S09E04 - “Man On Fire” - Plot

(Prepared by Bobbi Baker)

Act One

A group of research students led by Dr. Larch (George Playdon) repel into a volcano vent with Peggy (Pauly Gardener) asking if they can go closer. Dr. Larch wants a gas sample but warns her not to breathe it in. Peggy repels down to acquire the sample finding the perfect place to get it then another. When she moves to this second spot, she sees the bodies under the ridge of the crater.

A helicopter lands at the top of the crater as McGarrett arrives on scene. Danno meets him as he and Duke have already talk to Dr. Larch and his students. Danno briefs five bodies have been recovered and the Hilo Police Department led by Captain Tamaka have gone so far as sifting the ashes finding no one else. Park Rangers are checking the rest of the volcano with the prevailing theory being they were flown in at night via helicopter and dumped. None have any identification with the labels from their clothing cut out! McGarrett muses there are easier ways to dispose of bodies with Danno pointing out if it weren't for the research team, they probably would have never been found. Doc Bergman (Al Eben) is on scene too conducting a preliminary examination finding nothing: "no wounds, no marks, no visible trauma. No apparent cause". McGarrett tells Danno to gather everyone for a staff meeting tonight.

In McGarrett's office in the Territorial Building, photos of the men are posted on the corkboard. Chin identifies one as Rene LaSerre who was staying at the Waverider Hotel on Oahu. Danno backs up Chin because three of the four identified were staying at the Waverider. McGarrett surmises they died on Oahu and were taken to the Big Island because who would look in a volcano? Chin adds LaSerre gave Martinique as a home address claiming to be a tourist. Chin points to a second photo: Carl Williamson from Rhodesia who was in Hawaii on business. Duke jumps in on the next photo: David Akela from Belgium who was on vacation. The next photo is "James Chadway, president of Hawaii Sports Promotions" with business records showing he traveled quite a bit to international sporting events. However, the business was a front: his income came from a quarterly check from a private Swiss bank "drawn on a holding company called Broeder, Ltd., out of Lichtenstein". McGarrett says they could form their own version of the UN. He asks if they've been run through Interpol, which they have with everything Five-O has so far including fingerprints. McGarrett says he'll involve Washington before asking about man number five. Danno says no name so far but he's sent his prints to the FBI and Chin has sent the photo all over the island. So far, no hits on any of the hotels. The phone rings: it's Doc with something. McGarrett says they're on the way taking Danno with him.

McGarrett and Danno arrive at the morgue where Doc tells them there are no marks or scars that will help with identification. Doc has a wild theory as to cause of death but he's reluctant to discuss it. Doc has called the Navy for a consultation with an expert: Dr. Grant Ormsbee (Pat Hingle)! Dr. Ormsbee shows up making his way to the morgue where Doc tells McGarrett they're lucky Dr. Ormsbee agreed to help. Doc says he's one of the world's foremost physicists and while McGarrett knows this, he also considers Dr. Ormsbee as royal pain. Dr. Ormsbee walks in with Doc enthusiastically greeting him and introducing him to McGarrett and Danno. McGarrett tells Doc they've met while he and Dr. Ormsbee tangle again. McGarrett wants to know how the five men died and hopes Dr. Ormsbee can help them but as usual Dr. Ormsbee is being obnoxious about the request even though the problem is "intriguing". When Danno asks if they can help, Dr. Ormsbee wants some coffee!

Several hours later, Dr. Ormsbee gives a shocking conclusion: the men died of "massive radiation poisoning". McGarrett can't believe as Danno is floored: there is no nuclear facility on the island using fissionable material. Dr. Ormsbee stands by his conclusion but the source has to be found. Dr. Ormsbee lists a bunch of demands for certain materials including clothing, tissue samples and ash from where the bodies were found plus a group of the most intelligent men McGarrett has. McGarrett draws the line at the people with Dr. Ormsbee telling him he'll need to practice patience because it will take Dr. Ormsbee some time. However, McGarrett has an ace up his sleeve: he spoke to Admiral Gaines to have Dr. Ormsbee and his Naval contract be assigned to Five-O for the case until it's closed. Dr. Ormsbee isn't happy about this turn of events but he agrees as long as he can work in his laboratory under his timetable. McGarrett concedes to that in order to get the answers they need.

At 'Unified Resources Ltd. Medical Components Div.' two men meet about Five-O investigating the deaths. They walk through various work cubicles greeting each person including Leila (Lynn Howell Morse) who says hello to Mr. Donald Blair (John Hillerman). Blair says hello to Julia (Tamar Cooper) before entering his office with the second man (Alan Fudge). Entering his office, Blair greets his secretary Janice (Ann Ramos) telling her "that will be all for now". Blair says five deaths are "bad" but they're in the clear as is the project and they can go ahead as planned. The second man leaves to notify Johannesburg. Blair dictates a memo to check Chadway's business records and to remove all contact as well as notifying Lichtenstein to cut off Broeder payments.

In McGarrett's office, Danno says they hit pay dirt as the three victims who were checked into the Waverider took a bus tour at the same time going to Aloha Stadium at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday. Chin adds the guide and the driver recognized them but somewhere along the line, the three disappeared.

At Aloha Stadium, a tour is in progress with a guide pointing out some of the features. McGarrett and Danno approach the guide who dismisses her group to take pictures. She recognizes McGarrett and introduces herself as Barbara Soong (Paulette Franco). He shows her the pictures of the men explaining they're investigating their deaths. She tells them the three were on the bus and they met the fourth man, he was built like an ex-football player. Danno identifies him as Chadway wondering where they met. She says they met at the stadium about where they are standing currently and "just split". The only thing she noticed was the initials E.T.R. on the "black guy's" case. McGarrett thanks her and leaves with Danno with things no making much sense.

At Unified Resources, the second man makes his way to Blair's office ignoring Julia's attempts to gain his attention. She tries to tell Mr. de Groot something but he has something more pressing. Entering Blair's office, he pulls a case out of a paper bag. He found it in the back of the car. The case has the initials ETR on it!

Act Two

Danno enters McGarrett's office with some true identities thanks to Interpol and the initials ETR: "David Akela is Ernesto Tomas Resula, professional revolutionary and commander in chief of something called the Pan-African Strike Force" that is a known terrorist organization. LaSerre is Suleiman Arjieh from Lebanon and a head of a paramilitary splinter group backed by some big oil money. Williamson is, well, he's Williamson who is "tied to some fanatic anti-black elements in Rhodesia". The ties don't make any sense and Danno poses the biggest question of all: why were any of them in Hawaii and connected with Chadway? McGarrett wants a massive search starting at Aloha Stadium because these men simply couldn't have disappeared and he really wants to know who man number five is. "His identity is beginning to bug me".

At Unified Resources, an air vent runs above Leila's workstation where she has a picture of her and her boyfriend taped. Leila tries to keep working but she obviously isn't feeling well fighting a bout of dizziness. Leila is pregnant and her boyfriend Raymond has been away on business. She takes a break going to talk to a woman (Camille Yamamoto) in personnel who has bad news for her, there's no Raymond Sawyer on the payroll for at least two years. However, if he was an outside researcher, his information may be in Blair's office. In Blair's office, he dictates a letter to Janice when the phone rings. Janice answers the phone explaining the question: Leila is looking for Raymond because Leila is "hapai". Blair claims he's never heard of Raymond.

In McGarrett's office, he says a pattern is emerging but Danno doesn't see it. Dr. Ormsbee pushes his way past the secretary straight into McGarrett's office smoking one of his cigars, which McGarrett offers an ashtray to put out the cigar. Dr. Ormsbee gets straight to the point: the men were poisoned with plutonium. He goes on saying the most obvious source of poisoning was military nuclear devices but everything has been accounted for thanks to Admiral Gaines. This leaves only one possibility: someone has their own plutonium. Dr. Ormsbee says whoever has it better have someone who knows how to handle it because plutonium can be fatal in any dose. McGarrett asks how to detect it with Dr. Ormsbee saying a Geiger counter, a scintillometer or the symptoms of radiation poisoning including "internal bleeding, nausea, vomiting". The phone buzzes: Jonathan Kaye calls identifying their mystery man as Raymond Sawyer! Raymond graduated from MIT with a major in physics with a last known address in Chicago but that's all they know.

In Blair's office, he speaks to someone higher up about Resula's death claiming he was a personal friend. Blair says it was an accident and their deal to deliver a "dental unit" is still on: "same price, same terms". Blair buzzes Janice in informing her he's drafting a report and she is to allow no interruptions whatsoever until 3:00 p.m. After she retreats to her area, Blair goes through a vault door into a storage room onto a secret staircase to a service elevator that he takes to the basement! Blair meets up with de Groot who tells him they can't build, let alone ship a "dental unit" out anytime soon. The room where it would take place is sealed off due to the accident. However, Blair has already promised delivery and $750,000 has already been transferred to the Swiss bank account. de Groot tells Blair he knows his own limits and he's not able to accomplish what Blair wants: what they need is another Raymond. Blair mentions the notices sent out to hospitals and doctors about possible radiation poisoning and contamination and signed off by an expert: Dr. Ormsbee.

In Dr. Ormsbee's lab, he continues working as the Geiger counter goes off on something. de Groot enters the room posing as security but actually pulls a gun on Dr. Ormsbee!

Act Three

At Unified Resources, Blair speaks to Julia about Leila. Julia tells him she took the day off because she wasn't feeling well and went to see her doctor, Dr. Gleason (Jim Doney). Julia also describes Leila feeling nauseous and having some of her hair fall out. Blair keeps walking as Julia goes back to work.

In the basement, de Groot brings Dr. Ormsbee to the manufacturing operation for nuclear warheads! Dr. Ormsbee is ever obnoxious: yelling that he's surprised not everyone has been fatally contaminated, agreeing to work on the problem only because it interests him and demanding willing obedience from the workers. The first thing he wants is a box of Hoyo de Monterreys as de Groot stands dumbfounded, he wants cigars! Tagging a nearby worker to take notes, Dr. Ormsbee gets to work. Blair enters the basement telling de Groot about Leila showing signs of radiation poisoning and that she's on her way to see a Dr. Gleason. They have to find the source of the leak and they don't know what Raymond told her, so she essentially a loose end.

Dr. Gleason ask s Leila about her job: working with radium or being in contact with x-rays. When she says no, he tells her the bad news she's been exposed to radiation and there's a possibility her baby has been poisoned as well. Leila freaks out as Dr. Gleason tells the nurse he wants a sedative for her. He arranges for more tests and calls Five-O being patched through to McGarrett in his car. Dr. Gleason tells him what he knows only to be told by the nurse that Leila has taken off. McGarrett needs an address and description in order to get an APB on her.

McGarrett is in Blair's office asking about Raymond who Blair claims never to have known. McGarrett then moves on to Leila who does work at Blair's company. Blair says she's a good worker, when she's there. He keeps digging himself into a hole by basically calling her and all Hawaiians lazy, which doesn't sit well with McGarrett. When McGarrett leaves, Blair returns to Leila's bench and is about to remove the picture of her and Raymond but realizes it's on the air vent: the source of her poisoning! Later, Blair and de Groot meet looking at a building layout knowing now Leila has been breathing in radioactive dust particles. de Groot says he'll take care of the HVAC but Blair has to "take care of her".

As McGarrett drives, he receives a radio call from Danno: Dr. Ormsbee is missing! He was last seen in his lab about midnight the night before. Danno tells him, as he's signing papers and directing other stuff, they've looked everywhere but have come up blank. They're still looking but McGarrett wants every available HPD officer on the street looking for Dr. Ormsbee because he's far too important. At the same time, they're looking for Leila and Chin came up with "an earlier personnel file on her" providing an old address where her mother (Elizabeth Smith) still lives.

In the basement of Unified Resources, Dr. Ormsbee works to repair the damage that caused the nuclear accident. Meanwhile, Dolby (Wayne Oxford) shows up with the cigars, opening them, and putting one in Dr. Ormsbee's mouth and even lights it!

McGarrett arrives at the old address of "1217 Old Kapuli Road" but he's too late, someone has shot Leila to death. An HPD unit is on the scene with an officer briefing there were no witnesses and they have no suspects. McGarrett goes over to where Leila is covered in a sheet and her mother grieves. She tells him that whoever shot Leila took everything she ever sent: letters, photos. She also says Leila was pregnant and going to be married with McGarrett confirming Raymond was the man in Leila's life. He holds Mrs. Kapehala's hand as she cries.

Act Four

In his office, McGarrett talks to Grainger (John Gary) on the telephone about his company and whether he has a division that build nuclear weapons. He confirms the company does and what they do is under strict government control. Grainger explains all the equipment was shipped to Oahu to set up a manufacturing facility but a law changed and the project was stopped dead. The equipment is currently being warehoused.

Danno goes to a warehouse where the equipment supposedly kept. The warehouse guy leads him to a box where some of the equipment is box but when they open the crate: rocks! Danno isn't surprised in the least.

Back in McGarrett's office, he briefs the team that Washington just informed him the French had a shipment of plutonium ripped off about six months ago! "Only one of two countries that didn't sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Pact". McGarrett also shares that an observer at "the tests" was de Groot now living in Hawaii and working for the medical arm of Unified Resources! McGarrett feels they have the pieces: Blair hijacked the equipment, de Groot had the plutonium and together they made nuclear weapons. Duke points out the risks are insane with McGarrett countering, "so are the profits". The issue comes down to the dead men in the volcano: three were foreign buyers with Chadway as the salesman using his business as a cover. Raymond was "the scientific brains" and when he died, they needed another scientist, so they kidnapped Dr. Ormsbee. Danno comments they're doing a great job keeping a nuclear facility under wraps leading McGarrett to brainstorm the facility is underground, probably under Diamond Head! He tells the team to notify HPD and they take off.

Danno and two HPD officers enter a back bunker while McGarrett, Chin and Duke hit Unified Resources at the front door with several HPD units. McGarrett and gang rush in with rifles and shotguns making their way to Blair's office only he's nowhere to be found. They find the vault door and make it to the basement where Dr. Ormsbee argues with Blair and de Groot about their "rinky-dink" facility. Dr. Ormsbee spots Danno but doesn't give anything away as Blair wants a rough idea as to when the repairs will be completed. Dr. Ormsbee tells them they'll have "some rather startling developments" before walking away.

Dr. Ormsbee walks over to Danno griping about how he was expecting them earlier. Dolby comes around the corner but is taken by an HPD officer as Danno gets into position firing a flare gun. McGarrett, Chin, Duke and several officers move in to arrest everyone there. Blair shoots back, hitting an officer. He and de Groot take off running toward their plutonium stores. McGarrett and Danno eventually corner them as they start rolling the plutonium barrels toward them. Dr. Ormsbee warns to not allow three to nest together otherwise there could be a reaction! After several minutes of keeping the barrels apart, Blair and de Groot surrender as two HPD officers arrest them. As they mop up, McGarrett wants Dr. Ormsbee sent to the hospital to be checked out since he's been working with plutonium and brings in China and Duke to see that it's done. When Dr. Ormsbee doesnŐt cooperate, McGarrett arrests him for conspiracy! Dr. Ormsbee claims he was under duress but McGarrett wants him to prove it: that will take a couple of days and all the time that's needed to ensure he's not suffering from radiation poisoning. As Chin and Duke drag away Dr. Ormsbee yelling and screaming, McGarrett and Danno enjoy every second of it!

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

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