One website gives this story zero stars and says all copies of this episode should be burned. Yes the casting isn't good but the story doesn't bore. A Bullett for McGarrett and Killer Bee are both sleep inducing IMHO. Nagata's rants are pretty awful however. Virginia Wing, who plays Heather Nagata, is pleasant to the eyes.
Mark Lenard is Nagata, a member of a Japanese guerilla team sent to Hawaii in advance of the Pearl Harbor Attack. Nagato escapes from a psyciatric hospital after 25+ years to complete his mission. Why was he in a psychiatric hostpital is never explained. Nagato uses Ninja techniques and tools in his attempt. Nobody on the Five-0 team recognizes shuriken throwing stars. Nagato is not aware of the passage of time. Nagato navigates around Oahu, Pearl Harbor, and Honolulu without error, despite being in a hospital since the 1940's. Nagato has a deceased wife, and a daughter he thinks is his wife, in Honolulu. A member of the guerilla team has been living in Honolulu and assimilated into the society. How and why is never explained.
Hawaii scenery/landmarks: Lenard dresses as a ninja and steels dynamite from a bunker in Diamond Head. He later kidnaps a girl from a store on Kapiolani Boulevard, right across the old car lots next to Ala Moana Center. At the end he climbs atop a huge disc shaped water tank in the Nimitz dock area. The old pineapple water tower is shown in the background. (They later took down the pineapple tower in the 90's - because it was ripe!)
Notable stars: Mark Lenard also played Spock's Father in a Star Trek epsiode 2 years before this, so maybe the casting director saw a similarity between a Vulcan and an Asian. Lenard is made up to portray a psychotic Japanese terrorist in this episode. His performance is over the top, and his insane incoherent ramblings remind me of a Charles Manson parole hearing. I found Lenard's character scary when I first saw this as a child because he is so delusional, high strung and hard to reason with. Similar to a human time bomb ready to go off with a bang.
Some may scorn the casting of a white man to play an Asian, but this happened quite frequently in the 60's and 70's because of the lack of quality trained Asian actors at the time. My dad wore the same type of rubber eyelids when he performed in a play at HTY called Manjiro's Journey. The shop owner, who looks more Arabian than Japanese, also wears the Asian eyelids in unconvincing fashion.
The reason why they used Nimitz instead of Pearl Harbor is obvious. I'm sure the producers were outright rejected for asking permission to film a crazy Japanese character with a bomb about to blow up Pearl Harbor after the infamous attack.
A decent entry in the series, I give this a very slightly above average score - after much belief suspension. The female hostage gets very loud and snappy! Don't piss this nut off, lady! Kono carries around a long antenna walkie-talkie (perfect for setting a bomb off!) as they search the area for the ticking bomb. McGarrett jumps for Nakata and grabs the bomb out of his hand, then uses fingernail clippers to cut the bomb wires! Don't forget to give the terrorist a manicure!
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