S05E19 - “Will The Real Mr. Winkler Please Die” - Plot

(Prepared by Bobbi Baker)


Act One

A reporter (Philip Arnone) is in the middle of gathering opinions from people on the street about the latest highway construction in Honolulu. Trouble happens when the reporter approaches a man (Nehemiah Persoff) who doesn't want to talk and completely freaks out when the camera is pointed out to him. He shoves the reporter down and tries to run only to be stopped by an HPD officer.

At Five-O, Duke (Herman Wedemeyer) calls HPD to speak to Sergeant Scully in the computer room. He wants a rundown on Peter Winkler, the man who shoved the reporter. HPD's computer mulls on Winkler's information then Duke is called. He then talks to Danno who looking through a folder: everyone comes up blank including agencies on the mainland! Fingerprints are no help either because they aren't on file in Hawaii or Washington. Duke says there's nothing on him prior to 1966, as if "he was born seven years ago". Danno wants a deeper dig on Winkler.

On their way out of court, Winkler makes a point to thank Sanders, the reporter, for dropping the charges against him. Winkler goes about his day until Danno and Ben stop him outside the courthouse. Winkler is confused as to why Five-O wants to talk to him and Danno explains they would like to know where he's from: "L.A? Chicago? Romania? A place". Winkler explains he was born in New York, raised in Europe. Problems: no birth certificate anywhere! Interpol doesn't have anything on him either. Winkler wants to know why the government is suddenly interested in him with Danno explaining the concern is income tax and immigration status for the missing years. Winkler gives them a story that his real name is Albert Hoffman, living in Philadelphia for 22 years and witnessing the murder of "an underworld figure". He testified and was put into witness protection. McGarrett happens to be in Washington and they'll have him check out Winkler's story.

Danno rips off a telex message walking into McGarrett's office telling everyone the story checks out. Any identifying information on Hoffman won't be transmitted but can be delivered by courier upon request. Winkler still acts nervous, hoping his brief appearance on TV doesn't raise anyone's suspicions. Danno and Ben offer police protection but Winkler flatly refuses not wanting to draw any more attention to himself or his family. He leaves but not before telling them everything he has is on Oahu: home, business. Once he leaves, Danno isn't certain telling Ben to have McGarrett put in the official request.

Winkler returns to his business 'WW Distributors' of selling Hawaiian souvenirs. A man (Malachi Throne) is on the spiral staircase awaiting Winkler's return. The man introduces himself as Reeves, a representative of his former employers. He wants to use him again but Winkler refuses until Reeves makes veiled threats against Winkler's family. Winkler is adamant about not working for Reeves but Reeves pulls a gun with a silencer forcing him into a corner: do the job or he and/or his family will be killed. Reeves calls down another man who takes a swing at Winkler just prior to being shot by Reeves. Now Winkler has absolutely no choice but to cooperate because Reeves has two letters, one of which will be sent to the police to either exonerate Winkler or the other to send him to prison for life. To make sure the point is made, Reeves calls in the shooting offering the dossier to Winkler one more time. Winkler looks over it as Reeves lights it on fire.

Act Two

In McGarrett's office, Winkler is brought in again with Chin reading about the dead man: no identification, no labels in his clothes, no prints in the U.S. and no record with Interpol. Danno, Chin and Ben start machine gunning questions to him with Winkler denying he shot the man but saw who did. His only description is the man was same height and weight, about his age. Danno doesn't buy that two guys just walked into his shop and one shot the other "just like that". Winkler says he's telling the truth, which ticks off Danno. Chin backs him up: Hoffman's prints don't match Winkler. Danno wants to know what the heck is going on! Winkler finally comes clean when the three put him into a corner saying Hoffman isn't even close to Hawaii and Danno asks him if he really thought he could get away with it. Winkler tells them he saw the story in a newspaper. Danno asks again, who is Winkler: for real. Winkler confesses to being Paul Helperin, a spy until 1966 for the East Germans! Danno wants to know how that's connected to the dead body in his shop. Winkler/Helperin tells them he's wanted by four countries and several individuals who could easily put a dead body in his shop to implicate him. Winkler/Helperin asks if he wanted to kill someone, why would he do it in his shop and then all the police? Winkler/Helperin asks for an opportunity to prove who he says he is. Danno agrees then gets blown out of the water when Winkler/Helperin describes just about everything on McGarrett's desk including notes on a yellow pad, a memo McGarrett wrote to himself and a short letter from the Hilo Police dated December 12th. Winkler/Helperin explains they're trained to take in all the information with one glance. Danno snaps back into reality, "so what?" Winkler/Helperin continues to state his case asking for police protection and seeking asylum "based on foreign espionage". Danno is still skeptical and calls McGarrett in his Washington hotel.

McGarrett goes to see a man (Bill Edwards) at the CIA during a snowstorm. He explains what they have in Hawaii: a homicide case with the suspect claiming to be Paul Helperin. Bill sits straighter not sure what he heard, asking McGarrett, "you've got Paul Helperin?" Bill explains Helperin has been the top East German spy for the last decade even stealing warhead plans from a NATO meeting but he disappeared in 1966. McGarrett says the time matches and wonders if they can get a positive identification. Bill has some bad news there as they haven't seen him, no photographs exist and they don't have his fingerprints. However, there is one way but Bill isn't sure he can deliver: Rogloff (Mark Lenard) who headed Soviet intelligence in all of Eastern Europe and defected to the U.S. a couple of years before. He can identify Helperin but he's "in deep-security hiding" and there's no guarantee he will even talk to McGarrett. McGarrett only wants to make his pitch and Bill picks up the phone to set up a meet but there are no guarantees.

An airplane lands in Denver, Colorado where McGarrett meets three men at the Supreme Court Law Library. One man (Peter Carew) asks for McGarrett's identification comparing it to a photograph handed by a second man (Ronald Kent). The first man identifies himself as Rogloff telling McGarrett he's heard of the top cop. Once pleasantries are done, McGarrett gets to business: Helperin is in Hawaii. McGarrett says the man claims his innocence and he's been framed. Why should Rogloff care? McGarrett explains Helperin could go free because there is no identification on the dead man, no apparent link to Helperin and there is no motive. With a smart lawyer, Helperin could easily walk away. Rogloff doesn't like the sound of this because Helperin is "a monster". McGarrett goes on saying Helperin is wanted in four countries and the U.S. has extradition treaties with two of them and McGarrett tells him they can make sure Helperin goes there regardless of how the case results. Rogloff requests a picture and McGarrett provides one. The pictures are shuffled from one man to the next but that's not the whole story: Rogloff can ask Helperin certain questions he only has the answers to. Rogloff isn't keen about going to Hawaii but McGarrett has a list of people Helperin betrayed including Krista Liebman, Rogloff's closest assistant who walked into a trap and arrested by internal security. McGarrett doesn't take prisoners, asking him does he really want Helperin out on the loose. A third man who has remained motionless and silent the entire time says he will go to Hawaii: he's the real Rogloff! He explains they never cease with their precautions.

Act Three

Danno, Ben and Winkler/Helperin arrive at "Security Three" for material witnesses in special security cases. It's a mountaintop fortress with heavy guard with several HPD officers armed with rifles. Everything coming and going can be seen and Winkler/Helperin will be there long enough for Rogloff to make the identification then it's in the hands of a grand jury. Winkler/Helperin tells Danno about spies: "sickly, treacherous people" bolstering their courage with alcohol or drugs but all scared out of their minds. Winkler/Helperin asks for a drink and Danno leaves him to get something. Winkler/Helperin looks at a nearby peak to see a mirror signal.

Ben steps out of the house reporting to Danno and Winkler/Helperin that McGarrett and Rogloff just landed and are on their way. Two SUV trucks drive up the mountain finally arriving at the house where McGarrett tells Rogloff and his aides they'll need to be searched. Chin leads them inside as Ben briefs extra guards at various points. McGarrett wants one more at the lighthouse.

Inside, Chin finds weapons on the aides but nothing else. McGarrett wants them put away until they're ready to leave. McGarrett opens a door to the room with Danno and Winkler/Helperin to bring in Rogloff. Rogloff begins saying the man doesn't look like Helperin and they discuss a case where a man was hit over the head and drowned in the Elbe River. Three others knew facts in the case: one was recalled to the Kremlin and the other two, hired by Helperin died in a car accident. Rogloff moves in asking about the special courier sent to him in March 1966: Winkler/Helperin answers fine until it comes to Krista Liebman's fate specifically being married to Rogloff for seven weeks. Rogloff describes what Krista endured until her violent, agonized death and it's ugly. Winkler/Helperin loses it, not realizing they were married, begging for Rogloff's forgiveness but Rogloff drops the bombshell: Winkler is NOT Helperin. McGarrett and Danno are floored as Winkler works to regain his composure. Rogloff explains the real Helperin didn't have an ounce of conscience and he specifically knew Krista and Rogloff were married, even sending a gift. Rogloff has had enough and is about to walk out the door until Winkler starts screaming at him. Rogloff's aides hold back Winkler who confesses to the entire charade and his true identity: Otto Steiner. The plan, including the dead man in WW Distributors, was to get Rogloff out of hiding so he could be assassinated.

Act Four

Che Fong (Harry Endo) arrives with a lie detector machine and set up with Steiner hooked up. McGarrett tells Steiner to answer the questions as "yes" or "no" with Rogloff asking the questions based on Steiner's statement. Steiner was recruited by East Germany to carry plans in his head all over Europe. This was a natural talent he had and used to entertain prior to his turn as a spy. Steiner does the best he can until he can't answer simply yes or no any longer: he has to explain. Steiner didn't want the job but had no choice because he was being framed for murder. Ultimately the reason he did what they asked was to save his wife and child. McGarrett ends the lie detector test to go stand by a window. Danno suggests they drag the area with HPD and Army reinforcements but McGarrett wants the big fish who engineered the whole thing.

An ambulance rushes to the house but a body is loaded later. McGarrett leads Winkler out after Danno drives around the SUV truck. Rogloff's aides follow soon after and the SUV drives off once everyone is loaded.

Winkler is dropped off at his shop where he opens for afternoon business. Across the street, McGarrett and Chin observe from the Park Lane in a used car lot. On a tower kitty corner from the shop, Danno keeps an eye out while Ben and Duke are in position behind the shop. Customers go in and out until a tour group shows up because one of the men has a gun and forces Steiner from his shop. They get into the tour car and take off, the problem being it's a stretched vehicle and doesn't exactly turn on a dime! McGarrett and Chin take off with McGarrett radioing Central with a Code Red. At a certain point, they stop switching cars and take off again. McGarrett calls in the plates of the black sedan wanting a helicopter. The helicopter takes off and multiple units respond.

Reeves forces Winkler to drive to a shooting range where Reeves makes Steiner walk into a field. Dropping a white handkerchief, two men fire rifles toward Steiner with close calls but don't hit him. Steiner explains to Reeves Rogloff died at the house due to a heart attack. Reeves doesn't believe him knowing the police were following them. Steiner denies knowing anything even after Reeves accuses him of lying. A single gunshot from a sharpshooter interrupts their conversation as Five-O and HPD have them surrounded. Reeves holds Steiner hostage demanding to be allowed to walk away. Rogloff approaches with the sun in Reeves' eyes saying McGarrett will honor the hostage, "I will not". McGarrett, Danno and Chin move in with Reeves/Helperin being arrested once he tosses his gun aside. The two shooters put down the rifles and are arrested by HPD. McGarrett approaches Steiner telling him arrangements can be made with the State Department to grant asylum and to work out all the details of a new identity. Steiner is just relieved it's all over with his family unharmed.

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


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