#H50 Review – 7.22 Waimaka ‘Ele’ele (Black Tears)

Courtesy of @Surfbelle2Happy Easter my friends!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.  As I suspected, the holiday pretty much ate up my entire weekend, hence why this review is so incredibly late.  Of course, by this time, I’m sure I’m not going to be saying anything that hasn’t already been said, but this episode was so great there was no way I could let it pass without a review.

Now that’s more like it!  After a disappointing offering last week, this week’s H50 was the kind of episode I expect from my show.  Especially one that has a healthy dose of the McGarrett family legacy thrown in.  And, even though I wasn’t 100% pleased with everything, I absolutely loved this one a lot.  A hell of a lot more than I did last week.

As usual, I’m not going to go into a play by play of episode but going to hit the highlights of what made this episode so great.

Hawaii:  I just love it whenever H50 centers a story around the mythology and/or history that Hawaii has in abundance.  I especially love it when we have any story that revolves around Pearl Harbor because not only is it part of Hawaii’s history, it is part of the McGarrett family history.  These types of stories always hit very close to home for Steve and because of that usually have material that Alex can really sink his teeth into.  I adore any reason to give Alex great material that really shows off his acting, as well as physical, abilities.

COTW:    Like every episode, our crime of the week gets laid out for us before the wave.   This week’s set-up was particularly heartbreaking.  It started out as such a sweet scene.  A kindly grandfather (played by the wonderful Hal Holbrook) treating his heartbroken granddaughter to ice cream because she’s upset about a recent breakup.  He’s absolutely right, of course.  Ice cream really does make everything better!

I loved how he said her ex was an idiot for breaking up with her.  It’s obvious these two have a very special, loving relationship.  The warmth of this scene brutally ends when the car they are riding in is T-boned by another vehicle and this sweet old man, who’s survived a World War, two bouts of cancer and is one of the last remining survivors of Pearl Harbor is killed.

It’s no great surprise this crime would hit particularly close for Steve.  Leonard Patterson was retired Navy, a Pearl Harbor survivor and, not only that, but a sailor on the USS Arizona as well. Of course, this case will be more than personal for Steve.  We all know about his grandfather, the man whose name he bears, who died on the Arizona on that faithful day in 1941.  The look on his face as he was talking to Leonard’s granddaughter Amanda spoke volumes.  When Steve McGarrett looks at you like that and says he’s gonna find out who did this…. you better damn well believe it!

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Since this is H50, it’s not unusual that our crime of the week be a convoluted affair that didn’t turn out to be what we originally thought.  But usually our victim has something to do with the actual crime.  Not this time, as it turns out, the death of Mr. Patterson isn’t really the crime of the week.  That poor wonderful man was simply collateral damage of the real crime, as his car was hit by fleeing bank thieves.

Now, not only is Steve determined to find the men who killed Mr. Patterson he’s also furious because the team has realized the thieves are ex-military contractors using their high level of training to hit military credit unions.  Another interesting twist was the reason for the thefts.  A very personal one.

When one of their comrades, Mason Warren, was killed by an IED in Afghanistan, the rest of the team went on a vendetta and murdered several Afghani citizens, which caused the military to revoke their contract.  Now they are robbing military credit unions not only as retribution for losing their contract but to help their fallen team mate’s widow, who’s on the verge of losing her house to the very same credit unions.

Their originally noble goal to help this woman and her son is completely overshadowed by not only their crimes but by their brutality and their total disregard for any collateral damage.  They never even hesitated to carjack another vehicle after the crash that killed Mr. Patterson.  They never even looked back to see the destruction they’d caused.

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Memories of Pearl Harbor:  It’s always something special when we are fortunate enough to have an actor of Hal Holbrook’s stature on our show.  It really is a shame his character had to die so quickly in the story.  But I am thrilled they could incorporate more of his talents in the episode via the videotaped interview Petty Officer Patterson gave for the documentary honoring the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor.  Mr. Holbrook has such a wonderfully distinctive voice and listening to him reminded me of all the stories my dad used to tell me about that time in history.  I’ve always been fascinated by it.

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Of course, I didn’t have a personal interest in those stories like Steve does.  Alex did such a great job of expressing all the subtle emotions Steve was feeling.  First from listening to Patterson’s recollections of the attack and how he survived and then from Lieutenant Michael Murphy who recounted the bravery and heroism of Steve’s grandfather.  As Murphy’s voice broke on his words “I will never forget him.. not for as long as I live”, you could literally see every emotion on Steve’s face.

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Steve has always been proud of his grandfather.  The details never mattered.  But hearing them now, you could see the world of pride just brimming in Steve’s eyes.  But, not just pride.  Also a deep sadness for not only the loss of this great man but the opportunity for Steve to know him.  As always, it was beautifully played by Alex. Once again, pages and pages of dialog delivered with just his eyes and facial expressions!

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Explosions, gun fights and hand to hand:  On a show known for its movie quality stunts and fights, this episode was one of the best.  Right from the first moments the action took my breath away.  The car crash that killed Mr. Patterson made me jump out of my skin.  I knew it was coming but I never expected it to be so violent and look so damn real.  I don’t know why it surprised me because, after all, I’ve been watching this show for years and they never do these things half-way but it honestly made me jump.

That ambush set up by the guy named Ryder in his house was something else too.  When the lights went out and the green night-vision light turned on I was thinking the worst.  I’m beginning to think the cops that accompany Five-0 on these raids should all be wearing red shirts, poor guys.  That was a massive amount of gunfire going on there.

And as if that wasn’t enough they added that massive explosion which sent Steve flying off a roof and then, finally, the mother of all fights to bring the crime of the week to an end.  Honestly, Steve really took a beating in this episode.  He (along with the rest of the team) almost got blow up, he did get blown off a roof, got shot (thank God for Kevlar) and almost died in one of the best fight scenes I’ve seen since Steve and WoFat’s epic last battle.

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I was literally holding my breath when Lee Campbell pulled that plastic over Steve’s face.  When Steve was finally able to get lose, and flipped Campbell onto that rebar my heart stopped.  I know we watch people die on this show all the time but that finish was astounding as was the way Steve continued to look into Campbell’s eyes as he died.  An utterly stunned look on his bloodied and exhausted face as he realized just how close he came to losing this fight.

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Alex was incredible throughout this entire episode.  We’ve already talked about his subtle reactions while watching the footage of his grandfather’s heroism but there was also that great scene between Steve and Campbell (played by Dylan Bruno) in the diner.  These two men are cut from the same cloth.  Both highly trained, committed to the mission, do anything for and anything to protect their men.  Watching them interact across the table from each other, from opposite sides of the law and in the hands of these two incredible actors, this was a study in perfection.

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Detective Danny:  I absolutely adored that we finally got to see Danny being an actual detective again.  Those of us who love Danny never waver in our belief that he is a fantastic detective.  The mere fact that Steve chose him to be his partner about a half a millisecond after he met him in the garage at Casa McG says all you really need to know.  To doubt it is to doubt Steve’s competence as a leader, which is unthinkable.

The scene between Danny and Warren’s widow really showed Danny’s ability to sit with a witness or grieving family member and walk the delicate balance beam between having to ask the hard questions while still maintaining a level of compassion for the grief the person is feeling.  Danny is one of the best at this.

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Add to that it was Danny who put together the evidence to bring to Steve’s attention that not only did Campbell and his men go on their vendetta for Warren’s death but it is for Warren’s widow they are stealing the money.  It was also Danny who, in the end, went to the credit union manager and worked out a deal so Warren’s widow wouldn’t lose her house.  It’s been awhile since we’ve gotten to see Danny in this light. It was wonderful to see.

Adam and the found bone:  Like last week, we had another episode with a secondary story line.  But this week, I actually enjoyed it.  I think the major reason why having a secondary story didn’t bother me as much is because it involved Adam and Jerry and didn’t pull one of the main members of the team off the primary case.

First off, I adored the first scene between Kono and Adam.  It’s so sweet how she’s bringing him lunch to make sure he’s comfortable with his new job which isn’t the type of work anyone would have ever imaged he’d be doing.  But he’s happy and she’s happy for him and they are simply adorable together.  It reminds me of when my husband and I were first together and I used to visit him at a gas station where he worked while in school.  I used to bring him dinner because he wasn’t allowed to leave to eat.  It was unnecessary and silly but it’s a memory we still talk about to this day.  He was always so appreciative every time I showed up!

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I’ve always liked Adam and I’ve always felt he’s a really good guy and this story highlighted that.  He’s really been struggling to find work after getting out of prison and he finally found a job that he likes, that makes him feel like he’s contributing again.  The fact he was willing to risk that to do the right thing shows that he really is a good guy.

It would have been so easy to just do what his boss said and let it go after he unearthed a bone while digging.  The boss makes a legitimate point.  It could be that some guy decided to bury his dog decades ago.  But Adam’s knows what it means if it turns out the construction site is an actual burial ground.  He also knows that if he’s wrong it’s not only his job but shutting down the site to investigate would also impact the jobs of everyone on the job.

So, with Jerry’s help, he decides to investigate on his own.  I know I’m not the only one who knew, the moment we saw Adam jumping that fence, he was going to be found out and fired.

When Jerry confirms the area was never used as a burial ground they’re able to deduce that the realtor, who originally owned the property and had a wife who went missing, may have killed her and buried her body in the foundation of the building.  It was very satisfying when the same cameras which recorded Adam and resulted in his being fired, also caught the murderer trying to move the body.

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A few things that could have been better:

  •  I have always liked it when Jerry and Adam are in scenes together. Adam seems to get such a kick out of Jerry.  It’s not the first-time Adam has gone to Jerry for a favor.  But this time that favor meant keeping a secret from Kono.  Worse, after Adam was fired from his job, it meant an out and out lie.  I really am tired of pretty much every important person in the lives of our team lying to them.  I don’t understand why we always have to go there when the truth isn’t all that hard.  At least Adam did it for a good cause, or what he thought was a good cause but I don’t see how telling Kono the truth would have changed the outcome one bit.
  • When the team figures it out where the last heist is going to be, they all gear up for the take down (which was awesome to watch, by the way). The bad guys are cut off trying to make their escape and we’re treated to one awesome gun fight.  The only problem with it, is it went on too long.  I was sitting there thinking, “that’s a hell of a lot of fire power…maybe you should actually hit someone soon?”
  • As I said before, Steve took a lot of hurt in this episode. I love me some Steve whump as much as the next gal but this was a bit much.  That gunshot to the chest scared the shit out of me.  But the things that bothered me the most was the complete lack of “Ohana” concern after Steve was hurt.

First after the explosion that basically propelled him off that roof and then when he was shot at close range.  Danny’s sad/exasperated head shake and Lou’s off-hand remark at being “superman” aside.

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But especially after that monumental fight at the end.  I realize the rest of the team were still behind in the middle of a gun fight but by the time Steve was laying on the ground, bloody and exhausted, the gunfight was over.  I fully expected the team, or at last Danny, who’s always supposed to have his back, to come in and find him.  I missed that.

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Another thing about all the hurt Steve took in this episode.  Come on guys…. you have a crackerjack makeup department on this show.  Steve took one hell of a beating in that final fight.  The blood was pouring from his mouth and his nose.  And all we saw was a tiny little mark on his face when he was back at HQ?  And that shot to the Kevlar?  Yeah, he was acting like it hurt for about a minute after it first happened but after that…nothing?  Not cool guys!

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But the ending of the episode made up for any disappointment I may have had about the lack of that Ohana moment.  Like I said before, anytime we get the chance to delve into the McGarrett family history is a real treat.  I also always love when Steve pulls out the old trunks, full of memories and moments he never really lived.  You can literally feel the love and loss seeping out of him.

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And, while Leonard Patterson is being laid to rest, Steve, in his pressed Dressed Whites, stands at the bow of the USS Missouri paying tribute to his memory while gazing at the Arizona memorial.

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The exact same spot where we saw Steve for the very first time in the Pilot and the exact same spot where Steve and David Toriyama paid tribute to Steve’s grandfather at the end of the Pearl Harbor episode.  Once again, Steve is drawn to the one place, more than any other, where he can feel his grandfather’s presence.  It was an absolutely beautiful ending.

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Well, there you have it my friends.  An almost perfect episode of H50 as you’ll ever get!  I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did. Unfortunately, there’s no new episode next week so I’ll be seeing you in two weeks.  Have a great couple of weeks my friends!  Aloha. Malama Pono.

All screen caps are mine unless otherwise noted.

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#H50 Review – 7.21 Ua Malo’o Ka Wai (The Water is Dried Up)

Courtesy of @Surfbelle2Hello my friends.  I am so sorry this review is so late this week.  You see, Mother Nature decided to give us an actual beautiful weekend and I just couldn’t bear to spend any more time indoors than I possibly had to.  Yard work, setting up the deck, sitting and soaking up the sun… ahhhhhh Summer (well, almost) I missed you.

There was also the fact that I was finding it a bit hard to find the enthusiasm to tear myself away from the sunshine in order to write.  You guys know me, if it’s Hawaii Five-0, I’m always going to love it.  But there are times, there are episodes, that just don’t quite make it into the “great” category.  I’m afraid this one is one of them.

Let’s start with the fact that we were once again treated to an episode split into two separate stories.  I have said this before, of course, but I always prefer when the entire team is working on one case but more times than not, these split episodes are the norm.

I did enjoy this episode but, honestly, it’s not going to go down as a favorite.  I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if it hadn’t been a split episode.  I don’t know why they decided to do it this way because while I really enjoyed Lou and Will in Chicago, the amount of time taken away from the main story really diminished it, in my opinion.

Anyway, let’s get into the review and I look forward to hearing all your varying opinions in the comments section.

Lou and Will in Chicago:  I admit, I’m torn over this half of the episode.  When I first saw the synopsis, I was worried that the Chicago portion would be a fluff piece and take valuable time away from the main “team in danger” story. Well, I was kind of right. It did take a lot of time from the main story but it definitely wasn’t fluff.

It’s not a huge surprise that Lou got the coldest of shoulders when he returned to Chicago to testify against his ex-partner Clay Maxwell.  I’m surprised Lou was so shocked.  The first time he went back (5.21 – Ua Helele’i Ka Hoku – Fallen Star) he was met by the blue line of the CPD’s “cone of silence”.  He told Steve “these are guys I worked with side by side for years, man, now they’re all treating me like I’m Internal Affairs”.  I can’t understand why he thought he could just go back, walk into his old haunts, places he once enjoyed with those same guys, and expect things to be as they once were.

Of course, the extent of the animosity coming from pretty much everyone was crushing.  I mean, when the guy who owns the pizza joint is telling you his restaurant isn’t a place you should be, that’s bad.

Just notice the look on the face of the officer sent to keep an eye on Lou as he makes his way around Chicago.  This young man, who has never met Lou, who is going strictly on what he hears or is told at the precinct, looks at Lou with pure loathing.  That fact that his Captain sent him to look out for Lou says that maybe the Captain has a modicum of understanding for why Lou has taken the stand he has, but not all that much.  He did send this officer, who looks young enough to be a rookie. Probably because none of the seasoned officers wanted the assignment.

This story would have been better suited as the second half of a different episode.  An episode that wasn’t shown to be (in the first real promo we’ve gotten in weeks) and hyped as one where our team was in “mortal” danger. The amount of time this story took could have been better utilized in the main story.

What did this story give us, really?  What did we learn that we didn’t know before?  That Lou is a great father?  Nope…knew that already.  That Lou is a stand-up guy?  Yeah…knew that already too.  That the CPD might be pissed that he not only ratted out a fellow cop but literally went way out of line by destroyed the man’s house trying to find evidence?  Yup… knew that too.

So, what was the purpose of this storyline?  And why now?  It seems to me that, for whatever reason, the writers didn’t think Lou was a good fit for the main story so rather than just have Lou off in Chicago testifying, they came up with something for him to actually do.  Digging up the Clay Maxwell story gave them an excuse for Lou to be away from the team in their hour of need.  But, really, it wasn’t necessary because we’ve had Danny off testifying in Jersey already, not to mention how many times he’s gone home to visit his family.  If they didn’t want Lou traipsing around in the jungle with the rest of the team, they really didn’t have to have an entirely separate story for him. And that time could have been used to make the main story much better.

Having said all that, I was floored by Chi McBride’s performance.  This man is one fantastic actor.  His ability to transition between light hearted to dramatic, from laughter to heartbreak is incredible.  His scenes with Will were wonderful and the way he handled that young cop was actually scary.  It’s a toss-up whether, in the end, he won the kid over or just scared the crap out of him.  My heart went out to Lou when he broke down after returning from court, realizing that his friends, his memories and his home in Chicago is truly gone.  It amazes me how easily Chi can turn on the tears.

So, you see, that’s why I’m torn.  On the one hand, I could have easily done without this storyline and would have preferred the extra time be added to the main story.  But, on the other hand, without it we would have missed out on this fabulous performance from Chi.  As a matter of fact, even though it was intended to be the B plot, it was actually the stronger story.

Another great cold opening:  Just like I said last week, no one does cold openings like H50. This one was no exception.  Watching that boat being thrown around in the sea I was wondering what our crime was going to be.  Maybe a ship would come along, it would look like a rescue but bad guys would gun down the poor couple instead?  So, when a ship appeared in the distance I figured, “ok, here we go”.  I never expected for the couple to climb aboard that ship only to find our crime of the week, the murder of the entire crew.  I love how this show always finds ways to surprise me.

Just another day in the jungle:  Ok… you know I love this show.  You know I love it when our guys get into hot water and find a great way to get themselves out.  There was so much potential in this storyline and I’m sorry to say, it fell short.  Maybe it’s because Chi’s performance was so powerful and was intended to be the B plot, I expected the A plot to be even more powerful.  I was disappointed it didn’t live up to the tag line CBS provided… “McGarrett and Five-0 are captured and face certain death”.  The potential was surly there.  Again, maybe if it had been the sole storyline it could have been expanded and been much more satisfying.

Ok…so the last thing our murdered seamen on the cutter did was report a suspicious trawler entering U.S. waters. Since they reported the cutter as Japanese, Five-0 goes with the assumption that it may be Yakuza.  There supposition is confirmed when ballistics come back and the bullets are linked to the Shioma family, headed Michelle Shioma.  In the promo, they showed the scene where Shioma says “you look like you’ve seen a ghost” so I assumed that was going to be the first time we’d see her, the “ghost” remark suggesting that the first time Five-0 lays eyes on her it would be totally unexpected.  I figured they’d confirm the killers were Yakuza but that’s all, at that point.  I was a bit surprised they IDed Shioma so early.

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When Jerry tracks the trawler to Lānaʻi, the team heads off to try to locate Shioma’s base camp.  Jerry stays behind to do what he does best, keep an electronic eye on their every move and an ear for their every word because Steve has made the decision to go in without backup from HPD.  Well, as Danny has been saying for seven years, not a smart idea, babe!

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Even though I do understand his reasoning, if he’s concerned about a mole in HPD, it’s not like they haven’t dealt with Shioma before.  There is no way in hell she’s going to be anywhere without a small army at her disposal.  Going in, only the four of them and with only Jerry knowing where they were, wasn’t Steve’s best decision.  And speaking of the possibility of a HPD mole; Steve should know better than anyone else there is one cop on the force they are positive they can always trust.  More on that later.

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Once the team gets onto Lānaʻi, they come across a bunch of dead bodies, “gutted” bodies, hanging from the trees.  They are so taken back by this find, they get waylaid by a gang of Yakuza henchmen.  For some reason, after cutting down the bodies, they have the team, arms tied behind their backs, dragging the bodies through the jungle.  At this point I’m getting a bit concerned for our team, added to what we saw in the promo, I’m getting both very worried and very excited about what’s to come.  Unfortunately, I really didn’t need to worry much.

Our team gets thrown into a cage where it’s discovered that picking locks isn’t a skill they teach in SEAL school.  That seemed a bit strange to me since I clearly remember Steve picking the lock on the door to the Governor’s mansion way back in Season 1.  Of course, he had a lock pick set with him on that occasion.

Locked in the cage with no way out, Steve decides to have a little conversation with the head bad guy who informs him that Michelle Shioma is dead. As a matter of fact, her body is one of the bodies from the trees.  When Steve tries to bribe the guy with the money they confiscated from Shioma, the lady herself arrives to inform her minions that Steve is lying to them.

Ok, a couple of questions here:

1) Who were these people who were gutted and strung up in the trees?  Did we ever find out?  I guess the purpose was to ratchet up the “fear factor”. Ohhhh these are bad men, look what they did!  I’m sorry to say…. didn’t work.

2) So then, what was the purpose of having the team dragging the bodies?  According to Neolani, they’d been there for at least six months.  Why cut them down now? Seemed rather pointless to me.  They were preparing to leave the island anyway, why not just leave the bodies where they were?  It’s not Lānaʻi is so densely populated someone would stumble upon them.  They’d already been there six months undiscovered.

And 3) What was the point of lying to Steve about Shioma being dead? I’m assuming they weren’t intending to let Five-0 off Lānaʻi alive, or at least, they were just going lock them in that cage, leave and let them rot like the hanging corpses.  So, what was the point of the lie?  To throw them off the idea of trying to find her? No point in that, if they’re intending to kill them anyway.  So the writers could use that “ghost” line?  That could have been accomplished just by not IDing her at HQ so soon.

I’m surprised Steve even fell for it.  Even without Neolani, it was clear those dead bodies had been in the trees for a very long time. Steve knew the ballistics from the murdered seamen on the cutter were linked to Shioma and they were only killed within the last couple of days. So, there is no way Shioma could have been dead and hanging from the trees for months.

Of course, it’s entirely possible that just because the guns used in the murder tie back to the Shioma family, it doesn’t mean Michelle was actually on that cutter.  So I guess I’ll give them the benefit of a little doubt.  But it would be kind of dumb for the writers to go through the trouble of bringing back such a formidable opponent only to kill her before she’s even on the screen.  And, of course, there is also the little fact that we’d already seen her in the promo alive and well.

Anyway, Steve goes into attack mode on the Yakuza goons, gets a good beat down for his trouble but manages to snare a bullet from one of them.  This is a scene I did enjoy.  I always love watching Steve in hand to hand.  He also seems to have taken a page out of Kono’s book because he targeted not one, but two guys right in the balls.  Unfortunately, he was badly outnumbered.

Actually, he was even more outnumbered.  The entire time Steve is fighting with those guys, a whole bunch of other guys, with very large guns, are standing in the background watching, like so many tourists on a Waikiki street during filming.  What? They were so taken aback at the audacity of a prisoner taking on his captors they were stunned into immobility?  Of course, there was no chance for Steve to win that fight so I guess, like those Waikiki tourists, they just stood back to enjoy the show.

Steve gets thrown back into the cage where he uses the gunpowder in the bullet to blow off the lock.  That actually was pretty cool and I was really afraid Steve was going to get hurt, detonating that bullet by hand with a rock.  But, he’s SuperSEAL so I shouldn’t have worried.  The team escapes, manage to commandeer weapons and begin to fight their way out.  Unfortunately, they have no spare ammo and soon are all firing on empty.

While all of this is happening on Lānaʻi, Jerry is back at HQ having kittens because he’s lost all contact with the team.  Steve told Jerry to keep HPD out of this operation but Jerry is scared to death something is really wrong and the team, his friends, are in trouble.

While he’s at the ME’s office showing Neolani the pictures Steve sent him of the bodies, he takes her into his confidence and reveals his fears.  She suggests the one thing Jerry should have already known, what McGarrett should have counted on from the very beginning.  Mole or no mole in HPD, the man they can always trust is Duke Lukela because he’s “Ohana first, HPD second”.  (By the way, just as a side note, we never did find out if there is a Shioma mole in HPD).

DUKE:  I absolutely adored every moment Duke was on the screen.  From the moment he first walked into HQ and heard Jerry’s concerns, to his “let’s go get our friends”, to his appearance in the chopper during the rescue.  I think this may be the most we’ve ever seen of Duke in an episode and it was just perfect.  Of course, I simply adore Dennis Chun so the more I see of him on my screen the better I like it.

I also loved how HPD came swooping down to the rescue like so many ninjas.  I thought it was a nice touch to have HPD get Five-0 out of a jam for once.  I think we all shared Jerry’s fist pump of excitement and utter relief when everyone was finally safe.  I also got a big kick out of Jerry’s Star Trek reference.  Huge Trek fan that I am, I always love when he throws them in there.

Michelle Shioma:  I’ve loved Michelle Shioma from the first moment we met her back in Season 6 (6.21 Ka Pono Ku’oko’a – The Cost of Freedom).  It looked, at the time, like she was a formidable woman who would be the new big bad after the death of Gabriel Weincroft.  When she went into the wind at the end of Season 6, I was upset that wasn’t going to be the case.

I was more than thrilled to see her coming back for this episode.  But, after really watching the episode a second time (live Tweeting is so distracting) I can say she didn’t do much for me here.  Even when she shot one of her men for daring to hesitate to carry out an order, she didn’t evoke any fear in me.  Just like the rest of this story, there was so much unrealized potential there.  Perhaps if all the Chicago time has been available, this could have been fleshed out more.

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Even the Rendition room scene wasn’t that satisfying.  Steve was … well, Steve so he was fantastic but am I the only one who doesn’t think there’s enough maternal instinct in this woman to spend the rest of her life behind bars just to try to protect her daughters?  The entire time she sat there, she looked more bored than menacing. Oh, and by the way, just another side note here… we also didn’t hear any evidence that Shioma was behind the dirty bomb that was intended for Five-0 a few episodes ago, other than Steve saying “you came after us and you came after our families”.  There was no mention of the dirty bomb at all.

Jerry’s badge:   Three years ago, when Jerry first started moaning about wanting a badge, I didn’t think he should ever have one.  At the time, our lovable recluse lived in his mother’s basement, saw conspiracies around every turn, didn’t have a computer, didn’t trust phones and hated to leave the house.  By the time he became a special consultant to Five-0 with an office of his own, he’d somehow acquired all the computer skills required to work the Smart Table with the best of them.  These days, Jerry is an integral part of Five-0.  His fingers now fly across the Smart Table as often as Chin’s do.  Truly, an amazing transformation.

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I know, this is a huge continuity hole.  But it really doesn’t bother me.  I mean, it’s something that happens a lot in TV.  A character is written to be a one shot and because of that, their biography is very limited.  Then, lo and behold, the character really clicks with the audience and the rest of the cast as is added as a regular.  Then the limited bio becomes a liability.

It becomes necessary to “rewrite history” a bit, to make that character fit in better as a regular.  TPTB on shows trust in the intelligence of their audience to understand why this is done even though it would never happen in reality.  They trust people are smart enough to understand this is fiction and in fiction, anything can happen.  Jerry could hardly be a regular member of the team and never do anything besides hide in his mother’s basement and cringe at the sight of phones.

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Three years ago, I agreed that the thought of that basement dweller getting a Five-0 badge was ridiculous.  But now, all these years later, with all Jerry has accomplished and with all the ways he’s not only helped Five-0 with cases but, now, actually saved their lives, I have no qualms at all at his having a badge.  It doesn’t change a thing.  He’ll still dwell in his basement office.  He’ll still do all the things he does now in the same way he’s always done them.  He’s just earned the right to be an official member of the team.  He’s not going to be strapping on guns and going on raids.  I highly doubt Jerry would ever even want to touch a gun let alone fire one.  The badge is simply recognition of a job well done.

Steve and Danny at the Doctor’s office:  Hands down, this was my most favorite scene in this entire episode.  I just loved the fact that Danny went with Steve for his checkup as if he wanted to make sure, with his own eyes, that Steve was doing well with his recovery.  After all, Danny has seen all the ways Steve has not been following his transplant protocols so I’m sure he’s thinking, if something really was off, Steve might not tell him.

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Even though it was played off as light comedy, it is a valid concern.  You’ll notice Steve wasn’t going to mention the little incident with the uranium a few weeks ago.  Danny asking if there were any ill effects is something Steve should have asked but, of course, it was no big deal to him so he wasn’t going to say a thing.  It was so funny to hear the doctor tell Steve he could “slowly start normal physical activity”.  Poor man would have a stroke if he knew Steve did this about 2 minutes after he was discharged from the hospital and there was no “slowly” about it.  Danny’s giggle was priceless!

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The banter between during this scene was, as usual, perfection.  “No, I will not bend over and cough… with your cold hands.” “It’s not that kind of a test.” Oh my God! My sides were splitting! It’s also more than obvious that Alex and Scott were having a ball during this scene.  It looks like they were barely able to keep from laughing.  I hope to God there are outtakes of this scene on the DVD when it comes out!

I also really loved the look on Steve face when Danny asked the doc about “radiation poisoning”.  It was the exact same look Danny had on his face last week when Steve was rambling his entire life story to Harry.  I loved the fact that I’m not the only one who saw this.  Obviously, my friend @alohaspaceman noticed it too and made this wonderful collage.  I LOVE it!

Courtesy of @alohaspaceman

As a person who works in a doctor’s office, I know there is no rule about having a friend in the exam room with a patient as long as the patient approves.  If Steve had stood his ground and demanded that Danny not be in the room, Danny would have had to leave.  But, obviously, Steve didn’t have a problem with him being there or he wouldn’t have been there in the first place.  The idea that a Navy SEAL couldn’t stop someone from entering a room if he really didn’t want him there is ludicrous.

Steve may have huffed and puffed a bit but it’s obvious he was totally ok with Danny being there, so much so that he let him “play doctor” to make him happy.  And, again, this is not reality.  The same way as this is not a documentary of the inner workings of a real police force, it’s also not a medical documentary on proper medical office procedures.  It’s a TV show meant to be entertaining and fun.  If you want precise representation you’re watching the wrong show.  I hear there are plenty of TV stations that run real-life documentaries 24/7.

Well, there you have it.  Like I said above, this episode won’t go down as a favorite.  There was a ton of potential here but splitting it into two stories diminished the “team in danger” plot too much.  The story was much too rushed.  Captured, one good fight, escape, rescue.  All in about 20 total minutes.  We only got to see Michelle Shioma in three short bursts; when she emerged from the jungle, on the ship and in the blue room, where she only uttered three words.

But there was also plenty to love.  Really enjoyed Chi’s performance in the Chicago plot line, loved seeing so much of Duke, got the warm fuzzies watching Jerry finally get his badge and adored the Steve & Danny at the doctor’s scene. So, while this episode won’t be a favorite, it is Hawaii Five-0 and, that, as always good enough for me.

Have a wonderful week my friends.  Aloha. Malama Pono.

All screencaps are mine, unless otherwise noted.

 

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#H50 Review – 7.20 Huikau Na Makau A Ka Lawai’a (The Fishhooks of the Fishers Become Entangled)

It’s always a happy day when, after a hiatus of several weeks, we get a new H50 episode.  After two missed Fridays and three full weeks, it was a breath of fresh air to see our favorite team back on our screens.  It’s always a question of what kind of episode we’ll get after such a break.  Will it be a high octane, action packed episode filled with gun fights, car chases and explosions?  Or will it be a bit more fun and low key?

Courtesy of @Surfbelle2

There is also the fact that we’re beginning to wind down to the end of the season (I know… I hate the sound of that too!).  We should be prepared for more intense, more dramatic, action packed episodes leading up to the finale.  Add to that, the fact that our last episode was very dramatic with a highly-charged theme (sex-trafficking) and a lot of action, I was expecting this episode to be less, well, explosive, for want of a better word.

Well, maybe nothing got blown up but it was still a fantastic episode full of twists worthy of H50 and a hell of a lot of fun too.

So, what do you say, we make our way through it……

Previously on:  I often find these things annoying.  Especially when they show something that only happened a short time ago.  It wastes time, something we often have precious little of when it comes to telling the stories, or multiple stories, in an episode.  This time, though, I thought it was a necessary evil.  It’s been so long since we’ve seen Rachel and Harry Brown, it was very appropriate to use the “previously on” to reacquaint the viewers with them.

Of course, it’s not like viewers don’t know who Rachel is.  I’m not so sure we needed to see everything about her all the way back to Season 1 (1.10 Heihei – Race) and the first time we ever met her, but I understand the reasoning of trying to briefly show some of the events which have transpired in the relationship between Rachel and Danny over the years.

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As for Harry Brown…the “previously on” was much more appropriate.  Just from being on Twitter in the days leading up to the episode, I saw there were many people who didn’t remember who Harry was.  We first met Harry back in Season 5 (5.10 Wāwahi moeʻuhane – Broken Dreams), a story about a beautiful hula dancer who witnesses a murder and is killed for it.  It was a really good episode if not a particularly memorable one.  Add to that, Harry looks about 20 years older than he did just 2 years ago so it’s easy to understand why some people didn’t recognize or remember him.

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So, yeah, the “previously on” didn’t bug me as much as it sometimes does but I still think it was a bit too long with all the Rachel stuff that pretty much everyone already knew.

Opening Scene:   I’ve said this in the past more times than I can count but no one does a cold opening like H50.  Here we are watching an ordinary guy, strolling through the grocery store, picking up snacks and beer (and, ominously…duct tape) just like any guy on a Saturday afternoon.  He even puts money in the box to help homeless pets!  What a guy!  You just know this bit of normalcy isn’t going to last because something always happens before The Wave.  Personally, I was expecting a gang of thugs storming the place and this guy getting caught in the crossfire.  Or maybe, gunned down as he walked out the front door.  But I knew something was going to happen.

But, no, he strolls out to his car, not a care in the world, to put his purchases in the trunk.  Having to move the bound and trussed up hostage already in there to make room was not what I was expecting.  But, seriously, this is in broad daylight.  There was no one around that could see he had a person tied up in his trunk?  Whenever Five-0 needs surveillance, there seems to be a camera on every corner and on every store front.  No one saw this?  Must not be a very popular store… no foot traffic, I guess.

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COTW:  Both stories in this episode played well into the title of “entangled fishhooks”.  It’s like the tangled threads in my cross-stitch box.  Sometimes the threads…. the fishhooks… can be untangled and sometimes they are hopelessly knotted together and no amount of fussing can unravel them.  When that happens, it’s a matter of living with the ugly tangle and continuing to try to work out the knots or just tossing the entire thing away.

In the case of our crime this week, we start off with a story as old as cop shows.  A husband, Tom, thinking his wife, Celine, is cheating on him, hires our old friend Harry Brown to follow her and get proof.  But, Celine ends up getting kidnapped right in front of him, earning Harry a gun butt to the back of the head and a trip to Five-0 for help.

I liked this case a lot because, in true H50 fashion, it wasn’t as it originally seemed.  It wouldn’t be a H50 case if it didn’t have a twist.  A twist I didn’t see coming at the beginning but one I figured out about half way through.  I was totally taken in with Celine’s kidnapping and her fear when we saw her tied up in that basement.  I also totally bought into how she gave the kidnappers Natasha’s name when Tom refused to pay the ransom for her.  Her frightened logic being if he won’t pay for his wife, he’d pay for his mistress.

It wasn’t until she walked out of that house with the bomb vest on that I began to think something was up.  She appeared scared but clearly not as scared as she should have been.  And she was much too put together when they took that vest off.  We’ve seen scenes like these before where the victim literally crumbles to the ground in terrified relief their ordeal is over.  Celine was even calm enough to sit nicely by the car and answer questions.  I thought I knew, at that point, that she was in on the whole thing from the start.

So…here are our tangled fishhooks.  Tom was cheating on Celine with Natasha.  Celine was cheating on Tom with Colin Hanson.  Tom hires Harry to find proof so he can divorce Celine and be with Natasha.  Celine knows if Tom finds out he will divorce her and she’ll be cut off from his money for violating their prenuptial agreement.  She knows Harry is following her so she comes up with this kidnapping plot with Colin to get the money through a ransom for her.  When Tom refused to pay, (he figures these kidnappers will just handle his problem for him… what a scum bag!) Celine decides to use Natasha as a means to get the money.

This tangle of fishhooks is one that can never be unraveled and needs to just be tossed away.  Tossed away into a jail cell for Celine and Colin.  As for Tom and Natasha?  Well, Natasha now sees what a scum bag Tom really is and hopefully she gets as far away from him as she can.  But she’s not totally innocent either.  She may not be a criminal but she did have an affair with not only a married man but the husband of her friend.  No wonder they had a “falling out”.  Finding out your friend is sleeping with your husband tends to put a damper on a friendship.

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William Forsythe as Harry Brown:  His voice is like velvet and his delivery is as smooth as silk.  I just love William Forsythe.  It’s funny, just a couple of nights ago, my husband was watching the movie “The Rock” for about the 100th time and I was getting a kick out of watching Forsythe in that movie.  He was much younger, obviously, but the voice and the delivery was exactly the same.

I really liked the way Harry put the clues together and came up with the answer.  How he stood back, listening to the team hash out the clues and, head cocking side to side, brow furrowed, quietly put it all together.  Of course, regardless of what Steve said, we know Five-0 would have come to the same conclusion quickly but it was nice to see Harry come up with the final answer.

Harry added old school police work to the mix but also a touch of comedy too.  It’s not “in your face” comedy, but very subtle.  Like if you don’t pay attention you might miss it.  The facial expressions, the body language and the little remarks casually thrown into the dialog.  Like the little names he was giving to pretty much everyone.  From the moment I saw one of the sneak peeks this week, I was laughing, wondering if Harry maybe knows Tony Archer (James Caan.  2.18 Lekio – Radio).  He was calling Danny the same names Tony did.  “Muscles” and “Hairdoo”.  I also got a real laugh out of the names he had for the others too.  I think “our man with the two first names” for Chin was my favorite!

A Three-way cargument:  This scene was priceless.  We already know that Alex and Scott love these scenes because they can just riff off each other and they do it so incredibly well.  Well, Forsythe was more than up to the task as the third wheel here.  The timing was impeccable.  They all played off each other extremely well.  Three times divorced Harry giving ex-wife advise to Danny was golden.  I absolutely adored the look on his face when Steve asked Danny if Rachel and Stan had tried counseling.  “It worked for us”.  “Did you just say…us?” ROFL. I know there are those out there who are tired of carguments and, while I’ll never tire of them, I can see how some might view them as a bit passé.  This was a nice little reinvention and I loved every minute of it.

I also really enjoyed the scene in Danny’s office with Steve and Harry.  I loved how Steve condensed Danny and Rachel’s entire history into about 15 seconds of rambling facts to try to explain to Harry about Charlie.  Seems guys gossip as much as teenage girls at times.  Danny’s comfortability level was severely strained.  It was hysterical.  Danny looked like he was about to punch them both.

I do take a bit of an issue with the words “Rachel and Stan were having a break” though. I don’t remember it ever being said that Rachel and Stan were separated when she and Danny got together.  As a matter of fact, Rachel and Stan were on Maui together when Danny was poisoned with Sarin in Season 1, trying to save their marriage.  When we saw Danny and Rachel together, Rachel said that Stan was coming home from one of his business trips and they were “going to have to tell him”.  Never was it said they were separated.

Now it could just be a simple word choice on Steve’s part, a throw-away line used to keep this rambling history condensed but it should not be forgotten that Rachel cheated on Stan while they were still very much together and Danny was a willing participant in that.  They were no better than Tom and Natasha in our first story.  The fact that they are ex’s makes no difference.  The only one not at fault in that situation was Stan.

Danny and Rachel:  Ok… having said that… let’s talk about the second story of the episode.  But first, I want to separate what I’m going to say into two parts.  Part 1… Claire van der Boom and Scott Caan.  Part 2…. Danny and Rachel.

Over the years, there have been four women connected to Danny, romantically or otherwise.  Rachel, Gabby, Mindy and Melissa.  Of the four actresses who have played these parts, none had the chemistry with Scott that Claire does.  Don’t get me wrong, I have liked all the actresses a lot and the characters they played but there is something between Claire and Scott and just sizzles.  When you think about it, we can’t even call Rachel a “love interest” for Danny because, other than that one scene of them at the end of Season 1, we’ve never seen them romantically.

But it doesn’t matter what they are doing or what situation they are in, these two simply light up the screen when they’re together.  So, I am saying I’m happy to see Rachel back because I love to see Claire and Scott together again on my TV.  How I feel or don’t feel about Rachel has nothing to do with Claire.  I positively adore Claire and Scott together.

Probaby from Season 1

Now… Part 2… Danny and Rachel.  I must admit, I like this development in the Williams/Edwards family saga.  I like it because it makes sense.  Rachel and Stan’s marriage has been on shaky ground since Season 1.  As I mentioned before, they had been on Maui trying to see if they could work things out, so they were already having problems even before she and Danny had their affair.  Six years later, having somehow overcome the affair and whatever their initial problems were, they are still together.

But, Danny didn’t need to ask Steve if he thinks Charlie is an issue.  That’s a no-brainer.  As devastated as Danny was to learn that Charlie was his son, that he’d missed the first three years of his life, Stan had to be equally, if not even more devastated to find out that his son, the son he’s loved and raised for three years belongs to another man.  In a marriage that was already on shaky ground, that had to be the death knell.  I’m amazed they’ve stayed together as long as they did.

So yes, this development makes sense to me.  Stan has pretty much been shit on for seven years, through no fault of his own.  All he ever did was fall in love and marry the woman he loved, try to provide for his family, treat Gracie as his own, take a bullet to protect her, and tried his best to keep a dying marriage alive for the sake of children that are not even his.  That the time has come where he just can’t do it anymore and has decided the marriage is over is more than logical.

Then there is Rachel.  Stan told Danny he thinks Rachel is still in love with him.  I don’t know about that.  I sometimes wonder about Rachel’s ability to be her own woman.  I mean, it seems she has a very difficult time with being alone.  She and Danny broke up, she immediately moved on to Stan.  She and Stan were having problems, she immediately moved back to Danny.  When Danny failed to show up at the airport to go back to Jersey with her, she immediately returned to Stan.  These men are her safety net.  But now one half of that net is leaving for good.  It’s her MO to immediately reach for the other half.  Stan may see that as love. I see it as a desperate person who is terrified to be alone.

And just because Rachel may reach for the safety net she feels Danny provides, that doesn’t mean Danny will provide it, at least not in the way she may or may not expect. But there will always be love between them.  They share history.  They share children.  But it takes more than love to make a relationship work. It also takes understanding, commitment and most importantly, trust.  I’m sorry to say but Rachel destroyed that.

I never thought Rachel was a bitch for moving to Hawaii and taking Gracie away from Jersey.  Marriages break up all the time and people remarry.  It’s not uncommon for new jobs to take loved ones far away from home and family.  Life just happens.  In some cases, a parent must be content with seeing their children over summer or Christmas holidays and that’s it.  Danny was lucky enough to have the type of job where he could relocate to be near Grace.  Up to that point I have no issue with Rachel.  Even when she attempted to take Gracie away again, I gave her the benefit of the doubt, chalking it up to over protectiveness and another of Stan’s job opportunities.  But, that’s where my meager tolerance ends.

Of course, Charlie is the issue between Rachel and Stan because he’s the huge issue between Rachel and Danny too.  Even more so, in my opinion.  Stan always thought Charlie was his.  Finding out otherwise was devastating.  But Rachel put Danny through the wringer.  First telling him the baby was his and giving him the hope of getting his family back.  Then telling him the baby wasn’t his at all and she was staying with Stan.  She called Danny when she went into labor and allowed him to watch her deliver his son.  Danny even went so far as to take a picture of the newborn to send to Stan because “no father should miss this”.  She let three years go by before she told the truth, three years of Danny seeing Charlie every time he was at Rachel’s house to pick up Grace.  And after all that time, it was only because Charlie got sick that she came clean.  If that hadn’t happened, she would have gone her entire life letting two men and a little boy live a lie.  I can give some leeway on the rest but that is 100% unacceptable.

So, the breakup of the Edwards marriage makes logical sense but any rekindling of old fires between Danny and Rachel, in my opinion,  does not.  There is no denying there is still love between them and I have no problem with Danny being there for Rachel if she needs him.  I also have no problem with them being warm and affectionate friends and good parents to their children.  But I can’t see it ever being more than that.

I didn’t see anything romantic between them here.  The fact that Rachel held Danny’s hand doesn’t mean they are on the road to reconciliation.  It means she was upset, had to do something that was extremely difficult to do, he was there for her, and she was thankful for his support.  That’s all I saw in those scenes.

Of course, TPTB may decide to get these two back together. They can do whatever they want, after all.  But I think this episode showed their relationship moving in a different direction.  Away from the animosity, away from the pain of the past, the lies eventually forgiven but never to be forgotten.  The beginning of a mature relationship that puts all the events of their past, the happy and the hurtful, into proper perspective so they can forge ahead into a friendly partnership that benefits their children.  Friends….without benefits!  Because it’s the kids they should be focusing on now.  This is the second time Grace will have to live through a divorce.  And little Charlie’s world must be reeling.  How on earth is his little mind supposed to process this on top of everything else?

But this bundle of tangled fishhooks should be saved and not thrown away.  It may take a very long time to unravel the hard feelings, the bad memories and the lies but these two will work through it and using the connection they will always have, form an ongoing friendship that will benefit them all, especially their children.  And since I don’t really think Claire is coming back to the show on a regular recurring basis, it would be easy for Danny and Rachel to co-parent their kids, to have Danny mention Rachel from time to time and we not really see her.  It’s actually exactly how it’s been all this time she’s been with Stan.

A few words about Danny: I know, I’ve just said a hell of a lot about Rachel and Danny above but I just wanted to add a few words just about Danny.  This episode highlighted everything I love about Danny.  His interactions with Steve and Harry were both heartfelt and funny.  The conversations in the car and in his office showing Scott’s ability to shift between drama and comedy flawlessly.  (Kudos to Alex and Forsythe here too, they were wonderful in these scenes as well).

But it’s Danny’s level of compassion for Rachel and Stan’s situation I find incredible.  After all they have been through, he still has the capacity to be appreciative of the love and devotion Stan has given to his children and calls Stan to try to help.  And, Rachel? It is a testament to Danny and his loving, open heart to find it in himself to look past all the hurt and still be a compassionate friend to Rachel.  Danny Williams, quite simply, has a heart of gold.  I just adore him!

As always…there are the fun moments:

Steve and Kono in the chopper:  We’ve been seeing Steve and Kono working together a lot in the last couple of episodes and I simply love it.  They work so well together and the combo of Steve as chopper pilot and Kono on sniper rifle is golden.  There is no better team in a situation like that then them.

Lou’s boat:  Oh Lou…. we of a certain age understand your dilemma all too well.  We all want our kids to do well, we all want them to get good grades and get into the best schools.  Then one day we turn around and realize they did exactly what we always wanted and we go into a state of sticker shock at the price tag!  Northwestern is an incredible school with an incredible price tag.  Lou may be in a panic now but we know he’s extremely proud of Samantha.  Hopefully, with her grades, she’ll get some scholarships to help with those boat-dream shattering bills.

Steve in this scene was a delight (isn’t he always?).  Talking Lou through his panic, pointing out Sam’s income potential and the possibility of guilting her into buying her daddy that boat someday.  And his absolute delight to hear Lou won’t be spouting any “Williams-like” talk about retiring.  Steve already knows Danny isn’t going anywhere and now he knows Lou isn’t either!

Naolani’s “house calls”:  Well, if Naolani thought that treating Sang Min at Casa McG was a one-time thing, she knows now that’s not the case.  It’s too bad Max didn’t fill her in on these little side jobs she’d be called to do for Five-0.  Between San Min a few weeks ago, and Harry and Danny this time, that’s three “house calls” for Five-0.  Come to think of it, other than the time Max found Steve shanked in his kitchen, I don’t remember Max ever making a Five-0 “house call”.  I could be mistaken but if I’m remembering correctly, that may be why Max never filled Naolani in.  In any event, Steve needs to get in touch with whoever is in charge in the ME’s office and get her a raise.

Jerry has a house?: Did I miss something?  The scene with Harry in Jerry’s dark room developing the old school film the overlaid words say “Jerry Ortega Residence” and he said he “keeps a records of all the cars that park outside my house”.   When did Jerry get a house? Wasn’t he sleeping in Steve’s office just a few weeks ago??

All the mentions of John McGarrett:  One of the best things about Harry Brown being in an episode is his connection with Steve’s dad.  Way back in episode 5.10 Harry mentioned that he was poker buddies with Steve’s “old man” and that line of the story is carried over to this episode as well. I simply love the idea of Steve heading out with Harry to his weekly poker game with more of John’s old poker buddies.  I love the thought of Steve sitting around the poker table hearing all the old stories, laughing and maybe even shedding a tear or two, at the memories of the dad he never really got to know.  It’s also really nice to know that John, “Mr. All-in” sucked at poker as much as Steve does!

Patient kidnappers:  I know the moment when Natasha is snatched from her home by the kidnapers wasn’t intended to be a moment that would bring a laugh but, seriously?  Natasha is in the shower when she hears the doorbell ring.  She gets out, wraps a towel around herself and heads out of the bathroom.  We then see her, about 2 seconds later, heading to the front door, where the door bell is still ringing, fully dressed and with her hair fully dried and styled and makeup impeccably applied .  Either someone didn’t get enough coffee in the editing room the night they cut this scene or these are the most patient kidnappers on the face of the earth!

So, there you have it again, my friends.  Another really great H50 episode.  There was plenty more I could have added but I thought this was getting to be a bit too long.  Please feel free to bring up all the things I missed in the comments section.  You know how much I love the discussions!

And, hey…..guess what?  At the end of this episode, we actually got a real, honest-to-goodness, promo for next week’s installment.  It’s been forever since we had a real promo and this one did not disappoint.  It looks like Five-0 will be in some deep trouble with the return of Michelle Shioma and her gang of Yakuza henchmen.  It promises to be one hell of an episode. I can’t wait until next week even if it does bring us even closer to the end of the season.

But…. there’s some really good news going into the home stretch and the summer hiatus.  We already got the news over a week ago that H50 was picked up for its 8th season but today, as confirmed by Daniel Dae Kim on Instagram, we know for certain that Scott Caan will be back for Season 8.  So as far as we know, the entire main cast will be back for another great season.

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I still hate that the season is coming to an end and it still will be a hell of a long wait until early July when filming starts again.  But knowing they will be starting again and that the entire team will be on board sure makes those months a little easier to bear.

That’s all for now.  Have a wonderful week my friends.  Aloha.  Malama Pono!

All screen caps are mine unless otherwise noted.

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#H50 – SEASON 8 is on the way!!!! Hopes? Wishes? Excited? Yeah…ME TOO!

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#H50 Review – 7.19 Puka ‘ana (Exodus)

Courtesy of @SurfBelle2

On Wednesday, March 8th, the world celebrated International Women’s Day 2017.  A “global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women”.  Just two days later, H50 took it one step further, showcasing the intelligence, compassion, strength (both physical and emotional) and the utter resilience of the women portrayed in this episode by bringing awareness to the national issue of Sex Trafficking.

At a time where I can barely watch the evening news without being outraged by something going on in Washington and the rest of the country, I look to my entertainment shows to take me away to a happier place.  This episode did not do that.  But while it didn’t take me to a happy place, it did take me on a powerful, important journey.

I always find it fascinating when a show like this can tackle an important issue and do it extremely well while still managing to stay within the police procedural format.  I love how they’re able to provide an excellent emotional story and still give us the action we love.  The writing and acting in this episode was superb from the first moment.

As always, I’m not going to do a scene by scene, play by play.  Just my random thoughts on what we saw this week.

Ho‘ola Na Pua:  Before we get into the specifics of the episode, let’s pause to thank the wonderful people of this incredible organization.  Their mission, as stated on their website is:

“…..the renewal of trafficked girls through health, education, advocacy, and reintegration.  We are committed to meeting the unique needs of underage female sex trafficked victims through the utilization of individualized, comprehensive, and restorative therapies. These therapeutic interventions will be provided through Ho‘ōla Nā Pua’s outpatient mentorship program called Starfish and planned residential treatment program at Pearl Haven.”

The mere fact that an organization like this even needs to exist is appalling.  I commend the powers that be at H50 for shining a light on this horrendous problem and on the wonderful organization who work so long and hard to give these girls back a life which was so cruelly taken from them.

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It was a wonderful touch to have the stars of the show, Grace Park, Alex OʻLoughlin, Daniel Dae Kim, and Chi McBride in a Public Service Announcement right after the episode to help shed even more light on this very troubling issue.  Please take the time to check out the Ho‘ola Na Pua website at http://hoolanapua.org to learn more about all the wonderful work they do to help these traumatized young girls.

Grace Park:  Without a doubt this was one of the most powerful performances we’ve seen from Grace.  She infused Kono with every emotion across the spectrum.  Horror, disgust, anger, fury, empathy, compassion.  She was simply amazing throughout the entire episode.  There wasn’t one scene where she wasn’t riveting.

Clinging to the obviously traumatized Kelsey then coaxing her, with gentle professionalism, to reveal what happened to her.  Tracking down the high school swimming coach who’d been one of Kelsey’s johns and seeing his happy family, enraged Kono in a way I don’t think we’ve ever seen before.  She reduced the man down to a simpering mess.  When she stepped out of her car to confront the jerk in the car behind her, I thought the guy would be a fool and come out of his car to challenge her face to face.  I never expected her fury to boil over to such an extent that she’d literally put her fist through the guy’s car window.

But the final take down of Emilio was the pièce de résistance.  This predator responsible for the plight of the girls, this vermin of society, who had the unmitigated balls to actually tattoo an elaborately crowned “E” on his victims, as if they were the property of he, the King….no one was asking for the beat down of all beat downs like this creep.

I loved how Kono told Emilio to pick up his knife, while she simultaneously unarmed herself, so she could take him on hand to hand.  What followed was the beat down to end all beat downs with a painfully, superbly placed kick to the balls he more than had coming.  It was exquisite.

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All the women:  Of course, this episode was a showcase for Kono and Grace Park but I have to give kudos to all the actresses in this episode.  Madalyn Horcher, who played Kelsey and MacKenzie Aladjem, who played Moani were fantastic as the scared and brutalized young girls.  I could feel their pain right through my screen.  And, even though her part was very small, I loved the use of Kimee Balmilero’s Neolani as an old friend of the nurse, Anna (played by Betsy Beutler) who immediately recognized the injuries and frightened demeanor of Moani in the ER.  Every one of the ladies in this episode were wonderful from start to finish.

Steve and Kono:  I am the first to admit that I really hate it when Danny is not in an episode, even if I fully understand the reasons why.  I think Danny would have been a great addition to this episode.  As the father of a daughter not much younger than the girls being traumatized, it would have added another personal element to the storyline and I think Scotty would have rocked the material.  But having said that, not having Danny in this one bothered me a lot less than I thought it would.  Not because I didn’t miss him, because I did.  But because I adore it when the writers team up Steve and Kono.  I loved it in Season 1 when the tough Navy SEAL took the rookie under his wing and I love it now that Kono is more than totally capable of standing on her own two feet in any situation.

I loved the conversation between them in the car.  Steve more than appalled to find these horrendous things are happening on his island and not a little confused as to how a young girl, coming from a good family, who looks to have it all, could get swept up in it.  For those of us who can remember what fifteen felt like, hearing Kono explain to Steve the feelings of inadequacy and loneliness and the longing to fit in and be accepted was heartbreaking.

I also really loved how Steve let Kono take point on this one.  When he asked her if she felt she wanted to sit this one out and she said, “no”, he was more than proud.  He let her take the lead, didn’t stand in her way as she physically beat down the swim coach and verbally manipulated Emilio’s accomplice, Tori.  And the look on his face, when he came upon Kono and the unconscious Emilio was 100% pride mixed with a good dose of “glad we’re on the same side”.  He didn’t ask her what happened, didn’t need to, but her response of “he had a knife” was simply priceless.

Kono and Adam:  I was very interested in the talk Steve and Kono had at Casa McG before they got the case.  It’s sad to see Kono worried about Adam and the fact he’s having a hard time finding a job since he got out of prison.  I guess being an ex-felon and the son of a notorious Yakuza boss is something that kinda stands out on a resume.  I also thought it was interesting that once again, Kono brought up the idea of she and Adam starting a family.  It’s obviously something they have been contemplating but Adam’s troubles with employment are throwing a monkey wrench into those plans for now.  This scene, thrown in kind of randomly, really served no purpose other than to introduce the possibility of an upcoming story.  Whether it’s about Adam or about Kono and a possible pregnancy, only time will tell.  I was very touched by Steve telling Kono if she and Adam need anything, all they need do is ask.  Steve, once again, there for his broken toys.

Chin and Lou and the secondary COTW:  Meanwhile, a murder in a sober living house kept Chin and Lou busy.  Honestly, I don’t really have a lot to say on this because I was so wrapped up in the sex trafficking story this one didn’t really grab me.  I did enjoy the way Lou figured out the sober house was, in reality, a stash house.  I thought that was a nifty little bit of deduction.  But the drug dealer, Makoa, did nothing for me and Lou and Jerry attempt to explain the “cone of silence” seemed out of place, stuck as it was, right in the middle of such a serious episode.  It would have been nice if they could have just included Chin, Lou and Jerry into the sex trafficking story and not split them off into this unnecessary secondary story.  At least, they were able to wrap up the killer quickly enough so they were able to join Steve and Kono for the big finale of the primary story.

Uncle Steve and the Aloha Girls cookie sale:  While the “cone of silence” levity seemed out of place right in the middle of the story, this scene, at the very beginning of the episode was simply perfect.  Because, at this point, nothing horrific had happened yet, it was a great light hearted way to start.  I know there are some who consider little Sara as the “cousin Oliver” of Five-0 but I simply adore this kid.  (For those who are not of a particular generation… cousin Oliver was a character from the old sitcom The Brady Bunch.  The precocious child was introduced in the last season of the show because the youngest of the Brady kids weren’t cute and cuddly anymore.)

Sara is absolutely adorable and is visibly thriving in her new permanent home with Chin.  She must also be one hell of an Aloha Girl considering the number of badges she’s already earned on her uniform.  Looks inevitable that she’ll be earning a “Salesmanship” badge pretty soon for selling massive amounts of cookies, with the help of Kamekona.  Watching her sweet talk and pouty lip her way into Steve’s wallet was hysterical.  Of course, Steve can’t possible allow Danny to win the “I bought more boxes of cookies than you” war and Sara makes out like a bandit.  I loved the running gag throughout the episode of Steve over indulging on the sweet treats along with the number of boxes Sara has managed to get everyone to buy.  It was a nice light respite amid all the deep drama of the episode because it wasn’t ever overdone.

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MacGyver crossover:  There were several references in this episode to the MacGyver crossover which aired immediately preceding it.  Although it was only Chin and Kono (along with Kamekona) who were part of the crossover, it would have been stupid if it hadn’t been mentioned at all.  After all, an over 7.0 earthquake on a neighboring island is hardly something they wouldn’t mention especially when two of their own were in the middle of it.  The conversations between Steve and Kono and Chin and Chi were a very nicely done bridge between both episodes.

I really enjoyed the MacGyver episode and thought the chemistry between the Mac and Jack and Chin and Kono was delightful.  It was fun watching Jack trying to explain Mac and his “talents” to Chin and Kono.  Kono’s facial expressions were priceless each time Mac started on one of his “improvisations”.  I was especially pleased that Chin and Kono weren’t just used sparingly (the way Chin and Danny were in the second half of the NCIS:LA crossover back in Season 2) but were a major part of the story.

I must admit, when MacGyver first began I wasn’t too sure I was going to like it.  Unlike the original Five-O, which was not a favorite of mine, the original MacGyver occupies a very fond place in my heart.  I wasn’t sure I was going to like the new Five-0 because I didn’t care for the original.  I wasn’t sure I was going to like the new MacGyver because I loved the original.  But I gave them both a fair shot and went in without preconceived notions and chose to judge them on their own merits.

Well, of course, I fell in love with Five-0 after about the first five minutes of the Pilot.  It took a bit longer with MacGyver.  While I won’t say I hold it as close to my heart as I do Five-0, it has greatly grown on me.  I’ve come to really enjoy the stories and the comradery between the cast.  It’s become a favorite and a more than enjoyable way to spend the hour before my favorite show comes on each Friday.  I’m very happy for Peter Lenkov and the cast of MacGyver for the success they’ve had in their freshman season and I look forward to seeing what Season 2 will bring.

As to this crossover, well to me it really wasn’t a true crossover.  To me, that means one story that overlaps into two episodes, one for each show, with characters from each show “crossing over” to the other show.  This simply felt like Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park and Taylor Wiley guest starring on a MacGyver episode rather than it being a full crossover event.

I was very happy to read in interviews released on Friday that Peter is planning another, more expanded crossover for next season.  I know there are those who don’t care for these types of things.  To each his own.  I think they are a load of fun and I would love to see Bozer in the lab with Eric.  Riley matching skills and dancing fingers on the smart table with Chin and Jerry.  Danny and Jack trying like hell to tame the two “science guys” Steve and Mac.  And of course, Jack and Steve rekindling their Delta Force vs SEAL rivalry and friendship.  I’m not quite sure what Kono and Lou would do…possibly just sit back and enjoy the fun like I know I would.  I hope Peter is able to fulfil his hope and make it happen next season.

Well, that’s it for this week.  This will be the last new H50 until Friday, March 31st.  College Basketball and March Madness is upon us.  For those of you who have a rooting interest in a particular school, I hope your dreams come true.  For the rest of us who have no interest in March Madness it’s going to be a long three weeks.

Take care my friends.  See you then!  Aloha.  Malama Pono

All screencaps are mine unless otherwise noted.

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#H50 Review: 7.18 E Malama Pono (Handle with Care)

Hello friends!  I’m so sorry this review is so late.  Family events and weather got the best of me this weekend.  Not only was I out of the house for most of the weekend, we lost power for several hours on Saturday.  Wow…was that a storm!!  Anyway, here we are, at last.

Right off the bat, let me get this over with.  I loved this episode.  And before you roll your eyes, yes, I know, that’s no big surprise.  Every week I think “there’s no way they can top this episode” and each next week they do.  This season has been a complete joy.  The writing and the acting, the stunts and the action have been incredible.

I’m not going to go into a scene by scene recitation of the episode here today.  I’m just going to jump right into what I liked and maybe didn’t like (was there something I didn’t like??) about what we saw. And, please bear with me because I know I’m going to ramble because there was just so much here to love.

The cold opening:   I loved this opening.  Of course, I was totally wrong about what I thought it was going to be after I saw it online early Friday.  I was thinking that maybe Steve and Danny would make it out of the jungle only to find there was a second device.  My question was whether this would be at the end of the episode… another cliffhanger?… or would it be at the beginning with the rest of the episode being a “12 hours before” type of thing?

That it turned out to be a visualization of an OP gone bad being used as a training device for HPD rookies was genius!  I loved the use of slow-motion for it as well.  These types of things happen so incredibly quickly on this show, I usually find myself pausing the playback so I can see individual reactions.  The use of slow-motion gave the impression of the OP being explained in detail vocally while the visuals played at the corresponding speed.  Inspired!

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Steve snoops in Danny’s office:  Many years ago, I had a co-worker who saw no problem with checking out things that were on my desk.  I hated it.  What I was doing and how I did it was none of her business, so to thwart this intrusion, I not only password protected my computer but also certain documents I didn’t want her to see.  I never left notes or papers on my desk that were none of her business.  I wasn’t the only person she did this to and eventually she was fired for this behavior, among other things.

Of course, she was not my boss as Steve is Danny’s boss.  While my work was none of my coworker’s business, Danny’s work is Steve’s business.  But, having said that, Danny’s personal business should be just that, personal.  It’s not right for Steve to invade Danny’s privacy by reading personal notes on his desk.

But, Danny should also be smart enough to know that is exactly what Steve is going to do if he sees something laying there that peeks his interest.  Steve can be such a child, God love him!  If Danny doesn’t want Steve to see something, he shouldn’t leave it out on his desk.  He should make sure what he doesn’t want seen, isn’t out to be seen.  Should he have to do that? Of course not, but this is Steve we’re talking about.  This is the man who wouldn’t let Danny walk into HQ with a bagged lunch until he knew exactly what was in the bag.  Seven years on, Danny should just know better. LOL

But, should Danny have brought this up in front of a bunch of rookies?  Duh! It looked like this was a continuation of a discussion they were already having about invasion of privacy and trust issues and when Steve told the rookies how important it is that you always trust your team, Danny just couldn’t contain himself.

I know there will be those who will incessantly whine about Danny being annoying or his insubordination or some other such nonsense.  If this were the real world, I would agree it wasn’t the place for that discussion.  But this is not the real world, it is a TV show meant to entertain and entertain this did.  I loved the back and forth between them, I loved the bemused looks which passed between the rookies watching them and I especially loved Duke stepping in to bring it to an end, like a benevolent father separating his squabbling children.  Ever since the Pilot, the arguments between Steve and Danny have been pure gold to me and even more so now that we’ve gone back to the bantering and left the nasty bickering behind.

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Danny’s retirement:  All the way back to before the season premiere, Peter Lenkov said this season would be one of reflection and this episode was Danny’s turn.  While someone may decide unexpectedly to quit a job, retirement is not something someone does on a whim.  There is much soul searching, especially if the job is an important part of the person’s life.  He must take into consideration all the pros and cons, economically, personally, how it will affect his family and what he will do with himself when his days aren’t filled with work anymore.  It’s the prudent way to make such a big decision.

But, I never, not for one moment, entertained the belief that Danny would retire even though I fully understood his reasons for considering it.  Danny’s life’s blood is being a cop and he’d never quit but the approach of his 20th year on the force, gives him the opportunity to at least think about what life would be like if he did retire.  And as always, it’s the welfare of his children at the top of his priorities list.

Somehow, Grace has managed to grow up to be a well-adjusted, happy young woman despite all the things that happened in her life, both to her and to her beloved Ohana.  It has always bothered Danny that Grace has lived through such things because of his job.  Now Danny has little Charlie to worry over.  If retirement will protect Charlie even from just the worry that Daddy may walk out the door and not ever come home, it’s worth considering.

The Bromance:  Seven years in and these two men are still so solid!  They just get each other.   They love each other and when you love someone you allow for the idiosyncrasies. Only narrow minded people can’t see that.  There are things in every relationship not to like.  That doesn’t mean the relationship is worthless.

Danny can’t stand Steve’s control issues.  Whether it’s invading his privacy or his need to control every situation regardless of his own personal safety.  Yes, Danny rants and raves and complains and bitches and moans but he does it because he cares.  I mean, his anger over having his privacy invaded is 100% justified, no doubt about that, but the rest?

Just look at what happened when Steve arrived home after the Academy class.  He’s on the phone with Chin (who seems to be agreeing with Danny about Steve’s snooping) when Steve sees blood on the open lanai doors.  What does he do?  He tells Chin he needs to call him back, draws his gun, and goes to investigate alone.  Alone!  He had Chin on the phone! Did he say, “Chin, I need backup at the house”? Nope, he hung up without saying a single word and went to deal with it by himself.

Of course, it turned out it was only Sang Min but what if it wasn’t.  This is a typical situation for Danny to lose his shit.  “What the hell is the matter with you? You go in alone? What if it was someone intending to shoot your head off?”

Danny is a realist.  When you drop a hammer, it falls.  If you jump off a building, you will hit the ground, painfully.  When bullets fly around, people tend to get hit.  In Danny’s world, there is always the chance to fail, you need to acknowledge that and prepare for it, just in case.  He’s a “glass is half empty” kind of guy and it scares him to death to think of someone he loves getting hurt or worse, killed.  It also scares him that it could be him and he won’t be there for his kids.  But to SuperSEAL Steve, failure is never an option.  If you’re going through hell, just keep going.  If he dies protecting others, especially if it’s people he loves, it’s worth it.

Danny knows this about Steve.  He’s accepted it.  But that doesn’t mean he likes it or that he’s going to quietly stand by while Steve risks both their lives without voicing his concerns.  Just like Danny should remember that sunny day in Season 1 when Steve demanded to know what he had for lunch, Steve needs to remember what Danny said on their very first official case in S1E2 – Ohana:

“I swear to God, I just want to know. I want to know, because if everything is going to become a personal mission to you– okay, I count my odds at job security, not to mention survival, pretty slim. Okay? We are partners. So if you are going to be the shoot first and ask questions later type of a guy, I would at least like to be consulted so I know when to duck.”

And Steve does remember it but he can’t help being who he is.  As a SEAL, he’s trained to look at a situation and immediately extrapolate the best scenario for success and to act on it.  Danny understands this he just hates it when Steve plows ahead with his plans without acknowledging all other potential eventualities.  So Danny feels he needs to voice all those other possibilities, even though he already knows, Steve’s way really will be the best way.

Five-0 is not the military.  It’s not a SEAL team. Yes, it is a benevolent dictatorship but that doesn’t mean the Second-in-Command needs to blindly follow orders without ever voicing his concerns.  It may annoy the hell out of Steve, but he understands this is who Danny is.  Steve chose him to be his partner, his Second-in-Command because he knew, from the very first moment, that Danny is a good cop with great instincts.  So yeah, even if Danny’s delivery isn’t always the best, it still has great value, and Steve’s knows that.  Like I said, they just get each other and more important than that.  No matter what, they trust each other implicitly.

Steve’s reaction to Danny’s retirement: I think the theme of this episode, trust, is what was bothering Steve the most when it came to the possibility of Danny retiring.  He told Danny he was hurt that Danny didn’t discuss with him the fact that he’d been considering retirement.  It would be easy to say, like the note on Danny’s desk, this was an extremely personal decision and Danny had every right to keep it to himself until the decision was made.

But when you really think about it from Steve’s point of view, it’s almost heartbreaking.  Steve walks into Danny’s office and sees the Zippy’s receipt with Danny’s “retirement to-do” list.  It probably felt like a kick in the gut when Danny told him what it meant.  All Steve’s life people have left him.  His mother, more than once.  His father by abruptly sending him away and then by death.  His best friend Freddie.  Catherine, also more than once.  Steve had zero say in any of this.  Due to death or choice, all these people he loved left him.  Without warning.  Five-0 and Danny have been his constant.  The one thing he could always count on to be there, to have his back, to love him and be there for him, no matter what.  People he could trust with his heart without hesitation.

The thought that Danny had been seriously thinking about retiring, leaving the team, leaving Steve, scared him to death.  Yeah, he was hurt Danny hadn’t discussed it with him because if Danny had decided to retire, Steve wouldn’t have found out about it until the decision was made.  He wouldn’t have had any chance to plead his case, to talk Danny out of it.  Again, he would lose someone he loved and he’d have no say about it.  Yeah, no shit that hurt.

Which is another reason I knew Danny really wouldn’t retire.  And also, probably, why he didn’t tell Steve he was thinking about it.  Because thinking about it and doing it are not the same thing and if Danny really believed he was going to retire for real, there is no way in hell he would have done it without discussing it with Steve first.  Because Danny just wouldn’t do that to Steve.  I firmly believe that, subconsciously, Danny knew he wouldn’t really do it so there was no need to worry Steve about it unnecessarily.

We will always be together:  I adored the entire trip through the jungle between these guys.  Starting with that hilarious tandem jump.  I am totally with Danny on this one.  Hot Navy SEAL behind me, not withstanding, I’d be terrified.  Wouldn’t matter one iota that the guy behind me has done this a zillion times or that I know I’m in the best possible hands.  Even if I’d reluctantly agreed to it, I’d be screaming “I hate you” the entire way down too!  I adored the facial expressions as they descended.  Steve in total SEAL mode and Danny looking like he’s about to throw up!  It was hysterical.  The only thing better was the wonderful views from on high and Steve’s absolute glee that he finally got Danny to make a jump.

While we’re very accustomed to seeing Danny’s fears, it’s not so common to see Steve’s.  With only an hour ticking away on a dirty bomb, no way to disarm it and no available communications, it becomes obvious that the only solution is to drive the dirty bomb away from Abati’s camp to an area where they can get cell service.  Unfortunately, the old beat up pickup truck holding the bomb isn’t exactly a smooth-running convenience.

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Seeing Steve, visible frightened as he turned the key on the old junker was something I never thought I’d see.   When Steve’s softly exclaimed “I love ya, bro” before he turned that key, it reminded me of when he lit the fuse to blow out that collapsed building wall when he and Danny were trapped.  Each time, at a moment when Steve wasn’t sure they’d survive, he needed to be sure the last thing Danny heard was that Steve loved him.

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If that wasn’t enough, there was also this:  Steve, waiting for the bomb to explode, reconciles that Danny may really retire and open that restaurant, asks Danny to name the restaurant after him.

“If you open that restaurant, I want you to seriously consider calling it “Steve’s,” please…..because then if we’re not together, we’ll still, you know, we’re still gonna… we’ll be together still.”

Steve just can’t bear the idea that he and Danny won’t be together in some way and not just now, but in the long ahead future as well.  But, happily, for those who were so looking forward to Danny retiring and opening that restaurant.  My condolences.  Hate to break it to you but….. Danny ain’t going nowhere!

Darius Rucker: Continuing a long line of musicians who have made appearances on H50, I thought Darius Rucker did a really good job with the part of the bomb making terrorist, Abati.  He didn’t have a ton of dialog but he did a great job with the material he was given.  I was happily thinking it would be cool if he really did get away so maybe we’d get the chance to see Five-0 deal with him and his bomb making talents again someday.

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I did think it was a bit naïve to think that Abati would ever help them disarm the bomb.  I mean, he wanted the bomb to explode in the first place, why would he help them disarm it?  All he cared about was getting his ass of that island before it exploded.  Well, it all became mute anyway when Kono and her sniper skills do what they do.

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The return of Sang Min:  I have loved Sang Min from the first moment we met him in the pilot.  He has been a wonderfully unique character from the very beginning.  It was a stroke of genius to extend this character from the one shot he was supposed to be in the pilot to a recurring character we can continue to enjoy today.

But in order for Sang Min to stick around for as long as he has, the character needed to evolve.  Each season, we see him move further and further away from the cold blooded human trafficker he was when we first met him.  And he’s paid the price for his crimes.  He’s served time and lost his family because of the things he did.  But he’s also helped Five-0 over and over again with investigations, not to mention that he saved Chin’s life when he was dumped into Halawa.  Having been out of the trafficking game for a very long time, he decides to dip his toe back in solely for the purpose of helping a refugee family.  With all the things in the news these days, to me, that seems like an extremely noble cause.  Even here, instead of just getting Abati off the island, he made sure Five-0 knew what was going on so they were able to take Abati down.

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I’m also really happy that even as they’ve allowed Sang Min to evolve, he hasn’t lost that wonderful unique personality I’ve loved from the beginning.  The scene with Noelani at Steve’s house was wonderful. “He’s lost a lot of blood” “I didn’t lose it, I’ve been sitting in it for hours waiting for McGarrett to get back from dance class or something” ROFL  Poor Noelani.  I guess Max never informed her that part of her unofficial duties would be dealing with things that are “a bit irregular” when it comes to Five-0!

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The head scratcher:  I don’t know a thing about bombs, defusing bombs or the properties of uranium other than to know that’s some really nasty stuff.  I have no clue if the lead in a car battery would be enough to protect someone from the effects of uranium exposure.  I’m going to go with the “it’s TV, meant to entertain” thing again here and let this one go.  It served its purpose for the scene and who knows?  The amount of time it took Steve to remove the uranium rods was extremely short.  I counted the beeps.  It was 57 seconds.  Perhaps a car battery is sufficient to protect someone for such a short amount of time?  The same way I have no clue if that’s true, others have no clue that it is not.

I can’t hear you:  I could not stop laughing at Steve, rolling around on the ground in hysterical laughter after the bomb detonated.  A combination of utter relief that they both survived the blast, being thrilled that Danny decided not to retire anytime soon and his misunderstanding that when Danny does decide to retire, he can’t name his restaurant after Steve.  Of course, the inner-ear concussions they’ve both suffered makes it impossible for them to understand each other and the round-robin of miscommunication was simply hysterical.

The music is always golden:  As always, the music used in this episode was sensational.  Not only the original background music which is always some of the best ever used in a TV show but I loved the use of the British band Foghat classic “Slow Ride” as Steve and Danny were negotiating the jungle at a snail’s pace in that old truck.

Speaking of music; right before Steve and Danny took out Abati’s men, there was a very subtle look between them.  Once again, as has happened so many times in the past, they were able to communicate their next move almost telepathically.  I couldn’t help but be reminded of the refrain of another old classic “Just One Look” – “Just one look… That’s all it took.  Yeah, just one look…. That’s all it took.  Yeah… just one look” LOL

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Steven MacGyver:  Welcome back Steve the Science Guy!  I loved the use of the flares, the rubber floor mats and the wet tree bark to make the repair in the leaky fuel line.  Please take notice that it was Danny who pointed out that using a hot, fiery flare under a bomb was probably not a wise idea and Steve, immediately seeing Danny’s point, added the wet tree bark to the equation.  Once again, Danny, pointing out the unpleasant possibilities and Steve listening to him.

We were the target:  The ending of this episode was as unexpected as the beginning.  Even though Danny said he wouldn’t name any future restaurant after him, the entire Ohana gathers at Casa McG for a taste of the “Restaurante de Stephen” menu care of Danny’s kitchen skills.

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It the middle of all the fun and good food, Lou gets an unexpected call from HPD.  They’ve tracked the logo on the truck Steve and Danny were driving to K&L Construction, a company contracted to do renovation work the next day, across the street from the Palace, coincidentally, at the same time the Governor was scheduled to be there.  As Grover’s words settle, Steve looks back into his house.  At all the people who mean the most to him.  The Palace, HPD, the Governor, Five-0 were the intended targets.

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It’s obvious Abati wasn’t the mastermind behind this.  He was simply a tool needed to build the bomb.  So, who is behind this?  Who out there still has a vendetta against Five-0 with enough power to pull off taking down HPD and the Governor too?  WoFat is gone.  It looks pretty certain Madison Gray is gone.  Gabriel is gone.

Wait… Gabriel.  Yes, he is dead but he left a pretty big vendetta against him unresolved.  The baddie who wanted revenge for Gabriel’s murder of her father and was thwarted by Five-0.  Michelle Shioma is still in the wind with the power of the Yakuza behind her.

Looks like whatever is going on, this episode was a great beginning for the set up to the season finale.  Ohhhhhh how I hate the sound of that!

That’s it for this week my friends.  There’s no new episode next Friday so I’ll see you in a couple of weeks!  Aloha. Malama Pono

All screencaps are mine unless otherwise noted.

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#H50 Review – 7.17 Hahai i nā pilikua nui (Hunting Monsters)

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“There’s one thing I’ve learned hunting monsters; You can’t outrun them.”

Well, for the most part, in the last seven years, we’ve hardly ever had to outrun the monsters.  One of the hallmarks of a procedural cop show is that, invariably, by the end of the hour, the good guys always get their man.   There have been precious few who have managed to evade our team.  WoFat, Gabriel and Michelle Shioma spring to mind.  But, in the end, both WoFat and Gabriel met their end because of Steve and Five-0.

Gabriel never had the cunning of WoFat, of course.  WoFat was enigmatic and mysterious while Gabriel was basically just a street thug who somehow managed to rise to some power.  I loved Gabriel and the run for the money he gave Five-0 but there really was no comparison to the brilliance that was WoFat.  Michelle Shioma?  Ah well, there’s a puzzle.  She’s still in the wind somewhere.

And then there is Dr. Madison Gray. She’s not an enigma at all.  There is no mystery or puzzle about her.  No, what she is, is Machiavellian with a level of cunning and unscrupulousness we’ve rarely seen in our villains.  A total oxymoron; a serial killer who never kills.  A master manipulator who gets others to do the killing for her.  She’s a fascinating character and in the hands of Elisabeth Rohm truly chilling.

Maybe it has something to do with Elisabeth’s beautiful blue eyes which she’s able to turn from complete voids of emotion one moment, to theatrical (as faux-amnesiac Lauren Parker), to cunning viciousness the next.  Elisabeth has played this part perfectly since the moment we first met Dr. Gray.

When Dr. Gray walked into HPD, playing herself off as Lauren Parker, confused amnesiac from Wisconsin, no one was fooled, especially Steve.  The two of them sitting across the table in the interrogation room was riveting.  Elisabeth was phenomenal in this scene, as was Alex.  She was so good, I was seriously thinking we really did have a “Sybil” thing going on here.  That her psychotic mind had finally snapped and she really believed she was Lauren.  She even managed to fool not only the polygraph but the psychiatrist who was sent in later to evaluate her.

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But Steve knew better.  I loved the background music in that scene.  Mixed in with the heart thumping baseline which emphasized the deep emotion Steve was feeling at seeing her again, it had a tingling, itchy kind of cadence which had his “Spidey Sense” written in every note.  Steve was fully on guard and not buying a moment of her theatrics.  This was one of those scenes we all love. Where not only did Alex have some great lines and emotions to play, he was also able to convey pages and pages of dialog with just his facial expressions.  And did you see the way he literally almost leaped out of his skin when she attempted to touch him?  To say she had him not only on guard but on edge is an understatement.  Steve is never like that.  Oh yes, Dr. Gray got under his skin in a huge way.

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I loved the psychological game Dr. Gray came back to play on Alicia Brown.  I like Alicia but I’m not quite sure about her.  I mean, yes, she’s been through a lot.  The murder of her daughter, the breakup of her marriage and the psychological toll that took on her, she’s been living with for years.  Being dragged back into it all when the Chess piece Killer dumped a body in her bed didn’t do her mental state a bit of good.  Add to that being stabbed and thrown into a blow hole to drown, is it any wonder she virtually went into hiding for four months?

So, really, you have to wonder about her emotional state.  We’ve seen her be obsessive, compulsive and reckless.  We’ve seen her completely unhinged.  We’ve seen that being an ex-FBI profiler who’d dedicated her life to putting serial killers away and who’s guilt over her daughter’s death has unhinged Alicia just enough to make her very vulnerable to the likes of Dr. Gray.  She might have done well to remember Dr. Gray’s words of four months ago, “Never play psych games with a shrink.”  Especially one as psychotic as Dr. Gray.

It’s also very telling that Dr. Gray didn’t just go after Alicia like she had so many others.  She didn’t do it covertly, with Five-0 only finding out about it after the fact and having to investigate an already committed murder.  No, she came right out in the open because, while Alicia was her main quarry, Dr. Gray was out for Steve as well.  Danny was 100% right when he said that Dr. Gray “missed” Steve.  Remember, when she was leaving all those chess pieces behind, Steve was left a knight, not a pawn.

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The game is no fun without a gifted opponent.  Dr. Gray views Steve as a worthy adversary.  An adversary to pit wits against and come out victorious.  He escaped her clutches the last time they met so now, she’s looking forward achieving her objective and doing it right under his nose to prove who’s the better of them.  Checkmate!

She methodically laid out all the clues Steve would need.  She wanted him to figure it out so she could relish the win even more.  She could have passed herself off as Lauren from anywhere but she told HPD she was from Wisconsin deliberately to not only pinpoint where she’d been the last four months but also to where serial killer Edward Sears is locked up.  The man Alicia blames for orchestrating the murder of her daughter Sienna.  There’s video of Dr. Gray visiting Sears, no attempt to hide the fact that she was there numerous times to see him.  Then there is the blood that was all over “Lauren” when she showed up at HPD.  Sienna’s blood.  It was all set up beautifully.

All in an effort to turn Alicia into a murderer and to do it right under Steve’s nose.  Dr. Gray is a junkie, you see.  Ge