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Thread: For A Million...50 years later

  1. #1
    Tonight 50 years ago, CBS aired "For A Million ... Why Not?"

    The episode follows a band of thieves in their preparation to steal six million dollars from Bank of Hawaii. Hawkins (Sam Melville) is a ticked off Vietnam vet that plans to "set things right." His accomplices include burned out office worker Blumberg (Jack Kruschen), ex-con Noonan (Al Harrington, prior to his role as Ben Kokua), dance instructor Galvin (Robert Fields) and his girlfriend Carol (Leigh Christian). The group plans to split the six million into three for Hawkins, and one to the guys. Carol tries to get a bigger cut that nearly gets her boyfriend blown up by Hawkins.

    When the bank plans to distribute the six million they're sitting on, the group sets up a bogus breakdown that slows the armored truck enough to kill the guards. The robbers then drive the truck away with the six million in the back and the guard (eww!) that had been gassed. They then put it on a transport to go to 'Oakland'.

    Danno is on his own with Chin and Kono as McGarrett is one the Big Island with the trial of Johny Oporta (presumably the same Johnny from S04E02 "No Bottles ... No Cans ... No People"). McGarrett even begs the judge to let him go back to Honolulu for one day to which the judge (Donald Over) is unimpressed and makes the Five-O chief stay put. However, Danno is able to track the gang to 'Oakland' and with the help of local cops there (it all looks like the Honolulu Port) where the poor armored truck meets a fiery end along with Hawkins and Noonan. The others surrender when a large door lifts and they're holding up their hands.

    Mr. Mike has done a great write-up along with an excellent gallery:

    I know Mr. Mike graded this with 2 stars and that's a fair assessment. The execution could have been tighter, but I still like this episode a lot. As Karen Rhodes points out in her book, "Booking Hawaii Five-O," we get that rare glimpse of Danno's leadership capabilities. He's on his own and is successful in bringing the gang in. It's a different type of episode that we're used to.

    I know Mr. Mike brings up the question about the money possibly being burned up in the truck at the end. I would think there's a firewall behind the cab. But what I want to know, from the time they steal the truck until Oakland, the truck is never opened. What happened to the guard in the back!? Was he killed in the acid attack and just left to die and decompose!? (again, eww!) Because we never see them open the back. As a matter of fact, Hawkins puts nitro on the back door to blow it open when Danno yells at them through a bullhorn in 'Oakland'.

    Despite its shortcomings, it's a good episode to watch.

    Happy 50th, "For A Million ... Why Not?"!!

  2. #2
    Thanks Bobbi for the 50th Anniversary reminder on For A Million...Why Not? This is 1 of my FAV episodes in the Series. It's such a creative and detailed episode. They could have made a movie out of this work. I love the eclectic group from Blumberg to Hawkins to Carol the beautiful bank employee. She does an excellent job feeding the heist group information needed to execute the brazen robbery of the 6 million dollars. It's just an outstanding episode. I think they should have gotten away with the money. It was a brilliant plan. Hawkins sure was a piece of work. I think their mistake was murdering the printer Carlson. He wasn't going to say anything. Killing Carlson the Printer led to finding the type scattered all over the floor. I agree with Mr. Mike and others it was a little far-fetched what was recent type and what was not. It was believable to me that Danno would think of TIKI GODS. Only so many letter combinations. I think the episode would have been enhanced if McGarrett was working the case. He was at the Oporta Trial. Another small disappointment was not having the criminals distribute the money and be jubilant. I guess it would be difficult to fake 6 million dollars in bills and fake paper. It's probably why they ordered them out before the money was shown. A JC FAV despite a few things that could have been executed better. Probably 3 stars on the 4 star scale. JC

  3. #3
    I agree, John, it was a brilliant plan. I also agree that they might have gotten away with it had they not killed the printer, because that got Five-O involved and the loose metal type was taken to the crime lab. Seth Sakai said that there were eight factorial (40,320) possible combinations for those eight letters. But because there were two i's, half of those would be duplicates. There would only be 20,160 unique combinations, still a very large number. Loved some of the tries that Danny had on the office chalkboard like "I DIG SKOT." LOL!

  4. #4
    I like when Kono says Kiti Dogs or something when they are sounding out the 8 letters. LOL! There's something people miss. Chin Ho and Danno visit Blumberg at Tiki Gods about Noonan earlier in the episode. Yet when Danno shouts out Tiki Gods, Chin seems slow to respond. Like he doesn't remember they had already been at Tiki Gods. He was already at Tiki Gods with Danno. I have been thinking what Hawkins Crew could have done with the big armored car. I don't know. HFO was hot on their trail. Maybe, the crew had 5 minutes ahead of them but that squeezed tighter. It appeared they only had seconds to spare when HFO arrived at the maintenance shed. The rakes covering their tracks was a nice addition. Score 1 for the writers there. The brilliant plan when Blumberg had enough and then fired Noonan on his way out. It freed both of them. For A Million...Why Not? definitely is a FAV of mine. JC

  5. #5
    Ha, ha, ha, "Kiti Dogs." Kono, you were so very close! You're right, John, since they had already visited Tiki Gods, that should have made it easier to guess what the letters spelled. That scene when Noonan drives the armored car backwards into the shipping container, breaks the windshield to crawl out, pushes the ramp boards into the container then they pull out the rakes to erase the tire tracks - wow, I can feel the tension and the urgency. It's a race against time and it definitely gets my heart pumping! Exciting episode!

  6. #6
    Hi Bobbi, I just noticed that this episode actually aired a week earlier - on November 2nd. “The Burning Ice” aired on the 9th and then my personal favorite “Rest in Peace, Somebody” aired today on the 16th.

  7. #7
    What's your sources, Ringfire? According to Mr. Mike's page For A Million aired on November 9th. The Burning Ice aired tonight and RIP.

  8. #8
    Oh I saw it on IMDB. Assuming that’s the correct date. Not sure what sources Mike uses. I imagined his dates would match those on IMDB. But maybe not. Not sure which one is correct then.

  9. #9
    Five-O Home Page Author Mr. Mike's Avatar
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    Mar 2019
    Vancouver, B.C.
    My dates are typically from Karen Rhodes' book ... which were originally checked by her multiple ways back in the 1990s.

  10. #10
    Here were my thoughts on the episode, from 2019:

    I even "wrote" better versions of several flawed scenes. Too bad they didn't hire me to write during that season (though it might have been a bit lower quality, since I was still in the womb!)

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