#H50 Review: 10.08 Ne’e aku, ne’e mai ke one o Punahoa (That way and this way shifts the sand of Punahoa)

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There have been some pretty monumental episodes of H50 over the years and sometimes, after such episodes, there’s a bit of a letdown.  The adrenaline high of the week before sometimes makes the subsequent episode seem less than ideal.  There’s also the annoying tendency of not having much, if any, continuity with the events which made the previous episode so monumental in the first place.  I went into this week’s episode expecting to feel a bit disappointed.  Boy was I wrong!  I really enjoyed this one a lot. More than I thought I would.  Oh… how I love pleasant surprises!

Even though this was a two story episode, one where neither story had any connection to the other, the writers (Chi McBride and Matt Wheeler) really did a good job giving us two very interesting and captivating stories while at the same time, not shying away from showing the full impact of what happened in last week’s episode.

Grover Family Dynamics:  I absolutely adore Chi McBride and think he’s a fantastic actor and while I’ve enjoyed many aspects of the episodes which center around Grover and/or his family, it’s really not one of my favorite story themes. I was completely done with the Clay Maxwell story years before it finally ended and while I like the dynamic between Lou and his brother Percy, I’m not in any rush to see him again. So, when I heard this was going to be, yet another story connected to Lou’s family, I wasn’t overly excited about it.

But, I must say, I really enjoyed this story a lot and that’s all due to Nia Holloway as Siobhan.  I thought she did an awesome job.  Here Siobhan was, being given the opportunity of a lifetime and yet she was sullen, unenthusiastic and, at times, downright angry.  Nia played her perfectly.  Of course, her true feelings were telegraphed very early on when all she seemed really interested in was visiting her Uncle Lou’s job.  Everyone thought they knew what she should do with her life.  Everyone assumed that just because she had a natural talent on the basketball court, that was the direction her life should take.  No one ever bothered to ask her what she wanted from her life.

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Metta World Peace joined a long line of former and current athletes who have made cameo appearances in H50.  Most of the time we’ve had former NFL players make small “can I have your autograph” type of appearances so it was nice, this time, for an athlete to actually play a larger part.  It was fun watching Siobhan go up against him. I am curious to know why Lou owed him a favor, but we’ll never find out, of course.

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It was great to see Michelle Hurd again as Renee.  It’s always a joy whenever she’s in an episode. She and Chi have such a wonderful natural chemistry it always seems like they are married in real life.  This is the relationship that works on this show.  Love, honesty, mutual respect, loyalty… what a perfect couple they are.  It would be so nice if Steve and Danny were able to find this kind of relationship for themselves too.

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Like I said before, it was no surprise when Siobhan finally told Lou she wanted to be a cop just like him nor the fact that the “trouble” she’d gotten into in Chicago was all due to her trying to do the right thing and protect a friend.  It’s exactly the type of thing Lou would have done.

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And I really loved the flashback to when she was five years old and Lou rescued her from the room where her mother had ODed.  It’s so sad to think just how often cops have to do such things every day in this country.  How it’s up to them to get a child out of there and, as Siobhan said, make them feel safe.  How much more tragic it must be when you actually know the family and already love the child?  That scene was so well done.

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Crime of the week:  I really enjoyed the partner pairs for this case.  Junior, Adam and Eddie in the jungle; Steve, Tani and Quinn on the street.  I really love how they keep putting Tani and Quinn together as partners.  These two work so well together, in a “Steve and Danny” type of way.  Each of them have many of the same characteristics as Steve and Danny and we’ve seen how wonderfully that’s worked for over 10 years now.  I really love their partnership.

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I do wonder though, who was supposed to be in charge at HQ that day?  I mean, Danny is away, Lou has the day off with Siobhan and no one expected Steve to show up for work after what happened.  I suppose that would leave Tani in charge, if you consider tenure.  Of herself, Junior, Adam and Quinn, she’s been on the team the longest.  Of course, they are all quite capable of handling cases on their own.

I also really love how Eddie seems to be utilized more this season.  He really needs to start being listed in the Press Releases as “main cast” because he’s been in almost every episode this season so far.  I know I’m not the only one who worries whenever he’s out in the field and we just know gunfire is about to erupt all around them at any moment.  My first instinct is always… “someone better cover Eddie”!  But, of course, Eddie is a 100% team player.  He even managed to take on one of the bad guys himself, giving Steve the opening he needed to take him down.  Damn but I love that dog!

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I had no idea that DEA agent Richie Gormican was played by Jesse Johnson, son of Don Johnson.  I tweeted during the episode “Is anyone else getting a real “Sonny Crockett” vibe from this guy or is it just me?”. It was then someone told me it was Jesse, Don’s son.  It was a real “duh” moment because, of course he is!  I must have been blind not to realize it immediately.  The resemblance is uncanny!  What wasn’t hard to miss was the fact that the agent was sleazy from the get-go.  It was no surprise he ended up being in on the drug deal from the beginning.  It was even more obvious when I looked at the clock once the case was “wrapped up” and saw there was still 20 minutes left in the hour.

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I really like the connection to the Cullen case though.  Cullen told Steve there’s more going on than Steve suspects.  Here we have more proof of that.  Whatever is going on, it must need to be heavily bankrolled and I’m sure the money from the sale of all that heroin was earmarked for it.  Someone big is running this operation.  Let’s, for now, just call him Mr. Big for want of a better title.

Cullen screwed up by not killing Steve.  Mr. Big eliminated him.  Bishop was Cullen’s right-hand man.  He allowed the heroin to fall into the hands of the authorities.  Once it was certain Bishop would survive his injuries from the gunfight in the jungle, Mr. Big had him eliminated too.  Gormican, probably sent in by Mr. Big to make sure the heroin arrived where it was intended to go, has been caught and the heroin ceased again.  Who wants to bet we get word fairly soon that some horrendous misfortune has befallen him in lockup and he’s dead too?

There’s also the question of Gormican himself.  How did he know about Doris? That mission was totally classified.  So classified that when Steve brought the bodies of Lucia and Doris back to DC, Junior and the SEALs were nowhere in site lest the CIA know he’d defied orders and not gone in alone.  But Gormican knew about the OP and about Doris’s death and that she was his mother.  Would a DEA agent have access to that classified information?  Would a DEA agent know the true identity of a CIA operative?  Would he know that “Shelbourne” is Doris?

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Mr. Big, obviously compromised Gormican into service.  Steve was genuinely touched by Gormican’s sympathy over Doris’s death.  Did Mr. Big furnish him with the information he would need to insinuate himself into Steve’s trust?  And if he did, does that mean that Mr. Big is CIA?  Peter Lenkov did say a while back that our new Big Bad was someone connected to the past.  Who could it be?  Ohhhhh speculation is such fun!

And then there’s continuity:  There was continuity all over this episode.  Lou mentioned very early on in the season that he and Renee were looking for a new home, wanting to downsize after Samantha and Will both left for college.  And here we see them in their new awesome digs with the most spectacular view.

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Then there was the Bishop and Cullen connection which connects us back to that storyline, also from the earlier episodes of the season.

And then there’s Steve!  From the first moment he was on the screen to the last, this man was an open wound.  The forlorn, dejected man sitting on the edge of his bed, ignoring his phone and lost in his misery was totally heartbreaking.  We’ve never seen Steve like this before.

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Oh, we’ve seen him trying to process loss before, but we’ve never seen it projected over an entire episode before.  He is struggling to come to terms with so many things.  The death of Doris, naturally, but also his guilt over what part he played in bringing about her death.  He’s questioning himself over whether she’d still be alive if he’d left Mexico when she told him to.  He knows it’s not his fault; that Doris made her choices in life and there was really no other way this could have ended.  But there’s always that nagging voice that says, “if I’d left her to her own devises, she’d still be alive”.  All this would crush a lesser man.

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Of course, we didn’t hear any of this.  Didn’t see any of it either.  All we did see was Alex’s performance and, as usual, the man is awe inspiring.  You could feel the weight Steve was carrying all day.  He told the team he needed to work, and you could literally see how much he needed it.  Alex moved with a heaviness about him that gave Steve an exhausted presence as he went about his day trying his best to concentrate on things other than Doris.  But, every time he was alone, his mind and his body went right back to those dark places.

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I know we’ve said it a zillion times but, as always, Alex was able, with just his eyes and body language, to convey a multitude of emotions and pages of dialog without ever uttering a word.  God, I wish he could be recognized more for his amazing talent.

With a little help from his friends:  I was very impressed with the way the writers made sure the horrible events of last week weren’t just brushed aside after that opening scene and that Steve struggled with the fallout throughout the entire episode.  I really hope they continue to address it in subsequent episodes.  Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t want to see a despondent Steve as a long-term thing, but it would be great if we can see him going through the healing process over time.  But, I have no doubt he will heal because he is a strong man and because he has his Ohana.

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Right from the beginning, they all have his back. Adam, Tani and Quinn tell Steve they can take care of the crime scene, that he need not be there.  Of course, he doesn’t listen.  Later, Adam and Junior discuss his well being while they’re walking through the jungle.  Adam is concerned that Steve might not be able to process everything on his own.  Junior agrees but says the best they can do is keep an eye on him and be there for him when he needs them.

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But it’s Quinn who makes the first gesture.  At first I really thought it should have been Junior.  After all, he was there when it all went down and would understand best but that’s the rub right there.  Junior was there.  Steve doesn’t need to relive it; he needs to deal with it.  He’s questioning what he did, what Junior and the SEALs did with him.

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He’s questioning whether he’s lost his edge.  He didn’t get Doris out of Mexico and he didn’t realize Gormican couldn’t be trusted.  Quinn pointing out that taking out multiple bad guys and stopping a ton of drugs from hitting the streets really makes for a pretty good day was something Steve needed to hear, even if he wasn’t prepared at first to process it.

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But who he really needed was Danny. Of course, it was Danny.  Even from afar, Danny is the one person Steve can always count on.  He’s never let Steve down.  I loved how, by the end of the day, on his last thread, he reached out to Danny, who’d been calling and texting him pretty much non-stop.  That was so good to see. These two will always support each other, through everything.

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Fighting tears, his voice cracking, he admits to Danny how he’s hurting, how he misses Doris.  He’s made the first steps in his recovery.  First with Quinn and more substantially with Danny.  “I just miss her, Danny”.

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But what or who is he missing?  Is he missing Doris or is he missing the loving mother he lost when he was 15?  Is he missing her or is he missing the closely held dream that, as long as she was still out there somewhere, she might walk through the door again someday? And what if she did?  She wouldn’t be the mother he lost almost 30 years ago.  That person… his mother…. ceased to exist when that car blew up.

Courtesy of @alohaspaceman1Photo Credit:  @alohaspaceman on Twitter and Instagram

Once again, he didn’t need to say any of this.  Alex portrayed it all in his body language, his eyes and those five little words.

I have to say I am absolutely loving this season so far.  Of the eight episodes we’ve had, only one hasn’t impressed me.  I hope the rest of the season continues at this pretty high bar.

Have a great week everyone.  See ya next week.  Aloha.  Malama Pono

All screen caps are mine unless otherwise noted.

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#H50 – The Fate of Doris McGarrett

I posted this thread on Twitter a couple of days ago in the wake of Episode 10.07.  I thought I’d post it here as well for anyone who may want to comment but not on Twitter.  It’s something the episode really made me think about, even all these days later.

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I’ve re-watched #H50 10.07 twice more now and these two quotes really got me thinking. “From the minute that woman walked out of my life, the only thing I’ve ever wanted is to have her back in it” and “I just wish she realized all she had to do was get on an airplane and come home”.

Those feelings from Steve are completely understandable. But what woman did he want back in his life? Time has a way of smoothing out the rough edges of our worst memories and a way of enhancing good memories sometimes to such an extent that we can look back on some pretty bad things and manage to remember only the good.

When Doris walked out of his life, Steve was 15 years old. She’d been a warm, caring, loving mother in all those 15 years. He was devastated by her “death”. It changed the course of his young life. I’m sure his thoughts from those very first days were something like “If this hadn’t happened, if she could just come back, everything would be ok. Everything would go back to normal”.

We saw those sentiments all the way back in the early episodes of the series. He told Danny that her death made him the man he is today. At that point he didn’t know Doris was alive. He was still thinking back and remembering the loving mother he’d lost.

But if Doris didn’t die in that explosion, his “mother” surly did. That woman ceased to exist the day she “died”. The mother he had always wanted back in his life was as dead to him as if she had died in that car. And, every time Doris came back, she managed to drag Steve into that reality.

In the last 7 years Doris had nothing but opportunities to get on a plane and go home. Steve isn’t completely right. Yeah, we do have to deal with what life gives us on life’s terms, but we do have choices too. Where Steve is right is that all she had to do was get on a plane.

But what woman would have arrived home? His “mother” is gone. She killed herself. Not in a car bomb but in a life she chose to follow. Maybe if she’d changed her mind a month after the bomb, Mom could have gone home. But Doris isn’t Mom anymore. She couldn’t just all of a sudden be what she hadn’t been in almost 30 years. She tried when she first came back. How long did it last? 2 months? Less?

And Doris knew it too. The money she was trying to set aside for them all was her way of giving them something of herself. Because she knew she could never give them what they truly wanted. They wanted their mother back. She thought she was doing a good thing. Set them up financially so they’d be ok for life. She’s old enough now to “retire”. Not be part of that world anymore. All they wanted was their mother but she, herself, realized she wasn’t that person anymore. She couldn’t go home and pretend she was.

She thought this was a better way. They’d survived without her all these years. Nothing would change in that regard. I don’t think she was wrong. It probably would have been better, in the long run, if Doris had never come back at all. Better for Steve to think his mother died in that car bomb because, in reality, she did.

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#H50 Review:  10.07 – Ka ‘i’o – (DNA)

Courtesy of @alohaspacemanPhoto Credit:  @alohaspaceman on Twitter and IG

“We don’t get life on our terms Danny. It’s life on life’s terms or not at all.” – Steve McGarrett

I suppose we could say the same thing about pretty much everything in life, including something as trivial and inconsequential as a TV show.  We don’t get it on our terms.  We get it on the terms of the powers that be, their story, their vision, their road on which we all travel as we enjoy what they offer us.

There are times when their terms are not to our liking.  Something we love, we don’t get enough of, to our satisfaction.  Things we would rather not see are thrust upon us to endure until they pass.  But there are times when all the stars align, and we’re given an episode which somehow manages to outshine even our most imaginative anticipation.  This is such an episode.

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Written by Alex O’Loughlin…… Directed by Alex O’Loughlin…. Produced by Alex O’Loughlin…. Staring Alex O’Loughlin… this episode is a masterpiece.

I could literally stop right there.  I was saying to friends on Twitter Friday night, those who were looking forward to my take on the episode, that there was no way in hell I could ever do it justice.  Could I just write “incredible” a million times and stop?  Because that’s exactly what it was.  Absolutely incredible.

How do you highlight something that’s already glowing brightly?  I can’t say anything about Alex the Producer since I know precious little about what being a producer really entails.  But we can talk about the things that were abundantly clear.

Alex the Writer:  From the first moment we heard about this episode, way back in the early summer, pretty much everyone was beside themselves with excitement and anticipation.  Those who have followed Alex’s career for many years know that he’s dipped his toe into writing in the far past, but he’s never attempted an H50 episode before.  What story would he choose to tell?  Would it be something brand new or would he decide to delve into H50 canon?

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Then word came that Christine Lahti would be returning as Doris and it became clear that canon it would be.  The more we heard about the episode, information from Peter Lenkov and interviews with Alex himself, the more the anticipation grew.  The man did not disappoint.

Of course, this wasn’t an original plot idea.  I remember years ago, in a creative writing class I took in college, the professor citing some (long ago forgotten by me) academic who believed there are only seven basic plots in literature and all stories are based on those plots.  I had a similar discussion on this blog a while back and went searching for who that academic might have been.  I saved the article I found at that time.

https://www.autocrit.com/blog/7-stories-world/

It’s not the originality of the plot that’s important.  It’s the way a writer weaves the story.  His personal vision of how he wants to tell his story.  And, Alex’s story was masterful.

I have been wracking my brain trying to find the best way to describe just how wonderful this story is and found myself, as I suspected I would, lacking.  Every time I started to write something I just couldn’t find the appropriate words to do it justice.  Then, while taking a break and just browsing Twitter I came across the following thread written by my friend @surfbelle2.  She managed to say exactly what I wanted to say, in a way I know I could never improve on.  So, I’m going to do something I very rarely do.  I’m printing her words here because they are absolutely perfect.  Please direct all well-deserved praise to her:

“Ultimately, I think only Alex could have written this episode and done it justice.  Not because anyone else would have lacked the skill but it’s clear, through Steve, he’s lived this relationship with Doris.  The pain of mourning her “death” then dealing with her resurrection.  Only to be abandoned and cast aside again and again while constantly hoping there was some reason, or justification, for her actions.  Trying to defend her to others or to save her from the consequences of what she had done.  I think for any other writer, especially one with understanding and affection for Steve’s character, it would have been hard to resist the urge to “fix” her for Steve.  To let her go out in a blaze of heroic glory sacrificing herself for him.

Instead, we’re treated to Alex’s truth. There could be nothing clean about her end because her life had been gritty and dirty.  She never saw what she did as harmful, even as she left a trail of pain and death in her wake, no matter if her victims were enemies or her own family.  She insinuated herself into WoFat’s family, then into John McGarrett’s life and finally into Carmen Lucia’s world.  She’s left each place a smoldering ruin.  There is no redemption for someone so oblivious to the suffering she’s caused, who thinks her “missions” justify anything.  Instead Alex gave us a just ending for her.  He left intact her professional reputation because her work had always been her driving force.  But he also showed that Steve recognized that while it was clear she wanted to love and, to the extent she was capable she did, that she was also one broken toy he could not fix.”

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Thank you Belle! There is no way in hell I could have ever said that any better!

Alex the Director:  Over the years we’ve been treated to the talents of many, many fine directors.  We all have our favorites and it’s very easy to add Alex to the list.  This wasn’t his first stint in the director’s chair, but it’s the best yet.  If there was any doubt that Alex’s future, if he chooses to leave acting behind, will easily transition into directing, there shouldn’t be any doubt now.

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Alex’s direction is full of originality, creativity and energy.  I loved how the story jumped from Mexico, eight weeks earlier in Oahu, then back again.  I loved the use of different color tones in the filming.  Oahu seemed even more colorful and crisp when compared to the muted, sepia inspired tones used in the South America footage.  It made those scenes feel rawer, seedier, more dangerous.

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Alex’s wonderful use of camera angles and quick cuts really ratcheted up the “edge of your seat” excitement.  We’ve had cars explode and flip a zillion times, but somehow, this one was different.. better.  Maybe because it came as such a shock because we’ve never had a member of our team in an exploding car before. (If we have, I can’t remember it).  It literally made me leap out of my skin.  All the action scenes were positively stunning.  I saw several people all over social media in the days leading up to Friday say how the episode was going to be like watching a movie.  They did not lie.  Brilliant direction by Alex and exceptional work by the always exceptional stunt team.

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There was also the marvelously shot scene from the interior of the pitch dark plane Steve got into in Panama.  What looked like light shining through bullet holes in the fuselage subtlety morphing into the star studded sky of Oahu was ingeniously beautiful.

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But I think the best direction of the entire episode was right after Doris dies.  Alex has the camera cast everything in a blurry aura, as if Steve, evidently in shock, is seeing everything through a veil of tears.  He doesn’t really feel the presence of anyone else with him, even with the SEALs and especially Junior right there, giving him both moral and physical support.  Also, other than the extremely haunting and mournful background music, Alex chose to have not a spoken word of dialog heard.  We are experiencing everything through Steve’s eyes and through Steve’s consciousness and in those moments where Steve is completely disconnected from what’s going on around him, when his only focus is on the loss of Doris, we’re left adrift along with him.  Feeling everything he feels.  It was probably the best scene I’ve ever seen in the series to date.  If someone doesn’t submit this scene for an Emmy it will be a crime.

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Alex the Actor:  Absolutely nothing written above would be relevant without Alex’s extraordinary talent as an actor.  This is no surprise to any of us, of course.  We’ve known it for years.  But this episode was the absolute pinnacle.  Alex was 100% on point every single second right from the very first scene in the parking garage when he was briefed by the CIA agent.  He went from “Oh God, what has she done now” exasperation to angered disbelief and loyalty when told Doris had killed her fellow agent in the blink of an eye.

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The range of emotions in Alex’s performance was beautiful to behold.  Not only was he literally ripping my heart out in every scene, I was amazed at how he was able to convey so many different emotions seemingly simultaneously.  Confronting Doris the first time, shifting from anger at what she had done, to determination to get her out of there, to the hurt of her abandonment and what that had done to his life.  “My life was compromised the day your walked out of it”.  Ouch!

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But it was those last scenes that solidified Alex’s performance into what I think should be an Emmy nomination (even though I know it won’t be).  Relief that he’d found her…. Shock that she’d hold a gun on him and wondering if she’d actually pull the trigger.  Considering that she pistol whipped him earlier that wasn’t much of a stretch.  Disbelief that, after all these years and after all she’s done and people she’s hurt along the course of her life, that she’d sell out for a “I have to get out of this life” payday.  Helplessness as Carmen held Doris at gunpoint and horror watching as Carmen drove that knife up and in for the kill.

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You could see it all play out on Alex’s face and your heart couldn’t help but go out to the man who listened helplessly as his father was brutally murdered, helplessly held Joe in his arms as he breathed his last and, once again, helplessly watching as his mother is murdered before his eyes.  You could see every one of those memories on his face as they played out in that moment.  Alex was magnificent.

And so was Christine!  I have never liked Doris. More times than not I have hated Doris. But I’ve always loved every single time Christine’s been on the show because she and Alex simply light up the screen together.  Their chemistry is off the charts and has been from the first time we ever met Doris all the way back at the beginning of Season 3.  I’m not sorry Doris is gone but I am sorry that it means, unless we have some flashbacks, we won’t get to see Christine again.

Junior and the SEALs:  Even without the CIA’s directive that Steve go on this mission alone, there wasn’t any way he would have allowed anyone from his team to go with him.  But I did like how he kept the lifeline open for Junior to have his back if, and only if, he was needed and only when Steve called in his help. After all these years, it was nice to see Steve admit that maybe he might just need someone to have his back even before he took off on his latest solo mission.

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I liked how he did check in with the team during the operation and we got to see how being away was affecting the rest of the team.  Everyone was beside themselves with worry, especially after that car explosion in Colombia.  No one knew if he was alive or dead.  The look of incredible relief on everyone faces when they heard his voice was juxtaposed with the still extremely worried look on Danny’s face was very telling.  Danny, more than anyone else, knows that just because Steve is safe at that particular moment, he’s not going to be truly safe until he’s back home in Hawaii where he belongs.

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I loved how Junior wasn’t just going to stand by and wait around for news.  Pulling all-nighters to find Steve is just what Steve would do if their positions were reversed. Remember when Junior was re-activated, (when they went to rescue Joe) and Steve called everyone he knew to find out what was going on?  They are SEALs. They leave no one behind.  They are brothers and Steve is his beloved mentor.  I would expect nothing less of Junior.  Bringing in the SEALs who were on that mission with them when they rescued Joe was inspired.

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Absolutely everyone in the cast brought their A-game to this episode.  Even when they had very limited screen time, there wasn’t a wasted millisecond. Everyone did a phenomenal job.

McDanno Rules:  Alex obviously had very definite ideas of how he wanted the Doris McGarrett story to end and he obviously has very definite ideas of who should be there with Steve when it ended.  Alex has said repeatedly in interviews over the years that the most important relationship in Steve’s life is Danny.  So, of course, who else would be knocking at his hotel room door, five thousand miles from Oahu, but Danny?

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But even before that.  He was so worried about Steve when he first heard of the mission he needed to remove himself from the discussion.  He knew if he allowed himself to stay part of that discussion, he’d end up in a rant born of his deep concern for Steve.  He’d go on and on about the stupidity of the mission, the idiocy of thinking he could do it alone and the inadvisability of trusting anyone associated with the CIA, in particular, Doris. Danny removed himself so Steve wouldn’t find it necessary to spend needless minutes trying to convince Danny or reassure Danny; precious minutes Steve would need to prepare for what was ahead.  The last thing Steve needed was distraction, so Danny made sure he wasn’t one.  Scott played those few minutes perfectly.

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The last scene in the hotel room was gut-wrenching. The utter despondency of Steve was palpable.  It was literally jumping off the screen.  Alone…. so utterly alone.  The emotion was so raw.  He was a broken man.

When he was on the tarmac with Doris’s body and all the cars drove up with the CIA contingent, my first thought was “I hope that’s the team and Danny coming.  Steve is going to need so much support”.  When it turned out to be just the CIA, I was disappointed, although Alex made it fantastic with Steve’s reaction to the guys who dared touch her coffin.  But it wasn’t the team.  It wasn’t Danny.

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As soon as I heard the knock on that hotel door, I was saying out loud “please be Danny…. please be Danny”.  So ridiculous! Of course, it was Danny.  Who else could it have possibly been? Danny has always been there for Steve. Oh, there have been others who have periodically been there along the way.  They come and they mostly go, but it’s always Danny who’s there when Steve needs him.  In his darkest hours, Danny has always been there.

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I loved Alex’s ability to weave canon into Steve’s heartbreaking monologue.  A monologue that left me feeling as broken as Steve himself.  I have to admit, when he was saying how Five-0 stared with him burying John, then losing Joe and now Doris, I feared his next words were going to be “but here is where it ends”.  Even though I knew that wasn’t going to happen, Alex’s portrayal was so absorbing, it really felt like that’s where he was headed.  I couldn’t have been happier that Danny was there to be his support once again.

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And leave it to Danny to inject just a touch of levity into a morose atmosphere.  The silly smile on his face when he asked if the bed was big enough for two was wonderful. And you could immediately see it did exactly what Danny hoped it do.  It didn’t lift Steve’s grief.  It didn’t make him laugh. But when Steve looked at Danny and told him he could sleep on the couch, you could see a teeny bit of lightness in his tone, in his face.  Once again, the acting brilliance of Alex, because the change was ever so subtle, but it was there.  It was there.  Just like Danny.  For Steve…. He’s always there.

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Doris told Steve that the government had sucked everything good out of her life.  That may or may not have been true.  Doris had a choice.  She lived the life she chose to live.  She chose the government life over her husband and over her children. She could say, in the beginning that she “didn’t have any choice” but as the decades went by she had all the choice in the world.  As Steve said, all she had to do was get on a plane and go home.

She chose not to and once again, she’s left her children bereft of their mother.  Her choice. Please, for the love of God, let Steve also make a choice.  Please let this be the last time he has to deal with the CIA or any other agent of any alphabet agency on a personal level. They always make their choices for their own ends, never for his.

I have no doubt there will be discussions about this episode for weeks, of not months.  I can already imagine Fan Fiction writers running to their keyboards to bang out coda after coda.  This is not the best episode ever of this series.  That distinction still goes to the Pilot episode. But I’m hard pressed right now to think of another, beside the Pilot, that could top this.

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Well done Alex.  You did exactly what I thought you’d do. You hit it out of every ballpark in existence.  I pray this is not the last time we’re blessed with an episode from your vision and your pen.

Aloha.  Malama Pono

Screen caps are mine unless otherwise noted

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#H50 Review:  10.06 – A’ohe pau ka ‘ike i ka ho’okahi (All knowledge is not learned in just one second)

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Well hello there, my friends!  Before we begin our review of this weeks H50 episode, I wanted to thank everyone who helped carry the ball here while I was enjoying everything that went along with my daughter’s wedding.  The week leading up to the wedding, the entire wedding weekend and the wedding day itself was absolutely perfect.

I can’t imagine a more beautiful wedding day. Everything went off without a hitch. Even the weather cooperated.  The day started off with pretty much constant downpours and we thought everything we’d planned for outdoors would need to be moved inside.  But by some miracle, the rain stopped, the clouds lifted and by ceremony time, the sun was shining brilliantly.  The bride was stunning, the groom beamed with happiness, parents were full of pride and everyone had a fantastic time.  It’s a day none of us will ever forget.

Of course, a TV show, even one I adore as much as I do H50, was far from my mind.  I was finally able to watch both episode 10.04 and 10.05 days after they aired, and I really appreciated the comments in here which helped me enjoy what was to come when I did get to watch.  It made finally watching the episodes even more enjoyable. Thank you all for the helping hand.  You are all the best!

Now… time to get back to the beach…..

I was full of excitement to be able to sit back, for the first time in three weeks, for a relaxing Friday night with my feet up, a glass of wine in my hand and my favorite TV show.  Naturally, I enjoyed the episode for the most part, because, well, I’m me and I love seeing all my favorite characters together on my TV screen.  But to be honest, I found the episode a bit of a letdown.  It’s pretty obvious this was meant to be a filler episode, somewhat of a breather for everyone involved and deliberately lighthearted.

Over the years, we’ve had many episodes like this one.  They’re mildly entertaining but usually not as funny as the writers seem to think they are.  Three middle-aged goof balls acting like assholes during Spring break and finding a dead body in their hotel bathtub leaps to mind.

Most of the time, these extreme filler episodes act as a lighthearted bridge to a subsequent episode that could be anything from heavy drama to fast and fierce action to downright heartbreak.  These subsequent episodes are usually a highlight of a particular season.  For example, “Ho’amoano” (S5-E22) with the three stooges preceded “Mo’o ‘olelo Pu” (S5-E23) where Kono sets off on a solo sea journey in honor of her mother only to be lost at sea after a violent storm.

So, yeah, this episode was disappointing but the “stay tuned for scenes from our next episode” showed the pattern is still intact.  Next week is the episode we’ve all been waiting for since the summer.  Written by Alex O’Loughlin…. Directed by Alex O’Loughlin…. Produced by Alex O’Loughlin…. Starring Alex O’Loughlin.  Next weeks episode is going to be epic!  I can be generous over this one knowing it’s a fun little bridge to next week’s awesomeness (I have no doubt it will be awesome!)

Like all filler episodes, there were things to like in this one and what I liked best was the partnering of Tani and Quinn.  Cagney & Lacey… Rizzoli & Isles… Season 1 Steve and Danny…. Tani and Quinn time is absolutely golden.  As I wrote in a response on a previous review, I’ve always loved when the writers team up the women on the team.  That is, the few times we’ve actually had two women on the team at the same time.  I loved Lori and Kono together and also when Kono and Catherine worked together. It didn’t happen all that often, but I always liked it when it did.

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I also like how the two of them, working cases, driving around, bantering back and forth, feeling each other out as they get to know each other better feels a lot like how Steve and Danny were when they first partnered.  Quinn, the more stoic, military minded partnered with the more quick witted, sarcastic Tani.  I’m really enjoying watching them work together and forge not only a partnership but a friendship as well.

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I do wish the writers could have come up with a better way to tell their part of this story though. The premise of their case was actually interesting. The revolving door of suspects in Marion’s murder was pretty funny on its own and the “nosy neighbor” was hilarious.

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I think the story could have been very entertaining with Tani and Quinn alone working the case, dealing with all the suspects and the ridiculousness of the situation without the addition of the two YouTubers who were, quite frankly, annoying as hell.

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I know I’m of a totally different generation, but the YouTube phenomenon of “influencers” is totally lost on me and I had no idea, until someone filled me in, that these two guys are real people.  Not just actors playing parts.  From what I’ve been told, they are real life comedians, Tom Allen and John Parr, and they run some sort of podcast, I think.  I suppose I could Google them or search YouTube, but personally, I really didn’t care enough to go look.

Like I said, I’m probably too old to get it anyway, but not everyone who watches this show is my age so the attempt to bring a younger aspect into a story is not really a bad idea.  What I found annoying and unrelatable, is probably easily understood and enjoyed by a younger generation who know exactly who these young men are and spend time on YouTube being “influenced” on a daily basis.  Just because it’s not my brand of Tequila doesn’t mean others won’t find it fun.  To each his own.

I will say that I really enjoyed the ending though, with the frat-boys posting their HPD recruitment video with the Tani and Quinn doppelgangers.  The boys club of Steve, Danny, Lou, Junior and Adam standing around just waiting for the two of them to show up so they could proceed with their friendly teasing was perfect.  I loved the reaction of Junior when Tani called him “Reigns” (“She only says Reigns when she’s really angry” 🤣 🤣) and their total embarrassment at their portrayal in the video was hysterical.  Those last three minutes pretty much made up for the rest of this story.

The main crime of the week was unique, something, ten years into a series, must be hard to do.  I thought the auto-drive car was a brilliant idea and I particularly liked Julia, the programmer, taking out all the bad guys with the car to save her father, Micah.  I don’t know which was better.  Steve, Adam and Junior storming in to save the day only to find that Julia had already taken everyone down or the look on Lou’s face as he watched Julia perform her computer magic.  Like with Tani and Quinn’s story, these last few minutes made this story as well.

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Courtesy of @alohaspaceman

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We actually managed to have a nice little Steve and Danny cargument in this episode too.  You know I always love whenever we can get these two together in the Camaro to work their magic.  It’s always fun when the guys remind us that they are just like us.  We park ourselves in front of the TV to watch our favorite crime fighters and so did they.  CHIPs marathons and now Knight Rider references.  I loved when Danny called the car they were following “Kitt”! 🤣 🤣

I do have a bone to pick, however.  You know I’m not one for much complaining, but I have to say it does bother me when, for no reason whatsoever, Danny simply disappears from an episode.  It happens relatively often these days.  I totally understand and came to terms with Scott’s shortened episode schedule years ago and have no problem with it.  I’ve also come to terms with the fact that Danny sometimes just isn’t in a scene where I think he should be.  I’m less ok with that, but I’ve come to expect it. I’ve always said if this is the way it has to be, I hope the writers would manage to, at least, make the most of the time he is there.

Danny was involved in the crime of the week throughout the whole episode.  He was there at the beginning with the remote controlled car was first stopped.  He was part of all the magic table exposition and he was with Steve in the Camaro for the money drop and the subsequent car chase and cargument.  So far… so good.

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So why did they find it necessary for Danny not to be part of the drug dealers bust? I understand Scott was probably not on island when that scene was shot but why couldn’t they just shoot the scene when he was on island?  There are any number of scenes in every episode that Danny legitimately has no part in. Like every single scene of the Tani/Quinn story in this episode.  Shoot those when Scott is off island and make sure you take full advantage of every single moment he is there.  As we’ve said before…. quality if you can’t have quantity!

I’m holding out all kinds of hope that Danny will be fully present and there for Steve during and after the upcoming episode next week.  Considering that Alex, himself, wrote the episode and Alex has always said that, to him, the most important relationship in Steve’s life is Danny, I’m hoping we’ll get to see that play out in spades.

So, there we have it.  This episode had some good car chases, a great fiery explosion with a car flying off a cliff, some awesome technical mumbo-jumbo, awesome Tani and Quinn time and a great McDanno cargument.  The rest?  Well… did I mention next week’s episode is sure to be epic!?!?!

Have a great week my friends.  Aloha. Malama Pono

Several of the screen caps are mine but most are not.  Mahalo to @ernsand2, @alohaspaceman, @sabkay_1893, @katrinalaw, @kimeebalmilero and CBS for the use of their photos, gifs and clips.

 

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H50 Review: 10.05 – He ‘oi’o kuhihewa; he kaka ola i ‘ike ‘ia e ka makaula(Don’t blame ghosts&spirits for one’s troubles; a human is responsible) Happy Halloween

NOTE:  Several people DMed me on Twitter over the weekend to say, for some reason, they couldn’t comment on this post on Saturday or Sunday.  I just got home from Wedding Weekend and saw the DMs.  So, I’m attempting to post it again in the hopes that this time it will work properly.  Maybe it was because I posted it from my phone instead of my laptop? Who knows? Hopefully this time it will work!  Oh…BTW.. I still haven’t seen the episode! LOL

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Hi everyone! Well, tomorrow is the wedding. 👰🤵To be honest.. this was written a week ago and saved for posting now. As I’m writing this, I haven’t seen this episode yet. I’ve been just a teeeeny bit distracted 🤣. But like last week, I didn’t want to let a week go by without giving you guys a place to talk about the episode if you’re so inclined. I’m leaving it up to you guys to “write the review” again. I’m looking forward to reading everything you’ve all got to say about what looks like a really fun episode.

Halloween episodes are always a hoot and having Max back for this one is sure to make it even more enjoyable. And I love all the promo photos of everyone in their costumes. I’ve been waiting for a full on dress up Halloween from this show for years! I’m a bit disappointed that Steve isn’t dressing up as a certain vampire but I’ll take what fun I can get! 🤣🤣

So have at it again my friends. I’m really looking forward to hearing everything you have to say about this episode. I’ll be back next week when life gets back to normal!

Aloha. Malama Pono

All photos courtesy of CBS

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#H50 Review: 10.04 – Ukuli’i ka pua, onaona i ka mau’u (Tiny is the flower, yet it scents the grasses around it)

Hi everyone!  Wedding week is finally here!!!! I was at the airport last night at 8pm picking up the kids from Australia.  I am so excited they are finally here and I have them all to myself (well.. my husband too! 🤣) for an entire week before Wedding Weekend. I’ve missed them both so much!

So, obviously, since I was at the airport, I haven’t seen the episode yet.  It’s the first time I’ve ever missed a first run episode in 9+ years.  One streak down. But I didn’t want to break another streak by missing a week here too.  I wanted to post something so if you guys want to discuss the episode, you’d have the place.

So, have at it.  I may not get a chance to actually watch the episode for several days but I’ll obviously have my phone with me wherever I go so I’ll be able to see your comments as time allows.

This is actually going to be kind of fun.  I’m the first to admit that brevity is not my strong suit and I try to cover a lot in my reviews.  I get a lot of wonderful comments that start with something like “well, you’ve pretty much covered everything I wanted to say…..”  🤣This time you get to say it all and I’ll be on the receiving end.  I’m rather looking forward to that.  I’m leaving it up to you guys to “write the review”, as it were.  Let’s see if anyone can talk as much as I can! 🤣🤣🤣

Aloha.  Malama Pono

All photos courtesy of CBS

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#H50 Review: 10.03 – E uhi ana ka wa i hala i na mea i hala (Passing time obscures the past)

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Hi everyone!  Well, preparations are in full force here this week.  My daughter and future son-in-law arrive in 6 days and we’re in full “getting ready” mode for their arrival, a family get-together the next day, a week of wedding prep (since they couldn’t do anything from Australia) and the wedding weekend itself.  This is the last episode I’ll be able to watch live until November 1st. So much for my streak.  These will be the first live episodes I’ve ever missed, from the Pilot on.  Oh well… at least I have a very valid excuse! 😃

So this will be the last review for a little while and it won’t be a full review.  Just a quick synopsis.  I hope you don’t mind.

– There it is again! Producer: Alex O’Loughlin! I guess we can stop wondering for good now.  Alex is a producer… period! I remember way back before the Pilot when interviewers would ask Alex and Scott if they thought the show could last as long as the original and they said something like “maybe we’ll be producers by then”.  Nice to see it came true for Alex, at least.  I couldn’t be happier for him.

– I got a real kick out of “1983” air travel.  Damn, but I’m jealous of those who were able to fly back in those days.  Just check out all that leg room.  And I had to chuckle when that guy took out a cigarette.  I was sure the flight attendant was going to make sure he put that thing away, not offer him a light.  I can long for that leg room but I’m sure glad they did away with the smoking.

– AND….. we’re back to a two story episode where there is no correlation between the two stories.  I really don’t like these types of episodes, as you know, but I’ll take comfort in the fact that, at least, Steve checked in on the other case and it wasn’t a three story episode.

– The COTW was a typical convoluted story of murder, theft, betrayal and red herrings.  There was a lot of magic table exposition in this one with Adam taking the Jerry role this week.  Considering this story was heavily conspiracy laden, it makes me wonder if the idea for the story was hatched before the writers knew Jorge was preparing to leave the show.  I mean, stories for the beginning of a new season are hashed out toward the end of a previous season and it seems odd to me that a story that seems so suited to Jerry would come along so soon after he’s gone.

– I loved that underwater fight Tani was involved in.  It’s great to see two women having it out and Tani was totally bad ass.  It was great that Junior leaped in to try to help her but I’m glad that Tani had it totally under control by the time Junior joined her in the water.

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Junior: “I didn’t know they taught underwater fighting in mermaid school.”

Tani: “You should see what I can do when I have my tail.”

Damn, but I love these two so much!

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– Although I don’t like the two separate story framework, I did like the team up of Steve and Quinn.  There is a very easy rapport between them but then again, Steve pretty much has a great rapport with everyone he considers worthy to be a teammate.

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– I wasn’t surprised Steve asked her to join Five-0, obviously, since we were already told it was going to happen, but I was surprised it happened so soon.  Not that I object.  Quinn is a good fit for the team and is already well liked by them all.

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Welcome to the Ohana Quinn!

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– And, of course, it didn’t take Steve more than half a second to call the Governor after Quinn is obviously set up with all that cash at her place.  Steve wasted no time in protecting her like he would anyone else on the team.  She is already Ohana.  I saw a number of people on Twitter on Friday night bring up how it seems to be a prerequisite that in order to join Five-0 you need to have been arrested at least once! 🤣 Well, that’s not 100% true but pretty damn close! 🤣

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Courtesy of @alohaspacemanPhoto Credits:  @alohaspaceman on Twitter

– Last week the whole team was sure that it was Cullen who put the bomb in the Champ Box.  I was skeptical.  I said at the time that I was “curious to see if it really was Cullen or the mysterious bad guy we’ve been told is eventually coming. We were told this new bad guy as some connection to past events.  Unless there are things about Cullen we don’t know yet, which is entirely possible, I don’t think he’s the new bad guy.”  Well, considering the way this episode ended, I guess I was kind of right. 😉🤣 Cullen is not the new big bad but that doesn’t necessarily mean he wasn’t involved in planting that bomb.

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– This episode was a bit more laid back then the previous two with a lot of leg work within the episode, time spent around the magic table doing exposition and with Steve and Quinn driving around and surveilling Cullen’s activities.  But when there was action it was really great action.  There was that underwater fight bad ass Tani had and then there was the extremely jarring explosion at the end.  There was no way I was expecting that.  I’m not really surprised they killed off Cullen since I never felt he was going to be our new big bad.  It seems pretty obvious he pissed off someone.  He told Steve there was a lot more going on then he suspected and I suspect Cullen was working for our new big bad.  Maybe he’s pissed that Cullen failed to blow up Casa McG.  Three episodes in and we’ve already ended two of them with cliffhangers.  I’m loving how this season is going so far and I’m really looking forward to seeing where this mystery is going.

Well, that’s it for this week gang.  I didn’t have time to re-watch the episode so everything written above is from memory of watching Friday night while trying to keep up with live tweeting.  If I’ve made any glaring mistakes, please let me know in the comments.  Also, since I didn’t have time for a re-watch, there are no screen caps.  All photos are courtesy of others.

Like I said above, this is the last episode I’ll be able to watch live until November 1st.  I’ll try to post something in the next couple of weeks, just to give you guys a place to discuss the episode if you choose and for me to hear what you thought of them. Probably before I even get to see them! 🤣  I’m not sure what I’ll post, but I’ll try to post something.  See you then!

Aloha.  Malama Pono 

 

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