#H50 Review: 5.17 – Kuka’awale – Stakeout

When I first heard that Daniel Dae Kim was going to direct an episode of Hawaii Five-0, two things immediately came to mind. First…I was very glad he finally was getting the chance to work behind the camera like he’d always said he wanted to do. It’s great when someone is able to realize a long standing desire. The second thing that came to mind was excitement. I had no idea at the time what the episode would be about or what the story would be but I knew that, given the right script, no one could know these characters, how they interact, how they relate to each other better than Daniel. I have to say the script and Daniel did not disappoint me in the least. This was a fun episode that had me laughing and even a bit teary at times. A truly excellent job from the first time director! Bravo Daniel.

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As usual this episode had two distinct yet intertwining stories. Honestly I had to re-watch the episode to remember what the crime of the week was about because, for me, this show was all about Steve and Danny.

I know there are some out there who watch this show for the action, car chases, gun fights and explosions, who feel spending time on character relationships is a boring waste of time and not what they watch the show for.  There are also those who have grown weary of the Steve and Danny relationship in particular and all the “how long have you been married”.  I fully support everyone’s point of view but…for me?   I love all the action and adventure as much as anyone else,  but I truly love these guys, just as much now as I ever have and I still feel their relationship is the cornerstone that hold everything else together.

Let me see if I can explain what it is that attracts me so much. First off, I will state….yet again…. I do not ship McDanno on the show. I am perfectly content for them to remain good, loyal partners and friends who love each other as brothers.

Let me see if I can put what I am thinking in my twisted head into words that someone other than me can understand. Ok….here goes. Worrying is exhausting. Ranting and raving accelerates the heart. Arguing elevates blood pressure. In other words, caring and loving takes a lot of energy, therefore, a person generally won’t do any of these things over someone they don’t truly care about and love. I mean, why expend all that energy on someone you don’t care about?

These two love each other…they are brothers to the core. If you can’t purge your fears, your annoyance and yes….your anger on your brother, the one person you know without a shadow of a doubt will always be there for you, no matter what, then where can you? The old notion that you always hurt the ones you love is very true. We’ll say things in the heat of the moment that perhaps we shouldn’t but we’re confident that the other person will understand and will still love us anyway.  This is Steve and Danny!

Every relationship, no matter if it’s a marriage, a friendship, a partnership or in this case, also a brotherhood, ebbs and flows. Every person has something about them the other person doesn’t like. EVERY person. Relationships are successful when each person is willing to ignore what they don’t like about the other. As long as the good outweighs the bad the relationship works. But eventually, every relationship hits a speed bump, a spot where whatever it is that drives each person crazy seems to grow and become something that can’t be ignored or glossed over any longer. When that happens there are only two choices. End the relationship or try to fix it. Acknowledge the problem and work on it.

That seems to be where we have been with Steve and Danny this season. There has been strain between them. The therapist, having only just met them at the initial required psych eval, doesn’t realize the bickering and bantering is normal for them but she does see that there is a harsh edge that is possibly a bit too sharp. Having them return to her for visits and giving them homework to help smooth out that harsh edge can only help in the long run.

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That brings us to the stakeout. What a wonderful idea. Not only does it tie into the crime of the week (what was it again?) but it puts our boys in close proximity with no way to escape each other. Yes…Danny is an overly emotional nag. Yes…Steve is the king of avoidance and a monumental control freak. These things are not new. But we did learn quite a lot about these two in this episode and it makes understanding what’s going on a bit easier.

Let’s take Danny first. Danny who came from a large, loving, vocal and demonstrative family where he learned to stand up for himself, defend his opinions, and outwardly show his emotions and vulnerability without fear of disappointment or disapproval. A place where he was actively encouraged to speak his mind and express his feelings.

Then there is Steve. Steve’s family was not one where outward displays of affection were the norm. We don’t really know what kind of mother Doris was before she “died”. I like to think she was a warm and loving mother. But we do know that John was a strong man, driven by his work who loved his family but wasn’t the warm, fuzzy type. He said so himself, way back in the Pilot, he didn’t tell his kids he loved them enough. Whereas in Danny’s family, showing your emotions was accepted, in Steve’s it was a sign of vulnerability and weakness.

Danny’s way of confronting problems and issues is head on. Deal with them, loudly if necessary, talk it out…. yell it out…. yanking and pulling until it’s resolved. Steve’s way is to shut it out, man up and move on. Perhaps that’s why he was such a fantastic SEAL. No need for long, heart bearing discussions. See the objective, plan the mission, secure the package, move on to the next one. Is it any wonder these two butt heads? They are about as opposite as you can get.

There is also the fact that Danny knows firsthand what it’s like to hit that speed bump in a relationship and not recover. He lost Rachel, almost lost Grace. It’s not surprising he sees working through that “homework” as something they need to do. He’s not willing to run the risk of losing the one relationship that, other than Grace, is the most important one in his life.  In Steve’s mind, they are fine, they’re hitting a bump but they’re good. No need to poke and prod… it will be fine if you just leave it alone.

Yeah…it will be, because these guys do love each other as only brothers can and even if Danny was the one to almost embrace the “homework” while Steve scoffed and avoided , eventually Steve opened up and let Danny see that, despite Danny’s jibes, Steve is a human being with real feelings and …yes…vulnerabilities. This 42 minutes therapy session was a huge success.

Favorite bits:

Mr. Pickles! Who would have ever thought that our favorite guys could be shown up by a cat? But Mr. Pickles is a star! I really wonder who that cat really belongs to because he was incredible. I’m telling you, he must have his own SAG card. Not only was he adorable but he hit every mark. Mr. Pickles is the cat version of Alex…. tons of dialog with just a look! LOL  And I really enjoyed the dog vs cat debate between the boys too. Steve’s comment that cats are “adorable little ninjas” was perfect!

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Cloris Leachman as Ruth Tennenbaum – “I see you boys like to snoop too”

What a wonderful character. I love a busybody who knows she’s a busybody. But in reality, a lady with a heart of gold who’s so lonely she’s baking cookies for strangers and delivery men, looking out her door at any sound hoping for someone to interact with and asking Steve and Danny, once she found out they were cops, to help her get back her stolen fern because it was the one thing she had that needed her. Poor dear didn’t even have a soul to help her with her groceries.

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Her interaction with Jerry was what got me just a wee bit teary. Jerry has turned into a big cuddly teddy bear and he realized that Ruth was just a lonely woman looking for companionship and someone to talk to and take care of. Jerry is a bit of a lost soul himself who’s obviously missing his mother since she moved to Maui. The only thing bigger than Jerry himself is his heart. The interaction between these two was very heartwarming.

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I’m also not sure what I found more funny…the fact that Ruth thought the guys were gay or Danny’s hysterical giggle at the idea! Steve’s face was priceless. “We’re not gay…we’re Five-0” ROFLMAO But, you know…in this day and age it’s perfectly understandable that she immediately thought they were a couple. I mean, Steve introduced himself and then Danny as “my partner”. He’s standing there stroking that beautiful cat. They are not in uniform. There is no way she could have known they were cops. So the fact that she thought “partner” meant they were a couple is quite understandable.

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Watching Steve eat is the most disgusting and yet adorable thing there is. Just how much food can he stuff into his mouth at one time? LOL I wonder if Alex is like this in real life. Malia must have her hands fill with ALL her little boys! LOL

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Danny imitating Steve’s “blow air out of your nose/head tilt”. He’s got him down perfectly! LOL

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The entire conversation on the couch between Steve and Danny: Starting off with one of the funniest and best Danny observations ever. The girls have been going hot and heavy for hours with nothing but a short water break. “This is bad for us…men in general….this is what gives us a bad name. 20 – 30 minutes and that includes a drink….THIS….this is 3 hours…..this makes us look terrible…..we can’t do this!!” ROFLMAO

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The rest of the conversation is golden. Steve finally opening up to Danny, telling him about his most vulnerable moment, one that haunted him so much he gave up his one passion…to play music. This moment reminded me so much of Danny telling Steve about Billy Selway and why he hates the water so much. A true breakthrough…both times!

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It seems this season the writers seem to want to end practically every episode with an Ohana get together. I wholeheartedly approve. Mrs. Tannenbaum telling dirty jokes, the crew teasing Steve about arguing with Danny and, of course, the moment all the official and unofficial therapy was leading up to. Danny gifting Steve with that guitar and Steve giving up the control of the Camaro. A wonderful way to end the episode. Yes indeed..the boys are back in town.

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Oh yeah….the crime of the week. ……….. I thought it was very interesting but, of course, as I said above, this episode was all about Steve and Danny for me so the COTW took a major back seat. There were a couple of things I did find interesting.

The name of the Serbian was Ivanovitch. That’s the same name as the guy who kidnapped Rowland Lowrey way back in S1E2 “Ohana”. That Ivanovitch was also Serbian. Wonder if they’re related? LOL

I’m also thinking that Norm the gun shop owner might just be reconsidering the logic of our 2nd amendment rights right about now.

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And is it just me or was Ivanovitch’s Terminator ensemble a little bit over the top.  I mean, was all that really necessary?  The fact that Kono, bad ass that she is, took him out with only one shot after all that and something like seven dead cops was a bit anticlimactic.  But then again, the guy got cocky, didn’t expect Kono to be there and took his helmet off.  Oh well…no loss there.

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Also, I have to admit I was a bit surprised by the lesbian relationship of the jewel thieves. I don’t have a problem with it, of course but, honestly, I didn’t find it really necessary. I mean the two women could have just been close friends or even, maybe, sisters or something. Wasn’t really necessary to make them lovers and it didn’t add anything to the story except to give the boys some free porn to break up the monotony of the stakeout. I suppose from their point of view, that’s not a bad thing.

Peter Lenkov mentioned in an interview that there would be a two-part episode this season and that 5.17 would be the beginning if it with the conclusion being a few episodes later in 5.21. Everyone involved in this story are dead or arrested. Makes me wonder what the 2nd part of this two-parter will center around. Whatever it is, I can’t wait to see it.

This episode is one of those that people will either love or hate. I don’t see it as one where anyone will be ambivalent. Obviously, I loved every minute of it but I know there will be those who didn’t like it at all. One thing I am certain about…it’s a set up. I’m not just talking about setting up a story for 5.21…I’m talking about next week.

Whether you liked it or not, this was supposed to be a feel good episode. Have some laughs, explore some feelings and enjoy lots of Ohana. It puts Steve and Danny back on a road of understanding and willingness to open up and share. It brings them closer. Just so it can all be ripped apart next week. It’s something they do on this show. Get us all warm and fuzzy…make us relaxed and content only to pull the plug the next week. I hope you did enjoy the fun this week. Next week may just kill us all.

Have a great week my friends!


17 thoughts on “#H50 Review: 5.17 – Kuka’awale – Stakeout

  1. rhondagemini says:

    Another great review,sistah! Loved the stakeout scenes-I did have to wonder what would happen if Steve & Danny had to be together like that all the time-they would need therapy,for sure! They are solving the problems in their relationship and Danny’s gift of the guitar and Steve letting him drive the Camaro are proof of that. This was a really lighthearted episode,for the most part,setting things up for next week’s ep,which is sure to be off the intense chart,if you know what I mean!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Maggs says:

    Linda your review again spot on , it was so funny I don’t know where to start but the sight of Steve in that purple pinney blew me away I can’t stop laughing so cute and funny I wanted more and the scene with the two girls and Danny’s how can you keep up with that was indeed priceless Oh for more like this can’t wait for 5.21

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know what you mean. I left out a bunch more stuff I wrote. I didn’t mention Jon Lovitz or the “travel agent” drug dealer. Both were hilarious but I just had to make a cut somewhere. LOL I’m a wreck about what we’re gonna see next week. I think Steve may just lose his mind trying to help Chin and save Danny at the same time!


  3. Diane says:

    Great Review Linda. I agree totally on Steve and Danny’s relationship. Danny complains the most, he is the one who understands Steve better than anyone else.
    We all know that Steve would do anything for Danny as well. I loved this episode, and I love the relationship of these two friends/brothers. I would not change a thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You left out my personal favorite part of this episode, Linda! WIFEBEATER!

    Loved everything else you had to say!

    Remember way back in S1, Scott was asked in an interview what he would like to see in future episodes? Scott admitted to being a character-driven actor, so he would love an episode minus a COTW with nothing but characterization. Well, I think this episode was as close as it’s gonna get, and for me, it was pretty perfect.

    We’ve talked a lot about the the apparent distance between Steve and Danny this season. Whether that is a product of the logistics of Scott being in LA more often this year, or an actual plot device, I can’t say. But I do think it was the perfect time to revisit the partner therapist. So much has happened to both of them since the first session – Mattie dying, Danny killing Reyes, WoFat, Mom’s betrayal – it’s understandable that they guys would become distant towards each other, and the sensitivity and control issues would eventually grate on the other’s nerves. Doesn’t mean they would be there for the other, or have each other’s back, just the everyday relationship was sorely being tested. I think progress was made this week, which is a good thing because I’m afraid for next week. In fact, I know it’s going to be hard to watch. Someone want to come and hold my hand? 😳😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right. I had forgotten that Scott said that way back in Season 1. Maybe it’s just me projecting my good feelings about this episode onto my screen but it looked to me like Scott and Alex were really enjoying themselves. Of course, they are both such great actors they could have loathed every minute and we wouldn’t be able to tell but I really think they had a lot of fun with this one. Especially with DDK directing I bet they all had a blast.

      I would LOVE to come and hold your hand babe! Danny in danger and SuperSEAL to the rescue. We’re both gonna be a wreck when this one ends.!


  5. Wendy says:

    Linda, like you I loved this episode. The COTW seemed like such a small part of what was really going on. It was interesting, and it gave a good reason for Danny and Steve to be cooped up together. I loved that it was Kono that took out Ivanovitch, she’s so bad ass at times.

    The interaction between Danny and Steve was just what I’ve longed for. The therapy session was great, and Steve’s “The real reason we’ve been getting along so great is I don’t listen to him anymore.” Well I have to tell you, that just made me laugh.

    In the apartment they acted just like brothers who where stuck being together and trying to work out their differences at the same time. Danny, leaning on Steve’s shoulder while they watch the TV commercial, or Steve tapping Danny’s food before they talked about ordering dinner. Steve, showing Danny how to eat Indian food, it all made them closer than they’ve been for a while now.

    Danny’s reaction when Mr Pickles ran past him was priceless. Steve’s use of Danny’s favourite expression, “What’s the matter with you,” didn’t go unnoticed. There were so many special moments in those scenes it’s hard to do them all justice, but that conversation on the couch was the highlight of the whole episode. Steve finally opened up to Danny, and I feel that it was a big step in their relationship. An even bigger step was Steve allowing Danny to drive at the end, relinquishing control to someone he trust.

    Playing that song, “The boys are back in town,” was the perfect way to end the episode. But like you, I think it’s the warm fuzzy feeling before the storm of next week.

    Thank you for writing such a great review, as always. I love to read them every week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ROFL… What would have been really perfect would have been for Steve to wave his heads around while aiming Danny’s signature phrase back at him! LOL “What the HELL is the matter with you” OR “There’s something wrong with you….you know that right?” ROFL


  6. kdownton78 says:

    I loved this episode. Perfect dialogue maybe a few AdLib’s I think. But awesome episode. I laughed so much. It did make me laugh when they were eating. Oh I can’t really see Alex eating like that in real life. It seemed very bachelor style to me. If Steve still had Catherine I think she’d pull him into line.

    The whole background story of Steve’s growing up I can relate to as I was actually raised by a real life navy man, so I get the whole vulnerable thing. I’ve always been taught to get straight back up after a fall in life no matter what. So for me I can kind of understand the tough love thing.

    Next weeks ep looks emotional so I’m glad we’ve had this comic relief this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not so sure about Catherine. LOL When Steve took her to Rainbow back in Season 3 (right before they got car jacked) Steve was eating like a pig then too, shoving food into his mouth, drinking and chewing at the same time, talking with his mouth full. And when Kamekona gave Steve, Catherine and Danny a taste test of his Spam and shrimp breakfast burrito, Danny refused to try it, Catherine took a tentative nibble but Steve dove right in with a HUGE mouthful. He regretted it of course! LOL

      No, I think Steve is just a huge goof and after years of having to fight with other sailors for what food was on their table (or the ground in a tent) that’s just the way he is. In this one instance, Danny is right. He’s an animal. ROFLMAO

      You understand Steve, coming from a Navy family background. I understand Danny because I came from a large, boisterous, Italian family where you learned to defend yourself with words. These two are always going to butt heads, their personalities and backgrounds demand it. But that is what will always make them interesting, to each other and to us as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • kdownton78 says:

        Lol! That scene in the episode with Steve eating and Catherine was in the car when they were car jacked I think Steve was deliberately making her think that was it with something special before her leave ended given the fact he turned up in a tux later on and took her to dinner.


  7. Tina Starnes says:

    Linda, I fully enjoyed your review as always! I love action shows but I also love when they have a character based epi to break up the stories. It gives the viewer some insight as to what drives them to do what they do. I did think the COTW was a good B-story until the end with the far fetched Robocop outfit. I love that the Bromance is not always perfect, it would be unreal otherwise. Yes, I too find Steve shoving food in his mouth adorable. (I had an ex-boyfriend that did that also, LOL!) One part that I loved was when Danny told Steve that after all they had been through, he was hurt that Steve still couldn’t open up, especially to him. But when Steve talked about how the McG men don’t express their feelings, I knew exactly where he was coming from. I hope the writers continue to put a couple of these types of epis in per season! I do hope to see McG go on a couple of dates with random women…I can see it now, right in the middle of dinner, his cell rings and he looks up and says, “I gotta go.” How Plenkov (he is such a tease) will continue this epi into a 2nd part is beyond me, maybe the Jerry angle? I guess we will just have to wait. For now, I can’t wait until the next epi, it looks like Jeff C and the stunt team will be back in action and earning their pay! Later Skaters:)


  8. Last week was so intense and creepy. I love the humor in this episode. Unpredictable storylines keep it interesting. Thanks for the recap and pics Linda.


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