S08E09 - “Retire in Sunny Hawaii -- Forever” - Plot

(Prepared by Bobbi Baker)


Act One

United Airlines flight 106 from Los Angeles lands at Honolulu International. Danno waits by the gate as his Aunt Clara (Helen Hayes) enthusiastically greets him pulling along her seatmate Mr. Miller (Ian Wolfe). Danno gives her a lei and asks Miller if he could use a lift realizing Miller knows Honolulu pretty well. Meantime, two men watch Miller as the older guy (Michael Morgan) asks his younger counterpart (Palani Vaughan) if that's really Miller but the younger guy says he doesn't look like his picture, which was taken several years ago. They follow the trio out of the airport and to Miller's hotel, the Makai Lagoon. After drooping off Miller, Danno teases Aunt Clara about being a flirt and they take off for the Rainbow Towers where she's staying. The two mean pull in as Danno and Aunt Clara drive away.

Miller settles into his hotel suite taking a pill as he hand trembles but he manages to put a medicine bottle into the bathroom cabinet. As he takes his jacket off, he's interrupted by a knock on the door. The two men who followed him from the airport force their way in throwing various questions at him in quick succession specifically about his bank account. He tells them he can take it up with his lawyer who he will be contacting shortly but they don't give Miller a chance pulling guns on him. They want him to go with them but he stalls them by going to get his jacket and he locks the door to that part of the suite! He phones Aunt Clara telling her there are two men trying to kill him but he doesn't get much more as they successfully break down the door and force him off the phone. Aunt Clara, of course, is concerned and calls Danno at Five-O.

In McGarrett's office, he's briefing Danno and Chin on their current operation and how wants to handle an upcoming bust. They've been after a character named Kwan for some time and they have their chance coming up soon. McGarrett wants Kwan and his associates all hit at once so there is no possibility of warning the others or hiding their books and equipment in their illegal activities. Chin asks about the warrants with Danno saying Manicote is drawing them up as they speak. The phone buzzes much to McGarrett's irritation but Jenny (Peggy Ryan) tells him it's an emergency call for Danno. It's Aunt Clara but Danno tells her he's in an important meeting but she tells him that Miller is in trouble and there are men trying to kill him! Danno switches gears wanting her to slow down and tell him exactly what happened. After she does, he assures her he'll take care of it. Danno hangs up signaling McGarrett it'll be a minute as he calls Duke (Herman Wedemeyer) to drive to the Makai Lagoon for a welfare check on Miller. McGarrett is concerned asking what's going on but Danno says, "don't ask". McGarrett continues with the brief setting a time of the bust at 10:42 a.m.

Duke drives over to the Makai Lagoon and checks on Miller. A man (Charles Peck) answers the door but it's not Miller! Duke asks about the phone call placed to Aunt Clara at the Rainbow Towers. He explains to Duke there was some noise and he may have said something to the effect that it was killing him. Satisfied, Duke leaves.

At the Rainbow Towers, Aunt Clara couldn't sit still if her life depended on it. She's about to look into things herself when the hotel pages her to pick up a courtesy phone. It's Danno assuring her everything is okay with Miller after Duke reported back. Deep down, she knows this isn't true! She tries talking Danno into going to the hotel himself but he cuts her off, as McGarrett wants another meeting in his office about the upcoming raid. Frustrated, Aunt Clara definitely takes matters into her own hands taking a cab to the Makai Lagoon!

Aunt Clara arrives at the Makai Lagoon finding Miller's hotel suite and knocking on the door. The fake Miller answers and she's inwardly shocked but regroups quickly, to the point he doesn't notice. She pretends to be Gladys Foster of "Hawaiian Senior Citizens Council" welcoming him to the islands. He nearly closes the door on her but she persists going into a whole spiel but he eventually slams the door in her face. Aunt Clara is partially relieved. The fake Miller walks back into the bedroom where another man (Charles Durning) is packing Miller's suitcase telling him about the sales pitch. The second man goes to the hallway to check out the woman but Aunt Clara is nowhere to be seen because she's hiding behind the housekeeping cart! The man returns inside as Aunt Clara makes her escape.

Inside the suite, the second man tells the fake Miller he's going on a trip: to make it appear Miller returned to the mainland because Hawaii has changed so much between 1960 and 1975.

In McGarrett's office, he slaps the warrants in his hands, as everything is set except Kwan. He hasn't shown like he was supposed to! McGarrett isn't happy but there are rumors on the street Kwan has been hit by another mob. However, there's nothing concrete enough to pin down. Danno says, "I've asked the photo lab to send us mugshots of any unidentified bodies found within the last 24 hours". McGarrett is happy about someone thinking ahead. Jenny knocks on the door telling them Aunt Clara is there but again, she's persistent in wanting to talk to Danno, conference or no conference. Danno tries to have Jenny stall her but Aunt Clara walks in telling him that something terrible has happened to Miller. She talks to the rest of the team including McGarrett about all the details she knows, "His name is Edgar. He's a retired businessman. He had to give up work because of bad health. He's much better, though, now. Though his hand still shakes a little. He plays backgammon". Danno introduces her to everyone before McGarrett explains that Duke checked on Miller and he was perfectly fine. She insists that wasn't the real Miller! Danno takes the opportunity to shoo her out understanding she's upset but she balks at his efforts, "Danny, don't treat me like a child". McGarrett gets back to it as Danno takes her out of Five-O.

An HPD unit responds to a beach where a dead body has been found. It's Miller!

Act Two

The next morning, Aunt Clara sees the photo of Miller in McGarrett's office. He explains Danno recognized Miller right away. McGarrett wants to personally apologize for not taking her more seriously. Aunt Clara grieves for him saying Miller had so much ahead of him still and she knew something was wrong when the fake Miller answered the door. McGarrett compliments her on coming up with the fake magazine pitch. "Oh, improvisation is second nature to me. I was an actress, you know". They discuss her acting career and as she leaves, she asks they find out what happened to Miller, as she was quite fond of him. McGarrett assures her, "my personal attention, guaranteed".

Danno, Chin and the mobile laboratory arrive at the Makai Lagoon to go over Miller's suite. They walk with the manager (Richard Villard) to the suite entering immediately begin processing it. The manager notes Miller checked out at 12:15 p.m., which Danno finds strange: it was less than three hours after he checked in. Chin notices the bedroom door has fresh paint on it. The manager isn't aware of any work on the door but he'll look into it. Danno asks where Miller was from: Minneapolis, Minnesota. He also asks about phone calls: two calls, on e to Aunt Clara and another to 555-3770. Danno finds the medicine bottle in the bathroom, sending it to Che (Harry Endo) for processing. Danno plans to follow up on the second call. Danno, Chin and the manager leave as the technicians keep working.

McGarrett and Danno arrive at 'Golden Years Retirement Home' owned by 'J. Haven'. Haven gives them a tour including stopping by a table where Ms. Crenshaw (Peggy Oumansky) and two old men sit. He introduces McGarrett and Danno before the first old man (Jack Morris) starts in on the Forsythe murder in Pearl City asking if they're on that case. Ms. Crenshaw says that one has been solved as "the trailer camp owner" was arrested for that one but the second old man (Thomas Buell) reminds them the owner was released 24 hours later and the Army barber was arrested. But it wasn't the barber either as he had a perfect alibi for being on the job at the time. McGarrett corrects them all saying Forsythe faked his death so he could escape with the company monies. However, Five-O is also glad for citizens' help. McGarrett, Danno and Haven move on and they confront him about Miller's call. Haven denies talking to Miller but there was a message with his answering service. By the time he called back, Miller had checked out. McGarrett and Danno leave, skeptical of Haven' story. Once they leave, Haven goes to his office and calls his contact (Lynne Ellen Hollinger) telling her, "that repair job you wanted recently, we'll have to pass it by. The wires seem too hot to handle". She goes to her files pulling Miller's file stamping it 'Claim terminated,' dating it 'Sep 26 1975' and placing a Hawaii State Seal stamp on the cover!

In McGarrett's office, the team briefs on what they have discovered so far. Chin reports from Minneapolis PD that Miller returned there in 1960 and lived with his son Robert until 1966 when he was admitted to VA Hospital. Unfortunately, Robert was killed in a car wreck three months later. Danno has the report from the VA: he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease with a rapid deterioration. They tried some new medication in the early 1970s and he improved dramatically, being discharged in 1975. Che says it matches with what was found in the medicine bottle: levodopa, it's used to treat Parkinson's. McGarrett is at a total loss because the why bothers him. Miller had been gone from Hawaii for years, completely disabled while he's gone and poof, he's hit immediately upon his return. Chin says it could be an extortion attempt while Duke suggests robbery. Danno points out Miller could have been a target of a "money hustle" as the hotel suite wasn't cheap. McGarrett wants to know how much Miller was worth. He sets Duke to search for his assets in both Honolulu and Minneapolis. He sets Danno to get Aunt Clara to work on a composite as both she and Duke saw the fake Miller. McGarrett wants a poster of him out right away.

Aunt Clara and Duke work with technician to put together a face but she says the eyes are wrong. Danno stands by Aunt Clara helping where he can including making the eyes "meaner". Once that's done, there's disagreement on the nose: longer or "more aquiline". The phone rings and Danno answers: it's Chin telling him they found an account for Miller in the Pacific Federal Bank worth over $100,000 but the money's gone. It's been turned over to the "Unclaimed Property Bureau, State of Hawaii".

Danno and Chin visit the Unclaimed Property Bureau meeting the secretary (Ann Ramos) who directs them to her boss, Ms. Sutherland who is Haven' contact! She tells them to call her Ellen, after all, they work for the same boss: the State of Hawaii!

Act Three

In Ellen's office, Danno and Chin ask about dormant bank accounts. Ellen explains the process that after seven years, the person who owns a dormant account is considered legally missing or dead. They try to contact the owner by running an ad daily for two weeks. If there's no response, the funds go into the State Treasury. If the owner turns up after the fact, they will get their money back after properly identifying themselves and filing a claim with her office. Danno asks if Miller filed a claim and Ellen pulls the file showing the termination of the claim on September 26th. He also wants to why it was terminated with Ellen asking if they knew Miller was dead. Danno says they knew, how did she know and she pulls out a newspaper reporting his death but it's dated September 27th! Huh!? Ellen puts on a fake display of being saddened by Miller's death but neither Danno nor Chin buys it because of the date discrepancy. They decide to keep her under surveillance.

Later, Ellen meets with Haven at an open-air marketplace where she feeds some fish in a koi pond. Haven isn't happy about the meet but she tells him Five-O visited her concerning Miller. She also shows him the wanted poster of their accomplice, which Haven blows off wadding it up and tossing it into the pond. Meantime, Danno and Chin watch taking photos of their meet. Haven tells Ellen not to worry because their friend won't be back.

Duke arrives at the airport meeting with a ticket clerk (Luella Costello) who recognized the fake Miller. She sold him a ticket for the 4:00 p.m. flight to Los Angeles under the name of Harley Welbourn. She's certain it was him, as she remembers he said something about being to sad to leave as he's always liked it here. Duke counters, "he won't be if we find him" and leaves thanking her for her help.

In McGarrett's office, he lays it out with connections between Haven and Ellen along with the murder of the real Miller. On top of that, they replaced Miller with a fake. McGarrett wants some theories from the team and Danno has one. He surmises that Ellen waits for a fat unclaimed account, "one that's worth going after," then notifies Haven who then sends over someone fitting the bill. Someone like the fake Miller and they coach them walking off with the money, or so they planned. What they didn't plan on was Miller writing a letter to the bank saying he was going to claim his money. The bank then informed Ellen who told Haven. Chin says it probably shook them up. So they plan to hit miller upon his arrival but the other part of the equation they hadn't counted on: one Clara Williams! McGarrett wonders how many times the "little" racket has worked before and Danno chimes it that over the last six months they've stolen $1,742,000! Some "little racket". McGarrett likes the theory, now they work on proving it. McGarrett tells Jenny to call Cooper (Frank Cooper) at Pacific Federal because they'll need his help. McGarrett wants him to create a fake bank account in the name of "Esther Bracken"! Franks obliges providing all the documents.

At the Unclaimed Property Office, Ellen goes through her mail including the Esther Bracken account. Ellen opens the envelope finding the juicy amount. Ellen then tells Ann her secretary to put the usual newspaper notice out.

In McGarrett's office, he's looking through some mail as he walks out to the lanai. Danno runs in saying it appears they've taken the bait as the notice is in the paper. McGarrett asks if the operative is ready and gives the green light to commence operations.

At Golden Years, Ms. Crenshaw happily gives Haven a bouquet of fake flowers, which he graciously receives but immediately trashes them once he's out of her sight. He has to go to the office because there is a phone call from Ellen. She's getting twitchy because it's taking him three days to find someone to pretend to be Esther and the account is over $200,000. He tells her it's not that simple, especially since she has to be handicapped. Ellen doesn't care and abruptly hangs up. The courtesy van pulls in with the new residents including one in a wheelchair with her nurse (Varoa Tiki). It is none other than Aunt Clara!

Act Four

Aunt Clara and her nurse play cards with Aunt Clara losing again. Haven approaches "Mrs. Tepper" who is enjoying herself immensely but she's worried about her children sending her money and she will have to eventually leave. Haven tells her he's made the home self-supporting through various "fund-raising" projects. He wants to speak privately with Aunt Clara so she sends her nurse to the dining room for lunch. Haven tells her about picking up some money that isn't doing anyone any good but he's being taped the whole time by Five-O! Haven cautions Aunt Clara there may be some risk and she's unafraid saying it might be fun but she wants to know what's in it for her. He wheels Aunt Clara into his office as Danno reports to McGarrett that Haven has taken the bait! McGarrett tells him to stay with it, their next step is "the Hawaiian connection".

Aunt Clara and Luana the nurse enter Ellen's office as Aunt Clara pretends to be Esther Bracken. As Ellen looks over the papers, Aunt Clara natters on about living with her daughter in Pasadena and how she almost missed out on all the money she had squirreled away years earlier. Ellen stops the nattering asking if she wants the money put back into the account or if she prefers a check. Check please!

Luana pushes Aunt Clara out the building and down the steps to the van. Danno watches from the observation van as Aunt Clara is loaded into the home's courtesy van. Danno reports to McGarrett the check is in her purse. McGarrett tells them they don't move until Aunt Clara hands the check over to Haven but wants Chin to call back up and arrest Ellen for fraud and murder one.

The fake Miller returns to Honolulu grabbing a cab to take him to Golden Years Retirement Home. Meanwhile, Aunt Clara is offloaded at the home where Luana wheels her to Haven's office. The observation van and the Marquis Brougham park on nearby streets ready to move at a moment's notice. Haven takes Aunt Clara into the office making Luana stand outside with the door closed. Haven asks for the check with Aunt Clara now having second thoughts: are they doing the right thing? What about Esther Bracken? Haven assures her it's fine, he wants her to sign the check to him. She pulls out a pen but asks for the signature card so she can get it right, then she digs for her glasses! Danno is throwing a shit fit in the van! "She's playing games. Why doesn't she just get it over with?" Poor Danno. Once Haven compares the signatures, Danno reports to McGarrett he has the money with McGarrett telling all units to standby. They have to wait until Aunt Clara is clear before moving in! Haven wheels Aunt Clara to Luana so they can leave the office. Haven thanks her with Aunt Clara telling him, "you haven't any idea what a pleasure it's been, Mr. Haven".

The fake Miller arrives back at the home in time to see Luana wheel Aunt Clara to her cottage. Luana briefly looks back and moves as quickly as she can. The fake Miller runs to Haven asking about Aunt Clara. Haven tells him she's one of them but the fake Miller says she's the one who tried to sell him the magazines! Haven sends his guards after Aunt Clara as Five-O and HPD move in! Chaos ensues as Duke and HPD corner Haven and the fake Miller while McGarrett and Danno pursue the guards who have broken into Aunt Clara's cottage! However, when they enter: Luana has them perfectly under control! "Nobody argues with a .38 Police Special". McGarrett orders them booked as Danno checks on Aunt Clara, clearly relieved she's okay. She offers them a shot of whiskey and asks McGarrett when their next case is! "Good day, Mrs. Williams."

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


RETURN TO:
Main Page • Season Eight, this episode (S08E09)
Season 8 Quick Index • Next Season (Nine)