#126 - Murder is a Taxing Affair

(Summary prepared by Reg Jones)

Can an Internal Revenue Service agent also be a murderer and a thief? We found out in this episode. An embezzler has left the mainland for Hawaii. He is killed en route by a man with brown hair, glasses, a beard and a moustache. The killer heads for the washroom at the airport, removes the disguise and is revealed as white-haired, clean-shaven, clear-eyed gentleman, who we later discover is the IRS agent (Don Porter) sent out to find the embezzler. Unfortunately for him, he has picked up the wrong suitcase at the baggage claim area. When he opens it, all he finds are clothes. Rushing to Five-0 headquarters, Porter is very eager to help McGarrett find the "killer" (and that missing bag).

The look-alike bag has ended up in the hands of a vacationing couple of modest means. Having discovered the money, the husband (Jack Dodson) is determined to keep it; his wife (Sally Kirkland) is less certain. She foresees the possibility of danger. That possibility becomes tangible when the couple are rounded up by Porter as they are skedaddling for the airport. He takes them to a remote site where he relieves them of the bag full of money and prepares to eliminate them. But he is too late. McGarrett and company are right behind in a chopper. Rather than turn himself in, Porter leaps to his death from the cliff top.

NOTE: This was Jack Dodson's only appearance on Hawaii Five-0, which is unfortunate since he was a fine actor. In this episode, he created a skillful portrait of a man whose eagerness to cash in on a windfall overcame his basic honesty and good sense. Interestingly, the character he played here had something in common with the one he played on The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D. who, as his obituary notes, "was [often] tripped up by his own flawed logic."

FYI: I observed one odd thing in this episode. During the closing scenes, when it was least appropriate, Jack Lord wore a spiffy, blue-straw hat. I say least appropriate because the wind was blowing and the chopper blades were whipping up the air so much that Lord literally had to hold onto his hat. I wondered if he was trying to hide a bad haircut. Normally when he wore a hat on Five-0, he was going Hawaiian" -- off duty, on leave, or on his boat.