A man (George DiCenzo) drives a horse-led buckboard along cliffs high above the surf. There are two bodies in the back: a young woman (Audrey Meyers) and a young man (Al Lopaka) that he dumps over the cliff and into the ocean!
At the Territorial Building, McGarrett gives a briefing to several officers for an upcoming bust of Harry Akua who is a major leader in the cockfighting/illegal gambling all over the islands. Danno explains they have finally received a big break after an intense investigation over the last six months. An officer (Roland Naauao) asks, "can you tie the Big Three together?" and they believe they can. The three are partners in a large money laundering operation and the money drops are made every Thursday between 3:00 and 6:00 p.m. McGarrett plans coordinated raids all at the same time about then. In the meantime, he wants two-man teams on around the clock surveillance for every location. As the men leave, the phone buzzes: Malia says there is a Susan Wainane (Victoria Racimo) waiting to see him. She walks in as the team walks out telling McGarrett she is in Hawaii for a reason even though it's in the middle of the semester at Berkeley. She goes on to say her brother Billy who was working on the Walua Ranch on the Big Island up until six months ago when he joined the rodeo as a saddle bronc rider. Based on his letters, Billy told her he was doing well. However, a couple of nights before he called her at school but the call was cut off after she heard voices and a cry. She's had the police look into it but all they've found is that he ran away but no one at the rodeo wants to talk about it. McGarrett decides to look into what's going on himself but has to take care of some things first. Walking Susan out, he calls Danno in telling him about knowing her since she was a kid: her father was Captain Paul Wainane of HPD killed in the line of duty three years ago. He wants Danno to work with Manicote on the warrants and to have Chin and Duke run some names through the computer to try to uncover any mainland connections. In the meantime, McGarrett is going to try to find Susan's missing brother.
McGarrett and Susan drive to the rodeo grounds at Waimanalo. Upon entering, McGarrett buys a pair of tickets from the cashier (Elsie Russell) who wants "two bucks a head". They enter in time for the bull riding competition but they purposefully walk to find some answers about Billy. Susan asks a cowboy who tells them to ask Len Jessup. As they walk, the bull riding competition takes place with one of the rodeo clowns Possum (Rod Aiu) doing a good job of keeping the bulls focused off the cowboys as they get away. McGarrett approaches Possum who gives him the brush off but they keep trying to find Jessup. They finally find him readying a horse for the rodeo and he's the same guy from the buckboard above the cliff! After Susan introduces herself, Jessup says he didn't know Billy had a sister but he isn't much help as he claims Billy just took off. When McGarrett asks about friends, Jessup tells them Billy didnŐt have any friends but Susan says Billy told her about Calvin (Nicholas Hammond). Jessup tells them Calvin doesn't have anything to add but he could probably be found by the barn.
McGarrett and Susan find Calvin in the barn who though Susan was still at school in California. He claims Billy simply ran off and he doesn't have any idea where Billy went. As Calvin leads his horse out, Susan believes he's lying but McGarrett isn't so sure. What he is sure of: Calvin was "uptight" about something. Susan says they all are but McGarrett is determined to find some answers.
McGarrett returns to Five-O in the Territorial Building. Danno gives him an appraisal of what's going on in their pre-emptive strike as reports are starting to filter in from the surveillance teams. "Heavy traffic all morning, and a lot of old familiar faces". HPD is running down all the license numbers they've seen and confirming vehicle registrations. As well, the front businesses are being run through the computer. McGarrett briefs Danno about his trip to the Waimanalo Rodeo and there is something weird going on as if Billy has "vanished into thin air" and no one is speaking about it. McGarrett wants Chin to run a check on the whole enterprise including all the entrants and the contracts to the rodeo clowns. McGarrett wants to know if anyone is "into anything heavy" and an APB on Billy.
At the rodeo, Jessup riles up a bull named Crazy Luke as Jessup limps by the corral he's in. Calvin follows Jessup asking why McGarrett was snooping around about Billy. Jessup says McGarrett doesn't know anything and is "grabbing at wind". Jessup reminds Calvin everything will work out as long as they all keep their promise to one another to stay quiet because if one goes down, they all go down.
McGarrett goes to see Susan at her friend's (Carole Kai) house. Susan runs in hoping McGarrett has found something introducing her friend Alaki Kaimi. Alaki excuses herself, as McGarrett doesn't have much news to tell Susan except HPD is helping trying to find Billy. He asks if there is anyone he would go to or if there was a girlfriend. Susan says there was a girl, Lani Kapalii, who he was considering marrying. McGarrett calls Danno to run down an address on Lani.
McGarrett goes to see Mrs. Kapalii (Leinaala Heine) next where he asks about Lani. Mrs. Kapalii tells him she last saw Lani Tuesday night when she talked to Billy on the phone. Lani left after that and McGarrett tells her he has reason to believe they are together. She says Lani was happy and excited taking the bus to wherever she was going. Mrs. Kapalii didn't call the police because Lani is of age and her mother figured she ran off with Billy. McGarrett asks for a recent picture of Lani to try to locate her. Meantime at a beach, a tourist (Virginia Dunlap) screams as Lani washes up.
At Five-O, Danno walks into McGarrett's office with computer readouts on the various front organizations of their impending bust. "Everything from a phony brokerage firm to a Japanese tea room". HPD surveillance teams are still reporting in. As they discuss the case, Susan calls in as she's on pins and needles. McGarrett tells her nothing has turned up yet but there is an APB out on both Billy and Lani and they're still working on the assumption they are together somewhere. After they hang up, Susan decides to take matters into her own hands borrowing Alaki's car. Meantime, Chin walks into McGarrett's office saying the rodeo checks out. No one is getting rich but they all manage "to scratch out a living". None of the cowboys have any felony arrests but Billy has a sheet with HPD: two arrests within the last six months for drunk and disorderly and assault. This lines out with what Jessup told McGarrett. He wants Chin to check with the bus company to find out which driver picked her up and where she was dropped off along with the times. Chin leaves as McGarrett tells Danno he has a bad feeling about Billy and Lani. The phone buzzes: it's Duke radioing from Makapulu Beach as a body was found there. The clothing and description match Lani "perfectly". McGarrett orders Duke to comb the area as he nearly slams down the phone. He also tells Danno to have HPD pull her file as she just washed up on the beach.
Susan drives back out to the rodeo to talk to Calvin who tells her to forget about Billy as no one can do anything for him now. Susan asks if Billy went away with Lani as she arrived at the rodeo that night. Susan also tells him McGarrett knows Lani was at the rodeo too and is looking for both Billy and Lani. The fact that Lani was at the rodeo comes as a surprise to Calvin. He walks away with nothing more to say.
At the morgue, McGarrett asks the doctor (Jim Doney) about Lani's cause of death. The doctor says it appears to be strangulation due to bruises on her throat. The time of death is a little more difficult as she was battered by the surf but he estimates about 36 hours ago. This puts her death at Tuesday night as McGarrett and Danno realize the importance of that night as it was the night Billy disappeared. As they walk out, the doctor drops a bombshell on them: "there's a strong possibility that she was raped".
Calvin catches up with Possum as he feeds some horses in the barn asking about Jessup. He's gone into town and will be back in a couple of hours. Calvin has a load on his mind as Possum asks, "you got something in your head needs saying?" Calvin sighs and walks away.
Chin stakes out the bus stop and boards when the bus comes by. He talks to the driver Robert Akalu (Sam Peters) about picking up Lani. He tells Chin she could have rode the bus to the end of the line at Waimanalo but he's not 100 percent sure because he makes about 20 stops between where she got on at Kalakaua and Dewey and the end. He does recognize Lani right away as she rides the bus a lot and remembers she got on about 8:15 p.m. Tuesday.
Danno walks into McGarrett's office where he shows him the marriage license between Billy and Lani. Danno also says they took their blood tests Tuesday, the day they disappeared. Meantime, divers pull Billy out of the surf and Duke radios in to McGarrett with the grim news. McGarrett sits handling the marriage license again and bouncing his thoughts off Danno but they take a walk outside to try put part of the pieces together. Outside, they lay out what they know: the beach where Billy and Lani were found isn't far from the rodeo grounds, Billy called Susan "just after midnight, California time" meaning it was shortly after 9:00 p.m. in Hawaii, Susan heard a cry then the phone went dead. She tried calling back but there was no answer. At 8:15 p.m. Lani boarded the bus for Waimanalo and at some point after that she was raped and killed. While her attack gives motive for her death, why was Billy killed? Danno theorizes Billy saw the attack or found out about it, confronted the rapist and was killed by him. McGarrett then adds the killer took their bodies to the cliffs dumping them so they could be washed out to sea never to be seen again. McGarrett has a feeling the rest of the puzzle is at the rodeo grounds and they have a few hours before the HPD briefing so they head out.
Jessup returns to the rodeo grounds as Calvin sits waiting for him to confront him about what happened. Calvin tells him he knows Lani was on the rodeo grounds that night and that the police are looking for her. He then asks why did Jessup go alone driving the buckboard to the cliffs. Calvin figures Jessup knows what happened to Lani and threatens to go to Susan telling her everything he knows about what happened to Billy unless Jessup tells him what happened with Lani. Jessup explains Lani was there and saw everything that happened because she was standing by some trees where no one saw her until Jessup noticed her after loading Billy in the buckboard. Lani left walking down the road with Jessup catching up with her and she started screaming. Jessup then raped her and killed her placing her in the buckboard when no one was watching. Calvin loses it attacking Jessup and they fight with Jessup beating up Calvin as Possum hears the commotion from outside. Jessup is about to shoot Calvin dead until he hears a car approach, the Marquis Brougham! Jessup takes off with the rifle still in his hands.
McGarrett and Danno arrive at the rodeo grounds hearing Calvin moan finding him beaten up. Calvin tells them Jessup did it as Danno goes to radio for an ambulance and begins his search for Jessup with McGarrett telling him to "be careful". McGarrett tends to Calvin who tells him everything that happened to Billy: it started as a party for Billy. Meanwhile, Danno begins searching the barns for Jessup. Calvin goes on as they all got drunk during the party and Billy started showing off saying he could ride Crazy Luke, "a mean old bull we got that's never been rode". Calvin explains Billy started mouthing off about not being scared of "any dumb animal" and it riled Jessup who was badly injured by a bull several years ago and it is why he doesn't participate in the rodeo events. The story goes on as Billy just laughed it off and walked away to call Susan about getting married. As Calvin talks, Danno continues his search becoming the perfect target for Jessup who aims but doesn't fire as Danno moves on at the open end of the barn.
Calvin goes on as they couldn't find a cape so they painted Billy so Crazy Luke could see him as Billy sparred with the bull in the corral. However, something goes terribly wrong as Crazy Luke gores Billy to death! They carry Billy to the buckboard and retire or the night except Jessup spots Lani and goes after her. Calvin asks if they are really responsible but McGarrett says it's up to a jury to decide and it's tragic because of course no one meant for it to happen.
In the barn, Danno keeps up his search as he sees Jessup run into another barn. Danno runs to the office where McGarrett is telling him Jessup ran into the barn in front of them. McGarrett tells Calvin to lie still and for Danno to take the front of the barn. They go after Jessup who takes cover in a horse stall. McGarrett and Danno slowly and methodically move in on him for either side of the barn. Jessup releases the horse in the stall so he can escape with McGarrett giving chase through the stall window. Jessup fires with McGarrett firing back and hitting Jessup who scampers away. McGarrett and Danno meet up with Danno confiscating Jessup's rifle. Jessup makes his way into a corral as McGarrett works his way through a second barn looking for him. McGarrett and Danno meet up again, this time checking the back of the barns and corrals as Crazy Luke stands in his pen. Jessup tries to escape out of the corral as the gate is unlatched on Crazy Luke's pen! Crazy Luke goes after Jessup goring him immediately and only his scream alerts McGarrett and Danno where he is! They run to the corral where McGarrett tries to wrangle Crazy Luke back into his pen with Danno ready to shoot him if necessary. Possum jumps in getting Crazy Luke into the pen admitting he opened Crazy Luke's pen as Jessup "needed dying". McGarrett tells Danno to arrest Possum as Chin drives up with Susan behind the ambulance. Chin says the final briefing for their planned bust is in about an hour with HPD teams all ready to move. McGarrett goes to Susan as the attendant wheel out Calvin. Susan already knows the truth but it doesn't make the grieving any easier.
This plot summary Copyright Bobbi Baker ©2020. No reproduction of any kind without permission.
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