A sailor (Stephen Matthews) walks in Honolulu followed by two men who give chase when he starts running. Tossing garbage cans at them, the sailor runs to the street hailing a cab. One of the men calls in to say the sailor got away and he needs more men. Meantime, the sailor arrives at his destination: 'White Horse Tattoo Parlor'. The man (Moki Palacio) puts a small package in a safe where lots of money is stashed telling the sailor it was better than the last time. The sailor wanders the streets some more, but this time in a stupor. He is nearly hit by a pair of cars before collapsing in a crosswalk saying, "John Haskell".
Danno briefs McGarrett at the military morgue where a doctor (John Stalker) is also present. The sailor is Albert Woodley, "Damage Controlman, Seaman First". The doctor tells them Shore Patrol brought him in and "he was DOA". Claude Wells (Ken J. Mitchell) of Naval Investigative Service shows up reporting he had two men on him because the "rumble" was he brought in a kilo of heroin. They lost him and he must have made his drop. The doctor is running "a general unknown" for cause of death. McGarrett, Danno and Wells leave when Wells says they don't have a lot to go on. McGarrett noticed a new tattoo wanting Kono to work that angle and Danno leave to pass the order. McGarrett also wants to know who John Haskell is. Wells answers, "U.S.S. John Haskell leaves Subic Bay tomorrow morning, coming back from a tour".
There is a briefing in the governor's office with McGarrett, Wells and Admiral Sample (Admiral Joseph McGoldrick). Admiral Sample briefs drugs are a huge threat to sailors, sometimes more so than bullets. Naval Investigative Service has an undercover man, Chief Hospital Corpsman Franklyn (Charles Gilbert) on board keeping the captain apprised of the situation. They believe another kilo is on the way in: the mission is to find it and keep it under surveillance. The Admiral suggests McGarrett send one of his guys on board the Haskell with McGarrett having the same idea. The governor mentions McGarrett's two weeks of Reserve time but he'd rather hold that until they really need it. Wells says the perfect setup would be an assistant to Franklyn and does McGarrett have someone who qualifies? Of course he does!
The John Haskell is at sea when Danno searches various places on board for any drugs. He meets with Franklyn and the Captain where they discuss where they are: mostly the courier is also an addict and Danno suggests to keep stressing the Exemption Program where the addict can seek help and not be prosecuted for the drug crime. Meanwhile, they'll keep looking.
Kono drives to Madame Sung's (Soo Yong Huang) Tattoo Parlor hoping to catch a lead on Woodley's tattoo. Kono sows her some photos and one makes her eyes light up. She gives a name: John Suriago.
Suriago, the guy stashing the package in the safe, tells McGarrett and Kono he did some work on Woodley taking under 30 minutes to complete. Suriago denies knowing anything especially when McGarrett mentions Woodley was murdered. McGarrett leaves his card as he and Kono walk out the door. Outside, McGarrett wants the works on Suriago because he was the last one to see Woodley alive.
On the deck of the John Haskell, a sailor named Salton (Mark Jenkins) tracks down another named Dillon (David Birney) about scoring some heroin. Salton mentions Woodley's name to Dillon and how Dillon was his dealer in Vietnam. Salton threatens to tell the Navy about what Dillon is doing if Dillon doesn't help him. Salton is desperate: he's not chipping but actually hooked on the stuff. Dillon agrees and Salton pays him up front. They set up a meet at 2200 in the machine shop for "eight dime bags".
Salton searches his stash to see if he has anything left to tie him over. He doesn't and becomes more anxious with every passing minute.
In laboratory, Doc (Al Eben) tells McGarrett Woodley was killed by an alkaloid. Doc hasn't nailed it to a specific chemical yet but his working on it being down to the "exotic" ones. Doc runs another scan and finds a match: aconitine. For it to be a poison, it would have to be distilled from monkshood and less than a single drop could cause death within an hour. It could be taken orally, through an IV or even absorbed through sweaty skin. McGarrett goes for the phone ordering Chin to impound everything at Suriago's tattoo shop so Doc can check for aconitine.
Aboard the Haskell, Salton tries to break into Sick Bay only to be stopped by Danno's arrival. Salton claims to have a headache and he's not able to sleep. Danno opens the door to see what he can do for him. In the light, Danno knows the symptoms; he's seen it before! He tells Salton he's an addict and he has two options: turn himself in under the Exemption Program or Danno has to. Salton denies being an addict but relents: he's willing to turn himself in, in 15 minutes. Danno agrees and warns Salton if he doesn't return, Danno has no choice but to report him. Salton leaves.
Danno calls Honolulu talking to McGarrett about Salton. Danno hated letting him go but it was either that or blow his cover, which has to be maintained at all costs. McGarrett reminds him he did the right thing because they're after bigger fish than "one hooked kid". The Haskell keeps sailing for Honolulu as Salton meets Dillon asking for his $80 back. Dillon is a true snake in the grass, trying to talk Salton out of going for the Exemption program. Dillon gives him back his money but also offers a hypodermic needle full of heroin!
On board the Haskell, Salton is found nearly dead. Meanwhile at the laboratory, Che Fong (Harry Endo) found a granular compound under Woodley's fingernails of his right hand. No way to know for certain what it's from but Che guesses explosives, dye markers, signal flares or cleaning compound. It could take days and they don't have them.
Chin arrives at Iolani Palace and eventually McGarrett's office where he tells Kono all about Suriago: his mother still lives in the Philippines, he send her $30 a month, has just over $1000 in his bank account and all of his equipment and ink is clean. Suriago has one prior arrest from 1959 for driving too slowly. Kono shares some bad news: their one lead on the Haskell is currently in a coma from an overdose.
In the lab, Che supervises four technicians as they search for the compound found under Woodley's nails. They finally find what they're looking for: potassium chlorinate, a.k.a. "Purple K". Che reports it to McGarrett who takes a tug out to meet the Haskell. The material is used as the dry packing in fire extinguishers.
McGarrett boards the Haskell with the news briefing Danno, Franklyn and the Captain. The Captain plans an exercise to keep everyone busy while the search is made of all the fire extinguishers. Danno finally discovers the brick in a fire extinguisher in a main hallway. Danno and Franklyn set up a camera to an eye on the extinguisher. According to the T.O., Dillon is the one responsible for the fire extinguishers. McGarrett double-checks the picture and they're ready whenever someone picks up the brick.
The Haskell makes port at Pearl Harbor and the crew departs leaving a skeleton crew aboard. Kono observes the installed camera in a van in the parking lot as crewmembers go their separate ways. Chin pretends to be working on a forklift with a clear view of the gangway. Some sailors pass the fire extinguisher without stopping as McGarrett makes his way off the ship and into the back of the van with Kono. Wells is also watching from a parked station wagon. McGarrett checks in with everyone via radio as Dillon combs his hair on ship. On his way off the ship, Dillon passes the extinguisher but doesn't stop throwing Danno for a loop. McGarrett doesn't want his guys tailing Dillon since Wells and Naval Investigative Service will take care of him. McGarrett wants to still wait because someone is bound to go for the extinguisher.
A man wearing a hard hat (David Doyle) shows up at the Haskell carrying a toolbox. He's there to check "shore power" and is allowed on board. Franklyn keeps his eyes on the small television in Sick Bay when the hardhat guy walks past the extinguisher but suddenly stops! He opens the extinguisher removing the brick; they have found the courier! McGarrett jumps out of the van to run aboard while Danno and Franklyn give chase from Sick Bay! The hardhat guy takes off with Danno close on his heels and McGarrett intercepts him next to some stairs. McGarrett wants to know who the dealer it but the guy doesn't know. He only gets a call offering $200 to make a pick up. McGarrett hands him the brick and he opens it to find sawdust! McGarrett agrees to give 'W. Finnegan' back the one kilo of "pure horse" to make his drop but he wants protection.
Later, McGarrett and Danno follow the guy to the Maluhia Service Club at Fort DeRussy. The hardhat guy puts the brick into an outdoor locker taking the key and driving off to the Ilikai Hotel. Going inside with McGarrett following, he tapes the key in a stall in the men's restroom. The hardhat guy leaves as Danno watches from a bar and Chin from the hallway. Chin follows the guy out as Dillon shows up entering the same restroom the hardhat guy was just in. McGarrett emerges and Danno runs for the car picking up McGarrett as a cab picks up Dillon. Dillon picks up the brick from Fort DeRussy and continues to downtown Honolulu.
McGarrett and Danno follow Dillon in his cab to Hotel Street. Dillon walks to the 'White Horse Tattoo Parlor' making his drop. McGarrett and Danno move in as Chin and Kono arrive for back up. McGarrett and Danno corner Dillon forcing him to open his bag, which is full of cash. He claims to have won it gambling on the Haskell but they know better. They arrest Dillon holding him until he can be turned over to the Navy ending his career in "the dirty junk business". McGarrett and Kono take the front of Suriago's place while Danno covers the back. They break into the room with safe as Suriago runs for it dropping the latest brick on the way out. Danno catches Suriago on the fire escape forcing him back into the parlor. The safe is wide open and McGarrett starts confiscating the money with Suriago protesting loudly. Kono takes Suriago into custody and out the door. Wells enters with Chin behind him but the news he carries isn't good: Art Salton died that morning from the overdose. Danno is beside himself as McGarrett angrily throws a batch of bills onto the floor among the heroin.
This plot summary Copyrightę Bobbi Baker 2019. No reproduction of any kind without permission.