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Thread: F.O.B. Honolulu turns 50

  1. #1
    Another anniversary! This time it's S03E18 "F.O.B. Honolulu, Part 1" that aired 50 years ago tonight on CBS.

    It opens with a group of GIs arriving in Hawaii for some R&R but one, Corporal Kurtz (Tim Tindall) takes a cab to the Ilikai Hotel rather than the free bus provided. His murder in an elevator, witnessed by no one, sets off a chain of events that's part investigation and part rat race. A junk Buddha souvenir that the corporal was carrying is missing. The end of the teaser has it falling into the hands of Wo Fat (Khigh Dhiegh) where he throws it on the ground revealing it carried metal plates but they are blank. Wo Fat is not happy about this turn of events.

    It's not long before the corporal's 'sister' (Sabrina Scharf), who is actually an international femme fatale named Nicole Fleming, arrives to identify the body. McGarrett and Five-O have since discovered the corporal is actually Leo Price and was wanted by Interpol for murder. McGarrett isn't in the mood for any games on the part of Miss Fleming and says as much when she arrives to identify her 'brother'. She's really looking for the aforementioned, now destroyed, Buddha.

    As Five-O keeps an eye on her, other players show up including wormy Tony Madrid (Monty Landis) who visits Wo Fat and tries to make himself relevant to the whole situation but he's been pretty much dealt out of the shenanigans. As well, Misha Toptygin (Roger C. Carmel) representing Russia also shows up, met at the airport personally by McGarrett.

    Meantime, Jonathan Kaye (Joseph Sirola) arrives and along with McGarrett's buddy Naval Commander Ron Nicholson (John McMartin) brief about some scary counterfeit $20 plates and the trail of death they've left behind starting at Nanking. Kaye makes it clear that the U.S. government is willing to pay $1 million for the plates, otherwise they will have to honor any bills made from them and it could lead to some serious economic disruptions.

    Five-O gets a break with some out of the ordinary radio signals. McGarrett and Danno chopper to the place, which is Wo Fat's hideout, and kill the henchmen there. Upon landing, they break into the radio room where one of the guys has started a fire trying to destroy the evidence. Once it's all decrypted and the Chinese translated, it's only part of a message: ZIL MA. Somehow, they figure out it's the name of a ship inbound to Honolulu. McGarrett and Danno board only to discover that Commander Nicholson is "going into business for himself." End Part 1.

    Mr. Mike has an excellent review here covering both parts of the episode:

    Of course, next week is Part 2's anniversary. This isn't a bad episode but not one of my favorites. It doesn't mean there aren't some redeeming qualities. I like Misha's character as he is scary when appropriate but provides some humor to the story, more so in Part 2. We also find out a bit on McGarrett's background: he graduated from the Naval Academy. I don't know if we found out about this before in any prior episode.

    The bidding war commences in this part with China and Russia trying to outdo one another for the plates. Nicole is all too happy to oblige. It's also nice to see Wo Fat getting some competition for once that doesn't involve Five-O directly.

    Happy 50th "F.O.B. Honolulu"!

  2. #2
    I enjoyed this episode. Really liked Scharf as the femme fatale assasin since it was a total change of pace from the guest shots people know her better for like Kirk's doomed Indian "wife" on Star Trek.

  3. #3
    Rather than a brand new thread, I'll just add "Part 2" here.

    Tonight, the two-part episode wrapped up 50 years ago: "F.O.B. Honolulu, Part 2" aired.

    Commander Nicholson discovers how fatal Nicole Fleming can be. She double-crosses him by shooting him dead at their meeting place on a beach with a RV. She's got dollar signs in her eyes as the bidding war heats up. However, Wo Fat makes it clear to her the bidding is closed and is willing to pay $3 million for the plates. Nicholson was willing to take $1 million from the U.S. but it also included amnesty, which the Chinese deal does not. Nicole is so not interested in amnesty, she wants the money and to run. With her deal, everyone is being dealt out: Nicholson on a permanent basis, Misha on a not so permanent basis and Tony Madrid on a final basis when Nicole slams a taxi door in his face.

    It's Misha who helps with a clue to Five-O thanks to a planted agent following Nicole. The old lady knitting poolside (Peggy Oumansky) is found tied up and gagged in a hotel room when she got too close to Nicole. Misha finds a map that McGarrett figures out to be the Valley of the Temples. As Five-O closes in, Wo Fat and Nicole go there to retrieve the second plate as Nicholson only had one side to the fake $20 bills. As they're about to depart with both sides, Tony Madrid shows up and shoots Wo Fat. As Madrid tries to escape, McGarrett shoots him and Tony falls off the bridge. The case carrying the plates is left on the bridge and Nicole moves in quickly to snatch it up demanding $1 million for them. This particular scene cracks me up as she is clearly at the end of the road on her quest but McGarrett is having none of it as he angrily grabs the case from her.

    In the governor's office, McGarrett slides the plates to Jonathan Kaye and we see they have bullet holes in them thanks to Madrid. The episode ends with McGarrett seeing Misha off at the airport and all is right in the world again.

    Again, not one of my favorites but it's worth checking out. I felt like they took care of the loose ends and nothing was left out there in a huge way as we have seen in other episodes (and will see in the future).

    As far as the title goes, I think Mr. Mike has it right on. Although F.O.B. can also be "Fixed Operating Base" in aviation but it's kind of hard to try to fit that explanation into the goings on in the episode.

    Regardless, Happy 50th, "F.O.B. Honolulu, Part 2"!!

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