S09E12 - “The Bells Toll At Noon” - Plot

(Prepared by Bobbi Baker)


Act One

A man (Rich Little) parks his blue Volkswagen Bug in a parking lot across from a church. He takes a guitar case from the car and makes his way to the roof of the building. Blocking the door, he makes sure he's alone unpacking the case, which hold a rifle! He has a perfect line of sight to the front of the church and as he pulls the magazine of rounds out of his pocket, a piece of paper goes flying.

In McGarrett's Territorial Building office, he's still waiting word from Charlie (Kevin O'Connor) and McGarrett isn't happy it has taken Charlie over an hour to call! Charlie wants out and is willing to give McGarrett everybody but he has an appointment. Charlie sets up a meet at the beach at Black Point for 1:30 p.m. then hangs up. McGarrett slams the phone then tells Danno about the meet.

It nears noon as Charlie arrive at the church and the man on the roof watches him closely. As the church bells toll at noon, the man on the roof snipes Charlie on the church steps! A priest (Mel Ferrer) runs out to look over Charlie giving him Last Rites and telling a young girl to go call for help. Meanwhile, the sniper packs up the rifle and runs off the roof, wiping the doorknob to the access door on his way down.

At Black Point, McGarrett walks the beach waiting for Charlie to show up. He finally gives up walking to his car only to have the radio squawk at him: Central calls him reporting the shooting at Saint Agnes Church with the victim DOA at Queen's Hospital. Central goes on: victim was Charles Hazard, the same Charlie McGarrett was supposed to meet and he tells Central he's on the way.

McGarrett arrives at Saint Agnes Church where several HPD units are already there. Chin introduces Father Neill, the priest, to McGarrett and father Neill says he thought Charlie had had a heart attack or stroke until he saw the blood. He didn't hear a shot because the bells were tolling high noon. Father Neill was also a friend of Charlie's who knows his family and Charlie well and rode with him in the ambulance but Charlie never regained consciousness. He could never see Charlie as a drug addict or pusher, rather the same skinny kid he'd always knew. When Father Neill mentions he had an appointment with Charlie, McGarrett wants to know what it was about but Danno pulls up with the preliminary autopsy report on Charlie. "The coroner pulled one slug out of the victim's back. Thirty caliber, 152 grain". McGarrett says it sounds like they're dealing with a carbine and as he looks over the report, he realizes Charlie was shot from above with a building across the street fitting the bill. McGarrett sends Danno and Duke to check it out as he returns to Father Neill. Father Neill tells McGarrett Charlie was afraid for his soul and had never killed anyone until an "island girl" he rehooked on junk overdosed. He didn't name anyone else involved or the girl but Charlie considered it a murder, even if it wasn't.

On the roof, Danno notices marks showing the door was jammed shut. He speaks to the manager (Terry Plunkett) asking when he noticed the lock was busted but he didn't notice until today because the tenants usually don't come up onto the roof. There is one he knows about because "the fat dame" sunbathes nude and they apparently get complaints. The street door is always open so anyone could access the roof. Duke finds a bit of paper and a shell casing!

In the laboratory, Che (Harry Endo) runs his tests on the casing. Che reports, "The murder slug very likely came from this casing. It's a rimless center-fire cartridge, probably from a military clip," consistent with a carbine. Che was able to lift two prints from the ticket stub: "right thumb and forefinger" and pulled up the theater name of "Varsity". McGarrett sends Duke to check it out.

In McGarrett's office, Chin reports three female overdose deaths in Honolulu and vicinity in the last month. As they go through the files, Chin wonders if Charlie would have called someone 41 "a girl". The next woman is from the mainland but she's Caucasian. McGarrett dismisses them and finds the third victim was a 20 year-old Hawaiian last busted a little over a year ago. Chin says the girl wasn't jailed but sent to a place called "Start Anew" run by Tommy Saito (Jimmy Borges).

McGarrett goes to talk to Tommy at Start Anew discovering her name: Makamae Maile. Tommy tells McGarrett Makamae couldn't say no to Charlie even though she had been clean a little more than a year. She was like family at Start Anew; everyone loved her like a kid sister. Tommy suspects Charlie's death was a gang killing but McGarrett isn't so sure. They step outside as the sniper does an impression of Edward G. Robinson then of James Cagney as Tommy and McGarrett talk. Tommy says he could never be a cop because when Charlie's case came in he would go fishing! As the show wraps up, Tommy explains Johnny Kling used to be a professional entertainer until the junk got him but he's been clean two to three years now. As the show ends, Tommy introduces Johnny to McGarrett as another man (Johnny Walker) warns Johnny that McGarrett will arrest him for impersonating a police officer. They tell Johnny he's the head of Five-O. Johnny says he'll be careful before excusing himself. He watches as McGarrett and Tommy keep walking.

Act Two

At Varsity Theater, the James Cagney Festival continues showing all his classic films. Johnny is in the audience watching 'The Roaring Twenties' where the main character Eddie dies on the church steps after being shot several times. Johnny steps out to the concession stand doing a W.C. Fields imitation for the clerk (Connie Kissinger) asking for more popcorn. She asks how many times he's going to watch these movies and he says until they "wear out".

Duke walks into McGarrett's office telling him the Varsity specializes in showing old movies. They could only tell Duke the ticket was sold last Monday afternoon but not to a specific person. McGarrett says it's up to them to figure out who.

Some loud knocking on his apartment door disturbs an older man (Milton Selzer). It's Johnny claiming to have a package for "James Kellman" and he needs a signature. Johnny forces his way in by gunpoint telling Kellman about a night four years ago in Charlie's apartment. Kellman dropped "two nickel bags of horse" to Charlie who then sold them to Johnny. Johnny went on a trip he would never forget. Kellman doesn't understand what's going on until Johnny tells him he killed Charlie. Kellman panics then Johnny goes into a Cagney impression forcing Kellman to sit down. Johnny explains "the whole gang" has found all three of them guilty of murder in the overdose death of Makamae. Kellman gave Charlie the smack he sold to her that killed her. Kellman reaches for the phone with Johnny threatening to kill him violently with it if he tries for it again. Kellman wants to know who the three of them are: Charlie, him and Thayler (Don Knight) for supplying it. Kellman begs for his life but Johnny drills him four times as the scene from 'The Public Enemy' plays out in his head. Johnny stands over Kellman, "you didn't say, "Pretty please"".

Later outside the Manukai Hotel, Johnny calls into McGarrett's office using a disguised voice talking about Charlie's murder. McGarrett signals to Danno to start a trace. Johnny tells McGarrett to go to motel alone where he'll find a key to cabin seven under the doormat. Johnny will call him once he's there assuring McGarrett they're on the same side. McGarrett knows he's a good rifle shot but is willing to take the chance bugging off Danno who wants to go along.

McGarrett arrives as specified with Johnny watching out the window of another cabin. McGarrett finds the key where he expected it and enters the cabin with his gun drawn. The phone rings: Johnny tells McGarrett there's a record on the player and to start it. The "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" plays as McGarrett returns to the phone. Once he asks what's next, Johnny tells him to open the closet door. McGarrett does this with his gun still drawn: Kellman is wrapped in a blanket and rope falling forward, just like the end of 'The Public Enemy'. Just then, the record ends.

Act Three

Danno shows up with the motel manager (Jorie Remus) as Kellman's body is loaded into the ambulance. Inside, Chin wants a computer read out on Kellman as the lab technicians process the cabin. Danno introduces Ms. Cramer to McGarrett and she tells them there was something fishy with the guy who rented the room. The registration card is filled out as "John Brown" and he checked in alone. She's not super helpful in giving a description but McGarrett wants her to work with a police artist anyway. Danno takes her to Fred who is set up in the room. As she works with Fred, Chin reports on Kellman: "Age 41. Caucasian, single, three arrests, no conviction. Oh, incidentally, this one was shot in the stomach. Killer used a handgun at close range. A .45 automatic". The arrests were for dealing in narcotics. McGarrett knows there are clues all over the place; it's a matter of understanding their significance.

At a cemetery, Johnny visits Makamae's grave telling her he has taken care of two of the three. He reminisces about his first show at the home and how she tried to tear the place apart to get a front row seat. He gives a Bogart impression recalling how they walked on the beach. He loved her then and always will. He vows to get Thayler next.

Back at the motel, the police artist finishes the sketch and while it's not a spitting image, it works. Danno takes it to McGarrett across the room with McGarrett looking over it. He wants Danno to show it to Father Neill and the apartment manger but feels it's likely another dead-end. They wrap up the crime scene; McGarrett grows impatient waiting on Danno who called Tommy at Start Anew to see if the description rang any bells but no luck. McGarrett drives off and a little while later, Danno places the sketch on the dashboard. McGarrett hits the brakes so hard, he nearly throws Danno through the windshield! He recognizes the man as Johnny Kling!

McGarrett and Danno head straight out to Start Anew and talk to Tommy who tells them Johnny knew everybody there. McGarrett asks if he was in love with her but Tommy doubts it. Danno asks if Johnny was ever a solider and Tommy says he did "a hitch about ten years ago". McGarrett tells Danno to get his address and he'll get a search warrant.

Thayler sits on the beach with his girlfriend (Pauly Gardner) as a waiter (Bill Valentine) tells him a man, Johnny, is waiting for him by the garage. Thayler goes over to Johnny who introduces himself and holds a gun to Thayler's gut!

Act Four

McGarrett and Danno go to Johnny's apartment as the landlord (Len Mednick) isn't really sure if the warrant is legal, as he's never seen one. Danno asks if he's heard of obstructing justice and that he has heard of. When they don't get an answer, McGarrett has the landlord open the door. They go inside finding movie posters for James Cagney movies everywhere! McGarrett looks into a roll-top desk finding the carbine and a list of names: Hazard, Kellman and Paul Thayler. The last name isn't familiar to Danno but kind of is to McGarrett as he's "president of Mid-East Importing Company". McGarrett makes a phone call: he wants Chin to put out an APB on Johnny giving a full description and to locate Thayler so he can be put into protective custody. Danno shows McGarrett the current billing at the Varsity: 'The Roaring Twenties', 'Public Enemy' and 'White Heat'. McGarrett wants to know the minute there's any word on either Johnny or Thayler and they'll be at the Varsity Theater seeing "Mr. Cagney". Chin is left confused.

Johnny forces Thayler into his car and they're going to Start Anew as Thayler has "helped fill the place up". Thayler starts the car and drives out. Meanwhile, McGarrett and Danno do some homework watching the Cagney triple feature stepping out after 'Public Enemy' and the scenario plays out again for McGarrett. They step out to the concession stand wanting to know where the projection room is. The clerk asks if anything is wrong after seeing McGarrett's badge but he assures nothing is wrong. He and Danno go to the projection room where the projectionist (Kwan Hi Lim) tries to shoo them out until he sees the badge. They want to know what the ending of 'White Heat' is and want the projectionist to put the ending on for them but he's on a schedule. Danno notices another machine with a view screen: a Moviola. He puts the last reel of 'White Heat' on it for them and they scroll to the end. As they watch the end, McGarrett realizes Johnny will head to the big refinery off Nimitz Highway: Aloha. As they watch the tanks explode in the film, Chin calls with news that Johnny kidnapped Thayler that afternoon. There's been an HPD report that Johnny's car has been seen at Start Anew but still no hits on the APB. McGarrett asks how far Aloha Refinery is from there and it's about five miles. McGarrett tells him to grab Duke and to meet them there looking for Johnny and Thayler. When Chin asks why an oil depot, McGarrett answers, "because that's what the plot calls for, Chin". They leave for the oil refinery.

Johnny forces Thayler to climb the stairs to the top of one of the tanks with Thayler urgently protesting the entire way even screaming part of the time as he's afraid of heights! Once they reach the top, Johnny sees the Marquis Brougham moving in with a spotlight. Shortly after, Chin and Duke arrive followed by HPD. Johnny is super excited the police have found him as it happens in the film. However, McGarrett goes off script wanting some of the units back and trying to talk Johnny down before someone is killed. Thayler screams to McGarrett for help because he knows Johnny has a screw loose. Johnny takes several shots at the police as McGarrett keeps trying to talk him down. He finally gets through to Johnny by mentioning Makamae. Johnny finally relents remembering Makamae and walks down the stairs of the tank. Thayler collapses sobbing as Johnny walks down to meet McGarrett and Danno. Once on the ground, Johnny breaks into a rendition of 'Yankee Doodle Dandy' before they gently lead him away.

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


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