A prison lifer working in the infirmary as an orderly gets the shock of his life when a dying fellow inmate confesses that he himself committed the murder that the orderly, a businessman on the outside, was convicted of three years earlier. Nobody else heard the confession, and there is no evidence tying the now-dead hit man to the murder. The orderly freaks out and grabs a guard's riot shotgun, tapes it to the throat of the prison doctor and sends out the word -- reopen his case and find the person who ordered the hit, or get the doctor's head on a plate. Skeptical at first, McGarrett soon finds evidence that contradicts statements made at the businessman's trial and renders his "motive" for the murder meaningless. He still doesn't know who could have ordered the hit, though. A professional colleague of suspect, victim and the suspect's lawyer is found to have perjured at the trial -- coached by the lawyer, who DID order the hit. The lawyer's two hired thugs waste the colleague in traffic as he goes to talk to McGarrett, then go after the colleague's wife. The scene switches back to the infirmary, where the doctor persuades the increasingly sleepy convict to cut the tape holding the shotgun, in case it goes off accidentally. The doctor, though, believes the convict's story and refuses to alert guards that he's cut the other half of the tape while the convict was sleeping and now has the shotgun in his own hands. McGarrett, still lacking a firm case, tries to find the business partner's wife -- the last possible witness -- before the lawyer and his thugs do.
- This Synopsis Does Contain Spoilers! (Usually I try to avoid them.) I cannot really add much to the good plot summary by Peter Harris, though a few corrections are in order. Substitute 'witness' [Richard Roat] for 'colleague' and 'business partner' in the plot summary, and you have an excellent and correct plot summary! The one who saves the day for the framed convict is the witness's wife, (Joan Van Ark) who did not herself witness the slaying as did her husband. She had heard her husband's account that the convicted man was not the killer, but that is hearsay and inadmissible. However after her husband is 'hit'' she confronts the convict's lawyer with a gun and hears him admit the killing and after she is subdued by Mills Watson (the lawyer while ordering her killed by Mills Watson, one of the hit men and his partner acknowledges his role). She then has heard legally admissible hearsay, an admission that although hearsay is admissible since it is an admission against interest. This results in freedom for the convicted man! See the excellent User Review by planktonrules for more correct info. Planktonrules is right on the money in his summation that "[this] is a fascinating show--where, despite it being a very cold case, it turns out to have a lot of unexpected twists and turns." Of course this episode the hackneyed twist that the man's own lawyer turns out to be the true culpable person, a somewhat trite trite twist that is to this day overused in mysteries and cop shows. (Yes I admit I have a bias here.) Mills Watson (an underrated character actor) does a rather fine job as usual in his character job playing one of the thugs (hit men) and plays the part convincingly. As a good character actor he comes across as a hit man, not as Mills Watson, --and that is what being a good character actor is all about; Watson does not disappoint in this episode. Thomas J McKeon Indianapolis