S03E17 - “To Kill Or Be Killed” - Plot

(Prepared by Bobbi Baker)


A typical sunny day in Honolulu as traffic flows along the street. Inside a building, a man named Croyden (Thomas McWilliams) records what happens in the next room. A young couple drive down the street in their Bonneville convertible when she screams at a man (Peter Jason) jumping from several floors up. Croyden looks out his balcony as a crowd of people gather around the man who jumped. He goes back inside to make a phone call and tells person on the other end something's happened. He hangs up and hastily packs up his equipment.

Act One

A military staff car pulls up to a hospital where McGarrett rushes to meet General Rigney (John Anderson). They enter a morgue where the orderly pulls out the body and General Rigney identifies him as his son. McGarrett tells General Rigney his son fell or was pushed. General Rigney says his son had only been home for two days. General Rigney said his son wanted to be alone, his girlfriend married while he was overseas and lost touch with most of his college friends. The only enemy: the Viet Cong.

At the apartment, McGarrett talks to Mrs. Jessup (Freda May Bird). In her initial report to HPD, she said she heard a struggle in the apartment and saw a man leave with a gun. Now, she's not so certain but the facts line up because the police found the gun right where she said it was dropped. As soon as McGarrett releases her, Mrs. Jessup runs out of the apartment nearly running down Danno. McGarrett's not happy because she changed her story. Danno hands over Lieutenant Rigney's file and McGarrett peruses it. But he's more interested in what they have: Jack Rigney either fell or was pushed out his window. No bullet holes even though they found a gun. "Cause of death, internal injuries from multiple contusions, nothing else". Then Mrs. Jessup sees a young man carrying a gun out of the apartment just before the fall. Not only did she give an exact location of the gun but an exact time: 10:13 a.m. and Jack's watch stopped at 10:17 a.m.

Kono and Chin walk in with the ballistics on the gun: "a Russian-made nine-shot Tokarev" a favorite souvenir for soldiers. There's another set of prints on the gun but the FBI has no idea who they belong to. Chin reports all the tenants check out with the exception of one: Johnson who rented the adjoining apartment to Jack's on the same day. McGarrett wants him tracked down and a policeman on the apartment in case the guy comes back. McGarrett looks at Jack's file again, this time coming across a picture of his brother Mike (Michael Anderson, Jr.) who fits the description Mrs. Jessup gave HPD. McGarrett wants HPD to check the second set of prints with DMV records to see if they match Mike's.

A guy rides up on a motorcycle as Croyden observes from a distance, it's Mike. He walks into a dormitory to visit his girlfriend (Joy Bang). They talk about his visit with Jack but Mike isn't too forthcoming and tells her to drop it. He has to report on Monday but he's made up his mind that he's not to report. He feels Vietnam isn't a just war and his only option is Canada. Gail tells him there are people who help draft resisters but Mike blows that off because "you can't be opposed to just this war. You still have to be religious or a total pacifist and I'm not either". The other way: "spend a few years in jail".

McGarrett and Danno show up at Mike's house where General Rigney beat them to it. General Rigney's excuse for not mentioning Mike before is he felt it wasn't important. Mike isn't there, gone before anyone arrived. General Rigney laments about how two sons could turn out so differently. General Rigney was aware Mike wanted to talk to Jack before his final decision on avoiding the draft. General Rigney assumes Jack would have told Mike the same thing he did about it being a "cop-out" and possibly angry with Mike. Danno suggests a fight but General Rigney doesn't believe anything happened on purpose, probably an accident. McGarrett asks the difficult question of the chance Jack could have committed suicide. General Rigney says absolutely not. McGarrett notices a picture of Gail but General Rigney has no idea who she is. McGarrett orders Danno to find out who she is and put an APB out on Mike.

Mike and Gail ride to the 'Hawaii Committee to Aid Draft Resistance' and Mike goes in. Croyden follows them there but stays across the street. Meanwhile, McGarrett and Chin go to the women's dormitory at the university asking about Gail Howard. Her roommate Anne (Brooks Almy) happens to be there and she says Gail isn't around at the moment. She's not on campus because she doesn't have class today and Anne doesn't know if Mike's with her. McGarrett gives Anne his card and to have Gail call him once they see each other. Back at the Committee, a counselor (Al Eben) puts Mike through the wringer escalating into a shouting match. Mike leaves in disgust discovering he has two options: Canada or jail. Outside, Gail backs him and is willing to go with him to Canada. Mike doesn't want to her to give up everything she knows but she's still willing. While they talk, Anne calls and when Gail answers she's told the bad news that the police are looking for her and Mike. When Gail goes back out to Mike to convey what Anne told her, he's staring at the newspaper headline: 'Vietnam hero falls to death: brother sought for questioning'. This is how Mike finds out his brother is dead.

Act Two

Mike loses it and Gail tries desperately to have him tell her what happened as Croyden continues to watch from across the street. After Mike calms down, they get on the motorcycle, his mind is made up: he's going to Canada. Gail's mind is made up too; she's going with him. Croyden pulls into traffic following the pair.

Five-O regroups in Jack's apartment building and the missing neighbor is still missing. They check out the neighbor's apartment thanks to a key Chin picked up from the manager. McGarrett checks out the living room, Danno the kitchen and Chin the bathroom. Danno reports there's nothing in the kitchen, which holds true for the living room and the bathroom. McGarrett looks over the living room again and finds a piece of insulation from a wire between the carpet and the wall. The electrical outlet nearby appears to have been tampered with. Removing the outlet cover, McGarrett discovers the wires weren't used for electricity and it is a common outlet with Jack's apartment. Someone was bugging Jack, the question is whom? FBI? CIA? Army Intelligence? McGarrett wants the lab team to go over the apartment "with a fine-tooth comb".

Croyden keeps up his surveillance of Mike and Gail. Mike goes to an underground print shop to find passage to Canada. Talking to the guy (Donald Weller) Anne sent him to Mike says he has about $100 for him and his girl. The guy tells him to call in about an hour.

Danno visits the Committee Mike saw earlier. Danno shows Mike's picture wanting to know if he's been in and the same counselor who talked to Mike claims a thousand guys come in. He also tells Danno, if he recognized him, he wouldn't betray his confidence. Danno tells Heller they want to help Mike too. Without getting into details, Danno says the longer he hides, the worse it will be for Mike. Heller admits Mike was in yesterday as his aide (Paul Mickelsen) gives Heller some paperwork and scowls right at Danno. Heller explains they try to give the kids information on the consequences of their choices and none are easy. He adds he isn't sure what Mike decided to do.

At a hideout in the middle of nowhere, Mike and Gail try to squeeze themselves into a corner as small as possible. The leader (Dave Donnelly) asks if they want soup but when they're not hungry, he walks over to Mike. Mike wants out and in a hurry. The leader says Rafe; the guy at the printing place, made sure Mike was "legit". Mike wants to get to Portland or San Francisco and tells the leader the police are after him, but not for "draft evasion". The leader ups the cost to $500. The leader doesn't care where the money comes from, they need to get it.

General Rigney walks out of the church where Jack is laying in state under a flag draped coffin. Inside, his mother (Dorothy Green) kneels beside Jack's coffin as Mike sneaks in from the back. Upon seeing his mom, Mike backs out.

Act Three

In his office, McGarrett dumps out dog tags, R & R papers, some money and a pack of cigarettes for Danno. Chin and Kono walk in with still nothing on the prints from the next-door apartment but Chin says all the ways off the island are covered. McGarrett tells them they'll go off the assumption "he's still on the island". Danno goes over his cover again: Army enlistee with six days of R & R left but he's not going back to combat, rather he's going to split for Canada. He asks Chin if all the bases are covered and Chin verifies the uncle, school and service records match his back-story.

Danno hunts down Anne on campus claiming to be an old friend of her brother's even mentioning they used to surf "over at Waimea". Danno convinces her he's not a draft dodger but somebody who's AWOL.

Gail looks out the window of the hideout as Mike returns. She runs out and hugs him realizing he didn't get the money from his mom. Mike says he couldn't ask her. Gail expected this glitch and got the $500 they need by asking several professors and over 20 students. While they didn't know what happened with Jack, they knew Mike and "that seemed to be enough". Gail assures him their plan will work.

Chin and Kono return to McGarrett's office with a positive report on the gun. The other set of prints belong to Mike. Chin says Danno reported in making contact with a guy most likely the same way Mike has to leave. Chin also has a report back from the FBI: the prints from next-door belong to Alan H. Croyden, Army Criminal Investigation. McGarrett sees pieces falling into place, especially when it comes to Mrs. Jessup's sudden change in story.

McGarrett visits the 'Provost Marshal' of CID (Glenn Cannon) to figure what is going on. Instead, he meets a Lieutenant (Philip Grayson) who says Colonel Franklin is in Washington and stonewalls him on the answers McGarrett needs. The Lieutenant passes on the message from the Pentagon for McGarrett to slow down/stop his investigation particularly when it comes to the "public disclosure" of the Army's agent until they complete their investigation. When McGarrett asks what they're investigating, the Lieutenant says, "it's classified". When the Lieutenant tells him again to slow down/top his investigation, McGarrett refuses. McGarrett states it clear: he works for the State of Hawaii and not the federal government. It's no use and McGarrett knows this walking out of the office.

Rafe takes Danno to the hideout where the leader makes sure he checks out. They talk about Danno leaving for Canada and the leader tells him they can put on the West Coast. Meanwhile, the kid from the Committee who scowled at Danno when talking to Heller recognizes him right away. Danno pays the leader $500 and finds a spot to sit as well as handed a joint from a girl. Sitting next to Mike and Gail, the kid pulls the leader aside telling the leader Danno is "fuzz". Danno tries to pass Gail the joint but no luck, he's stuck: in more ways than one as the leader closes in. At that exact moment, law enforcement moves in to bust everybody there. Mike and Gail are put into the back seat of Croyden's car.

Act Four

McGarrett and General Rigney see the Provost Marshal this time and Colonel Franklin is in. General Rigney is upset and honestly tells Colonel Franklin he's "in the line of fire". Colonel Franklin wants to help but he has his orders. General Rigney gets fired up and wants to know why Army CID was spying on Jack. The tape made of the goings on in Jack's apartment was sent to Washington but there is a copy in Hawaii. General Rigney wants to know what the charges are against Jack and why a tape was made to begin with. Colonel Franklin can only answer the Army is investigating "certain incidents". General Rigney threatens Colonel Franklin's job but the Colonel is stuck between a rock and a hard place: he's out of a job if he lets General Rigney hear the tape. McGarrett lays it out: they could be dealing with homicide and Mike is the prime suspect with his disappearance making things worse. Colonel Franklin still won't budge even though he wants to. All he can do is give General Rigney assurances that Mike did not have anything to do with Jack's death.

In McGarrett's office, Danno briefs McGarrett, General Rigney and his wife it wasn't Army people who busted them. Danno can only guess it was another branch of the federal government but they released him as soon as he showed them his ID. However, Mike is still in their custody and McGarrett muses someone is very interested in keeping things "wrapped up". General Rigney has had enough and uses McGarrett's phone to call Washington, specifically Jonathan Kaye (Robert Dixon). General Rigney begs Jonathan to help because he has to know what happened whether Jack committed suicide or if Mike killed him.

In Colonel Franklin's office, the tape is set up with General Rigney, his wife, McGarrett and Danno. Croyden brings in Mike and Gail as Mike's mom hugs him. Mike and Gail sit as Croyden remains outside closing the door when Colonel Franklin begins the tape. As the tape plays, Jack is sobbing eventually opening a drawer to pull out his gun. McGarrett recognizes the clicking: Jack checking his Tokarev. Jack pulls back the slide and it's ready to fire. Jack walks to the sink but is interrupted by Mike who knocks on the door and lets himself in. Mike stops Jack from shooting himself and they wrestle for the gun for several minutes. Mike successfully takes the gun away asking Jack "why". Jack, in an agitated emotional state, explains he's just "an animal" and how what he's done is eating him from the inside out.

When Mike tells him he only did what "they forced you to," Jack counters no one forced him to kill women or old men. Jack knew exactly what he was doing, but he "didn't care". Jack tells about a "Viet Cong stronghold" they went through "killing everything in sight". Only the stronghold didn't exist, it was only a village and they killed anyway. In the end, nothing was left. The only thing the soldiers were concerned about was their "kill ratio;" the "body count". Jack was adamant about his father not knowing; he wouldn't understand the type of combat Jack faced. Jack makes Mike promise he won't tell their father and Mike makes Jack promise he'll check into the Army hospital. Jack agrees. Mike helps Jack onto the couch to lay down telling him Mike needs to talk to him about something when he's feeling better. Mike leaves, taking the gun with him. On the tape, the door closes. After a bit, Jack walks to the sliding door, opening it. Another bit and a woman's scream is heard. Their mom is devastated, sobbing right away. Colonel Franklin stops the tape as everyone pretty much falls apart.

General Rigney reconciles with Mike but Mike has made his decision: he "can't go". Mike now knows there is only one option: jail and he's willing to face it. General Rigney, however, sees things differently, "Then I've got two dead sons". Before she leaves, Mike's mom hugs him one last time. Mike and Gail walk out together. The family, like the country, is in a state of ruin.

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

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