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Hawaii Five-O

Season 1 Episode 13


Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Dec 25, 1968 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
28 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

The death of a friend, an assistant prosecuting attorney, leads McGarrett to turn one mobster against another. Harry Cardonus offers to testify against his boss, Joe Matsukino, after narrowly escaping a murder attempt. McGarrett only has to keep Cardonus alive for one more day, but Matsukino is determined to kill his former friend.moreless

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  • Slimy filthy pathetic scumbags

    I didn't like the beginning of the episode where the prosecutor gets killed by a boxman rifling through his office and his pregnant wife showing to find him dead on the floor. Cardonus and Matsukino were the kinds of Five-O villlains that I absolutely detest and love to hate. I almost wished that McGarrett had fed Cardonus to the sharks, meaning Matsukino's men who were trying to kill him. I liked the scene at the end when Cardonus shows up at trial when Matsukino was so sure that he was dead and having the defeated look on his face and McGarrett telling him, "I promised you, Matsukino, Oahu State Prison formoreless
  • McGarrett must try to keep a witness alive so he can testify against a powerful crime boss.

    Hawaii scenery/landmarks: The Kahala Hilton, which is located past Diamond Head through the rich lavish neighborhood of Kahala to the end of the road.

    Notable stars: James Shigeta plays Matsukino (a Japanese name combo), the crime boss who attempts to dispose of the witness. Shigeta is well known for his role as Takagi, who is shot in the head by chief terrorist Hans Gruber in the 1988 movie Die Hard. The witness is played by Nehemiah Persoff, who has a huge acting resume appearing in just about every TV series episode at least once!

    McGarrett plays a trump card on Cardonus, Matsukino's right hand man, by holding him in his office after questioning them both for a murder. Cardonus is given the option to fink on his partner, but refuses. Later when Cardonus meets up with Masukino on a pool deck, Matsukino is suspicious of the private meeting. He then puts a hit out on his former partner, who McGarrett must protect because he can testify in court.

    There's a goof in a scene at the Kahala Hilton. Cardonus is taken to the hotel to hide out before the trial. When a police officer opens the hotel room door, a hitman is waiting for Cardonus. We see a torso view of a man with a gun and firing a shot, but he is wearing the same gold and white flowered aloha shirt as Cardonus! I had to back the scene up and look again. Goof! The hitman misses Cardonus and gets shot, and has his own different style aloha shirt as he is lying on the carpet.

    Matsukino is so persistant in killing the witness that he even knows what food Cardonus is allergic to! The police officer tries the hotel food first (this cop is a "Guinea" pig!), and after no effects, allows Cardonus to eat it. Woops, a bad food allergy reaction for Cardonus but not the cop. Chicken Ala Matsukino? Brilliant idea. Will Cardonus survive to testify? Be there, Aloha!moreless
  • McGarrett finds that he has to protect an oily mob underling because his testimony can bring down one of the biggest gangsters in Hawaii. The problem with the story is that the underling wasn't that interesting a character.moreless

    "Deathwatch" was a fair episode, but it didn't quite reach the heights of the preceding episodes, especially the excellent "Yesterday Died And Tomorrow Won't Be Born." Harry Cardonus, the potential witness, wasn't a sympathetic character so I didn't really care whether he lived or died. Moreover, he wasn't that interesting. He came across as a two-bit clown, more a petty and spiteful individual than a fearsome mobster. The weakness of this character diminished the drama of the story.

    Apparently the prosecuting attorney who is killed in the teaser was a good friend of McGarrett, but he was never seen before in the series. That also lessened the emotional impact of the story.

    The episode had some good points though. It was interesting to see the different ways in which Matsukino tried to kill Cardonus. As Danno and Kono tracked down "the boxman," they traveled through some gritty areas, re-emphasizing that the producers were not afraid of showing the dark underbelly of Honolulu and Hawaii.

    Though this wasn't one of the really great episodes of the series, it's certainly worth watching for police show fans.moreless
Jack Lord

Jack Lord

Steve McGarrett

James MacArthur

James MacArthur

Danny "Danno" Williams

Kam Fong

Kam Fong

Chin Ho Kelly



Kono Kalakaua

James Shigeta

James Shigeta

Joseph Matsukino

Guest Star

Randall Kim

Randall Kim


Guest Star

Ruth Blacker

Ruth Blacker

Holly Flick

Guest Star

Maggi Parker

Maggi Parker


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • McGarrett: (to Matsukino) Read the story again, carefully. It says, "secret witness, key testimony," but no names, places, times.

      McGarrett and Matsukino discuss the lead article in the newspaper that describes the death of a witness. However, moments before, as Matsukino was looking at the newspaper, the camera focused in on the paper. The headline read "Trial Witness Dies," but none of the articles or subheaders had any connection to that headline.

      The dateline of the paper was sometime in September of 1968.

    • hype

      Danno uses the slang word "hype," which refers to drug addicts or junkies. The word originated as a shortening of "hypodermic," from the hypodermic needles used by many drug addicts.

    • There are four desks, each in a separate partition, in the area outside of McGarrett's office. An earlier episode showed that Danno occupied the desk nearest the front door. Chin uses the next desk, and Kono the one after that. The remaining desk, which is closest to McGarrett's office, is shown to be unoccupied.

    • Danno enters the ramshackle apartment of Murph the boxman without a warrant. Neither he nor Kono had seen any suspects in the area. They had no reason to believe that criminal activity was taking place inside either, so they should have obtained a warrant before entering.

    • The vocal dubbing in the early outdoor scene with Matsukino, Cardonus and Danno is imprecise. The timing of the dialogue is not well coordinated with the movements of the actors' mouths.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • McGarrett: How do these kids of eighteen get mixed up with these bums -- would you tell me?
      Danno: Maybe they're looking for something.
      McGarrett: Yeah, trouble.

    • Cardonus: (to McGarrett) I've been in the rackets long enough to know you can't buck the odds. When a pro is gunning for you, he's gonna get you.

    • McGarrett: The new treatments are even more fascinating than the diseases.
      Matsukino: Man, you fracture me with that treatment stuff.

    • Matsukino: (to McGarrett) Don't give me that stuff. The newspapers wouldn't print a phony story.

  • NOTES (8)

    • With this episode Hawaii Five-0 moved to Wednesdays, although, for some reason, TV.com lists the entire series as airing on Thursdays @ 8:00.  Non-Thursdays airdates include:

      Pilot (Cocoon) on Friday September 20, 1968.

      12/25/68 (this episode) through 3rd season: Wednesdays @ 10pm ET/PT

      4th-6th seasons: Tuesdays @ 8:30 ET/PT

      7th season: Tuesdays @ 9:00 ET/PT

      Sep-Nov 1975: Fridays @ 9:00 ET/PT

      Dec 1979-Jan 1980: Tuesdays @ 9:00

      Mar-Apr 1980: Saturdays @ 9:00

      In the eighth season "Murder - Eyes Only" Part 1 aired at 9:00 ET/PT while Part 2 aired at 10:00. Same for the ninth season's "Nine Dragons" Parts 1 and 2.





    • Errors in credits

      The assistant prosecuting attorney polishes the nameplate on his door at the beginning of the episode. His name is spelled Charles Cadison. However, in the closing credits the character is listed as Charlie Kadison, and his wife is listed as Helen Kadison.

      The nurse was played by Tuulikki Paananen, an actress of Finnish heritage. She was to be credited under her married name, Tuulikki Gottschalk. However, her first name was misspelled in the closing credits as Tuuilki.

    • The Kahala Hilton

      McGarrett tries to protect Cardonus by housing him at the Kahala Hilton. The famous hotel was opened in 1964 by Conrad Hilton in the exclusive neighborhood of Kahala. The hotel is located some distance from Waikiki. At first this led to low occupancy rates but the secluded beach and resort soon became a favorite of Hollywood stars, corporate executives, athletes, presidents and royalty. The hotel was sold to Mandarin Oriental in 1993, and the name was changed to the Kahala Mandarin Oriental.

      The resort was sold to an investment group, Kahala Hotel Investors LLC, in late 2005. The hotel and resort was renamed the Kahala Hotel and Resort in early 2006. It is undergoing a major renovation throughout 2007 while remaining open to guests.

    • Randall Kim, who played the thief Oscar, appeared as John Lo just two episodes earlier in "By the Numbers."

      Soon after appearing in the Season 2 episode "King Kamehameha Blues" (as Eddie), he focused on theater work for most of the following two decades. However, he went on to appear as The Keymaker in the blockbuster movie The Matrix Reloaded (2003).

    • The actors who played Jerry Apu (a hitman) and the HPD officer who dies (with a name tag that reads A. Aton) are not credited.

    • Additional credits:

      Automobiles furnished by Ford Motor Company
      Filmed entirely on location in Hawaii
      A Leonard Freeman Production
      In Association With
      The CBS Television Network

    • The official syndication number for this episode is 6811.

    • This is one of only two episodes of the series to air on Christmas Day. The other was the Season 12 episode "Labyrinth".