S03E15 - “Paniolo” - Plot

(Prepared by Bobbi Baker)


A pair of ranchers move cattle through the land while a group of bulldozers and other construction equipment move earth on a road in the distance. Hody (Royal Dano) tells Frank (Frank Silvera) he's seen before in Texas and Wyoming saying people gave up because they couldn't ride it out. A guy in a suit (William Bigelow II) drives through the construction to Frank's house. Frank tells Hody to "put them in the pen," referring to the cattle. He does as Frank rides to meet the man but Hody meets up with them just as Frank tells the man to get off the ranch. The man says, "Maui's changed, man. You're scrounging to pay taxes for everybody else's property". The man knows Frank is in dire straits on the financial front. Harry Pawai (Robert M. Luck) holds an I.O.U. against Frank for $800, which the man bought from Harry because Harry's got his own money problems. Frank takes the I.O.U. and pushes the man down the front steps. When Frank realizes he's been sold out, he tells Hody to tell the man to get in his car and drive out or Frank will kill him. "You already did".

Act One

Danno arrives at Iolani Palace as Chin and Kono brief McGarrett on a stake out operation they're working on with HPD. McGarrett tells them to keep him informed and they leave. Danno walks in to information from McGarrett handing him a picture: Lester Cronin, the same man at Frank's ranch pushed down the steps. McGarrett briefs a New York grand jury indicted Cronin and three public officials of fraud, bribery and other charges. McGarrett orders Danno to pick up Cronin.

On Maui, Frank and Hody put Cronin in his car and run it off a cliff. Hody pleads with Frank for them to go to Chief Kubota (Michael Morgan) of the Maui Police. Frank won't hear any of it, putting the car into gear. His plan/story will be he was in Honolulu all day visiting his daughter Dorothy (Marilyn Chris) and he'll be back in the morning.

Danno waits at the airport next to where the flight from Maui is deplaning. Only one problem: no Cronin. Danno asks for a patch to McGarrett reporting there's no Cronin but according to the secretary, he was supposed to return from Maui on the 6:00 p.m. flight. McGarrett tells Danno to fly over and notify Chief Kubota to pick up Cronin.

Night falls over Honolulu as Frank shows up at Dorothy's house. Dorothy isn't too thrilled to see him but she welcomes him into her house. When he asks if it's too late to see his grandson (George "Keoki" Awai), she says he's asleep but he runs out of the bedroom. They banter for a bit as Dorothy rolls her eyes. When Bud asks when are they going riding again, she puts a stop to everything and tells him to say good night. Frank carries Bud to his room. Frank and Dorothy then argue about her keeping Bud away from him and the ranch and the fact that Frank needs to sell while he can still get something out of it. Frank asks what is he going to do or where is going to go. When she answers Honolulu, he brings up she married a haole then left her. Frank is all about the ranch, it's been in the family for several generations and he says if they want it, they'll have to kill him for it. Dorothy laments she wished he loved her as much as the ranch. When he asks for the $800 she isn't able to help but he asks her to tell anyone who asks he was there all day since morning. Frank then leaves with Bud watching from his bedroom window.

Act Two

Danno calls in from the Sonesta Beach Hotel where he says Cronin arrived yesterday and had a ticket on the evening flight back to Honolulu. He also rented a car, which McGarrett wants an APB on it in order to find Cronin. Danno tells him Cronin received a parking ticket at 11:04 a.m. in Ka'eleku.

Danno visits Harry's Corral before jumping into a helicopter to track down Cronin. Harry claims to not know anything before Danno leaves. The helicopter search yields nothing and the same holds true for the ground patrols. Due to the late hour, the helicopter search has to be suspended until the next day.

Frank and Hody finish their day and go to Harry's because "Saturday, like always". Harry stops dead seeing the pair walk into his saloon. Harry doesn't necessarily want to talk to them because he knows he sold the I.O.U. Harry expected Frank to be all ticked off, "Cronin was gonna tell you yesterday". Frank plays dumb saying he never saw Cronin and he was in Honolulu all day. Harry comes clean about selling the I.O.U. to Cronin and Frank feigns being shocked. Frank tells him the $800 was the reason he went to Honolulu, which makes Harry feel worse. "I even lied to that haole that came in asking about Cronin". Frank asks who and Harry answers, "name's Williams. A cop from Five-O".

The helicopter search resumes with Danno and the pilot flying over more beaches. They overlook a highway for a bit before moving "inland again". On the way, they check out something suspicious, it's Cronin's car all smashed up at the bottom of a cliff!

Act Three

In the doctor's office on Maui, a doctor (Albert Harris) focuses on the splinters under the microscope. McGarrett, who's arrived, takes a look. The slivers are wood, still green, possibly part of a club. One fact remains: Cronin was dead before the car went over the cliff.

McGarrett and Harry drive out to Frank's ranch where they're met by Frank and Hody. McGarrett tells Frank they were told, by Harry, Cronin was on his way to his ranch on Friday. Frank sticks to his story about being in Honolulu all day. McGarrett knows Cronin was interested in buying the ranch and was pressing the issue. Frank becomes upset saying his ranch isn't for sale and walks away. McGarrett mentions the I.O.U. stopping Frank. Frank stays with his story and walks onto the deck. McGarrett and Harry are about to leave when McGarrett mentions all of Cronin's personal effects were found on him, except Frank's I.O.U.

Back in Honolulu, Bud listens in from his room as McGarrett and Danno check out Frank's story about being in Honolulu. Dorothy claims he was there, even with a story of how they were together all day talking over beer. Danno walks into the house ripping a sheet from his notepad and handing it to McGarrett. Dorothy said earlier Friday was her day off and while it's not her normal day off, she says she called in. One problem: according to her time card, she was at work all day Friday! McGarrett catches her in a lie and nods to Danno to have Chief Kubota pick up Frank. After they leave, Bud rips into Dorothy too slamming his door. With no other options, she calls Frank. Frank takes off on horseback.

Act Four

Frank camps out under a tree for the night as Hody hangs out at Harry's. Hody tells a rotten story as Harry goes through the motions more than anything, but he did apologize. Chief Kubota and McGarrett walk into Harry's finding Hody at the end of the bar. Hody called him but before he'd been going through the motions himself. Hody has something to get off his chest and finally lets it out: he tells them what really happened with Cronin, an accident. Chief Kubota was willing to help but had no idea and while Hody wanted to, "but you know Frank". As they ready to leave, Chief Kubota tells McGarrett it's rough country, even jeeps will have issues. McGarrett wants some horsemen and a tracker in order to take Frank alive. Chief Kubota has the best, Charlie Latea (Beau Van Den Ecker). Hody knows where Frank is headed: "ka palekana wahi".

The next morning, Charlie checks out the ranch house trying to figure out which way Frank set off. Charlie mounts his horse and the posse of six takes off with the helicopter not far behind. The helicopter flies ahead to try to find Frank who is still heading to the mountains. Charlie checks again on Frank's direction of travel as McGarrett reiterates to the posse he wants Frank alive. One man (Gary Danley) asks what are they supposed to do if Frank shoots first? McGarrett says they'll cross that bridge when they get there.

The helicopter flies close to the ground in some areas and keep going through a valley. The posse continues as well, reaching a ridgeline where the tracks stop. Charlie comments that Frank knows what he's doing. McGarrett radios Danno telling him they've lost him for the time being but to keep looking. Meantime, Frank feeds his horse a sugar cube as the helicopter can be heard in the sky. Frank remounts and takes off with the helicopter closing in. Danno spots him and the helicopter lands for Danno to take a shot but Frank disappears behind some brush before he sets up. Climbing back in, they take off to find Frank again.

The posse continues on a ridgeline, McGarrett checks in with Danno who tells him they last saw Frank in Kimo Gorge. When Charlie realizes they can't catch Frank today, the posse camps. Frank stops too reminiscing about his grandson and the ranch. The next morning, the posse picks up Frank's trail and close in because his horse has gone lame. Frank shoots his horse and taking his rifle, he starts climbing the mountain on foot. The helicopter resumes its search as the posse comes up on Frank's horse.

Frank reaches near a summit as five posse members including McGarrett go after Frank on foot. The helicopter finds him as the posse catches up. Frank aims his rifle at McGarrett as the posse lines up. McGarrett tells them to hold their fire and calls off Danno who can hit Frank from his position. McGarrett isn't having any of it, trying to talk Frank down only to be shot in the arm. When that happens, the posse opens fire killing Frank.

This plot summary Copyrightę Bobbi Baker 2019. No reproduction of any kind without permission.

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