S01E19 & S01E20 - “Once Upon A Time” - Plot

(Prepared by Bobbi Baker)

Part One


McGarrett's sister Mary Ann (Nancy Malone) takes her son Tommy to see Dr. C.L. Fremont (Joanne Linville), who takes a sample of blood from the kid as the show opens. Fremont says "That is the only pain your child will ever experience in my clinic."

They all go to the clinic's diagnostic center. Fremont puts the blood sample into a huge computer with flashing lights and monitors. Fremont soon tells Mary Ann that Tommy has a neuroblastoma in his stomach as other doctors have diagnosed. But Fremont says that she can cure this cancer, and shows Mary Ann a book of testimonials from other patients to that effect. Fremont tells Mary Ann "Let me save this child."

They go into another room where Fremont shows them the "treatment instrument." This machine reads and duplicates a wavelength that every individual has and "sends the strength, the natural healing strength God put into all of us coursing back into the body." Fremont places electrodes from the machine into Tommy's hands and says that malignant cells in Tommy's body are being destroyed "faster than the cancer can manufacture them."

Fremont says treatment will be expensive, but Mary Ann says, "It doesn't matter. Anything. It doesn't matter."

Act One

McGarrett is meeting with his team in his office using the transparent board. May brings him a cablegram which just arrived from Los Angeles. After reading it, McGarrett tells her to get him a flight to L.A. immediately. He spends the next several minutes assigning various tasks to members of the team to deal with while he is away.

McGarrett arrives in Los Angeles and goes to his sister's house when he meets Mary Ann and her husband Tom Whalen (John Carter). They go and look at Tommy in his crib. Mary Ann tells her brother, "My baby's going to live." She tells him about Fremont, that "she's a magnificent woman, a healer."

Tom is less enthusiastic about Fremont. When Mary Ann leaves for a few minutes, he tells McGarrett that he considers Fremont to be a "quack." Tom describes Fremont's fees as "blood sucking," over a thousand dollars for two weeks of treatment already.

Tom doesn't want to tell his real feelings to his wife, because previously she almost had a breakdown, and now "she's alive again." He says Tommy is "failing … eating less and sleeping more and more." McGarrett says Tom should "Tell her the truth and tell her now." But Tom says that he can't tell her "Your miracle worker is a phony, a quack, a bloodsucker. Our baby is going to die."

Tom leaves for work and McGarrett drives him, so he can use the car. He goes to the office of the Food and Drug Administration with a large box. There he meets Albert Woodson (Bartlett Robinson).

Act Two

McGarrett and Woodson carry the box into Woodson’s office where McGarrett meets Frank Zipser (David Sheiner), the Attorney for FDA “for the Western 12 states.” Zipser insists on seeing McGarrett’s ID. McGarrett is impressed by Zipser and gets to the point quickly, explaining the quack “operating phony electronic devices, operates under the name of C.L. Fremont.” McGarrett realizes they know exactly who he’s talking about. She is “infamous in the area.” McGarrett spells it out: he wants her in jail. He states outright this is personal, as Fremont is treating his nephew.

Zipser then explains until she does something questionable – she’s “strictly legal” – their hands are tied. McGarrett then gives them the reason to investigate, interstate commerce between Dr. Fremont (in CA) and McGarrett (in HI). For $700 cash he purchased one of her treatment machines with the “express understanding that said machine was to be taken by me to my legal address.” McGarrett opens the box to reveal the machine.

Back at Mary Ann’s house: Mary Ann and McGarrett argue about Fremont. McGarrett’s pursuit is “Because you and Tom and the baby are my family. All the family I got.” Mary Ann isn’t willing to listen to any proof McGarrett has. Mary Ann says, “She’s curing Tommy.” McGarrett retorts with “She couldn’t cure a ham.” McGarrett continues describing the machine as “worthless.” All one has to do is plug it into a wall socket and “that two-bit transformer drops it down to 32 volts, just enough to give that sucker that deep therapy hum.”

McGarrett drops a bomb on Mary Ann, telling her he is pursuing charges against Dr. Fremont. He says the court will believe him, warrants for seizure of equipment and Fremont’s arrest are being drawn up. Mary Ann counters with the testimonials. “She showed you a book?” McGarrett explains they have seen it before and it’s always the same – the quack did nothing to cure the patient. The patient was either a) not sick – didn’t have cancer or b) cured by legitimate means such as radiation or surgery and the cure was wrongly attributed to the quack. Mary Ann begs her brother to stop his pursuit of Dr. Fremont. Mary Ann doesn’t want Tommy’s treatments to stop and asks for two weeks, ten days and then two days. McGarrett refuses each time, saying the longer Fremont is allowed to peddle her ‘cure,’ the more damage she causes. He points out curable cases that become uncurable, increasing fear in the patient and the family, the fact that life can be made more comfortable with orthodox therapy and finally, draining the life earnings and savings from people desperate for a cure. McGarrett becomes emotional talking about false hope – “Dangling false hope just beyond the reach of the ailing and the dying…and those who love them.” Mary Ann breaks down at this point, with an underlying anger at McGarrett, “And because you’re my big brother and you love me, you’re gonna to destroy the one person who can cure my baby.” McGarrett leaves and as soon as he does, Mary Ann calls Dr. Fremont.

Act Three

Fremont’s office: Fremont prepares for McGarrett to include letting her hair down. McGarrett enters with a warrant for Search and Seizure. Fremont attempts to ‘refund’ McGarrett’s money for the earlier machine purchase – McGarrett refuses, “Our little transaction is closed.” Fremont wants McGarrett to consider something before serving the warrant, but McGarrett is having none of it. Fremont tries to charm McGarrett and again, he rebuffs her. When she asks him to admit feelings for her, McGarrett responds, “I’d rather take up housekeeping with a cobra.”

Fremont then goes on to tell McGarrett her story since he knows “almost nothing at about me.” Explaining she was born and raised in Tennessee by “a stupid, superstitious and salacious old witch.” Asking McGarrett if he finds it fascinating – he answers, “Like watching an auto wreck.” She continues telling him about the faith healer she met at 14 and how she basically started in her quackery with “the gift.” When her charming fails, Fremont threatens McGarrett to make sure his sister never forgives him for letting her baby die, which is inevitable with or without Fremont’s help. “I’ll see to it,” she says. McGarrett says before walking out, “I bet you will.”

Act Four

Five-O office: For some reason Danno, calls McGarrett “Chief” when the latter walks in to look over a case file. May interrupts with a phone message that came through about half-hour before. McGarrett retreats to his office to call his sister, saying to Danno, “Give me a couple of minutes.” Danno enters McGarrett’s office when it’s night with a leftover bottle from a Christmas party two years before. Danno says, “Long two minutes.” McGarrett breaks the news that his nephew went into a deep coma three months to the day doctors said he would die. An emotional scene ensues as it appears Fremont has made good on her threat. She promised Mary Ann she would cure Tommy if McGarrett wouldn’t testify against her in the coming week. McGarrett lashes out, “Who the hell made me big daddy to the world?” McGarrett also points out Fremont can only be prosecuted on one count of “Interstate sale mislabelled or misrepresented merchandise.” McGarrett wants a murder charge against Fremont.

The courtroom in Los Angeles: Chaos in full swing with the judge calling for order. Fremont walks toward the stand among applause from her followers. Only when Fremont calls for calm is order restored. “Never in my 30 years on the bench, have I seen such a disorderly, outrageous outburst.” Judge Adamson adjourns until 10am the next morning but not before warning any disorder will not be tolerated, threatening to have any demonstrators arrested and charged with contempt of court. The courtroom empties, including Mary Ann and Tom. The act closes with McGarrett and Fremont staring down each other.

Part Two


This just shows scenes from Part One. There are no new scenes or information.

Act One

As McGarrett and Zipser exit the elevator, McGarrett again says Fremont should be charged with murder. This is where the idea of her name on a death certificate comes up. Since she has treated thousands “in the area,” McGarrett believes her name should be on a death certificate somewhere. Zipser explains it is not that easy to bring murder charges against a quack because direct testimony or hard evidence is needed and McGarrett only has 24 hours to come up with it. McGarrett talks Zipser out of his car.

Mary Ann and Tom return home where Tom admits he sent for McGarrett. Mary Ann is still in denial that Fremont is a quack.

McGarrett begins his search at the Bureau of Records. A young, attractive clerk offers her help after McGarrett has been at it “for the last hour and a half.” They continue the search through the death certificates. McGarrett kisses her, “Thank you Chickie-baby.” McGarrett goes to a pay phone, calls Zipser informing him he has four names and they all died within the last six months. Zipser finds himself no believing McGarrett has gotten as far as he has. McGarrett begins following up on the names after talking to Zipser.

Act Two

McGarrett drives to an apartment building checking on the second name – Kinney. Of note, McGarrett exits the car via the passenger side, away from the street. When Mrs. Kinney sees who her visitor is, she tells McGarrett she is going to call Dr. Fremont. McGarrett mentions the name sounded familiar – “One of the faithful testifying for the defense.” He leaves telling Mrs. Kinney he wants Dr. Fremont to know he was there.

McGarrett then visits the home of Walter Grant. He meets Chester Grant, Walter’s brother, and Walter’s mother. McGarrett explains his intentions to bring murder charges against Dr. Fremont and he needs their help to do it. Mrs. Grant tells McGarrett Walter was diabetic, hating living with the disease and all it entailed. She goes on saying it was her who took Walter to Dr. Fremont because she believed Fremont could cure him after Fremont diagnosed Walter as having a vitamin deficiency – Fremont even said Wlater could throw away his needles. Mrs. Grant also says Dr. Rudner was their family doctor (legitimate doctor) who cared for Walter and predicted Walter would die from diabetes, which he did after slipping into a coma. When McGarrett brings up exhumation, Mrs. Grant will not give her permission. Only when McGarrett explains what happened with his nephew does she relent.

At the cemetery, Walter Grant’s body is exhumed with McGarrett and Lipser present. Dr. Jerome Pastor, the Chief Coroner for Los Angeles County, is also present. Once Dr. Pastor signs the necessary paperwork, Walter is taken to Coroner’s Office in an orange and white ambulance – no markings but it has California plates.

McGarrett paces in the Coroner’s Office. McGarrett mentions it has taken nearly two hours. When Dr. Pastor does show up, it is bad news – there is no way to prove cause of death due to water leakage into the coffin. McGarrett says, “Well, that means we gotta find another way.”

Act Three

Back to the courtroom, one of Fremont’s diagnostic machines is rolled in. After explaining a naturologist is “one who heals by helping nature,” she has some back and forth with her lawyer. She claims to not be able to cure but to help patients cure themselves. The defense then tries to tear down the prosecution’s case putting down all the prosecution’s witnesses. Zipser, Judge Adamson and the Mr. Herbert, the defense attorney all spar on who is supposed to do what and whether the defense is asking questions or summing up. The point of all the bluster comes down to whether or not the machines actually work. The defense plans a demonstration.

Dr. Fremont then takes over, explaining how a drop of blood can give “a complete diagnosis, a diagnosis in-depth and cure for any individual.” Fremont asks for a volunteer and McGarrett obliges. Herbert objects but Fremont jumps at the chance. McGarrett gives up his single drop of blood.

Act Four

McGarrett holds up the sample to the jury before dropping it on the floor. Fremont then wants McGarrett to note anything unusual or different in his medical history – “Anything special, hidden, any major surgery, or any complaints or symptoms you may have at present.” As he does so, Fremont goes on and on about emanations.

When McGarrett is finished, he hands the paper to Fremont who folds it and hands it off to the judge. She then takes the sample and runs it through the machine. After a few minutes of blinking lights and scribbling on the chart, Fremont gives her assessment: she states McGarrett had polio at about age 10, has broken his left leg in the past and an appendectomy. As far as the present: good health, somewhat hypertensive. She notes several “sub-clinical indications and nutritional deficiencies.” Otherwise, the outlook is excellent except for a predisposition for “tumor.” Fremont tells McGarrett he will likely die of cancer before the age of 50. Unless, of course, he stays on guard and receives “enlightened” treatment.

Fremont returns to the stand. Judge Adamson opens the note and reveals that vegetable dye was actually tested. Zipser explains the swap of McGarrett’s blood sample and a sample put together in an FDA lab in front of witnesses, proving the machine cannot differentiate between blood and essentially water. The courtroom erupts into mayhem as McGarrett walks out.

In the parking lot, McGarrett returns the keys to Zipser’s car. As he is about to leave, Mary Ann yells after him. He stops as she runs towards him. The episode ends with a brother-sister reconcilation.

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