McGarrett barrels into his office to answer the phone as Danno and Chin stand at the door. He briefs them Dewey Felton has been shot dead at Morgan Hilliard's (Barry Sullivan) estate. Jenny (Peggy Ryan) takes another call from the man McGarrett just talked to but when McGarrett goes to speak, the line is dead. Jenny double checks while Danno and Chin take off from the Palace.
McGarrett walks down the steps towards his car but is quickly surrounded by six armed men. The group speaker tells him no one wants to tangle with him but they have orders. He disarms McGarrett and forces him into a car. The Cadillac Fleetwood and Lincoln Continental screech out of the Palace parking lot.
Danno and Chin arrive at the estate to find Dewey Felton dead beside the pool. Three men stand nearby. Meanwhile, McGarrett is taken to the docks and escorted aboard a yacht only to run into "a decontamination procedure". The yacht 'Kaimanu' takes off for open water as Hilliard meets with McGarrett who isn't the least bit amused. McGarrett warns Hilliard no one takes him under duress and gets away with it. Hilliard is unmoved, telling McGarrett he's there to work to figure out who is trying to frame him for murder.
A pair of ambulance attendants take away Felton as Che Fong (Harry Endo) digs a bullet out of a lion's mouth beside the pool. Once he has it, he and Danno identify it as a .45 caliber Colt with Danno wanting a "forensic ballistics report". As the lab technicians continue to process the scene, one of the men (Milton Selzer) asks if they're looking for the murder weapon and demands to be search. A second man (H.M. Winant) also doesn't want to be implicated and Chin searches them both. The second man tells Danno there were exactly seven rounds fired and they have it on tape! A third man (Ed Flanders) adds they have everything on tape and Danno wants an explanation. Danno tells Mims, the second man, it all seems like a coincidence but Mims explains they've been meeting at the estate for the last five days. Mims goes on: they're taking Hilliard to court over his "emotional instability" and thus the meetings have been taped. However, Hilliard prefers to stay in the pool with whatever mix is in it to "emerge germ-free". Danno checks out the "sauna" with a billowing cloud wafting out as he opens the door. Hilliard's associates tell him it's all about decontamination and dealing with auras. Che snuck in at some point, finding a pair of .45 shells in the corner. Danno wants to hear the tape when Chin asks about McGarrett. Danno tells him to call Jenny and see what's keeping McGarrett.
On the yacht, Hilliard laments about his associates and their efforts to steal his empire. He tells McGarrett he pays them $200,000 a year plus expense accounts and other goodies. He even offered them 49 percent of Hilliard's steam car but instead there is a court battle brewing over $2.5 billion assets.
The group is ready to play the tape as Byers, the third man, Mims and the first man take their positions of where they were standing and tell Danno Hilliard was in the pool. As the tape plays, Hilliard tells his story to McGarrett. As the tape plays and Hilliard talks, the plan was to liquidate 14 corporations but Felton wasn't willing to play and Hilliard fired him. In the process, Felton turned against Hilliard and turned the others against him as well. Hilliard has an "aversion to human contact" and is very uncomfortable in McGarrett's presence and McGarrett shares he isn't overjoyed either. At the estate the tape continues with Hilliard offering to buy the others out but Mims shows Hilliard the court summons. Hilliard tells them he'll see them in hell first and the shots start. Danno says it sounds like a silencer was used as the bullets are thumping more than anything. The men continue telling Danno what happened including Hilliard being accused, not allowing the others to call out until he left on his helicopter. Chin interrupts as McGarrett's car is still in the parking but no one has seen him. Byers nearly has a hissy fit putting the pieces together: Hilliard mentioned McGarrett! On the yacht, McGarrett lectures Hilliard on being a "privileged character" but McGarrett isn't going to play by Hilliard's rules.
At some point, he returns to the Palace and makes his way to the estate. McGarrett follows Danno and Chin to Hilliard's as the press envelope his car but McGarrett keeps driving with the estate guards pushing back the reporters. At the scene the trajectories of the various bullets have been taped out around Felton's outline. As McGarrett discusses things with the team, a spy (William Mount) begins electronic surveillance of them in order to report back to Hilliard. The team has been able to find six of the seven slugs and they all match: six lands, six grooves with a left hand twist and that equals a "Colt automatic". Che produces an A-1 with silencer, which was last produced in 1957. McGarrett takes walking around looking at the ricochet marks. Danno explains with the help of some "high class trigonometry" they were able to find the slugs. Chin tells McGarrett the shots had to come from the sauna and Danno shows him the two spent shells. McGarrett wonders why two were only found. They discuss the implications including Hilliard setting himself up and expecting Five-O to get him off!
A newspaper article arrives with Hiiliard's handwriting: 'Maybe we're both in the soup. Get Busy! M.H.' Byers recognizes it first with the first man backing him up. They've been summoned into McGarrett's office along with Mims in order to listen to the tape again. McGarrett is specifically interested in the first bullet. It thumps on the tape as if it hit something hollow and while one bullet hit a garden sculpture (the lion), the sculpture was not hollow. McGarrett looks over the facts and even suggests they all may have gone in together to eliminate Felton. McGarrett says $2 billion is a motive any jury can buy. Mims looks out the window down to the awaiting press and decides to turn up the heat.
Mims and the others walk out and give the press their due. One reporter (Fred Ball) isn't 100 percent sure he follows what Mims is saying. Mims lays it out telling the press the police weren't called until Hilliard was on his yacht and accuses McGarrett of conveniently disappearing during that first hour. The first reporter asks is McGarrett was on board while a second reporter (Norman Wright) asks if a deal was made. Mims continues to stir the pot as McGarrett appears at the top of the steps. The reporters run to surround him as he walks down the steps ignoring their questions for the most part. He pushes his way through to meet with the governor in two minutes. Hilliard's spy continues to follow McGarrett as he walks to the governor's office.
At the Legislative Building, McGarrett nabs the guy, Craig Custer. Finding the tape recorder, McGarrett gives his own message to Hilliard: face indictment, cooperate and be treated like every other suspect or they'll go out to the yacht and grab him. McGarrett walks away toward the Attorney General's office to obtain an arrest warrant for Hilliard.
In McGarrett's office they have a full diagram of the scene and the players. McGarrett runs through the crime assuming Hilliard fired from the sauna. McGarrett suggests he fires seven shots but he leaves behind two? Danno suggests he left them there for a reason: to make it look like someone was setting him up. Chin also suggests it could have one of the other three who planted them and they had ample time to do it. McGarrett asks Chin to get Bill Ordway and "his little gray box".
McGarrett visits Mims and talk about the shells. Mims says why would he plant them and be dumb enough to admit it? McGarrett agrees calling in Ordway and his polygraph machine. While it has no value in court, the polygraph can eliminate Mims as a suspect and he agrees to the test. McGarrett then goes to see Byers who adamantly refuses to take a polygraph. McGarrett indeed wonders why but moves on for now. The first man, Victor Tabernash, agrees to take the test but is having a horrible time due to nerves. McGarrett jumps all over him accusing him of faking it but he isn't.
The next day, McGarrett takes the press to Hilliard's estate for a conference. McGarrett has the pistol with silencer walking into the sauna; he starts firing causing the reporters to scatter like cockroaches when the light is turned on! McGarrett walks out and asks any of the them to go in find five shells, break down the gun and do it all in a steam cloud in seven seconds. McGarrett dares them to write up how Hilliard managed to do it leaving the reporters to stew. As he's driving out the gate, the guard stops McGarrett for a phone call: it's Hilliard thanking him for clearing him. McGarrett points out Hilliard isn't cleared, he just doesn't know how the billionaire did it. McGarrett tells Hilliard they still need to be together at the crime scene.
McGarrett returns to the Palace during early evening only to run into the smell of antiseptic in the outer Five-O office. He opens his office door greeting Hilliard standing between his desk and side window with a spray can in his hand. Hilliard begins to ask then stops himself realizing how McGarrett knew he was already there.
At Hilliard's estate, McGarrett, Danno and Chin run it through again except this time they have Hilliard reenacting his part. As the tape plays, Hilliard goes through the motions just as he did that day. When McGarrett stops the tape, Hilliard doesn't immediately emerge from the sauna and tells McGarrett the first thump was louder somehow, perhaps even coming from inside the sauna. McGarrett then climbs onto the roof finding the seventh slug! McGarrett knows the shot came from behind the house but Chin says no one was back there. McGarrett wonders if it didn't originate off the estate and Danno says that's over 200 yards. McGarrett wants to find out climbing down.
McGarrett and Danno climb the tree most likely to hold a shooter. They find a stand with three holes drilled into it to hold what they theorize as a gun mount. Back in McGarrett's office, Che tells him the slug isn't a rifle round: its' designed for "punch, not accuracy". Che shows them in order to make it to the target, the trajectory had to be a big arc. McGarrett wonders if there wasn't a marksman used at all and the real perpetrator is an engineer.
McGarrett goes to see Byers again carrying the two shells. McGarrett explains the Swiss bank account of Orion Enterprises and a transfer of $200,000 to Lithia Arms in West Germany for a custom rifle proving accurate to 250 yards with .45 caliber ammunition. McGarrett says the killer planted the shells in the sauna before Felton's murder. Byers extends the antenna on a black box he has in his hands. McGarrett keeps going mentioning phone calls and international coordination. One thing is certain: the rifle was delivered to Byers two months before. Byers denies knowing anything about the rifle but when McGarrett sits back in the chair, Byers tells him the gun is zeroed in at the base of his skull and any of the three buttons he has will pull the trigger. Meantime, Danno runs across the yard behind Byers as Chin and Duke (Harry Wedemeyer) run up the beach. Byers calls for his helicopter as Duke tries to find the weapon. Meantime, McGarrett and Byers have a war of wills commencing with Byers wondering why McGarrett didn't anticipate him having the rifle set up. The helicopter comes as Danno tries to get into position and Byers disarms McGarrett only to find him wired for sound! Byers expects to be on the jet in five minutes but McGarrett tells him not to count on it because the police have helicopters too. McGarrett jumps on Byers and the rifle starts firing but the only casualty is the chair!
McGarrett shows Hilliard the rifle and Hilliard wants to know how to thank him. "Say thanks". Chin takes the rifle as McGarrett walks away from Hilliard with Hilliard yelling after him. Hilliard finally relents is saying thanks and receives a shaka hand in return.
This plot summary Copyrightę Bobbi Baker 2019. No reproduction of any kind without permission.