Three weeks without Five-0 seems like such an eternity. I know… technically it was only two missed Fridays but if you count the week leading up to the first Friday, that makes three full weeks waiting for a new episode and that’s just too damn long! And considering this is the only new episode for the entire month of December and the Winter Finale to boot, I had a lot of high anticipation for this one.
And there was plenty to enjoy in this episode. There were moments when I was on the edge of my seat. I laughed, I definitely cried and there were Ohana moments galore. All in all a fine way to end the year and a very nice set up for things to come. Honestly, the rest of the season could pretty much go anywhere. I love that, having no idea what could be coming next. Anticipation is so much fun!
So… let’s get this one in the books:
CRIME OF THE WEEK: This is the only part of the episode that I really couldn’t get too excited about and it didn’t even have anything to do with the episode itself. It’s completely just me…. because the “Sweet Science” of boxing is just not for me. Steve and Danny can debate all they want over which is better, boxing or MMA, but square or octagon, watching two guys beat the crap out of each other for sport is just not my cup of tea. The posturing and trash talk of a fight weigh-in seems so pointless and adolescent to me and why people would sit around a TV and watch a weigh-in just does not compute in my brain. I mean, I don’t like to look at the scale when *I* weigh-in, why would I set out food and party to watch someone else do it?
But, like I said before, this is 100% just me. I know zillions of people really enjoy the sport and the world surrounding it. The only part of the fight scenes I really did enjoy was seeing the old “underdog takes down the champ” thing. Rocky, after all, was from Philadelphia too, ya know! As a matter of fact, I think Rocky is the only boxing movie I’ve actually ever watched. For the most part I simply avoid those types of movies altogether. But, this is Five-0 and there is no way in hell I’d ever avoid anything to do with this show nor let something I don’t particularly care for affect my total enjoyment of an episode.
So even if I don’t care for boxing scenes, that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate how wonderfully they were choreographed and executed. Major kudos to Jeff Cadiente for putting it all together so seamlessly to the point where the punches being landed had me actually looking away several times. And to all the actors who made it all look so incredibly real. The fact that it affected me so much proves how well it was done.
GABRIEL: While boxing might not be for me, I did love the way it all came down, once again, to Gabriel. Having the death of the boxer’s brother be nothing more than Gabriel’s way to gain access to the fight via his security pass was inspired because it clearly showed just how cold blooded Gabriel truly is (as if we really needed more proof of that). He basically had an essentially innocent man killed for a pass to a sporting event. And talk about being a pretty damned ambitious SOB for trying to take out the heads of not one but three crime syndicates simultaneously. If he’d have succeeded no one would ever question his power or his ruthlessness in achieving his goals. No one would ever underestimate his ability to take down whomever he chose and no one would dare try to get in his way. Well, except for our intrepid heroes that is.
Watching the team maneuver all around the Blaisdell Arena, weaving through the crowd in their attempts to stop Gabriel’s hit men from taking out their three targets was incredible. Having them out there trying to protect three of the biggest players in organized crime instead of trying to take them down themselves was the epitome of irony.
I know many people don’t care for Gabriel or at least think he’s just involved in too many things but I find it extremely entertaining. WoFat will always be the one true Big Bad of Five-0 but Gabriel is proving to be a worthy successor. Where WoFat was single minded and methodical, Gabriel is a loose cannon. Where WoFat was almost business like in his efficiency, Gabriel isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. Quite frankly, he scares me to death. I have no idea what he’s going to do next or who his next victim is going to be. Add to that, the thought of who’s going to get caught in the crossfire terrifies me. There was a moment there when Shiomo was shot in the shoulder that I was sure from the angle of the shot and the sound that he made that Steve was the one who got hit. My heart literally stopped in that second. Christopher Sean is playing Gabriel incredibly well. The angry look in his eyes as he guns down his enemies is truly frightening to see. I’m always afraid of when he shows up but I can’t wait to see him when he does. So for those who complain that Gabriel keeps coming back like a belch from a bad onion. Take some Tums!
BAMF STEVE: Oh… dear SuperSEAL who takes down goons with one hand and flaunts his immunity and means without reservation… I have missed you! Watching him drag that guy behind the jet ski to persuade him to give up information was a wonderful throwback to those heady first weeks of Five-0 when our newly minted civilian just didn’t give a damn and used any means possible to get what he needed. And Danny reminiscing about the good old days of hanging people off roofs was wonderful. I’m surprised he didn’t tell Abby about the shark cage too! I loved how he told her that maybe taking that back to her own task force in San Francisco might not be the best idea. Oh and speaking about BAMF moments. Danny wasn’t too shabby either in his take down of one of Gabriel’s goons. The more we have of these guys being bad ass the more I like it.
KONO AND ADAM: Dear God in heaven… will these two ever catch a break?? I can’t help but think back to the end of episode 5.01 when Adam asked Kono to think about the idea of getting married. She said there was nothing she would like more than to be his wife but… “it’s just everything we’ve been through. I just want to know that we’re going to be safe. I can’t go through that again….thinking that I’m going to lose you.” It looks like her fears were not unfounded. She has indeed lost him, at least for now.
I know there is much discussion about this whole storyline and why Adam would be sentenced for murders he committed in self-defense. No one was out there in the jungle when it all went down. The first murder was 100% self-defense but the second, the murder of Tom Bishop was not. Bishop was down, he was unarmed and he was already dying. Adam shot him when he didn’t have to. And while no one was there to see it, so no one would have been able to prove that he didn’t get impaled on that piece of wood before the shot, Adam was there. Adam knows what he did and Adam is an honorable man. The remorse he felt when he realized he’d killed those men for no reason was palpable.
In my opinion he took the deal because he knows that if he went to trial his family history would be used against him and he’d lose. But more importantly, I think he feels, deep down, that he deserves what he’d getting because he did kill those men. If he didn’t feel he deserved it, he wouldn’t have voluntarily given himself up in the first place. Adam is and has always been, a good man.
OHANA MOMENTS: Any episode that give me a great Ohana scene will always go down as a favorite in my book and this episode gave me three. I’m going to include the good natured argument between Danny and Steve over MMA vs Boxing here because it also included Grover. I loved this exchange because it not only spilled out of the car but was two guys arguing sports rather than what we’re used to, brothers taking good natured shots at each other. It was also cool that Steve would be on the MMA side of the argument considering he, himself, fought Chuck Liddell in the octagon back in Season 2. Also really cool because Alex is a huge MMA fan too. I also thought it was really cool how Steve bolstered his argument by telling Danny how Randy Couture took down James Tony in record time in 2010. Randy Couture, if you remember, also played arsonist Jason Duclair in two H50 episodes.
The other two Ohana moments bookended the episode. The first taking place at Casa McG as the gang, sans Kono (who understandably was spending all the time she absolutely could alone with her husband) gathered to watch the weigh-in for the big fight. Since this is the only episode of December and would, traditionally have a Christmas feel to it, but it was nice that this year they decided to go with a Hanukkah feel instead. Max, adorable as always, lighting the menorah, handing out yamakas and explaining about the meaning of the holiday was a very nice touch. It was great to see Kame and Flippa included there too. I really like these guys and they add a lot, especially here when they were explaining why the fight was so important and why it was being held in Hawaii. I also liked that Abby was there too. I wasn’t sure about her at the beginning but she’s really starting to fit in better and better every week.
Our last Ohana moment was one of the most heartbreaking ones we’ve ever had. Kono saying goodbye to Adam at Halawa. Earlier in the episode when Adam told Kono the story about his grandparents and their long, happy marriage after being force to be apart for three years because of the war, I began to understand why he felt he had to do this. Once this is over, they will be able to move forward. Put it all behind them. I hope to God that is true. When they looked each other in the eyes and said “I love you… forever” I was so choked up I was finding it hard to swallow. When the rest of the team showed up to give their support to Kono, choked up became full on tears. Oh how I love these people and the bond they have built over the years. They are always there for each other no matter what. And please, let Adam come out of this unscathed so they really can move on and finally be happy!
I also couldn’t help but think that Steve, Danny and Chin were all thinking about the time they each have spent behind prison walls. Steve and Chin, both shanked in Halawa, Danny almost beaten to death in Colombia. The way Danny and Steve were staring at the walls of the prison had the look of two men hoping to God, for Kono’s sake, Adam comes out on the other side in one piece.
ODDS AND ENDS:
I have to say, for a guy who started off not even liking phones and had to hire a kid to help him fake computer knowledge for a job interview, Jerry sure has become a whiz at that magic table! Does the City of Honolulu provide tuition assistance for night courses or something because he’s working that thing like an old pro. I don’t know, maybe getting an office and hanging around HQ all the time he’s acquired massive skills through osmosis.
Did anyone else notice that the little girls who welcomed Luke with leis as he got out of the car were from the same dance troupe as the daughter of the Navy SEAL who was kidnapped back at the start of Season 5?
And speaking of Luke, I really loved how he got out of that car with only Nicky by his side, not some huge entourage, but as a humble local boy who was truly awed by the reception waiting for him. The picture taking, hugs and autographs all along that red carpet reminded me of Sunset on the Beach so much. Brought back great memories of just a few short weeks ago for me.
There were a lot of other things to like in this episode. I loved seeing the beautiful Byodo-In Temple where Adam went to spiritually prepare for his upcoming ordeal. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byodo-In_Temple). What an absolutely gorgeous locale.
And speaking of locales… does this show get a subsidy from the Hawaii Tourism Board? Because the view from the balcony of the Moana Surfrider when Steve and Danny went to question Devon Haynes was more than breathtaking.
And speaking of Devon Hayes, it was nice to see that he really wasn’t the total a-hole he projected at the weigh-in, that it was all an act, playing the part of the arrogant champ because that’s what the masses want to see. Watching him congratulate Luke after he won the fight was a nice touch too.
I enjoyed watching the budding friendship, or is it more, between Chin and Abby. I wasn’t sure about her in the beginning but she really is beginning to fit in and the connection between her and Chin is growing each week. I hope they don’t jump from this to full-fledged relationship too quickly. I’m enjoying the slow build up.
So we end 2015 on a several different notes. We have the high note of another great episode to hold us over into the new year but we have the extremely sad note of that new year beginning with Kono and Adam apart for a very long time. We have the budding friendship between Chin and Abby to look forward to. But most of all, we have a fantastic setup to Gabriel’s next move, whatever the hell that might be. It looks like 2016 is going to be one hell of a ride.
To all my friends who are nice enough to read this blog each week and for all those who I call friend on Facebook and Twitter.. I pray you all have the most wonderful of Holidays seasons with all those in your life you love and hold dear!
Mele Kalikimaka and Hau’oli Makakiki Hou. Aloha. Malama Pono
All photos are my own. Screencaps taken from iTunes.