S09E03 - “Oldest Profession -- Latest Price” - Plot

(Prepared by Bobbi Baker)

Act One

On a sunny afternoon, a photographer (Kimo Kahoano) talks some tourists into having their photo taken with Leilani at 'Frank's Fotos'. Behind them, a man (Ned Beatty) makes a phone call at a pay phone. Meantime, a woman (Darrah Lau) receives a knock on her door as a man (Kevin Marley) enters her apartment. Jim is nervous as his friend Pete sent him her way. As she tries to get him to relax, the phone rings: it's the man at the pay phone who asks her if she has the present he left her. When she answers yes, he takes off for his car where he hits a switch as she's about to open the package. It's a bomb! It explodes seriously wounding her and throwing Jim off his feet! Jim runs out leaving her on the floor!

Danno arrives on scene behind the mobile laboratory van as the photographer and Leilani stand back taking photos of the crowd. Duke briefs Danno on what happened: "a bomb explosion. Fourth floor. Two people hurt". There was no warning but the building has been cleared for the bomb squad to check it out. Jim doesn't want to stick around claiming he has an appointment and that he's okay. As they load the woman into the ambulance, Duke tells Danno that rumors have it that she's a "first class" prostitute. Danno says, "three in two weeks". As the ambulance pulls away, the caller appears pretty smug and happy among the crowd.

At the Territorial Building, McGarrett can't believe he's being told about the third one. "One drowned, one bludgeoned to death and now this". McGarrett calls in Chin as Danno and Duke wrap up their briefing. Danno says the bomb seems to have been planted and it was small. Che (Harry Endo) is working with the Bomb Squad for answers. Duke adds she had a client with her but he's not much help because he's "pretty shook up". Duke thinks it might be a psycho and Chin wonders if it's not an HPD matter. McGarrett is troubled by the lack of a pattern and wonders if something else isn't at play such as extortion. They're not "law abiding citizens" with lots of cash flow. McGarrett smells the blood of organized crime and wants to know what's going on. He tells Chin to get with his informers to discover if anyone is trying to move in on the "uptown hooker trade" and has Duke follow up with the clients and Che as the bomb may be their only lead. He also wants Danno to feed what information they have on the bomb into the computer with Danno pointing out they don't know what set it off. McGarrett says the client or the girl knows but she's still in shock and "lucky to be alive".

The caller uses his own phone to make more calls to various women including one (Jo Anne Morgan) at her home and another (Kelly Bishop) in her business. He demands $3000 from each of them threatening harm like the other three: two are dead and one "critically injured". The last call he makes is to a blonde woman (Elaine Joyce) where he tries to sound creepy but comes across as breathless! She slams down the phone contemplating her next move.

At 'Charlene's Massage,' the second woman who took a call from the killer introduces Joanie (Donna Ornellas) to Mark (Ted Purcell) just before they walk to one of the back rooms. Just then, the blonde woman Cory walks in wanting to talk to Char, the second woman receiving the threats. Char has Dee (Debbie Simpson) take over the front desk before going into Char's office. Char tells her everyone has received calls with the independents expected to pay $3000 but for Char: $2000 per girl. Cory says there has to be something they can do besides giving in. Char says she can call a meeting for Monday at 2:00 at the Lava Terrace where Cory can have her say. Cory leaves determined "to play this game, I'm gonna play by my rules".

McGarrett is at his boat folding in the sails when Cory approaches him to talk saying, "your office would have been embarrassing for both of us". McGarrett was hoping for a new deckhand but she talks to him about the three prostitutes who were attacked. Cory is willing to tell him everything as long as she has immunity from prosecution as long as she "works Hawaii" but McGarrett refuses the deal. However, he already knows part of the story saying it's extortion. Cory tells him $3000 per girl and $2000 per head in the houses but she doesn't know the drop off point yet as the first call was only received yesterday. She goes on to say the guy threatened them to pay or they would wind up like the other three. McGarrett asks her what she knows about the other three: the last was a friend of hers. McGarrett says it's important to know where the drop off point is and he wants to know how to reach her but she balks, "my clients start smelling cops and pretty soon I begin to starve". McGarrett does tell her they're doing all they can to get to the bottom of what's going on. Cory leaves, "I'll be seeing you. I hope".

Cory is at her apartment when the phone rings: it's the killer wanting to set up a date with Cory. He drops the right name, Pete Wasura; to contact her saying his name is "Larson". She tells him to meet her tomorrow at noon at the Lava Terrace: the table all the way to the rear.

Act Two

In McGarrett's Territorial office, he tells the team to wonder no more: it is definitely extortion. Danno says the computer came up with nothing: if the guy has done this before, he's used another method. He's hasn't been cleared yet to talk to the victim. Duke adds the client wasn't very helpful as he's more concerned with his reputation than anything else. He did remember she had just received a phone call, which McGarrett finds unhelpful since the women make their living from phone calls. Che is knee deep in debris too looking for the detonator. Chin chimes in on something from the streets: Matthew Pendleton (Robert Whittans) who used to "play ball with the big boys in Detroit". He's arrived in Honolulu to start his own game of protection money. McGarrett sends Danno and Chin to visit Pendleton to find out the real reason he's "honoring us with his presence". The phone rings: the hospital informs McGarrett the bomb victim is awake and he sends Duke to talk to her.

Cory sips on a Bloody Mary as "Larson" approaches her. He sits down telling a lame joke as the waitress (Kathy Stefferud) stops by their table. He orders two more drinks and becomes really jumpy. He only gets part way through his story and interrupts Cory as she answers him back. The waitress returns with two "worthless" Bloody Marys because they're out of celery. Cory pushes away the drinks as "Larson" keeps up his nervous behavior asking why doesn't everybody just pay. Cory puts her foot down as politely as she can leaving for another "appointment".

At the hospital, Duke talks to Alison, the bombing victim, who tells him she was called and he left her a present. She was about to open it but that's as far as she gets before being overcome by emotion. Duke leaves as a nurse helps her out. Outside her room, Duke calls Che with the new information. Duke suspects the caller planted the bomb and set it off with "a remote signal". He asks Che to pass it on to McGarrett.

Danno and Chin visit Pendleton interrupting his tennis game. Pendleton assumes Danno is McGarrett but Danno corrects him in short order. When Pendleton tries to be informal, Danno and Chin don't bite telling him they know about his activities in Detroit and how they've checked up on him. Danno says it straight out, "all this sunshine here, gets pretty warm. Coming from Detroit, you might find it can get real hot" before leaving.

Cory and Char arrive at the meeting where most of the women have decided they're going to pay. Cory refuses and tries to talk the rest into not paying. One of the women (Edda Damon) says they wind up paying some dude anyway but Cory doesn't want to be paying for the rest of her life. Another points out Kia, the drowning victim, gave every man the third degree before she let them in and she wound up dead anyway. Char tells them there's nothing they can do until they get another phone call but many have decided they're going to pay and no cops allowed because someone will surely be killed at that point. They break up their meeting by going to the bar for drinks. Cory sits back a minute knowing she's failed to convince them.

In the lab, Che has found the detonator including a radio receiver! Che says it was high frequency and short range: within 150 yards! They have narrowed the phone call down to inside the apartment building or just outside. Danno and Duke leave to figure where the called was placed.

"Larson" shows up at Pendleton's house where Pendleton tells him Detroit is having a significant snowfall of 23 inches! Sending his girlfriend inside, Pendleton talks to "Larson" about being visited by Five-O for some "cat-and-mouse". He then tells "Larson" there are to be no more bombs, to do something more "subtle" especially in light of the women thinking they don't want to pay. "Larson" leaves for the next move.

Act Three

At Charlene's Massage, Dee turns the television onto a soap opera in the lounge. "Larson" walks through the front door in a hat and sunglasses with Char greeting him. He says Terry Kwan sent him and Char gives him a card to fill out. After he does that, she asks for $100 and takes him to the lounge where he picks Dee. She takes him to a back room where she takes his jacket but as soon as she turns around, knows she's in trouble. He coves her mouth so no one hears her scream! In her office, Char is oblivious to what is happening in the back. One of the women tells Char no one has seen Dee in over an hour and she never saw the guy leave, at least not out the front. They go investigate knocking on the door of the room Dee was using and find her dead!

McGarrett arrives at Charlene's as Chin and the lab technicians process the room and Dee's body. McGarrett asks where the owner is and Chin points, "Charlene Jenkins". McGarrett speaks to her but she's not super helpful giving a bland description saying they all tend to look alike after 10 years in the business. McGarrett asks about the phone calls and Char claims ignorance but McGarrett knows better. When Char stomps out, she yells at him to get a warrant only to run into Cory mouthing off! He tells Cory they can't do much if they clam up on them. As Dee is loaded into the ambulance, "Larson" admires his handiwork from across the street. Meanwhile, Char has made her decision: she's paying and kicks Cory out of her office.

McGarrett paces his office in the Territorial Building realizing they have run out of time. McGarrett knows the women will pay up and paying will become a part of their life. Danno says no one in the apartment building matches with working with Pendleton. However, there is a phone booth about 100 yards down the beach with Duke saying they'll check it out today about the time of the explosion to check foot traffic and to see if anyone remembers anything. McGarrett also wants Chin to lean on his informants to see if anyone is saying anything about a money drop off point.

On the beach, one of the women drops her payment into a trash can as Danno and Duke poke around the pay phone. They're about to walk away when Danno notices 'Frank's Fotos' and they go introduce themselves. The photographer tells them they've been there every day for the last three weeks. When Danno asks if they can have the pictures he took prior to the explosion the photographer tells them he doesn't have prints but has the color slides. They look them over noticing someone at the phone booth! The photographer also shows them some black and white prints he made of the crowd "during the excitement". Danno asks if they can take the slide and the prints, which the photographer gladly lends them.

Che emerges from making a print from the slide and it's disappointing to say the least due to the high-speed film and going from a transparency to a print. Che offers to send it to another lab for photo enhancement but Danno turns it down as their man will off to the Swiss Alps by the time all the processing is done. However, Duke notices the man's shirt and shows Danno he was sticking around. Danno wants an enlargement of the man from one of the prints, knowing he would be sick enough to stick around to see the results of his handiwork!

Cory sits in a lounge smoking a cigarette when "Larson" spots her. He sits by her asking her why doesn't she pay. She's adamant about not "shelling out" and tells him she is all booked. He moves to trap her and she agrees to go with him until she finds an out with the valet leaving "Larson" in the dust.

Danno calls McGarrett from the lab with a photo of the guy they think set off the bomb. Duke is on his way to HPD with it to see if someone matches the guy. McGarrett believes Pendleton is finding Honolulu too agreeable and McGarrett wants him bad.

At Pendleton's house, the cash flows in as "Larson" who is actually Caldwell calls in. Pendleton tells him to come over to receive his cut. Caldwell says there's a problem but Pendleton doesn't want to worry about one prostitute. When Caldwell says he has "a score to settle," Pendleton warns him about "overindulgence" and "no rough stuff". Caldwell says he'll be careful before hanging up.

Act Four

Danno walks into McGarrett's office with the skinny on Caldwell: "his name is Keith Caldwell. Has a record clear back to junior high. Mostly assault charges. Almost beat his former wife to death. Did four years". Danno says he's local but he's tight with "syndicate muscle" and he was paroled three months ago. Chin and Duke walk in with Duke saying they have a plate number and description of Caldwell's car with an active APB out on Caldwell. McGarrett wants Duke to "stick with HPD" and a warrant to search Caldwell's apartment with Danno saying it's waiting at the courthouse! Duke leaves for HPD with Danno and Chin heading out to Caldwell's place.

Danno kicks the door in with Chin just behind him. They don't find very much but Chin finds a list of girls and their phone numbers with "P" written beside their names. Meantime, Cory grabs a suitcase and starts packing! Downstairs, Caldwell shows up! He knocks on the door with Cory opening the door and he forces his way inside! He grabs her and doesn't let go moving from room to room until they are in the bedroom where he notices her suitcases! He is about to strangle her when she screams but a car door slam gets his attention: HPD is checking out his car! Caldwell has had enough pulling out his gun and forcing Cory to leave with him. The HPD officer (Arte McCullough) calls for backup after finding Caldwell's car. As Caldwell forces Cory out, McGarrett radios Danno and Chin to go to the apartment building where Caldwell's car has been found and they'll meet. Another HPD unit has responded but Caldwell forcing HPD to move their car out of the way just as Five-O shows up. Caldwell forces Cory into his car and takes off with McGarrett and barely Danno right behind them!

A car chase ensues as Caldwell drives fast through some residential areas. An HPD car cuts off Caldwell as Danno readies to shoot. Things get worse as Caldwell heads for some cane fields but Cory makes a daring escape! She jumps from the car, rolling down a hill off the road. Danno then opens up forcing Caldwell off the road. In the process, the Marquis Brougham goes off-roading as McGarrett and Danno catch up to Caldwell! Caldwell tells them he wasn't in it alone but they already knew that! McGarrett and Danno take off off-roading some more to get back to the highway. They backtrack to Cory who is hurt but she'll be okay wondering if she could try for another line of work. It was gutsy what she did and she'll need to be gutsy even more for what's next.

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

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