#H50 – A Decade of Fun – Season ONE – PART II

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As I said in the introduction to this series, I don’t intend to do full reviews of all the episodes.  Perhaps, like with the Pilot, I might be a bit more talkative about the episodes I feel were extra special but for the most part I’m going to try to do what I said in the introduction.  Single out the things about each Season that made them memorable.

Season One was a magical season and it was filled with many wonderful memories.  As I was trying to decide the best way to go about my next post, I remembered that I had actually done a “remember the season” post about Season One years ago.  Back in November 2014, in the days leading up to the 100th episode, I had a lot of fun one night on Twitter with a picspam of favorite memories from Season 1.  In June, after Season 5 ended, in a bit of summertime fun, I compiled my Tweets into a blog post.

Back then, this blog was still in its infancy so not many people probably saw that June 2015 post, so I thought, as part of this “Decade of Fun” series, I’d resurrect it.  This is the exact order of the picspam as posted back in November 2014 on Twitter.  It wasn’t in any particular order, just me tweeting stuff as my mind rambled, as it usually does. I did add just a few additional pictures on this post because I couldn’t believe I had left them out the first time.  They were such gems.

Also, back in Season 1, I did very few of my own screen captures.  I’ve kept the watermarks intact on all photos that are not mine.  You’ll notice that a vast majority of them are from the long ago shuttered “AOLR” website.  What a fantastic site that was!  Oh well…here it is…I hope you enjoy the wonderful memories.

#H50 Season 1 Memories:

Before the Pilot

Before the Pilot

2-19-2010

The day they met:  February 19, 2010. MY 5-0th Birthday! Best birthday present EVER!

Free the gecko

FREE THE GECKO!!!!

I.. SJM

“I…Steven J. McGarrett….”

stunts

And the great stunts started right from the beginning!

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Book 'em Danno

The very FIRST Book ’em Danno!!!

Stupid risk

“You just took a stupid risk……”

What kind of cops

“What kind of cops are you?”

the new kind

“The new kind…”

ergo

“ERGO??”

Pakalolo

“Ahhhhhh…..Pakalolo…..”

shirt tie

“Shirt…tie…doughnut crumbs…..”

that look

OMG…..THAT LOOK!!!

he talks about you too

“He talks a lot about you too”

It's five-0

“No…it’s not FIFTY…it’s FIVE-0”

cash to stop talking

“I will literally pay you cash to stop talking”

how do you like your steaks

“How do like your steaks?”

triple banana bitch

“Triple banana bitch!”

Hi Max

“Nice to meet you Max”

Good morning

“Good morning Lieutenant….Good morning Commander….”

Ohhh

“OOOH!”

Make it medium

“You know what….make it medium…”

Island time

“Island Time”

now your shirtless

“You’re serious..and now you’re shirtless”

talking to your wife

“You talking to your wife? No…I’m talking to my partner”

just because

No quote…just because!

I know you

“I know you didn’t know him….I know you!”

Duke

First Duke sighting!

control issues

”No..no…no.  Rainman likes to drive. You have control issues”

stay with me danny

“Danny! Danny! Hey, stay with me, Danny! Stay with me!”

I'll pay for it

“You need help!! I will pay for it!!”

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warm and cuddly

“One near-death experience and you go warm and cuddly on me?”

PacMan

“You’re like a devourer of dreams…. Like, you eat them…. You’re like a little Pac-Man in cargo pants”

May 18th

“May 18, 1996….. the last time I puked.  All right, don’t make me break my streak!”

You will not puke

“You will not puke in this car… you will NOT puke in this car!!”

rationally concerned

“Ok.. I got a daughter” “Trust me… I know these roads” “This is not a road! Roads have asphalt…two lanes!  This is dirt on a cliff and it’s a long way down”  “Scared??” “No, I’m not scared.  I’m rationally concerned!”

I picked you

“I picked you, didn’t I?”

It worked befoe

“Well, it worked before…”

You keep it

“You keep it…..”

Rachel

Damn but she is beautiful….

Lojack

“Cash with Lojack?”

rookie goes for a swim

“Looks like the rookie is going for a swim…”

I made this for you

“I made this for you….”

luggage

“What are you doing on my doorstep and who’s your friend with all the luggage?”

I like tea

“I like tea…”

Neandethal animal

“I meant get a key you Neanderthal animal….”

bore them

“What?  Bore them into submission???”

wear flowers

“Please don’t make me wear flowers!!”

I can sew

“I learned to sew in the boy scouts!”… “Why am I not surprised??”

10 million

“So, we need TEN MILLION DOLLARS????”

Mele Kalikimaka

Mele Kalikimaka

get a lady a beer

“I’ve never known a Navy man who couldn’t find a lady a beer”

Yes Steven

“Yes.. Steven….”

never liked you more

“I’ve never liked you more than in this moment”

what's your name

“You?…What’s your name?”

WoFat

“WoFat”

surf practice

“Maybe practice a little bit more….”

Coco puffs

CoCo Puffs

We're in this together

We’re in this together….

James bond

“Why do I look like a waiter and you look like James Bond?”

I can hear you

“Daddy….. I can still hear you….”

Relief

Relief!

undercover lovers

Undercover lovers

uncle streve

UNCLE STEVE!

wanna lift

“You want a lift?? I take that as a no…..”

embarrased

“I’m embarrassed for you….”

Kalakaua

“Some people have trouble with my name so let me help you.  It’s Kono Kalakaua….KA LA KA UA”

behind you 100%

“I’m behind you 100%”

check for a pulse

“Should I check for a pulse???”

little friend

“Say hello to my little friend….”

you have a tone

“You say I have a face?  You, my friend, have a tone…”

gonna get alone ine

“We’re gonna get along fine….”

Jenna

Before the dark side…

don't dig too deep

“Don’t dig too deep into your family’s past……you may not like what you find”

everythings changed

“Everything else has changed…..but not this”

she bites

“Be careful…she bites”

it's a masterpiece

“It’s a masterpiece”

Heart1

Heart2

Heart3

Heart4

I ❤️ you

badge number

“If you want my badge number you can get it off your head”

Ouch

OUCH!!!!!

No way of beating this

“I have no way of beating this if the Governor is involved”

Was it you

“What I want to know is…who gave the order? Was it WoFat…or was it you???”

not a cop anymore

“I’m not a cop anymore!”

what's up dog

“What’s up dog?”

Lisa2

Lisa!

First @H50hana sighting

no 50 anymore

“There is no Five-0 anymore”

It was wofat

“It was WoFat Danny…It was WoFat”

Mug shot

To be continued……

 

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#H50 – A Decade of Fun – Season ONE (Part I)

Before the PilotBefore the Pilot – Photo Credit:  Unknown

Ten years.  Two hundred and forty episodes.  More debate, conflicts, and opinions then you can shake a stick at.  But, the one thing I’m sure of.  Pretty much 100% of the Hawaii Five-0 fandom can agree that Season One was by far the best season of the entire run.  Were the stories better in the first season than any other?  Like all H50, that’s debatable.  There were, obviously, hundreds of wonderful stories spread out over all ten years.

But Season One was special.  I’ve said it before, Hawaii Five-0 was a 10-year love affair and Season One was the beginning of that love affair.  Like many new romances, it struck without warning.  Like deciding at the last minute to accept an invitation from a friend to attend a party you hadn’t intended to go to, and you meet, by chance, the one who changes your life forever.

In those first months of a new romance, everything is fresh and new and exciting.  Every new experience embraced by the excitement of new discovery.  It’s the immediate onslaught of a lust for everything to do with this new love.  It can be rather overwhelming.  Eventually, hopefully, the heady intoxication of that lust mellows into a long lasting, deep and abiding love.

Maybe that’s why we tend to think back on the stories of Season One and think they were so much better than anything that followed.  Not necessarily because they were, but because we were all caught up in that lust of first love.  Season One will always be my favorite season.

Monday, September 20, 2010, 10pm.  For all intents and purposes, a time I would normally be sound asleep, having no interest in starting off my work week already too tired from a late night of watching TV.  But a “friend”, in the guise of Daniel Dae Kim, convinced me to give this new Hawaii Five-0 a chance simply by his presence in the cast.  Having loved him on LOST, I was happy I’d get the chance to see him in something else.  And met, by chance, the show that filled my imagination and my heart for the next ten years.  I was intrigued in the first five minutes.  By the first commercial break, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love.

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S1 – E1:  The Pilot:

I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say the Pilot episode of Hawaii Five-0 was one of the best pilots ever written and/or filmed.  Yeah…. ok… I’m biased, I know.  But the H50 pilot had some pretty damned impressive names attached to it.  Of course, we’ve all come to know Peter Lenkov, who wrote the pilot script, over the 10 years of the show’s run, but the pilot also had as Executive Producers, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, who also collaborated on the story.  This powerful duo has been at the helm of some pretty spectacular TV and Hollywood productions, including the powerful Star Trek universe among many others.  Add to that the pilot’s director, Len Wiseman, another Hollywood heavyweight, and you have the recipe for one hell of a great episode.

But, of course, the success of any recipe, is in the quality of its ingredients.  The term “lightning in a bottle” was never truer than in the casting of the Hawaii Five-0 pilot, from the main characters all the way through to the guest stars and those who, eventually, became ongoing recurring cast.  Pilots can, obviously, be tricky as writers are trying to not only provide a story that they hope will hook an audience but also introduce characters in a way that will make people want to invest their time to get to know them.  The H50 pilot did this in spades.

Starting off with the biggest uncredited star of the show.  Hawaii itself, as we’re treated to our first look at the beauty of Oahu.  The aerial shot of the shoreline as Steve’s plane is descending is breathtaking.  The shots of beautiful people enjoying the beaches and the ocean are sprinkled throughout the pilot.  It’s something TPTB used to great effect all the years of the series.  It’s a sort of counterbalance to all the death and crime which pretty much all the stories have.  For those of us in colder climates, it was a weekly escape to sun and sand.  A mini vacation every seven days.  Week after week, these views of Hawaii were stunning.

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And they did, indeed, provide a story that hooked the audience.  From the very first moments on screen, the pilot screamed “movie quality”.  Watching Steve’s convoy under attack, the mercenaries propelling down from black helicopters, the explosions, and the military fire fight, all with the beautiful Kualoa Ranch in the background standing in for S. Korea, well, it all simply took my breath away.  When Victor Hesse murdered John McGarrett as Steve listens over the phone, and Steve’s scream of horror, anguish, and grief, I sat there simply stunned.  And we were only five minutes in!  Damn straight, I wanted more!

Of course, we meet our four main characters in the pilot and while there was some pre-existing familiarity between some characters (for instance, Steve and Chin knew of each other, being several years apart at Kukui High School and Chin and Kono were cousins) they all meet each other for the first time and seeing them come together to form what would, eventually, be Five-0 was a blast to watch.  The chemistry between all the actors was tangible but between Alex, Scott, Daniel and Grace it was off the charts.  Taylor Wily, Will Yun Lee and Jean Smart as Kamekona, Sang Min (who were only supposed to be in the one episode) and Governor Jamison, were so wonderful they ended up coming back again and again.  The addition of James Marsters, William Sadler and Norman Reedus, in limited but extremely powerful and meaningful roles, was no less inspired.

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And, of course, I fell in love with the two most important characters and the most important relationship of the show’s entire run pretty much instantaneously.  What was it for you?  Was it the first time we saw Steve’s eyes in close-up in the Humvee?  Was it Danny in the Mustang?  Was it when they pulled guns on each other in the McGarrett garage?  Was it when Danny leveled Steve with one hell of a right cross or was it that first heart to heart on the beach behind Casa McG?  Honestly, this is a multiple-choice question that screams for an “other” and an “all of the above” choice as well, doesn’t it?  Whenever it was, the foundation for this most spectacular of relationships was very firmly set in the pilot and it only got better and better as time went on.

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It was the “bromance” between Steve and Danny that became the hallmark of the series and was highly promoted by CBS in PR for the show.  Their ongoing banter, along with their great comedic timing, became enough of a cultural phenomenon that the word “cargument” was added to the Urban Dictionary before Season One even hit the mid-season mark.

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The easy chemistry and rapport between Alex and Scott was phenomenal right off the bat.  You would have thought they’d been working together for years.  The way they bounce off each other has always been so easy and fluid.  It was never forced.  Alex and Scott have both said in numerous interviews throughout the years that the moment they began their first riff off each other in the car it was as natural as breathing for them and that the relationship between these two characters is the lynch pin for the entire series.  Ten years later, you’d be an idiot to argue with that assessment from the stars themselves.

As with any pilot, the purpose is to establish not only the characters but certain elements of a plot that will hopefully sustain a show moving forward.  I’m only guessing here, but I would think the original objective is to be successful enough to earn a full first season, then hopefully more.  The H50 pilot succeeded in giving us characters we didn’t need to “learn to love” but loved immediately.  It also provided us with the groundwork for stories through the first season and for stories and themes moving forward.

Steve – a stoic and tough Naval Intelligence Officer and former Navy SEAL who hasn’t been home to Hawaii in “a while”.  A man with definite “daddy issues” which kept him from seeing his father for a very long time.  Danny – a hard-nosed by-the-book detective who hates Hawaii as fiercely as he loves his daughter, Gracie.  We briefly meet Gracie and learn about Rachel and Step-Stan.  Chin – former HPD, wrongly accused and forced out but finally getting back “in the game”.  Kono – the rookie, with everything to prove as a former surfer turned cop with a disgraced cop as a cousin.    Kamekona, a confidential informant because, of course, we needed our own “Huggy Bear”.  The beginnings of McDanno!  All the character elements were there.

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We see the Champ Box for the first time and hear the first few words of the recording John McGarrett left behind.  He doesn’t trust the people he works with.  Steve finds the key John speaks of in the recording.  We also learn, as the episode goes on that there’s a mole in Danny’s HPD precinct.  We’ll see these play out as Season One unfolds as well as in episodes in future seasons.

Watching the team coalesce as they work together to find Hesse before he can escape the island as well as watching Steve and Danny begin to lay the framework of what will be a great partnership and an even better friendship made the episode fly by. Re-watching it recently, I was struck again by how quickly the episode moved without ever feeling rushed.  There wasn’t a wasted moment in the entire hour.

Hawaii Five-0

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Steve and Danny in an HPD squad car barreling onto the deck of a Chinese freighter was a fitting climax to such a fantastic episode.  It again laid the groundwork for much of what would follow in years to come.  Steve will get his man, come hell, high water or disembarking freighters heading for international waters.  Danny will bitch and complain and worry but be right there by his side through it all.  Steve will take down his man by any means possible, be it gun fire or hand to hand combat.  It will be raw, intense and it will be bloody.

And when it’s over, “Book ‘em Danno!” will rule.  For the time being anyway!

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Was the Hawaii Five-0 Pilot the best episode of the entire series?  Some will debate it was and others will point out many other memorable episodes in the years that followed.  But for the sheer joy of first love, for the excitement of something new, for the “lightning in a bottle” of the “core 4” as well as the rest of cast and for the story that began and sustained the series off and on for ten years…. yeah… I think the pilot is indeed the best episode of the entire series.

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******  Stay tuned for scenes from our next ….. post  ******

Season ONE – The Rest

As I said in the introduction to this series, I don’t intend to do full reviews of all the episodes.  Perhaps, like the Pilot above, I might be a bit more talkative about the episodes I feel were extra special but for the most part I’m going to try to do what I said in the introduction.  Single out the things about each Season that I loved (or perhaps didn’t love) so much.  Season One was a magical season and was filled with so many, many wonderful memories, I feel it needs its own post.  So stay tuned …..

Aloha.  Malama Pono

Note regarding photos:  Some of the photos are screen caps I grabbed myself, but many pictures are not mine.  Back in the early years, when I was very new to the concept of a “fandom” I simply saved pictures I loved and never thought about who may have taken them or who may have created an edit.  So, I’m not posting photo credits on these posts unless I know for sure who to credit.  I have never removed water marks but many photos didn’t have them.  If someone notices a picture or edit that belongs to them, please let me know and I’ll add the credit.

 

 

 

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#H50 – A Decade of Fun – An Introduction

Hawaii Five-0Photo Credit:  CBS

Hi everyone.  As much as I know there are some out there who would prefer to never hear from me again, I’m back with more love for Hawaii Five-0.  It’s taken me awhile to get my head around the ending of the show and how, or even if, I was going to write on this blog again.

To be honest if it wasn’t for the fact that the finale has caused so much heated debate within the fandom, this “hiatus” wouldn’t really feel all that different than any other.  I always feel a letdown at the end of each season.  Not because the show itself has let me down in any way (well, most of the time) but because it will be months before I’ll get to see my favorite characters again in new episodes.

What I’m feeling now is pretty much the same.  Not too different to every other April or May after the end of a season.  It really only hits me when my mind naturally goes to the place it’s gone for 10 years.  The place that says, “I know it’s tough, but it’s ok, it’s only 3 months until filming starts again”.  That’s when it comes to me.  Comes with a very resounding “clunk”.  That’s when I feel it in full force.  There won’t be any filming starting… ever again.

But such is life.  Everything has a beginning, a middle and an end.  All good things come, eventually, to an end, whether we’re prepared for it or not.  Whether we like it or not.  Life goes on and so, I suppose, do blogs.

I debated with myself on what the content of this blog in a post-H50 world would be.  What would the first topic be?  There was the obvious one, of course, but I decided that particular dead horse has been beaten far long enough.  Both in lame episode reappearances and in (while quite entertaining) the ongoing discussions on social media.  I think, for the fans who frequent this blog, those opinions were covered pretty well in the review of the finale and its subsequent comments.

That’s not to say the topic won’t ever come up again.  It’s inevitable that it will.  After all, you can’t discuss the sinking of the Titanic without mentioning the iceberg, right?  Those discussions will go on, I’m sure, as do all discussions when a finale is a huge disappointment to the larger part of a fan base.  I know people who are still scratching their heads over the end of LOST or are infuriated with the end of The Sopranos.

In the weeks since the series ended, once the initial disappointment over the way the finale basically trashed ten years of character development, I found my thoughts moving away from what might have been; away from what should have been and back to what was.  What were the reasons I fell in love with this show from the very first moments I watched?  The individual episodes that stood out.  The special moments.  The guest stars. So many wonderful things that made Hawaii Five-0 stand out as so exceptional for so long.

When we learned that Season 10 was going to be only 22 episodes, I’d planned to use the extra hiatus time to go back and re-watch from the beginning.  I used to do that every summer hiatus.  Before Season 2, I re-watched Season 1.  Before Season 3, I re-watched Seasons 1 and 2.  And so forth.  It was only in the last three years or so that I didn’t go all the way back, but still re-watched at least two or three prior seasons before the newest September premiere.  Because Season 10 was ending so early, I was excited to have a lot of extra time before the show returned in September to do a full re-watch.  Well, now I have all the time in the world.

So that’s what I’m going to concentrate on.  Starting from the very beginning.  Because, for all the action, adventure, angst, love, hate, drama, ridiculousness, beautiful people in beautiful places, Aloha, Ohana, etc., what this show was first and foremost was a hell of a lot of fun.

I’m not going to do any full episode reviews.  I admit I did think about it.  Since I stared this blog at the beginning of Season 5, there are four seasons that I did not review.  But to be honest, I really don’t think I have the stamina to write ninety-three more full length reviews.  Besides, a lot of the fun for me in the reviews is in the speculation of things to come, trying to guess where the writers are going with a story and all the “what’s going to happen next?” Obviously, I can’t do that because we all already know all of what came next.

There are two choices when we sit down with a stack of DVDs of our favorite shows.  Do we pop in disc #1 and watch straight through to the end or do we pick and choose which episodes to watch based on particular stories or favorite scenes or guest stars who were in those individual episodes? For the purpose of the next few blogs, I’m going with option #2.

Sitting down to re-watch from the beginning, which episodes would I gravitate to first and why?  I hope, as I post these blogs over the coming days and weeks, you’ll chime in with what you agree with and, please do, what you don’t agree with.  Add in any favorite episodes or individual scenes or moments you feel I shouldn’t have left out or make your opinions known if I added something you feel wasn’t up to par.  You know how much I love an honest, friendly debate!

Hawaii Five-0 has come to an end.  But the fascination for the show, the love for the characters, the location, the stories, and the friends we have all made along the way will always be alive and well.  I look forward to continuing those friendships here and on social media for a long time to come.  I hope you all will continue to like this blog now that new shows are over.  If so, I will be eternally grateful.  For those who leave, who chose to follow other shows or blogs, thank you for the support you’ve given to me and this blog and I hope for nothing but the best for you.

See you all soon.  Stay home… stay safe…. Aloha.  Malama Pono.

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#H50 Review:  10.22 – Aloha (Series Finale)

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I didn’t know how to write this review.  Hawaii Five-0, the show I’ve loved and lived for the last 10 years is over.  Just writing those words is so terribly hard.  I can’t imagine a September Friday coming around and not hearing that theme song at the start of a new episode ever again.

I didn’t know how to write this review.  I’ve loved these characters for so long. We’ve laughed with them and cried with them.  We’ve seen them go through life’s triumphs and tragedies.  We’ve watched kids grow up and old friends leave and sometimes die. We’ve seen them go through so much and I know there was so much more to see, so many more stories to tell. It hurts knowing that will never happen.

I didn’t know how to write this review.  I didn’t know how to rationalize the things we saw.  There were parts I absolutely loved. Parts that confused the hell out of me.  Parts that had me bawling my eyes out and parts I will refuse to ever watch again.

I didn’t know how to write this review.  I guess because I honestly didn’t want to write it.  I didn’t want to try to wrap up an episode that ended the show I love. An episode that was so wonderful in parts and so utterly disappointing in others.

I think I’ll start with confusion.  Peter Lenkov said we’d finally get all the answers to the mysteries of the Champ box in the finale.  Did we?  Let’s see…..

  • John knew Doris was alive, or at least suspected it and that’s what his investigation was all about
  • John knew about WoFat and Doris
  • John didn’t want Steve to know Doris could still be alive or about WoFat
  • WoFat worked in coordination with Victor Hess to get Anton away from Steve

But…….

  • WoFat knew all along that Doris was alive but didn’t know she was Shelbourne?
  • Or did he know she was Shelbourne all along and was only trying to torture her whereabouts out of Steve while pretending he didn’t know for the hell of it?
  • John had never met WoFat, only talked to him on the phone. But he did meet him and shake his hand in Jamison’s office. So, he met him but didn’t know he was WoFat at the time? Did we all just hallucinate that video?
  • WoFat introduced himself to John on the phone as Doris’s son and John wasn’t surprised. I’m assuming because of the time constraints of the episode, that line couldn’t have been written as it should have been?? “This is the man Doris raised as her son”.  But the way it was presented, it sounded like WoFat was saying he was Doris’s biological son.  We know that can’t be, because Steve tested the DNA.  It was a huge plot point in the 100th episode.  “She’s not your mother! I ran the DNA! She’s not your mother!”  Did we all just hallucinate that as well?
  • But John knew about WoFat. Did Doris tell him? Did he find out through his investigation? How did he know?

There was a ton of stuff in that Champ box and it all boils down to this?  Doris and money?  It was all always about Doris and money. For a show that’s had the ongoing theme for ten years of “daddy issues” it all comes down to Doris. I don’t really know how I feel about that.  I mean, it’s not like we haven’t always known it.  Maybe I was just hoping Peter would have been a bit more creative and come up with a better surprise instead of just falling back on what we’ve pretty much known for years. Everything was always Doris’s fault.

And what a waste of a character who could have been a totally awesome big bad, cut from the same cloth as WoFat. Deiyu Mei hasn’t been seen all season. Hell, she hasn’t even been mentioned since the first couple of episodes. But somehow, she knew about the cipher, knew Doris had it, knew she’d left it for Steve and, evidently knew the cipher would lead her to WoFat’s “inheritance”.  How? How did she know all these things?  Who would have known about any of this, who could have fed her that information?

And the huge secret was that Doris had a pile of money hidden in her crypt? Just how much money did she think she needed to buy Steve’s belief that she actually cared about him and Mary all this time?  The money in Mexico? The money in the Swiss bank accounts?  The money in the crypt? And, once again, who told Deiyu Mei about any of it?

We’ll finally have all the answers in the finale?  Ummmm…. hardly!

So, let’s move on to the 2/3rd of the episode that I loved because, for me at least, it was a love letter to what’s made this show so special for 10 years. A love letter to McDanno.  I loved every moment of this story.  It was written perfectly to show Steve’s terror at the thought of losing Danny, “the most important person” in his life.  His all-consuming desperation to find him.  His guilt thinking it was happening because of him.  His anger at God and demand that if He wanted a life, to take his and not Danny’s.  His relief when Danny opened his eyes and demanded to know why he’d stop holding his hand.

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I also really loved seeing Danny be a BAMF again. No one saved him.  He saved himself.  He got himself out of that hell hole, taking down several of the bad guys and almost made it all the way out on his own.  He knew from the beginning Daiyu Mei wasn’t going to let him live.  He knew Steve would be risking his own life if he agreed to her demands.  Just like John McGarrett all those years ago, Danny warned Steve not to give her what she wanted.  If Danny hadn’t freed himself, he would be dead.

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Did you see the way Steve was holding on to Danny as they were rushing to the hospital? And the way Danny reached for him, even in his delirium as he was being wheeled in? They were totally in tune with each other.

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And the look on Steve’s face in the chapel was positively murderous.  I think it was that moment, more than any other, where he’d reached the point where he had enough.  Enough pain, enough fear, enough with losing people he loves.

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It’s why what came after was so hard to reconcile.  This entire season has been one of the best for McDanno then we’ve had in years.  The first 2/3rd of this episode solidified it. But then they turned around and blew the entire thing up.  Everyone who’s watched this show over the years knows the essential and pivotal place Steve holds in Danny’s life and vice versa.

They’ve saved each other both emotionally and physically more times than I can count.  Steve has half of Danny’s liver for Christ’s sake. Steve literally held Danny’s life in his hands when he was shot in isolation.  They are best friends.  They are brothers.  Steve is Uncle to Danny’s kids, and they love him like a second father.  These two have been inseparable for ten years and now, Steve just walks away?

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And the reasons really make no sense. I understand completely that Steve’s had a tremendously hard year on top of everything that’s happened in his life. I understand needing to get away for a while, the need to clear his head and get some perspective.  But Danny is right.  They’re in Hawaii. There are seven other islands with more open and quiet spaces, mountains and beautiful beaches than you can shake a stick at.  Take a few weeks, or even months, live the hermit life on some remote spot in the islands.  Why does he have to totally leave?

Then there is the ridiculousness of saying he only stayed in Hawaii to solve his father’s case.  What a load of bull.  He was convinced to stay in Hawaii when he originally found the Champ box, yeah.  But he’s built a life there. It wasn’t all that long ago, he was telling Danny he wanted to walk away from the restaurant because he loved being a cop more than anything and couldn’t bear the thought of giving it up.  He has a family he built from the ground up with people who love him and support him more than his own family ever did.  It makes no sense for him to say that now that his father’s case is solved he feels he can now leave.

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Watching Steve walk away from Danny on the beach felt so incredible wrong on so many levels. Danny looked crushed and slightly diminished to see Steve walk away.  Danny’s words are very telling.  “my main dude is leaving me”.  Not just leaving but “leaving me!”  I still can’t believe Steve actually walked away.  Just for one moment, it looked like he was going to go back. I was literally screaming at my TV. “Go back… what the hell are you doing… go back!!”

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I mean, what the hell?  Look, I know H50 has always been Steve’s story, from the very beginning. And I understand this finale was meant to bring him full circle.  He arrived in Hawaii because he was unable to save his father from WoFat.  He leaves Hawaii after he was able to save Danny from Daiyu Mei.

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But what about Danny? Danny has had more than his share of tragedy in his life too.  He’s had 2 partners murdered, his brother was murdered, Grace was kidnapped.  He’s been poisoned and has almost died from being shot multiple times. He’s been sent to a Colombian prison to die and only a few months ago was in a tragic car crash where a woman he could have possibly built a life with practically died in his arms.  We don’t even have to go into all the trauma in his life because of Rachel and her lies.  Steve is leaving to find peace?  Where is Danny’s peace?

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The screen said it had been a week since Danny was shot. Well, he didn’t get out of the hospital in one day after that, and by the looks of him and the way he was moving, he’s only been home an extremely short time.  Maybe it would have been a teeny bit easier to accept if it had been even a month later and Danny was healed and strong.  But no.  Danny’s been home for probably a day or two, he’s battered and convalescing, can barely move to get up out of a chair and Steve decides this is the time to leave? This is the man who wanted Danny to name his restaurant after him so they could be together always?  Nope… doesn’t fly.  Does not fly one bit.

The farewell scene between Steve and the rest of the team was very painful to watch. It was a wonderful scene because of the sheer talent of every actor in that scene.  I read that Peter had only just told the cast that the show wasn’t coming back and that the cast was allowed to say pretty much what they wanted.  Within character but also from their hearts as well.  It was extremely raw and the pain coming from them all was palpable. I had started tearing up while Steve and Danny were on the beach but once Steve was saying goodbye to Eddie and asking that he look after Danno, I was a weeping mess. 

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But it was Chi’s Lou that really did me in.  Damn but that big man can cry and watching a big strong man lose it is something that has always wrecked me.  

When Junior grabbed Steve for a long and deep honi I could barely see the screen through the tears and forget hearing anything they could have been saying over my sobs.

As Steve is leaving he turns to Cole and utters the words that would have bridged the series into its post-Alex incarnation had the show been renewed.  “Do me a favor. Hold down the fort for me.” I still think it would have been interesting to see what the show could have been like had it returned in September.  Would the network have been able to coax Alex back for another season, or even for just a few episodes? Who knows?  I’m just really sorry we’re never going to get a chance to see what could have been.

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And Steve turns for one last look at his beloved Ohana.  The look on his face is sadness but it’s also full of love for them all.  “Aloha. A Hui hou.” Until we meet again.  Fade to black. The End.

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Ok..ok… but you know what?  I’ve expressed my opinion so many times, I’m tired of hearing myself talk about it.  Everyone knows my opinion. There is no need for me to express it again. The show ended with that wistful smile and shaka.  Anything else, I simply choose to ignore.

And that’s how it should be. An ending that can be extrapolated any way people want. Those who loved it will write stories about happily ever after’s and ongoing adventures. Those who hate it will write stories of more deceit, lies and abandonment. I simply choose to ignore it completely.

Those of us who love Steve and Danny got a full season of some of the best McDanno we’ve had in years. We had laughs and we had camaraderie.  We had Danny living in Steve’s house for months.  In this episode, we got almost 40 minutes of great McDanno emotion and love.  Steve’s panic and anger at the thought of losing Danny, at his bedside, on the beach.  Everything that has made H50 what it’s been all these years. A validation… a solid, never wavering canon that Danny is “the most important person” in Steve’s life. And I know exactly where to cut off the playback on every re-watch forever.  This series ended the moment Steve walked out of Casa McG for the last time.  Period.

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Well, that’s it my friends.  I just want to thank you all for all the years of support you’ve all given me. It’s been a pleasure to write these reviews and all your wonderful comments and support have been sooooo incredibly appreciated.  You’ll never know how much it’s all meant to me.

I don’t know if this will be my last post. I haven’t given a lot of thought to it beyond this last episode. But I’ll still be on Twitter and for any of you who follow me there, I hope we can all remain friends even if our show is no more.  And, who knows, I may just be around here from time to time too.

Lastly, I want to say thank you to every single person who helped to make this show the great success it’s been, especially all the fantastic actors who brought these wonderful characters to life, as well as all the writers, directors, wardrobe, hair, crafts and, of course, the best crew ever.

I know no one connected with the show (with the possible exception of one person) will ever see this.  I wish I could tell each and every one of them how much they have all meant to me.  So I’m just going to paste here what I wrote on Twitter Friday morning.  I don’t think I can express it any better than that.

The day has finally come to say goodbye to #H50. 10 years ago it started off as “just a TV show”, but somewhere along the line (very quickly I might add) it became so much more. It was there to make me laugh when things weren’t quite right with my life. It was there to make me cry with stories that touched my heart. It gave me characters who became family as we watched them bond together with each other and with us. We watched children grow, we watched old friends die.
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In between there was a good old-fashioned police procedural with all the gun fights, car chases, and explosions you could ever dream of.  And there was Steve and Danny. These two men formed a bond from the moment they met. When Steve called the Governor from the McG garage to tell her he’d found something to change his mind about staying, it wasn’t the Champ Box he looked at as he said it. It was Danny. A partnership and a brotherhood which will stand the test of time. Forever, whenever someone complies a list of the best duo’s in TV history, #McDanno will be there, right at the top.
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There is one more thing #H50 has given me. It’s given me a network of friends who I would have never known without it. I’ve met a few in person and will cherish those memories forever. I hope to see those people again along with others who’ve become like family as well. Malaho @PLenkov, the entire cast and crew, the @H50_Writers and everyone one of you here on social media for some of the best times I’ve ever had watching and living “just a TV show”! #FinalAloha #H50 Aloha ‘oe
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Farewell, my friends.  Aloha. A Hui hou…. Until we meet again.

Courtesy of @alohaspaceman1

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#H50 Review: 10.21 – A ‘ohe ia e loa’a aku, he ulua kapapa no ka moana (He can not be caught for he is an ulua fish of the deep ocean)

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Hi everyone.  You’d think after being in self-impose exile for the last two weeks I’d have all the time in the world to get this review done on time.  I’d like to say it’s still so late because I was swamped with meaningful activities like mega-spring house cleaning, outside gardening or awe-inspiring craft projects that monopolized all my time.

I’d like to say that.  But, truth be told, I just couldn’t seem to get myself to write.  With what’s going on in the world right now, all the fear and the uncertainty, my head has been all over the place. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s downright terrified about what’s going on and all the implications of it.  Sleeping has become a precious commodity; one I’m not enjoying a lot of these days.

In times of stress, I cling to the things that give me pleasure.  That take my mind off troubling thoughts and offer relief and escape to more pleasant and happy ones.  For the last ten years, one of those things has been Hawaii Five-0.  So, it’s been incredibly hard, especially now when we need it the most, to come to grips with the fact that after this episode there is only one episode left.  My eyes fill with tears just typing those words.  Only one episode left!  Hold me….. 😭😭

Lincoln Cole – how I would have liked to know you better:  Even though I really like actor Lance Gross, I was very ready to not like Lincoln Cole.  Knowing this character was probably destined to be part of Five-0 in Season 11 and possibly a replacement for Steve as team leader, made it very easy to go into this episode ready to find everything wrong with him that I could.

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But, I honestly couldn’t find one thing wrong with this character.  Not in the way Lance played him, which was awesome from start to finish, nor in the way the character was written.  Naturally, there’s no way he’d have ever been a legitimate replacement for Steve McGarrett, but as a character in his own right, he would have been a great addition to the team if we’d gotten another season.

There are a lot of similarities between Steve and Cole.  They have both faced very personal losses on the battlefield.  The last, most traumatic of those causing them both to choose to come to Hawaii.  For Steve it was Freddie’s death followed by, within days, his father’s murder, the latter of which, brought him home.  For Cole, the deaths of members of his team which he feels responsible for.  Steve lived with the guilt of leaving Freddie behind for years.  The guilt Cole is feeling is something very similar.

Steve may not have run away like Cole did but, as we’re finally seeing now, he really hasn’t dealt with his many personal losses in a constructive way.  He’s thrown himself into his work, into the life and the Ohana he’s built around himself, compartmentalized and soldiered on.  But he’s never really taken the time to ever fully deal with it all.  Other than the weekend he and Danny had on Maui for “couples therapy”, have we ever seen him take any time away to decompress in the least?

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The closest we ever came to seeing Steve deal with the traumas was one scene where he attended a PTSD group therapy session where he spoke about Freddie and how that loss affected him.  There have been many more losses and, obviously, majorly significant ones, in his life since then.  Even though I’m someone who never felt that a full-blown PTSD storyline was feasible for the show, it is unfortunate that scene ended up on the cutting room floor all those years ago.

The scene between Steve and Cole in rendition was incredible.  To extremely strong actors giving good material their all was incredible to watch.  The heart-to-heart really went a long way in not only understanding Cole but also showed how these two really could have been kindred spirits.  When Steve said that Cole “didn’t mind” being in the dark hole of rendition because after Kirkuk “you put yourself there”, Cole’s response of “you know, something tells me I could say damn near the same thing about you” showed that, even on extremely short acquaintance, these two totally got each other.

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It’s really a damn shame we couldn’t have met Cole sooner and been introduced to him under different circumstances, without the whole “maybe he’s going to be the new team leader” thing hanging over his head.  He’s strong, committed, well trained, loyal and very brave.  Danny was 100% right.  Going alone to surrender himself to save the woman and her son is exactly something Steve would do.

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I don’t know what made TPTB decide to end the series now and, of course, I’m heartbroken that’s the decision they reached. But I honestly think they could have gone on another season with Lincoln Cole. A reboot of the reboot, so to speak.  Would it have lasted?  I don’t know.  I do know there are a lot of people who would have given up on the show if there was no Alex/Steve and/or no Scott/Danny.

I wouldn’t have given up.  I would’ve been there because of my love for all the characters on this show, for the joy of seeing Hawaii on my screen every week, and my curiosity at how this character would have worked.  Would it have been “must-see TV” for me, like it is now? Of course, there’s no way of knowing that, but I doubt it.  But I still would have watched.  It really is a shame we won’t get that chance.

Oh Steve:  I know there’s been a ton of discussions on Twitter since the episode aired about what’s going on with Steve and I really hope some of those discussions will migrate here because I’d love to hear everyone’s viewpoint on it.  I know a lot of folks are not at all happy with the direction his story seems to be going.  I’m really trying to do what I always do, even though I know it annoys the hell out of some people and try to take a more positive approach.  The only thing that truly bothered me a lot, was Tani’s remark.

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The idea that Steve wouldn’t have the backs of his team is simply ludicrous.  I don’t know who was responsible for penning that line of dialog but no matter who it was, they need to be horsewhipped.  I understand the need to quick track this mood of Steve’s and the team beginning to notice a change in him but to question his ability to back up his team is just dead wrong.

I would have been totally fine with Tani, Junior and, of course, Danny noticing a change in Steve.  Danny has already mentioned it to him. How he’s noticed he’s not sleeping and Steve’s admission that he’s had a lot on his mind.

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Hell, if we go back and re-watch the episodes since Doris died, we can see the subtle changes as well.  The fight with Cole isn’t the first fight we’ve seen lately where Steve didn’t have the upper hand.

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Again, going back and re-watching the episodes, Alex’s acting has been superb.  He’s been playing Steve as moving toward burn-out so artfully it was extremely easy to overlook even if it was just the way Steve’s been looking more and more tired since Doris died. I honestly don’t think it was anything actually written into the scripts either.  If (and of course we don’t know for sure) Alex made his decision that this was his last season a long time ago, he himself was bringing this “feeling” to his performance, adding this layer of depth to bring us to this final arc.

When Danny admitted that after doing the job for ten years, a cop can get burned out and “lose reaction time”, Tani should have expressed her concern.  But her concern should have been solely for Steve, not for his capacity to protect his team.  She’s been there long enough to know, even with his dying breath, Steve would do everything in his power to protect his team. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if we eventually hear Steve say something to that effect.  “I need to straighten out my head, Danny, so I can be there for my team and Hawaii”, or something like that.

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For me, being the McDanno lover that I am, I’m totally thrilled it’s Danny Steve’s opening up to.  Who else could it be, honestly? It’s always been Danny who’s been there for Steve through every trauma he’s endured and vice versa.  It’s Danny who’s been there from the very first day Steve arrived back in Hawaii.  These two share a bond that can not be broken no matter what should happen in the finale next week.

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I refuse to believe even distance could break the bond between them. Even if Steve does leave the island to try to regain some of the balance he feels he’s lost, in my heart I know he’ll go back.  We, unfortunately, won’t be there to see it (unless the gods smile down on us and give us a movie someday) but in my heart, they will grow old together, drinking Longboards, on the beach.

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Courtesy of @alohaspaceman

I can see why some people feel this “burn out” arc for Steve is out of the blue, but I keep reminding myself that, originally, these last two episodes were supposed to be the “season” finale, not the “series” finale.  I saw someone say (sorry, I can’t remember who it was) that if the show had been renewed, the season might have ended the way Season 7 did.  When we saw Kono leaving to go to the mainland.  We could have seen Steve leaving and, like with Kono, not found out he wasn’t coming back until the beginning of the new season.  But a door could have still remained open.  With Alex living on Oahu, it’s possible Steve could have come back, even if it was only for the real series finale, whenever that would have been.

But for now, they needed to find a way for Steve to leave (if in fact that’s what happens next week) without animosity or, God forbid, death so that possible return could happen someday.  This “burn out” arc seems like a decent way to do it because it means it’s by Steve’s own decision, not something he’s being forced into.  Again, if  that’s what happens next week.

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It also seems to mirror Alex as well.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who felt that many of the words coming out of Steve’s mouth could very well be mirroring what Alex himself could have been feeling.  He too hit the ground running ten years ago as Steve McGarrett, and he too has devoted his life, heart, soul and body to this job for those ten years.  He’s always said he’s felt a huge responsibility to the show, the cast, the crew and all the livelihoods dependent on it.  Steve’s words about protecting everyone except for himself could very well be exactly Alex’s feelings as well.  Not a regret for the time spent, just time to think about what he wants to do from now on.

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Steve’s feeling that he needs to get away for a bit actually doesn’t seem completely out of character to me.  After all, he’s gone off on his own without Danny or the team before.  To find WoFat, to bring back Freddie’s body (Catherine was Navy then, not on the team), when Joe took him to find Doris, to Montana, to Mexico.  It’s not out of character for Steve to go off on his own for missions he feels only he can do alone without the team.  So for him to feel he needs to go off alone to clear his head doesn’t seem that far-fetched to me.

That this was meant as a season finale which, again, could have left a door open, makes it feel, to me, that this isn’t Steve turning his back on Danny or the team. It’s not Steve leaving Danny behind, forgetting all they’ve shared or abandoning his desire that they be together always.  It’s just him needing a bit of time away to work things out.  If this really were the season finale, I don’t think people would be so upset.  Of course, I could be wrong about that.

But, we haven’t seen the end yet.  We won’t know how it’s all going to end until next week.  Who knows?  Maybe Danny’s brush with death will change Steve’s mind to a certain extent.  My mind keeps going to their discussion on the beach.  It seems funny to me that Peter and David would have written the whole “go to Jersey” thing.  Of course, it could just be a throw back to a cargument they had ten years ago about vacationing in Jersey (when Steve said people in Jersey came to Hawaii for vacation but it didn’t happen the other way around and Danny got “all Jersey up in this piece” and started rattling off great Jersey singers) or could it be something else?

Danny has been back to Jersey dozens of times over the years.  He went back after Matt died. When his father had surgery. After his ordeal in Cambodia. After he almost died being shot in isolation. Even more times just because Scott had the week off. 😉 From what we’ve seen of the finale, he’s going to have yet another brush with death. Doesn’t it seem logical that he’d head back to Jersey for a bit again? Is it so hard to believe that maybe… just maybe… they’d go there together?

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Ok…ok… I’m grasping at straws here, but we have no idea what’s going to happen in the finale other than we know Steve is leaving.  We don’t know how it will be done. As always, it’s a wait and see proposition.  I really can’t be angry about an ending I haven’t seen yet.

So, I’m going to keep an open mind and see where this final journey leads me.  For the most part, in these long ten years, there have been significantly less things that I’ve disliked than things I’ve loved.  I’ve reconciled myself to the fact that there are probably going to be some things (or at least one thing) I know I’m not going to like in this finale but I also know that this show has given me more pleasure and more fun than any show I can remember in my life.

Am I going to like the finale?  Probably not.  Not because of the story. Not because of any actor.  Not because of how a story is written or some dialog I may not like.  I’m not going to like the finale because it’s the finale. A finale I’m still not prepared to see nor one I thought I’d have to see for a long time.  I have no doubt it will be well written.  I have no doubt it will be expertly acted.  I have no doubt it will be a fitting end to a wonderful series, no matter the differing opinions it’s sure to cause.  I’m not going to like that I have to say goodbye, no matter how good it is.  That’s just a fact.

One more week.  Like always, we’ll get through it together.  Aloha.  Malama Pono

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#H50 Review:  10.20 He puhe’e miki – (A Gripping Cuttlefish)

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Well, we’re entering the home stretch.  Only two episodes left after this one.  In a normal season, this episode would have been a typical “filler” episode with just enough teasers to set us up for the season finale and a great cliffhanger for us to suffer through until September.  Of course, this isn’t a normal season anymore.  It’s painful to realize that pretty much everything we see now will be a “last time”.  But, I choose not to dwell on that, right now. It’s hard, I fully admit, but with so little time left, I’m trying my best to just enjoy my favorite show while I still have it to enjoy.  So, let’s get to it.

Tani and Junior:  Oh Tani, I’m glad you explained yourself at the end but dear Lord. The look on Junior’s face was worse than the saddest kicked puppy.  Would it have been so hard to just grab a handful of strawberries or something?  Maybe even, I don’t know, a thank you?  And the “we’re moving too fast” was ridiculous.  Too fast?  It’s been three years! Of course, every new couple must go through their first fight.  But, this wasn’t really a full-on fight. I mean, no one was yelling or anything, but Junior’s feelings were definitely badly hurt and Tani, knowing she totally screwed up, felt awful about it.

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I did get a kick out of them both getting relationship advise from Hirsch and Lou.  Not too surprising coming from Lou considering all his years of marriage to Renee. When you think about it, he’s really the only one out of any of them who can give successful relationship advice. Lou and Junior “walking on sunshine” were absolutely adorable.

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Hirsch on the other hand was a total surprise but, I guess, he really shouldn’t have been.  This character has really evolved from the Hirsch we met years ago. Sure, he can still be rather annoying at times, but he’s shown over the years that he really has a very warm heart. His advice to Tani, while not based on years of experience like Lou’s to Junior, was full of down to earth common sense.  Sometimes that’s all a person really needs to hear.

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And who didn’t love Hirsch’s #ReiRey reference??  Oh, Tani darlin’…. hate to break it to you but #ReiRey has already been a thing forever!  I’m so happy Tani confided her fears to Junior and he, naturally because he’s an absolute sweetheart, was full of understanding and comfort.  He’s not going anywhere.  Unfortunately, we are so we’ll never get to see just how awesome this couple will be long term.

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Hirsch:  Speaking of that warm heart of his, having his Uncle Oscar move in with him was a very loving thing to do.  I loved how he described his love for his uncle, being so very important to him in his young life when his own dad couldn’t be.  Did anyone else get a Joe White vibe from that little scene?

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His devastation at the thought that Uncle Oscar could be a murderer was palpable.  Of course, we all knew from the very beginning it would turn out to be someone else (just gotta love those H50 misdirections) and as soon as we were introduced to Stanley, well, duh!

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But it was still a fun story and I loved him working with Tani. Hirsch has always played well against the Five-0 ladies. His scenes with Kono were always fantastic and his here with Tani were too.  Even Eddie knew he was a good guy from their first moment.

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One of the best scenes was when Hirsch and Lou were sampling the wine at Casa McG.  If you hadn’t followed Chi on Instagram, he used to do IG stories called “Chi Talks Wine” because if there is one thing Chi knows and loves it’s every conceivable type of wine.  His IG stories were awesome. I really miss them now that he doesn’t do them anymore.  Watching Lou making faces and hating the wine reminded me of way back in Season 1 when Kono was giving Danny surfing lessons.  Chi hates wine like Scott can’t surf!  🤣🤣

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Crime of the Week:  Everyone else was busy working the weekly crime.  Danny was away with the kids for Spring break and I have no idea where Quinn was, but Adam was back with the team.  Lou (I guess he decided not to hold that grudge after all) and Junior were happy to see Adam back and my first thought was, “I guess Steve and Adam had that talk they needed to have for Adam to be welcomed back”.  But then Steve gave Adam “that look” and you could literally feel the temperature in the room drop.  That look was a hell of a lot more “you’re lucky I let your ass back in here” then “good to see you, brother!”

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The carjacking turned murder was another classic bait-n-switch story.  I loved how Lou knew immediately that the wife’s story just didn’t add up and, of course, it tuned out that our innocent victim wasn’t so innocent after all.  I know I’ve said this a zillion times, but I really love these red herring stories. Even in what’s obviously a filler episode, they make it fun when things veer off into different directions.  And, help me out here.  How many times is it now that the bad guys MO was diamond theft and/or smuggling?  Including this episode, I can, without much effort, count five! I’m pretty positive there were at least two or three more! 🤣🤣

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I was getting a real kick out of all the different team-ups in this episode.  There was quite a bit of musical chairs going on.  Steve was with Lou.  Lou was with Junior.  Junior was with Adam.  Steve was with Adam.  Adam was with Junior and Lou.  Steve was with Junior.  It was kind of making my head spin.  But the one thing that was inescapable was just how little time Steve was involved.  Other than the two scenes that were exclusively his at the beginning and end of the episode, it was pretty much everyone else who did all the heavy lifting in this episode.

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For instance, Steve was with Adam at the airport talking to the shuttle bus driver but when it came time to take the house where the bad guys were, he was nowhere to be seen.  Adam, Lou and Junior took the house.  I’m used to Danny just dropping out at times like this, but it was rather jarring for it to happen with Steve.  Most of the time we saw him it was just in HQ.  Even when he got the usual “first call” of the episode, instead of saying “On my way” or “I’ll be right there” like usual, he says “I’ll get some people down there as soon as possible.”  It just felt really weird.

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Just like Hirsch’s line about his Uncle Oscar reminded me of Steve’s relationship with Joe White, so did Steve’s words to Cynthia when the team finally tracked her and her accomplices down.  Steve talking her into laying down her gun was heartbreaking.  No one knows more than he does “the weight of that pain” of losing the most important person in your life.  Steve has lost so many people and watching those responsible for those deaths pay the ultimate price has never taken that pain away.

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Steve:  The opening and closing scenes with Steve were the best parts of the entire episode.  I know it’s really abrupt and probably should have happened a long time ago, but it seems that all of the trauma that’s befallen Steve over the years is finally taking its toll.  We found out last week that he’s not sleeping well because he “has a lot on my mind”.  Not even a strenuous run along the beach seems to be able to settle those disturbing thoughts.  It was totally heartbreaking to watch him reliving the deaths of John, Doris and Joe White in his mind. Hearing all the last words they ever spoke to him playing again in his brain.  No wonder the poor man isn’t sleeping.

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And it seems he just can’t let it go.  Tani, Junior, Lou, Adam and Hirsch are gathered at his house for a usual after case drink, but Steve is nowhere in sight.  He’s in the garage, going through the Champ box, listening again to the recording John made all those years ago.  The recording we all heard for the first time all the way back in the 2nd episode of Season 1.  “I want to be a cop, Dad, like you…. I told him to… be anything but that.” Hearing John say “more than anything… I have regrets” really sounds very ominous now with the way it seems Steve’s mind is working.

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Peter Lenkov told us all some time ago that we’d be getting all the answers from the Champ box.  Well, it’s only been 10 years, I guess it’s about time.  The phone call from the barrister (lawyer) telling Steve he has a package from Doris was even more ominous.  The woman has been dead for four months and yet, she’s still reaching out from the grave to screw with Steve’s life.

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When you really think about it, everything that has happened in Steve’s life is Doris’s fault.  Because she couldn’t (or wouldn’t) walk away from her CIA life she destroyed her entire family.  She emotionally destroyed her husband.  She robbed both her children of their childhood and their home.  It took Mary more than half her life to recover.

She robbed Aunt Deb of her chosen career because she took care of Mary.  Steve never returned home until John died.  John died because of WoFat.  WoFat who wouldn’t have been in their lives at all if it hadn’t been for what Doris did.  WoFat who caused Steve to be arrested for murdering the Governor, who killed Jenna, who captured and tortured Steve not once, but twice for information Steve did not have.

WoFat who, before Steve was forced to kill him, made him feel that Doris cared more for him than she did for her own children.  And now, after all these years, Daiyu Mei… Mrs. WoFat… come along to probably start it all again.

Do I even need to go on?  Now, she’s given explicit directions to a lawyer to make sure that months after her death, she could continue to make Steve’s life hell.  Honestly, I hope she is burning there.

It really is heartbreaking that we only have two episodes left until our beloved series comes to an end, because this story looks to be awesome.  Or could have been awesome long term if we actually had a long term to see it unfold.  Hopefully we’ll get to see Steve exorcise those demons before we all have to say goodbye.

That’s it for this week friends.  No new episode next week but please remember there has been a programming change due March Madness being cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.  April 3rd is no longer a 2-episode series finale night.  Originally episodes 10.21 and 10.22 were going to be shown concurrently on April 3rd.  Now, episode 10.21 has been moved to Friday, March 27th and episode 10.22 will be the series finale shown on April 3rd.  Please make sure to make a note of this so you don’t miss the penultimate episode on the March 27th.

Aloha.  Malama Pono

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#H50 Review:  10.19 – E ho’i na keiki oki uaua o na pali (Home go the very tough lads of the hills)

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Hello friends.  Well, I was in a bit of a better frame of mind to watch this week’s H50 than I was last week.  Not tremendously better, but better.  The shock, the sadness, the dread of knowing just how close we are to the end, still made it very hard to watch without tears threatening every other moment, but this was such an entertaining episode, I was able to live in 42 minutes of denial and just enjoy it.  But, come Saturday morning, writing about it took more effort than I’d like to admit.  Once I get started, these reviews, for the most part, flow pretty easily for me but the approaching end to the show has been a pretty hard blow and it’s making writing really hard.  But, there’s so little time left.  I need to make sure I’m here to the very end.  Where else could I possibly be but right here, with my favorite show and with my friends, until the end.  Naturally, I never imagined the end would be coming so soon.

Quinn:  I loved this story for many reasons.  First off, I really enjoyed the way Quinn reached out to Adam to go surfing.  It was a very sweet gesture on her part.

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HawaiiFive0_S10_ToughLads_SG4.mdPhoto Credits: CBS

But what made me happier is the knowledge that Adam still hasn’t been accepted back into Five-0.  Now, you know I love Adam, and I do eventually want him back with the team but, I’m thrilled Steve didn’t pull one of his “I understand you only did what you had to do”, and let Adam just slide back in.  It’s right Steve is making Adam cool his heels before he lets him come back.  Of course, with only three episodes remaining, I wonder if there will be time for any resolution on this point.

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But this wasn’t Adam’s story, it was Quinn’s and it was a really good one. Quinn has always been so tough and put together.  I’ve seen criticism of her on social media that she’s too hard, too wooden, doesn’t show enough emotion, pretty much all the things they said about Steve ten years ago when we first met him.  But we’ve seen glimpses of Quinn’s personality over and over this season.  In her friendships with Tani, Noelani and now with Adam.  This episode really opened her heart wide for us all to see.

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I’ve really enjoyed watching Quinn and the way she’s fit so seamlessly with the team.  Unlike all the other women who’ve ever been added to the team over the years (not including Tani who was a replacement, not an addition) she isn’t just there for the sake of being there.  And, she didn’t come in with an agenda (like Jenna) nor was she forced onto the team (like Lori) nor was she added because the boss wanted to give her a purpose because she’s his girlfriend.  I’ve loved Quinn from the moment she showed up on my screen.

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I’m so happy we got to find out some of her backstory.  She fell hard for and married an older man who swept her off her feet.  Add in a young daughter who totally stole her heart.  Her remark about how Jake was the kind of father she never had with her own father gave us a clear picture as to why a man devoted to his daughter would have appealed to her so strongly.  It’s sad they couldn’t make it work, with Jake’s gambling being a serious issue she just couldn’t tolerate long term.  How wonderful that her love for Olivia never wavered and she was always there for her even after the divorce.

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HawaiiFive0_S10_ToughLads_SG9.mdPhoto Credit:  CBS

Having Adam help Quinn as she searched for Jake was a wonderful way to not have anyone else pulled from the team and not have Quinn dealing with it on her own.  Adam was there for her in a big way.  It was so hard for Quinn when they finally tracked down Jake and she forced him into the realization that she was giving him his last chance to get help and keep his daughter.  Her tears in the car showed that, through it all, even though she’s furious with Jake for leaving Olivia alone, there is still love there.  Oh, not the kind of love that could ever be rekindled, but the kind where she still hurts for him. She could have thrown the book at him but for Olivia’s sake and probably for the sake of what they once had; she gave him one more chance.

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It was really hard watching her unravel like she did because she’s always been so tough. I’m glad Adam was there to help her through it.  I just love her so much and getting this glimpse into her true character was wonderful.  Oh Quinn, how I wish we would have had the time to learn even more about you!

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Frank Bama:  The opening scene between Frank and Junior was adorable.  I loved Frank’s homespun wisdom about waffle recipes and Junior waxing poetic about Tani.  It was such a cute scene.  But I have to ask myself why was he there at all?  I mean, we know that Frank and Steve are friends and he’s dropped by HQ a couple of times over the years even when his pilot skills weren’t needed, so two friends hanging out over a few beers isn’t at all unusual.  But, having Frank there in Steve’s kitchen while Steve slept in just seemed off.  When the hell has Steve ever slept in?

 

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I love it anytime Jimmy Buffet makes an appearance.  Frank is a fantastic character and the friendship he has with Steve is strong because of their mutual connection and love for Joe White.  So, he’s taken over the McG kitchen to make breakfast for his friend after they had a “long night”.  I didn’t think too much about it at first, not until after the screen went black at the end of the episode but, was there something more to that “long night”?  Has Steve confided in Frank the reasons why he’s not sleeping well these days?  Does Frank know something no one else does yet?

COTW:  This week’s crime of the week was a pretty cool one.  I love when we have crimes that span decades and the team has to put together clues from things that happened years and years before.  This crime was a real “Hatfield’s and McCoy’s” story too.  As usual for H50, a story that looks to be going one way but ends up being something totally different.  No show does this as well as H50 does.  I love stories like these, that keep me on my toes.  But it wasn’t really the crime that made this story fun for me.  It was Tani’s boots being the first “victim” at the crime scene.  It was Junior finding out that Tani was the line dancing champ at “The Cattle Prod” bar, it was Lou’s, as always, wonderful wisecracks.  It was everything that was fun.

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Courtesy of @alohaspacema4Photo Credit:  @alohaspaceman on Twitter and Instagram

And it was Steve and Danny.  As always, it comes down to ……

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Steve and Danny:  There is never going to be a time when I can get enough of Steve and Danny. No matter if we got 42 minutes of no one else but them, it wouldn’t be enough for me.  Put them on horses and I’m in heaven.  Having them arguing on horses, and I’m lost.  These two crack me up.  Remember back in 7.18, when they were tracking the stolen nuclear material through the jungle? They were having a rather loud discussion about retirement and restaurants and we were all thinking… “guys… making a bit of noise there, aren’t you?”.  Same thing here.  They’re arguing as they’re tracking the outlaws.  “Stealth” just isn’t a thing for these guys!   Until Danny brings up the fact that he’s been hearing Steve up at night.  Knows he’s not sleeping.  It’s a shame Steve couldn’t have just told Danny what’s going on with him, whatever it is, right there.  I thought they’d come far enough after all these years that they were past the “I’m good” stage. I guess it was something just for Steve to admit he’s got a lot on his mind.

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There were so many throwbacks in this episode.  The one I just mentioned above from Season 7, the guys on horseback, just like when they were on Lanai with Lori back in Episode 2.02 and the “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” shootout, again a throwback to 2.02.  Steve has evolved from a “Neanderthal” to a “Nincompoop”.  And then there’s Danny coming to Steve’s rescue with the fatal shot just in the nick-of-time, just like in Episode 3.10. So many memories……

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Courtesy of @alohaspacema2Photo Credits:  @alohaspaceman in Twitter and Instagram

It makes me think of all the things everyone’s been discussing on social media all week.  What is all this leading up to?  There were those who felt, from very early in the season, with the wrap up of the Doris story and Peter’s spoiler that we’d be getting all the answers from the Champ box by the end of the season, that everything looked to be leading up to a series end. I was not one of those people.  I never felt we were leading to the end.  I assumed we were heading toward a new direction (not that I had any clue what that direction would be) but I never thought we were coming to an end.  Every indication out there pointed to the show coming back for an 11th season.  I didn’t see any reason to disbelieve that.

But as I watched Steve in hand-to-hand combat with that huge goon, as I was enjoying seeing our SuperSEAL in action once again in a way we really haven’t seen much this season, I had one thought.

As I said last week, this is 100% conjecture on my part, but I do believe Alex made the decision that Season 10 was his last a very long time ago and that this entire season has been written to move us toward that eventuality. And, I also believe scenes like that fight scene could very well be one of the reasons why.

Sure, Alex has stuntmen to do the most vigorous aspects of fights like this, but Alex is still expending a great deal of physical energy to make the fight look as realistic as possible.  And it’s not like he does it once and it’s on film.  More than likely he’d have to do it over and over again until the director was satisfied that he had the shots he needs.  Maybe Alex’s physical issues are the reason. Maybe not.  Maybe he’s just tired of doing the same thing after ten years.  Who knows?  As a person who’s been doing the same job for the last 21 years, I can tell you from personal experience that no matter how much you like it, no matter how much you like the people you work with and for, no matter how good you are at it, you still get to the point where you just don’t want to do it anymore.

It really doesn’t matter in the long run what the reason is.  Some people can stick to their stubborn opinion that the show is ending because of ratings, which the numbers do not support because H50 is still consistently strong week after week.  But I’m sticking to my stubborn opinion that Alex’s decision was made based on his ability and on his conviction (or lack thereof) to continue with scenes like this one.

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So, what is going on with Steve?  Who knows?  He’s not sleeping well.  He won’t tell Danny what’s up.  He took a brutal hit to the head during that fight, a fight he really wasn’t doing well in to start with.  We’ve seen Steve in hundreds of fights and seen him take hits to the head more times than I can count.  Is there some significance in the camera becoming all unfocused to show his vision going blurry? Of course, it could just be the director’s way of showing a harder than usual hit to the head.  It didn’t seem to be affecting Steve that much as he made his way back down the hills later.

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And what’s with all the philosophical opining about beautiful vistas and taking sunsets for grated because he always figured he’d see a million more? Has life handed him something else on life’s terms?  My heart is breaking again at the thought of what all that could mean.  And I keep remembering a video of Alex at SOTB where he said he thought the best ending for Steve would be for him to die. I pray to God that’s not where this is heading. I don’t think I could survive that.

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Of course, Steve could just be contemplating life in general.  There have been many references over the season related to age.  They’ve mentioned their “ten years” numerous times, including in this episode when Steve teased Danny for not knowing Hawaii doesn’t have squirrels after living there for ten years.  There was even an off hand reference to Steve’s cholesterol level a ways back. Age has been an ongoing sub-theme all season.

Steve and Danny riding off into the sunset together was perfect. The two of them leaving together, metaphorically riding off into the sunset together would be a perfect way for this series to end.  But from the way this episode was written, from the way Steve was acting at the end of this episode and how he’s been all season (which is easier to see now that it’s all 20/20 hindsight) and from the few spoilers we’ve gotten I’m really afraid that’s not the ending we’re going to get.

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Only two Friday’s left.  I still can’t believe it every time I’m forced to think about it.  As we come down the home stretch of every season, as we see each episode leading up to the season finale, I’m always in a bit of fear at what they’re going to throw at us in the finale. But I always console myself that, come September, everything will work out and our team will be there like they always are.  This wind down is torture because that bit of fear is starting to build again but, this time, it’s such a heavier fear.  There is no next year to make it all better.

Ok, now that I’ve depressed you all as well as myself, I better stop right here before I make it worse.  I know this isn’t me in my usual upbeat self but, ever since we got the word last Friday, upbeat has been really hard to sustain.  So, I’ll rely on what I usually do. My love for this show and the two men who have made it so wonderful for so long.  No matter what, my heart will always belong to McDanno!

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See you all next week.  Aloha. Malama Pono

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