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Death of the Flowers

Episode Screen Caps Episode Number: 139
Season Number: 7.12
Air Date: 12/10/1986
Writer: Mary Ann Kasica, Michael Scheff
Director: Jerry Jameson
Producer: Rick Weaver
Exec Producer: Donald P. Bellisario

Recurring Characters
Kathleen Lloyd (Carol Baldwin), Elisha Cook Jr. (Icepick), Kwan Hi Lim (Lt. Tanaka)
Guest Stars
Michael Constantine (Judge Hannibal Kearns), Pat Li (Grace Chang), Jeremy Gosch (Young Rick), William Watson (Donald Hayes)
Episode Brief
While Rick is planning a surprise birthday bash at the King Kamehameha Club for Icepick, Carol asks Magnum to observe a court case she is presenting before Judge Kearns, who drops the case on a simple technicality. She considers the Judge to be her mentor, but is concerned that of late he has been acting uncharacteristically, and suspects him of taking bribes to dismiss cases. She asks Thomas to help her hopefully disprove her worries. But the investigation turns up evidence that implicates Icepick, who in turn faces having to implicate the woman he was in love with decades earlier. Carol, Rick and Icepick must all face up to the weaknesses and mortality of their mentors.
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1 This is the sixth "Carol-centric" episode of the series, following "No More Mr. Nice Guy" (4.13), "Blind Justice" (5.7), "Compulsion" (5.14), "The Man From Marseilles" (5.20), and "A Pretty Good Dancing Chicken" (5.22). Rick and Icepick also receive a lot of screen time, as well.

2 The opening scene is a flashback to Rick's childhood in Chicago circa 1958 (with narration). 12-year-old Rick and 5-year-old sister Wendy (seen in "Distant Relative") are attending the funeral of their mom and dad who were killed in an automobile accident on January 23rd. Icepick, whose real name is again identified as Francis Hofstetler, is also seen at the funeral. He offers his condolences to Rick and gives him some cash. Rick later says that Icepick would see him and his sister every birthday, Easter and Christmas. When he was 14, Icepick "pulled some strings" to get him into military school.

3 The title of this episode is taken from a poem by William Cullen Bryant called "The Death of the Flowers". It is quoted by Higgins and Grace Chang at the florist shop - "The south wind searches for the flowers whose fragrance late he bore, And sighs to find them in the wood and by the stream no more". English poet Thomas Gray's 1751 poem "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" is also quoted by Higgins and Grace - "Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, And waste its sweetness on the desert air".

4 Icepick's oceanfront house is seen for the first time. We will see it again in "The People vs. Orville Wright".

5 The historic Ali'iolani Hale building and Kamehameha Statue are seen in a brief establishing shot. The building is the current home of the Hawaii State Supreme Court.

6 The KKC "Anuenue Room" (or "Rainbow Room") set is used for several scenes. This rarely used "Party Room" was previously seen in "I Witness" (4.21), "The Kona Winds" (6.4) and "A Little Bit of Luck, A Little Bit of Grief" (6.20).

7 Magnum's high school football coach, and mentor, was a man named Warren McKenzie Grant, nicknamed "General Grant". In a photo album, Tidewater High School's nickname is shown as "The Lancers".

8 The surprise birthday party sign at the "Rainbow Room" spells Francis Hofstetler's nickname as "Icepick", not "Ice Pick".

9 Magnum is seen reading Raymond Chandler's The Simple Art of Murder. He's mentioned Chandler several times in the past, but this is first time we see him reading one of his books.

10 The scenes with Magnum and Carol in the Ferrari observating Judge Hannibal Kearns were filmed at the Hawaii Kai Shopping Center in Hawaii Kai. (Noted by Bernd-Christian Schulze)

11 Magnum wears the "Get Wet!" cap for the fourth and final time. It's hard to make out, but just below "Get Wet!", in small letters, are the words "Downing Hawaii". Get Wet is the name of a water sports store in Kaneohe and "Downing" is the last name of the owners. Patriarch George Downing was an early pioneer in big wave surfing (and board making) during the late '40s and '50s, and he created/runs the annual Quiksilver Eddie Aikau Memorial surfing event held at Waimea Bay. Son Keone Downing was also a top surfer (and a strong outrigger canoe paddle racer, winning five Molokai to Oahu races in the '80s) and today still designs surfboards and surfing logos.
Rick: It was Jan. 23rd, 1958. I was 12 years old and my kid sister Wendy was 5. My mom and dad had just been killed in an automobile accident. My aunts and uncles were arguing about who would have to take care of Wendy and me. Well, any other kid probably would have been scared, but I wasn't. I knew mom and dad would have been happy wherever they were, as long as they were together. I knew Wendy and I would be ok wherever we were, as long as we were together. But the one thing I couldn't stop thinking about is how if I was somebody I could have afforded to get some flowers for the funeral. Boy, I wanted to get them some flowers. (Narration)

Carol: This was not the kind of man who would take his own life.
Tanaka: Look around you, the photo album, the empty bottle of whiskey, the nickel-plated .38 with only his fingerprints on it, no forced entry...
Magnum: No suicide note.
Tanaka: Even so, this is a classic case of suicide.
Magnum: Maybe, or maybe someone wants us to think it is.
Tanaka: You told me yourself you thought he was taking payoffs. Looks to me like he spent the night going through his scrapbook of achievements and realized he couldn't live with the scandal of being caught with his hands in the cookie jar.
1 At the Flower Mart, Carol says to Magnum, "What's he doing at the Flower Mart", and Magnum says, "Probably taking a break from his all-day crime spree". During both of these quotes, their lips are not moving. (Noted by Mark Seaman)

2 At 38:45, the portrait photo lying on Icepick's desk contains only one person, but when Icepick is holding it in his hands it suddenly contains two people. (Noted by Bernd-Christian Schulze)

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