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Thread: "The Bomber And Mrs. Moroney" is 50!

  1. #1
    Tonight 50 years ago, CBS aired S03E22 "The Bomber And Mrs. Moroney".

    I going to do my best with a quick recap but Mr. Mike excels in this arena so much better than I. Here's his review:

    The Bomber (Mark Jenkins) is Marty Collins but we don't know this right away. He walks into Iolani Palace and politely asks for Danno. The greeter, Diane (Terrill Kekoolani) tells him the Five-O offices are on the second floor.

    Inside the office, an old lady named Mrs. Moroney (Hope Summers) is griping to Chin about being forced to move back to the mainland by her children who believe she shouldn't be on her own at her age.

    Marty walks in and takes everyone hostage when Jenny (Peggy Ryan) doesn't tell him what he wants to hear. Marty is all about getting Danno and demands that he show up sooner rather than later. An unsuspecting police officer, Officer Kyle (Vernie Hoke) walks into the situation just as things are going from bad to worse. All the while, Marty is have dream sequences where Danno is shot four time and falls back. (These sequences made me crazy and I think they did it four times, but I know three for sure. Two would have been plenty).

    The group eventually moves into McGarrett's office because it's unoccupied. The boss is in Chicago and I'm sure he was being driven up the wall trying to help long distance.

    In the process, Officer Kyle is shot, Chin gets a gun flare in his face and Danno is put into an impossible position. Eventually surrendering to Marty, they figure out the bomber's name and do a work up on him, his brother (I'm getting to it!) and to find any relatives. In the end, Marty is sniped by Officer Olena (Roland Naauao) and Danno has to figure out how to diffuse the bomb Marty revealed to everyone once he had Danno as a hostage! When it's all said and done, they've all been through the ringer and then the phone rings.

    That's the cut and dried version.

    I will say this is actually one of my favorites episodes. We see Danno in a leadership capacity that would have been nice to see more of in the series but there can be only one top-dog and that's McGarrett. Mr. Mike points out in his review that Danno does go between the buildings quite a bit and I doubt this would have happened real-life. I can forgive that to a point.

    Another standout in this episode is Hope Summers as Mrs. Moroney because she doesn't take any crap from anyone including Marty! She's a tell-it-like-it-is type of character and she's refreshing in the situation. Again, real life, she probably would have been shot and killed being the one wild card of the group.

    There are problems with this episode. The biggest is the reference back to S01E05 "...And They Painted Daisies On His Coffin" that is completely screwed up. Although, the flashbacks are great! Marty is seeking to avenge his brother's death (the teen Danno shot in the S01 episode) except the kid's name then was Thad Vaughn. It's now Joey Collins. (OOPS!) I'm sure the writers were trying to do something like they did in the earlier season episode "Beautiful Screamer" where McGarrett's nephew's death from S01 is mentioned. It just didn't work in this case because of the name foul up.

    Another problem is the ending when Danno is taking instruction from Mossman (Doug Mossman) on how to disarm the vest. The tension is forced to me but again, this is something I can overlook because I know what they were trying to do. They were trying to suck us in as viewers but it fell a bit flat. I have to give credit to the actors, especially James MacArthur, in trying to salvage the ending.

    Mr. Mike mentions the pocketknife Danno pulls out to make all the cuts. I don't know about anybody else, but when I was growing up in the 1970s and '80s, it seemed like everybody carried a pocketknife all the time. Problems would arise when the knives were too long and the school principal would confiscate them. In other words, I didn't find myself surprised and I don't find it distracting. It would have been more so if he didn't have one!

    Anyway, these are my two cents. Happy 50th, "The Bomber And Mrs. Moroney"!!!

  2. #2
    I forgot to add a bit of mindless trivia: we see Marty's watch at some point (I think he's babbling on about when the vest goes 'boom'). It shows the episode takes place on Tuesday the 8th.

    Due to the air date of February 24, 1971; that leaves 1970 or very early 1971 for possibilities. In 1970, Tuesday the 8th happened in September and December. In 1971, it doesn't happen until June! It gives us an idea/ballpark when the episode was filmed and it certainly wasn't done in a single day.

    Happy 50th!

  3. #3
    Five-O Home Page Author Mr. Mike's Avatar
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    Don't forget the 13th season sequel to this episode!

    Mrs. Moroney, You're Full of Baloney ★★

    In S03E22, Marty, the brother of the guy who Danno shot and killed in the first season, returned to take vengeance, but, confusingly, his brother's name was changed from Thad to Joey and their last names changed from Vaughn to Collins. Using the same kind of logic, Marty, who was supposedly killed with a head shot in the season three show, did not die! He recovered, went to jail and acted like a model prisoner (again) and was released on parole (again). He tracks down Mrs. Moroney, the old lady who gave him a lot of mouth during the hostage taking. She nags him even more in this show, and he instead realizes he was wrong and decides to become a social worker.

  4. #4
    Glad you love this one, Bobbi. Me too! I don’t know why no one ever mentions it. Not even when doing a season 3 favorites list. It’s a very suspenseful episode! I mean how many times have we seen a madman in the Five-O office with a bomb strapped to him??? Or really any criminal activity ever happening at the Five-O office? Well, except for the time when a bomb blew up where McG was the target. But this is a very unique scenario here. I love it!! Easily in my top 3 episodes for the season. And it’s a stroke of genius to add the busy-body Clara from ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW to add some levity to a tense situation. And I just love the title - it’s both tense (The Bomber) and humorous (and Mrs. Moroney). It’s like “The Terminator and Mrs. Poppins”. LOL!

  5. #5
    Bobbi has been guiding my Five-O viewing. When she posts a "50th anniversary" thread, it inspires me to go watch the episode again -- some of which I haven't seen in 25+ years.

    You can count me among the people who liked this episode. Sorry, Mike! (He gave it 2.5 stars.)

    Actually, I see Mike really liked the episode, yet penalized it 1.5 stars because of the continuity screwup with the name of Joey Collins/Thad Vaughn. In the words of a certain President... "C'mon, man!" That deserves a deduction of a half-star at most!

    I really do think this is a 3.5 star episode, but not because of the Thad Vaughn thing (which I admit is annoying for diehard fans, and a head-scratcher as to how they could have let that happen, just two seasons after the original episode.) I agree with Mike that the ending was too cliche, and not particularly suspenseful. I never enjoyed "cut the bomb wire before the deadline" scenes in any show or movie. You always know how it's going to end, and there's really not a lot of suspense or action in these sequences, other than the characters looking nervous as they cut wires. Lame!

    When Marty Collins was shot, and there were about 6 minutes left in the episode, I cringed, knowing most of the remaining time would be bomb-wire-cutting. Also, there was a big hole in this sequence. Why didn't they just lower Marty's body off the balcony, drag it to a safe spot in the open, and let it blow up? The cutting wasn't even necessary!

    I did enjoy the standoff, the ever-changing situation, the various attempts by Five-O to end the situation (some of which failed), and Mrs. Maroney's cantankerous attitude. When she went in to ask if her relatives could force her to live in a nursing home, the answer was definitely NO! Mrs. Maroney was clearly both physically and mentally capable! Sometimes the bitter old ladies on shows like these are insufferable, but Mrs. Maroney was charming, and perfect for the episode.

    I also really enjoyed Danny's taunting of Marty at the end, to bait him to get near the window. However, Danny was taking a huge risk getting as offensive as he was to Marty, as Marty could have shot him at any time. I guess Danny had a vest on, and figured he'd be okay if shot anywhere but the head.

    To be honest, the bomb strapped to Marty wasn't necessary. It would have been a better episode if he set a deadline to start shooting people at a certain point, and with that deadline approaching, Danny baited him to the window in the same fashion shown, and the episode ending shortly after that. The same ending (of Jenny answering the phone, indicating business as usual) would have been even more powerful.

    They should have consulted me on this, when filming this in 1970. Too bad I wasn't going to be conceived until June of the following year!

    Mark Jenkins, who played Marty, is still alive, but is close to 78 years old. Hope Summers, who played Mrs. Maroney, obviously isn't alive anymore, as she was born in 1896! She did live for about 8 years after this episode aired, before passing away in 1979 at age 83, of heart failure.

  6. #6
    Also does someone know why McGarrett is only in the episode for 4 minutes, "from Chicago"?

    Was Jack Lord busy that week? Actually seems like they shot his scenes separately, as he's not with any other cast for the entire episode.

  7. #7
    Five-O Home Page Author Mr. Mike's Avatar
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    Todd, I agree with you to the extent that this episode is worthy of at least 3 stars, 1 being deducted for the huge blunder over the names. I think when I wrote this review/did the rating, I was still under the influence of the evil reboot where I reached new depths of cynicism.

    However, people shouldn't expect me to watch shows again with the intention of "improving" the rating of their favorites, especially those in the 10th to 12th seasons which I was mean to, LOL. Seriously, this re-viewing is it!

    At some point in the past, I removed all the ratings for one of my sites (I don't think it was the Classic H50 one), which got people all in a tizzy. My Peter Gunn site ( does not have ratings at all, neither does the one for the Mission Impossible reboot ( In the case of Peter Gunn, there were 114 episodes (38x3 ... yes, they had >38< episodes in a year), which made it difficult enough to slog through the entire series.

  8. #8
    Fantastic episode! I love The Bomber And Mrs. Moroney because it is a well-written episode and tense throughout. Marty Collins has been planning his meeting with Danny Williams and is ready to exact his revenge. He has a bomb vest ready to activate as well as a half-dozen hostages. Theres an incredible scene where Chin Ho is blinded by muzzle flash. I dont know how they did that scene. Very realistic and Chin's face darkened from the discharge. Collins like many villains on HFO waits too long to harm a HFO member. This gives critical time to save that team member. HFO also did a commendable job of not showing Collins head shot wound from the sniper. It could have been very graphic if they wanted it to be. Tremendous suspense as it appears Danny, Chin & the others are running out of time. I would say this is a Classic episode. Would give The Bomber And Mrs. Moroney 5.5 stars out of 6 stars.

  9. #9
    Originally Posted by Todd View Post
    Bobbi has been guiding my Five-O viewing. When she posts a "50th anniversary" thread, it inspires me to go watch the episode again -- some of which I haven't seen in 25+ years.

    You can count me among the people who liked this episode. Sorry, Mike! (He gave it 2.5 stars.)

    Actually, I see Mike really liked the episode, yet penalized it 1.5 stars because of the continuity screwup with the name of Joey Collins/Thad Vaughn. In the words of a certain President... "C'mon, man!" That deserves a deduction of a half-star at most!

    I really do think this is a 3.5 star episode, but not because of the Thad Vaughn thing (which I admit is annoying for diehard fans, and a head-scratcher as to how they could have let that happen, just two seasons after the original episode.)
    I'd like to put forth an explanation for this glaring inconsistency in which it wouldn't be a case of the writers/producers being too stupid to have checked. Rather, it may have been a case of engaging in some creative cost-cutting in that if they specifically made this episode a sequel to "And They Painted Daisies On His Coffin" by name-checking a character from that episode, then that might have meant being on the hook for an extra royalty to John D.F. Black who wrote "Daisies." (or at least been forced to get his permission or pay a fee) But if they change the name of the character and just use the footage, then they can technically argue that the episode isn't really a sequel to "Daisies" and thus Black wouldn't have been entitled to anything. This sort of creative decision making has influenced many a script of other TV shows down through the years where if you use a character "created" by someone in one episode, you're potentially on the hook if you use that unique character again in another episode not written by the same writer.

  10. #10
    That's a great point. I didn't even think of that, but you might be right. I always assumed the shows owned the characters depicted, but perhaps the writers are due something if their characters are reused -- or perhaps that was the case in the late 60s and early 70s.

  11. #11
    I recall that it in that era there were cases if you wrote an episode of a show you held a production position on like producer, then you didn't own any rights to things you created in one of your scripts. Thus, because Gene L. Coon was producer of Star Trek when he wrote the episode that introduced the Klingons, he held no "creator" claim on that concept. OTOH, Harlan Ellison as a writer for hire was known to throw fits if any of his elements were reused in another script without his being asked. It's sort of a gray zone I guess, but the producers I think in this case had to think that if they covered their bases by changing the name, then Black at least would have known he wouldn't have a case if he tried to object.

    Lending further credence to this is the fact that Black also wrote "The Box" in which Big Chicken returns, so there wasn't a similar issue with that episode. OTOH, the fact that Black was not the writer of "Six Kilos" may explain why Gerald S. O'Laughlin's "Carl Swanson" from that episode is suddenly "Charlie Swanson" (and why the episodes were reversed in airdate order even though from a logical consistency standpoint, the Swanson character should be one and the same. But because of these tricks, then you can make a technical argument the two episodes are not connected in the same way "The Box" connects to "And They Painted Daisies On His Coffin" with Big Chicken).

  12. #12
    Five-O Home Page Author Mr. Mike's Avatar
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    I referred this discussion to a friend of mine who is a Classic H50 fan, she replied:

    Not being a copyright lawyer, I can't give a definitive opinion on this. However, I refer you to this article:

    Pay particular attention to the paragraphs involving the two tests of whether a character is copyrightable or not. The character created by John D. F. Black as the victim in "Daisies" may or may not have been "sufficiently delineated" and thus qualified to be copyrightable. A court would have to decide that. As far as I can tell, this could be argued either way.

    I don't think the character would pass the "Story Being Told" test, but I could be wrong. The character in question -- J.D.F. Black's Thad Vaughn -- is more a "chessman in telling the story" rather than being the story itself, as required by this test. Anyone would have sufficed as the victim.

    But, again, as I am not a copyright lawyer, whatever I offer as an opinion about this must be taken with a grain of salt.

  13. #13
    Further proof that they knew what they were doing when "Thad Vaughn" became "Joey Collins." Remember in "Mrs. Moroney" Danny says to Marty that the Grand Jury chose not to indict him. But that's not what happened in "Daisies" where Danny *was* indicted and then was cleared when the gun "Thad" used turned up, confirming that Danny didn't shoot an unarmed boy. And if this *really* were a true sequel to "Daisies" with just the name fouled up, Danny would be telling "Marty" how his brother got hooked into working for a big-time drug pusher etc.

    So in effect, they were retconning "Daisies" in more than just the name, but in altering the entire plot of it as well so that what we were left with was the ability to create an entirely new backstory in which they could use footage from "Daisies" without being on the hook to pay John D.F. Black anything or ask his permission if it was needed. In the end they wouldn't have seen it as relevant and they would have figured no one would remember in those pre-VCR days when continuity seldom mattered in episodic TV. Once they made those changes, they knew they'd covered their bases and if Black wanted to protest, he likely wouldn't have been able to prevail.

  14. #14
    Correct me if I’m wrong but don’t they actually show a clip from “Daisies” in this episode? A flashback scene where Danno is chasing Thad through the streets? So already they’re on the hook to John D.F. Black, right? Already they’re showing that it’s the same story. A direct sequel.

  15. #15
    Yes, they show the clip but because they don't name-check the character and because the other dialogue in Moroney alters the plot, they could in effect treat the "Daisies" footage as though it were stock footage. The issue is whether in terms of the script content did "Moroney" end up being a direct sequel to "Daisies" and clearly they went out of the way to make sure nothing internally in "Moroney" matched "Daisies" beyond the fact it was a case of Danno killing a young man who ran from him. Here are some other changes that further come off as deliberate to protect themselves against any potential claim Black might have made if he'd wanted to.

    1-Thad Vaughn in "Daisies" was from the mainland in Pennsylvania and had no criminal record in Hawaii and no relatives in Hawaii. Joey Collins in "Moroney" was from Hawaii, his mother lived there and he had a brother who would have been in jail at the time of "Daisies". So not only don't the names match, neither do the backgrounds.

    2-Danno is indicted by the Grand Jury in "Daisies" but in "Moroney" notice how he goes out of his way to say the Grand Jury chose not to indict. That comes off as a deliberate line in the script to emphasize he's not talking about the events of "Daisies."

    Whether or not these were changes they had to make legally is an open question, but I think it's clear they made them on purpose to cover their bases and pre-empt any possibility of Black objecting. If they'd used the footage from "Daisies" and name-checked "Thad Vaughn" they might have left the door open for Black to make trouble but the footage alone with a name change would not have been enough. Black was paid for the script, not the footage shot.

  16. #16
    Poor Danny. It's bad enough that he went through all that with Thad Vaughn, and then to repeat the same scenario with Joey Collins? I'm sure he would have learned to check before shooting through the door lock! LOL, we all know these scenes too well to consider it "stock footage."

  17. #17
    I guess it still doesn’t make sense to me. Because no matter what changes they made to the “Bomber” script, the simple fact that they chose to show that clip from “Daisies” shows directly that this is the SAME story. Had they not shown that clip and just mentioned the event of Danno shooting an unarmed teen then it would have been open to our interpretation as to which event they were referring to. Whether it be “Daisies” or some other unseen event. But here we see explicitly that it’s “Daisies”. Seems to me like they actually are opening themselves up to a potential lawsuit from Black. Yes the names and some details have changed but by using the clip they are showing Black that they are in fact reusing his earlier story.

  18. #18
    I think we could argue forever on whether the episode as is would have given Black a legit reason to get paid or cause trouble because IMO once the changes were made to making Vaughn, Joey Collins and giving a different backstory and a different outcome of what happened to Danno, the "Daisies" footage basically became a case of an extended use of stock footage owned by the producers just like the reusing of the tour guide bus spiel in front of the Iolani Palace in more than one episode.

    But I do think we can agree that the change from Thad Vaughn to Joey Collins wasn't a case of the producers being stupid, but a case of they knew exactly what they were doing from the get-go and they obviously felt they had sufficiently covered all their bases legally so that if Black did protest, it was going to be a longshot for him to prevail at best.

  19. #19
    Some of the best Hawaii Five-O episodes could have even been more Classic but for some reason McGarrett is away on business. Going to testify at trial. Things of that nature. It would have been interesting if McGarrett was sitting🪑behind his desk when the bomber Collins arrived. How would have McGarrett extricated himself out of the situation? How could McGarrett safely get the others out as well? Would love to have seen McGarrett's imagination at work. Saving himself and the others. It makes me think how incredible The Bomber And Mrs. Moroney could have been with McGarrett inside the HFO offices. I believe strongly The Bomber And Mrs. Moroney could be a 4 star ⭐⭐⭐⭐ episode. At least, 3.5 stars. This episode would be perfect for the 3.75 I discussed awhile back. JC

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