S09E13 - “Man In A Steel Frame” - Plot

(Prepared by Bobbi Baker)

Act One

McGarrett and Danno play a round of tennis with another pair of players while his instructor Yoshi (Kimo Kahoano) watches. In the locker room, McGarrett readies to go back to work when the attendant Walt (Michael Hasegawa) tells him he has a phone call. It's Cathi (Camilla Sparv) wanting to see him right away but won't say why and it can't wait. McGarrett tells her he'll be out in about 20 minutes.

McGarrett drives to Cathi's house, calling for her as he enters her house. Walking upstairs, he finds her dead only to be knocked out. As he goes unconscious, McGarrett flashes back to sailing on his boat with her. Coming to, he realizes she's dead and can barely get it together to call for help. However, the phone is dead! He stumbles out of the house toward his car to use the radio but that's dead too! Desperate to get help, he drives out to a phone booth near Makai Pier to call HPD. The officer (Ernest Chan) says they have already received a call about Cathi but it "couldn't have been more than two minutes ago". McGarrett is royally confused, how could somebody already call it in? McGarrett becomes all business telling Frank to call the lab team and the medical examiner and he will meet them back at the house.

McGarrett returns to the house, specifically the bedroom where Cathi's body is laying. As he sits, McGarrett notices a sketch on her desk and flashes back to a fashion show her accompanied her to during a lunch hour. Turns out Cathi was a dress designer for "too long" while she was very interested in what McGarrett did for a living. He explained he was in charge of "a special investigative unit for the state of Hawaii" and told her she had him at a disadvantage, as he knows nothing about her. She did mention at some point she's married but she doesn't wear any rings. Cathi became evasive and they ordered lunch. Chick (Terry Plunkett) who is at the house to investigate what happened brings McGarrett back to the present. McGarrett then tells Chick her name: Cathi Ryan and she was shot twice at close range. He goes on saying Cathi called him and that's how he found her at about 4:00 p.m. Chick tries to figure out why HPD didnŐt get a call until 4:15 p.m., which McGarrett explains someone "clipped me from behind," the phone was out and his radio was dead. Chick picks up the phone and there's a dial tone! Chick feels the back of McGarrett's head and there is definitely evidence he was knocked out. Chick suggests McGarrett step outside while he looks around and McGarrett goes outside in time for Danno to drive screeching in.

Danno runs up to McGarrett giving his condolences for Cathi as McGarrett tells something "strange" is going on and he feels like he's in a vise. Danno is visibly concerned asking McGarrett if he's okay and who's inside. McGarrett answers he's still groggy from being hit from behind and Chick Matsuda is the investigating officer. McGarrett is disoriented but feels like he's the prime suspect. Danno is honest: McGarrett IS the prime suspect! Danno tells him HPD received a description including the Marquis Brougham and color. Chick walks outside showing McGarrett his watch. The problem is that they found it under Cathi's body! As McGarrett nearly falls onto bench, Danno suggests Doc look him over because he may have a concussion. Meantime, Chick wants a radio call to McGarrett from HPD, "code six". When the radio call is made, the Marquis Brougham's radio works perfectly! McGarrett is floored as Chick moves to the next part: asking for McGarrett's service weapon. Danno isn't happy about the request but it has to be done. Chick and Danno both sniff the barrel to determine it's recently been fired! McGarrett is still stunned! Chick asks him if he should read McGarrett his rights and he says it's not necessary but neither are the cuffs! Chick handcuffs McGarrett, placing him under arrest for Cathi's murder!

Act Two

McGarrett paces in his office as a newspaper headline blares about him being charged with murder. Danno and Duke walk in as McGarrett tosses various folders onto his desk. He asks who put up his bail of $50,000 and it was the team! "You went into hock up to your ears" but Danno says Chin pitched in too. McGarrett is left speechless but is very appreciative of their help. McGarrett begins analyzing the frame: whoever did it, thought it out carefully, which means they're dealing with a "top pro". Duke says they'll figure out as Danno gives hi the bad news: the ballistics report shows the bullets were fired from his gun! McGarrett isn't happy at all wanting to know how it's possible! Che (Harry Endo) walks in, on his way from Doc's office with Chin following him. Che has some brighter news: McGarrett was drugged after being knocked out. He explains the drugs were hallucinogenic, meant to confuse McGarrett and his guilt or innocence will depend on whether he can remember if Cathi was already dead when he found her. Chin may have something after twisting the arms of several of his contacts: "paniolo". It could be a nickname but it doesnŐt ring any bells with McGarrett. The receptionist calls in for Danno on line one: it's HPD and a possible break! There were tire tracks found at the house that were traced to a military surplus sale and sold to VIP Rent-a-car. Danno plans on following it up but he has to see Manicote (Glenn Cannon) first. McGarrett gives Danno a heartfelt "thank you" on the way out.

McGarrett stands by the lanai doors flashing back to a visit to Cathi's house where she prepared a clam dip. They had a light-hearted conversation that turned serious when he asked her about her life before she moved to Hawaii a year before. After being together nearly two months, she told him about her family and the tragedy that befell them. She was married with a daughter and they decided to sail one afternoon but the boat capsized causing her daughter to drown and her husband disappeared, his body never found. Cathi was very emotional but wanted McGarrett to know what happened. Cathi felt her self-pity was an addiction she was unable to kick but McGarrett was willing to help her try.

Danno goes to see Manicote who offers to help but he's not sure what help he can give in light of the "overwhelming evidence". Danno admits the means and the opportunity are present but the motive is missing. Manicote points out McGarrett and Cathi were seeing each other but Danno counters that it wasn't a secret. Manicote has some more bad news: between the anonymous tip and the evidence, a jury won't likely worry about motive. Danno gets bent out of shape and for good reason: who calls in a homicide without leaving a name and address? Manicote says it's happened before and he has investigators out looking for the witness but Danno says he won't be found because the witness they're looking for is the real killer! Danno walks out.

At the car rental agency, the manager (Mike Steele) talks to Chin and Duke telling them if they use two days on either side of Cathi's death: 12 cars could potentially be involved. Chin wants to know where those 12 are now. Mr. Arnold says four are still on the premises and the other eight have been re-rented. Between the two of them, Chin and Duke plan to have a lab team go over the four on site while Chin will take the local addresses of the other eight to have HPD "run them down".

At the tennis courts, Yoshi stops to talk to McGarrett telling him he's sorry to hear about the trouble. He takes off because he has a lesson to give. After Yoshi leaves, McGarrett flashes back yet again to a memory with Cathi on the tennis court and their plans for an evening ball game. Danno finds him, bringing back to the present with news on "Paniolo": the street name for Sam Wailua (Alan Naluai), a "top enforcer" for Charlie Ing (Danny Kamekona). Danno tells McGarrett they can't act on it because Sam has been in San Francisco since last Friday and won't get back until tomorrow, which means he has a solid alibi. Undeterred, Danno is going to have Sam picked up the second he deplanes. McGarrett is trying to sort things out in his mind and the drugs didn't help as the more he thinks about it, the more confused he becomes. He wants to walk through what happened again and takes Danno along.

At Oahu State Prison, a group of prisoners are working in the gardens as one talks to a suited man (Jonathan Goldsmith) reporting things went smooth. The suited man wants his money while the prisoner tells him not to be impatient as he's still awaiting word from his "outside associates" that McGarrett is actually imprisoned. He also tells the suited man, he'll send for him and very much looks forward to when McGarrett will join them wondering what day will be his last!

Act Three

At Cathi's house, McGarrett and Danno walk through it again as McGarrett tells him he arrived about 4:00 p.m. Danno says the anonymous tip was received about 4:06 p.m. as McGarrett continues his walk through. He flashes back to arriving in Cathi's bedroom where he was knocked out, his watch taken, drugs injected and guns swapped! The killer then puts McGarrett's watch under Cathi and makes his call to HPD. After the call is complete, he disconnects the phone line in the junction box and pulls the fuse for the radio in the Marquis Brougham! The killer then hides in the brush as McGarrett staggers out to his car eventually taking off to make a call from the phone booth. While McGarrett is gone, the killer then reconnects the phone line. Upon McGarrett's return, the killer replaces the fuse after McGarrett goes back inside the house. Back in the present, Danno asks about her call to him at the tennis club and McGarrett is certain it was made under duress. McGarrett says it's an interesting hypothesis but who is really going to believe it?

Danno and Duke meet Che at a parking lot where the lab technicians are processing a brown Mustang. Che confirms the tire treads: this car was at Cathi's house. A slight problem that turns into pay dirt: there are three surplus tires on the car but the fourth is in the trunk as there was a flat tire at some point before the killing. Che pulled some prints off the jack and have already sent them on the wire.

The suited man tells the prisoner he's leaving for Maui at 2:00 p.m. and wants to know where the money is hidden. The prisoner gives him an address of 112 Papulu Road and the money is behind "a false panel in the back of the mirror in the bathroom". It may seem odd, but he had no choice as Five-O was closing in. When the suited man leaves, the prisoner goes to another prisoner ordering the suited man be killed upon his return from Maui!

At the Ilikai Hotel, Danno speaks to the desk clerk (Fred Ball) asking about a forwarding address. A phone call comes in for Danno: it's Chin with some good news. According to Washington, the prints belong to Malcolm Vaughn from Detroit. Vaughn has been arrested twice on suspicion of murder but no convictions. Upon receipt of his mug shot, copies were made to all hotels, restaurants and car rental agencies across the islands. Danno tells him to stick close to the phone in case something comes up. Danno asks who made the reservation in question with the answer being: "Hawaiian Adventure for the Aloha Construction Corporation".

Later, Danno is driving with McGarrett noting that Sam Wailua owns and operates Aloha Construction. Danno says Duke is at the airport waiting on Sam who is due in about an hour. As they keep driving, McGarrett makes Danno stop as they watch a man unload tennis gear from his Volkswagen Bug. He remembers there is a place where his gun is accessible at least two times per week: in his locker at the tennis club!

McGarrett and Danno go to the tennis club talking to Walt who says only he and Yoshi have access to the keys. They look for Yoshi finding him in his office and confront him on what they know. Yoshi breaks down telling them he didn't know what they were up to but he was put into a tough situation as well. About a week before, when Yoshi was leaving the club, two guys were waiting for him. They forced him to drive to one of the lookouts near Diamond Head and told Yoshi they had his sister. If he didn't do exactly what they wanted, they would overdose his sister on morphine! He last talked to his sister about two days before Cathi's murder as he placed an ad in the newspaper and they made the call for him from a pay phone in Kapiolani Park.

A newspaper headline reads: 'McGarrett fights back' with a sub headline of him leading his own investigation. Manicote chews out McGarrett for this stunt saying his bail could be revoked by his actions! Manicote says McGarrett knows better and Danno knows better than to let him. McGarrett points out Danno had nothing to do with it while Manicote doesn't want to be in the position to defend McGarrett's actions. He tosses a search warrant to Danno saying for all their sakes, the girl better be there. Danno takes it and runs.

Act Four

Two guys hang out at a table while a young woman lies on a bed. Danno, Duke and HPD bust in causing her to scream her head off. Danno goes to her, telling her she's safe eventually calming her down as she cries in relief.

Chin walks into McGarrett's office as he's off the "most-wanted list" thanks to Yoshi's statement. The phone buzzes: "Duke just picked up Sam Wailua at the airport". Sam is brought into McGarrett's office feigning ignorance. McGarrett is done playing games knowing Sam hired Vaughn to come over to Hawaii. McGarrett tells Sam he's going to burn him even if it's the last thing he does because Vaughn killed Cathi. To prove their point, Danno, followed by Chin, brings in Yoshi who stares down Sam. McGarrett wants to know who built the frame assuming it was Charlie Ing. Sam wants to make a deal but McGarrett doesn't make deals. Sam relents, wanting to speak to McGarrett privately. Danno, Chin and Yoshi leave then Sam admit it was Charlie who built the frame. Charlie felt he had nothing to lose because he's already serving life but what he's facing is a federal offense and McGarrett is going to have Charlie transferred to a federal prison where he isn't surrounded by people he can make deals with. McGarrett wants one more thing: Vaughn. Sam tells him Charlie has him in a place on Maui.

On Maui, McGarrett and Danno arrive at the house where Maui Police are already staked out. They greet Barney (Rodney Arias) who tells them Vaughn and a local girl (Elissa Dulce Hoopai) are the only ones in the house. McGarrett moves in closer as the girl walks out and he snags her. He is able to ascertain that Vaughn is the only one left in the house and he signals Danno and Barney to move around back. Vaughn looks out the window in time to see the girl being hustled away by the police. Vaughn comes up with an escape plan by going out a window but he starts a firefight with McGarrett! Vaughn then high tails it to the beach with everybody right behind him. McGarrett eventually catches him in the surf and proceeds to beat the crap out of Vaughn! It is only by Danno's and the Maui Police's interventions does Vaughn survive! "Take it easy, Steve. Take it easy, you're gonna kill him! Steve, take it easy. Take it easy, you're gonna kill him!" Only when they drag Vaughn out of the water, does the beating stop. McGarrett is left in the surf flashing back to a happier time holding and kissing Cathi. He eventually stands, walking away from the heartbreak.

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

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