S09E23 - “Practical Jokes Can Kill You” - Plot

(Prepared by Mike Quigley)

Act One

As an army truck is driving down a road, the driver spots a van parked with someone lying beside it. The truck stops and the passenger -- a sergeant -- investigates, taking a medical kit with him. The "unconscious man," Joko (Chanell Akamine) gets up and pulls a gun on him. Another man, Abilleno (John Duke Russo) emerges from the bushes and tries to enter the truck's cab, but the driver knocks him down. The sergeant knocks Joko down and tries to climb in the truck as it drives away, but Abilleno kills him and shoots at the driver, wounding him.

McGarrett talks to Col. Westmore (Jeff Kennedy) about the attempted hijacking of the truck, which contained M-16 rifles. Underground groups in other countries will pay up to $1,000 each for M-16s. On Oahu, there are five different arsenals where these rifles are stored under armed guard.

Lou Marvin (Allan Rich), berates Abilleno for the failed hijacking, saying that he has had to cover his ass from one of the biggest gun dealers in the Philippines. He hopes that next time Abilleno will hire men that he can depend on, suggesting that Abilleno "loosen up some of the M-16s on this rock." Abilleno speculates that with plenty of money, he can get into one of the arsenals on the island. Later, Abilleno talks to Joko, telling him of Marvin's displeasure. Abilleno says that if they can get past the guards, they can get the guns directly from one of the local armories.

The Five-O office learns from the FBI that M-16s are a hot commodity. McGarrett knows there was a big bank job in the Philippines recently and he suspects the stolen cash is being used to buy guns. Danno rushes in suddenly with word that King Kamehameha's 170-year-old cape -- made of feathers from the extinct mamo bird -- was stolen from a hotel penthouse the night before where it was on display as part of a cultural exhibit.

Arriving at the hotel, Five-O has to contend with the museum's Walter Bemsley (Norman Wright), who is freaking out. Bemsley says that the door to the penthouse room was locked, and only the curator had the key. Danno finds it odd that the thief didn't take pearl necklaces in the same room, which are much more marketable. Williams says that if a cat burglar is involved, he is "major league material."

Joko visits Molly Taggart (Lee Purcell), at the Windsong hang glider/surfboard rental shop, trying to get her to go to a rock concert with him. She tells him no thanks, that she already has a boyfriend who is due at the shop shortly.

After he leaves, Joko sits in his car outside the shop and watches Molly's boyfriend Todd Seymour (Charles Frank) arrive with his friend Benjie (Dane Taylor). Todd is carrying the priceless cape, which he took from the penthouse with the help of his hang glider. Todd wants to exploit the theft as an advertising gimmick. When Molly expresses concern, Todd says not to worry, that the penalty for stealing the cape is "traffic ticket stuff." Molly suggests that Todd should get the cape back to the hotel as soon as possible.

Back at the hotel, Five-O finds a mamo bird feather on the roof.

Joko calls Abilleno, wondering if he's still interested in getting the M-16s. He says he has figured out a way to get to the rifles, and the two of them should meet.

Act Two

Danno and Chin watch a hang glider soaring. When it lands, Danno is surprised to find that its pilot is Molly, whom he met in episode #187, Turkey Shoot at Makapuu. Molly doesn't want to talk to him.

Joko meets with Abilleno, telling him about the potential for using a hang glider to get into the armory. He says that Molly's friends might need "a little persuading."

Danno tells McGarrett his hunch that a hang glider was used to land on the hotel roof. He says he needs some time off to investigate. McGarrett says no matter whether the disappearance of the cape was a stunt or a prank, it's still grand theft of a sacred Hawaiian artifact. McGarrett says that he'll forego warrants for the arrest of the thieves if the cape is returned undamaged.

Abilleno and Joko watch Molly hang-gliding.

At the hang-gliding shop, Molly tells Todd and Benjie that Five-O was watching her. Danno shows up and sarcastically inquires about the cape, saying he's shopping for "new wings ... a nice big floater ... something as light as a feather." He drops various hints about the theft, that there are "only a few Red Barons skilled enough to land on top of a hotel." Danno mentions McGarrett's offer, saying that he told McGarrett the theft was "a new version of the old-fashioned panty raid." He hopes that the cape is returned soon, that "making license plates get awfully boring." Molly predicts the cape will be returned tomorrow.

At the Five-O office, pictures of the truck hijacking suspects include Abilleno. There is a phone call for Danno which tells him to look outside the office window. Doing that, he and McGarrett can see the cape on King Kamehameha's statue.

As the "conspirators" read the newspaper telling of the cape's return, Molly says the two of them better never pull another stunt -- "next time I'll turn you in myself." Abilleno suddenly appears -- he overheard everything they were talking about.

Act Three

Abilleno says a friend of his likes practical jokes, and he wants to hire Todd for $2,000 to land on a "warehouse" and throw a switch to open an electrical gate at 6 a.m. on Sunday morning. When Todd refuses, Abilleno offers him $4,000 for the job. Abilleno mentions the cape. After he leaves, Todd ponders what this money could do for the shop -- buy more equipment and more space. Molly says if he takes the job, she won't be there.

Abilleno tells Joko to convince his friends at the hang gliding shop to take his offer seriously, since money won't persuade them. He suggests that they take care of the "wahine" who is "trouble." Joko says this will be a "pleasure."

Todd and Molly discuss Abilleno's offer at home. They kiss and make up.

Todd and Benji go to the Five-O office to tell Danno "everything." Danno isn't there, and they decide to wait. They get nervous and leave when they Chin and Duke talk about a judge giving a couple of young crooks a severe sentence for a credit card scam.

Abilleno tells Marvin about his idea with the hang glider, saying that Molly is holding up the scheme. Marvin says, "What are you waiting for?"

Joko appears at the hang gliding shop. He pulls a knife on Molly and Abilleno joins him.

Act Four

Chin Ho tells McGarrett that Abilleno -- who has "a record as long as coconut tree" has dropped out of sight the last three days. McGarrett says to check street sources and find out who is giving Abilleno orders.

Todd tells Danno about Abilleno's visit and the plan to land on the roof of a "warehouse." Abilleno phones, asking Todd if he changed his mind about the job. When Todd says he's still thinking about it, Abilleno puts Molly on the phone briefly. Abilleno tells, "you're flying the sunrise special tomorrow."

Chin Ho's source says that Abilleno works for Lou Marvin, who was involved in a smuggling operation that couldn't be prosecuted for lack of evidence. McGarrett says to get a court order to check Marvin's phone bills. Todd calls the Five-O office and says he's heard more from Abilleno.

McGarrett meets Todd and gives him a transmitter which will be used to follow his flight to the armory with the help of the Oahu civil defense trucks. Todd identifies Abilleno from the mug shots. He puts the transmitter in the aluminum frame of his hang-glider.

Danno gives a printout of Marvin's phone calls to McGarrett, who is talking to Col. Westmore.

Todd meets with Abilleno and Marvin, who brings the kidnapped Molly with them. Marvin gives Todd an empty gun in case there is trouble. As Todd drives off, the transmitter falls out of the hang glider onto the road, where Marvin's car drives over it, stopping the signal.

Information from Manila says that a Philippine gun dealer is willing to pay a hefty price for each M-16. The Colonel figures that the storage depot at Makapuu is where Todd is headed since it's close to some cliffs used by hang gliders.

Tailed by a police helicopter, Todd lands on the armory roof and overpowers the guard as Marvin watches from nearby. Todd opens the armory gate after telling Marvin to release Molly.

HPD and Five-O arrive just as Marvin and his associates are about to break into the munitions room. Marvin escapes in his car, but McGarrett forces him off the road. When Marvin flees, he has nowhere to go, other than over a cliff, and surrenders to McGarrett.

This plot summary Copyright Mike Quigley 2020. No reproduction of any kind without permission.

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