Welcome my friends to another Saturday when we can sit back and re-watch and read about another great episode of Hawaii Five-0. And that is exactly what it was… another great episode. Every season, there are a couple of episodes that don’t quite match up to the high level of others. Usually after a particularly great episode, the next one might feel like a bit of filler, not quite up to par. And this season, every week, I keep thinking this is the one that might let me down a bit. This is the one that won’t quite make it. And every week I have been very happy to be 100% wrong. This season’s offerings have been nothing short of consistently great week after week. So far, there hasn’t been a dud in the bunch. So on with the review. As usual, these thoughts in no particular order… just me rambling as usual.
One of the best things about this episode is that everyone….. everyone … played a part in it. Everyone got some screen time. Our full team, plus Abby, Max, Jerry, Eric, Kamekona and Nahele. And at no time did it feel as if the inclusion of one person was taking anything away from anyone else. The only person who wasn’t in this one was Duke (and I’ll always miss when he’s not there) but he did get two mentions throughout the show so even if we didn’t see him, he was involved in the investigations. Even (Scott Caan’s dog) Dot made a cameo appearance, playing Frisbee on the quad. It was so fun to see her running across my screen, and considering the amount of time she spends on set, it’s great she finally made it past the DVD gag reel. I wonder how many takes it took before she didn’t try to run to her Daddy every time he got near her. LOL
I loved Danny and Eric undercover. It is extremely rare when anyone from Five-0 goes undercover. I think I can count on one hand the number of times it’s happened. It makes sense that it doesn’t happen all that often since, especially after all these years, they are all too well known on the island. So when I first heard that Danny was going undercover and I saw his entire “cover” was nothing but a tie and a pair of glasses (hello… Clark Kent) I thought “here we go… time for a huge pitcher of KoolAid to suspend the belief for this one”.
But this undercover operation actually made a ton of sense to me because of where it was taking place. On a collage campus. I know, from living with my daughter and her friends, most kids that age don’t regularly watch the news and pretty much no one that age reads an actual newspaper anymore. So even with Five-0’s occasional appearance in the news, the likelihood that those students would recognize one of them was slim. Yes, of course, in the real world that likelihood would be much higher but then, that is what pitchers of KoolAid are for.
And Danny was an absolute natural. The moment he walked into that classroom he was totally in his element. Honestly, if he wasn’t such a fantastic cop I think he could have very easily fit into the profession of higher education. Not for one moment did he seem like he wasn’t completely comfortable. Except, of course, when the pretty co-ed visited him in his office in an attempt to “get a better grade”. I don’t think we’ve ever seen a flustered Danny before but she managed to do it. Makes me wonder how many times she’s pulled that move because she was just so sure of herself and her ability to get what she wanted and genuinely shocked when he actually escorted her out the door.
In the classroom, Danny knew exactly what he was talking about. I thought we’d maybe see Danny struggle a bit with the material but he was totally on point. The students liked him, calling out to him about his “great lecture” and other faculty members seemed to like him too. Like I said, a natural.
And Eric was fantastic too. Of course, being an over-enthusiastic, overly hyper, girl-crazy, man-child is right up his alley so pretending to be a college kid fit him like a glove. Or as Danny said, he’s a natural at the whole “college idiot persona” even if Kono wants nothing more than to smack him for it. I have always liked Eric. He reminds me so much of boys I have known all my life growing up in South Philadelphia and spending summers at the Jersey shore. He doesn’t annoy me at all. As a matter of fact, he feels extremely familiar to me.
It was really nice to see him in a situation where he was actually in his element for once instead of being reprimanded and being told to “tone it down”. He was extremely helpful to the investigation, getting close to the kids and getting valuable information Danny would have never been able to get on his own. I will admit doing Jello shots while on undercover assignment wasn’t the smartest move but at least he only had a couple and managed to catch himself before he totally blew his cover.
Lately, it seems the writers always want to tell more than one story in every episode, usually with half the team working one case while the rest work an entirely different case. I’m not a big fan of that. I really prefer when the entire team is involved in one main case and everyone contributes to its resolution. There can be a small side story for one character, but not an entirely different case.
This episode was the perfect example of that and, to me, felt almost like a Season 1 episode. Everyone worked the main case and the smaller side story wasn’t a case at all but a touching and sweet story about the relationship between Steve and his young friend, Nahele.
There were so many wonderful moments in this little side story, starting with Kamekona. Noticing a strange man having a rather heated discussion with Nahele, he not only steps right in and looks out for the boy, he makes sure to inform Steve about the encounter knowing Nahele probably wouldn’t. I love it how the big guy was “right there” by Nahele’s side when he needed him.
Both scenes between Nahele and Steve were incredibly sweet. No one has deeper opinions when it comes to fathers and sons than Steve does and whenever there’s a chance for a father and son to reconnect, Steve feels it’s worth a good try. Nahele is beside himself with anxiety over his father’s return and attempt to reconnect through court order. Steve tries to comfort Nahele by telling him nothing has been decided yet and wonders if there’s any chance the man has changed during his years away. But seeing how upset Nahele is about the prospect of living with his father, so much so, he’d rather go back to living on the street rather than with him, Steve feels he must go see him and try to judge if his intentions are good.
Kaili says all the right things. He’s made mistakes. He understands why Nahele feels the way he does. Nahele is the only family he has left. He wants to make things right. Everything he’s supposed to say to try to prove to Steve his intensions are good toward Nahele. But Steve is right. It would be better if Kaili took some time to reacquaint himself with his son before going through with trying to regain full custody. Steve’s Spidey senses are tingling. He may only be “over protective” but his gut is telling him something isn’t right.
When the court does decide to reunite Nahele and his father, the boy is not happy one bit and takes off from the courtroom. I love that he ran straight to Steve’s and was found sitting in the Marquis, the very car he stole a year ago, marking the start of this remarkable relationship. Sitting in his dad’s car, with the Champ box within clear sight, Steve’s paternal instinct is on high alert. He had the feeling Nahele wasn’t telling him something before, now he’s sure of it.
I am so happy Nahele trusted Steve enough to tell him the truth about witnessing (hearing) his father kill a man when he was 8 years old. My heart just goes out to him. What a huge secret for an 8 year kid to have to live with and for so long without telling anyone. I suppose he felt if his father was already in jail there was no reason to tell anyone about the body in the jungle. But just how cold blooded can a person be to do such a thing with your kid right there then take him for shave ice as if nothing happened.
I can’t help but wonder what Kaili wants from Nahele. Of course, it would be easy to assume his father is planning to physically hurt him but I’m more inclined to think he just wants to keep him close by so he can intimidate him into keeping his silence. I’m also pretty certain he has not changed his ways and once he gets back to his criminal ways, he’d try to pull Nahele into them too.
Of course, now that Steve has found, with Nahele’s help, the body of the man his father murdered, Kaili will be headed back to prison. At least I hope so. I hope he hasn’t taken off and somehow taken Nahele with him. There is something else I’ve been wondering about. Nahele said he’d rather live on the street again than live with his father. So, just where is Nahele living now? Is he is a shelter or something? Makes me wonder if Steve will see this incident as a wake-up call and whether his “over-protective” side will kick in and he’ll do something to help Nahele even more. Perhaps his new friend Lynn can help out in this. She is a child welfare officer, after all, who works to try to help high risk kids. I can’t think of a kid more at high risk than a boy who’s murderer father is trying to get him back. How cool would it be if Steve could become Nahele’s legal guardian?
I managed to get a little better feel on Abby this week. Now that she’s been with the team for a little bit, she’s more relaxed, adding to the discussion, interacting quite nicely with everyone. I also like how they are bringing the budding relationship with Chin along slowly. The little scene between she and Chin where he held the car door open for her was really sweet. I find it amazing that in her whole life, no man has ever held a door open for her. I suppose some over-hyper feminists might view that as a good thing. “Women are perfectly capable of opening doors all by themselves, thank you very much”. But, personally, I find it rather sad. There is nothing as heartwarming as a true gentleman and Chin is just that. On top of that, Julie Benz and Daniel Dae Kim really are cute together.
Question: Did we really need a one minute-21 second “Previously on Hawaii Five-0”? I mean, I totally understand the necessity of it at the beginning of the Season Premiere or when we’re coming back to a new episode after a few weeks of reruns or even when reintroducing a character we haven’t seen in several seasons. But this season, we’ve been blessed with 9 consecutive weeks of brand new episodes right off the bat. I really don’t think we need reminders of what we’ve seen in just the last couple of weeks. And why spend almost half of the “previously” showing us what happened with Adam (only last week) then not address it in the episode anyway, except for a couple of throw away lines between Kono, Steve and Danny. With only 42 minutes remaining in the episode, it felt like the “previously” was 81 seconds of wasted time that could have been put to better use in the body of the episode.
And speaking of Adam, I think Kono hit it right on the head. The Prosecutor’s Office is probably only looking at Adam’s case as a way to lock up the son of a Yakuza boss regardless if his actions were completely in self-defense. I don’t know why Adam would even consider a 24 month sentence. Unless he thinks if he’s away from Kono, the danger will be away from her too. Or perhaps he truly is so remorseful about what he did he feels like he deserves it. Of course, it could be the fact that filming for Ian Anthony Dale’s other series, “Murder in the First” will be starting again very soon. Adam in jail would keep Ian off the Five-0 canvas while he’s unavailable then once MITF filming is complete, Adam can get an early release for good behavior.
Well, so much for seeing Hank Weber again. I guess it’s no great surprise that Gabriel wasn’t going to let that loose end dangle for long once he learned how much time Hank had spent in the hands of Five-0. It’s a shame, really. I liked him in that “Johnnie D” sort of way and now Five-0 won’t be able to use the virus planted in their mainframe to run a long con on Gabriel. Oh well, back to the drawing board there.
I got a big kick out of the fact that Steve knew that Danny had Minored in Business at Seton Hall even though it wasn’t anywhere in Danny’s official file. Then I remembered how Steve had checked out Grover’s record from Chicago when he first came to Oahu as HPD/SWAT Captain. And thinking back, he pulled Lori’s file the first night she was in town in Season 2 and he had the CIA pull Jenna Kaye’s file all the way back in Season 1. I guess it just never occurred to me that he’d have done the exact same thing with Danny, probably before he ever showed up at Danny’s little shit-hole apartment in the Pilot. Kono is absolutely right. He probably does have something on every one of them! LOL It’s wonderful how, even after all these years, these little gems can still surprise us.
Poor Jerry. This week, Steve found a job for him to do that I’m sure those who don’t like Jerry found rather appropriate. Jerry was put on guard duty at the pig sty waiting for them to “poop the slug” so he can “search for the magic bullet”. Optimist that he is, he sees the assignment as “real cop work”, reading Charlotte’s Web while giving the pigs “privacy” so they can “go ahead and defecate”. All lines I don’t think anyone could have guessed we’d ever hear on this show. “Take that, Warren Commission!”
There were actually a couple of familiar faces in this episode. Sharp eyed long time viewers might have recognized actors Jason Quinn and Joy Minaai, both making second appearances in H50. Jason Quinn, playing the basketball coach in this episode played Billy Omana in S1E4 – Lanakila. He was the prison guard to helped Walton Dawkins escape Halawa. Joy Minaai also returned, but she was reprising her previous role as Judge Karen Hidoko. She appeared in S3E14 – Hana I Wa ‘Ia as the judge who presided over Danny’s custody hearing for Grace.
So there we have it. Yet another fantastic episode of our favorite show. It’s going to be hard to wait two weeks for the next new episode but I can’t complain after we’ve had 9 fantastic weeks in a row. This episode was like a really juicy cherry on top of the ice cream. Could of done without the pigs though 😉
Have a great week my friends and for those in the United States, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Aloha. Malama Pono
All photos are my own. Screencaps taken from iTunes unless otherwise noted!