a man with a bundle or a case enough to carry $4 million. Meanwhile, Filer approaches an HPD officer (Wm. Buddy Thourlby) to "report a robbery" but he directs 'her' down the street to a substation. Filer stumbles away dropping a band of bills on the street but picks it up without the police noticing.
McGarrett is fuming in his office even though they were able to grab the drugs in the fish. Filer got away with $4 million and McGarrett is angry about it. Danno walks in with a note for him from Filer: 'If you're ever in Algeria, look me up'. Kono says he's probably halfway there but Chin AND McGarrett both disagree. McGarrett suddenly remembers the I.O.U. to Warden Challis but Kono wonders if he would really pay him back now. McGarrett thinks he would and asks Danno to get the classified.
In a hotel room, Filer readies for his one-way trip out of Hawaii with a small package to Warden Challis. There's a knock on his door from the "bonded messenger" but it's McGarrett! McGarrett tells him he could have mailed it because there are only three bonded messenger services on the island. Oops! However, Filer has one more ace to play: he offers to turn state's evidence against Shibata and Moose in return to being put in a different federal prison than those two. McGarrett agrees, arresting Filer.
This plot summary Copyright© Bobbi Baker 2019. No reproduction of any kind without permission.