The fifth annual Sandy Beach Pro-Am Surfing competition is taking place on the North Shore. A local, Ben Hanakea, (Kimo Kahoano) has a real chance of winning. According to the announcer, (Fred Hemmings) Ben "has the Californians and Australians worried in today's competition". Roger Divitt (Steven Richmond) from Australia competes as the judges try to keep up, one of them being Danno. Gavin McNabb (David M. Young) from Malibu and Stoker Elston (Eric Dahlkamp) from Melbourne also compete. Ben is in the lead after the second heat.
There's a lot of action on the beach as people come and go. Gavin recognizes a girl (Valerie Charles) who also recognizes him. She continues walking in the other direction toward Ben. Their conversation goes from pleasant to heated because she doesn't want to show up to his parents' house alone. Ben wants to test his board for the competition tomorrow to make sure everything is perfect. The prize money is $5000 but she doesn't buy it, "someday you're gonna have to make a decision, me or that surfboard" and storms off. Danno watches it go down from the judges' table, shaking his head as if he's been there and done that. Before the leaves the beach, Gavin catches up to her but she doesn't want anything to do with Gavin either.
Back in Honolulu and Five-O, Duke and an HPD officer bring in Charlie (Moe Keale) to talk to McGarrett. McGarrett warns him he's going to need more than a lawyer in the future due to his connections to ""dope," "prostitution," [and] "shakedown"". The HPD Chief is also interested as he was speaking to McGarrett on the phone as Charlie was literally dragged in. In the middle of the conversation, Danno checks in from the North Shore reminding McGarrett he's "judging, not competing" after a crack about Danno being too old. After the call, McGarrett dismisses Charlie but tells him to expect to come back "soon".
At Promontory Point Hotel, the bar is hopping with people there for the competition. The girl from earlier is a waitress there along with another (Lisa Eilbacher). A phone call comes in asking for "Lorca," the first girl from the beach. Because of the noise level, the second girl can't hear the caller and she assumes it's Ben but it's actually Gavin. He says, "tell her it's her coconut chaser". She doesn't necessarily want to talk but once the second girl suggests Ben wants to talk it out, she relents to a point. She'll be on break and be home in a bit. The second girl passes the message on the phone.
Lorca walks along the cliffs where Gavin soon meets her. They discuss their past relationship and the fact they never really exchanged letters. Lorca points out the letters she wrote came back from other women's address around the world. She tells Gavin, "you Malibu types come on all shy and lonely, poor little lost puppies in a bar" but they're never serious. Gavin then insults Ben and in turn, her. The encounter turns from talk to violence as he slaps her and she punches him before making a run for it. Gavin quickly catches up. It gets worse as they struggle: Lorca tears a piece from Gavin's t-shirt before falling over the cliffs to her death. Gavin runs away into the woods dumping the t-shirt as the surf pounds the rocks where Lorca lays.
An HPD car and fire truck pass by Sandy Beach, sirens wailing the next day. Danno makes the command decision to follow up on the sirens, handing his judge's badge to Randy, the tournament director (Randy Spangler). Randy has a fill-in so Danno takes off, catching up with Sergeant Yama (Barton McCollough). The second girl from the bar walks along just as Yama tells Danno who the dead girl is: "Lora Davidson" and corrects them: "Lorca". Yama identifies Elaine Sebastian as the second girl. Elaine tells Danno about the fight and the phone call before Yama calls him over to Lorca and what she's holding in her hand. Danno orders them to take her because he'll let the coroner take the scrap off "in case there's something under her nails".
McGarrett is shooting at the pistol range as Danno calls in and updates him on what's happened. Danno reminds McGarrett who Ben is, "car booster who wanted to be a detective". Danno is concerned things could "get complicated" due to Ben's record. McGarrett green lights the idea, "it's your time. Go ahead if you want".
Ben, Gavin and the other surfers compete. When Ben hits the beach, Danno meets him and Ben wonders why he isn't "on that kahuna throne, giving me a perfect score?" Danno walks with him as Ben states his case about McNabb's wipeout. Danno keeps walking knowing there's no good place to tell Ben the news. He finally spells it out: Lorca's dead. Ben is in utter shock. Gavin hits the beach about to have it out with Ben but overhears the last of the conversation between Ben and Danno. Gavin stops and says nothing as Danno and Ben leave for Five-O.
In Danno's cubicle Ben tells his story. According to Elaine, Ben called Lorca at 6:15 but Ben claims he was in the water "until dark". Danno can't alibi Ben because he "left after the last heat". Doc Bergman calls with his initial report. The fabric is a t-shirt and Duke says HPD is working on search warrants for the hotel and properties along the cliff trail. When Danno mentions this will include Ben's house, Ben becomes angry, "If you think that's my shirt, man, you're spinning your wheels". Danno sympathizes but the rest of the t-shirt has to be found in order to clear him. Ben agrees to a search and Danno tells Duke to have HPD start there.
Gavin walks through the woods again where he initially dumped the shirt. He flashes back to Lorca's fall as he picks up the t-shirt. Back at Five-O, Danno tries to get Ben to remember if anyone saw him get out of the water. Danno explains they have to account for Ben's whereabouts the night before. They drive back to Ben's place where HPD is nearly done with their search. They dump the garbage can where a ripped yellow t-shirt is found. Danno picks it up, asking Ben about it but things quickly go South as Ben runs without answering.
On a quiet afternoon, a husband (Sam Peters) and wife (Rose Enos) work outside as she cooks "laulau, old-style". A truck speeds toward the house and Ben jumps out of the back where he's hid. These are his parents and his mother breaks down as he tells them about Lorca. His father asks if they think he did it but Ben maintains his innocence. Ben's friend (Jake Hoopai) who's driving the truck yells out that a car is coming in and runs to the truck. Ben grabs a few things and jumps back in to keep out of sight. They take off and nearly run Danno off the road on the way out. Danno calls out to Koma, Ben's dad, wanting to talk. Koma isn't much help because Ben didn't tell him anything. Danno implores to Koma to make Ben call him, "tell him he's not the only one who thinks he's innocent".
Danno finds the truck and the buddy who drives it at North Shore Water & Power. No one is in the office and there's a community bulletin board nearby. Danno checks it out to see if there's anything to or from Ben on it. The driver stops Danno at the corner of the building and starts talking Pidgin to him. The friend calls over Looloo (Alan Naluai) asking about "Ricochet," Ben's nickname. They talk Pidgin between them and Danno isn't impressed. He then pulls a fast one on them, speaking Pidgin back to them! Having enough of their games, Danno pushes he way through to his car.
Back at Five-O, McGarrett shows the t-shirt to D.A. Sunada (Luella Costello) who theorizes the murderer was standing over Lorca and "the victim clawed at him". McGarrett mentions no skin tissue was found under her nails. Danno walks in telling McGarrett Ben is definitely on the North Shore and "it's just gonna take time to find him". Sunada demands to know how long. McGarrett points out the key to not hurt anyone in trying to apprehend Ben. Sunada was assigned the case when Ben was "in custody" and lays into Danno because she knows he's friends with Ben. They argue when she asks about Ben's clothing size. Danno stands firm in assuming Ben is innocent. Sunada comes back with Ben's "conditioned reflex" in dealing with law enforcement. McGarrett refocuses everyone by informing Danno that Chin and Duke will be working other angles of the case. Danno acknowledges this before leaving 'Ms.' Sunada in McGarrett's office.
Back at Promontory Point Hotel, Elaine is delivering beer to one of the cabins. Once inside, Elaine screams her head off as Ben scares the crap out of her. Putting his hand over her mouth, Ben begs for her help. Ben professes his love for Lorca again and tells Elaine he couldn't have called because he was on his surfboard "a half-mile offshore". Elaine believes him even though the guy sounded like Ben. Elaine tells him she got off work and went home, going home to him. Ben asks about anyone on the side or anyone hassling her. Elaine confirms there was no one else and the "drunks" and "heavy breathers" didn't bother her. Ben tells her if she finds out anything, to leave a note at the Water & Power office then sneaks out of the cabin as Elaine calls Danno at Five-O. She changes her story about Ben calling and tells Danno how to get a hold of Ben.
Danno goes to McGarrett informing him of the latest. McGarrett wants Danno to get extra manpower but Danno would rather does this alone. Danno leaves the note and stakes out the board. He isn't the only one; Ben's two pals are there too. A tour van arrives and somehow Ben got in. Getting out, Ben finds the note on the board. Reading the note and realizing it's from Danny and not Elaine, Ben tears it up about to get with his buddies when Danno makes his move. A chase ensues leading through the woods and eventually to the beach where Ben steals a surfboard to go out to sea. Danno pulls out the bullhorn, convincing Ben to turn himself in. Ben agrees, calling off his buddies.
In the lab, Charlie (Lydia Lei Kayahara) has "just devoted a day of my life to the study of surfing wax". Charlie says the substance found under Lorca's nails is wax, probably off the t-shirt but she doesn't understand how it got there. Danno offers, "probably from carrying a board. On hot days, some guys don't want their wax exposed to the sun". McGarrett wants to know what type Ben used. The locals tend to use clear paraffin according to Danno, "it's as good as anything else, costs less". Bottom line: Charlie tells them they're looking for some something probably homemade or put up in small quantities". McGarrett wants it checked and to start with those at the tournament. Danno starts on it and McGarrett reminds him to not forget to check Ben's place. Chin and Duke check out shops and talk to people trying to track down the wax.
At the pub, Elaine is on shift as a bunch of surfers are in due to a delay of the tournament. Elaine takes Gavin, Stoker and another guy's drink orders. One guy assumes she's from California but she's actually from Seattle! The guys talk about last year and Lorca; Gavin says, "I was aced out by some coconut chaser". Elaine, who's carrying their order, overhears this last part. She now knows who made the phone call: Gavin. She gives the order as fast as possible and runs to the phone, calling Five-O. Lani (Connie Kissinger) answers, transferring the call to Danno. Just as Elaine is about to talk to Danno, Gavin moves in beside her to ask her to a luau. She declines, having to go to Honolulu that night. But they make a date for the next night as Gavin finally introduces himself to her.
In the holding cells, Ben is hanging out. When Danno and Chin walk in, they want to ask some questions and Ben is more than willing. They bring the wax found at Ben's place, wanting to know if it belongs to Ben. Ben says it's not his, but sniffing the wax he remembers Gavin made it himself. Ben says Gavin is the one they want. Chin also says this wax was found on the t-shirt found at his place too. Ben loses his mind when Danno says the evidence is stacking against him. Danno hangs his head, knowing he can't help Ben but so far. Ben yells at him just as Danno leaves the holding cells.
At Five-O, Danno walks into McGarrett's office where Elaine is talking to him. She tells them who she thinks made the call after he said "coconut chaser": Gavin. The same name Ben used in the holding cells! McGarrett says if they can prove a prior relationship between Lorca and Gavin, it could be enough. Sunada barges in, and after slamming Danno, informs them Ben has escaped!
At Sandy Beach, the tournament resumes. Elaine finds Gavin on the wave through a telescope as Ben walks the beach dodging the patrolling cops. Ben finds a board and goes after Gavin. McGarrett and Danno arrive looking for Gavin. Danno says he has to be there because he's in the lead. Once they spot Gavin, Ben shows up and starts fighting Gavin in the water. Unable to get to them, Gavin and Ben exchange punches, leaving Ben in the water face down. Gavin swims to shore. McGarrett takes off leaving Danno at the judges' stand. Duke joins the chase.
Meanwhile, Elaine goes through Gavin's stuff to find any connection to Lorca. Once on the beach, Gavin makes a run for it, eventually finding Elaine going through his backpack. Gavin tries to tell Elaine Lorca slipped but she picks up a spear gun and stabs Gavin in order to run out. He gives chase with a stab wound! They wind up on the cliff trail just like he and Lorca did. Elaine slips and Gavin has a 'I told you so' moment just enough for McGarrett to show up. McGarrett catches him trying to give Elaine a hand toward the bottom but Gavin runs for it only to run into Duke. McGarrett helps Elaine up onto the trail. She shows the photo she found to McGarrett: the connection they need. Ben and Danno run on the trail to where everyone else is. McGarrett holds Ben back from Gavin and orders Duke to book him on "suspicion of manslaughter and attempted murder". As far as the escapade that's transpired, McGarrett tells Ben the Assistant DA doesn't take kindly to jail breaks and Ben knows his police academy dreams are done. That is until McGarrett offers to intervene. Pro surfer or beat cop? Only Ben knows for sure.
This plot summary Copyright Bobbi Baker ©2019. No reproduction of any kind without permission.
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