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Thread: Just Lucky, I Guess

  1. #1
    I continued my trend of watching the episodes I listed as "underrated" -- this time viewing Just Lucky, I Guess.

    This episode deals with an ordinary businessman on travel to Honolulu who buys the services of an expensive prostitute, only to end up witnessing her pimp murdering her over stolen "merchandise".

    Despite being 51 minutes long (8-9 minutes longer than modern Five-Zero episodes), this otherwise very good episode ended up with a lot of unresolved scenes and plot points. It would have been better off a 90-minute episode (even though such a thing didn't exist in the Five-O run).

    Charlie Bombay is one of the more ruthless and angry Five-O villains. In Mike's review, he felt that actor Albert Paulsen shouted too much in his portrayal of Bombay, but I didn't notice that. To me it seemed that the character was naturally high strung, evidenced by his continuously disheveled appearance.

    However, Mike was spot on in his list of unresolved, unexplained, or poorly edited plot points.

    The one I noticed immediately was the hotel waiter who called Charlie to rat out witness Marty Sloan, once Marty was seen leaving his hardware convention to go talk to McGarrett. Prior to that, Charlie was of the belief that there were no witnesses to the murder. Why would the waiter know anything about this, and why would he know to call Charlie when McGarrett and Danno show up to talk to Marty? This was never explained at any point.

    A policewoman was brought into the investigation by McGarrett to play Joyce, the murdered girl's sister, and they're shown rehearsing the sister's backstory late into the night. Presumably they assumed that Charlie would be highly suspicious of this "sister" coming to offer to sell him the stolen "merchandise" (a stuffed animal containing heroin), and indeed Charlie doubts her when she first shows up.

    Rather than quiz "Joyce" on her life backstory (as McGarrett assumed he would), Charlie instead cleverly demands she call her hotel and ask the operator for a list of long distance charges thus far. Charlie does this after Joyce says she found out the street value of the heroin is far more than $200,000, through a connection in Jersey City. However, somehow Five-O was all ready for this on-the-spot test by Charlie, and they already have an operator standing by (supervised by Kono) to claim there was a four-minute call to Jersey City. Huh??? It would have been nearly impossible for McGarrett to predict Charlie would have attempted to verify her story this way.

    Then, despite Joyce trying a bit too hard to get Charlie to ask her about her life, Charlie doesn't take the bait, and instead calls a friend in Jersey City to verify whether Joyce had any connections there. We never get to hear the results of the call, yet somehow Joyce passes the test, because Charlie later agrees to meet her to do the exchange! How did Joyce manage to convince Charlie she was for real, if presumably Charlie's friend told him that he knew nothing about Joyce or her inquiries about the heroin value?

    I don't understand why this scene was even included, nor do I understand why time was spent showing Joyce rehearsing her backstory, only to have Charlie completely uninterested in it. Seems like they filmed several scenes we never got to see, and they were (unwisely) edited out.

    Mike also points out that the ending was a bit absurd, with Charlie tossing the only piece of real evidence (the bear with heroin in it) off a dock with calm (and presumably shallow) water, and McGarrett/Danno not making any attempt to have it retrieved. Instead, McGarrett browbeats witness Sloane to finally admit that he saw Charlie kill the girl, which would never hold up in court.

    Actress Elaine Joyce (there goes the name Joyce again -- confused yet?) was too old for the role of the murdered young prostitute. She was 26 in 1969, yet her character was supposed to be barely 18. When McGarrett revealed her age, Sloane was taken aback, muttering, "She looked at least 25!" I agree! In fact, the actress was even older than 25! However, I can't be too hard on Five-O here, because it was standard practice at the time to hire actors/actresses in their mid-20s to play teenagers. (This also warped my impression of what teenagers looked like, when I was growing up as a little kid at the time!)

    I did like the Charlie Bombay villain character, as well as the entire general storyline. It just needed a good story editor.

    I agree with Mike's 3.5 star out of 4 rating.

  2. #2
    I liked this episode.

    The part about the bear being thrown into the harbor seems weird because I would think they would have taken the heroin out of the bear before the exchange. Why would you give it back to him? Wouldn't that be entrapment? Also, there's no way to control what happens to the drugs after Charlie grabs them.

    I hope they have more on him than the drugs and the witness. They're certainly acting like they do. They have been after him for how long? Could this have been the catalyst for someone to come forward in Charlie's organization and hand over more evidence?

    The stuffed animal still cracks me up for multiple reasons.

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