Reporter John David Knight (David Palmer) is doing a series of exposÚs on sleazy real estate developer Frank Devlin (Allan Miller). Knight receives a phone call at his hotel wondering if he wants to buy more information on Devlin -- the call is being made by two punks in Devlin's employ, Reed (Bob Golden) and Otis (John Grazziano). They tell him to meet at Napoleon's Bar. When Knight shows up there later, the phone rings. It is Devlin, who tells Reed "make it work and make it clean." When Knight goes to the phone, Devlin taunts him. Reed and Otis leave. When Knight hangs up the phone, a bomb goes off, killing him and blowing up much of the bar.
McGarrett arrives as the police investigate. There were no witnesses, due to the fact the bar was supposed to actually open two hours later. Duke at Knight's hotel reports the reporter's room has been torn apart. McGarrett wants a list of Knight's phone calls, and to determine if the reporter had a safety deposit box. McGarrett says "Knight was a pro -- a damn good reporter." Danno reads an article from that morning's paper by Knight which accuses Devlin of being a crook. McGarrett suspects that the cunning Devlin ordered the hit.
Richard Royce (James Wainwright), a former astronaut who walked on the moon, is acting as a salesman for Devlin's Moonstone development, a "planned new community." Royce is dressed up in an astronaut costume, and shakes hands with people who come to attend Devlin's sales pitch. Danno describes the whole thing as "a circus." McGarrett says, "Let's go and have a talk with the ringmaster." McGarrett grills Devlin, who admits he was "not heartbroken" by Knight's murder, but says he didn't do it. McGarrett threatens Devlin, saying "you're going to wish you never saw Hawaii."
Devlin meets with Reed, who says that the cops tore Knight's room apart.
Royce is shown with his much younger girl friend, Chris Harmon (Christina Hart). Emerging from the shower, she gives him a shirt which he says "could shock a guy into male menopause."
At the Five-O office, McGarrett receives a list of phone calls that Knight made, including some to Royce. Knight wrote a total of twelve feature articles on Royce, but Royce apparently didn't want to talk about his relationship with Devlin. McGarrett later meets with Royce, who has fond memories of Hawaii, where he trained on Mauna Loa for his moonwalk. Royce says that his "reputation won't pay the rent." McGarrett tells Royce "heroes live as long as people respect them."
McGarrett wants to get information on Royce from NASA as well as Royce's girlfriend Chris. McGarrett is sure that Knight was after Royce to get information on Devlin.
Royce goes horseback riding with Mr. Ramos (Kwan Hi Lim), an elderly landowner, with the intention of getting him to sell his land to Devlin, but instead develops a fondness for the old man.
McGarrett meets with Stan Richmond (Bob Sevey), another astronaut who flew the lunar module while Royce was setting foot on the moon. Richmond says that "Royce got all the glory" by pulling rank to get on the moon. He thinks Royce is cheap for doing his commercial endorsements, saying that Royce "was a celebrity, but couldn't cut it." Richmond feels sorry for Royce who was married and has a couple of sons.
Devlin tells Reed to have a talk with Ramos. Meanwhile, Royce takes Chris to Ramos's ranch for more horseback riding. He shows her the magnificent scenery.
From Royce's former booking agent, Five-O learns that Royce just missed hitting it big. His ex-wife has remarried, and is currently living in Houston. Investigation shows that stockholders in Moonstone are participants in various dummy companies that Devlin is connected with.
Royce and his girlfriend continue to ride around the ranch. Royce says he "could really live in a place like this." He says he has no intention of convincing Ramos to sell to Devlin, but instead is hoping the old man can lease him a place where he can live.
Devlin's two goons approach old man Ramos, who says that he doesn't want to sell. They suggest that his children (who live in San Francisco) might see things a bit differently.
As Royce and his girlfriend are kissing, they see a horse galloping by quickly, dragging Ramos on the ground. When Ramos breaks free from the horse, Royce and Chris rush up to find that the old man is dead. A car is seen driving away.
Old man Ramos died of a skull fracture inflicted before he hit the ground. McGarrett questions both Royce and Chris as to what they saw. Royce doesn't mention the car.
Five-O hasn't yet received any information on Chris -- McGarrett says she "looks young enough to be his [Royce's] daughter."
Royce visits Devlin, demanding to know why the old man was killed. When Devlin tells him to quit asking questions and be happy he has a job, Royce says that he "wants a promotion" since he recognized the car fleeing Ramos's ranch. Royce says that Knight tried to buy him, that's why Devlin had Knight killed. Royce tells Devlin, "If I'm a partner to murder, I want more money." After Royce leaves Devlin's, he pulls a tape recorder out of his pocket -- he taped the entire conversation. He later shows the tape to Chris. He vacillates as to what to do with the tape. He wants to make "Devlin really pay" by blackmailing him. Chris says he should make a copy of the tape, sell the original to Devlin, then the two of them should leave the islands and he should later send the copy of the tape to McGarrett.
Five-O finds out that Chris has a record going back five years. When McGarrett confronts Royce with this information, saying that she is using him, Royce says "Who the hell isn't using me?" Considering Royce was in the top of his class at Annapolis, McGarrett tells Royce that he is "pathetic." McGarrett tells Royce that before she met him, Chris was arrested for trying to blackmail a state senator in Arizona. Devlin paid her bail.
Chris tells Devlin about the tape. She says that she will "keep him in line," that he won't go to McGarrett.
At the Five-O office, McGarrett says that Royce is about to make a move -- he's "right on the edge."
As Chris comes home to their apartment, Royce grabs her off the street and tells her of his conversation with McGarrett. She admits she was Devlin's girl. Royce suspects someone is waiting for him in the apartment, after spotting the car from Ramos' across the street. Chris lays into Royce, calling him "a freak", asking "Did you think I could love a joke? You're always going to be somebody's robot ... you're nothing." She says that she has been hustling since she was 13 years old, that people will trust the crooked Devlin because Royce says that Devlin is "A-OK."
When Chris arrives at the apartment, Otis and Reed are waiting. When they ask her where Royce is, she says she doesn't know.
Chin Ho speaks to Ramos' children who report that they had a cash offer to buy the ranch.
Royce stops in a park to reflect on his life and recent events. He goes to Devlin's place. Meanwhile, McGarrett visits Chris who tells about the tape, and says that Royce wants to get Devlin. At Devlin's, Royce shows the tape, saying "I want my self-respect." He tells Devlin to come with him, but Reed and Otis pull their guns. Royce punches them both out. The cops are now outside. Royce throws Devlin in the swimming pool and is about to shoot him when McGarrett appears and makes an impassioned speech -- "Think of the man you were ten years ago." Royce finally gives McGarrett both the gun and the tape and Devlin is booked.