"The Execution File" and "A Very Personal Matter"

by ringfire211 Thu May 04, 2017 10:32 pm

Decided to get back to my season 11 DVD and finish watching where I left off and I saw these 2 episodes.

The Execution File. Really enjoyed this one A LOT! For a season 11 episode it's VERY good. I did recall it being one of the better 11th season episodes but I had forgotten just how good it really was. It's been ages since I last saw it. Not only was the story very compelling but I thought Robert Loggia really nailed it!! He gave a superb performance (one of the best of the season I'd say) and really gives a tour de force at the end when McGarrett is pleading with him not to kill John Larch's Maggers character. I read about the replacement of the Rod Stewart song with the generic disco music on the DVD. Heck, I don't even remember what played when I saw it in reruns way back so it didn't make much of a difference to me. Though admittedly it would have been nice to have the original song intact. But whatever... BTW, Mike, would you happen to have clips from the syndicated version with the song in place? Since I know you taped all these episodes. I'd be very interested to see it. At least just the opening. I also noticed the Chin Ho credit in the intro - for some inexplicable reason they used the season 9/10 intro for this episode. I'm guessing this was not the case in the syndicated package and just an error on the DVD.

A Very Personal Matter. It's slightly better than I remembered (if only to see McGarrett being completely dead-wrong about a suspect) but by no means a great episode. Typical season 11 fare. Simone Griffeth though is a total knock-out - what a babe!! But I still don't quite understand the whole thing with Dr. Danworth. We find out at the end that the real "bad doctor" is this Dr. Savio, a colleague of Danworth's who, like Danworth, also specializes in "unorthodox" ways of treating his patients. But, unlike Danworth, Savio also engages on the side in writing out prescriptions and distributing them to whoever needs them through that blond beach boy Kona Emery, which of course is illegal. But I think in the episode it's implied, unless I misunderstood, that somehow Savio is the one responsible for the death of Tommy Riordan. But we clearly saw that Tommy's prescription was from Danworth, not Savio. So while Savio may be guilty of selling prescriptions (which Danworth doesn't do) he doesn't really have any connection to Tommy's death. Whatever killed Tommy came from Danworth's prescription (prescribed legally of course). Did I miss something about Savio's connection to Tommy? Anyone?

I also read the story about the Harry F. Hogan III directing credit and how basically Jack directed the episode after firing Sam Wanamaker for what seems like a dumb reason. He didn't want to be photographed through a fountain???? Personally I find a shot like that cool and artistic. Jack being an artist himself of all people would appreciate something like this (one would think) and the episodes he himself directed tend to stand out as more artistic looking and better shot and crafted. Sam Wanamaker, in addition to being a well-respected actor, seemed to have quite a good resume in the directing department as well, even directing a few feature films. So it seems like he knew what he was doing and was trying for a more artistic approach which again I would think Lord would welcome. Mike points out that Charles Dubin shot Lord through a fountain TWICE in "Draw Me a Killer" so I don't know why he would object to that here. I wonder if there wasn't some clash of egos between Lord and Wanamaker - maybe other issues which eventually boiled over into something as simple as the fountain shot.

by John Chergi Fri May 05, 2017 3:20 pm

I'm a big fan of Season 11 Classic HFO. Agree on A Very Personal Matter as an average episode. It has several un5-O moments. McG trying to entrap Danforth as a rogue Dr when he was cleared of any wrong doing. Also, the relationship between McG and the young dance instructor who he places undercover. How does she know McG?
You are right about Tommy. It is unclear whether he OD'd on the drugs Danforth gave him or he was also a junkie who OD'd on a combination of drugs. They mentioned his Mother died and I guess he was depressed. Couldn't cope with life. They should have weaved Savio into the episode more. It would have been more interesting to see Savio handing out the prescriptions and directing the man on acquiring the money.
The Navy Chief was some kind of good actor. You could tell he loved Tommy but his military ways he probably was strict with Tommy. McG and the Navy Chief were very good friends. I liked that about the episode. McG probably pushed too far but they did clean up illegal prescriptions and Savio's involvement. JC

by John Chergi Fri May 05, 2017 3:53 pm

PI Russ Hendrix was 1 smooth operator. I agree The Execution File was one of the best Season 11 episodes. Hendrix would have been a perfect member of HFO with his investigative talents. That Maggers was a low form of humanity. I liked how he made Maggers squirm and break down at the end. I'm conflicted on Hendrix dying. There was no good way to end it. Hendrix would have definitely received the death penalty although he covered his tracks well. I enjoyed seeing McG capture the frisbee at the Girls Home. The Execution File receives a strong 5 stars out of 6 stars on my grading system. JC

by RickNewportBeach Fri May 05, 2017 8:29 pm

A Very Personal Matter is the only episode I can remember where during the investigation McG lies outright to one suspect (Danworth) and at the end puts his personal friendship with another (Riordan) above the law. Some great lines in this one though. "If you're sick more girls should catch what you've got!"

by Mr. Mike Sat May 06, 2017 11:24 am

Ringfire, I made a DVD for my own purposes which has two versions of The Execution File, one from the DVD box set where the music is changed and the other from a VHS tape of a syndicated broadcast of the show from the 1990s. I also did a hideous "anal-ysis" comparing the two shows as far as the music was concerned, which I think you have read (it is linked from my review of the show on the Season 11 page -- http://fiveohomepage.com/season11/execution-comparison.htm). BUT ... there is another page where I compared the two versions' openings: http://fiveohomepage.com/season11/executionfileopening.htm.

By the way, I still haven't gotten around to comparing the music in Number One With A Bullet and Presenting...in the Center Ring...Murder where it was changed on the DVD sets, actually.

by Mr. Mike Sat May 06, 2017 11:26 am

John, Hendrix wouldn't have received the death penalty, because the death penalty in Hawaii was abolished in 1957, even before Hawaii became a state.

by John Chergi Sat May 06, 2017 12:00 pm

Mr. Mike
I know about that meant life in prison. I've done that a few times now writing on these forums because Hawaii doesn't have the death penalty. It must be something entrenched in my mind from my CRMJ college classes. After I submitted it, I realized my error again. Maybe, that's why McGarett faced so much crime in Hawaii. These mobsters and serial killers etc knew life in prison the worst sentence they could receive. JC

by ringfire211 Sun May 07, 2017 10:44 pm

John, I agree that Dr. Savio should have been weaved more into the plot. When they revealed his name at the end as the "bad doctor" I didn't even know who he was. I had forgotten about that very brief earlier scene where he's the guy wearing the glasses and talking to (or pestering) Dr. Danworth at the country club. In addition to legally getting prescriptions from Dr. Danworth (which presumably killed him) was he maybe also getting them illegally from Dr. Savio via the blond surfer dude on the beach? None of this is really explained. The bad Dr. Savio is arrested at the end (off-screen, no less) but ultimately it's the good Dr. Danworth who is responsible for Tommy's death, even if he's been cleared of the charges. Strange, huh? I guess maybe it was supposed to an ironic type of ending and I'm looking for something more that wasn't intended to be there?

by ringfire211 Sun May 07, 2017 10:51 pm

Thanks, Mike. I did read your extensive music comparison between broadcast and DVD versions for "The Execution File". But those video comparisons of the opening is what I was looking for. I thought I had seen them here sometime back.

What songs were there in "Presenting... in the Center Ring... Murder"????

by John Chergi Mon May 08, 2017 12:29 am

I remember Dr. Danworth saying in the episode that if he didn't give Tommy the drugs then he would just go to a Doctor or another person. My guess Dr. Danworth could monitor Tommy and was concerned for him. A Very Personal Matter was a mediocre episode but it was an interesting issue to explore. Instead of killing off Tommy early in the episode, it might have made some sense to show Tommy's life. Why was he so depressed? What was his daily routine like? Could his father have saved him? Maybe, Tommy wanted to die with how he let himself go. They talked about him being underweight. Dr. Danworth had a young daughter around Tommy's age die from drug use. He probably could see Tommy was heading down a bad path. JC

by Mr. Mike Mon May 08, 2017 9:45 am

Regarding the music in "Presenting... in the Center Ring... Murder," according to my review of the episode:

There is music editing in the DVD release of this episode. According to Jeff, the instrumental "Tie a Yellow Ribbon" music in the beginning of the circus scene in Act IV has been replaced with generic circus music on the DVD. The 2 versions sync up again with the same music as the circus act continues, then they have more instrumental music replacement on the DVD in the final part of the circus act right before the normal dramatic score kicks in with Wo Fat pointing out the Reynaldos and their gun on the high wire.

by ringfire211 Mon May 08, 2017 9:25 pm

John, yes I understand Danworth's reasoning for prescribing the drugs for Tommy as a means to monitor him and keep him close so that he doesn't go elsewhere looking for a fix. But ultimately Savio didn't cause Tommy's death, Danworth did. I guess that's what bugs me about the ending - old man Riordan is getting ready to avenge his son's death by feeding those drugs to Danworth when McGarrett bursts in telling him to stop because they just arrested Savio. And I'm thinking so what?? He didn't do anything to Tommy. The prescription was from Danworth. Okay, so you arrested a bad doctor but that doesn't change the situation between Riordan and Danworth. That's why I wish there had been come connection made earlier between Savio and Tommy. I know that McGarrett also shows Riordan proof that Danworth's own daughter had OD'd so Danworth knew what Tommy was going through and was trying to help him - that convinces Riordan to let Danworth go. But the Savio inclusion doesn't work for me. McGarrett telling Riordan that they got the bad doctor (Savio), meaning Danworth is the good guy just bugs me. Savio is irrelevant here. That's why I wanted some opinions if anyone thought that maybe Savio had something to do with Tommy's death.

by ringfire211 Mon May 08, 2017 9:34 pm

Ok Mike, I see. I wouldn't even remember if the "Tie a Yellow Ribbon" tune was or wasn't there originally. And I know that tune very well! I hadn't seen it in syndication for a long time so I just accept whatever is on the DVD.

by John Chergi Sat May 13, 2017 4:28 pm

The way it was written...I don't think you will ever get satisfactory answers to your questions in A Very Personal Matter. It seemed Tommy was depressed and lost his will to soldier on in this cold world. As when somebody dies young and unexpectedly, people get emotional and look for somebody to blame. McG could have let it go when the Doctor Danworth was cleared of wrongdoing. Instead, he doggedly pursued Dr. Danworth really with no evidence on him. It was a rare misfire by McG who uses his intelligence and instincts to solve cases. Agree A Very Personal Matter average episode but I liked some of the issues it explored. JC

by John Chergi Sun May 28, 2017 5:11 pm

Found my Season 11 Classic HFO DVD and re-watched A Very Personal Matter. It mentions that Tommy died from a massive overdose of quaaludes prescribed by Dr. Danworth. At the inquest, Dr. Danworth was cleared as the decider stating Tommy died of his own hand and he would have just found the drugs elsewhere.
You are right nothing suggests Dr. Savio involved in giving prescriptions to Tommy. McGarrett was wrong about Dr. Danworth and I'm glad nobody was killed at the end. JC