I watch Hawaii Five-0. I love Hawaii Five-0. That much is a non-negotiable reality. And as a person who loves this show I have found myself saying something many, many times over the years.
It’s only a TV show. It’s not real.
The fact that something is over the top, the fact that it’s something that would never happen or be allowed in real life doesn’t really bother me all that much. It’s make believe… a fantasy. Exploding nuclear bombs off the coast. Steve being beaten to just this side of death and having nothing but a tiny scar the next week. Giant claws picking up armored trucks. I shake my head, give a little chuckle and move on. There’s a reason why it’s called “fiction”.
It’s only a TV show. It’s not real.
Then there is an episode like this one. I have to admit… this one threw me for a bit of a loop. Because, even make believe needs to have a basis in reality and I have to admit, the moment the episode ended I found myself sitting there not really knowing what to think.
As usual, this episode had two different story lines, and this week, they had nothing to do with each other. Personally, I prefer it when the two story lines somehow interconnect during the episode but this week that was just impossible. This time they didn’t even both occur on Oahu!
Each week I can easily say that I whole heartedly enjoyed that week’s offering. This episode is no different, I did enjoy it, but this one won’t go down as a real favorite for me. Oh, there were some great Ohana moments with the entire team, with Steve and Danny and with Chin and Kono but there was also just too much in this one that had me scratching my head and wondering if I missed something. Even after I watched it a second time, there were still things that just didn’t make sense.
Ok…let’s start with the elephant in the room…. what the hell got into Lou Grover? Now, please, don’t get me wrong. Chi McBride was magnificent. The man had me totally riveted to my seat. Damn…. but that man can act! It was an outstanding performance.
Lou has believed Clay killed Diane for months. He went to Chicago right after Diane was killed to try to prove that Clay had done it and failed when Clay’s friends put up that “blue wall” and wouldn’t even talk to him. He finally came to the realization that he was probably never going to prove Clay killed Diane and even though that would always eat at him, he’d be content as long as Clay was in jail, even if it was because of something else.
So there Lou is, cleaning out his gutters one day, when he remembers a bust five years ago where Clay found two bags filled with cash. It wasn’t until later, when the serial numbers were checked that it became apparent there were three bags, not two. Lou, now convinced Clay took that money, is determined to find it and finally send Clay to jail.
Everything up to this point made sense to me. Lou is a man of justice and Diane was a dear friend. But from the moment Lou laid into Clay from behind and injected him to knock him out, I was uncomfortable. Lou has always been intense. He’s always worn his emotions quite clearly. Several times we’ve seen him out and out bawling over events that have occurred. But what turned Lou into this person? This person, who was, at times, almost unrecognizable? This, even for me, was a bit too over the top and where it didn’t make sense. It’s one thing to be passionate about something, to be consumed by something. But this behavior was bordering on unstable.
As a good friend of mine pointed out to me, over the years, we’ve seen our heroes do things outside the law in the name of justice or even revenge. But even in this fictional world there is a price to pay. For instance, Chin and Danny both suffered retribution for things they did. No, neither had to answer to the law as they would have in the real world but Chin ended up almost killed in Halawa and Danny almost killed in Colombia so even if they weren’t prosecuted as they would have been in the real world they did suffer for their actions.
Breaking and entering. Physical assault. Kidnapping two people, one of which was totally innocent of doing anything wrong. Destruction of private property. With two very alive victims who, I’m sure, are perfectly ready to press charges regardless their own guilt. Fantasy or not. Fiction or not. I just can’t see how this isn’t going to come back and bite Lou in the ass. He wasn’t just a man out for justice. He seemed almost unglued. A raging bull on a rampage.
And then there’s whatever happened in Philly. Whatever it was, Lou was not one bit pleased when Clay brought it up. Peter Lenkov tweeted that we’re going to find out what happened in Philly in Episode 6.19. Clay was part of whatever it was so it might be safe to assume we’ll see him again, if not in real time then maybe in flashbacks. I’m really hoping that whatever brought about Lou’s totally over the top actions in this episode, is directly related to what’s going to happen in 6.19. Maybe bringing down Clay for Diane’s murder and the stolen money are all part of a bigger picture.
I have no idea, of course. But this episode was written by Eric Guggenheim and Peter Lenkov and there is no one who knows these characters better than Peter. No one who knows exactly where they have come from and where he wants them to go. In the hands of another writer, one not familiar with the characters as much, this could be just an aberration. But in Peter’s hands, I have to feel there’s a logical reason down the road for what we saw from Lou here.
Now onto the second story in this episode. When Chin loses his way on the service roads heading back to HQ, he and Kono stumble upon a couple of guys digging a large hole out in the middle of nowhere. I suppose it could just have been two guys who found the perfect spot for their imu pit but it turns out they are killers in the process of digging a grave for their victim.
Now, I have no problem with Chin and Kono being taken off guard. In that situation it was totally understandable. Chin tried his best to get the drop on the one killer but his big stick was no match against his gun. And Kono was standing down in the pit she was digging a fair distance from the second guy. There really wasn’t a way for her to get a drop on him no matter that she’s a bad ass when she needs to be.
But it just felt very disjointed to me. Perhaps it’s because there really wasn’t any actual “crime of the week” in this episode. These guys are burying the guy they killed, who turns out to be a cop, who was “putting his nose in other people’s business”. Who was the cop? Why did they kill him? Who were those guys anyway? I guess I’ve just become so used to a definitive crime of the week, with a beginning, a convoluted middle and an end that this just felt weird to me. Not bad, just weird.
But this is Five-0 so there are always things I am going to absolutely love, even in an episode that’s not a favorite. In this episode, it was the abundance of wonderful Ohana moments that helped make it very enjoyable for me.
• Who didn’t love the team out for a morning of North Shore surfing? I thought it was so funny how Danny was teasing Steve about being a wave hog and Chin and Kono backing him up. I also loved the Side Street wager between Steve and Chin to see who could get back to HQ quicker. I don’t know what was funnier. The look on Steve’s face when Chin called him a haole or when Danny said Steve would be breaking all the rules of the bet Steve himself just laid down. And please, any time we get all three of our guys shirtless at the same time is enough to make any episode awesome! Culminating when Steve totally “Bo and Luked” the Camaro, this scene was pure gold beginning to end.
• It’s always fun, after an episode where Danny was absent, to have a good old-fashioned cargument between Steve and Danny to show that all is right with the world. Steve hiding the speedometer from Danny’s view with his hand so he can’t prove that he’s speeding, as he’s weaving in and out of traffic was just too funny as was Steve telling Danny to relax and enjoy the view. “What view… I have jet stream… there’s no view”.
• So first we had a surfgument, then a cargument and finally the most hysterical argument we’ve ever had on this show… a peegument! What a mental picture! Danny peeing out the window, as the Camaro speeds down the road, with Steve holding the back of his pants! God I love these goofs so much!
• And while Steve and Danny are being… well… Steve and Danny in their car, Kono and Chin are having a wonderful conversation of their own in theirs. I loved how happy Chin was when he noticed how relaxed and “hauʻoli” Kono was in that moment. Yes, she’s still missing and worried about Adam something terrible but Chin reminds her that there are guards looking out for him and a third of his time is over so he’ll be home in a year. But it is still a year away. I can’t help feeling sorry for Kono every minute.
• “And speaking of significant others, what’s up with you and Abby?” Could these two have been more adorably “high school” here? Chin’s blushing face totally giving away his attempt to play it cool especially when Kono informed him that he’s not fooling a soul since “everyone knows”! This scene was a pure joy!
• I also really liked how Steve’s spidey senses were tingling when Chin and Kono were so late and he couldn’t get through to them on their phones. It was really interesting how it was Danny who was trying to be the positive one for a change. Saying maybe the car just broke down and they were somewhere without a phone signal, but not discounting Steve’s worry and suggesting they go out and look for them. It was Danny who was sure they would find them, Danny who told Steve that “doom and gloom” didn’t suit him and Danny who understood why Steve’s first thought was that Gabriel might have something to do with them being missing. Giving what Steve has been through with WoFat, it was a natural assumption. But Danny kept telling Steve that he could be jumping to conclusions and to just stay positive. Who knows? Maybe that little counseling trip to Maui did a bit of good after all and Danny is really trying not to be so negative all the time.
• “Winner winner Side Street Dinner”. I don’t care what anyone says, I am just loving this carefree version of Steve we’ve been getting lately. No one loves badass SEAL as much as I do, but watching Steve having a good time, being comfortable to show his lighter side and just having fun is refreshing.
I’m loving this guy who tries to sneak out of seminars and goes out for late night drinks and some fun. This guy who plays in the waves with his friends and makes silly challenges for free beer and wings. I’m loving how his vocabulary is suddenly sprinkled with fun, new words he probably learned from Gracie.
It’s almost as if some huge weight has been lifted off of him and he’s finally free to enjoy life. I don’t see it as being out of character. I see it as the character he was always meant to be. So yeah, he’s texting girls with “deets” and noting that traffic is “jacked”. So what?
Unlike some people, I don’t see the addition of a couple of new words to his vocabulary and a willingness to finally ease up a bit and live a happy life as proof that there is something wrong with him or that he’s so “distraught” he’s becoming unrecognizable or worse, unstable. Personally, I think freedom looks good on him and if this is what “distraught” looks like, I wish he’d been distraught a lot sooner.
So there you have it. Another week and another pretty good episode. And while it won’t go down as a favorite for me, there was still plenty to make it a really enjoyable week. Now we have two Fridays off until 6.14 and the Valentine’s episode. Can’t wait to see what they have in store for that one! Have a wonderful week my friends.
Aloha… Malama Pono