A station wagon with 'Hale Maluhia' printed on the doors parks at a shopping center. The driver (Peter Bromilow) tells three girls they have about ten minutes. The girls go to a jewelry store and Janey (Patricia Hume) says they'll wait for the one customer to leave. Wendy (Kelly Palzis) wonders if there's another way as the customer leaves. Janey asks Palani (Petra Fuji) if she's ready. They make their move: Palani distracts the shop owner (Bill Bigelow) while Janey goes in to steal a necklace with Wendy as lookout. When Janey knocks over a couple displays in the same window, the jig is up and the three take off running. The storeowner gives chase as the girls run for the car. The driver says they didn't have to run as Janey tells him they have go. The driver takes off as the storeowner writes down the information he can.
On the road, the driver asks what all the chaos was about. The girls tell him about $15,000 owed in back taxes and the necklace is worth $12,000 so that only leaves $3000. He chews on them for pulling "a heist" and as Wendy and Palani giggle after Janey says her arm wasn't long enough, he quiets them, "it's very unfunny". Hale Maluhia is a second chance as the girls have already committed petty crimes. Besides there's a problem as he explains after pulling over, "who's going to give you 12,000? The store's markup alone is a hundred percent. That leaves you with 6,000. And then the fence, if you know a fence, he takes 60 percent". Not to mention no fence would take them seriously and they would be lucky to get $1000. Janey asks, "how do you know all this, Willie?" He corrects them, "it's Mr. McFee to lawbreakers like you". He leaves them one last lesson: there's no easy way to make a buck.
In his office, McGarrett wonders how the attempted robbery concerns Five-O. Kimo explains the getaway car was from Hale Maluhia and while HPD is looking into it, Truck figured McGarrett would like a first look because of his "relationship with Dolly Simmons (Neva Patterson) and her baby chicks". McGarrett agrees, leaving for the home.
At Hale Maluhia, McGarrett sternly lectures the girls trying to figure out if Willie was in on it. Wendy says he knew nothing about it but he takes up for them but McGarrett isn't impressed, "It was a criminal act, selfish and inconsiderate. And it puts a black mark on this school". Dolly asks if anything can be done and McGarrett says charges have been filed. If they are pressed, the girls could be facing some serious consequences. Dolly dismisses the girls and Willie. Once they are gone, McGarrett asks Dolly how he was. Dolly tells him he should have been an actor but knows there's trouble for the girls. McGarrett has some reasoning to do with the storeowner and focuses on Willie. Dolly explains Willie is a "horticultural genius" and he's the home's handyman and gardener. Dolly also tells McGarrett about the home's predicament: government cutbacks, little to no private contributions and the $15,000 due in back taxes. The grant they had was two years ago. McGarrett and Dolly part ways.
Willie reads some poetry to Dolly as she drinks tea. She calls him an "incurable romantic" because the islands aren't what he just described but are full of sand flies. She laments about how to get by without him and lists his talents for growing and drawing flowers. Willie asks her how bad is it really for the home. The $15,000 is needed by the end of the month or they have to close. She's worried what he will do if they do close and he knows he'll "get by". As he leaves for the greenhouse, he asks Dolly if she believes in miracles. Entering the greenhouse, Willie pulls out a steel box buried in the lower table. Inside are plates for counterfeit $20 bills and a stack of bills. He takes two from the stack.
Willie drives to 'Okay Printing' in downtown Honolulu. Inside he visits Eddie (George Herman), who Willie did business with several years ago. Eddie knows him as 'Monty Pearson' and it's been 18 years since they’ve seen each other. Willie wants to get together again to help someone who needs the money. Eddie is in and Willie takes him up on it asking for a small press not on a main street. Eddie can do it and he can barely contain his excitement.
Willie purchases some items totaling $37.23 from a Hula store paying $40 to the clerk (Elizabeth Smith).
Kimo enters McGarrett's office with "all the stuff for the luau". Kimo even has change for them both: $20.30. Kimo suggests they play 'Hawaiian poker' for the 30 cents. McGarrett picks a bill and they begin comparing serial numbers only to find they are the same! They go to see John Holland (Paul Udell) at the Secret Service. Holland calls the bill "beautiful" and it could have fooled anyone. McGarrett wonders if Holland recognizes the bill. Holland calls it a work of art because no one engraves any more. Holland drops the name Monty Pearson who's been out of the game for 20 years. Holland compares these bills to the German plates used to undermine the American effort during World War II. Holland says Pearson's plates are better than those and if he's out and active, the U.S. currency could be in trouble. Holland agrees to dig up what information he can on Pearson.
At Hale Maluhia, the girls put together flower leis to help raise money for the home. At a couple of dollars each, they would need to make 8000 to raise enough for the back taxes. Willie walks across the grounds, focused on what he needs to do. Willie digs up his box again and grabs an address book.
At a phone booth and with a slew of quarters, Willie starts contacting the people he's worked with before to let them know they're "back in business". Willie calls a man, Sam (Yankee Chang) in Singapore, another man, Pierre (Michael F. Martin) in Monte Carlo and Joe (Dick Fair) in Miami Beach. Joe, in turn, calls Tony (Michael Morgan) telling him Monty just contacted him. Tony immediately takes notice. The plan is for Joe to go ahead to Hawaii and there's a piece in it for him from Tony. Joe is excited that he can leave his bellhop job behind.
Tony calls in his two guys (Bob Hoy, Ric Marlow) to got to Hawaii and get his plates back. Apparently, Tony paid Monty to make the plates 18 years before but when Monty disappeared/went straight the plates went with him. Tony makes it clear too: Tony wants the plates no matter what.
Kimo goes back to the Hula store to jog Ida the clerk's memory. Kimo takes a look at the $20 bills in her cash register but they're fine. "You're positive nobody came in here and gave you two twenties?" Ida is sure and Kimo is about to walk out when she remembers an island old-timer who paid with a pair of $20 bills. She tells him he had "English talk" and Hawaiian words printed on his car: 'Hale Maluhia' (House of Safety). Kimo thanks her then leaves.
McGarrett talks to Kimo over the phone in his office. Kimo tells him Willie is the one they're looking for. McGarrett plans to go visit Hale Maluhia and hangs up the phone.
McGarrett talks to Willie in the greenhouse telling him Ida identified him as passing the phony bills. McGarrett asks him where Willie got the bills and Willie gives him a story they might have been picked up when he cashed a check for some seedlings he sold. McGarrett will check it out. On his way out, McGarrett admires a bright pink hibiscus Willie calls 'the Dolly'.
Out front Janey continues scheming on how to get some other money before giving up on all of it.
Willie visits Eddie again and gives him a Dolly hibiscus. During their conversation, Willie tells Eddie the bills were "nailed" and the distribution will have to be overseas. Eddie shows Willie his own plates and while they aren't as good as Willie's, they're "very nice". Eddie also tells Willie he found a place on Pebble Island, Shack Four because there are no street names. Sam, Pierre and Joe are supposed to meet Willie at Eddie's print shop and Willie will be back after he checks the place Eddie found. Willie leaves and as he starts the car, notices Tony's thugs getting out of a car behind him. Willie drives off. Eddie places his plates in a locked desk drawer.
Around the corner, Willie finds Sam, Pierre and Joe and they all climb into the car. Willie tells them about the goons, Sol and Rico, entering Eddie's print shop. Willie tells them they're leaving for now but one will have to come back and "check it out". Eddie isn't so lucky as Sol and Rico walk into his print shop and go about tearing things apart eventually stealing Eddie's plates and killing Eddie.
Later at the scene, Kimo reports to McGarrett that Eddie was killed by professionals. He also mentions Eddie worked for Tony Balsani back in the day. McGarrett wants Tony checked out because he's sure there's a connection.
Meanwhile in a park, Willie is upset about Eddie and says as much to Sam, Pierre and Joe. He wants to call it all off but the other three urge him to go forward. Joe has a distribution deal set in Hong Kong: $30,000 run to get $15,000. Willie agrees and tells them where their operation is going to be. As the three leave to set up, Willie takes another direction to get the plates. Joe makes a note of what is written on Willie's car.
Rico calls back to Tony and tells him they goofed. Tony is not pleased, "so I heard, you foul-ups". Tony doesn't want Eddie's plates, he wants Monty's but Rico says they don't know where he is. Tony conveys where they can find him but he has to spell it!
Kimo walks into McGarrett's office with the ballistics report: "forty-five caliber automatic with a silencer". Kimo also looked into Willie's story and he was at the bank cashing a check for $53.23. But would the bank really hand out phony $20s? A long shot, but someone could have made a cash deposit before Willie went in to cash his check. Holland from the Secret Service calls in confirming Monty Pearson made the plates. Holland will be sending over a mug shot as soon as he gets it from Washington. Holland adds Monty had a contract with Tony Balsani before he went straight. If Tony is involved, it could mean fake American money into a foreign market. McGarrett tells Kimo, "We got problems".
Willie digs up his box yet again in the greenhouse. When Dolly comes into the greenhouse looking for him, Willie hastily buries the box back into its hiding spot. They talk about his gardening before Rico and Sol walk in with their guns drawn.
Rico and Sol demand to know where the plates are and Willie/Monty denies knowing because it's been 20 years. Dolly throws a flowerpot exposing the plates. Sol picks them up and after greed takes over, they take Willie/Monty and Dolly with them out of the greenhouse to where the operation is taking place.
McGarrett tries to piece it together in his office because if they don't get to Monty before the hit men, Monty is as good as dead. Holland shows up with the information from Washington including Monty's mug shot: it's Willie! McGarrett and Kimo leave for Hale Maluhia.
At Pebble Island, Willie/Monty talks about the preciseness of the operation. Rico becomes impatient but if he wants some bills, he'll have to wait. Dolly appreciates the art side of it, at least as far as the engraving goes. Willie/Monty is not happy when Sol pushes Dolly back into her seat.
at the greenhouse, McGarrett and Kimo look around noticing a 'Dolly' thrown into the corner. McGarrett instantly finds Willie's box eventually finding the Pebble Island address.
At Pebble Island, Rico has had enough and forces everyone against the wall. McGarrett and Kimo race out. Joe steps forward but Rico tells him the rats "go too" and Willie/Monty realizes Joe betrayed him to Tony. As Rico and Sol screw around deciding who to shoot first, McGarrett and Kimo come up with a diversion to get everyone's attention: tie a rope around one of the shack legs and run a boat out to collapse it all. McGarrett shoots Rico in the leg and forces Sol against the wall. When it's all over, they all get arrested for various charges from counterfeiting to murder.
Willie spending his time Halawa Correctional Facility and receives a visit from McGarrett with good news. The governor has declared Hale Maluhia a historical site and thus tax-exempt. As well, Dolly sent his hybrid to a competition where it won first prize. Willie is awe-struck and McGarrett asks when his next prizewinner will be ready. Maybe six months, McGarrett tells Willie he's working on getting him out at about the same time.
This plot summary Copyright Bobbi Baker ©2019. No reproduction of any kind without permission.
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