Hawaii Five-O

Season 1 Episode 3

Full Fathom Five

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Sep 26, 1968 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
32 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Rich widows from the mainland are turning up missing soon after visiting the Hawaiian Islands. McGarrett suspects that a single person or group is behind the disappearances. Thus, Five-O sends a policewoman undercover on a cruise as bait.

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  • Good first episode-too bad about the ending

    The opening scene of the first "regular" episode of Five-O is memorable-you do have to wonder what viewers in 1968 (who had just sat through the premiere of "Blondie") must have thought- had to have been quite jarring to say the least.

    this episode sets the formula- we know who the criminal is and his m.o.- and we watch as Five-O tries to identify and stop him before he commits another crime. In this case the criminal is a creep goes on cruise ships looking for lonely widows, whom he then proceeds to seduce, swindle, and then kill. McGarrett finds out the guy (under his alias) is booked on another cruise ship, so he assigns a policewoman to go on the ship posing as a lonely widow to lure the guy. Danno also goes on the ship, while Chin Ho and Kono go around the island digging up evidence on the guy.

    Patricia Smith is excellent as the policewoman Joyce Weber, she is smart and unflappable and you can understand why McGarrett wanted her on the case. Its a shame that was Ms. Smith's only appearance on Five-O. Kevin McCarthy is appropriately slimey as the evil Reese. And the dialogue between the Five-O members is good. The episode works well right up until the last few minutes. The finish is unrealistic and it leaves you wondering- was the writer stuck for an ending? Was there an edict to have at least one shootout in each of the early episodes? You or I could have come up with a better ending. Too bad, because it detracts from what was otherwise a very good show.

    Two other things- this being the first season everybody sweats a lot (the soundstage was not airconditioned). and the writers seems to go out of their way to make the Five-O team seem "hip".moreless
  • Not a bad "start" to the regular series, a little odd as the characters are drawn slighty differently.

    Wealthy widows from all over the US are disappearing from the tropical paradise and the State Police of Hawaii are on the case.

    There's a real sense of beginnings in this episode (and I find it interesting that "Samurai" was filmed before it), as the "Five-O" team starts into its first "normal" police case after the the international intrigue of "Cocoon". James MacArthur steps in as Danny Williams and he and McGarrett show some real antagonism toward one another as Danno repeatedly insists a policewoman not be assigned to go undercover or that she should be pulled off the case. Chin and Kono are more set in their roles, each given some funny lines. McGarrett cannot seem to stop calling every woman he meets "love". Its a little odd that the governor sits outside and eats lunch under a tree given even somewhat relaxed security concerns.

    As to the story, not bad, - a couple who kills wealthy widows for their money, and the scam "Five-O" pulls to trap them is a decent one. Its a little tough to believe that Victor is afraid to take women's jewelry as it might tip off the authorities, but at the same time he registers under the same name and takes 20 cruise trips in 20 months in order to find new women to prey upon. Its fun to see the governor's secretary here (as the actress plays Steve's secretary later) and Herman Wedemeyer as a plainclothes HPD Lt. (making him one of the true longest term recurring actors on the series). There is a somewhat underutilized secondary plot about a rich woman who is feared dead but has simply "dropped out" of society that just seems to end without much of an effect on the story - other than adding a few laughs.

    But, here, the island adventure begins. While this may not have been the first episode in terms of production, the script may very well be the first.moreless
Jack Lord

Jack Lord

Steve McGarrett

James MacArthur

James MacArthur

Danny "Danno" Williams

Kam Fong

Kam Fong

Chin Ho Kelly



Kono Kalakaua

Kevin McCarthy

Kevin McCarthy

Victor Reese

Guest Star

Louise Troy

Louise Troy

Nora Reese

Guest Star

Patricia Smith

Patricia Smith

Joyce Weber

Guest Star

Richard Denning

Richard Denning

Governor Paul Jameson

Recurring Role

Maggi Parker

Maggi Parker


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Chin: (to McGarrett) Confucius once said, "We got a winner, boss."

    • McGarrett: There's no law that can force the rich to get richer.
      Skaggs: Well, there should be.
      McGarrett: Anytime we can help you find another missing person, let us know. Peace, brother.

    • Danno: I don't like it.
      McGarrett: Nobody asked you.
      (pause) Make up a complete cover history for her with documents to prove it. Can you have them by noon tomorrow?
      Danno: Sure. Forgery was my best subject. (scowling)

    • McGarrett: What do you know about laundry marks?
      Chin: Well, some of my best ancestors are Chinese.

    • Danno: (referring to McGarrett's shirt) Man, that shirt's blinding me.

    • Kono: And then?
      McGarrett: Then use your imagination and training. You're a rich haole lady, and you want to disappear. What would you do?
      Kono: Man, that would take a whole lot of imagination!

  • NOTES (9)

    • Additional credits:

      Automobiles furnished by Ford Motor Company
      Production assistance and consideration provided by United Airlines
      Filmed entirely on location in Hawaii
      A Leonard Freeman Production in association with the CBS Television Network

    • The flashing blue police light makes its first appearance in the closing credits in this episode.

    • The Y-shaped Ilikai Hotel opened in Waikiki in 1964 as the first high-rise, luxury hotel in Hawaii. In the opening credits, Jack Lord can be seen standing on the balcony of the Ilikai penthouse, Suite 2543.

      The Hawaiian developer first broke ground for the hotel in 1961 as he planted a monkeypod tree in the courtyard, accompanied by his classmate, famous surfer Duke Kahanamoku. The developer's name? Chinn Ho. The tree is named the Chin Ho Tree in his honor. The Ilikai is now a combination hotel and residential condominium property.

    • The opening titles included some different shots from those used in the pilot "Cocoon." Elizabeth Logue, the beautiful woman, is seen running along the beach, though the facial close-up remains too. In the pilot, shots of the hips and face of Helen Kuoha-Torco (the Tahitian dancer) were shown. In the regular series, only the shaking hip shot was included. James MacArthur ("Danno"), Zulu ("Kono") and Kam Fong ("Chin Ho") were added to the opening credits. The shot of Kono running up a gangplank with a shotgun and into two criminals was taken from a scene near the end of "Cocoon." A new zoom-in shot of Jack Lord ("McGarrett") as he stands on a balcony at the Ilikai Hotel replaces the shot used in the pilot.

    • Herman Wedemeyer guest-starred as Lt. Balta in this episode. He began appearing on a recurring basis in Season Five as Edward D. "Duke" Lukela. After four seasons as a recurring character, he joined the main cast in Season Nine. From that point, he remained a member of the main cast through the final season, Season Twelve.

    • The official syndication number for this episode is 6801.

    • This episode marks the first appearance of James MacArthur (Danny "Danno" Williams), Maggi Parker (May) and Richard Denning (the Governor). All of these roles were played by different actors in the pilot movie "Cocoon."

      In "Cocoon," Danno was played by Tim O'Kelly. May was played by Mitzi Hoag. The Governor was played by Lew Ayres.

    • Peggy Ryan plays the Governor's secretary Mildred in this episode. She would later play McGarrett's secretary Jenny Sherman in various episodes from Season 2 through Season 8.

      Her third husband, Hawaiian announcer and columnist Eddie Sherman, made the first of his five guest appearances in the series.

    • Phillip Pine (playing Tyler Skaggs) was incorrectly listed as Philip Pine with one "L" in the closing credits.


    • Full Fathom Five

      The title of the episode comes from Shakespeare's supernatural play The Tempest. After disposing of a victim during the teaser, Nora asks Victor to recite "their" poem. The poem is a modified version of a song of the spirit Ariel in Act I, Scene 2 of Shakespeare's play.

      The original song was as follows:

      Full fathom five thy father lies
      Of his bones are coral made
      Those are pearls that were his eyes
      Nothing of him that doth fade
      But doth suffer a sea-change
      Into something rich and strange.
      Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell
      Hark! now I hear them —- ding-dong, bell.

      Victor's version is as follows:

      Full fathom five the widow lies
      And of her bones are coral made
      Those are pearls that were her eyes
      Nothing of her now doth fade
      But doth suffer a sea-change
      Into something rich and strange.
      Sea-nymphs hourly ring her knell
      Hark! Now I hear them, ding-dong, bell.