Happy New Year my friends! Welcome to 2017. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and that no matter what holiday you celebrated, it was a joyous and happy one full of family and friends. Now that the presents have been put away, the decorations are down and we’re all trying to figure out how we’re going to lose all the weight we gained (damn but the food was great) all that’s ahead is the long cold winter. Thank goodness for our weekly one hour vacation to beautiful Hawaii. Finally, our first new episode of 2017. Yippee!!!!
So, let’s get right into it, shall we? And when I say get right into it that’s exactly what I mean. Wow, could we have closed out the mid-season cliffhanger any quicker? And, I know I won’t be the only person to attach the word “anticlimatic” to the conclusion of “Will Chin survive?”.
Courtesy of CBS
This is what I wrote in my review for the last episode:
“But, just as the team wouldn’t let Chin go to Mexico alone, we know they will never give up their fight to get him back in one piece. Just as the title “Snatchback” signifies the teams attempt to snatch Sara back from the grip of kidnappers, the title of 7.12 “The Deal” probably signifies what the team will end up doing to get Chin back.”
I was totally wrong about “The Deal” concerning Chin but, of course, there was never any question Chin would survive and never any question his Ohana would do everything to get him back. I must admit having it all wrapped up before the wave was a bit jarring though. Seriously?
You know, we’re always saying how certain episodes seem rushed, that stories are tied up really quickly in the allotted 42 minutes and how we wish, if we couldn’t have a true 2-hour episode, it would be nice if we could get just a few more minutes to close out a story. That’s what this felt like. Like they just needed another 5 or 6 minutes to finish up and since they couldn’t squeeze it into the 42 minutes of 7.11, they just used the first few minutes of 7.12.
But why did they only need those few extra minutes? Didn’t we hear that the Diego cartel’s compound was guarded by “100 military-grade henchmen” and any attempt to get in there would be a “suicide mission”? I guess we’re supposed to assume that Diego and his goons didn’t take Chin to the “compound” but to some other random place with a pit full of ferocious dogs?
A short burst of gunfire from the cover of the trees and our team easily dispatched everyone surrounding Chin like so much target practice. And while it was awesome to see Steve all decked out in his best ninja-wear with the helmet and night vision goggles and all, once the minimal amount of shooting was over, he was the only member of the team we actually saw emerge from the bushes! Left me kind of, meh… And the wave hadn’t even crashed yet!
Then there was the question of what would happen with Sara. After 7.11, I began to seriously doubt that Sara would leave Mexico. After all, Jorge and Maria had done nothing wrong. They had opened their home to Sara and, obviously cared a great deal for her. Sara being taken by the cartel was the fault of Five-0, not her Aunt and Uncle, who seem to be really good people. Chin himself stated that the biggest threat to Sara was himself and Five-0, not her family.
So, when Jorge pulled Chin aside to say that he and his wife had come to the decision that it wasn’t safe in Juarez for Sara and that she would be better off with Chin in Hawaii, needless to say, I was really surprised. Very, very happy, of course, but totally surprised.
I mean, I can understand why they would think that way. We heard in 7.11 that “K and R” is a big business in Juarez and children being taken is not an uncommon occurrence. Well, I’m really glad Jorge and Maria don’t watch Hawaii Five-0 on American TV because they’d realize it happens pretty regularly on fictional Oahu too or Chin never would have gotten Sara back!
I don’t want you to think that I didn’t like how this episode began because I did. It’s not what happened that left me… meh… but the miniscule amount of time it took. I just wish those eight and a half minutes (and believe it or not, that’s all it was, including the opening credits) could have been an entire episode of its own.
Think about it. A daring rescue, our courageous team going up against those “100 military-grade henchmen”. All the planning, execution, gun fire, the heart stopping escape, culminating in Chin and Sara’s reunion. It would have been awesome. So yeah, this was anticlimactic even if I’m really happy with the eventual outcome. Chin is safe and Sara is coming home.
Other than the too quick resolution of Chin’s story there was a lot to like in this episode.
Adam: I must admit, it really wasn’t necessary for Adam to show up in Mexico. He didn’t add anything to the rescue, what little of the rescue there was, but I have no problem with him being there. I like Adam and even if we didn’t get to see him really do anything, I thought it was a nice loving gesture for him to be there for Kono and for Chin. It added to the solid knowledge that these people, all of them, are Ohana and, all of them, are willing to do whatever they can to help and support each other.
While everyone there were, essentially risking their lives, Adam was also risking his newly found freedom. Was it smart for him to violate his parole? Of course, not. But the mere fact he was willing to risk so much for the people he cares the most about speaks volumes.
I also really liked the scene between Adam and Chin at the end. It was nice to see these two finally completely clear the air between them. Of course, Adam already knew how Chin felt, his actions over the last couple of years were testament to that. But it’s always wonderful to actually hear the words.
I could be 100% wrong about this but to me, it felt more like a set up for something else, something that may be down the road. Maybe a future story involving Kono and Adam and Chin then something that was necessary for this particular episode. I could be wrong about that but that’s what it felt like to me.
The same goes for the mention of Melissa and Abby. Well, Melissa more than Abby really. We haven’t seen Melissa since last Valentine’s day and we’re supposed to have that Staycation episode coming up pretty soon. Time to establish that Melissa is still in the picture before she just reappears in that episode. Of course, Lynn will also be in that episode but there’s no need to establish her existence now. It was made quite clear only a few short episodes ago that she is still very much in Steve’s picture.
Chi McBride and the COTW: Is there a scene, anywhere, this man can’t rock?! I know we’ve discussed in the past that our team going undercover is kind of a silly notion. People must know them all by now, right? And Lou isn’t exactly an inconspicuous person. But, even though it really doesn’t make a lot of sense, I love it when our team take on other personas and go under cover. Lou playing a car salesman was pure gold!
Courtesy of CBS
But, in the very beginning, I was underwhelmed by the crime of the week. First off, I didn’t understand why Five-0 was even involved. Steve and Lou wandered in on Max performing a random autopsy and just jumped in and took a case that, at that point, wasn’t even a case yet. And even if it was, surely it would be an HPD case, right?
The scene of Lou confronting Bob about the murder was one of the best scenes ever. Chi was pure perfection the way he danced around Bob and got him to reveal everything. Poor Bob, so out of his element. “Oh Bob… you still think I’m a car salesman?” ROFL
But as much as I truly enjoyed Chi playing Lou playing a car salesman, he wrapped up the case and got the killer and I looked at the clock to see it read 9:25pm. What? Was everything in this episode going to be wound up at hyper-speed?
Courtesy of CBS
Of course, this is H50 which means nothing is as it seems. What started off as a rather underwhelming story morphed from one car salesman killing another out of greed and envy into a case of running drugs and laundering drug money into, believe it or not, a case of terrorism. Add to that, catching the guy responsible only to find out in the last seconds of the episode that the uranium he had was already dealt to someone else.
So, we ended 2016 on a cliffhanger and we’re starting 2017 on one too. Because you know this is not the last time we’re going to hear about that uranium. It may not be next week or even next month but you know for sure we’ll be seeing it again eventually.
I liked how this story built up. I know there will be people who will complain that the episode was “all over the place” but, to me, that’s what sometimes happens in a real investigation. There are times when an investigation just veers into an area no one ever expected.
I also really like it when the show ventures outside the box that is Oahu. After seven years, how many murders, drug smugglers, prostitution rings, (God help us) kidnappings, etc. can our team tackle? Five-0 was originally formed to keep men like Victor Hess “the hell off my island” as then-Governor Jamison said. Well, keeping international bad guys off the island means sometimes the good guys need to go “off” island too. And if they don’t actually leave, they will need to deal with the international threat on the island. It doesn’t mean we need to have H50 become like NCIS or something but having them deal with things that are not just local makes the show more well-rounded, in my own opinion, of course.
Kamekona: Our buddy Kame wasn’t in this episode a lot but even so, he was a real highlight. I loved his scene test driving the truck. I couldn’t stop laughing when he asked if the truck came with seat warmers because “on a long haul, when your butt falls asleep, ya gotta keep that posterior stimulated”. And Kame, you know you’re not supposed to text while driving even if there is a “change of plans”. LOL
OMG… Did that just happen?: In a show where people die with more rapidity than blinking, we’ve become a bit desensitized to the carnage. Oh, there are times when it’s more gruesome or bloody than usual, of course, but I have to tell you, I can’t remember when a death made me literally jump out of my skin like the death of the HPD cop in this episode did.
It’s easy to throw around the term “never saw that coming” but this time, it was the God’s honest truth. It was so unexpected, coming literally mid-sentence, it was like, blink and you missed it. I’m not convinced it was at all necessary but if they were going for a shock factor… um…. Bingo!
Jerry: I really liked the way Jerry was used in this episode. He was in it just enough. I wonder when Jerry moved out of Chin’s place. It looked like he was still there in Epi 7.09 (Elua lā ma Nowemapa – Two Days in November – 11-18-16) when Chin was comforting him after his friend was murdered. That was about 6 weeks ago. I also wonder why he moved out. Maybe because Abby moved in? Regardless, it was a great way to set up the Max story a little later in the episode. Jerry needs a place to live and Max’s apartment is up for rent. Wait…. What?
Max: OK… so the fact that Max is leaving Hawaii wasn’t an earth-shattering surprise. Well, at least not for those of us in the fandom who keep up with these sorts of things. But for the average weekly viewer, the fact that Max is leaving was probably a rather hard blow. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love Max and his loveable, quirky brilliance. Even if he has no respect for one of the greatest creations on the planet.
OMG, Max!! What the hell is the matter with you?? Throwing away Leonard’s malasadas! Are you nuts?!?!? When my friend Lynnette and I went to Oahu for Sunset on the Beach, our first stop, on our way from the airport, yes … before we even checked into our hotel… was at Leonard’s. Life is, after all, always a question of priorities, my friends, and Leonard’s malasadas are nothing short of Nirvana!
You’ll notice when Jerry found them in Steve’s office, whether he was sleep-eating or not, he couldn’t resist them. And Steve’s first reaction when he saw them was to ask “why are there four missing?” In other words, “who the hell ate my malasadas???” LOL
I simply adored the final scene between Steve and Max, it was so sweet. Steve is always so intuitive when it comes to his Ohana. He could tell how much Max’s sojourn in Africa had affected him from the moment Max came home. Max doesn’t ever have to worry that his decision to return to Africa would be a disappointment to Steve because all Max has ever wanted was to help people. Leaving Hawaii is the hardest decision Max has ever made. To leave the only home he’s ever known is major. To do it in his desire to help those less fortunate is a testament to the kind of man Max is. Of course, Steve is proud of him.
I also couldn’t help thinking, as Steve and Max sat talking on the sofa in Max’s living room that the bond between these two men was forged five years ago in that very spot. It was there that Max tended to the injured Steve, in that spot where Steve woke up after Max sutured the stab wound courtesy of Victor Hess in the Season 2 premiere. There where Danny and Chin reconnected with their leader after he escaped prison because Max called and made sure they knew where Steve was. That Steve and Max had what is essentially their last private conversation there was a very nice touch. It’s even still the same sofa!
Next week we say goodbye to Max. I don’t know if we’ll ever see him again. I sure hope we do. Even if it’s just the team needing help with a case and talking to Max via Skype or something. But Steve is right. No matter where Max goes or how long he’s away, Hawaii will always be his home and if he ever decided to go back, his Ohana will be there to welcome him with open arms. I know next week’s episode is going to drive me to tears when we finally have to say goodbye.
So there you have it. I give this episode an A-. The too quick resolution of Chin’s story and the less than interesting car dealer murder brought it down a bit for me. But all the scenes with Max, Chi’s fantastic portrayal of Lou undercover and the way the COTW morphed into another cliffhanger made up for the less than stellar parts. All in all, I really ended up enjoying this episode very, very much.
Have a great week my friends! Aloha. Malama Pono.
All screen caps are mine unless otherwise noted.