#H50 Review: 5.18 – Pono Kaulike – Justice For All

So, I weathered the ….ummm… weather and stocked up on the supplies I was going to need to get me through this episode. I had my wine, my popcorn and my tissues at the ready and sat down at 9pm for what was promised to be an intense, tear inducing episode of my favorite show. The wine and popcorn were dutifully and happily consumed but I really didn’t need the tissues as much as I thought I would. Actually, I didn’t use them at all.

This episode had the potential to be an A+ episode… right up there with #100 or even 4.10 (Pearl Harbor episode). With Peter Lenkov and Ken Solarz doing the writing and Larry Teng directing all the elements were there. Don’t get me wrong…I LOVED this episode. It was intense, suspenseful and in places had me actually scared.  It just wasn’t everything I expected it to be. I’ll give it a solid A but I really wanted it to be another A+

First off….I really…really…really wish this had been a two-hour episode or at least a back-to-back week two-parter. There was so much more that could have been explored if it wasn’t confined to the 42 minute format. There was enough story here to fill two hours without having to stretch a thing. More on this as we go along.

Ok…let’s get started: (these are not in any particular order…just my mind rambling as usual…)

• I was extremely happy there was no attempt to have an actual crime of the week in this episode. There was so little time as it was to get to what was important. A crime of the week would have taken up too much valuable time. I’m glad they didn’t attempt to shoehorn one in.

• Of course, I had seen the promo pictures and the sneak peeks this week but seeing both Danny and Chin arrested practically simultaneously set the tone very quickly for me that his episode was going to be intense. And I have to say that both Detective Coughlin and Agent Sam Alexander have to be two of the most despicable men to ever call themselves law enforcement.

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First off, what kind of man authorizes the arrest of a fellow officer, no matter that they are in different branches of service, in front of a class room full of children that includes the officer’s own child? I don’t care what he thought Danny did. I mean, think about this for one second. How do they know how the individual being arrested will react? What if he becomes combative? Are they willing to risk the safety of the children? Not a smart move at all. Of course, in this case, Alexander was probably banking on the fact that with Grace there Danny wouldn’t make a scene and would do exactly what he did. Go peacefully and make Alexander’s job that much easier. I honestly didn’t think I could dislike anyone in this episode more than Coughlin but Alexander proved me wrong. Actually I think they are in a dead heat over who I hated more.

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The entire interrogation scene between Alexander and Danny was extremely well written and acted. We got to see Danny as a man who has been tormented by what he did. Murdering Reyes is not something that has been sitting well with him. We saw our first glimpses of that when he was away with Amber, having nightmares about what happened in Columbia. The fact that he doesn’t try to defend himself, doesn’t deny anything and ultimately agrees to extradition shows that in his heart he knows what he did was wrong and as an officer of the law believes he does deserve to pay for what he did.

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But Danny also shows that he is an amazing detective and an amazing father and friend to boot. Not wanting Gracie to see all the gruesome details on the news he agrees to extradition to protect her. He also goes out of his way to keep Steve out of the mess.  Alexander only refers to Steve as “your accomplice”, never by name.  Danny knows that if he doesn’t go willingly Steve will be next.  There is also the fact that Gracie will need Steve if Danny never comes back. Like I said….an amazing father and friend.

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But Danny also figured out immediately what was really going on… that Reyes was on the CIA’s payroll, that whatever he was into was still in play. The CIA was looking for someone to take the fall because they didn’t get whatever it was they wanted from Reyes. Yes…Danny Williams, even under the worst possible circumstances, is a brilliant detective!

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Danny figured it out way before Steve did. Steve asked Joe the valid question. Why would anyone care that a low life like Reyes was dead. I had been asking myself that question from the first time I read the synopsis for this episode. Finding out that Reyes was a CIA asset was a twist I wasn’t expecting. I’m not crazy about the idea that the CIA would willing allow drugs to keep flowing into the country just to save banks from losing money but considering the power big banks have in this country it’s not a stretch to believe such a thing could happen. And the CIA has had Danny on it’s radar since they butted heads way back in Season 2. Add to that they brought an entire parking garage down on them both last Season.  So much for the CIA being the good-guys!

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• Danny in that Columbian prison was simply horrifying. Danny being beaten by inmates was not a surprise. I’m sure being an American as well as a cop didn’t do him any favors and I’m sure the people who threw him in there set the stage so the inmates and guards knew exactly who he was. Dirty guards who sell protection for a fee is not anything we haven’t seen in cop shows for years either.

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I know there are those who absolutely hate to see any of our team hurt but come on! We’ve seen Steve put through hell more than once, we’ve almost seen him beheaded for crying out loud. Danny spent what? A day there? And his injuries weren’t even enough for him to require a hospital visit? This is another area where I think this episode could have easily been expanded and more detailed. I would’ve loved to see a bedside visit like Danny and Steve in Afghanistan, for instance.  But, again, considering the time limitation, the writing and the acting of Scott Caan was really really good.

• Then there’s Chin. He’s running out the door having found out what happened with Danny only to run into that slime ball Coughlin waiting for him. As Joe said….no way that’s a coincidence. I do have a question here… it seems obvious this was a coordinated attack but we never saw the connection between Coughlin and Alexander. Each man seemed to be following their own agenda and it just happened to all take place at the same time.   Coughlin made references to the fact the money Chin got from Gabriel aided in Reyes’s murder but it was Chin who told him during the interrogation that the money went to try to buy Matt’s life.  Coughlin didn’t know about it until then.  Did Alexander feed Coughlin the information that Danny’s arrest was imminent and advise him to pick up Chin too? We never found that out.

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• We didn’t really get to see all that much of Chin other than his arrest, his one scene interrogation with Coughlin and his release. There was more there that could have been explored. I would have liked to understand Coughlin better.  Why does Coughlin hate Chin so much? He’s been on a mission to nail Chin since last year and even then his aggression towards Chin seemed over the top. So much so that in this case, he’s willing to do exactly what he’s accusing Chin of doing. He got Gabriel out of prison, cutting him all kinds of deals, to get what he wants out of him….Chin’s hide. When Gabriel turned the table on him and went after him I was literally shouting at my TV .. “Kill him! Kill that son of a bitch”. I thought Gabriel was going to strangle him with his bare hands. The pen in the eye was not expected at all but, hey…fielder’s choice!

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But here’s the thing….Chin is released because Coughlin is dead so there’s no case? Really? Was everything he was going to charge Chin with just bluster? I highly doubt he’d be able to arrest, book and interrogate a high ranking HPD lieutenant not to mention a member of the Governor’s personal task force without reams of evidence to support the warrant. And would they really have needed Gabriel’s testimony to make it all stick?  Seems to me his testimony would have only been icing on an already very damaging cake.  Don’t get me wrong…I’m thrilled Chin’s not in trouble but what? All that evidence is invalid just because Coughlin is dead and Gabriel gone?

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Did Chin take drug money from a known cop killer in exchange for getting said cop killer an easier prison confinement? Hell, yeah…he did. In this instance, Coughlin was 100% correct. The noble reason behind why Chin needed that money, in the eyes of the law, is irrelevant. He did break the law. There could have been a scene where someone from IA, perhaps that guy who interrogated Chin along with Coughlin the first time, could have told Chin that while the facts are clear and what he did was illegal, IA is willing to look the other way because of the mitigating circumstances surrounding the Matthew Williams situation AND the fact that (even though we have no clue why) Coughlin was on a personal vendetta which IA has no interest in pursuing. The outcome would be the same, Chin would be free, but it wouldn’t have felt as if the story was shut down for expediency. Of course, that’s exactly what it felt like because it had to fit into 42 minutes.

• I personally know at least 2 people who speculated weeks ago that Doris would make her presence known in this episode. I knew she was Joe’s contact the moment he took that phone call and felt he had to leave the room to do it. So, as usual, Doris is not off the grid as much as Joe would like Steve to believe. He obviously knew where she was. I’m not sure if she was in Columbia or if she dug up information from another location. If she was already there that’s a major coincidence, don’t you think? But what have we learned watching this show for 5 years? Coincidences take a lot of planning. Makes me think that someone got wind that the CIA was going after Danny and warned Joe who then got in contact with Doris. The fact that it was Doris who kept Steve out of trouble and Doris who found out where the cocaine was hidden was a twist I didn’t see coming either until Joe mentioned his “contact”. Joe wants Steve to trust him yet he continues to do everything to make Steve even more distrustful. I hope someday we find out there was a damn good reason for all this deceit and that it’s worth the wait to find out what it is.

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• I do my very best to stay off social media and to read as little as possible of other peoples reviews before I write mine.  It was a lot easier this week since my laptop decided it needed a bit of a break for most of Saturday and I couldn’t even get online.  I do spend time on Twitter both live tweeting during the episode and right after, however. I saw a number of people complaining that Kono didn’t mention Danny or the situation he was in for the better part of the episode. It seems they took this as a character flaw in Kono for not worrying about her friend.

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I don’t think this was the case and I’m willing to bet there are scenes on the cutting room floor somewhere that show Steve, Joe, Kono and Lou agreeing to divide their resources in an attempt to help both Danny and Chin. Steve and Joe working the Danny side, while Kono and Lou try to help Chin. When we see Steve and Kono together only talking about Chin it’s because she’s giving him her report only on the investigation she’s involved in…the one concerning Chin.  Doesn’t mean she doesn’t care about Danny.  When both teams meet up to share information is when Steve states that neither Danny nor Chin is more important than the other and they needed to pool resources and concentrate on Danny because his was the more dire situation.

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• Although this was not the tear-jerker episode I was expecting there were several very touching moments. Teilor Grubbs has grown into quite a beautiful and talented young lady. Both of her scenes with Scott and Alex were gems. The look of disappointment and worry on her face as she realized her Danno is not in Steve’s truck was heartbreaking. The phone call between Danny and Gracie was awful.  I mean, wonderfully acted but awful to imagine happening.  Danny said “I love you” after practically every sentence making sure that the last thing Gracie would ever remember was that her Danno loved her.  Gracie’s joy at seeing her father again when he finally does come home had me very misty eyed. Teilor nailed every single moment of those scenes.

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And is there anything more heartwarming than Steve in full “Uncle Steve” mode with Gracie? Teilor, again, nailed this scene and as usual Alex is able to convey pages of dialog with just a look and the look here was “how do I tell her what she needs to know without telling her all the details I know Danny is trying to protect her from? How do I promise her everything will be alright when I don’t know if it will be? How do I make her feel safe?” Steve taking Grace into his arms and telling her he loves her was extremely touching.

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• Of course, there were huge missed opportunities for both action and to really turn on the water works. Firstly, how many times have we seen the team and Danny in particular come to Steve’s rescue? The entire team rescuing him in North Korea and finding him in that hell hole of WoFat’s the last time. Danny flying all the way to Afghanistan. I was really hoping, when I saw the sneak peek of all the gunfire from Frank Bama’s chopper that we were in for a “tear the place apart and find Danny” rescue. Having Danny’s rescue come down to a cell phone video of burning cocaine and a flash drive of dirty deeds was extremely anticlimactic after such a great build up. And, seriously, I don’t believe for one second that Steve would have gotten on a plane back to Oahu and just trusted that slime ball Alexander to get Danny out of that prison and home.  I understand the time constraints of not having a full blown prison break. But could we at least have had the team or particularly Steve meeting Danny as he’s getting off the plane from Columbia. If we were supposed to have tissues at the ready, this would have been the time to put them to good use. Alas, opportunity lost.

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So we didn’t get a reunion scene at the airport but we did have a wonderful scene between Steve and Danny in the truck.  Another confirmation of the love and respect these two men have for each other.  And to those who think that just because Danny is snarky and takes sometimes not-so-nice jabs at Steve, I hope this episode and this scene in particular went some way to show that Danny does love Steve, enough to give up his life for him.  There is no way he would have survived that prison very long and he made damn sure Steve didn’t go down with him.

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• I was very happy for the bit of continuity that showed us what actually did happen to all that money Danny and Steve brought with them to Colombia.  We had all wondered how they managed to get that money into Colombia in the first place let alone how they would have gotten it back and what the hell did they do with it?  We have always known that our guys have hearts of pure gold so it was wonderful to hear Danny say they left all that money with an orphanage in Columbia.  What a wonderful touch.

• There were some light moments in this episode too. I really loved the scene that opened the episode with Steve on the beach with Nahele practicing his football passes. It would have been so easy for Steve to just chuck Nahele into the system after he stole the Marquis. It’s great to see Steve connecting with him on a personal level. Steve told Nahele they were going to work together to repair the Marquis but it’s nice to see Steve being sort of a “big brother” to the kid. I really hope we get to see more moments like this between these two in the future. Of course, any excuse to get Steve in that Kukui high t-shirt works for me! LOL

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• The scene in Gracie’s class before the arrest was extremely amusing. Danny and Max at career day and the kids being more fascinated with Max, cutting up dead people and if he’s ever found anything weird in the “poop shoot”! Ahhhhh to be in middle school again! LOL

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• The joking around with Frank Bama, his fondness for scrap metal aviation and his basically calling Lou fat was really cute. I know some thought it was inappropriate levity at that moment but it reminded me of Episode 2.10 when the gang flew off in Tangerine to rescue Steve in North Korea. Gallows humor does have its place. But if you noticed…..Steve was not having any part of it. He was 100% on task the entire time.

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• And seriously if Gabriel is not the new WoFat there is something really wrong with the world. The way he called Chin and said “you’re welcome” for what Gabriel sees as getting Chin off the hook was bone chilling. Oh…we NEED to see more of this man. Without WoFat this show needs a new big baddie and I can’t think of anyone who could fill those shoes better than Gabriel.  He is ruthless, cold hearted and filled with hate and the need for vengeance.  It will also gets us back to the original concept of the show.  A man out to bring to justice the man who killed his father.  Except in this case, instead of it being Steve and WoFat, it will be Chin and Gabriel.  I LOVE this idea.

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• Finally, I am going to end this a little differently this week. I am going to end this with the one MAJOR complaint I have with this show…one I’ve had from the very beginning of the series and one that, in my opinion, is getting worse. I am going to preface this by saying I LOVE the music of Five-0. The music, a combination of original compositions and popular songs, put together by Keith Power and Brian Taylor is some of the best I’ve ever heard on a TV show. It’s powerful, emotional, and sometimes playful and it always sets the perfect mood for every single scene.  Actually getting to hear Jimmy Buffett sing was heavenly!

But for the love of God…can we PLEASE turn down the volume??? I don’t know about the rest of you but I did not hear one word of dialog while they were in that chopper. I know Frank was saying something…I caught snippets of words…but even after watching the scene numerous times I still can’t make out the dialog. You would think it would be the chopper and gun fire mostly drowning them all out but it was the music too. This is not the first time. Every single episode I sit there and think…this music is wonderful but why is it so loud that I have to strain to hear the dialog?  Come on guys! Do NOT change a note… just tell whoever has their hand on the volume control to ease up….just a bit.

Well, there you have it.  This one is particularly long and I’m sorry for that.  You should have seen it before editing! LOL I really loved this episode, as I usually do, and all of the issues I had with it were not things I thought were wrong, just things I think would have made fantastic reasons for this to be an hour longer.  One more new episode next week before we have a break for March Madness and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us next.  Have a wonderful week my friends!

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14 thoughts on “#H50 Review: 5.18 – Pono Kaulike – Justice For All

  1. Your ENTIRE review was taken from my brain!! haha I AGREE 100% with everything you said. My main complaint was that this should have been a 2-parter. I had my hopes high, when I saw the preview, that the helicopter scenes were showing the team rescuing Danny. Like you said, we’ve seen many scenes with Danny rescuing Steve, but the last 2 times Danny has been hurt (Stabbed by Amber’s ex and this time) I felt a little let down with the Steve/Danny blown chances for powerful, tear inducing scenes. 😦 The writer’s nailed it PERFECTLY with the 100th episode ending and then blew it with these two episodes. LOVE the show, just sad about the missed opportunities.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. Although I love Five-0 for many many reasons it’s the brotherhood between Steve and Danny that, for me, has always been the glue that holds everything together. Perhaps the writers don’t feel it’s necessary anymore, after all these years, to keep throwing their affection for each other into episodes because it’s a a given at this point. For the most part I agree. I don’t need to see brotherly hugs or heart to heart scenes every week. But when a golden opportunity presents itself….in that parking garage… in Afghanistan…. in WoFat’s hell hole… and for me…in THIS episode it’s a crime not to take advantage of it.

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  2. This perfectly expresses what I think a lot of us were thinking, especially about missing scenes and missed opportunities. I don’t like to criticize, because Peter Lenkov has been writing for television for a very, very long time, and I know that he knows exactly what he’s doing and, more importantly, why he’s doing it. But, as a viewer, this episode had a somewhat odd feel to it. It was like two separate and complete episodes, each with huge chunks cut out of them, were then spliced together to create the final product. As you said, where was the rescue scene? Where was the reunion scene? Hey Chin, Coughlin’s dead, you’re free to go, sorry for the inconvenience. I just wanted more, from BOTH stories. I think we all did.

    Anyway, great job, Linda. Enjoyed this, as always.

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  3. Wendy says:

    I agree with the A rating you gave this episode. It was very good even though it missed the mark on a few things. As I’ve said elsewhere, this really should have been a two-part episode. There just wasn’t enough time to do the story justice. So yes I still love the show even with its faults.

    Agent Alexander was so easy to hate, he did have Danny arrest after all. The fact that he turned out to be a bad guy didn’t surprise me one bit. I loved how Danny proved he is such a great detective by figuring out why the CIA wanted to make him the fall guy, and the look on the agents face confirmed everything Danny said. Danny waiving extradition to protect Grace and Steve was the only thing his character would allow him to do. They’re family and Danny will protect family with his life. Plus he feels guilty for killing Reyes in the first place. Those scenes where Danny was beaten in the Columbian prison where painful to watch, both times I’ve watched the episode. There’s no way he wouldn’t have, at the very least, broken ribs. And that call to Grace was heartbreaking.

    Steve did the only thing he could do to get Danny back. He found, and destroyed the drugs, had the CIA clear Danny, and let them bring him home. I know we’d have all liked to see the team rescue Danny, but that could never have happen if they were going to carry on with their lives. Danny was legally extradited to Columbia, if they’d gone in and broken him out, they would have all be fugitives. Yes I would have loved it if Steve had stormed in and pulled Danny out of there, but I understand why he didn’t. I think if they couldn’t have cleared Danny, then Steve may have gone in as a last resort.

    I think most of us knew that it was Doris who was helping Joe. Peter did say everyone would have to help, and we got to see Ellie too.

    Chin’s story was a little underdone for me. It fell flat at the end. They just dropped the charges? That made no sense at all. Gabriel really would make a good replacement for Wo Fat, he is such an evil character, with no sense of guilt, at all. I also was routing for Gabriel to kill Coughlin, as wrong as that seems, but the use of the pen was surprising. That phone call at the end was chilling and warned us that Gabriel will be back.

    I loved the truck scene between Danny and Steve, but I missed seeing Steve worry about Danny. A reunion scene at the airport, with a worried Steve, then an obviously hurt Danny would have been exceptional. The writers missed out on quite a few good opportunities in this episode. Only six episodes left now. I hope the writers can give us more good episodes like this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now that you mention it, you’re right. A prison break would have gotten Danny out of there but it wouldn’t have set him free and it would have brought them all down. So yeah, it makes sense it didn’t happen that way but I still would have like to see an airport reunion! LOL

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  4. Hi, Linda! I was afraid I had missed your Koolaid somewhere along the way, as it wasn’t waiting for me this morning! Glad it was a computer glitch and not the fact you hated the episode and decided to chuck the pitcher of Koolaid down the drain! 😱
    As usual, you voiced all the same loves and complaints about the episode that I had. Having discussed this episode among ourselves for weeks now, we thought we had the storyline all figured out, didn’t we? Well, we were proved wrong…again. We might not always like or agree with what the writers do on this show, but they usually show us that we are not on their wavelength all the time. They continue to surprise us, as they did with Reyes and the CIA connection, along with Alexander and his accepting payoffs. That was a twist I didn’t see coming, but I was quite happy to see that Detective Williams’ keen sense of logic put two and two together from the very beginning!

    Yes! What the heck was Coughlan’s beef with Chin? It seems too personal for it to be just a good IA cop going after a purportedly dirty cop. Coughlan seemed willing to give up too much to get Chin a one way to Halawa, and it ultimately got him killed – he was a tad bit too trusting of Gabriel (trusting or condescending – he really didn’t seem to think anyone was on his level, he was above Chin, Five-0, Gabriel, etc. and as such he was going to show everyone they were little fry easily squashed by his big boot. Ha! I love it when those kind of people get their come-uppance! Yeah, I wasn’t expecting the pen to the eye trick, though!

    A two parter would have been nice, but I’m not sure whose fault it is that it wasn’t. Maybe CBS studios has to make the final call on that and they didn’t go for it (although it would have been a perfect way for the show to go into a three week hiatus before the final run to the end of the season.), Yes, things were hurried through, but I still thought it was well done. Scott and Alex both brought their A game to this one. Danny was so calm when he was arrested, and so placid (that’s the best word I can come up with to describe his demeanor) during his little “talk” with Alexander. And I will take umbrage with any person who says Danny is a lousy friend to Steve. How many friends do you have who would basically say “screw me over anyway you want, but leave my daughter alone and my friend out of it?”I’m sorry, but even if you don’t like Danny (or Scott), once again he has shown he is a good man and knows how to be a best friend.

    Now, having said that, how in the world could all that Danny whump end up with no hospital stay? No broken ribs puncturing a lung, no ruptured spleen or bruised kidneys? Not even a concussion?? Where was the hospital scene with the two partners; where was the damn hug?!?! We need to give Peter the link to the DWOCD forum so he can teach his team of writers how to do whump and comfort properly! 😁

    I’m relieved to see Mattie’s story tied up. I hope we never hear about him again. I hope Danny goes off the CIA’s radar for good, although that’s highly unlikely. I loved Gabriel, rooted him on as he killed Coughlan (I know! That’s really bad of me!). Can’t wait to see him again and see what he has in store for Chin. He won’t be another WoFat, because that character was personally tied to Steve, but he can easily become the next thorn in Five-0’s side.

    Mahalo for your review, as always, Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really sucks when technology decided to take a break. I was worried my laptop was kaput for good. Luckily I got it back up and running (well, hubby did, anyway).

      And I agree with you 100%. We all have an idea of how we want this show written. We all have our favorite characters, characters we wouldn’t be upset to never see again, Those who write FanFiction actually get to write it exactly how they want it. But, as you say, we’re not on the same wavelength as the writers. Since I love this show so much, obviously that’s not a bad thing.

      I guess if CBS doesn’t approve of a two hour or two-part episode there’s not much TPTB can do about it but I guess it’s ok if we still wish for it, no? And I agree…Alex and particularly Scott brought their A games and then some to this episode. As always, when given good material these guys simply ROCK.

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  5. rhondagemini says:

    Great review,sistah! You nailed it on all points! I also thought this should have been a two hour episode or a two parter-too much was happening for just an hour(or 42 minutes w/commercials)! Now that I have had time to think about it,.Chin being released and the charges being dropped against him after Coughlin’s murder by Gabriel really didn’t make sense-I mean,he went through all of that interrogation for nothing?Come on,let’s be real here! I totally understood what Danny did and the two reasons he did it,which you covered beautifully! I will agree with you that the music is just a little too loud sometimes,like in the helicopter scene you mentioned! This episode was good and I’m looking forward to next week’s show!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The thing that really made this so good and so scary is that Danny and Chin did exactly what they were accused of. They were both guilty as hell. That made it even more nerve-wracking because it could have very easily gone the wrong way. It was very possible they could both be put away for a very long time. Of course, this isn’t real life so they HAD to be set free, thank goodness! LOL

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  6. Tina Starnes says:

    Another great review Linda! If they thought ahead and made this epi a two-parter, switching it with next weeks and then making us wait for three more weeks to see the second half would have been epic! A mini-season cliffhanger of sorts. You “hit the nail on the head” with the same thoughts I had while watching it. So I can really only say “Ditto”. Can’t wait to see what the Boss has in store for next week!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I liked the Friday’s night episode. I wished there could have a reunion at the hospital, but they had Gracie waiting and they also had to make Danny didn’t look too scary for her to see. Where was IA guy’s partner from last time? Gabe will be back for something and will want Chin to help. Gabe might end dealing with Steve and that could cause a major problem and with Gabe being dead. You know Steve won’t put up with Gabe harrasing (sp?) Chin. What was said on helicopter was hard to hear, but it was the sound of chopper causing the problem. Frank is notified that by someone about the air space and he asked Steve what does he say, and Steve said “Say nothing” and then the shooting started. Loved your review.

    Liked by 1 person

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