S07E14 - “Bones of Contention” - Plot

(Prepared by Bobbi Baker)


Act One

A man (Keene Curtis) paces his hotel room as the phone rings. Herbert Southwood calls Professor Dobs Burke about their deal to trade articles the Professor wants for money. Southwood gives him some information and hangs up. As Professor Burke leaves his hotel room, Southwood walks down the street followed by another man (Vic Tayback).

Professor Burke is dropped at the address and makes his way to Southwood's fleabag room. The man who followed Southwood is also here too but stays back. Professor Burke finds the door unlocked and lets himself in only to find Southwood dead on the floor.

Professor Burke introduces himself to Danno who is on scene. He's a professor of Anthropology at Wessex College in Boston. Danno asks why he picked up the necktie around Southwood's throat, which Professor Burke claims was a "reflex action". He explains they're in the same business: dealing with deceased beings although Five-O's is much more recently deceased. Danno isn't overly impressed asking the professor why he's there: he had an appointment with Southwood. Professor Burke is about to tell Danno the reason when Frank (Douglas Mossman) interrupts with Southwood's driver's license. Danno asks what the appointment was about and Professor Burke answers Southwood was to turn over "the skull, the bones, and the teeth of Sinanthropous Pekinensis". The what?

McGarrett asks, "Peking Man?" in his office with Professor Burke confirming. Professor Burke explains the importance of the fossils in order to conduct a "definitive study" on the origins of Oriental civilization. McGarrett recalls reading about them as the bones disappeared prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor but they haven't been recovered. Professor Burke says they have been recovered and he was to receive them from Southwood that afternoon but McGarrett wonders where Southwood got a hold of them. Professor Burke has no idea but not from the lack of trying asking Southwood several times. Southwood assured him if he had the money of $80,000, Southwood would turn over the fossils. Professor Burke explains the money is from the country of China and he's working on their behalf with the blessing of the State Department. Danno walks in with Doc's report: "pretty routine" except for a conclusion that Southwood was recently incarcerated. McGarrett wants his name, description, photo, and prints sent to the FBI in Washington, which Danno says is already on the way. McGarrett finds it strange that Southwood being 26 or 27 knows about Peking Man because the fossils disappeared before he was born.

McGarrett calls Jonathan Kaye (Bill Edwards) in Washington D.C. who tells McGarrett that Professor Burke is legitimate. Jonathan tells McGarrett he has the approval of both the State Department and the Department of Defense and is considered the top of his field requested by name by the Chinese. Jonathan also tells McGarrett it's not just a murder, there could be serious political fallout on this considering the sensitivity of U.S.-Chinese relations and if they feel they've been insulted, a lot of things could go south in a hurry. Jonathan says the killer must be found and hopefully, he's not Chinese. Danno walks in with news on Southwood: he was released from San Quentin three weeks ago, serving one to three for armed robbery.

McGarrett visits Professor Burke in his hotel room where the professor explains the fossils were discovered in 1927 at Choukoutien about 30 miles south of Peking. Professor Burke says digging at the site continue into the 1940s when Japan invaded China. A unit of U.S. Marines was evacuating and asked to take Peking Man with them for safekeeping but when the baggage train was captured, the Marines dispersed and the crate disappeared so it's unknown if the fossils even made it out of China. After World War II, a search ensued but nothing had been found until Southwood contacted Professor Burke. Southwood described the crate and its contents so he wasn't a fake.

After McGarrett leaves Professor Burke he radios Danno to compile a list of Southwood's cellmates from San Quentin. He then sets Chin to find who was in the Marine unit responsible for taking Peking Man out of China. He's certain one name will be on both lists!

Later when McGarrett arrives at Five-O, Danno briefs they hit pay dirt: Sergeant Raymond E. Parmel. He was discharged in 1945 and got seven years for armed robbery in 1948. In 1952, he was part of an unsuccessful escape attempt and was slapped with 20 more years. Last year, he was transferred to San Quentin but successfully escaped ten days ago so he's at large as McGarrett suspects he's in Honolulu no less.

At the National Cemetery, the man who followed Southwood visits the grave of 'E.A. Crowe' before walking away.

Act Two

The man who followed Southwood is Parmel who goes to visit a man (Kwan Hi Lim) at a temple. The man asks if Parmel was an acquaintance of his nephew's, which Parmel says yes thanks to the State of California. Parmel gets to the point wanting to arrange something: he needs a young, Caucasian, American woman with documents saying who she is. The man says it can be arranged, he only needs the details from Parmel.

Chin walks into McGarrett's office saying San Quentin is sending descriptions and photos of Parmel so they can send out an APB. McGarrett asks the team with Frank what do they know so far: the bones are in Honolulu and Parmel knows exactly where; he's been waiting for 34 years to make his move. Frank wonders why he escaped, Parmel only had two years left before he was eligible for parole. McGarrett also wants to know how Southwood fits into the whole scheme with Danno wonders if retrieving the bones is a two-man operation with Southwood brought on board but made a deal early. Parmel discovered it because there's some publicity to the deal with Chin agreeing saying he saw a double-cross and broke out. McGarrett can see that, as it would explain why Parmel, Professor Burke and Peking Man are all in Honolulu. He also proposes if someone else in the detail knew what they were guarding and wants to know where everyone else is. Danno, Chin and Frank leave to put the names through the computer to locate the other detail members. On their way out, Professor Burke arrives. McGarrett tells him they fully expect Parmel to contact him with information on the Peking Man's location and would like Professor Burke to call them when Parmel makes contact. McGarrett stresses Parmel is a murder suspect and a prison escapee from San Quentin. Meantime, the telex spits off information in the Five-O office with Danno walking it into McGarrett who gives Professor Burke his card as they end their conversation. The telex notes Sergeant Major Joseph F. Danvers, USMC (Joseph Monteleone) is stationed at Parris Island, South Carolina and McGarrett sends Danno there to hopefully Sergeant Major Danvers can remember something and some of the names because they still have six men unaccounted for.

Parmel calls Professor Burke to meet him at 2:30 p.m. at the base of Aloha Tower with $25,000 down payment for the fossils. Parmel also warns him not to talk to or go near any cops. Professor Burke pulls out McGarrett's card to call but decides against it. He later goes to Aloha Tower with Parmel watching him from a distance until they approach each other. Parmel still won't give up his name and Professor Burke hasn't notified the police either. Parmel gives Professor Burke a note describing the crate, markings and how the bones were packed perfectly. He pays Parmel the down payment being instructed to return to his hotel for another phone call.

Danno arrives at Parris Island with Sergeant Major Danvers explaining where Company B was and their orders to move south where some transports were waiting on them. When the Japanese attacked the supply train, the lieutenant ordered Parmel and his guys to take the three crates off the train and onto other transports. Company B arrived in Honolulu with the crates on December 5, 1941. He goes on to say Parmel and Crowe who was a buddy of Parmel's took the crates to Pearl Harbor and that was the last he saw of the crates. After the attack, the company was shipped out.

Parmel goes back to the temple calling Sunyako, the man he met earlier, "an artist". A young woman, Miss Summerville (Jana Lindan) arrives receiving Parmel's approval.

Professor Burke talks to McGarrett over the phone claiming no one has contacted him. McGarrett drops a bombshell on him: the bones are in Honolulu, probably at Pearl Harbor and he's planning a search. McGarrett would really like his help on the search but Professor Burke refuses saying he's catching the next flight for home. McGarrett wants Chin to check with the airlines to see if there is an actual reservation for Professor Burke. Danno gets off the phone with a Navy lieutenant who says there was no crates or bones found on Pearl Harbor. Even with the attack, McGarrett wants to make one more search taking Danno and Frank with him.

As they drive through the gate, Chin calls: no reservations for Professor Burke. McGarrett wants a tail on him because he knows Professor Burke is lying and the bones are about to change hands. At the records office, they finally find something on B Company: their equipment is in shed D awaiting disposition including some marked "miscellaneous". The colonel (Alfred I. Thomas) guesses it's equipment that never caught up with the men due to the company being spread all over the Pacific theater at the time.

McGarrett and Danno head out to shed D with Frank and a bunch of Marines in tow to help with the search. Everyone does their part as Danno eventually comes across Parmel's old footlocker along with two other members of the company killed in action. They cut the lock finding bones inside! When the colonel says it's Peking Man, McGarrett wonders why he has a bullet hole in his head.

Act Three

At the National Cemetery, Miss Summerville pretends to be Crowe's daughter to the administrator (Joe B. Moore). She has requested Crowe be exhumed for reburial in Long Beach, California. The administrator doesn't see anything wrong with her request but a lot of paperwork and verifications must be completed before approval. He would like her name, address and a contact number so he can call once approval is granted.

McGarrett, Danno and Frank leave Puller Hall on the base when an idea strikes McGarrett: if the remains in the footlocker are of a Marine killed in the Pearl Harbor attack, why didn't they bury him? They figure Parmel was planning to put Peking Man in the footlockers, burn the crate and hang onto the fossils until after the war due to the fossils being worth a lot of money. McGarrett looks over Parmel's service records noticing he was reassigned on 9 December 1941 to Company A, First Battalion and put in charge of burial detail. They realize the fossils and a dead Marine were switched!

Professor Burke waits in his hotel as the phone rings: Parmel tells him the plan is to move the fossils to a crematorium in Long Beach, California and he’ll have 36 hours to get there with the rest of the $80,000 or the fossils will be burned up! Parmel says he'll call back when they're ready to move. Professor Burke is stunned.

McGarrett and Danno return to Five-O where Chin says Professor Burke has been quiet and not made a move. As well, no success on Parmel's APB. They discuss how Parmel plans to move Peking Man out of the National Cemetery: legal exhumation. McGarrett puts Chin on the task of discovering how many requests have been made the past few weeks for exhumation.

Chin calls into McGarrett's office with three requests since the 18th: Rodzinski, Crowe and Edgarton. Danno picks up on Crowe's name and they verify it's the Crowe they want. Chin says the exhumation has been approved with his daughter expected to be there later to sign the final papers. McGarrett tells Chin to stay put and tail the lady once she leaves hoping she'll lead them to Parmel and the bones. McGarrett then puts Danno on the task of contacting Che (Harry Endo) to get a hold of Crowe's dental records to make a comparison to the skull found in the footlocker.

At the temple, Parmel paces as Sunyako watches him as Miss Summerville shows up. She tells them there's a hitch due to a relative. Parmel loses it because he knew everything about Crowe who has no relatives. Later, Parmel takes matters into his own hands by switching headstones with Crowe and another man, F.H. Heller.

During a heavy rainstorm, Che confirms the remains in the footlocker were Crowe with a match in dental records. McGarrett tells Danno to call Manicote (Glenn Cannon) to work on an exhumation order. Manicote calls the next morning with approval to dig but he warns the VA isn't thrilled by it, so it better be the fossils.

At the National Cemetery, Crowe's exhumation is being completed but once it's opened they realize they've been had again. "Peking Man never wore a G.I. uniform".

Act Four

Danno walks into McGarrett's office saying Professor Burke has arrived. Behind the professor, Chin hauls in Miss Summerville and Sunyako. McGarrett is willing to arrest all three but the person he's after is Parmel and he forces them to cooperate in order to reel in Parmel.

At the temple, Miss Summerville walks in as Parmel is seen on the outside with Professor Burke providing a positive identification. McGarrett has an HPD officer sit with Professor Burke as he and Chin go in for Parmel. Danno and Frank are already inside laying in wait. When Parmel shows up, they spring the trap arresting Parmel for Southwood's murder. Professor Burke runs in and Parmel tries to work a deal through him demanding the rest of the $80,000 and a full pardon otherwise the bones stay where they are. McGarrett refuses to budge having Parmel removed and telling Professor Burke to "go home" but the professor won't go quietly asking the operator to put him through to Jonathan Kaye! McGarrett spins around.

Jonathan arrives in Honolulu via Air Force transport. As they ride in a limousine, Jonathan and McGarrett discuss the situation: Parmel is prison escapee and a murder suspect but he also is the only one who knows exactly where Peking Man in buried. McGarrett knows Peking Man is in the National Cemetery but he's not sure how he'll find him short of digging up every grave. People are already up in arms over the whole idea, especially after the fiasco of the first exhumation. Jonathan is willing to bargain: McGarrett has the rest of the day to find Peking Man and if he does so, Parmel "gets what's coming to him". After that, Jonathan has to follow his orders, which is to put national foreign policy over a murder case.

In McGarrett's office, a map of the National Cemetery is posted on the corkboard. McGarrett wants to know how do they go about finding Peking Man. Danno says due to a partially completed plan for registrations and plot reconfigurations the records are a mess. Frank thinks it can't be far from the grave they dug up. Chin wonders about exhuming a couple of more but that's out of the question. McGarrett tries to think of what makes Peking Man different from the rest, what's in his coffin that isn't in the others. Danno reverses it: Peking Man doesn't have any metal in his grave! McGarrett has Jenny (Peggy Ryan) to contact Marine Headquarters at Camp Smith.

At the National Cemetery, Che walks with a Marine with a metal detector as Five-O, Jonathan, some other Marines and HPD officers follow. They finally find the right grave and exhume the coffin. Professor Burke wants it opened but Jonathan stops him because it's going to be taken to Washington D.C. where it can be properly tested and examined to prove proper ownership. Jonathan wants Professor Burke to accompany him telling McGarrett Parmel is all his. McGarrett tell Chin to "book him" as he and Danno discuss their "oldest missing persons case in history".

This plot summary Copyright Bobbi Baker ©2020. No reproduction of any kind without permission.


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