In all the years I’ve been watching TV, and that’s more years than I like to admit, there have often been times when a favorite TV show surprised me with their choice of material for a particular episode. Usually, it’s when a situation comedy decides to do a serious episode totally out of the box. Like a beloved character gets sick or some event happens that you’d never expect in a “comedy” show. These types of episodes are usually very powerful mostly because they are so out of the box for a show that is supposed to be nothing but funny.
The same can be said about this H50 episode. A show which primarily revolves around guns deciding to tackle a story about gun control. I thought this episode was very well done. Powerful and insightful considering how polarizing this topic can be. The acting of the entire cast was spot on. Alex and especially Scott in particular. Give Scott something he can really sink his teeth into and he just shines. Alex, of course, shines constantly! But, like those very serious episodes in a situation comedy, I won’t say I’d want to see this type of episode often but as a one off, I really liked this one.
Before we get into the meat of the episode, let’s look at the two other stories we were also given, shall we?
Kono and Adam – It’s been a long while since we last laid eyes on Adam. The last time we saw him was in Episode 6.21 (Ka Pono Ku’oko’a) back in April. It was because of Adam’s actions in that episode, bringing about the recapture of escaped Halawa inmates, that brought about his early release from prison, six months early.
I couldn’t be happier that Kono and Adam are together again. But I have to admit, the calmness of their reunion took me a bit by surprise. I was watching Kono calmly getting herself ready to go pick up Adam and I was thinking to myself, “Girl, why aren’t you jumping out of your skin with excitement?” I know I’d have been shaking with anticipation.
Then, at the prison, finally… finally… in each other’s arms, it was all so tender and calm. I would have been squealing so loud birds would take flight and they would have had to pry me off him with a crowbar.
But it was a lovely scene, especially when Kono slipped Adam’s wedding band on his finger once more. “The next time you slip it onto my finger, all of this will be behind us” he said a year ago. Let’s hope it turns out that way. These two, who have been through so much, who have stood by each other, no matter what… yes, they more than anyone deserve some happiness.
So, of course, these two, who haven’t been together, haven’t been in each other’s arms for a year, do the one thing everyone does the moment they are finally reunited. They head to Kamekona’s shrimp truck for a plate lunch. Ummmmm yeah… right!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved this scene. Loved that the entire Ohana was there to welcome Adam home. Loved the texts from Max and Sang Min. Especially loved hearing Flippa’s rendition of the great Marvin Gaye hit “Let’s Get It On”.
But seriously, why weren’t Kono and Adam doing just that? I mean, have you seen these two? Get your asses home and don’t resurface for at least a week! LOL
Adam’s kind heart – One thing that has always bugged me about the way the show has characterized Adam is the way they always said things like “Adam is trying to change” or “Adam is trying to be a good guy” or something to that effect. I’ve always held the opinion that Adam was always a good guy. That while he was trying to legitimize the family business, he himself never really needed to “change” because he was a good guy from the beginning. When he tried to be the bad guy, he totally sucked at it. Pretty much did everything wrong. So while the timing was a bit odd to me, the fact that Adam wanted to help a fellow inmate who had befriended and protected him by literally saving his life, didn’t surprise me.
The story of Louis Kalama reminded me of Roy Parrish from Episode 4.14 (Na hala a ka Makua). Both Roy and Louis were men who tried their best to change after a life of crime and each man had a daughter they longed to see again. They both continued to write to their daughters in an attempt to reconnect even though both daughters refused to even acknowledge the existence of their fathers let alone answer a letter.
It was very admirable of Adam to want to repay his debt to Louis by attempting to bring his daughter to see him before Louis died of cancer. It was nice that, unlike Roy’s daughter who didn’t realize how much she wanted her father in her life until after he’d died, Louis’s daughter will get to spend whatever time he has left reconnecting with her father.
But was this story necessary for the episode? No, not really. It didn’t propel Kono and Adam’s story forward in any way. It had nothing to do with what was going on in the rest of the episode. Honestly, once Steve told Kono to take the day, she and Adam could have disappeared into her house and, like I said before, not surfaced for a week.
But what this little nugget did do was establish that Adam has not changed. That he hasn’t been jaded by the time spent in Halawa. That he is still a really good guy. I don’t know what’s in store for Kono and Adam. From the looks of next week’s promo they’re in for a bit of roughing up on Halloween but I’m sure they’ll come through that relatively unscathed and they can move on to live a happy life. At least I sure as hell hope so.
Gun control – Obviously, this was the topic of the night. Having seen the live tweets during the episode, I know there are some out there who have a problem with a show like H50 even touching such a controversial and explosive topic. Some used the word “hypocrisy” quite freely.
Personally, I see no hypocrisy in the show tackling this story line. On the contrary, it is because of the nature of this show, the nature of the job these men do, that makes this topic very relevant. Who better to discuss guns than people who are surrounded by them every single day. On which side they fall is an individual choice but it’s not hypocritical to have the discussion.
These men see violence up close and personal every day. And, yes they rely on weapons to do their jobs, but they also see all the destruction guns can cause when they fall into the hands of the wrong people. I can easily see the characters within this show having very real conversations like the one we saw here and being torn between understanding the right people have to own guns while at the same time, wishing there were less guns out there for them to have to deal with.
I’m not going to call the discussion in the car between Danny and Steve a cargument because, to me, it really wasn’t, in the classic sense. Each man expressed, and very well I might add, the opposing sides of the issue. And while they both had completely different views and each were passionate about their point of view, they were able to discuss it reasonably and without rancor. Each said their piece and in the end, basically agreed to disagree. It was extremely well done and both Alex and Scott did a wonderful job with it all.
When it comes to this issue, my views have matured over the years. When I was younger I felt exactly like Danny. There should be zero guns… period. But as I’ve grown older that idealistic view has, like I said, matured. Steve is right. There can no more be “zero” guns as there can be universal peace, harmony and rainbows on earth.
Sensible is a very appropriate word for how gun control should be handled. This is my opinion only, of course. If someone wants to have a gun for their own protection, I have no problem with that. If you live in a state which allows licensed gun owners to carry and you want to carry, fine. If you are a hunter and have hunting rifles, also fine.
But, there is absolutely no reason, zero, nada, NONE, for anyone to have military style weaponry… period. You want to fire an AK-47, go to a firing range. You don’t need to have one (or fifty) in your basement.
So, yeah, sensible. The 2nd Amendment was written when this country did not have a standing army. When, if the country was in danger, civilians were to form a “militia” to protect it. So, of course, since there was no army to supply them, the civilians needed weapons. Weapons which fired one lead ball at a time and took so long to reload it had a bayonet on the end so you could fight off an enemy if he attacked before the gun was reloaded. The 2nd Amendment was not written for weapons that can mow down an entire room of 1st graders in 20 seconds.
I know there are zillions of people who disagree with me, but I don’t see how continuing to allow people to have their hand guns and their hunting rifles but tightening up a few loopholes and banning military style assault weapons threatens the 2nd Amendment.
Danny the Negotiator – Finding out that Kyle’s son was the victim of gun violence wasn’t a huge surprise. Finding out he was the shooter I never expected. I can’t imagine in any conceivable way how a parent could live with the knowledge their child could do such a thing. It’s just too horrendous to even contemplate. Listening to Kyle rage against the gun lobby and the politicians and the complete lack of any change even though horrible mass shootings happen again and again, I could feel his anguish to my very soul.
I was very happy the writers chose to let Danny be the final negotiator with Kyle. Not only did Scott totally score with the way he played the scene, it was wonderful to see Danny use his brain and his skills to bring a peaceful end to what could have been another horrible situation.
And this is where I think this episode scored big time. Danny’s entire monologue made complete sense, every last word of it. As a person who also hates how easy it is to get a gun, and being a cop who deals with the fallout, while at the same time, using a gun himself, as a father horrified by it all, Danny was perfection in showing there is no easy answer to any of it. But using violence to protest violence is never the way.
I also really liked that, in an episode with this particular topic, Five-0 and SWAT didn’t go in guns blazing like we’re used to seeing. I was happy Steve, although ready to breach, stood down and let Danny try to get into Kyle’s head. Everything Danny said made complete sense and thank God Kyle listened to him.
Back in the Pilot Danny told Steve, “I want to do what I’m good at and I want to be reminded I’m good at what I do”. That’s exactly what happened here. It showed just how good Danny is at his job and it also showed that Steve knows that. He stood there and listened as Danny spoke and you could see on his face how impressed he was with the skill Danny was showing. I just loved, in an episode where guns were the central theme, this situation was resolved without our team or HPD firing a single shot.
The music – It’s something we’ve been saying for years. Whether it’s original pieces written by Brian Tyler and Keith Power or individual songs they’ve chosen for the show, the music, much like Hawaii itself, is and always has been an additional character on the show. The music in this episode is no exception. The very subtle and sad background music as Kyle was venting over the easy access to guns he blames, along with himself, for what his son did was the perfect counter measure to his anger and frustration.
The individual songs chosen were also perfect. Starting with “Honey, Leave the Light On” as Kono was dressing to meet Adam and Flippa’s rendition of “Let’s Get It On” but culminating with a wonderful cover of John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy” as Kyle reminisces about all the wonderful times with his son before it all went so wrong. Kyle blamed himself for not seeing what was happening, not recognizing the signs of trouble. Unfortunately, “life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans”.
I thought this episode was very well done, very powerful and thought provoking. Hopefully people who see it can move past the knee jerk reactions on either side and simply watch and listen. The episode did not advocate a stance on either side. It simply presented a story which showed the pros and cons on both sides of the issue. Where individuals fall is, as it has always been, a personal choice. I’d like to say I hope we never again see the type of violence on our nightly news that brings this discussion to the forefront. Unfortunately, I don’t own a unicorn.
Have a wonderful week my friends. Aloha. Malama Pono
Note: All screen caps are my own unless otherwise noted.