Hawaii Five-O

Season 1 Episode 21

Once Upon A Time, Part I

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Feb 19, 1969 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
28 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

McGarrett's sister falls under the spell of a quack healer who claims to offer a cure for her child. McGarrett flies to Los Angeles to protect his sister Mary Ann, but his efforts to shut down the healer serve only to turn his sister against him.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Powerful episode, though in a painful way. For the only time in the series McGarrett faces a villain who is doing harm to his immediate family.

    This is perhaps the toughest hour of Hawaii Five-0 to review. On one hand it’s far down the list of my favorite episodes to watch. But that’s largely due to the other hand: this episode is deeply dramatic and has what may be McGarrett’s heaviest moments in the series. This is one hour of the series that really can’t be judged against any other, not even the Part II follow-up in fact. For those not in the know this is the episode where McGarrett cries.

    So I guess how you like this episode depends largely on why you like Hawaii Five-0 in the first place. I’m one of those Five-0 fans that is into the series for the all-business police team going up against the bad guys and dodging the usual explosions and gunfire battles, set to the beautiful scenery of Hawaii with some great background music. This episode doesn’t have a lot of that, in fact the Hawaiian footage are two scenes in McGarrett’s office. Chin Ho and Kono are gone after the first office scene. The accompanying music is very appropriate (quite a bit of cello), in fact to the point where one could get the feeling of depression. And that’s my overall problem with this episode what with the story, music, McGarrett reduced to tears– it’s plain too depressing with me and therefore one I rarely choose to watch.

    But again I would never say this episode stinks. In fact there are very few episodes that come near being as powerful as this one. An enhancing effect is how there are very few scene changes here. Where some episodes like “Twenty-Four Karat Kill” cram a bunch of quick, different scenes into one act, here each act is only two or three different scenes. Act three in fact is a single scene of McGarrett’s meeting with the fake healer Dr. Fremont; this is my favorite scene as the Dr. goes from auto-biographical to seductive to threatening and McGarrett just keeps his same frozen “I’m gonna get you” mask.

    Bottom line: great, powerful episode. Just forgive me if I don’t watch it more than once a year. And as a final note I’d say this episode is to Five-0 what “Edith’s 50th Birthday, Part 1" (the one where Edith gets attacked in her own home) is to “All in the Family”moreless
Jack Lord

Jack Lord

Steve McGarrett

James MacArthur

James MacArthur

Danny "Danno" Williams

Kam Fong

Kam Fong

Chin Ho Kelly



Kono Kalakaua

Joanne Linville

Joanne Linville

Dr. C.L. Fremont

Guest Star

Nancy Malone

Nancy Malone

Mary Ann Whalen

Guest Star

David Sheiner

David Sheiner

Frank Zipser

Guest Star

Maggi Parker

Maggi Parker


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • (discussing his sister with Danno after hearing of his nephew's death)
      McGarrett: She cried so hard, she choked on her own tears. The telephone turned to salt in my hand.

    • McGarrett: Chin, you're gonna make a speech tomorrow.
      Chin: Me? What do I talk about?
      McGarrett: Law and order.
      Chin: For or against?

    • Fremont: I was born of woman. A stupid, superstitious, and salacious old witch, my mother. From the hills of Tennessee. Where I was born and raised. Hallelujah! (pause) Fascinating? Hmm?
      McGarrett: Like watching an auto wreck.
      Fremont: You're sweet.
      McGarrett: I try.

  • NOTES (6)

    • May tells McGarrett that Grey at Treasury wants him to stop by. This is a reference to Treasury Agent Philip Grey from the Season 1 episode "Twenty-Four Karat Kill." Interestingly, Grey was played by Richard Denning despite the fact that he appeared on a regular basis as the recurring character Governor Paul Jameson.

    • Crew notes:

      Carl Macauley (Art Director) was credited as Carl MacAuley.
      Ken Chase (Make-up Artist) was credited as Kenneth Chase.

    • Uncredited actors:

      The actress who played Mrs. Appleby (one of Dr. Fremont's patients) was uncredited. The child who portrayed young Tommy Whalen was also uncredited.

    • At nine minutes and twenty-three seconds, this episode has by far the longest teaser of the series. The next longest was Season Four's "Bait Once, Bait Twice," which was over two minutes shorter.

    • Additional credits:

      Automobiles furnished by Ford Motor Company
      Production assistance and consideration provided by United Air Lines
      A Leonard Freeman Production
      In Association With
      The CBS Television Network

    • The official syndication number for this episode is 6819.


    • Scientology and the E-meter

      Dr. Fremont's medical device is very similar to the Electropsychometer or E-meter used in the practice of "auditing" in the Church of Scientology. The person being "audited" (or assisted to a "preclear" state of mental and spiritual clarity) holds onto two metal cylindrical electrodes connected by wires to the E-meter. The electrical flow is very low so the person does not notice the current.

      Though Dr. Fremont did not believe that her machine actually cured anyone, Scientologists do believe that the E-meter device can improve IQ, enhance memory and treat various mental conditions. Thus, the character of Dr. Fremont has many similarities to practicing Scientologists.