HFD fights a fire through the night with a building burned to the ground the next morning. The fire is big news on the television stations as three companies fight it and the origin of the fire is still not known. A man (Robert Hogan) watches continuing coverage of the fire in the new Global Trade Center with at least two dead and who knows how many injured. The man's wife (Darcy Hinton Cook) walks in trying to get him moving before he's late. He points to the TV as she immediately recognizes it as his building, which is expected to be a total loss but the surrounding buildings are fine. The phone rings: another man (Allan Arbus) calls asking if he's heard about the fire. The caller tells the man to pack some things and drive to Kahuku to a house off the main road but not to tell anyone where he's going and they'll meet soon. The caller tells Marty this is the only way and the caller is his only chance. According to the news, the area has been cordoned off and no one will be allowed near the Global Trade Center until the all clear is given. Marty packs up, taking off leaving his wife in the lurch.
At the governor's office, he's called an emergency meeting with several others including McGarrett: Fire Commissioner Lawson (Don Mundell) and Commissioner Barnes (Norman Wright) of Building and Safety. They discuss the fire, which is finally under control. The casualty count: "three dead. Twelve injured, two just hanging on" and four of the injured were firemen. The governor laments of the hope and purpose of the Global Trade Center being a link between the Orient and the West through commerce and friendship lost due to the fire. Commissioner Lawson says the Fire Marshal has already started an investigation because the fire spread so quickly after an electrical overload. He hands McGarrett pieces of evidence showing the entire building was substandard: too thin wires and cheap wallboard in place of fire retardant steel. The governor not only calls arson, he says it's murder by "fraud and criminal negligence". Commissioner Barnes says the building contractor was Martin Rogers and they have been unable to contact him though they have tried all morning. McGarrett explains a building contractor couldn't do this alone as a building inspector would have to sign off on the work and money was exchanged to make it happen. Commissioner Barnes doesn't know who the inspector was right off but his assistant is checking.
McGarrett goes with Commissioner Barnes to his office: Bureau of Building and Safety. Once there, Commissioner Barnes asks Vince to come into his office with "the Trade Center file". Turns out, Vince is the caller! Commissioner Barnes introduces Vince Maynard, his "top inspector" to McGarrett who wants to know who made the final inspection on the Trade Center. Vince isn't keen on "big brother" watching over him but he gives up the signature on the final inspection, Joe Kimura (Walter Yong), fairly quickly. Vince comes across as arrogant when Commissioner Barnes is shocked Kimura signed off on the inspection because he makes a crack about the "old-timers" and if they had been doing things like they were supposed to, he wouldn't have been called from the mainland. McGarrett wants to know where Kimura is with Vince saying he's in the field but his exact location is unknown. Vince readies to leave to find Kimura as McGarrett insists someone from Five-O go with him but is it assistance or supervision? McGarrett only wants to find Kimura. He calls the Five-O office with the operator's help.
Outside of the Bureau, Danno catches up with McGarrett telling him they came up empty as Marty's office because he hasn't been in and they don't know when he'll be in. Danno does have an address for Marty but the wife wasn't any help either. McGarrett takes the address ordering an APB with special attention to the airports and docks, hoping Marty hasn't skipped the islands already.
Vince exits a construction site discovering Kimura left a half hour before. Once he reaches Chin, he says there are six more sites to check suggesting they split them up. It makes sense to Chin so they do that taking off in separate directions. Meanwhile, McGarrett visits Marty's wife catching her in a lie right off because she tells him Marty feels bad about the people killed and hurt in the fire after she said he left yesterday on a trip! She becomes downright hostile not willing to talk to McGarrett any more claiming her and her husband aren't criminals. McGarrett tells someone is by using substandard materials causing the building to go up "like a tinderbox" and might as well have held a gun to the victims' heads. She says Marty wouldn't do that but McGarrett knows something is amiss as she goes inside. McGarrett then patches to Five-O where Duke (Herman Wedemeyer) answers. McGarrett wants constant surveillance on Betty Rogers in case Marty tries to contact her with Duke saying he'll take care of it himself. Duke also reports still no word on Kimura.
Kimura walks to his truck at a construction site when Vince pulls up. Vince gives him a story about the reinforcing rods are the wrong strength and how they need to check them again so they walk back into the site. They go to an upper level of the building where Vince hits Kimura over the head knocking him out. He pulls out a whiskey bottle from his jacket but he can't open it so he breaks the bottle open pouring the contents all over Kimura before tossing his body over to fall several stories. Unfortunately, a group of kids pass by in time to see him fall!
McGarrett and Danno arrive on scene driving through a crowd of people. As Danno looks over Kimura, McGarrett talks to the kids who saw the fall. The girl says he was already falling so she has no idea how he fell or if he was pushed. She tells McGarrett she didn't think to look to see if anyone else was with him. When McGarrett is done with the kids, he turns to Danno who tells him there's a strong odor of alcohol on Kimura. McGarrett tells him to look for a bottle, there has to be one somewhere. Vince shows up with McGarrett yelling he was supposed to bring Kimura into the office and where's Chin? Vince explains he's not an expert and there were too many places to cover, they would have never finished. McGarrett turns to Danno: he wants "a complete autopsy report" with the works as he walks with Vince. Vince isn't sure of Kimura's habits but when he says, "the trade center fire and three people dead because of him, how much can a man have on his conscience before he cracks?" These remarks pique McGarrett's interest; something is certainly amiss.
In McGarrett's office with the whole team present, Doc Bergman (Al Eben) skips the obvious and gets to the important stuff: "alcohol content, 0.03 milligrams per 100 cc's of blood". Kimura was sober! McGarrett muses the alcohol all over him could be a cover for a murder. Danno adds he found the bottleneck with the seal still intact: no one opens a bottle like that if they're going to drink it! McGarrett wonders if Kimura was even guilty at all but Chin says he is because he signed off the inspection. McGarrett wants the inspection files sent to the laboratory for Che Fong (Harry Endo) to run every test against forgery.
At the North Shore house, Marty flashes back to the fire before Vince knocks on the door. Marty lets him in wondering where Vince has been. Vince says he had to "handle things" before he could meet. Marty wants to know why he has to hide with Vince explaining he's the one everyone is looking for. Marty points out Vince completed the final inspection but Vince says Kimura signed off on it. Despondent over the fire, Kimura got drunk and fell from the new Alema building! Marty is stunned because he never heard of Kimura and knows Kimura was never near the Trade Center. Vince tells him the police will never go after Marty because the man everyone believes was in on the conspiracy is dead. Marty agrees to lay low for now but tells Vince if he goes down, he won't go down alone. Vince assures him no one is going down for this.
In McGarrett's office, Che briefs about how Kimura's signature was copied, lifted and placed onto another inspection report to make it look like he completed the final inspection. The paste job would be seen on the original but it has disappeared! The only reports are "photocopies everywhere". McGarrett wants to know who framed Kimura: who had access and opportunity. Commissioner Barnes can think of only one person: Vince Maynard. His background includes advisor positions, "high-level construction work for the government" and wrote a column in an LA paper on buildings and real estate. Vince is considered top in the field but McGarrett calls him a "top shakedown artist". Commissioner Barnes is willing to help put Vince to the test. McGarrett calls Dave Harris (John Karlen) at Harris Construction to put up a defective building. Later, Harris shows McGarrett building plans that had been scrapped. He added some code violations and wonders if Vince will approach him with a bribe so close to the fire and McGarrett is sure of it if Vince thinks he's in the clear.
The next morning, Commissioner Barnes delivers the plans to Vince mentioning that Five-O believes Kimura conspired with the contractor in the Trade Center building but the rest of the bureau has a clean bill of health. Vince looks over the plans.
A messenger delivers a note to Betty, which she takes and leaves the house under Duke's watchful eyes. She stops at a payphone calling Marty who tells her to go to Koko Marina to find Captain Pete Sinto to charter his boat to Upolu on the Big Island and tell him it's worth $1000 up front. Marty also tells her to not give her name and to burn the letter after memorizing the phone number.
At Five-O, Danno briefs McGarrett on what Duke witnessed but no luck on the number dialed because the phone was too far away but he knows it was only seven digits. The call was in state since no area code was used. McGarrett tells Chin to get Duke some HPD back up to keep up the 24-hour surveillance on her. The phone rings: Harris calls with news that Vince called to have lunch at 1:00 p.m. and that gives them two hours. McGarrett wants Danno to "go up to Technical Operations, requisition a CER-237" then meet in the car.
McGarrett and Danno go to Harris' office showing him the CER: Concealed Electronic Recorder inside what appears to be an everyday briefcase. McGarrett tells Harris to keep it close and to make sure it's not blocked without raising Vince's suspicions. McGarrett warns Harris to be careful; he might be dealing with a killer!
Harris and Vince meet for lunch where Vince says he's always admired Harris' buildings. Then they discuss Skytop, Harris' newest idea and the plans he sent over. Vince asks Harris if he really thought he could get away with the violations. Harris tells him it's costs and they're killing the business, especially if they met every letter of the law. When Vince says other builders get by, Harris brings up the issue of waivers. Vince asks what Harris thinks is population of Kahului, Maui but 9,000 to 10,000 isn't enough as Vince sys it's closer to 50,000. He tells Harris to meet him at Fun Lanes Bowling Alley at lunch tomorrow with everything in a bowling bag. When a waitress sets a bread basket in front of the case, Harris tries to unblock it on the sly when Vince suddenly remembers he has to make a phone call: only to have Harris told he has a call! Vince returns to the table to find the recorder!
In McGarrett's office, Harris shows up with the recorder with McGarrett telling Danno to stake out the bowling alley with plainclothes officers at every door and to mark the money in the usual manner. The phone rings: Vince is at Five-o to see McGarrett as McGarrett says he'll be right out but Vince beats him to the punch entering the office without knocking! Vince tells McGarrett Harris approached him to bribe him to overlook his building violations! However, when Vince sees Harris in the office, he freaks screaming that he'll sue McGarrett personally for slander and defamation as well as the state for entrapment! He figures $1 million should do it but McGarrett refuses to flinch.
McGarrett's next move is to bring in Manicote (Glenn Cannon) into the office apprising him of the case and the threat of the lawsuit. Manicote says anyone can sue but winning is a different matter: did McGarrett's statement actually defame Vince? As well, did an actual entrapment take place? McGarrett says, "as I understand it, it is perfectly legal for us to provide the opportunity for a suspect to commit a crime, just so long as we do not entice him into doing it," with Manicote confirming that is correct. McGarrett says no entrapment took place, however, the tape doesn't necessarily back up their position. Manicote says he may not win the lawsuit but the case could be held up in the courts for months and there could be a great deal of embarrassment. McGarrett's least concern is embarrassment. The phone rings: Commissioner Barnes calls with news Vince just resigned and he has a reservation on a flight to the mainland tomorrow! When McGarrett shares the news with Danno and Manicote, it doesn't make any sense. McGarrett suspects the lawsuit is just talk, enough to put them off guard while Vince leaves Hawaii. However, there's Marty who can put Vince away for bribery and possibly murder. The problem is Vince is "not the type to leave loose ends behind" and McGarrett believes Vince will kill Marty before leaving, which means they have to find Marty first.
Vince goes to a shave ice stand to pick up a small package before leaving for the North Shore. The package is a loaded .38 caliber gun! Meanwhile, Five-O tracks Betty to a boat dock where she's trying to charter the boat like Marty wanted her to. McGarrett and Danno approach her telling her Marty is in danger and they need to know where he is right now. If Vince gets to him first, he has no chance but if they get to him: he'll survive. Betty tells them about the house and gives them the phone number. McGarrett and Danno take off with Chin and Duke behind them. As they leave, Betty calls Marty to warn him.
As Betty calls Marty; McGarrett puts a call out to all HPD cars to look out for Vince who could possibly be in a Bureau car. He also calls Dispatch to contact the phone company to give an exact location of 732-5577 the number Betty gave them. Five-O rushes to the North Shore as Marty readies to leave, but it's too late as Vince arrives first taking Marty hostage. They get into Marty's car and goes to see a "mistake" Vince made.
Marty drives his Continental as Five-O arrives at the house behind them. McGarrett tells Danno to call Dispatch to set up roadblocks on State Highway 83 giving descriptions of Vince and Marty and get helicopter support. Vince and Marty arrive at a location where Vince had invested heavily in but failed miserably.
the helicopter unit finds them and reports to McGarrett who tells all cars to close in on "the old Lagoon Hotel complex on Lagoon Drive" using silent approach. Five-O takes off for it too as Vince tells Marty what happened: the posts sunk revealing the land they bought was a sheet of lava over a crater. At this point, Vince cracks angry they weren't allowed to build even though they proved they could build safely. Hawaii wasn't willing to gamble but Vince had other ideas for the state, even after his partner committed suicide. As Vince is getting to shoot Marty, McGarrett talks to him through a bullhorn telling him he's surrounded! As McGarrett orders Vince to surrender, Vince starts shooting! The police open fire as Marty takes cover. Vince this breaks down completely living in his delusion until an officer wings him. Marty surrenders peacefully as Danno books him for "conspiracy, fraud, bribery and manslaughter". Marty tells McGarrett about a safety deposit box at Ala Moana Bank with $100,000 he saved on construction costs. Marty is willing to give a full confession with McGarrett unable to promise anything, but Marty doesn't care, they got there saving him after the last few days of a "living hell".
This plot summary Copyright Bobbi Baker ©2020. No reproduction of any kind without permission.
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