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Thread: "Draw Me a Killer" review

  1. #1
    "Draw Me a Killer" was the second Five-O episode I ever watched (the first was "Thanks for the Honeymood"), and still my favorite.

    I credit this episode as the reason for my Five-O fandom. I am 47 years old, meaning I was only 7 (nearly 8) when the show's final episode aired in January 1980. My parents used to watch it, but that wasn't enough to make me seek the show out later. However, I caught it late at night in 1994 on KCOP Channel 13, Los Angeles, and liked "Thanks for the Honeymoon" enough to watch it again. I saw "Draw Me a Killer" the next day, and absolutely loved it. That was enough to make me not only watch the (somewhat poorly edited) reruns nightly, but also to seek out discussion groups on the internet, as well as start my own web page about the show. That was how I got to know Mr. Mike, by the way. By the 1996 MahaloCon (I only attended the Burbank part), I was already an expert on the show, having seen all the episodes. People were surprised to see a 24-year-old in attendance, for an "adult" show which went off the air over 16 years prior!

    Anyway, onto the review itself.

    Arthur is a mentally disturbed, slovenly young man who works for a dog groomer. He has become obsessed with the fictional "Judy Moon" comic strip, and kills people who resemble the villains in the strip, believing he's protecting Judy. At one point in the episode, he sees a woman in a diner who resembles Judy, and also starts stalking her. Arthur is aware that Judy Moon is a comic, but seems to believe that it's depicting real life, and that he's become Judy's protector.

    Two murders have already occurred before the episode begins, and we see the third at the very beginning, when he murders a small-time criminal named Ho Toy, who runs a pawn shop. Later in the episode, he kills a lawyer who resembles the current lawyer villain in the strip.

    All of his murders occur 6 weeks apart, which match the length of stories in the comic strip. It is unclear how these stories get "wrapped up" in the actual strip, and why Arthur doesn't find it strange that the people he kills in real life aren't dead in the strip. Five-O doesn't explain that small plot hole.

    Arthur shoots all of the victims at point blank range, three times in the chest. He is shown to have some compassion for the animals he grooms, but at one point when a villain in the strip angers him, he almost chokes a dog!

    Street, who plays another "special" (albeit less violent) character in "The Grandstand Play" episode, does a superb job with the role here.

    After being stumped and frustrated for most of the episode, McGarrett realizes that the murders are related to the Judy Moon strips, though only because Arthur left a newspaper under the lawyer he killed (which he didn't do for the other three murders.)

    McGarrret's frustration with the case results in him acting like a jerk several times during the episode:

    1) When Che Fong asks if McGarrett wants him to save the bloody newspaper, McGarrett snaps back, "Might as well. You can use it for that book you're going to write, 'Famous Cases Five-O Never Solved!'"

    2) When McGarrett goes to get a haircut and discovers the comic strip while reading the newspaper, he abruptly walks out on his appointment. When the barber asks, "What about the haircut?", McGarrett looks frustrated, doesn't reply, and walks out the door!

    3) When a psychologist is brought in to profile the killer, McGarrett barely lets her get a few sentences out, before scolding her, "Doctor, please, this isn't freshman psychiatry."

    They set up Danny to be bait, as the strip's author is brought to Hawaii and asked to write a 3-week strip based upon a crooked cop named Danny (who looks just like him) wanting to kill Judy. Arthur finds Danny at the police station within minutes of Danny's uniform being fit, which I found to be unlikely. However, he is distracted by the presence of Mary (the Judy lookalike) outside the station, presumably there to report on him. When Mary screams, the police chase him, but somehow the overweight Arthur easily gets away on foot.

    The strip's author is "Lowell Palmer", played by Tom Hatten.

    Hatten was a Los Angeles television personality at the time, having worked at KTLA Channel 5 since 1952, mostly hosting children's shows. I was introduced to Hatten in the mid-1970s, as I found Popeye on Sunday mornings, where Hatten would host hours of Popeye shows while doing segments in between.

    Hatten was a real-life amateur artist, and showed the viewer how to draw various characters on the Popeye cartoon.

    I loved Hatten, and he was by far my favorite television personality as a kid. In 1977, at the age of 5, he was appearing at a local marine amusement park, and my mom brought me to meet him. He was very nice, and gave the kids an iron-on Popeye decal. My mom screwed up and ruined the decal, causing me to get very upset. She wrote to Hatten asking him for another one, and to her surprise, he wrote back, including a new decal and a self-typed letter.

    I thought it was cool that my favorite episode also happened to feature my favorite television personality as a kid. Hatten was 47 years old when this Five-O episode aired in 1973, yet lived all the way until March 2019.

    Elliot Street appears to do a somewhat impressive stunt, climbing down from a building roof and jumping on the the ground, landing on his stomach!

    Once they get a very good artist's rendering of Arthur, it doesn't make sense why they continue to leave Danno in danger of being shot to death. Oddly, McGarrett asks for "1000 of these to be circulated around the islands", yet he still goes forward with using Danny as bait. Simply putting that sketch on TV should have easily led to Arthur.

    The ending of the episode is great, as McGarrett shoots Arthur in the knee, who then starts crying. However, Arthur is not crying due to the pain or the fact that he's going to prison. Instead, he cries, "Look what you've done! Now who's going to protect Judy?"

    This episode holds up very well on my repeat viewing. I still give it 4/4 stars, and it's still my favorite episode, though "I'll Kill 'Em Again" is a close second.

  2. #2
    Hey Todd, I was just catching up on your reviews, great reads all of them. So with Draw Me a Killer and I'll Kill 'Em Again being your top 2 episodes, it appears you like the set-up where the criminal is an everyday type citizen, with the added trait of being mentally disturbed. These cases do tend to be a bit more challenging for the Five-O team to solve I would believe.

  3. #3
    The thing about this episode that remains its one flaw for me is that it strikes me as WAY too much of a coincidence there would be men in the *same* professions who just happen to look like characters from a comic strip. I could buy him killing lookalikes who didn't necessarily have the same job but all of them in the same line of work stretched it too much for me.

  4. #4
    Yes, that was definitely a flaw.

    Obviously there was no way that every profession had someone who looked exactly like the bad guy with the same profession in the strip!

    However, I ignored that issue, and still really loved the episode.

  5. #5
    Originally Posted by barnzoboy View Post
    Hey Todd, I was just catching up on your reviews, great reads all of them. So with Draw Me a Killer and I'll Kill 'Em Again being your top 2 episodes, it appears you like the set-up where the criminal is an everyday type citizen, with the added trait of being mentally disturbed. These cases do tend to be a bit more challenging for the Five-O team to solve I would believe.
    I don't think that the mentally disturbed angle is what attracted me to these episodes. I just found both to be unique and suspenseful.

    Both villains were also interesting and had depth.

  6. #6
    Five-O Home Page Author Mr. Mike's Avatar
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    I just finished watching this as part of my re-view.

    This is an entertaining episode, and something different.

    However, this is majorly a "don't think about this too hard" show as has been discussed, especially the angle of why people in Honolulu just happen to resemble villains in a comic strip which was created on the mainland, despite the fact that Arthur is nuts!

    There is something else to consider: Each comic "story" takes about 6 weeks, but what happens at the end? Judy Moon is put in these "Perils of Pauline" type situations constantly. What happens at the end of these? Does Judy herself resolve whatever dilemma she is in? Or does someone else step in and help her?

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