Hawaii Five-O (1968–1980)
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Journey Out of Limbo 

Keenan Wynn guest stars as the trusted friend of a Chinese diplomat who is the object of an assassination plan which Danny Williams stumbles upon, but whose details he cannot remember when he is injured.


Michael O'Herlihy


Leonard Freeman (created by), Frank Telford




Episode complete credited cast:
Jack Lord ... Det. Steve McGarrett
James MacArthur ... Danny Williams
Al Harrington ... Ben
Kam Fong ... Chin Ho
Keenan Wynn ... Hummel
Philip Ahn ... Lin Mai-Lu
Richard Denning ... Governor
Herman Wedemeyer ... Duke Lukela
Harry Endo ... Che Fong
Bob LaVarre Bob LaVarre ... Durko (as Robert Lavarre)
Al Eben ... Doc Bergman
Clay Tanner Clay Tanner ... Stark
Sam Peters Sam Peters ... Bellak


To the horror of workers at a construction site, the truck of sand they are unloading contains Danny Williams in the back, unconscious and just moments away from having smothered to death. Danny awakens, but can't remember anything about how he got there. McGarrett grills the sand-truck driver, but eventually abandons him as a dead end. The only other way Danny could have gotten into the dump truck was to jump in from a height as the truck passed below him. Danny remembers he was going horseback riding on his day off, so the Five-O team heads out to a ranch that rents horses for pleasure rides. Eventually they find the body of the horse he was riding, shot multiple times and leaving a long trail of blood. That means Danny was fleeing from gunmen and made his leap as a last resort. But what did he see that made the gunmen chase him. The answer turns out to be a literal suicide bomber, the ranch owner, who is getting revenge on a Chinese visitor by having a bomb-laden boat (with ... Written by Peter Harris

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Hummel's estate is the Philippine Consulate on Pali Highway. See more »


The limo that picks up Lin Mai-Lu is a 1966 Cadillac. When they arrive at Hummel's estate, it is a 1972 Cadillac. See more »


Det. Steve McGarrett: [to Chin after the truck driver leaves] Dig deeper... Check his parole officer, associates, hangouts... I want the book on him.
See more »

User Reviews

Connecting the Clues While the Clock Ticks Down to Disaster
31 January 2018 | by GaryPeterson67See all my reviews

"Journey into Limbo" is an unjustly low-rated episode (sitting at a 7.0 with 55 votes as of this writing). I wonder if it suffered the misfortune of being the last episode before the celebrated Vashon trilogy elevated the series to a new level of greatness. Taken on its own terms, "Limbo" is a good, suspenseful episode.

Admittedly the episode starts slowly, with the camera following a dump truck loaded with sand down a long highway. I felt like I was stuck in the parade of cars following the lumbering truck. Then comes protracted scenes of the truck bed being elevated and the sand tumbling out the back. Longtime viewers of suspense and adventure dramas knew a body would soon be rolling out, but I admit I was stunned when I saw it was Danno's!

There's interesting editing showing Danno being rushed to the hospital intercut with McGarrett walking to the governor's office and being briefed on security procedures for a visiting Red Chinese official. The seemingly disparate plots will dovetail nicely before the end credits roll.

The most intriguing plot is Danno's concussion and amnesia. From waking up and getting dressed that Thursday morning--Danno's day off, we learn--until he awoke in the hospital he has no recollection. Doc Eben assures McGarrett that Danno's memory will return in flashes. McGarrett, ever impatient, begins badgering his colleague almost as soon as he regains consciousness. But Steve's zealousness to get whomever did this to his friend is a testimony to Steve's care and concern for Danno.

Newcomer to the team Ben Kokua gets his most screen time yet. I still miss Kono, but I'm fast warming to Ben. There are a few hints of professional rivalry here, and the relationship between Danno and Ben borders on tense at times, such as when Danno yanks his arm back from Ben's attempt to help. Ben did seem to relish Danno's being put on sick leave, however, and Ben raised an especially skeptical almost mocking eyebrow to Danno's half-remembering a boat being stashed in the bunker. But who can blame him? When Danno's on the job, Ben--like Kono before him--plays distant third banana. And even in this episode, once Danno returned to duty Ben was relegated to simply shouting "Steve!" whenever a new clue was stumbled upon. And then Ben took a backward step when blowing it with Durko.

Danno's memory returns, jogged in a compelling scene in Steve's office as he, Chin, and Ben tease out details from Danny. Steve's so excited he breaks his chalk when scrawling on the blackboard. I liked the character-enhancing scene where Chin and Ben enjoy their own professional rivalry, bantering about what could be in the crates: "Drugs? That's even dumber than oranges." And speaking of dumb, okay, maybe the story's conclusion was rushed and somewhat silly, but it was nonetheless satisfying as entertainment, which should never be held to the rigors of reality.

The guest stars this episode were Keenan Wynn and Philip Ahn. They have relatively minor roles, however, especially Ahn, who perhaps had to rush back to play Master Kan on KUNG FU, which premiered this season. They were both excellent in the scant screen time afforded them.

This was the first episode of the series to be written by prolific producer and scripter Frank Telford. He wouldn't return to HAWAII FIVE-O until its twelfth and final season where he would write five more episodes, including the series finale, "Woe to Wo Fat."

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Release Date:

31 October 1972 (USA) See more »

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1.33 : 1
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