At a research facility, Dr. Logan (William F. Bigelow II) answers the phone, but the call is for Dr. Royce (Charles Aidman). His girlfriend Theresa (Pilar Seurat) tells him a man is trying to blackmail her uncle for living in the United States illegally. Dr. Royce leaves for Theresa's apartment.
Arriving at her apartment, Dr. Royce walks into the middle of a scuffle between Theresa and another man (Gregg Kim). A gun drops to the floor and Dr. Royce picks it up, shooting the man, but it's a setup. He and Theresa leave without the gun. When they're gone two other men emerge from their hiding place. Won See (George Groves) picks up the gun with pliers and shoots the man in the back for real.
McGarrett arrives to a scene of chaos, at least outside. Inside, things are much calmer as Five-O and the lab guys go over the scene. McGarrett briefs they'll be sharing the case with the local Feds since people are nervous from Honolulu to D.C. since Dr. Royce is very important. It doesn't look good for the scientist "at least two witnesses seem convinced it was Dr. Royce they saw leaving". Merrill Carson (Fred Beir) is actually in charge of the scene and demands a full lab report in three hours. Che Fong (Harry Endo) would rather have four or five and McGarrett intervenes slightly, "listen, get comfortable on your day off, Che". McGarrett introduces himself to Carson and they come to "an agreement" on cooperation.
Theresa and Dr. Royce arrive at her "uncle's house". Dr. Royce wants to go to the police, but Theresa insists on keeping a low profile, at least for now.
McGarrett, Danno and Carson pay a visit to the research facility where Dr. Royce was working. Dr. Logan explains the research to them: a sophisticated method for literally "sniffing the ocean" for submarines. D.C. and other international capitals would be very interested in Dr. Royce and his research.
Royce tries to process all that's happened. Theresa tries to comfort him but Royce knows he's boxed in. Her 'uncle' (Ronald Long) arrives, telling he heard the news on the radio. "That a famous and respected scientist is being sought in connection with a murder". Royce is now trapped.
Che points out marks on the gun in the lab, perhaps nothing, perhaps everything. Che also has the report of what was found in the apartment including fingerprints already on the way to Washington and of course, a copy sent to Carson who had someone waiting on it at the lab! Back to the marks, Danno thinks they came from a vise. To test the theory, Che pulls out a pair of vise pliers and McGarrett puts his own revolver into them. Match! McGarrett knows Royce has been framed.
McGarrett kicks around some ideas with Chin in his office. He knows Royce was set up and "the girl was bait". He calls in Kono, "I want you and Chin to set up a 24-hour surveillance on Theresa Dietrich's apartment. It's a long shot, but she might get careless and get back for something". If they can find her, they can probably find Royce.
At the house, discussion continues as Royce wants to still go to the police. Not only would that endanger him but Theresa and her 'uncle' as well because they are both in the country illegally. But soon the truth comes out, the 'uncle' is willing to spirit Royce away to another country (i.e. the highest bidder) where Royce can continue his work. A submarine messages, it will rendezvous with the group tomorrow night. After receiving the message, the 'uncle' is pleased but he admonishes Theresa for her "lack of enthusiasm". He tells her it's up to her to make Royce a "willing defector" and her "future may well depend upon it".
Kono positions himself at the stake out only to be hit over the head by Carson's men. Theresa checks her mail, finding a letter from Immigration granting her request for citizenship. She takes off as one of Carson's men tries to follow but he doesn't succeed. Meanwhile the man who initially fought with Kono realizes their mistake.
McGarrett forces his way into Carson's office not happy in the slightest. While the conversation is tense, Carson assures McGarrett, "I will do everything in my power to avoid any further errors". McGarrett also reminds Carson he's in Hawaii, the 50th state.
The agent walks with Won See and orders to kill Theresa once Royce is safely off the island.
Danno runs down what they have on Theresa (see review). The agent is identified at Professor Hans Kreuter. Chin follows up on the envelope found by Carson's man, walking out to "check the Teletype". Kono walks in with the newspaper story on Dr. Royce planted by McGarrett. Asking about his head, "It hurts only when I think about it. I think about it a lot".
At the hideout, Royce feels the noose tightening as he holds a paper with the headline about him. Royce also realizes Theresa has been playing him, baiting him for the intelligence ring. Kreuter doesn't help, reminding Royce he's a wanted man. Royce takes a walk, followed by Won See. Outside, Royce finds a pay phone and calls McGarrett but doesn't have a chance to talk because Won See hangs up the phone and pulls a gun on Royce forcing him back into the house.
A thug (Danny Kamekona) walks out of the back room, so now there is no question Royce is going with them. Royce lashes out at Theresa but she remains silent. Kreuter continues his plans to escape Oahu.
McGarrett and Five-O try to pin down the background noises since Royce didn't know where he was. McGarrett figures out they're listening to a pile driver and sets Danno to find out where they're being currently used.
Kreuter and group load up into a bakery truck in order to make their rendezvous. One of the construction workers watches them leave.
With the places nailed down, McGarrett and Danno leave to check them out. Carson's men report on Five-O's movements and follow. Five-O arrives at the hideout but no one is there, though they find the radio equipment and get the witness description of the bakery truck. They take off, splitting areas to search for "jump-off place".
The submarine shows up where it's supposed to be as Kreuter communicates with them via mirror. A raft is brought of the woods to be ready for departure. Royce stares lasers into Theresa.
Chin and Kono have followed the group to a beach and wait on McGarrett and Danno. The four regroup and head to the beach, guns drawn. Splitting up, they divide and conquer but not without bloodshed. McGarrett interrupts the preparation to meet the submarine as Theresa fights back, loosening Kreuter's grip on her and throwing sand in Won See's face. However, Kreuter shoots her as she runs and nearly shoots Dr. Royce until McGarrett shoots him. Five-O arrests Won See and the other thug. As Carson and his men show up, Dr. Royce can only cradle Theresa's body. Carson explains Theresa's application, speculating she was probably going to defect and saying it's not important now. McGarrett says, "it's important" as they walk off the beach.
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