S08E14 - “Wooden Model Of A Rat” - Plot

(Prepared by Bobbi Baker)

Act One

At the Museum of Oriental Art, an 'unusual exhibit of netsuke, ojime & inro belonging to local collectors starts Wednesday'. Inside as the exhibit is put together, a man (Ed Asner) tells Lupin (Richard McKenzie) it will be a "very interesting" exhibit even if he's not that interested himself. However, Lupin is undeterred telling March the art forms need to be more appreciated and thus why the exhibit. March is suddenly interested in the part of the exhibit with McGarrett's name on it: his collection will be part of it. Lupin explains McGarrett's collection is "modest" started when he was stationed in Japan with the Navy during the Korean War. Lupin tells him the collection will be there tomorrow afternoon and Lupin is supervising the packing, which March finds "fascinating".

A man (Kwan Hi Lim) arrives at March's house where March tells Suzari to enter. March is excited to tell Suzari about what he found at the museum: McGarrett, who has been interfering with March's affairs, is a collector. March has a plan of action based on this new information as Suzari says in a deadpan manner, "something of great benefit to us all, I am sure".

Danno meets McGarrett outside the Legislative Building after McGarrett met with the governor with less than good news: "good luck". Danno is surprised there is no cooperation but McGarrett explains it's less the governor and more Washington not wanting to cooperate because they consider it "trivial". But it's stealing! They've been watching a courier (Peter Chun) but he has diplomatic immunity. McGarrett figures the smuggled pieces have to be fenced by someone in Hawaii and that person doesn't have diplomatic immunity!

March meets with Professor Masaaki (John Fujioka) in his home. The professor is an expert in Japanese art normally working at University of Yokohama but brought to Honolulu by March. March explains because Professor Masaaki's specialty is "the field of 18th to 19th century Oriental art," which the museum is exhibiting and March wants the professor to look at it. March is sure it will be worth the professor's time.

Danno takes a call at Five-O setting up a meeting at the Kapiolani War Memorial in 15 minutes. He then tells Duke (Herman Wedemeyer) about speaking to Malinda Grant (Josie Over) who is a friend of Kim Chung Lo, "the diplomatic courier we tried to arrest". Later, Danno meets her and she tells him she and Kim have been living together for a year. The problem is his embassy is recalling him and he doesn't want to go even though he has a wife and child at home. Kim wants political asylum and protection and he understands he has to tell everything he knows about the smuggling ring. Danno relays the request back to McGarrett who says he will be granted asylum and given protection: "she can have my assurance in writing and in blood". McGarrett wants the break against the smuggling ring. Danno is planning to meet her tomorrow and if she's satisfied with their assurances, she'll set up a meet with Kim. McGarrett tells Danno for him and Duke to stick close to the phones as the phone rings! It's Lupin freaking out: he demands McGarrett go there at once, as it is not a matter for the police but for him specifically. He leaves Danno in charge.

McGarrett arrives at the museum where he asks the receptionist that he wants to see Lupin. Meantime, March and Professor Masaaki talk in another part of the museum as March nods to Suzari who is also there. Suzari goes to the gathered press nodding toward McGarrett who doesn't "see any catastrophe, any disaster". Lupin leads McGarrett to a display case where his collection is being shown. Lupin introduces McGarrett to Professor Masaaki and March introduces himself to McGarrett who wants to know why he's there. Professor Masaaki explains, "this netsuke in your collection, Wooden Model of a Rat, was stolen six months ago from the Yokohama museum". The piece is valued at $12,000 and has been the subject of an intense international search. At the professor hits him with the news, a flash goes off from a press camera! McGarrett isn't happy about any of it telling Lupin to open the case. He bought the rat in a Japan flea market in 1951 during the Korean War. However, Professor Masaaki insists it's an "Ittan" and signed on the side. While McGarrett examines the piece, the reporters smell blood with the first reporter (Jerry Cox) asking about Five-O's investigation into the smuggling ring.

Act Two

In McGarrett's office, Manicote (Glenn Cannon) holds the newspaper with a blaring headline 'Five-O Chief in Possession of Stolen Art' asking "what the hell is all this about?" Manicote says his phone has been ringing off the hook and wants to know how the stolen piece wound up in McGarrett's collection. McGarrett says it was stolen but not by him, which Manicote believes. McGarrett explains his rat is "a Tomokazu" as he and Ittan "both carved a lot of animals, including rats". McGarrett surmises they have been on the smuggling ring for months and someone who is "feeling the heat" put together the set up, as it is not the first time someone has tried to frame him. Manicote is caught between a rock and a hard place with no choice but to follow up, which McGarrett expects nothing less.

The exhibit is 'temporarily closed' at the museum where Danno questions Lupin about McGarrett's collection. Lupin tells him he arrived at McGarrett's apartment at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday "to pack his collection," which isn't done for everybody. Lupin goes on saying he stayed with the collection until the armored truck arrived at 10:15 supervising it going into the truck and ensuring it was locked. Once it was secured, Lupin returned to the museum where the armored car arrived at 11:05. Then he unpacked, catalogued and placed the collection in the case: he and the men in the truck were the only ones near the collection until the rat was pointed out as stolen by Professor Masaaki. Danno asks for the inventory list seeing item number 19: 'Wooden Model of a Rat. 19th Cent. Signed 'Ittan''.

In McGarrett's office, he is adamant as he was there when Lupin packed his collection and somewhere between there and the museum, a switch was made. Danno says, "wanted, one sorcerer" but McGarrett knows it's not so magical, "wanted, one smuggler". McGarrett tells him they need to find out who received the Ittan and they'll have the head of the smuggling operation so it's more than personal. Duke walks in with word from Malinda she'll talk to her boyfriend and they should have an answer from him by tomorrow afternoon. Chin then walks in saying Professor Masaaki is holding a press conference at the museum.

The team watches as the reporters swarm the professor who teaches them the proper pronunciation of netsuke and his name! A second reporter (Mai Tai Sing) asks if it can be proven this piece was the one stolen form the Yokohama Museum. Professor Masaaki has phone Dr. Hayabusa (Bill Lee) who is on his way to Honolulu to confirm it's the piece they've been looking for. A third reporter (Dalton Tanonaka) asks how the stolen piece came into McGarrett's collection. Professor Masaaki tries to say McGarrett isn't guilty of theft but it does little to no good as McGarrett laments, "I've never been called a thief more politely in my whole life".

March and Suzari watch the press conference as well with March very happy and confident at what he sees. Suzari tells March they have a problem: Kim plans to stay in Hawaii and defect. If he defects, he talks and March wants him silenced permanently.

Malinda meets Danno and Duke where she says Kim will talk to them. Danno gives her an envelope with all he needs to have a new life and identity. The cover even includes a lease showing he's been living on the Big Island the last eight months. She takes it and tells them they need to leave, which they do with Chin following.

Suzari arrives at the house where Kim is living where Kim allows him entry. However, when the team shows up, Kim has been killed with a "single shot in the right temple" with a suicide note to his wife. McGarrett doesn't buy it because they were so close to having him spill everything. He wants Kim's death treated as a homicide.

At the museum, the press feeding frenzy continues as Dr. Hayabusa arrives in Honolulu. Meanwhile, Manicote walks into McGarrett's office saying Dr. Hayabusa brought a whole list with him of pieces stolen from the Yokohama Museum including the rat and a "masterpiece": an "ivory crane, signed Mitsuhiro. Valued $14,000". McGarrett is shocked as the crane was recovered three months ago with Manicote laying it out: the perception is that McGarrett kept a piece for himself. McGarrett finds it ridiculous because why would he be so dumb to keep the piece then put it on display with his name all over it! Manicote tells him he has no choice but to present the evidence to a grand jury. McGarrett is floored.

Act Three

Danno talks to Professor Masaaki trying to figure out what's going on to discover March paid the professor's roundtrip airfare and all hotel costs. Professor Masaaki explains he didnŐt' meet March until he arrived in Honolulu, which surprises Danno. He asks the professor how he came about to see the stolen piece. Professor Masaaki says March sent a car to pick him up and he arrived at the museum where the exhibit was scheduled to open at 1:00 p.m. with a short preview with "special guests and the press". This last part doesn't make sense to the professor as the pieces are of interest to a few people. He goes on saying he entered the hall and went to the case with McGarrett's collection where he saw the rat. Danno makes sure the professor saw it on his own without March guiding him specifically to the collection.

Danno then visits March and they discuss March's background into be a fellow at both the Honolulu and Yokohama museums. He brags about maintaining the hotel rooms for his business associates and putting the airfare on his company credit card claiming it on his taxes as expenses. The business he's in is about selling tractors "and other sorts of agricultural implements" with branches in Manila, Singapore, Yokohama and other places. March invades Danno's personal space more than once telling him about his business and being a patron of the arts. Danno is extremely skeptical.

In McGarrett's office, Danno walks in, "don't say it never snows in Honolulu, Steve. I've just been in a blizzard". He tells McGarrett about March being a patron at the Yokohama Museum where the theft occurred and being a patron at the local museum where the stolen piece was discovered. As well, March flew in Professor Masaaki and has been to several cities: "Saipan, Sydney, Manila, Singapore". Manila gains McGarrett's attention: he pulls a folder from the pile on his desk. Merchant Seaman Dan Muzekian (Walter Jones) was approached in Manila to bring a package to Honolulu for $100 but U.S. Customs caught him with the ivory crane without the contact ever showing up. On top of that, Danno checked all the city desks at the newspapers and they were called to send reporters and photographers to the museum because something interesting was going to happen. McGarrett calls it "a little obvious" and wants Danno to run a check on March. The phone rings: Chin calls in with a double check on the timing of the armored truck from his apartment to the museum. The only stop it could have made was at traffic lights. McGarrett surmises the switch was made in the back of the armored truck, which means someone already in the back and the piece had to be specifically marked. Danno points out it could have been done during the unpacking at the museum; either way, this means Lupin was in on the switch as well.

Danno talks to Lupin again and Lupin is beyond frustrated by all the questions, limiting Danno to two questions this time around. Danno asks if he was alone, which Lupin says he was. The next question: why didn't he notice the rat was the stolen Ittan? Lupin claims netsuke is not his major field. When Danno pushes about whether he drove straight to the museum or stopped at March's place first, Lupin becomes extremely defensive, "I have said all I intend to say". Danno leaves knowing Lupin has more to say as Lupin freaks out.

Lupin goes to see March who isn't worried in the least but Lupin is far less sure. Lupin knows Five-O suspects him and March says they suspect everybody. Lupin wants out of the whole thing and it's the reason for his visit: he is washing his hands of the whole affair. After refusing March's offer of a drink, Lupin tells March goodbye and leaves. March calls Suzari telling him Lupin must be taken care of. The newspaper headline is ominous: 'Museum head hangs self in home'.

Act Four

In McGarrett's office, Danno reports, "Lupin lived alone except for a cook and a houseboy". The houseboy allowed a visitor, who was an Oriental man wearing thick glasses between 40 and 50, in about 9:30 p.m. After the visitor arrived, Lupin dismissed the houseboy who lives above a detached garage but he didn't see or hear anything. McGarrett sets Danno on the task of finding the visitor.

In Lupin's office, Chin and Duke go through his files with the secretary's (Susan Stewart) help. Chin looks over his appointment book noticing April and May are blank after the first three months are filled in with things picking up again on June 1. The secretary tells them Lupin was out of the country as he traveled during April and May to various museums and inspecting collections. Chin looks over the itinerary, not liking what he sees.

Chin and Duke take the information to McGarrett in his office where he immediately spots the Manila connection to Muzekian. McGarrett gives them a picture of Lupin to show Muzekian to see if he recognizes Lupin as the man who approached him.

In Doc Bergman's (Al Eben) office, he reports Che Fong (Harry Endo) is running some tests on Lupin's blood samples. Doc shows Danno pictures of the rope marks on Lupin: he was dead before he was hung up. Meanwhile at Halawa Jail, Muzekian confirms Lupin approached him in Manila. At the same time, Danno goes to the laboratory to speak to Che: Lupin died of an overdose from either being an addict or someone holding him down and pumping him full.

McGarrett pays a visit to March who claims he can't help in the investigation into the smuggling ring, the stolen Ittan or Lupin's suicide. McGarrett tells March Lupin was murdered and informs March about Kim as well in trying to psych him out.

Duke keeps surveillance on March's house, taking photos of Suzari arriving. Meanwhile in McGarrett's office, Chin briefs Lupin had a $200 a day heroin habit on a $22,000 yearly salary: oops! Duke then walks in with the developed photos of his surveillance. McGarrett tells Duke to have the houseboy look at the photo to see if he was Lupin's last visitor. As well, stake out March's house and pick up Suzari if the identification holds up, which it does as HPD and Five-O haul in Suzari.

Suzari is taken to McGarrett's office where McGarrett is through screwing around with these guys. Suzari claims ignorance calling March an "acquaintance" but McGarrett isn't buying one bit telling Suzari they have enough to put him away for the rest of his life. Danno interrupts as McGarrett steps outside: the grand jury has chosen to indict McGarrett and it's the latest headline. The phone rings with Danno answering and passing it to McGarrett: it's Manicote who apologizes for the turn of events and McGarrett will surrender himself in the morning. Returning to the office, McGarrett is now just plain ticked off.

March paces in his house as Suzari finally shows up over two hours late. Suzari explains he was detained by Five-O, questioned about the ring and all the connections with it and threatened by McGarrett over Lupin and Kim. Then he was released because McGarrett has been indicted but even before Suzari says he told them nothing. March offers payment for his services and Suzari requests the rat that he swapped in the back of the armored truck. March calls him an idiot. Suzari wants the rat for insurance so that March can't decide to simply do away with him, especially after the thefts, smuggling and two murders. Once Suzari threatens to call McGarrett, March relents and gives him the rat only to have Five-O bust them both! McGarrett happily takes back his netsuke rat ordering March and Suzari booked on murder one. He calls Manicote saying the two rats are caught!

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

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