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Thread: The Guarnerius Caper turns 50

  1. #1
    Tonight, The Guarnerius Caper (S03E05) aired 50 years ago.

    The episode boils down to a Cold War story when a visiting Soviet (at the time) violinist arrives in Honolulu to give a concert. The violinist is played by Ed Flanders who appeared on Five-O multiple times. I know him best from his time on "St. Elsewhere" in the 1980s. His handler is portrayed by Albert Paulsen in one of his slimier roles as a KGB-type trying to turn an unfortunate theft mole hill into an international incident mountain. McGarrett has no patience for the man and I don't blame him! However, he has empathy for the violinist who is sorely caught in the middle.

    The violinist has brought with him a priceless Guarnerius violin that is stolen by a pair of jerks played by Anthony James as Hutch and Kenneth O'Brien as Deke. They're a pair of trouble makers who like saying "man" to each other. If they weren't such a danger, they would come across as more goofy than anything. They're speciality is boosting cars and the violin (a "fiddle" to them) happened to be in the trunk of their latest heist. While wrestling with the political implications of the missing violin, Five-O tracks these jokers down when they demand a bunch of money from the Soviets for the violin's return. In the process, they kill a violin teacher (Wright Esser) who was about to call the police about the violin. This is one of the most senseless and saddest killings in the entire series, in my opinion.

    Mr. Mike does a great job in his review:

    This episode has a lot going for it and Flanders does a good job in his role. One of my favorite music cues is in this episode too when Danno and Kono drive to the thieves' beach shack. The cue plays as Danno gets out to go check out the place.

    I wouldn't categorize this episode as one of my favorites but if I were introducing someone to Five-O, this would be a good episode to start. There are a lot of classic elements in this one and we see a range with McGarrett. On one hand, he's not taking any crap from anybody and yet he shows empathy for the violinist. As well, the neighbor (Susan Stewart) who reports the teacher's death is treated with kindness by Five-O. Its been awhile since I've watched and I just might tonight.

    Another note: we see Kenneth O'Brien later in the series when he plays Oscar in "Turkey Shoot At Makapuu" (S08E19). He's dealing with stolen car parts in that one too!!

    Happy 50th "The Guarnerius Caper"!!

  2. #2
    This is one of the most senseless and saddest killings in the entire series, in my opinion.

    Agreed! Every time I see this episode, my heart breaks at the senseless death of Gino Mazzini. It's one of those "Five-O moments" that left a permanent impression on me.

  3. #3
    Bobbi, the score for this episode is credited to Don Ray who probably came up with all the jazzy pieces for the 2 scumbags. The cue you mentioned when Kono and Danno arrive at the scumbags’ beach shack is Morton Stevens’ piece from the pilot, when the cops arrive at the pier at night towards the end where McG is being “cocooned” by Wo Fat and Chin is surveilling from a rooftop across from the Arcturus. There’s other previously heard Stevens cues in Guarnerius, as well as Richard Shores music from “And a Time to Die” (when McG and co. are disguised as Coast Guard approaching the other boat) heard when Sarpa and later Rostov are approaching the scumbags at the end with the money to get the violin back.

  4. #4
    Five-O Home Page Author Mr. Mike's Avatar
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    Mar 2019
    Vancouver, B.C.
    Yeah, well at least the music by Brahms is by Brahms (uncredited at the end)!

  5. #5
    As any Star Trek fan who saw the episode "Requiem For Methuselah" can attest, not all Brahms compositions on a TV show are necessarily authentic!

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