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Thread: Three Dead Cows, Part 1 turns 50

  1. #1
    Three Dead Cows At Makapu'u, part 1 turns 50 today!

    Mr. Mike has an excellent review, and everything you ever want to know about this episode (both parts), here: http://www.fiveohomepage.com/5-0log2.htm#46

    Ed Flanders plays scientist Alexander Kline who has had enough of world governments' attitudes about mass death. He takes matters into his own hands absconding with a deadly killer called "Q strain". He tests it on Oahu on a very small scale, killing three cows in the process which gains the attention of Five-O and the feds right away. It's so important, Jonathan Kaye (Joseph Sirola) lands in Honolulu with Dr. Benjamin (Dana Elcar) briefing the governor and McGarrett who is downright "frightened" by the attitudes and the situation.

    Five-O must track down Kline and to gain control of the Q strain so it can be taken back to Washington. In the meantime, Kline meets Wanda Russell (Loretta Swit) who essentially gives him a reason to live or at least a reason to show what he's doing is wrong. It's through her that McGarrett and Danno finally find Kline but that's only part one! Next week is part two.

    These episodes are pretty cool with lots of tension and some emotional depth. There is one scene where Wanda calls into where Kline was working under an assumed name and Danno talks to her on the phone urging her not to hang up. When the guy running the place tells Danno he should call the operator, Danno believes that's who he was talking to! Of course, that's where Wanda worked.

    Happy 50th Three Cows!

  2. #2
    And I'm a day late again (maybe, sort of).

    Three Dead Cows At Makapuu, Part 2 aired March 4, 1970: 50 years ago.

    This is the conclusion to the two-parter as Dr. Kline has a change of heart but where he left the vial, it's now gone! Turns out it was picked up by a surfer kid who lived in a shack in the middle of nowhere. It's a race against time and in the end, Dr. Kline sacrifices himself to keep the Q Strain from spreading. As well, the strain itself is destroyed, something Jonathan Kaye didn't want to happen.

    I put this here because making another thread is silly Happy 50th "Three Dead Cows"! (I know it's ironical!)

  3. #3
    Pretty timely stuff with what's going on in our world today with virus strains and panic related to it.

  4. #4
    Five-O Home Page Author Mr. Mike's Avatar
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    Maybe if the show was remade today, it would be about the "Q-rona Virus."

  5. #5
    You encouraged me to watch this again, Bobbi (last time was about 25 years ago).

    Interesting episode, though Part 1 was better than Part 2. Mike wrote that it was "too much for two hours" but I think he meant the opposite -- not enough for two hours (because he qualified the statement by saying that it wouldn't have fit into a single episode). Provided that's what Mike meant, I agree. "The Rockford Files" did two 90-minute episodes during its run, and I think this episode would have been best served by shaving it down to 90 minutes. They already stretched Part 2 by doing a long "previously on..." segment and by adding that largely unnecessary "surfer steals the vial" part at the end. I think the episode would have been more powerful if Kline brought McGarrett and the feds to the vial, but then destroyed it himself in order to assure it would never be used, sacrificing his life in the process.

    As already mentioned, despite being 50 years old, this episode is quite topical to today, given the suspicions that the current coronavirus originated in a lab!

    Some notes:

    - The "tailing" of Kline was laughably bad, even for Five-O standards. Kline didn't even act surprised when Five-O jumped out to save him from being beaten up! In fact, they seemed to botch the tailing of Kline twice. First, when he was at the hospital with Wanda, McGarrett's plan was to surreptitiously follow him, and see what he was up to. He ordered the entire police contingent to hide and "not let him see a uniform". However, McGarrett and Danno showed up right at Wanda's room, and made it clear they were there for him! Later, after releasing Kline in order to possibly follow him back to the vial, the plan had no chance to work if Kline was aware he was being followed.

    - The writers of the episode clearly had a fascination with telephone systems and the operator, as an authentic switchboard was shown in action several times, and the operator job figured prominently into the story.

    - Loretta Swit was too attractive for the role she was playing -- an introverted telephone operator who had little experience with men. Interestingly, there actually WERE operators very similar to Wanda at the time, but they didn't look like Loretta Swit!

    - I found it far-fetched that Wanda's friends had plans to calmly leave the island on a boat, without telling their own friends and family to get out, thus leading to too many people finding out, and a huge panic.

    Ed Flanders (who played Kline) had his own psychological issues like the character, and killed himself at age 60, in 1995. Loretta Swit is still alive, and is 82 years old. Most surprising was the fact that Joseph Sirola, who already looked old in this episode 50 years ago, lived until 2019. However, it appears Sirola was just one of those guys who was born looking old, as he was only 39 when this episode was filmed!

  6. #6
    Five-O Home Page Author Mr. Mike's Avatar
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    You are right about my comment about the show, I have revised this to say that it was almost not enough for two hours.

    Speaking of revisions, there is reference to my giving Lion in the Streets 4 stars elsewhere. I have given it 3 stars for the moment, pending a re-viewing.

    Elsewhere, I have decided to eliminate the star rating. If something is bad, 1 star should be sufficient. A "BOMB" rating means that it really insults my intelligence in some way (i.e., To Hell With Babe Ruth and various 12th season episodes).

    I have reviewed recently the Moronville ... er ... Moroville Covenant, which is very, very bad at the end, but it escaped the ratings trashbin because Lori and Kimo seemed actually interested in what they were doing, probably because this was the second episode filmed. Even still, someone recently told me "I'm glad that this was also not the second episode broadcast, or the whole show would have died right there and then!"

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