I’m sure those of us who live in the U.S. are wholeheartedly sick and tired of the current Presidential Campaign. Night after night, political ads, never ending news reports on the inadequacies, scandals, idiocy, etc. of one candidate or the other. It doesn’t matter which candidate you’re rooting for, the constant back and forth in the news and the polls is enough to drive you crazy. She’s up…. she’s down… he’s ahead… he’s behind… oh wait… she’s up again. Every time it looks good for your candidate, something else comes along to make you despair the other one’s gonna win and vice versa. Dear God, I just can’t wait for it to be over.
I’m sad to say that in the weeks leading up to this episode, I was feeling the exact same way. For a long stretch of time, I basically had zero enthusiasm for it. When H50 was nearing its 100th episode I couldn’t contain my excitement over what was coming. What were they going to do? What big event would mark the milestone occasion? I just couldn’t wait for that Friday to come.
We all knew, of course, that #150 would be in Season 7, if we got renewed, and when we did, the speculation and excitement began again. #100 had been so incredibly good, hopefully #150 would be even better. Then we started to get wind of what #150 would be about and at first I was excited. I can’t stand Doris McGarrett and I hate that her life choices wreaked havoc on her family and ruined the young lives of her children and ultimately caused the murder of their father.
But still, Doris is a fascinating character and Christine Lahti and Alex simply sizzle when they are on screen together. Having #150 revolve around Doris and what she’s been up to these last years and finally, after six plus years, the possibility of Steve getting the answers he’s always desperately needed, getting resolution to the story that started the whole damn thing…. yes, that excited me.
Then the ax fell. Doris was coming back to resolve her story line but Catherine was coming back as well. Needless to say, I was not pleased to hear that at all. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m thoroughly over and done with the Steve and Catherine story so finding out she was going to be part of this milestone episode did not make me one bit happy.
The few days before the episode aired was a whirlwind of sneak peeks, interviews, contradictory tweets and quotes from Alex and Peter Lenkov and, I’ve got to tell you, just like the damn election, by the time Friday arrived all I wanted was for the episode to be over and done with. And that bothered me. A lot! Because for six plus years, 149 episodes, there was never one that I wasn’t excited to see.
It’s now Saturday and as I sit here and type this I realize that I didn’t dislike this episode as much as I thought I would. And I didn’t dislike having Catherine be a part of it as much as I thought I would either. Of course, that’s probably because I knew she wasn’t sticking around but still. It wasn’t as bad as I thought.
OK… let’s break this down like we usually do so I can try, and probably fail, to organize all the swirling emotions this episode caused in me.
Lou and Will Grover: These light-hearted scenes between Lou and Will were like fresh air in this episode. Chosen Jacobs, who plays Will, is a fine young actor and he plays Will with the exact right amount of teenage angst and loving fear of his larger than life father. Chi and Chosen play off each other so well it almost feels as if Chi’s real son was cast. These two are just perfect together.
I got a kick out of the fact that Danny, ever the over protective father, would ask Lou to question Will on whether Grace has a boyfriend. It’s also pretty funny that Lou would actually do it rather than deal with an overly stressed out Daddy Danno. But I admire Will for keeping his mouth shut because he’s right, it isn’t his place to grill Grace on her personal life nor is it his place to blab her business if he does know about it. Given the fact that, going by the preview for next week’s episode, Will himself is the boyfriend adds to the kid’s reluctance to tell. It’s comical that the kids of two detectives on Hawaii’s elite task force can so easily pull one over on their fathers.
I know there are those who think Danny’s over protectiveness of Grace is too over the top and I have to agree on this one point. Asking a friend to use his kid to spy for him is a bit much but I know people (in my case mothers) who have done the same thing. “If you hear anything about what’s going on, please let me know” type of thing. It is right? No. But when you’re worried about your kid, when you think they may be in trouble or getting mixed up in something that could do them harm, you do what you feel you have to do to protect them.
But this isn’t about Grace getting involved with a bad crowd or getting into drugs or some other equally harmful thing. This is a 14-year-old girl and her first boyfriend. Hardly something that’s going to ruin her life. In this case, Danny should ease up and stop worrying. Or better yet, stop dreading and try to postpone the inevitable day when another man will be the most important man in Grace’s life.
But Danny has always been 100% about Grace. She changed his life when she was born and he changed his life to follow her to Hawaii. It’s his job to keep Hawaii safe because it’s her home. He’s a single dad who takes the time to be there for his daughter, shows interest in her interests and supports her in every way he can. So, yeah, if he freaks out a bit too much over things, I’ll cut him some slack.
Chin and Sara: For a guy who wasn’t sure he was ready to be a parent; Chin has done a fantastic job in the few months he’s had Sara. She’s obviously happy, healthy and her love for her Uncle Chin is only surpassed by his love for her. Considering Sara lost both her parents and Chin was a total stranger to her, it’s truly heartwarming to see the bond that has formed between these two.
The fact that Chin lost his appeal to stop Sara from having to go to Mexico is not a surprise. As far as anyone knows at this point in time, she is going to a stable household, with two parents who are her blood relatives. Chin, a single man, with a dangerous job and uncertain working hours, who is her Uncle by marriage, not by blood, would obviously be the second choice in court. But knowing what the outcome would probably be doesn’t soften the blow one bit.
Watching Chin returning home to his empty house was incredibly heartbreaking. It reminded me so much of the tragic day he returned home after Malia died. Perhaps this day wasn’t as heart wrenching as that one but you could still feel his overwhelming sadness and sense of loss leap off the screen. Daniel played this scene so incredibly well.
Of course, there is that suspicious phone number on the Mexican uncle’s phone Chin was investigating. The judge might have ruled it not credible enough to stop Sara from leaving but we can be sure it’s something we’re going to hear about again. This is not the last time we’ll see Sara, I’m sure of it.
The Ohana: As always, the Ohana is the heart and soul of this team. Beginning with the scenes in the Grover household. Not Danny asking Lou to spy but that Gracie was staying with the Grover’s while her dad was in Jersey. It’s great to see that not only are the members of the team friends but their families as well. Of course, we already know that, but it’s still nice to actually see it. I was also glad they gave a reasonable explanation for Danny’s absence this time. Eddie Williams was having surgery and Danny went back to support the family. Now that is a legitimate reason for him to be away from Hawaii. (Even if I’m still really sad he missed this milestone episode).
It continued when, even though Danny was in Jersey, Steve still contacted him to let him know something had happened and he needed to leave town. Steve, remembering how much Danny hates it when he just takes off, made sure Danny knew he was leaving. It’s no surprise that Danny, being the worrier he is, wastes no time and immediately picks up the phone to make sure the team knows that Steve may be in trouble and need help. So, of course, they would all be right there, by Steve’s side. I loved how Grover made sure Steve understood that even if Steve wanted Danny to keep his mouth shut, he’s his partner, he worries about him and so do the rest of the team. Chin’s words that Steve and by extension Doris are Ohana, was all the explanation that was needed. Now, as always, Ohana first!
Flashbacks: Whether it’s Steve remembering old missions or times spent with his dad or Chin remembering how he first met Malia or Kono remembering her childhood with her mother, nobody does flashbacks as well as H50 does. This episode was no exception. We literally got to see Steve grow up from a young boy learning how to ride his first bike to the day, at age 15, when he last laid eyes on his mother. Each young actor chosen to play Steve did a really good job.
But the award goes to Emma Schlamme, Christine Lahti’s real-life daughter as the young Doris McGarrett. It’s so easy to always think of Doris and a she-devil, the reason behind every bad thing that ever happened to John, Steve and Mary. But through these flash backs, we see Doris as a young mother, enjoying her son, loving her family and yet, torn by the guilt of a life she lived years before. It in no way excuses the things she did, but it does humanize her more and gives us a glimpse of the good mother she tried so hard to be before it all crashed down around her… and them.
Steve and his women: Ok, I know that sounds so peculiar but I couldn’t think of any other way to head this section. Let’s take them one by one.
Lynn: I think Steve and Lynn are simply adorable together. It seems like such as easy, care free type of relationship. One that just flows along very sweetly and comfortably. Living such a complicated life, Steve needs a safe harbor to relax, enjoy, and be loved without unnecessary hidden baggage. Lynn gives that to him. She was understanding in a situation where she had every right to be put out and did nothing but offer him her support, love and concern that he come home safe.
Watching him dance around the kitchen as he prepared dinner was so much fun. God, I love a man who can cook. Add to it that it is this man and the whole package is simply delicious. I thought it was so cute they each dressed to the nines for their intimate romantic candle light dinner at home. Steve looked, well…. what else… drop dead gorgeous and Lynn was stunning in that white dress. They make a beautiful couple. Who knows if Lynn is the woman Steve will spend the rest of his life with or if, for now, they are both just enjoying each other’s company and having a good time. Either way, I hope we get to see more of Lynn in the future but, please, not too much. As I’ve said before, I love that our team have personal lives and love interests but I don’t need to see them in my face every two minutes. Once in a while is quite sufficient.
Doris: What is there to say about Doris that hasn’t already been said. Well, according to this episode, really not much. I mean, what did we learn that we didn’t already know? What “answers” did Steve get that would make him, and the rest of us, understand why Doris did the things she did? The answer? Pretty much nothing.
- Doris felt years of guilt over the death of WoFat’s mother. We already knew that.
- Doris felt she needed to rescue Yao Fat. Why? She was sent to assassinate him and missed. Did she miss on purpose? If so, why? The look that passed between them when they first saw each other again was more than just “huh… funny seeing you here”. She said she never stopped looking for him. That’s not something you say to someone who doesn’t mean something to you. Were they in love? Is that way she didn’t kill him? Damned if I know.
- Doris raised WoFat from infancy and obviously still had maternal feelings toward him. She didn’t shoot him (nor he, her) when the chance presented itself. She visited him in prison when she couldn’t find it in herself to visit Steve. She helped him escape prison. WoFat had family videos he used to torture Steve in the big 100th episode. Did Doris give them to him? Damned if I know.
- WoFat captured and tortured Steve twice in an effort to find his father. Did Doris know this? Damned if I know.
- Did John know about her previous life? Did Joe White help her fake her death? Damned if I know.
All Doris really said in this episode was how sorry she was for what she did and for the pain it caused Steve and Mary. “I’m sorry” is pretty much all she’s been saying to Steve since the first time he laid eyes on her again in the Season 3 premiere. For all the answers we thought Steve would get, for all the answers we were hoping to hear, all we really learned was that Doris and John were excited to find out they were pregnant.
Don’t get me wrong… I enjoyed the scenes between Steve and Doris. The fight when she brought him down and his “Hi mom” were awesome. Christine and Alex are simply electric when they are on screen together. They seem to bring out the best talent in each other. Watching Steve’s reactions every time Doris is around is pure gold. It’s just that after all this time and the buildup to what was supposed to tie up the loose ends of Doris’s story, I thought there would be more and I’m disappointed there wasn’t.
But now that Doris and Yao Fat are flying off to who knows where, there is still more to this story. Peter said there was going to be a new story arc that was going to kick off from this episode. Maybe Doris is part of that story, even if she’s not on our screens, and we may yet find out what the hell she’s really all about. At least Steve has Doris’s diaries now. Hopefully all the answers are in there and Steve will finally get to understand it all. Of course, since we’ll probably never see or hear of that diary again, we’ll still be frustratingly in the dark.
Catherine: Like I said above and like I’ve said a dozen times before, I am 100% done with Catherine Rollins. I’ve said, although there are those who refuse to hear my words, that I have never hated Catherine. I gave her the benefit of the doubt that her “mission” was a classified Op she couldn’t reveal to anyone, including Steve. My contention has always been that it was the way she hurt him, more than anything, that I couldn’t forgive. I always believed she knew about that Op before she ever turned up in Hawaii for Kono’s wedding. I always believed she only came back to use Steve to establish her cover and she had no intention, no matter what she said, to ever stay. I always believed she was, essentially, Doris 2.0 and no matter what, Steve would always come in second with her. That is what turned me against her and this episode did nothing to change my mind about that. I will admit that I didn’t hate her being there as much as I thought I would but I will also admit that knowing she’d be gone immediately at the end made it easier to get through it.
But, excuse me, what is it with her and just turning up without notice whenever she feels like it? Oh well, at least this time she was nice enough to actually call a full 10 seconds before she turned Steve’s world upside down yet again. And, here’s another question we don’t have an answer to. How did Catherine know Doris was in trouble? I doubt she found out through official CIA channels since it was a secret break-in at a secret black op site, where they are holding a man, who essentially does not exist. Was Catherine working with Doris on trying to free Yao Fat or did she just happen to find out by accident? But she said she had no idea where Doris even was plus it had only happened the night before. But, to be honest, I find no reason why we need to know any of this. Peter said in an interview that Catherine was simply in this episode as a plot devise to advance the Doris story and close out her own. The hows and whys of it are unimportant.
Of course, I figured I was going to hate every single second she was on my screen but I found that wasn’t the case. I admired the way Catherine and Lynn handled the extremely awkward situation between them with grace. I felt bad for them both when Lynn innocently revealed that Steve had intended to propose. Lynn was truly sorry since she had no idea Catherine didn’t know. Catherine? The look on her face, to me anyway, was of course shock, but also very contemplative. The shock of “oh shit… he was going to propose?” and yet the contemplative “he was going to propose… what would I have said?”. Yeah, awkward doesn’t even begin to describe it.
I did find her annoying when she was telling Steve about Doris though. When she was saying “I know she’s hurt you but no matter what she’s done, she’s still your mother” I couldn’t help but hear…. “I know I’ve hurt you but no matter what I’ve done…” Whatever. It just really rubbed me the wrong way the way she was almost scolding him with the “are you really going to let her live the rest of her life in a box” and then throwing the guilt trip on him “I know you. If you don’t help her now, you’ll regret it”.
Steve had just realized that Doris had used him, yet again, to find out where Yao Fat was being held and was questioning whether he really wanted to help. The only thing that saved this scene for me was the fact that Catherine was actually right. Steve isn’t the type of man to turn his back on anyone, let alone his own flesh and blood no matter what she’s done. I’m also sure that if anyone else had delivered those lines other than Catherine, it wouldn’t have annoyed me at all.
I was glad that Steve and Catherine finally had the talk they should have had a year ago and he could see, at last, the type of person she really is. Steve being the last person she ever wanted to lie to doesn’t change the fact that she did lie to him. Oh, not about the Op. That was classified and she couldn’t tell him and he, of course, understands that. But I see no reason why she couldn’t have just told him she was recruited by the CIA in Afghanistan and was going on an Op she couldn’t tell him about. He probably would have been happy to hear she’d finally found her calling, a place where she could feel useful again. There was no reason to set him up, to deliberately hurt him. Oh, she can say she never intended to hurt him but that’s exactly what she did. There is no getting around that or the fact that it was totally unnecessary. I am thrilled she found out what he did for her when her cover was blown. Let her feel that guilt, that pain of knowing what that good, wonderful man did for her even after she kicked him in the teeth.
The OP to rescue Doris and Catherine’s part in it was fun. I liked the set up, the taking of the information center, the role everyone including Catherine played in getting Doris and Yao Fat out of there. This part of the episode I really enjoyed. It reminded me of the days, back in Season 3, when Catherine and the team worked together so well, when I really enjoyed the way she helped the team when needed and her part in Steve’s life. It was nice to remember when I actually liked having her there.
At first, I had conflicting feelings about the last scene on the tarmac. Part of me was really angry that Catherine let Steve know that she found out about the proposal. Once again, why hurt him like that? Why make him remember that extremely painful experience? But then I realized she didn’t do it to hurt him and that, really, it was necessary. The same way Steve needed to hear that Catherine is happy in her new life, he also needed to hear that she would have said yes.
Not to make him sad or regret what happened but to realize that even if she had said yes and they got married what would that have really meant? There obviously is a wandering spirit in Catherine, one that’s happy and satisfied in the life she has chosen. Would she have been happy settled down in one place forever? It didn’t work for Doris as Steve knows only too well. It was very sweet of Catherine to let Steve know that Lynn spilled the beans purely by accident and that she wishes Steve and Lynn her best. Once again, a glimpse of the Catherine I once loved.
Will Catherine ultimately return someday? Maybe. I sincerely hope she doesn’t (I was hoping beyond hope they would just kill her off in this episode so there was no way she could ever come back) but Peter said this week that she’s still part of the story so who knows?
But Alex also said this week that he thinks Steve would be an absolute idiot to even consider ever taking her back so if she does show up again someday, it more than likely won’t be to reunite with Steve. Being part of the story doesn’t mean she has to come back either. John McGarrett has been part of the story since the very beginning and he’s dead. She could be part of the story in a flashback. Or she could be seen on the BigScreen giving intel on a case from some foreign local. There are many ways she can be “part of the story” without actually having to come back. For now, I’m just going to enjoy the fact that she’s gone for the foreseeable future and if she ever shows up again, I’ll jump off that bridge when I come to it.
All in all, it was a very satisfying 150th episode. It may not have had the pulse pounding excitement and raw guts of the 100th but it did serve as not only a threshold to the future but also a closure on the past. Who knows if we’ll ever see either of these women again but whether we do or not, Steve can now move forward without having to always be looking over his shoulder waiting for them to drop the next shoe. I don’t know about Steve, but I like that feeling.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the entire cast and crew, the writers and producers, the incredible stunt crew, the guest actors and extras, the musical directors and musicians, the location scouts, hell, even craft services….. everyone …. for all the hard work and dedication you give week in and week out to bring us this wonderful show. Thank you for 150 wonderful Friday (and Monday) nights. Please know you are all appreciated more than we mere fans could ever express. Here’s to all of you and here’s to 150 more! Mahalo nui loa.
That’s it my friends. Have a wonderful week. See ya next time! Aloha. Malama Pono
Note: All screen caps are mine.