Hawaii Five-O

Season 2 Episode 23

Three Dead Cows at Makapuu (1)

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Feb 25, 1970 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
19 votes
  • Thought provoking would be a better word than informative. This one really makes you think if something like this could really happen, or if it already has.

    I really like the premise of this episode and it made me think about what might be going on in the real world that we will never know abut. We know that there are stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons on earth and it is entirely possible that a scenario in which their security is compromised could take place.

    Here, Dr. Alexander Kline is a brilliant scientist who has left the government's biological weapons program and dropped off the map for over a year. When three dead, disfigured cows are found on farmland, the Army wants the dead cows and demands McGarrett turn them over. With his usual panache, he refuses. This brings two high level Washington D.C. staffers to the island to brief McGarrett on the realities of the situation.

    The Feds are convinced that this must be the work of Dr. Kline and a massive manhunt begins. At the same time, a tormented Dr. Kline is befriended by telephone operator Wanda Russell (brilliantly played a young Loretta Swit) and through their relationship, Five-O finally locates Dr. Kline only to learn, to their horror, that he has hidden his virus on the island and that, in 12 hours, it will wipe out the entire population of the island.

    Dr. Kline refuses to divulge the location of the vile, claiming that this is the only way the world can be brought to their senses about the dangers of biological warfare. He sees killing 750,000 people as a necessary means to and end.

    But Dr. Kline has developed a weakness, he has begun to have feelings for Wanda and demands that she leave the island immediately, no questions asked. When Five-O inform Wanda of what her man has done, she begs him to call it off but he refuses. Only when Wanda steadfastly refuses to leave Hawaii, insisting that she would rather die with Dr. Kline that live without him, does he relent and show Five-O where he hid the vial.

    But when the team arrives, the vial is gone, prompting a desperate race against time to save the island. Of course, the vial is found and neutralized, but the ending is bittersweet, although realistic.

    I definitely enjoyed Part 1 more than Part 2. The plot development took place mostly in the first part and I thought there were too many coincidences and leaps of faith in the plot in the second half to make the outcome plausible.

    I would rate Part One 8/10 and Part Two 6/10.
  • Solid "issues" episode, good character dialog, some sloppy writing when it comes to plot points.

    A biological pathogen threatens all life on Hawaii.

    I really like the idea of this episode and there's lots going on - in fact too much is going on and it gets away from the writers' abilities somewhat.

    Alex is a scientist who has dropped out of the government's biological warfare program so that he can produce his own deadly strain of bacteria and show humankind the "folly of their ways". Enter Jonathan Kaye, hot on his trail and involving McGarrett and the Governor as usual. Lots of good tension between these guys in the normal "Five-O" fashion. And Ed Flanders (as Alex) does a very good job as does Loretta Swit as Wanda - it really is a bittersweet relationship they form. There's just a lot of unexplained things happening. Alex is vaguely sick throughout this episode and Part 2 and we never know why. When Wanda calls the private lab to check on Alex, Danny Williams somehow "senses" that she is a telephone operator for no rational reason. That would be OK, but the puzzling wild guess ends up being how "Five-O" tracks down the major break in the case. Alex also has a blind friend on the island who carves scrimshaw, its a nice character but how he even knows the mainland scientist is unclear.

    There's the usual bad science, casually mixing up terms like "bacteria", "virus", and even "protoplasm", the "aerosol" nature of the infection is almost lost by Part 2. Still, its a timely episode - when it aired the US was finally pulling out of biological weapons research for good. And there is a sense of tragedy here that's accomplished. Part 2 is even weirder but almost as effective. Solid story, I think it would have been possible to edit it down to essentials without losing the message -but there are great elements I wouldn't lose.