S01E01 - “Full Fathom Five” - Plot

(Prepared by Mike Quigley)


Victor Rawlins (Kevin McCarthy), whose real name is Reese, along with his "sister," who is really his wife Nora (Louise Troy), toasts Anne Hayes (Jane Thorpe) on their pending marriage on Rawlins' yacht, the Aloha Baby (real name: Golden Marlin). Unknown to Anne, they have poisoned her drink, which causes her to drop dead. Victor says of Anne, "it took her long enough." Nora tries to wrest Anne's wedding ring from her finger, but Victor removes it and throws it in the water, saying he doesn't want to "die on the word of some blabbermouth jeweler," though there is no capital punishment in Hawaii. After describing what they have done as a "successful, proven operation," Rawlins takes Ann's body, puts it in a steel drum and dumps it overboard. As it sinks in the ocean, he recites a modified version of Ariel's Song from Shakespeare's The Tempest:

Full fathom five the widow lies,
And of her bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were her eyes.
Nothing of her now doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring her knell:
Hark! now I hear them -- Ding-dong, bell.

Here is Shakespeare's original:

Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Hark! now I hear them -- Ding-dong, bell.

Act One

A meeting is taking place in Steve McGarrett's office regarding a woman named Martha Finch (Arlene McQuade) who is missing. Finch's attorney Tyler Skaggs (Philip Pine) immediately starts to nag McGarrett, saying "I suggest you stop talking and start looking" because so far there has been "a lot of hustle, bustle and dust," but no results finding his client. McGarrett tells Skaggs, "When somebody vanishes as completely as this for this length of time, either Martha Finch wanted to disappear or she's dead."

At the Honolulu Airport after bidding farewell to Nora, Reese takes a flight to the mainland where he will board a cruise ship back to Hawaii.

McGarrett goes to talk to the Governor, who is eating papaya under a tree near the Iolani Palace. McGarrett tells him that while searching for Martha Finch, they have uncovered information about 10 other missing women: "[A]lways between 30 and 50 [years old]. Always widowed or single, traveling alone. Return reservations always canceled. Never any close relatives that miss them too soon." In addition to none of them ever returning home, "[T]here's not a shred of physical evidence [that anything happened to them]. No unidentified bodies, no clothing left behind, no valuables reported missing."

The Governor is concerned about the effect this news might have on the tourism industry and the "Two million guests a year [who] pass through here."

Act Two

McGarrett takes Skaggs to a hippie hangout on the beach where they find Martha Finch living with some guy named Pepito, who is playing the guitar. Tyler wants Finch to sign some papers relating to oil leases, but she tells him to get lost and, exasperated, finally fires him. She says, "This hippie scene may not be the answer, but it's taught me one thing: I can do what I want." She gets Danno to drive her to an appointment with her psychiatrist.

Later at headquarters, Danno tells McGarrett about a recent case of another missing woman he has uncovered: Ann Hayes. McGarrett says there is something fishy, because there is "one common link in every case ... [where] the women came over by ship, first class, San Francisco to Hawaii. Ten times, 11 now, he's been on the ship that brought them over." That link is Victor Reese/Rawlins.

McGarrett wants Danno on the next ship coming from San Francisco, which leaves the day after tomorrow, along with HPD Bunco Squad policewoman Joyce Weber (Patricia Smith) to act as bait for Rawlins. Danno finds this objectionable, but McGarrett overrules him.

Documents and a comprehensive back story for Weber's character, Helen May Carlson, a widow from Portland whose husband left her a lot of money, is quickly prepared by Danno and McGarrett quizzes Joyce on her way to grab a plane to the mainland the next day. She goofs up when McGarrett calls her by her real name and she replies to him. He cautions her this kind of mistake could get her killed.

On board the ship back to Hawaii, Reese takes an interest in Joyce when he finds out the circumstances surrounding her widowhood from a Mrs. Willoughby (June Dayton).

Act Three

Danno, who is also on the ship, cautions Joyce that Reese is a very dangerous individual. Reese breaks into Joyce's stateroom and takes her key, which he later uses as an excuse to give back to her, pretending that he found it after she lost it somewhere. As Reese talks to Joyce, Danno goes into Reese's stateroom and finds several things of interest: a gun, a pill, later analyzed by the ship's pharmacy and determined to be the poison aconite (a real poison), and a laundry mark on one of Reese's shirts.

Danno transmits information back to Five-O and the gun and laundry mark are used to help positively identify Reese.

By the time the ship arrives in Honolulu, Reese and Joyce are very close friends, and he introduces her to his "sister."

McGarrett meets with Joyce, offering to take her off the case, but she says that she wants to put an end to the career of Reese and Nora, who she calls "slimy parasites."

Act Four

Despite a looming confrontation between Joyce and Reese, there is still no solid evidence connecting him to the disappearance of the 11 women.

Reese takes Joyce to a plot of land where he proposes to build a "honeymoon house" for the two of them. He gives her some complicated story about how money he had to buy the place is tied up in legal manoeuvers. Joyce offers to lend him $30,000 which she has brought to Hawaii.

When Joyce delivers the cash, Reese wants to celebrate with a cruise on his yacht. No one knows where this boat is located, but thanks to some intense police work by Five-O and HPD, it is tracked down at the last minute to the Kahana Bay Marina.

Reese tries to get Joyce to drink poisoned champagne, but she drops the glass, saying she is nervous. Reese is not happy with this, and bluntly tells Joyce that they intend to kill her.

McGarrett and Danno are hiding in a boat nearby, where they hear Reese, via a bug planted on Joyce, admit to the killing of the other women. This is captured on a reel-to-reel tape recorder. They then speed towards the dock, McGarrett ordering Reese via a bullhorn to surrender. Reese attempts to escape, but Kono and cops from HPD show up on shore and there is a gun battle. Reese is fatally shot and falls into the harbor.

Much to Danno's relief, Joyce is safe and Nora is busted and taken away.

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