"Charter for Death" was the episode immediately following the excellent "Draw Me a Killer" (my favorite episode) in 1973, so it had a tough act to follow.

This episode was quite different than the one preceding it, beginning with McGarrett boarding a drifting boat with the assistance of the Coast Guard. He's seen making a fairly dangerous jump from the Coast Guard ship to the boat, and it's unclear whether or not it's a stuntman (it probably was).

It's found that three people aboard were murdered, and three others (including a woman) escaped. There are rats, alive and dead, all over the ship. It's not clear why there are so many rats aboard, or how they got on a relatively small vessel. Between the rat and discoloration on one of the dead men, McGarrett realizes that the boat was infected with bubonic plague. McGarrett is then quarantined for the incubation period of 2-6 days, and he sets up a 1-man command center inside, in order to direct catching the murderers and more importantly, preventing them from infecting others on Oahu.

Eventually the governnor quarantines the entire island of Oahu, not letting anyone in or out, once it's determined that the three from the boat made it onshore.

The rest of the episode involves Five-O trying to track down these three. One of them, the daughter of mobster Leo Paoli (Nehemiah Persoff) is already very sick, but Leo and her husband just think it's a "cold or flu". Leo and her husband Thomas (Burt Convy) argue whether or not they should get her medical attention and risk getting caught, with Thomas eventually promising to attempt to find help.

Once it's revealed by the governor that the illness is actually the plague, and the three wanted people are identified, Thomas' focus shifts to getting off the island.

Eventually Leo's daughter dies, in an uncomfortable scene to watch. Thomas steals vaccinations, but doesn't understand that they're useless once already infected. He and Leo get into a confrontation, where Leo reveals that he knew Thomas was going to kill him once they got to the mainland and recovered $5 million hidden. Leo also reveals that his plan was actually to kill Thomas. Thomas pulls a gun on him at that point and demands "the keys to the safe deposit box", and offers to trade the vaccination for them, as Leo is already showing signs of illness himself. Leo refuses, and Thomas shoots him dead. Leo spits on Thomas as he's dying, attempting to infect him.

Thomas almost manages to escape, but Danno shoots him as he's attempting to climb into the already-airborne escape helicopter he hired. Thomas then falls into the ocean and presumably dies from his injuries.

It's never made clear if Thomas was infected, as he showed no signs of it throughout the episode.

McGarrett tells the governor that he can lift the Oahu quarantine ("You can open the store!"), but this doesn't really make sense. These three infected people were on the island for awhile and came into contact with numerous people, including some unknown to Five-O. Shouldn't that be a concern? Pretty big plot hole there.

Despite being a mobster, Leo Paoli is shown as a sympathetic character, and is mainly concerned over the health of his daughter over everything else. Thomas is the real villain in this episode, and it's revealed that he married Leo's daughter simply to get access to Leo's empire and succeed him.

McGarrett's perfectly styled hair is uncharacteristically messy during the beginning of the episode, when they board the boat after a windy ride.

Like Mike's review stated, I also noticed that a corpse near the beginning of the episode was accidentally shown breathing! Oops!

I give this episode 3 stars.