S04E09 - “The Burning Ice” - Plot

(Prepared by Bobbi Baker)


A woman (Linda Ryan) drives home in a nice Cadillac followed by a man (Lou Antonio) in an older beat up car. Meanwhile, another man (Jackie Cooper) works in his garage on one of his two antique cars. As the following man walks up the driveway, the wife, Melissa, walks into the garage to spar with her husband, Alex. They discuss his mistress Betty who is visiting her parents. Melissa wonders if Betty isn't tiring of "the waiting game" but Alex assures her Betty has "infinite patience". Melissa walks away blowing off Alex's question of where she spent the evening.

Melissa walks to the pool turning on the underwater lights and settling into the chaise. A man for the shadows shoots her as the maid inside hears the shot. Going to the window the maid witnesses Melissa being shot in the head after her jewelry is literally ripped off of her!

Act One

HPD is already on scene as the ambulance arrives. Kono finds a bullet in the garage doorframe digging it out as Melissa's car is dusted for fingerprints and Doc (Al Eben) and Che Fong (Harry Endo) secure Melissa's body. Chin completes some measurements and inside, McGarrett questions Alex after handing over a drink. Alex tells McGarrett the whole story: he as working in the garage with an electric drill, heard Amanda the maid scream and he moved to go to the house but a man shot at him. Danno walks in sharing Amanda's story that "she heard the gunshot, went to a window, saw Mrs. Southmore slumped over, saw the figure of a man running away". Alex can't provide anything more specific because the man was "a shadow" and he only saw a bit of the car: older and inexpensive. McGarrett asks if he has anything about the jewelry with Alex answering he has photos and professional appraisals of all their jewelry.

Outside, Kono tells Chin about the two bullets found and a receipt for gas from that day. Inside, Alex informs McGarrett and Danno which watch, necklace and rings Melissa was wearing. Alex hands McGarrett all the photos because he's not sure what else she was wearing. Before leaving, McGarrett asks Alex if anyone had a reason to kill Melissa because "the obvious" isn't always the answer. As McGarrett leaves the property, Chin brings him street side where there a fresh set of tire tracks in the dirt. He orders plastic casts and photographs.

In McGarrett's office, Doc briefs Melissa was shot twice: once in the chest and the other in the left temple with the gun against her head. The gun was a Smith & Wesson .38 caliber and that's not the only information Che has. The tires were made of "old rubber," size 613, and they haven't aged well with the tread nearly gone including a lateral break on one. Walking to the outer office to talk to Danno, he tells McGarrett Melissa had dinner at the "Surf Rider" with some friends from San Francisco, Mr. and Mrs. John Phillips. They met at 6:15, leaving at 8:00 when the Phillips went to a concert and their story checks out "all the way". McGarrett then takes the angle of the jewelry as Danno says pawnshops will have descriptions within an hour. McGarrett wants every fence on alert too: if they go near it, they'll "get burned". Danno asks about the gas receipt, which McGarrett says Kono's on it.

Kono talks to the attendant (Ah Vah) who not only remembers her, he also tells Kono she drove up about 9:00 p.m. because he closes at 9:00. Meanwhile, at 'Kaiwuki Poi Bowl' Charlie Ling (Tom Fujiwara) looks out the window before taking a call on the payphone. He tells the other end to meet him on the Waialae Overpass in an hour. Charlie stands on the pedestrian crosswalk at the overpass watching the older beat up car from the night before pull up. The man gets out to meet Charlie who tells him the less he knows the better and has the man show him the merchandise.

Act Two

Charlie looks over the jewelry with the man asking what Charlie is willing to pay for it. Charlie offers $1000 because the man is pushing so much to get rid of it. Charlie tells him to meet him at Sea Life Park "in a couple of hours" but changes it to noon.

At Five-O, Chin has information on a gun owned by Alex: .38 caliber Smith & Wesson. Meanwhile at 'Southmore Clinic,' Betty, a nurse in his clinic, brings Alex a cup of coffee as McGarrett drives up. Betty wonders if Alex didn't kill Melissa because her death is so fortunate for them. Alex denies killing Melissa saying it wouldn't be the way he would want to start their life together. McGarrett knocks on the office door interrupting their conversation. As Betty leaves, McGarrett shares the news about Melissa's murder: she was killed by the same type of gun Alex owns. McGarrett asks about their marriage and Alex says it was strained to the point he wanted a divorce. McGarrett fills in the next blank: Melissa wouldn't divorce Alex. Alex refocuses on the gun, opening his desk drawer.

In the laboratory, Che fires the gun in order to run ballistics tests. Under the microscope though, the bullet just fired does not match the one pulled from Melissa. While McGarrett is at his wit's end, Danno visits Charlie readying for his deal at Sea Life Park. Danno shows him the photos of Melissa's jewelry and when Charlie denies knowing anything, all Danno has to do is look at him. Charlie breaks.

At Sea Life Park, the dolphins put on their show as Charlie waits for his contact. McGarrett, Danno and Kono stake out near Charlie. The older beat up car parks gaining McGarrett's and Danno's attention. Kono casually moves closer to Charlie as the man walks in. The man approaches Charlie but is spooked by Kono who gives chase. The man runs into the Hawaiian Reef Aquarium that goes down a story. The man exits out and goes in a random direction but Danno closes in fast with Kono bringing up the rear. The man runs through an exhibit until McGarrett stops him near the gift shop. The man falls to the floor where Kono cuffs him and Danno finds the jewelry.

In McGarrett's office, the man is identified as Mr. Harper who refuses to cooperate. He doesn't want a lawyer either and McGarrett lays it out: he needs one because according to Charlie, they met so he could sell Melissa's jewelry. As well, the plastic cast of the tire track found in front of the Southmore home matches his car. Chin is about to walk out with him when Harper confesses to killing Melissa. McGarrett tapes his statement.

Danno and Kono check out Harper's house where they meet his wife (Loretta Leversee). They tell her that her husband is being held on suspicion of "homicide" and she's shocked. Meanwhile, Harper continues his statement about meeting Charlie and setting up the buy at Sea Life Park. Turning off the recorder, McGarrett asks Harper again about his story: he was originally going to hold up the gas station but when he saw Melissa and her jewelry he changed his mind following her instead. McGarrett wants Harper to go over it again as Harper asks for a glass of water. McGarrett notices Harper isn't doing so well and becomes worse as he tells his story of walking up the driveway and noticing a man in the garage working on an old car. Harper goes on as he saw lights by the pool on, he went to Melissa, shot her taking her jewelry and her purse with $48 in it. McGarrett tries to trip him up on details but it fails. Harper claims he shot her a second time so she wouldn't be able to identify him. Harper continues as he was leaving he heard a scream, saw the man coming out of the garage and panicked Harper fired a couple of shots. Harper tells McGarrett he threw the gun into the Ala Wai Canal. Harper is at the end of his rope with very shaky hands. McGarrett takes the glass away from him telling Chin to "book him". Chin leaves with Harper as McGarrett tells Jenny (Peggy Ryan) to contact "Lieutenant Rice of Harbor Patrol".

Harper is booked at HPD including fingerprints and mug shots. However, there is a serious problem when those are taken, Harper collapses! He is rushed to the hospital as McGarrett receives the news from Chin. McGarrett then conveys the information to Harper's wife via Danno and Kono. They take her to the hospital where they rush her into the Emergency Room where she visits her husband. She desperately what him to tell her what happened but Harper dies before saying anything. At the nurses' station, the resident (Michael Leong) tells the Five-O team Harper died of a brain hemorrhage but if not now, then in a few weeks. Harper had leukemia and there was nothing more to be done for him.

Act Three

In McGarrett's office, Mrs. Harper says her husband didn't Melissa. Harper told McGarrett he needed money but McGarrett wants to know why. Mrs. Harper tells them about Michael, their son who is in The Laihaina, School for Retarded Children. The school is expensive and the Harpers couldn't afford it when they both worked. When Harper discovered he was terminal he wanted to provide for his wife and son the best he could before he died. Just before she leaves in tears, Mrs. Harper tell McGarrett her husband isn't a killer. Kono leaves behind her to take her home. McGarrett senses something is amiss and orders Danno and Chin to find out everything on David Harper. McGarrett then leaves for the Ala Wai Canal to see where they are in finding the gun. They haven't found it yet among lots of debris on the bottom. They have searched 50 feet on either side of the bridge and McGarrett orders it expanded to 100 feet.

Danno and Chin visit Charlie again to put pressure on him on what went down with Harper. Charlie tells them Harper jumped on the $1000 offered but it doesn't make any sense to Danno because the diamonds are worth $30,000. At the same time, McGarrett shows Harper's picture to Alex while he's in the garage. McGarrett looks around noting the different equipment on the benches. Alex claims he's never seen Harper and his name means nothing to him. He notes McGarrett is hesitant to accept Harper's confession. McGarrett's answer is simple: even after running every test possible and the diagnosis is still wrong.

Kono enters McGarrett's office with some interesting information: Harper was a conscientious objector during the Korean War draft. Rather than going to jail, he accepted a non-combat assignment in the medical corps. Danno walks in with another piece after talking to the school on Maui. As far as they're concerned Michael Harper can stay forever because they received a cashier's check for $75,000 for his care from his father. Later that night, McGarrett listens to Harper's statement again as Chin walks in with saimin, Japanese chicken noodle soup from Chin's uncle's all–night restaurant. Even though he's Chinese, "he's passing" in a Japanese neighborhood. McGarrett pulls out the transparent map when Chin asks what he's got against an easy case. McGarrett brings in all the information including Mrs. Harper's statement about them arriving home at 8:45 after he picked her up from work in Waikiki. However, the gap between their house and the gas station is 17.5 minutes so how did Harper see Melissa at the gas station? He could have with a lot of luck and green lights. Another option is he could have waited for Melissa since the drive time between the residences is 25 minutes. The phone rings with Lieutenant Rice on the other end. McGarrett has a brainstorm realizing the machine he saw in Alex's garage was a boring machine! McGarrett runs out of the palace because he just found the gun.

Act Four

At 11:40 p.m. McGarrett meets Che in the lab to remeasure the inside of Alex's gun. It's not much, but the inside diameter is larger than what is standard for a revolver of that make meaning it could have been bored out. McGarrett needs physical proof and not just Che's word.

Kono arrives at Alex's garage as a phone repairman to test ring the phone. The servant waits at the opposite wall as Kono moves closer to the boring machine, picking up filings left in it. Once done, he leaves taking the filings straight to the lab where Che begins analyzing them but it will be awhile. McGarrett paces in his office as Chin checks his watch. While they're waiting, Danno checks out the hospital that treated Harper and where Alex donates one day a week. While he isn't able to directly connect the pair, Alex did go through the hospital files to find a male patient with a terminal illness. McGarrett is satisfied and calls Danno back in. Che is in the process of calling McGarrett when he walks into the lab. McGarrett pores over the report.

McGarrett go to see Alex in his garage. Alex is clearly confused so McGarrett helps him out: he wanted a divorce but she wouldn't give him one without killing him financially, he also searched the hospital records for a man who was terminally ill and needed money finally settling on David Harper offering him $75,000 possibly more so long as he was caught and confessed to Melissa's murder. The problem was Harper couldn't kill anyone. McGarrett theorizes Harper came to the house, Alex killed Melissa taking her jewelry, Alex then handed it off to Harper who took a couple of crazy shots before leaving. Alex is flabbergasted yelling at McGarrett nothing can be proven. However, McGarrett pulls out the test results from the lab proving some of the filings came fro the inside of Alex's gun. McGarrett tells Alex to come with him but Alex wants to call his lawyer first but sees the hanging engine block. Alex releases the block so it slams into the wall and makes a run for it only to be stopped by the rest of Five-O. McGarrett walks out to Danno and Chin standing beside Alex. "Book him," is the order as they walk to the cars.

This plot summary Copyright© Bobbi Baker 2019. No reproduction of any kind without permission.

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