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Thread: S03E12 Beautiful Screamer is 50

  1. #1
    Tonight, "Beautiful Screamer" aired 50 years ago.

    This is a classic, showing a glimpse into the private lives of the Five-O team. This time it's Danno and there's some heart wrenching moments. A greedy creep named Walter Gregson (Lloyd Bochner) is really out to kill his rich wife Sally (Laraine Stephens). The actors made multiple appearances on the show with varying success but in this episode, they're on the verge of divorce. Walter kills two young women by strangulation while wearing heavy duty cleaning gloves: Linda Marsh (Valerie Homes) on a tennis court and Jane Michaels (Anne Archer) in the accounting office of the Makaha Inn and Country Club. To make things worse, he writes lines of poetry on the victims' legs to throw everybody off. The saddest part is that Jane is Danno's girlfriend and in the little time we see her, things seemed serious.

    Danno loses his mind in this episode (and rightly so as the bereaved boyfriend) but pulls it together as the good cop he is. When Pete King (Michael Medeiros) is questioned at his apartment, Danno attacks him in a fit of rage after Pete tells him not to throw mud on Jane. In the next act, it's the one time we see Danno sheepishly enter McGarrett's office. Normally, he charges right in, but not this time. It highlights the remorse Danno is feeling about beating up Pete. McGarrett sends him home and this is where they get their break.

    The poetry is from Byron and the women knew it from their time at a finishing school run by an unseen Miss Hawthorne. Jane mentioned the poem and Miss Hawthorne to Pete after Linda was killed. Pete then tells Danno when he shows up to apologize at the latter's apartment. Turns out there were five girls who were "orphans by arrangement" living in Hawaii while their wealthy parents are/were on the mainland or Europe.

    With this new information, McGarrett orders 24-hour protection on the surviving women. In the course of things, the officer watching Sally gets hit over the head and Danno arrives in time to save Sally from her money grubbing husband. In the end, Walter is left hanging on the cliff above Hanauma Bay just before Danno reaches down and pulls him back onto solid ground. I'm sure he would have loved it if Walter just fell.

    Mr. Mike has an excellent review of this episode on his site including a great gallery:

    This episode is one of my favorites of the entire series. In Act One, we see Danno go from happy to shattered with McGarrett trying his best to be there, but just quite doesn't make it. There's even a reference to Season 1's "Once Upon A Time" where the positions were reversed. It's tough and I felt for the characters because Jane was caught up in Walter's scheme to inherit his wife's money. Anne Archer did a really good job, especially considering this was one of her first acting gigs. I even liked the guy playing Pete as he's just a guy working his way through school and painting all the while. However, the person who did the best job was James MacArthur. He showed us some major insight into Danno that isn't seen that much in the series overall. It's also curious he refers to himself as "Danno" on the phone to Chin when he calls from the Hawaii Junior Blind where the women were all connected in one way or another.

    An excellent episode overall, I can watch this one multiple times. Happy 50th, "Beautiful Screamer"!

  2. #2
    It's amusing that we have a victim named "Linda Marsh" since Linda Marsh the actress appeared three times on the show over the years (I'm sure they had to get her permission to use the name or else it was done as a deliberate inside-joke of sorts).

    Anne Archer does show, even in a small role, why she went on to have a successful career of her own (her mother, Marjorie Lord was Danny Thomas's TV wife).

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