A woman (Robyn Millan) arrives at Honolulu International Airport for military R&R with her husband from Vietnam. A corporal (James Benton) at the information desk informs her he's been delayed for a couple of days.
In Vietnam, an officer (Richard Kelton) calls for evacuation during a firefight. The officer tells Augie (Anthony Aiello) it's time to go. Meanwhile, in Honolulu, Augie's wife hangs out on the beach with another wife (Jane Actman) who suggests they go to a luau that night. Augie's wife agrees but decides she's had enough sun and goes in.
Back in Vietnam, another officer (James Davidson) gives the Lieutenant a hard time about his "three-day patrol". He also tells Augie his R&R orders are in and to take off; he'll be there in a couple of days. As Augie takes off, his wife gets comfortable in the hotel room making her way to the shower. A man (Alan Vint) breaks into the room using a bayonet. He sneaks in turning up the volume on the radio and killing Augie's wife.
Five-O, HPD, the lab technicians and Doc (Al Eben) are in the hotel room with her friend from the beach telling McGarrett they were going to a luau that night. Doc shares some information right away, the murder weapon: a bayonet. Doc's experience of four years in the medical corps, he's seen wound like this before. McGarrett asks Che Fong (Harry Endo) what he has as Che looks at the door. The break in was crude but the guy knew to wear gloves and Doc says, "he's cool under fire" because he wiped the blade. The friend introduces herself as Mrs. Hurlburt to Colonel Ken Hart (Richard LePore) who enters the hotel room and told by McGarrett they'll be working together on the case. McGarrett identifies the wife as Ella Syzmanski waiting for her husband to arrive for four days.
Downstairs, Danno talks to the telephone operator about a call Ella received but all she can tell him is the guy sounded like he was from the mainland. McGarrett and Colonel Hart emerge for the room as Danno tells them about the call. The call was placed at 2:05 p.m. and the maid found her at 3:45 p.m. so they have a window of when the murder took place. Chin and Kono walk up with nothing new from the room clerk, the bellboys or any other hotel employee. Colonel Hart has a deadline: Augie arrives in 30 minutes.
McGarrett and Colonel Hart meet the airplane and as Augie disembarks, McGarrett tells him the horrible news. Augie is beside himself and finds a place to sit down next to the terminal. McGarrett questions Augie about his marriage in an attempt to find the killer. They had been married almost a year but he'd been overseas for most of it; yet they made it work. McGarrett doesn't get very far: especially when he implies Ella may have been cheating, he nearly gets decked!
In McGarrett's office, Doc explains the how he was able to figure out the bayonet with the groove leaving a distinctive wound. He also says the killer's bayonet was sharp "like a scalpel" and one stab under the sternum with an upward thrust. Not only penetrating the heart but also the aorta. McGarrett calls it "quick and sure". When Doc leaves, McGarrett calls out to Jenny (Peggy Ryan) to have everyone come in who has a report as Colonel Hart walks in. Colonel Hart gives a run down on the Szymanskis: they were "very married" and Augie sent home most of his paycheck to her every month. Augie is a straight shooter as far as the Army is concerned and Danno backs that up with the criminal and credit checks. Kono has a list of Ella's activities of the last four days: shopped at the International Market Place and the Fort DeRussy PX, visited the R&R center every afternoon then pretty much stayed at the hotel. According to Chin she hung close to the hotel and always let the staff know where she was in case Augie called. McGarrett wants to talk to Augie's commanding officer. Colonel Hart tells him Captain Dan Nichols will be in for R&R tonight or tomorrow.
At the airport, an Army sergeant named Jake Wheeler, who broke into the hotel earlier, picks up Mrs. Nichols (Jackie Russell) at the R&R Information booth. Putting her into a staff car, Wheeler drives her to a remote location calling it "the scenic route". He parks the car near some cliffs overlooking the ocean and walks her to a point where he stabs her throwing her onto the rocks below!
Mrs. Nichols has been found with HFD and McGarrett enroute to her location. HFD Rescue 1 gathers their equipment and repels two men down where one (Chuck Couch) calls up her exact location and they need to send down the bag. McGarrett and Colonel Hart arrive on scene meeting Danno who has her purse with everything checking out for Mrs. Leslee Nichols. He tells them there are footprints and drops of blood near the edge. Danno has already called for the mobile lab unit. The firefighters send down the stretcher as Kono brings back some leaves with blood on them. Chin adds a man's and woman's footprints go to the cliff but only his come back. The firefighters bring her to the top where McGarrett finds what he's looking for: a single stab wound under the sternum.
An HPD officer finds the military car parked on the street. Peering into the car, he finds an Army uniform on the front seat and a suitcase in the back. The officer radios his find to McGarrett. Later in the lab, Che says the man about five feet, nine inches tall and weighs 150 to 155 pounds. Che tells McGarrett, Colonel Hart and Danno they're dealing with a second-hand uniform, which suggests to Colonel Hart the killer isn't necessarily military. The car was hot-wired at the Headquarters parking lot on Fort Shafter. McGarrett bothered by the fact the killer met her plane. Colonel Hart explains the R&R lists are not secret and they're posted all over the place allowing a couple of phone calls to track down her flight number.
Kono goes to the airport with the lei Mrs. Nichols had to see if anyone recognized the lei sold. He asks some lei vendors with one (Elizabeth Smith) telling Kono lots of soldiers buy leis and she doesn't look at the faces, "only the money". Meantime, Danno talks to the Corporal at the R&R Information booth who tells him Mrs. Nichols was picked up by a staff car and Sergeant. When the Corporal tries to be a smart aleck, Danno fires back telling him the guy they're looking for murdered two women. Unfortunately, the Corporal doesn't remember what the guy looked like. Chin talks to an airline clerk who believes Mrs. Nichols was traveling alone as the seat next to her was unoccupied. Danno hits some luck with a lady vendor offering pineapple juice who remembers the guy. She tells Danno he wore flier glasses and wore lots of ribbons but she describes his face as "very haole" that doesn't help.
A C-130 transport flies into Hickam Field with another transport off-loading soldiers at the base. Captain Nichols, who was the one telling Augie about his R&R in Vietnam, arrives in Honolulu via these transports. Colonel Hart offers him a drink in his office after he and McGarrett break the bad news. McGarrett gets to the point: did anyone hate either of them enough to want to kill Leslee. Captain Nichols is at a loss so McGarrett asks about old grudges and present. Captain Nichols says there is no present: he's in the Army. McGarrett shifts, what about conflicts between enlisted and officers in his unit: Captain Nichols says, "no more than usual". McGarrett nods to Colonel Hart to speak more privately, McGarrett wants to know who the next man is scheduled for R&R. Colonel Hart says Lieutenant Carter in about a month and his office will notify Five-O. McGarrett also wants the records of every man in Echo Company but Colonel Hart bristles, "that's a lot of paper". McGarrett theorizes someone is using R&R for revenge as well.
At a Marine recruiting station, Wheeler, now in civilian clothes, walks in and Sergeant Philippo (Philip Heron) the recruiter is less than enthused to see him. Wheeler's application for the Marines is not going well. Sergeant Philippo tells him the computer spit him out as Thomas Robert Ralston who was discharged from the Army. Wheeler denies knowing this "Ralston" but Sergeant Philippo doesn't buy his scheme for a second kicking him out and telling him to try the Foreign Legion because "they don't ask questions". Ralston walks to the door then starts yelling about his "DSC" that he got for killing 11 Viet Cong and taking out a mortar unit. Ralston continues his rant in the street and only stops when no one pays attention.
In a Western Union telegraph office, a clerk (Moki Palacio) reads back the message to Mrs. Dennis Carter (Marie Cheatham) informing her Lieutenant Carter received R&R early and will be arriving Honolulu tomorrow for five days. She needs to come immediately and it's signed "Captain Dan Nichols". However, the person sending the message is Ralston!
In McGarrett's office, McGarrett, Colonel Hart, Captain Nichols and Sergeant Szymanski go through the records of the men of Echo Company. McGarrett comes across Ralston's file and asks about him. Captain Nichols says he was "a good noncom" in Lieutenant Carter's platoon. Sergeant Szymanski adds he saved their lives one night taking out a Viet Cong mortar unit. Looking over the record, McGarrett asks why Captain Nichols transferred him out. Captain Nichols claims Ralston deserved more rank and he went as high as he could in the company. McGarrett reads further finding Ralston was medically discharged in Colorado two months before. McGarrett wants details and asks Colonel Hart to get the records.
In Lynville, Florida an Army car drives to a house with Major Strong (Jim Hutchinson) walking to the front door. A woman (Maude Demarest) who is Mrs. Carter's mother interrupts Major Strong's effort to have someone answer the front door. The mother tells him she's on her way to Hawaii to spend R&R with her husband. Major Strong is confused until the mother says the cablegram was received yesterday. Major Strong carries terrible news: Lieutenant Dennis Carter was killed in action the day before in Vietnam. The mother is clearly shaken as Major Strong asks to use the phone: he needs to call Honolulu.
Colonel Hart speaks to someone on McGarrett's phone as the group keeps on the files. It's Colonel Hart's turn to tell the bad news and to inform them his wife is on her way. Colonel Hart explains Captain Nichols sent a cablegram, but he denies it of course because he didn't. McGarrett springs into action: he calls the team in. Danno is sent to get a description of Amy Carter and find a matching policewoman. Chin with a police artist checks out all the places that could have sent a cablegram and discover who sent the phony message. Colonel Hart sets about restricting news on Lieutenant Carter's death. Meanwhile, Danno seeks help from the HPD computer to find his policewoman.
At the Western Union office, the clerk gives a description of the man who sent the false cablegram. The sketch is close to Ralston and they make a few tweaks. While the artist is finishing up the clerk tells Chin he sounded like a Southerner, "a farm boy".
A special messenger arrives at Five-O and Jenny sends him straight into McGarrett's office. He delivers Ralston's medical files from Colorado straight to Colonel Hart who finds Ralston was discharged on a Section Eight. McGarrett isn't happy at the news and starts grilling Captain Nichols. Captain Nichols tells McGarrett and Colonel Hart Ralston requested transfer and after he was awarded the DSC "he came on strong". Sergeant Szymanski recalls an incident where Ralston shot out lights and hit him with a rifle butt and he wasn't sure it was on purpose. Colonel Hart reads the records out loud and becomes angrier as he reads because he knows the Captain royally screwed up. McGarrett puts an exclamation point on it yelling at Captain Nichols he was more interested in keeping his sharp unit sharp. Chin walks in with the sketch and the two Army men agree it could be Ralston. They go into the outer office where Danno just arrived with HPD Officer Cathy Miller (Genevieve Nelson). She suggests they head to the airport.
At the airport, McGarrett calls through the control tower to talk to the pilot of Amy's flight. The stewardess passes the message to Amy to remain seated upon landing but all the stewardess can tell her is someone wants to come aboard to speak to her. The pilot verifies the instructions to Amy and McGarrett tells him to follow normal procedures but she is not to get off the plane no matter what. The aircraft lands and parks with McGarrett, Colonel Hart and Officer Miller driven out to board appearing as crew. Meanwhile, Ralston waits in the terminal for Amy.
McGarrett, Colonel Hart and Officer Miller board the plane as passengers disembark. Colonel Hart finds Amy giving her the horrible news about Lieutenant Carter. Colonel Hart introduces her to McGarrett who tells her her own life is in peril and the safest place is on the airplane. Meantime, Officer Miller is ready to disembark to be Ralston's bait. Officer Miller makes her way through the airport with Five-O covering her like a blanket. Suddenly, Mrs. Dennis Carter is paged and Officer Miller answers the phone as Ralston watches her from a pay phone. He simply hangs up before Officer Miller walks out to a waiting cab driven by Chin. Danno climbs into the car behind as Kono is in the car in front. McGarrett brings up the rear in the Park Lane. As they drive away from the airport, Danno radios McGarrett about the page with McGarrett not liking the situation. McGarrett then radios Kono about the directions to the R&R Center and how Chin is driving to the south door. Kono says he remembers because he has a "photogenic" memory meaning photographic. This starts McGarrett on a serious brainstorm and he suddenly makes a U-turn behind the convoy. McGarrett hurriedly drives to the airplane and boards to find Colonel Hart knocked out. McGarrett yells for Ralston who emerges with a knife to Amy's throat. McGarrett tries talking to Ralston asking if how he won the DSC was by killing women and telling him there's no need to kill a widow. Ralston doesn't buy it but tosses Amy to the side shoving his bayonet toward McGarrett who grabs it with his left hand. McGarrett pulls his gun with his right and fires, killing Ralston. After the threat is neutralized, McGarrett tells Colonel Hart to call the coroner's office and escorts Amy off the plane. Across the tarmac, couples reunite for R&R: a reunion Amy will never take part in.
This plot summary Copyrightę Bobbi Baker 2019. No reproduction of any kind without permission.