S05E21 - “Percentage” - Plot

(Prepared by Bobbi Baker)


Act One

A carrier boy delivers a newspaper at O'Hara Green Travel Agency just before a station pulls up with a pair of thugs. A bearded guy (Edward Shonk) enters with another guy (Derek Mau) to the surprise of Sam's partner (John Howard) who tells them Yoshigo (Kwan Hi Lim) doesn't have a beef with him; he doesn't handle that side of the business. Sam (Milton Selzer) is currently out of town on a junket to Seoul, Korea. The other guy closes the shop and proceeds to beat he partner to death.

Danno and Ben arrive on scene as the partner is being loaded to the ambulance. Danno looks down in disgust before being briefed by Doc (Al Eben) that he died from the beating and brass knuckles were used. An HPD officer named Sam found the partner's wallet: ID says James O'Hara and it had $67 in it. The only thing known is from the dry-cleaning place next door when the owner heard noise and called HPD and he did see two men running off. Doc confirms no other weapons were used, just the brass knuckles.

In McGarrett's office, Danno brings McGarrett up to speed with him agreeing Yoshigo has to be behind it. Five-O has put on the pressure with Sam skimming his top customers for his "charter airline junkets". Danno suggests bringing Yoshigo in but then talks himself out of it. McGarrett tells him to get with HPD and keep the pressure on Yoshigo and asks when Sam is due in: 10:00 a.m. tomorrow. McGarrett wants Chin and Ben to meet him at the airport.

At the Heavenly Gate Casino in Seoul, one customer (Mitch Mitchell) keeps playing as the others watch. The blackjack dealer (Allen Okawa) sets out another round of cards but the house beats Mr. Howard yet again. Howard raises the stakes to $10,000 per slot. Sam reminds Howard their charter is supposed to leave in an hour for Honolulu but Howard tells him it can leave when it wants. Meanwhile, the manager Kuang (Seth Sakai) walks out. Howard wants to not only raise the ante but also another $60,000 in chips on top of what he already owes. His total debt is $120,000 and Kuang wants Sam's personal assurances he will get the money back. Kuang agrees. The chips are brought out and everyone gets a receipt: Howard, Kuang and Sam. Howard tells a woman (Carol Kai) "stick with me baby" as she smiles at him. An older gentleman (Douglas Kennedy) who is her husband isn't impressed and tries to get her to leave but she won't budge. The cards are dealt with the house scoring blackjack. Howard is every which way ticked off because he feels he's been ripped off by a crooked game. He rips up the receipt for the $120,000 before storming off. Sam assures Kuang Howard will pay up but Kuang isn't at all concerned because Sam "said you were good for him" and Howard is now Sam's problem.

The charter flies back to Honolulu where Chin and Ben meet Sam to break the bad news. Chin tells him not to blame himself because O'Hara went into it with "his eyes open". Sam tells them he figures Yoshigo is behind it and may be considering going into the junket business too but he needs a bonded travel agency to do so and "he can't get a license for a hot dog stand". Sam decides to make a phone call with Chin and Ben overhearing. He calls Yoshigo saying he's getting out of the travel agency business, giving up all the junkets. Yoshigo puts him on speakerphone where the two guys who beat O'Hara listen in along with another guy (Leonard Stein). Chin asks Sam is he wants police protection with Sam answering no, what he needs is $120,000.

Act Two

Kuang plays solitaire at O'Hara and Green Travel Agency waiting on Sam who walks in shocked to kind Kuang and his two thugs there. Kuang isn't patient when it comes to the debt but he also answers to "a very big syndicate". They even discuss Howard being knocked off but Kuang warns Sam he's still responsible for the money. The thugs make their point by pulling a knife on Sam.

Sam visits McGarrett at Five-O asking for protection for Howard. McGarrett won't budge because Howard has to ask for it himself. Sam remains persistent but McGarrett says they know Kuang and "his two roosters" are in town. Sam tells him they've moved into the same hotel where Howard lives. Sam also shares a friend in Yoshigo's camp told him Yoshigo intends to make sure Howard doesn't pay off his debt. McGarrett tells Jenny to find Danno as he tries to wrap his head around what Sam is telling him. Sam's junkets have put a hurt on Yoshigo's business but if one of the top customers should be killed off, then the junkets will be revealed as nothing better than Yoshigo's gambling dens in Honolulu. Danno calls in with McGarrett ordering him to the Hawaiian Towers, penthouse apartment, to offer Howard 24-hour police protection. Relieved, Sam leaves McGarrett's office.

Yoshigo sneaks in behind a resident into the Hawaiian Towers. Danno arrives at Hawaiian Towers using the outside phone to gain access. However, before he can get anywhere, a body falls from the upper floors. He immediately calls McGarrett who runs out on his way there taking Chin with him and leaving Sam in the dust.

At the scene, Chin looks at the area where Howard hit the pavement. McGarrett inspects the door where there is major damage from the police breaking in thanks to permission from Mr. Mehala (Galen Kam) the manager. Mehala explains Howard had his own locks installed and he doesn't have a set of duplicate keys. Inside the apartment, McGarrett asks Che Fong (Harry Endo) how it's going on the balcony with Che telling him nothing yet. They ask the manager about any visitors and he tells them Howard was finicky about visitors being announced by the doorman. He immediately says Sam Green but is more reluctant to name the second visitor: Mrs. Walter Sinclair who arrived shortly before 11:00 a.m. and only stayed ten minutes. McGarrett asks about Kuang and the manager says Howard "refused him in a most uncomplimentary manner". McGarrett tells Danno to find Mrs. Sinclair to find out what she knows. He then tells Che to go over the entire apartment with a fine-tooth comb and once that's done, he wants Wendell, an HPD officer, to seal the room. When Mehala asks about who's going to pay for the door, McGarrett says to them a bill.

Yoshigo sends his guys out with a list of people to lean on for payment but "don't total anyone, relatives resent it". The accountant, who listened in on the phone call earlier, complains about carrying the thugs on the books under "services". He puts the books in a safe saying they're down $70,000 and discussing the fact Yoshigo doesn't need Sam's business, he has enough. "I don't want enough, I want it all". The accountant asks for his 25 percent of partnership, which Yoshigo dismisses especially with McGarrett pressing as hard as he is. When the accountant Herman threatens to tell the police Yoshigo was in the hotel when Howard died, Yoshigo turns on him, pulling back the offer of 25 percent permanently.

The Sinclairs speak to Danno, as they are the couple that disagreed in Korea. Mrs. Sinclair claims she went to visit Howard to tell him it was over between them. They explain she met Howard on one of Sam's junkets through her husband because he insisted she go along. She calls it a "stupid, silly infatuation" before Sinclair admits he knew about them for quite some time but did nothing. Danno wonders why but Sinclair says he knew it would run its course and didn't want her to leave him. Danno moves on to the apartment: Sinclair couldn't get in but when Mrs. Sinclair was there, Sam was there too. Danno is thrown for a loop; did she actually break up with him in front of Sam? No, Sam went into another room. Danno also brings up Sinclair knew Howard was already dead, how did he know in record time? Sinclair claims Sam called him because he figured Sinclair would want to know. Danno assumes they'll be available, i.e. they need to be available, to speak to again as he watches them leave the Interrogation Room. In the hallway, the couple discusses what just happened: she told the truth except for one detail: Howard broke it off with her!

Herman finds Sam on a fishing dock to talk about Sam's "proposition" of breaking into Yoshigo's safe. Sam is interested in the books so state's evidence can be turned in against Yoshigo. Herman is not a safecracker and believes Yoshigo will finger him right away. Sam wants Yoshigo out of the way so he can claim the entire junket business for himself even offering Herman a full partnership. Herman wonders how Sam plans to square with Kuang but Sam "has an angle". Sam tells him they have to play the percentages but Herman isn't completely convinced, what if they lose? Sam answers, it doesnŐt matter, they're dead anyway.

Act Three

In the laboratory, McGarrett looks into the microscope as Che briefs about fibers found on the railing coming from Howard's pants. They also found matching fibers in the carpet and the only way they could have gotten there is by Howard being dragged on the floor. This means Howard could have possibly been unconscious when he went over the railing. McGarrett wants to make certain with Doc but before leaving, Che tells McGarrett other fibers were found on the railing too.

Doc briefs Chin and Ben of the injuries suffered by the fall including a smashed pelvis. Doc goes on to say if Howard fell on his head, it would have been crushed like an egg but it is intact with an isolated, deep fracture. Chin says he was unconscious, but Doc corrects him: Howard was dead! A heavy, blunt, rounded instrument did the trick: "slightly more than an inch and a quarter in width". Chin and Ben leave to search the apartment again to find a weapon they weren't looking for before. One thing is certain: it wasn't suicide.

In McGarrett's office, Ben shows them a tiki war club made from "ka l??au i wahi i ka wai "wood that sinks in water" strong as iron". It wiped down but Che found a small amount of blood in a crack in the wood. McGarrett wants a blood type if possible. Che leaves to work on it. McGarrett sets Danno on contacting Youngstown, Ohio to discover everything about Howard and who might profit from his death. He wants Chin to set up surveillance on Valerie Sinclair and to dig up everything on her husband and to get court orders if necessary. He also puts Ben on keeping an eye on Kuang. McGarrett wants surveillance to remain on everyone involved including Yoshigo.

Sam and Herman break into Yoshigo's office in the middle of the night hiding from a big car in the garage. Herman is less sure than ever but Sam is determined. They make it to the office where Sam makes it look like forcible entry. They go to the safe where they take the books and Sam sets up a dynamite bomb on the safe door. They make their way to the parking garage and wait long enough to hear the boom and take off.

The next morning, Yoshigo is on the warpath wanting a lead no matter the cost. Yoshigo goes into hiding telling Herman to stick around the office in case someone calls with a lead.

In the lab, Che was able to type the tiny sample, "B" rather than Howard's "O". McGarrett demonstrates his theory on how the weapon was used. If he's right, the murderer has "a nice abrasion about here, cutting right across his lifeline".

Chin walks into McGarrett's office with Yoshigo's books, which are in code. However, for "services rendered" are L.G. and N.H.: Lepe Gordon, the guy who beat O'Hara to death and Nick Hansen, the bearded guy from the travel agency. They always work as a team as enforcers. McGarrett wants APBs for the pair and Yoshigo. He also wants to see Sam when he's done with the D.A. and to talk to the Sinclairs. Chin leaves to bring everybody in.

Kuang walks out of a building with a briefcase causing Ben to move into action. He follows Kuang and his guys calling Dispatch for support units with a probable destination of the airport. Ben is able to stop them with the help of a couple of HPD units, taking Kuang into custody.

Act Four

The Sinclairs are in McGarrett's office where he tells them it was definitely murder. McGarrett asks him if he ever has the need to use cash in any of his stock market transactions with Sinclair answering no. Mrs. Sinclair has gloves on but only one in on: her right hand. McGarrett tells her to take them off and turn her palms up, but she has no marks on her hands. McGarrett then wants to see Sinclair's palms and no marks there either. A knock at the door interrupts but it's expected: Sam is brought over after the D.A. Sam enters the office but slows right away seeing Sinclair. McGarrett tells Sam the ledgers made their case against Yoshigo shaking Sam's hand but doesn't let go until he can look at Sam's palm. There's an abrasion on his hand and McGarrett wants to know how he got it. Sam claims he doesn't remember. McGarrett shows him the club: the "murder weapon". Sam starts tap-dancing around denying he did anything.

The phone buzzes with Ben outside with Kuang. Sam says he doesn't have motive to kill Howard because he "paid off". McGarrett opens the door with Kuang shoved in by Ben explaining Kuang was picked up at the airport. Kuang says his business is finished and that's why he was at the airport: Sam gave him the debt owed to him. McGarrett is skeptical Sam paid $120,000 to Kuang but Kuang challenges him to count it. Sam says he was trying to pay half the debt but Kuang demanded payment in full. McGarrett is still skeptical asking Sam where he got the money. Sam still says Howard paid him and McGarrett reaches for a telex from Youngstown, Ohio: Howard was beyond broke. Sam still insists Howard paid him with McGarrett turning to Sinclair who withdrew the exact amount that morning: the wrappers are still on the money in the briefcase! Sinclair claims he was helping Sam with a loan.

McGarrett goes into ticked off mode because he's done with the lies: Sinclair paid Sam to kill Howard. Howard trusted Sam and would allow him entry to the penthouse and when there, Sam bashed in Howard's skull. Meanwhile, Sinclair took the elevator to the floor below and walked up the fire stairs to be let in by Sam. Together, they dragged Howard to the lanai and at a pre-determined time, Sinclair pushed Howard over the railing. McGarrett even tells Sinclair what he was wearing: they found the clothes in his closet after the search warrant was granted after the large withdrawal. Sinclair is ready to give a statement as he has been cornered. Sam knows he's toast as well as Mrs. Sinclair is completely disgusted walking out. Kuang makes a move for the briefcase but McGarrett impounds the money: it was paid in the commission of a felony. McGarrett tells Ben to book Sam for Murder One and to have Danno pick up Yoshigo for O'Hara's murder. Sam pleads with McGarrett but with murder, there is no percentage.

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


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