S08E21 - “The Capsule Kidnapping” - Plot

(Prepared by Bobbi Baker)


Act One

A man (Bruce Boxleitner) and woman (Suesie Elene) walk through an estate in the middle of the night sneaking in and knocking out a woman (Marika Yamato) before grabbing a boy (Shawn Sherman) to take him away. A servant comes out of the house but is shot by the woman before he can raise the alarm. The pair escapes in a motorboat labeled 'Oahu Pacific Institute' off the beach. They stop near a buoy off the coast of Honolulu.

The next morning, a radio deejay (Sam Sanford) tells his audience the lines are open if the "got something on your mind, you wanna get off your chest?" His first caller has a doozy: Tadashi Sunahara, son of Byong Sunahara (Daniel Taba) has been kidnapped and a ransom of $1.5 million is demanded, otherwise Tadashi will suffocate in 52 hours in "an airtight capsule"! Sam recognizes it for what it is and calls the police as well as putting the call on a "standby tape".

McGarrett arrives on scene meeting Danno: "the kidnapped boy is the son of one of Japan's leading industrialists. The family's been vacationing here". The houseboy is the one who was killed with a shot in the back. The boy's mother was found unconscious as Sunahara is in Hilo on business. Danno shows McGarrett the ransom note saying a woman called into a radio talk show and they want to communicate through that radio station, KPOI, tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. Danno has it set up to trace the next call. McGarrett is somewhat surprised to hear a woman called in and according to the ransom note, the money is to be dropped off at Sand Island outflow point Friday at 9:30 a.m. at the water's edge. McGarrett wants surveillance set up of the area "to monitor any advance activities" and to get maps of the whole area. As Danno leaves, Chin shows up reporting they took off via boat. McGarrett wants photographs and plaster casts of the prints. He also wants chin to check with the neighbors to see if anyone heard a boat or a shot. McGarrett then catches up with Doc (Al Eben) asking about Mrs. Sunahara. She'll be okay and Doc hands McGarrett a baggie with a cloth saturated with something that seriously stinks as McGarrett finds out the hard way! He tells Doc to take it to Che (Harry Endo) to nail down hat it is.

The pair who kidnapped the Tadashi pulls up to the Oahu Pacific Institute. Inside, a professor (Liam Sullivan) lectures about how mankind's future is in the ocean and not in space. However, the knowledge learned in space will greatly aid island nations with booming populations, such as Britain, Japan and Indonesia, to build underwater cities. The professor is passionate about the subject telling the students more research is needed. Meantime, the young man opens the door making the professor realize he's run over. Students file out and once everyone leaves, Paul informs the professor Asuko shot a servant who walked out an he's probably dead. The professor is mortified, as the plan didn't call for shooting or anyone being killed. Paul tells Philip it's too late to turn back as Philip would rather abandon the plan. Paul assures him he regrets the incident as much as he does but they need the money to start their experiments.

The team is in McGarrett's office as he speaks to Jonathan Kaye (Bill Edwards) telling him Tadahsi's safety is the first priority. Jonathan doesn't want a "rash reaction" and urges caution, which McGarrett says they will exercise. McGarrett doesn't want to give carte blanche to every criminal element in the islands if they give in to the kidnappers and they aren't above murder as the houseboy was killed during the kidnapping. Jonathan was to stay informed and McGarrett agrees. When he hangs up, Chin then briefs a neighbor heard an outboard motor about 5:30 in the morning but no gunshots and no one else heard any shots either. Danno surmises they used a silencer. McGarrett wants to know when Sunahara is due in: he's on the way with Duke (Herman Wedemeyer) waiting at the airport. McGarrett tells Danno to play the tape: it isn't pretty and McGarrett is at his wit's end. He tells chin to send a copy of the tape to Washington to see if they have a matching voiceprint.

Paul and Asuko drive down the road as she says she's worried about Tolvar because he'll give in under pressure. Paul assures her Philip will be all right because he knows Philip well and he's completely committed. They kiss then she gets out of the car to walk inside her apartment. Inside, Shigemi (Michael Hasegawa) waits for her: she tells him everything is going as planned with neither Paul nor Philip being a hindrance to what they need to accomplish.

In McGarrett's office, Che briefs the substance to knock out Mrs. Sunahara is from a lionfish. McGarrett asks what's a lionfish with Che explaining it's one of the most beautiful and deadly fish around. Che says the venom from one fish can be fatal but the mixture he found was from four or five fish then cut with a buffer working in the respiratory system. McGarrett wants Chin to check out the tropical fish places to see if anyone bought an unusual number of lionfish lately. McGarrett then asks Che about what he thinks is going on with the capsule: Che believes it's underground or underwater. Working the math backwards, they figure 104 tanks is not doable but specially built tanks would be possible to provide five to ten hours of oxygen per tank. McGarrett sets Danno on that angle to talk to dive shops to see what can be found and to get as much help as he needs.

At a fish store, Chin asks the owner (Robert Costa) about lionfish. The owner explains lionfish are easy to come by as divers can catch them "off Bamboo Ridge at Koko Head". Meanwhile, Danno talks to a dive shop owner (Ronald Nakahara) who says about a week before a guy came in with six tanks "about 5 foot. Took a 3500 PSI a piece, quarter inch thick tank walls" with legal regulators. The guy told him is that they were for a special dive. Each refill has to be recorded per state law and the guy showed proper identification: Paul Colburn and he doesn't live far away.

McGarrett and Danno go with the landlady (Elizabeth Smith) to Paul's apartment. McGarrett shows her a search warrant and she hands over the keys. McGarrett opens the door with guns drawn but the place is empty. Looking around, Danno spots a lionfish in an aquarium before the landlady walks in. McGarrett asks her if she knows where he works: assistant professor at Oahu Pacific Institute. When they ask her for a description, she gives more of a "character reference" but as she tells them his height, he shows up. McGarrett yells to the officer below to stop him and Paul takes off running! When the officer reports back to McGarrett he's lost him, McGarrett tells Danno to put out an APB on Paul.

Act Two

Danno pays a visit to Philip at the Oahu Pacific Institute looking for Paul and some information on him. Philip is slightly nervous but answers the questions in a pretty straightforward manner. Danno gives Philip his card and tells him to call immediately if he sees or hears from Paul. Before leaving, Danno takes an interest in the model Philip has set up in his classroom of an underwater city.

Paul runs to Asuko's apartment hiding from the police. She pours him a drink as he tells her about the police waiting for him at his apartment. She assures everything will go the way they want.

Danno walks into McGarrett's office with a read out on Paul: age 29, graduated fro Berkley and spent a year in Japan doing some graduate work. He moved to Hawaii about a year ago. This information is from a newspaper interview at Oahu Pacific Institute where he went to work with Philip but as Danno reports Philip wasn't a lot of help. Danno tells McGarrett he has the Institute staked out just in case. McGarrett knows Paul is in on the kidnapping based on his association with Philip and the fact there was a lionfish in his apartment. The phone buzzes: Jenny (Peggy Ryan) says Sunahara is in the office. Duke escorts Sunahara in along with his lawyer Mr. Matsuda and introduces them to McGarrett. McGarrett tells Sunahara there is no new news but the kidnappers are scheduled to contact them tomorrow. Sunahara is prepared to pay the ransom but only if Tadashi is alive and he can hear his son's voice because he will not "pay tribute to his murderers". McGarrett considers that a reasonable request and that the message will be relayed. Sunahara leaves to visit his wife in the hospital.

The next morning, Sam Sanford hits the airwaves again waiting for the call from the kidnappers after he relays Sunahara' message. Five-O is set up to record and trace with Danno and Chin in the booth with Sam. Asuko calls in making it clear the conversation will happen over citizen's band three at 4:30 that afternoon. However, he'll never talk to Tadashi again if Five-O doesn't back off and stop pursuing the kidnappers. Unfortunately, Asuko doesn't stay on the phone long enough for a proper trace.

Everything is set up in Five-O for Sunahara to talk to Tadashi. Victor (Norman Dupont) checks the positions of the trucks and lets McGarrett know they're ready. McGarrett gives Sunahara last minute instructions to keep his son on the line as long as possible so they can come up with his position. McGarrett signals Sunahara who begins speaking with Tadashi. The triangulation puts the signal origination at Fort DeRussy with McGarrett ordering cars five, 12 and 15 to proceed immediately on silent approach. Danno and Chin would love to but they're caught up in a construction mess! McGarrett tells them to make an end run and they do: through a ditch! Sunahara continues talking with his son until Tadashi is cut off about to tell them he's underwater. Asuko gives instructions on the money drop on Sand Island tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. at the outflow point before cutting off all transmissions. Danno and Chin lead HPD to a site swerving the cars all over the gravel and dirt. One problem: no one is there! Some equipment in an empty room!

Act Three

In McGarrett's office, Che briefs it's a radio relay and basically they were monitoring the wrong frequency. However, based on the strength of the signal, Che estimates the capsule is within eight miles of the relay. The area would take weeks and months to search all of it but Tadashi only has hours before he runs out of air. McGarrett runs it down again: the kidnappers arrived and left the Sunahara house by boat, Paul filled six specially made tanks with compressed air and he's studying oceanography at the Oahu Pacific Institute. The final clue is from Tadashi who said he was under: water is the "obvious conclusion" as this is the only common denominator. They know Tadashi is in the bay off Sand Island but where. Chin wonders if they shouldn't sweep the area with Harbor Patrol but McGarrett considers this too dangerous. He does tell Chin to put them on stand by, as they may need them later. McGarrett puts a call through to Commander Fredericks (George M. Kennedy): McGarrett wants the money tracked after the pick up and the Coast Guard is able to help with some newer equipment on board the Cape Corwin. They'll be in position at 6:00 a.m. After McGarrett hangs up, Danno suggests the diver could rendezvous with a car on one of the back roads. McGarrett wants the roads staked out but no one moves in until he says so. Chin then walks in with a match to the voiceprint on the tape: Asuko Sunada who is bad news as she is associated with a Japanese terrorist group named "Red Army". McGarrett sees the connection with Paul being in Japan for his graduate work. Danno doesn't see it and McGarrett decides to call it a day leaving Danno to brief everyone on the operation.

Paul readies his tank at Asuko's apartment when Philip shows up. Philip feels they can't Asuko and wants the boy released. Paul says they're about to get the money and promises him nothing will happen to Tadashi. He also reassures Philip Asuko wants the same things they do. Philip still isn't sure as he leaves.

On Sand Island the next morning, McGarrett and Danno arrive to a report of quiet the night before. Danno takes a pair of officers to set up the stake out the back roads as McGarrett radios Commander Fredericks as they stand ready for any movement with Chin on board. Sunahara arrives in an HPD car as McGarrett offers a policeman to take his place if he wishes. McGarrett tells him there may be an attempt on his life after the exchange due to the involvement of a radical Japanese group. While he appreciates it, Sunahara passes on the swap and will make the drop himself. They get into position. Commander Fredericks reports movement six miles to the east of the outflow with McGarrett telling him to keep him posted.

Asuko and Paul are on the boat and Paul goes overboard making his way to Sand Island in his scuba gear. Commander Fredericks reports the movement as Sunahara walks to the outflow point. Sunahara reaches the water's edge watching until Paul surfaces and walks out of the water aiming a spear gun. As Paul picks up the money, Sunahara asks where Tadashi is only to have Paul say he'll be told where Tadashi is before the 52 hours expires. Paul gets back into the water with the money and soon reaches the boat. As soon as Paul hands over the money, Asuko shoots him!

Act Four

Commander Fredericks reports the boat is moving away toward Diamond Head, too late for an intercept. McGarrett gives the go ahead to start a sweep of the harbor. McGarrett and Danno take off as HPD takes Sunahara home.

Asuko beaches the boat taking the money and meeting Shigemi who takes off driving like a bat out of hell. Meantime, Commander Fredericks reports the latest location on the boat: under Sand Island Bridge. McGarrett and Danno find the boat and McGarrett wants to know who signed it out. Danno patches through to the Oahu Pacific Institute as McGarrett checks with Chin: the Coast Guard has seven frogmen working on finding Tadashi but time is against them with one hour of air left! On top of that, Danno has discovered Philip signed out the boat and the Institute's airplane. It's kept at the old airport and that's where they go next with an HPD unit behind them.

At the airport, Philip readies the airplane for takeoff. Meantime, Asuko calls into Sam Sanford again: "Tadashi Sunahara will die for the sins of his family. Let this be a warning to all members of Japan's imperialist ruling class. Liberation is at hand. The Red Army will prevail". She jumps back into the car and they take off. Philip starts the engines and rolls out of the parking spot. As they're en route, McGarrett wants an exact location of the airplane and tells Danno to contact FAA for a tail number and to get a full HPD tactical squad to the airport.

At the airport, Asuko and Shigemi arrive as Philip dials in the HPD police frequency in the airplane's radio. As Asuko and Shigemi board the plane, they tell Philip Tadashi must die for their revolution but he give s the buoy number over the police frequency before being shot to death by Asuko. McGarrett and Danno both hear it as McGarrett radios Chin about the buoy number while racing to the airport. Chin takes the radio call as Commander Fredericks and a diver (Beau Vanden Ecker) stand on deck. Commander Fredericks orders the Cape Corwin to the buoy immediately. Meanwhile, McGarrett tries to stop the plane from taking off but fails. However, the tactical squad takes care of it shooting the plane right at takeoff. Afterward, Chin radios in: they have Tadashi and he's all right.

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


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