In a courtroom, a lawyer Derringer (Ted Scott) makes a motion for the judge (Frank Cady) to dismiss the charges against his client unless the prosecution is ready to proceed. Manicote (Glenn Cannon) has a problem: there is a missing witness to the case and he asks for yet another continuance but he's already been granted two. Judge Bergstrom denies the third and gives Manicote a tongue lashing in the process before dismissing the charges against the defendant. After the dismissal, a man (Anthony Zerbe) walks out of the courthouse to his car and retrieves a rifle. He makes his way to the roof of a nearby building to set up a shot against the defendant who just was just released. Joe Furika walks out of the courthouse among a throng of press and with his lawyer. On the sidewalk as the press asks for one more pose, the man snipes Furika who collapses. The man exits the Family Court building driving away as the chaos grows where Furika fell.
Danno screeches onto the scene, as they are about to load Furika into the ambulance. The doctor on scene briefs him there was a single bullet to the abdomen and it entered at a 45-degree angle. Danno and Ben look at rooftops for the logical place of origin. Chin walks up with a single shell casing that Danno says it "looks like a.44-40". Chin confirms it was found on the roof but there wasn't anything else. Danno tells them to call Che (Harry Endo) to the scene to check over everything.
Later, they gather with McGarrett and bring him up to speed on what's happening. Ben tells him they won't run out of suspects because Furika didn't have any friends. Danno puts forth he thinks that the shooter was waiting on Furika with Chin backing him: the shooter knew the case had been dismissed. Ben adds that puts the shooter in the courtroom or, as Danno guesses he was waiting on a signal from someone in the courtroom. They've already checked with the bailiffs who didn't see anything or anyone suspicious. Chin wonders if a hit man wasn't brought in from the mainland but McGarrett dismisses the idea of one hit man killing another hit man. Ben points out Furika was hired to kill Contrero who was making waves in the union and had a good chance to be elected to the board. Someone considered Contrero a threat and had Furika take him out. But Danno questions why the same group would turn around and hit Furika. Duke (Herman Wedemeyer) shows up with a letter for McGarrett. The team keeps kicking around ideas until McGarrett starts reading the letter. The writer, "Mother's Helper," claims responsibility! Danno listens intently trying to gleam any clues while Chin and Ben are shocked. Chin wonders if it's for real but he mentions the .44-40 bullet specifically and it's something only the killer would know. McGarrett tells Ben to grab Che while he sends Chin to run the computer "on every law enforcement freak H.P.D. has ever run through its files". McGarrett isn't amused; it's never a good thing when either fringe takes matter into its own hands.
At 'Jollyland Amusements,' the man who shot Furika gives change to one of the patrons as a kid (Remi Abellira) says the gun stopped working on one of the games. But the machine was jammed and he shoots the kid's quarter giving him a quarter to keep shooting. The man goes into a back office to watch the afternoon news. The anchor (Robert W. Sevey) reads the case is three days old and the police are no further along than they were when Furika was killed. Critics are saying law enforcement is doing nothing at this "defiance of the law". The next story gains the man's attention as Patsy Lihau (Derek Mau) is about to be released on parole after serving seven years for rape and attempted murder.
In the laboratory, Che identifies the typewriter used as "a portable Corona," not on the market for about 40 years. The paper is cheap bond that could be bought anywhere. The letter was mailed from downtown Honolulu but these facts don't add to much help. Danno walks in with a name from the computer run: Elroy Wheeler. "Arrested for interfering with a student demonstration at the university. Charge dismissed. Served five days. Paid $50 fine for assault on one of the leaders of a pacifist meeting at the International Center. Picked up for questioning on a series of phone calls to the governor's office, concerning law-and-order issues. Later released". He applied for HPD but failed the medical requirements and he's been missing for three days: Since Furika was shot! An APB is already out and McGarrett wants to see if HPD has his fingerprints and hopefully a description.
At Oahu State Prison, the man sits and waits as Lihau is released and he follows. Meanwhile, McGarrett and Danno leave a building with Chin driving up with a second letter, which includes a newspaper clipping of Lihau. McGarrett tells Chin to contact the parole office to find out where Lihau is staying because he knows Mother's Helper is going to take care of Lihau.
Five-O and HPD arrives at the address given with McGarrett, Danno and Chin take the front while HPD covers the back. McGarrett knocks with no answer but the door is unlocked. He carefully opens it and they walk in to search. Danno finds a bag in the closet and McGarrett finds Lihau hanging in the bathroom with an envelope addressed to him!
In his office, McGarrett reads the third letter and reads, "commie scum". Danno checked it, "Lihau wouldn't know a communist if one came up and bit him". McGarrett finishes reading the letter as the team listens and before Che walks in. He has the autopsy results telling them Doc Bergman (Al Eben) confirmed Lihau was unconscious when he was hung because he was hit behind the right temple. They are stuck between a rock and a hard place: they know the letters were sent from downtown Honolulu but there's no way to find what they're looking for even if they knew who or what to look for. McGarrett decides to be proactive telling Jenny (Peggy Ryan) to see if Manicote is available for lunch.
At lunch, McGarrett and Manicote discuss the case and the lead they had: Wheeler who was admitted to Queen's Hospital about an hour before Furika was shot with injuries from a barroom brawl. When Manicote asks about other leads, McGarrett wants Manicote to dig up on anyone who got a raw deal on a criminal complaint where the defendant appeared guilty. If that doesn't work, he wants to about defendants themselves as McGarrett wonders if the guy isn't in some way punishing himself as he punishes others with "twisted logic".
In court, Judge Bergstrom allows a pair of youths to be on probation for three years due to a first offense. The man sits in the courtroom taking it in.
In a private office of Jollyland Arcade, the man types another letter to McGarrett. Later, McGarrett reads it to the team in his office and it's worse than the others: he wants to go straight to the source rather than take out the criminals. But what does he consider the source? Knowing he has been in and out of courtrooms, it leaves one answer: the judges. McGarrett tells Chin to set up round the clock HPD guards for every judge on a criminal case. Danno proposes one problem: the guards are only a temporary stop, not a way to catch Mother's Helper. McGarrett comes up with something absolutely drastic: Freddie Dryden (Casey Kasem) and his talk show. McGarrett can't stand Dryden and would "rather be dead than caught in the same studio with him," at least before Mother's Helper. They coordinate for McGarrett to be on Dryden's show on Friday and Dryden warns him, he's going to take potshots at McGarrett.
Friday rolls around with Dryden and McGarrett sparring about the criminal justice system in Hawaii. Dryden points out the issue with first-time offenders coming out as hardened criminals. McGarrett turns it around to do away with the entire prison system. They continue going back and forth as Mother's Helper watches. Mother's Helper goes out of the private office and into the main foyer of the arcade making everybody watch McGarrett on TV. After McGarrett is through talking about the merits of parole for those who truly deserve it, he baits Mother's Helper.
Chin runs into McGarrett's office with the day's mail but no letter from Mother's Helper. McGarrett is beyond frustrated because his good idea seems to have fallen flat and now all they can do is stand by and wait to see who his next victim is.
At Jollyland Arcade, Mother's Helper reads the obituaries in the newspaper and calls McGarrett after he picks on to his liking. McGarrett has Jenny put him on line two as he starts the tape recorder. Chin calls to start a trace for the phone call but to no avail. Mother's Helper doesn't stay on the phone long enough but tells McGarrett to go to the corner of Beretania and River to the pay phone there in 20 minutes.
In the lab, McGarrett is wired for sound and recording. As Che finishes, McGarrett gives out assignments: Danno is to monitor with Duke's help with Chin and Ben following in a different car but to keep out of sight. He also wants Che to analyze the tape and figure out the background noises.
McGarrett rushes to the pay phone knowing he's running out of time. He finally makes it giving Mother's helper the story he was held up with traffic. Mother's Helper wants McGarrett to call a cab and go to the next stop: Kailua and Diamond Head Road. He does but the cab driver is Ben! They're still cutting it close on time but they make it with Mother's Helper watching him arrive at the phone booth. The next stop is Oahu Cemetery for a Harold Spencer's funeral service.
Mother's Helper stops at 'State of Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations' a.k.a. the Unemployment Office and picks up a guy (Richard Villard) telling him he needs him for a joke paying $5 now and $5 when he drops him off back at the office.
The minister (Ted Purcell) officiates the funeral service as McGarrett arrives with Mother's Helper watching, Danno listening in and Ben standing by the cab. The guy from the unemployment office approaches McGarrett with a note to meet at the mausoleum in ten minutes. McGarrett nods to Ben as they both follow the man as he walks away. Ben orders him to freeze but the guy takes off, scared at the gun. Ben catches him among the graves as Mother's Helper watches sneaking out by riding in the front of the limousine carrying the family. McGarrett quickly looks through the guy's wallet realizing they have the wrong guy and tells Ben to hang on to him. McGarrett tells Danno to move in sealing off the front gate. They check the cars that are leaving but no luck, however, the Buick is parked in the cemetery still!
McGarrett and the team go over the Buick discovering it's registered to "Cord McKenzie". The groundskeeper says no one named McKenzie works there and he's never seen the car before. Ben has checked with those still in the cemetery and no one owns the car. McGarrett tells Duke to call Che and tells Ben to help open the trunk. Danno says it doesn't mean McKenzie is Mother's Helper but the rifle in the trunk does!
In McGarrett's office, they don't have anything on McKenzie and Danno says he could be using another name. Chin walks in with a telex from Washington: Lester Smith "served three years in the North Dakota National Guard". He's had brushes with the law due to beating up a protestor and breaking up a peace march. He claims to be head a group called "Ever Vigilant" but Chin says according to Washington; the Dakota police don't remember Smith. Ben says that probably bugged him. Danno then remembers a character from "Western pulp magazines" named Cord McKenzie, thus the alias. McGarrett wants him taken care of because he's on Hawaiian turf now.
Judge Bergstrom is leaving for the evening with his HPD guard but Smith takes out the guard and kidnaps the judge! Meantime, Che has analyzed the tape from the original phone call but hasn't been able to identify the background sounds. At the same time, Smith calls McGarrett: Smith considers McGarrett a traitor and puts Judge Bergstrom on the phone. With the proof of life out of the way, Smith has three demands: $50,000 in small, unmarked bills; a first class ticket to LA and a small plane fueled and ready for him when he lands. He gives McGarrett one hour or he'll kill Judge Bergstrom. He says once he's clear, he'll let McGarrett know where to find the judge. Danno attempts the trace this time and still nothing. McGarrett is going to try to meet the demands sending Chin to get the plane ticket and coordinate the small airplane in California. He then sends Ben to call the bank to use the special funds account for the $50,000. Che offers up his oscillograph in order to break apart the background noises. McGarrett agrees and they leave for a special lab.
Che warns him the noises are third hand: over the phone, on tape and now through the oscillograph. They determine they have wooden pins, machine gun fire, bells with metal on metal and traffic so wherever it is it's open to the street. Finally surmising they're dealing with a penny arcade, Che finds one on Hotel Street: Jollyland.
Five-O shows up at Jollyland Arcade with McGarrett and Chin taking the front as Danno and Ben cover the back with the two HPD units splitting between them. The HPD officers guard the front with no one in or out as they go in. McGarrett spots the private office while Smith yells at Jenny about the hour being up. McGarrett kicks in the door with Smith retreating further back locking a door and breaking a window to escape. After checking on the judge, McGarrett gives chase through the window as Chin releases Judge Bergstrom. Smith runs into HPD and McGarrett throwing a garbage can at the latter. Danno and Ben bring up the rear trying to corner Smith. Ben nearly gets him as he climbs a roof but is kicked over. Smith lands in an alley but is stopped by two HPD officers and the three Five-O men on the other side. Smith taunts McGarrett to pull the trigger yelling that McGarrett double-crossed him. As he's cuffed and dragged away by both Danno and Ben, Smith yells at McGarrett to keep an eye open over his shoulder as he swears revenge. But not today.
This plot summary Copyright Bobbi Baker ©2019. No reproduction of any kind without permission.