#212 - Requiem for a Saddle Bronc Rider

(Summary prepared by Reg Jones)

Susie Wanane (Victoria Racimo), fresh from the Berkeley campus, visits Steve McGarrett and expresses concern about her brother, Billie (Al Lupaka), a saddle bronc rider who has disappeared. Steve and Susie drop by the rodeo grounds where they talk with Jessup (George DiCenzo), the head wrangler. He reports that Billie, a bit of a wild man, left the rodeo several days ago. When the pair talk with Calvin (Nicholas Hammond), Billie's best friend, his manner is evasive. After Susie and Steve leave, Jessup reminds Calvin to stick to the story that Billie left.

Billie had a girl friend named Lani Kapali'i (Audrey Meyers). Steve visits the Kapali'i home and learns that Lani is missing, too. She has been gone as long as Billie. In fact, she hopped a bus to meet him. Chin Ho checks with the bus driver and finds out that Lani got off near the rodeo grounds.

The next day, swimmers find the body of Lani. A further search reveals Billie's body. Word comes through that Billie and Lani had been married the day they were killed and that the bus driver dropped Lani off at the rodeo grounds. Susie tells Calvin, who then confronts Jessup. He understands why they had to cover up Billie's death, but what happened to Lani? Jessup explains that when he was loading Billie's body on the buckboard to haul it away, Lani saw him. So he killed her and threw both bodies off the cliff into the ocean.

Outraged, Calvin attacks Jessup, who beats him to the floor and is about to shoot him when McGarrett and Danny arrive. Steve helps Calvin while Danny tracks Jessup. From Calvin, McGarrett learns that the rodeo hands had been celebrating Billie's marriage when Billie became overly boastful about his courage. This upset Jessup, who had been badly injured by a Brahma bull that Billie claimed he alone could handle. Jessup and the boys searched for a red cape so Billie could fight Mexican style. When they couldn't find one, they covered Billie with red paint and threw him into the corral, where he was gored by the bull and died.

Joining Danny in the hunt for Jessup, Steve manages to seriously wound him, but the pair are too late to take Jessup alive. The cowardly rodeo clown, who overheard what happened that fatal night, had released the bull into the corral where Jessup was hiding. He explains his actions this way: "He needed dyin"

NOTE: Although this episode opened with bodies being dumped off a cliff, it sidestepped into a Five-0 planning session to crack down on cock fighting and money laundering, a matter which was never mentioned again. Anyhow, it was fun to see Nicholas Hammond in the indecisive role of Calvin. The following year he would play the lead in The Amazing Spider-Man series.