#H50 Review – 6.16 Ka Pohaku Kihi Pa’a (The Solid Cornerstone)

This week’s Five-0 didn’t do a lot of things. It didn’t tell us what happened to Gabriel last week. It didn’t give us any more information on what Abby is up to. We don’t know any more about why Coughlin is coming after Five-0. As a matter of fact, the episode did absolutely nothing to advance a single story arc.

And I loved every minute of it.

I always love it when the writers bring back recurring characters we haven’t had the chance to see in a while and Sang Min has always been a particular favorite of mine. From the very start, Will Yun Lee’s portrayal has elevated a character who was intended to be a one shot in the Pilot into one I can’t wait to see again and again. He is always pure entertainment. And that’s just what this episode was from beginning to end.

I really liked the way the writers handled the delicate situation of portraying Sang Min as an “innocent man”. Anyone who has watched this show from the beginning can tell you that the one thing Sang Min is not, it’s an “innocent” man. As Steve said, way back in the Pilot, Sang Min was a man who took kids and “put them on the street to be pumped full of black tar heroin then sold to strangers like animals”.  He was, when we met him, quite frankly, the scum of the earth.

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Yet, over the years, we’ve seen Sang Min evolve. We have seen his humanity. When Danny took him to see his wife and son at Ala Moana Beach Park after he fingered Kaleo as the mole when Meka was murdered. When he went to his wife’s house and saw her and their son moving on with their lives without him. How he helped Chin when he was dumped into Halawa. And he’s helped Five-0 with cases several times over the years, many times, at direct personal risk.

But even with all of that, we cannot forget the man, the criminal, Sang Min, not was, but still is! I am thrilled the writers did not shirk away from that fact. In fact, it was so easy for the real killer, Graham Clark, to use Sang Min’s past to his advantage and frame him for murder. Set up a meet, kill your victim, James Lam, and high tail it out of there before Sang Min shows up, drop a dime to the cops so they show up just as Sang Min is standing over the body with the gun in his hand. Perfect! With Sang Min’s track record and the fact that he and Lam had history, who wouldn’t believe things weren’t exactly as they seemed?

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Well, Five-0 didn’t believe it. They know Sang Min better than anyone and they know, bad guy that he is, he has also stuck his neck out for them and if he says he didn’t kill Lam, for better or worse, they believe him. Sang Min is a lot of things but he’s not a killer.

And therein lies our story and the appearance of yet another recurring character we’ve come to love, Odell Martin. Someone else who was supposed to be a one shot deal and yet, in the exceptional hands of Michael Imperioli, was so engaging, clicked so well, he had to be brought back. I liked how the writers had Odell reference the second time we saw him, when Steve asked him for a favor and he spent the rest of that day dodging bullets that destroyed his shop.

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This time, Steve is asking a much bigger favor and one that hits Odell to the core of his very being. The barber with a law degree and major daddy issues. Is it any wonder why he and Steve bond so well? Odell, of course, has no intention of taking the case of the career criminal accused of murder that every other lawyer in town won’t touch.

The first meeting between Odell and Sang Min will go down as one of the funniest scenes in the history of this show. Starting off with Sang Min’s total disbelief that Odell is even a lawyer (“What did you do, go all out for casual Friday?”) to Odell’s, understandable first instinct, to want to cut “whatever that thing is growing out of his head”, this scene had me laughing my ass off. It was a foregone conclusion that the first thing Odell would want to do is attack that mullet!

Of course, Odell finally agrees to take the case and he brings on board a friend of his, Bones, played by the one and only Ziggy Marley. We’ve been entertained by Ziggy on this show in the past by way of his wonderful music which has been used numerous times on the soundtrack but this is the first time we’ve seen him as an actor. I’m sure it helped that the writers gave him a part which played right into his natural personality but even so, you’d never have realized this was his first time in front of the camera. He was completely  comfortable and relaxed and totally believable. He’s a natural.

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It also gave us the opportunity to hear Chi McBride do his dead on “root to the fruit” Jamaican accent. Oh my God… I really hope we get to see those outtakes on this season’s DVD. I want to see Ziggy’s face the first time he heard Chi whip out that accent. It was perfect. I hope, like Sang Min and Odell before him, we get to see Bones and Ziggy again. After all, once Five-0 comes through with that Green Card there won’t be any reason for him to stay under the radar any longer.

The scene of the mock trial was another favorite. With Max as the judge, Kamekona and Flippa as jurors, Kono as the star witness and Jerry as the prosecuting attorney this scene started off hysterically. In an episode with some really great dialog, this scene had some of the best lines. I loved Sang Min’s objection that Kame and Flippa were not suitable jurors because they are not “his peers” and his scolding them to “show some respect” and listen to his “lawyer/barber” was hysterical. Bones the bailiff’s swearing in of Kono was absolutely adorable. I just could not stop laughing at Odell’s frustration with the whole lot of them.

But Jerry, as usual, took this mock assignment as prosecutor very seriously. I think Jerry may have missed his calling because he had Sang Min dead to rights and the look on Odell’s face the entire time Jerry was questioning Sang Min showed the horror of fully realizing just how difficult it was going to be to defend Sang Min, especially when he has no choice but to put him on the stand for real.

There were several flashbacks back to the Pilot when we first met Sang Min, which I really enjoyed, and ultimately, it was the story of the first encounter between him and Five-0 which give Odell the ammunition he needed to prove in court that Sang Min did not kill Lam.

In scenes straight out of “My Cousin Vinny”, Odell asks Sang Min to identify Graham Clark in a picture as the man he fought with the night of the murder. As Sang Min strains to see the photo, Odell realizes he’s having difficulty focusing on the face. He asks him if he wears glasses, then asks him to read the Seal of Hawaii which is hanging on the wall in the back of the courtroom. When it’s obvious Sang Man can’t see it, Odell quickly asks the sheriff… oops sorry… Steve to check Sang Min’s last prison physical and check for an eye exam.

I’m not sure what I enjoyed more about these scenes. All the “Vinny” references or the fact that it was Kono’s testimony, as the team’s resident sharp shooter, that ultimately cleared Sang Min. It was, after all, Sang Min’s misogynistic 😉 treatment of Kono in the Pilot which caused Chin to smash him in the head with an ashtray, causing him, all these years later, to be nearsighted. There is no way he could have ever made such a precise shot from a substantial distance to kill Lam.

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I also really enjoyed watching Odell come into his own in the courtroom. He started off doubting his ability to defend his client and he was a bit bumbling and uncertain in how to conduct himself in the court room. And Sang Min wasn’t helping much by being his usual crass, cocky, egotistical self.  But, just like Vinny, as time went on Odell became more confident and sure of what he was seeing and doing. It was great to see him develop right before our eyes.

But I think the moment I enjoyed the most was hearing Steve say that after the eye exam showed how drastically Sang Min’s eyesight had changed, he “was offered spectacles” which he declined. The last time I heard anyone use the word spectacles on screen, I think I was watching a movie about Benjamin Franklin! LOL

I really enjoyed the writing in this episode. A story by Peter Lenkov, in the hands of Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt, is always sure to be a winner because no one knows these characters like they do. The flashbacks and references to past events was great in maintaining continuity throughout the episode.

And speaking of continuity, I was sad to once again see Danny missing from an episode but this time, rather than have him just not be there, the explanation made perfect sense. After the events of last week’s episode, it is totally understandable that Danny would be back in Jersey with Clara. I also love the idea of them going to the bank, withdrawing all the money Matty deposited there (and I’m willing to bet including the $700 Clara withdrew for her plane ticket) and taking it to the FBI.

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Other things I really liked:

I loved the talk between Steve and Odell with regard to their fathers before the trial began. Odell proved to everyone, but mostly to himself, that his legal skills are not something he should be pretending don’t exist and that deliberately not following in his father’s footsteps might be a bit counterproductive. It’s not uncommon for fathers and sons to see things differently and it’s so easy to let those differences drive a wedge between them. Steve regrets all the time he wasted by not reaching out to John before he died. It was nice to see Odell, after the case had been won, reaching out to his dad. We all know how much Steve wishes he had done the same thing.

I really liked how this week we didn’t have two separate story lines. This week’s crime of the week was 100% connected with Sang Min, the murder he’s accused of and the human trafficking case which caused Five-0 to get Sang Min out of jail in the first place. It was nice to have everyone working on the same case instead of being apart doing other things.

As much fun as the majority of this episode was, the big action scene of the night didn’t disappoint either. A shootout which resulted in the bad guys releasing a shipping container full of people into the water was awesome but not as awesome as watching Steve and Chin “get wet”, jumping in to save those people in the shipping container. A really fantastic scene.

I loved Sang Min making a deal with Odell that if they won the case, he’d let Odell cut his hair. The only thing I didn’t like? We didn’t actually get to see Odell take those scissors all the way through all of Sang Min’s hair. I would have loved to have seen the finished product! Oh and I loved those glasses.  They are fantastic in their ugliness! ROFL

It was also pretty cool to see Eric Nemoto reprise his role as Prosecuting Attorney James Chen. For those who don’t remember, we first saw Chen way back in Season 1, in Episode 1.18 (Loa Aloha) as the father of one of the kids murdered by a man who held their parents responsible for his own son’s death in prison. Interestingly enough, considering last week’s episode, Loa Aloha was also the episode where we first met Matt Williams and learned about his embezzlement, his dealings with the cartel and watched as Danny brokenheartedly let him escape.  The events of that fantastic episode set the groundwork for multiple episodes and for an arc we’re about to see play out the rest of this season.

There were things in this episode which I didn’t really like. I cringed openly each time Odell reminded the jury that the cause of Sang Min’s poor eyesight was the fact that Chin had smashed him in the head six years ago. Considering he wanted the jury to take the reputation of the Five-0 Task Force into consideration in their deliberations I didn’t think it was such a great idea to remind them, repeatedly, that it was that same task force which cause the physical damage to Sang Min in the first place.

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There is also that mention of Danny and Clara going to the bank to take the money Matt stole to the FBI. The FBI have been keeping an eye on that money ever since Matt opened the account. Now that Clara has accessed the account there is no reason for the FBI to pretend they don’t know about it. So, I highly doubt Danny and Clara need to “take the money back to the FBI”. I think, now that the cat’s out of the bag, so to speak, the FBI would have just seized it on their own.

Lastly, I loved the entire story of Odell finally embracing and using his law degree. He passed the bar in Hawaii ten years ago so he can practice law there. Now, I don’t know anything about law but I do work for a doctor and he must, in order to keep his license, continue his medical education each year. There is a certain number of CME (continuing medical education) credits he must earn in order to maintain his license. I’m assuming it’s the same with a law license. It seems highly unlikely that Odell, a man who turned his back on his degree ten years ago, spent those ten years keeping up with this continuing education. So, technically, he wouldn’t be allowed to walk into that courtroom and defend anyone.

But, of course, no episode is perfect and, for me, it’s easy to suspend belief on the things that wouldn’t fly in the real world. Because this isn’t the real world. It is make believe and as it was when we were children, we use make believe to get away from the real world and have fun. And that’s what Five-0 was in this episode and what it has been for me from the very beginning. A hell of a lot of fun!

There’s no new episode for us until 6.17 on March 11th. I guess it’s the start of the College basketball season or something. I really don’t know but I think I’ll fill the time by re-watching the episodes of this great season again. Always a great way to bide the time when there is a long wait to a new episode!

I hope you all have a wonderful week my friends. Aloha. Malama Pono.

All screen captures are mine!

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24 thoughts on “#H50 Review – 6.16 Ka Pohaku Kihi Pa’a (The Solid Cornerstone)

  1. I really enjoyed the episode. I kept laughing and they even mentioned “Call Sol” and I wondered when Chin and Steve talked about Danny and money, I saw Chin trying to connect the dots and I wonder if Abby was in the middle of those dots.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think Abby in on their radar at the moment. She hasn’t given them any reason to think she’s up to something professionally. Of course, Chin knows she’s acting weird on a personal level. Very soon, I’m sure he will connect THOSE dots!

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  2. rhondagemini says:

    Another great review! You nailed everything! Gotta say Chi’s Jamaican accent was a hoot! Odell is one heck of a lawyer and smart enough to realize the clue from Sang Min’s past contact with H50 would clear him of the murder! Loved the mock trial-very funny,to say the least! I missed the part about Danny & Clara taking the money to the FBI,but it made sense for them to do so! This was a great episode-one of my favorites!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ed Mattes says:

    LOL Linda, did I ever say that I love Chi McBride? I hope they give him an excuse to do more dialects again. When he did the Chicago accent last year he was right on (to my ears anyway … but that one was probably easy for him since he is from Chicago). But now his Jamaican is perfect too.
    And I’m always glad to see Sang Min back. He always exasperates Kono, and that is fun to watch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah… I think you may have mentioned how much you like Chi a couple of times, here and there! LOL I agree…he’s fantastic at accents. He did a dead on accurate Arnold Schwarzenegger on the DVD extras for last season too. So funny!

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  4. Wendy says:

    Great review of a great episode. I just loved all the light-hearted moments. Sang Min was perfect, and so was O’Dell. They didn’t catch the bad guy, so I wonder if he’ll be back in another episode.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m pretty sure we’ve seen the last of that story, even though they didn’t catch the killer. It’s not enough of a story for them to go out of there way to write a second installment just to catch him. First off, there aren’t that many episodes left in the season and they have a lot to cover heading toward the finale and second, the actor who played Graham Clark recently died.

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  5. Helma says:

    Hello Linda, thanks for this good review again. I liked this episode a lot, especially the Steve/Odell parts. Didn’t care much about “Bones” scenes, but that’s my personal opinion. I am not against Ziggy Marley, but it just didn’t touch me. All the others scenes I liked a lot. Looking forward to the next stories to come. Mahalo from a sunny but cold Holland.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thought Ziggy was a natural considering it was his first time in front of a camera. But I have to admit, a few times I really had to concentrate to understand what he was saying and a couple of those lines I still haven’t managed to grab after 2 rewatches LOL But he looked like he was having so much fun and that mega watt smile was infectious. But I understand he’d not everyone’s cup of tea. ♥

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  6. Excellent review Linda. The one scene that had me laughing out loud was the one where Steve says, I think you two are going to get along just fine – after they were just about coming to blows. And the haircutting cape that Max was wearing as the judge. I love the Odell character, and this opened doors to him being a lawyer now and him being there more now as that side of it for 5-0. Peter was a great storyteller in this and his shows that he writes truly stand out. The final line, Help Me Spicy? from Sang Min. Steve isn’t the hard a** he used to be, and I am loving the character more. Think Alex is having fun with it all too, and I wonder just how much was adlibs. The facial expressions he made alone had me grinning. Yup this was a belly laugh a second episode. Poor Odell I thought he would faint in front of the jury when he was first talking, his words were so screwed up, but to see Sang Min in tears and thanking him – yeah emotion. I half expected the prosecutor to be Elly for some reason. Great review, two weeks until the next show…arrgh…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wouldn’t mind it one bit if Odell decided to go back to practicing law if it meant we’d get to see more of him. But I’d hate for him to lose that laid back style he has. He’s so refreshing, I hate to see him turn into just another suit, ya know?

      Alex does look like he’s enjoying this season a lot. Of course, we are not privy to anyone’s personal thoughts but his body language and facial expressions give me the impression that he’s really having fun this season. Of course, I could wrong. LOL Alex is, after all, a fabulous actor! LOL

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      • Totally agree. He seems to be having more fun. His face shows it. I wonder what the remarks and hijinks were like when he did the drunk scene with the lipstick on him. Bet he was cracking everyone up behind the scenes. His eyes sparkle this year, he has some good story lines and I too think he is liking them more. Not the usual boring stuffed shirt Seal shoot em up stuff. Odell I can see him being lawyer and then doing the haircutting also. Not much of Kamekona lately.

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  7. I really liked Odell better as a lawyer than as a barber. He really got to show his acting talents. I would love to see more of those courtroom scenes. I’m so excited about where this storyline is going. Of course, I missed Danny but I really liked the conversation that Steve and Chin had after Steve hung up from Danny. I’m thinking that Steve suspects Abby. There was something about the way he said to Chin that he thinks someone is watching 50. Maybe he is going to let Chin draw his own conclusions. I still think that Abby has feelings for Chin. There are little bits of subtle hints in every episode. You have to watch closely. I do the same as you, Linda. I rewatch episodes while we are waiting for new episodes. There are some episodes that I have watched dozens of times. Lately, when I am in church I find myself saying a little prayer for another season of Hawaii 50. It’s getting close to that time when they will announce renewals and cancellations. I am not ready to let it go yet.

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    • Oh I agree… Abby definitely has feelings for Chin. Her behavior on Valentine’s Day and her hesitant “yes sir” to Coughlin prove that. It’s going to be very interesting to see how she plays this game. Will she bury her feelings for Chin and just do her job or will she allow her feelings to get the better of her and help Five-0 in the end. And how will the team and, more importantly Chin, react to it all.

      To my view, Abby came into this thinking she was going to be part of a comprehensive investigation into what Coughlin believes to be a corrupt organization and she was going to be instrumental in bringing them down. What a feather in her career cap that would be.

      Then she got there, met the team, worked with them, got to know them, saw the kind of work they do, the kind of people they are. Add to that her unexpected feelings for Chin. Oh yes….this is one very conflicted lady.

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  8. jlopie1 says:

    I had a lot of fun with this episode! Of course, I’m always a little grumpy when my man Scott is missing from an episode, but I’m learning to accept it as fact that he will not be in every episode, and if it keeps Scott happy and on the show, I’ll grin and bear it! As such, I’ve learned to actually enjoy episodes that are Scott-free, and this one was a definite joy!

    Yes, San Min has been a favorite villain of mine ever since the pilot, so I thoroughly enjoyed seeing him again. Will Yun Lee had enough screen time this episode to really develop Sang Min’s personality, and he did a great job. His mannerisms, facial expressions and delivery are so well developed, since Will has portrayed Sang Min multiple times now.

    Odell has grown on me each time we’ve see him in an episode. Glad to see his talents as an attorney were established this time around. I imagine Odell will continue as McGarrett’s personal barber, but I bet we’ll see him in the court room again – at least, I hope so!

    Ziggy Marley was a real surprise and delight! He was so comfortable in front of the camera! Such a beautiful smile! He can stick around, too!

    I loved how the COTW WAS Sang Min’s case and that everyone was working on it as a team, too.

    All in all, a fun episode – light-heartedness mixed with a serious case and a great action scene on the water front!

    2 weeks before the next new episode? Shoots! Mahalo, Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think my favorite scene in the entire episode was the mock trial. Kame, Flippa, Max, Jerry, Odell, Sang Min, Bones all together in one room with Kono was a hoot. Like you, I totally miss Danny when he’s not there and all I kept thinking was, Odell wanted Kono there for the mock testimony. I would have ADORED it if Danny had been there too, even if he was only to observe. OMG… the comments, the facial expressions, the body language… it would have been so AWESOME.

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  9. Brooklyngirl says:

    A little late to the party but I just loved this episode. It had everything team work (except Danny but at least his absence was explained this time), fun, action and, especially, continuity. It was great how they wove flashback snippets into the episode. Oh, btw, lawyers also have to complete CLE (continuing legal education) credits to keep their licenses valid in order to practice (I work for lawyers!) so lucky for us Odell kept up with them! He was a little rusty, but, like a riding bike, he got better and steadier as he went along.

    When Steve said to Chin that he had a feeling someone was behind the FBI inquisition I was screaming you should only know who it is! That, hopefully, will be another good episode. Ziggy was excellent and Chi outstanding. I’m hoping, wishing that because we didn’t actually see Odell cut Sang Min’s hair, that means both will be back!! I think the viewers need to see the finished product!!

    From the root to the fruit another 5-0 winner! Mahalo for another great review and the wonderful screencaps!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t worry. I think Chin and Steve will put the pieces together pretty soon. Abby is going to slip eventually, even if it’s only slightly and they will get an inkling something is up. That’s all those guys need to start looking closer and once they do … look out Abby. But like I said above…Abby is conflicted between what she first saw as a sense of duty and justice to now seeing a team who are not at all the way Coughlin thinks they are. This is going to be very interesting.

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