#H50 Review – 7.17 Hahai i nā pilikua nui (Hunting Monsters)

courtesy-of-surfbelle2a

“There’s one thing I’ve learned hunting monsters; You can’t outrun them.”

Well, for the most part, in the last seven years, we’ve hardly ever had to outrun the monsters.  One of the hallmarks of a procedural cop show is that, invariably, by the end of the hour, the good guys always get their man.   There have been precious few who have managed to evade our team.  WoFat, Gabriel and Michelle Shioma spring to mind.  But, in the end, both WoFat and Gabriel met their end because of Steve and Five-0.

Gabriel never had the cunning of WoFat, of course.  WoFat was enigmatic and mysterious while Gabriel was basically just a street thug who somehow managed to rise to some power.  I loved Gabriel and the run for the money he gave Five-0 but there really was no comparison to the brilliance that was WoFat.  Michelle Shioma?  Ah well, there’s a puzzle.  She’s still in the wind somewhere.

And then there is Dr. Madison Gray. She’s not an enigma at all.  There is no mystery or puzzle about her.  No, what she is, is Machiavellian with a level of cunning and unscrupulousness we’ve rarely seen in our villains.  A total oxymoron; a serial killer who never kills.  A master manipulator who gets others to do the killing for her.  She’s a fascinating character and in the hands of Elisabeth Rohm truly chilling.

Maybe it has something to do with Elisabeth’s beautiful blue eyes which she’s able to turn from complete voids of emotion one moment, to theatrical (as faux-amnesiac Lauren Parker), to cunning viciousness the next.  Elisabeth has played this part perfectly since the moment we first met Dr. Gray.

When Dr. Gray walked into HPD, playing herself off as Lauren Parker, confused amnesiac from Wisconsin, no one was fooled, especially Steve.  The two of them sitting across the table in the interrogation room was riveting.  Elisabeth was phenomenal in this scene, as was Alex.  She was so good, I was seriously thinking we really did have a “Sybil” thing going on here.  That her psychotic mind had finally snapped and she really believed she was Lauren.  She even managed to fool not only the polygraph but the psychiatrist who was sent in later to evaluate her.

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But Steve knew better.  I loved the background music in that scene.  Mixed in with the heart thumping baseline which emphasized the deep emotion Steve was feeling at seeing her again, it had a tingling, itchy kind of cadence which had his “Spidey Sense” written in every note.  Steve was fully on guard and not buying a moment of her theatrics.  This was one of those scenes we all love. Where not only did Alex have some great lines and emotions to play, he was also able to convey pages and pages of dialog with just his facial expressions.  And did you see the way he literally almost leaped out of his skin when she attempted to touch him?  To say she had him not only on guard but on edge is an understatement.  Steve is never like that.  Oh yes, Dr. Gray got under his skin in a huge way.

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I loved the psychological game Dr. Gray came back to play on Alicia Brown.  I like Alicia but I’m not quite sure about her.  I mean, yes, she’s been through a lot.  The murder of her daughter, the breakup of her marriage and the psychological toll that took on her, she’s been living with for years.  Being dragged back into it all when the Chess piece Killer dumped a body in her bed didn’t do her mental state a bit of good.  Add to that being stabbed and thrown into a blow hole to drown, is it any wonder she virtually went into hiding for four months?

So, really, you have to wonder about her emotional state.  We’ve seen her be obsessive, compulsive and reckless.  We’ve seen her completely unhinged.  We’ve seen that being an ex-FBI profiler who’d dedicated her life to putting serial killers away and who’s guilt over her daughter’s death has unhinged Alicia just enough to make her very vulnerable to the likes of Dr. Gray.  She might have done well to remember Dr. Gray’s words of four months ago, “Never play psych games with a shrink.”  Especially one as psychotic as Dr. Gray.

It’s also very telling that Dr. Gray didn’t just go after Alicia like she had so many others.  She didn’t do it covertly, with Five-0 only finding out about it after the fact and having to investigate an already committed murder.  No, she came right out in the open because, while Alicia was her main quarry, Dr. Gray was out for Steve as well.  Danny was 100% right when he said that Dr. Gray “missed” Steve.  Remember, when she was leaving all those chess pieces behind, Steve was left a knight, not a pawn.

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The game is no fun without a gifted opponent.  Dr. Gray views Steve as a worthy adversary.  An adversary to pit wits against and come out victorious.  He escaped her clutches the last time they met so now, she’s looking forward achieving her objective and doing it right under his nose to prove who’s the better of them.  Checkmate!

She methodically laid out all the clues Steve would need.  She wanted him to figure it out so she could relish the win even more.  She could have passed herself off as Lauren from anywhere but she told HPD she was from Wisconsin deliberately to not only pinpoint where she’d been the last four months but also to where serial killer Edward Sears is locked up.  The man Alicia blames for orchestrating the murder of her daughter Sienna.  There’s video of Dr. Gray visiting Sears, no attempt to hide the fact that she was there numerous times to see him.  Then there is the blood that was all over “Lauren” when she showed up at HPD.  Sienna’s blood.  It was all set up beautifully.

All in an effort to turn Alicia into a murderer and to do it right under Steve’s nose.  Dr. Gray is a junkie, you see.  Getting high with the thrill of having murderers kill other murderers.  But like all junkies, it’s getting harder to reach that high.  She needs more.  Time to up the ante by turning someone who’s been the good guy, who’s been hunting the killers into a killer herself.  The ultimate high for a junky hooked on murder.

Alicia will be the ultimate pawn, by convincing her the man who killed her daughter is in that cabin in Wisconsin.  And through her incredible ability to use psychological manipulation, she convinces Alicia to kill him.  The trick isn’t to outrun the monsters Alicia.  It’s to make sure, that in the course of the chase, you don’t become one yourself.

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So, we ended this episode on a bit of a cliffhanger.  Well, a minuscule one at least.  Dr. Gray returns to Alicia’s house three days later and lays the ultimate control bomb on her.  Hands her the gun and basically says the only to ensure her safety and that of her daughter, the only way to end the game is to kill her.

Who fired the shot we heard just as the screen faded to black?  Did Alicia shoot Dr. Gray? She told the 911 operator she wanted to report a murder so she had every intention, in that moment, to kill her.    Could it have been Sienna, who was in her room sleeping?  Could she have woken up, heard the conversation in the kitchen and taken matters into her own hands?  I’m sure Alicia would have filled her in on who Dr. Gray is and what she had done.  Or did Steve come back?  He’d only walked out of her house moments before.

But Alicia had bolt-locked the door behind him and I didn’t hear any crash before the shot that would have indicated Steve breaking the door in.  But then again, this is H50.  It could very well be that Steve did break down the door and we’ll hear/see it next week or maybe he comes in through another door, like those French doors we saw earlier in the episode.  After all, Dr. Gray managed to get in the house without coming through the front door.

I actually like that last idea the best.  I love the Dr. Gray character but, now that I’m looking at the arc more clearly, I think it’s time to put an end to that story line.  I know that Claire Forlani is listed as a guest star in next weeks episode so whatever happened will more than likely be resolved early on in 7.18, perhaps even before the wave.  If Steve did come back and kill Dr. Gray, that would mean that Alicia and Sienna can go on with their happy reunion and their lives without a murder hanging over either of their heads.  Yeah, I’m ready to move on to a new story arc and perhaps a new major villain now.

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More tidbits:

  • I have to admit, that Alicia finding Sienna alive in that cabin was a major stretch. I mean, it’s been four years.  I would think that a FBI trained agent would have figured out a way to escape in all that time.  And was she injured at all?  All that blood on “Lauren” and I didn’t see a scratch on Sienna.  And another thing?  Dr. Gray sent Alicia into the cabin to kill her daughter’s murderer.  Did Dr. Gray know Sienna was alive? Personally, I don’t think so.  I think she was following her usual M.O. of sending someone in to kill a killer.  But then again, this is Madison Gray we’re talking about.  Could be she knew exactly what Alicia would find in there and was banking on having that ace in the hole to hold over Alicia for the future.
  • I also really enjoyed the way Danny was able to be a small voice of reason for Steve in this episode. I’ve always loved it when the two of them have gone off together into one of the offices, where one or the other attempts to speak reason to the other.  All of Danny’s logic about Alicia was 100% on point.  And even though Steve was right in his assessment of why Alicia would break Dr. Gray out of HPD, Danny was right to voice every one of his concerns.  Just because Steve thinks he knows Alicia doesn’t mean that everything Danny proposed isn’t a possibility.

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  • So, who else knew exactly what Edward Sears was going to do with that pen the moment Steve slid it to him? I mean, duh!  Didn’t Gabriel and Coughlin teach them anything?  The moment he slid that piece of paper back to Steve and I saw he hadn’t returned the pen I closed my eyes.  Watching that pen go into Coughlin’s eye bothered me for days.  I knew what was coming and really didn’t want to see it happen again.
  • I usually have very little beef with the great writers on this show but I’d like to find the one who tweeted out that ridiculous shipper poll and whip him/her with a wet noodle. I mean, come on guys.  This was a nice stand-alone episode, full of psychological suspense, which very nicely tied up a fun arc but had absolutely nothing to do with Steve’s love life.  Why introduce that element right in the middle of the episode?  It was completely unnecessary.

Steve and Alicia have a lot in common.  They’ve both lost people extremely close  to them. They’ve both seen previous relationships fail.  They’ve both lived and worked under intense situations and were/are extremely driven to achieve justice.  They had a life and death experience together which they were lucky to survive.  But, nice dinner and cute conversation aside, that’s not a basis for a relationship other than friendship and understanding.  Love affairs which begin under intense circumstances never last and I have never seen any indication whatsoever that these two feel anything for each other than a bond of shared experiences and friendship.

  • I really enjoyed the one short bit if fun this episode had. The grand opening of Flippa’s new shrimp truck.  It was so much fun for Danny to finally…..finally….get to meet one of his heroes.  I mean, how many football players have visited Hawaii that Danny’s missed out on meeting?  The opportunity to meet fellow “Jersey Boy” Max Weinberg (drummer for Danny’s beloved Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band) was a thrill for Danny and I really got a kick out of it as well, especially when Danny told Max about sneaking in to see the band play when he was a kid.  I think we’ve all done something like that in our youth! LOL  Max, of course, is no stranger to H50.  He’s played gun shop owner “Norm” for several seasons.  It was fun to see him play himself in this episode and finally give Danny a chance to fanboy a bit.
  • The only thing funnier than that was when Kamekona got a look at Flippa’s new truck! Oh my God… Kame was not prepared to see Flippa’s face on the truck instead of his own.  I know, Kame told Flippa that the truck would be his, but considering that every single new enterprise Kame has opened has had the exact same logo of his face with some different type of hat, Flippa shouldn’t be too surprised that he’d expect the new truck to be a Kamekona shrimp truck and not a Flippa shrimp truck.  The shrimp is gonna fly between these two for sure! LOL
  • It was also really wonderful to see Nahale again even if it was extremely quick. I’m wondering how old Nahale is now.  The way Steve said “what’s up young quarterback…good to see ya man, you look good” makes it sound as if Steve hasn’t seen him in a while.  Could it be that Nahale is a freshman in college now, maybe living on campus at UH and that’s why Steve hasn’t seen him lately?  And Steve is proud that he’s made the football team.  I know Nahale is supposed to be in the next couple of episodes so hopefully, we’ll get to see more of him and they’ll explain what’s going on in his life a bit more and why Steve hasn’t seen him for a bit.

Well, that’s it for this week.  I really enjoyed this episode a lot but of course, I always do.  I can’t believe next week we’ll be seeing the 18th episode of the season and they’re already filming 7.21 on the island as we speak.  I’m always so torn at this time of the year.  Excited to see what’s in store for the home stretch and dreading the fact we’re so close to the end.  Ah well, best to just keep enjoying the rides as it comes.

Have a great week my friends!  Aloha.  Malama Pono

All screencaps are mine unless otherwise noted.

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26 thoughts on “#H50 Review – 7.17 Hahai i nā pilikua nui (Hunting Monsters)

  1. KC15 says:

    Great review- very well researched! I watched with a group of friends that are more casual viewers & they all raved over the episode. We all thought the acting was incredible. I couldn’t agree with you more over the writers tweeting the totally insignificant Alicia/Lynn poll…just why?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Someone over there just really loves to stir the pot in the shipper wars. It’s so stupid, really. Steve is going to end up with whoever Peter wants him to end up with and it doesn’t matter what we want or what we don’t want. He’s going to do whatever he has planned and we’ll just have to live with it one way or the other. I know how I’d like it to be but that is inconsequential to whatever Peter will decide to do.

      Thanks for reading. I’m glad you liked the review! ♥

      Like

  2. Fantastic job, as usual! I loved this one so much. Alex was spectacular in this, the first encounter with Dr. Gray, aka Laura Parker, was a stunner. Alex is able to express so much on that glorious face. Turn off the sound and watch the whole scene, he’s simply amazing. Mahalo for a thought provoking review.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Alex is simply amazing. He’s so genuine in everything he does, in every word, in every look, every movement. It’s almost effortless. He was positively riveting during that first scene with Dr. Gray, you could literally feel the tension coming off of him. He never ceases to amaze me.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Dan Gibson says:

    I concur — I really CONCUR …. Steve’s visit to see “Lauren” was as intense as anything I’ve seen for the past 7 years. She truly is (or ‘ was ‘, perhaps?) one of the most challenging villains 5-0 has given us. Only the short scene where Steve and Wo Fat pointed guns at each other at point blank range on that slimy, laundry basement floor can compare with last night. I say again, H50 has taken a quantum leap forward in content and dialogue this season.

    Yet, this week, ” TV Line “, in its latest predictions of the shows to be cancelled or renewed — describes 5-0 as a “could go either way” program. Be serious, we got a winner here. CBS head Les M. recently commented that the network’s Friday night lineup is as formidable as it’s been in decades — comparing it favorably with the legendary 60’s lineup of Rawhide / Route 66 / Twilight Zone / The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.

    Mahalo, fellow Task Force members !

    Liked by 4 people

    • I don’t know what TVLine is playing at because the ratings from the Friday night lineup have been stellar all season. You’re right, the word is “formidable”. I can’t see that Five-0 won’t get it’s 8th season, it’s just a matter of time before CBS gets off their collective butts and makes the announcement.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. This was a great episode. I am so glad that Alecia found her daughter alive. It was a great episode. Last week was fantastic and this week was a lot different but fantastic as well. Hawaii 50 is on a roll this season. Keep them coming. I also hate to see it come to an end.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with what Dan said above. H50 has taken a quantum leap forward in content and dialogue this season. I think this may be one of my most favorite seasons of them all. Well, not counting Season 1. Nothing will ever compare to the very beginning of my romance with this show. LOL

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wendy says:

    Alex was so good in that intense scene with “Lauren”, I jumped with him when she reached out to him. Like you I hope it’s Steve that fired the shot. I knew early on that the blood would be the daughters, but it wasn’t until they went to the cabin and I saw the door with a bolt on the outside, that I figured out she was still alive. A bit unrealistic, but hey this is a TV show after all. Loved fanboy Danny. As always, thanks for this great review, Linda.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. jlopie1 says:

    Good Lord. Linda, once again we are in total … and I do mean TOTAL agreement! I know we haven ‘t shared anything about this episode, and yet, reading your review was like seeing my our thoughts written down without me lifting the proverbial “pen to paper!”

    I really enjoyed the ep, especially the fact that it was darker and more emotionally dramatic that what we usually get. A nice change of pace. Claire Forlani and Elizabeth Rohm acted their hearts out. Alex did what Alex does – shine in these more character-based episodes.

    I was spitting mad over the silly attempt to reheat the shipper war with that poll. I mean, come on! How juvenile was that? For one thing, there is no sexual tension between Alicia and Steve, at all! They have a survivor’s bond, for sure! She’s got more issues than Steve needs to take on, if you ask me!

    Thanks for writing another sweet review!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree that poll was totally ridiculous and completely unnecessary. Those polls are stupid anyway. Most people RT or LIKE out of habit, not as an actual vote. They are about as scientific as a bowl of cereal.

      Like

  7. Maria says:

    This was a great episode but I disagree about relationships starting under stress never last. His relationship with Lynn started under stressful circumstances and that’s going on over a year. I think it’s almost over by now, but it did last. I think Steve and Alicia have tons of chemistry. I hope he dates her. She is much better than lynn. Lynn is immature and a party girl. She looks cheap. Steve deserves someone with more maturity and class. I don’t care about Nahele. He’s nice and all but I am happy they showed he is not living with Steve. It would be stupid for him to get adopted at his age. I did not like Steve saying bad things about Danny to Alicia. The writers are not nice to Danny.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree about the chemistry but I think it’s more between Alex and Claire than between Steve and Alicia. But you may be right. It could very well be TPTB think they would make a good couple. I have no idea. But, they had zero contact for the four months she was in seclusion so it doesn’t look like they’ve spent any time together that wasn’t case related, life or death, or extremely high intensity stress. It’s just my opinion of course, but I don’t think that’s a good foundation for a relationship. You’re absolutely right, Steve and Lynn’s first date was a very stressful life and death situation but they have spent over a year now hanging out, having fun, getting to know each other and obviously enjoying each others company very much.

      I also don’t understand what makes you say that Lynn is an immature party girl? When have we ever seen her “parting” and her work with underprivileged kids is hardly something someone immature could tackle. And what is the criteria for “class”? If her way of dressing for a hot date isn’t to your taste, that’s understandable. Not everyone likes those short tight dresses for a date night. Personally I wish I was young enough and had a killer body like her so I could wear those types of things myself.

      I agree about Nahale. He was too old even when Steve first met him for adoption. I mean, legally, he was still underage so it could have happened but for story purposes, having Steve looking out for him and mentoring him was quite sufficient. Now that Nahale is older and possibly setting out on his own a bit more, it’s logical that he and Steve, while still close, would be seeing less of each other.

      Lastly, I didn’t see what Steve said about Danny as being “mean”. He’s jokingly complained about Danny to others plenty of times in the past and Danny has done the exact same thing about Steve. Alicia didn’t take it as a serious complaint, didn’t take it as “OMG I have such a horrible partner I can’t stand to be around him”. She laughed and made light of it because she could tell that Steve has no problem with Danny, even if he can be really annoying at times.

      Thanks again for your comment Maria. Even though we don’t agree on some things I enjoy the give and take. Please fell free to always express your opinion here. Take care!

      Like

  8. rhondagemini says:

    Awesome review! Dr. Madison Gray is a real piece of work-I mean,she had to be really crazy to think that Steve would fall for her Lauren Parker act! I thought he was going to fall out of his chair when she tried to touch him-that was creepy! I thought it was a bit far fetched that Alicia would get permission to see her in the wee hours of the morning-she should have been in a jail cell by that time. When Dr. Gray told Alicia she had a secret that would change her life forever,I never expected that it would be that her daughter was still alive-I was thinking that it was that she knew who had”killed”her. As for the shot fired as the screen went black, I’m hoping that it was Steve who fired it to kill Dr.Gray as he hadn’t been gone but just a few minutes when Gray came into the kitchen, and he could have gotten back within minutes. We should know for sure in the first few minutes of next week’s show!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree Rhonda about the way Steve jumped back when she tried to touch him. When I saw that scene in the sneak peek I literally jumped right along with him in that moment. I thought having already seen it, I’d be prepared for it when the episode actually aired. I jumped just as much then too. It was an awesome scene played to perfection by both of them!

      Liked by 3 people

  9. Carole says:

    Big change of pace from last week – at times really tense. Dr Gray certainly got under both Steve and Aicia’s skin. I jumped almost as much as Steve did! Still a bit fuzzy on how long the daughter was held and if Dr Gray was behind it. Loved how Danny pulled Steve aside for some straight talk – ever the best friend/ voice of reason when it counts. I have very mixed feeling about Alicia – there were moments where there seemed a real connection between her and Steve, but other moments when her intensity was a bit scary. I think maybe the daughter does the deed or maybe she’s not dead……..

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m a bit fuzzy on Sienna’s time line myself. What we do know is that Sienna went missing 4 years ago. Alicia went to see Sears in prison and demanded to know what happened to her daughter, assuming Sears had orchestrated her death. A plausible assumption considering he IS a serial killer. But since Alicia was asking what happened, I’m assuming, obviously now that we KNOW what really happened, her body was never found.

      The only person who ever said that Sienna was dead was Madison Gray, in the episode where she stabbed Alicia and Steve. So from that point on, Alicia “knew” her daughter was dead, instead of just assuming she was.

      So if Sears orchestrated Sienna’s “death” with …what was his name?…Jones?… then Jones didn’t hold up his end of the bargain and instead of killing Sienna, kept her for himself.

      Did Madison know Sienna was alive? The question, I think is did Sears know? Because if he did, than Madison did because we all know her powers of persuasion. There is no way Sears wouldn’t have told her when he told her where the cabin was. If Sears didn’t know than Madison probably didn’t either unless she staked out the cabin and saw Sienna in there before she headed back to Oahu.

      Like

  10. Ocean says:

    I have mixed emotions about this episode. I agree that the acting was stellar. Alex always makes me believe he IS Steve McGarrett and each scene he’s in — whether it’s action, humor, sorrow, pain or empathy — is totally captivating and plausible.

    I just didn’t get onboard with the idea that the daughter was still alive. Did we ever know if a body was found? And if not, wouldn’t Alicia, an FBI profiler, scour the ends of the earth until she found a body? Sometimes I think the writers are tossing in twists like this because it’s become expected of them, even if the twist isn’t logical.

    I don’t really care who kills Dr. Gray (if anyone.) If Alicia pulls the trigger, she’ll certainly get off on emotionally overwhelmed reasons as well as the fact that she did society a favor by getting rid of a psychopath.

    As for Nahele, I loved this story arc when it began. But they have dropped the ball on it. It had so much potential, especially when his father got out of prison. Oh the stories they could have told!

    But I don’t want to sound like a Debbie Downer! I loved the way the team worked together, loved Steve describing a stakeout with Danny to Alicia, and that cute scene when he fixed dinner and said he’d stay over. I certainly don’t see anything romantic between them, just a friendship forged by circumstances.

    Thank you for your review, LInda. You always make me think deeper about each episode!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Ocean! Like I said in a reply further up the page, I don’t believe Alicia ever found out what happened to her daughter. I think that added to her kinda unstable emotional state. Losing a child to death is a horrendous thing but to lose a child and never have the closure of knowing what exactly happened. I can’t think of any mother who could remain stable with that. But I agree. Finding Sienna kinda came out of nowhere. The story could have been told without Sienna being there BUT having her saved and going home with her mother DID give Madison another threat to hold over Alicia’s head to try to push her to murder to protect Sienna.

      Like

  11. Thank you Linda for an amazing review. IMHO the best one yet and you have written many .many great ones.. It was beautifully written and gave us all a lot to think about and of course Alex was completely “on top of his game”

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Brooklyngirl says:

    What an intense episode it was! From start to finish it was sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat fantastic. Alex and Elisabeth shone with with their brilliant portrayals. Her smile sent chills down my spine. As I tweeted to both Elisabeth and Claire, they made being unhinged seem so normal! It’s been a while since we’ve seen Alex so tense and intense and spot-on fantastic.

    I was so angry when that writer posted that poll (I’m sure at someone’s direct orders). Steve and Alicia had zero sexual chemistry, friends, possibly, lovers, absolutely not. They have a survivor’s bond nothing more. Steve deserves so much better then entering into a relationship with someone who has so many issues to resolve and baggage to carry.

    II thought I heard Steve tell the team they never found Sienna’s body but I could be wrong. After being found alive after 4 years of captivity and who knows what else happened to her, I found it very strange that Sienna went home with her mother instead of maybe staying in a hospital for a few days for observation.

    Great review Linda! I can’t believe that the season is winding down.I wish they’d hurry up and tell us already that we’ve been renewed!! Have a great week!!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Hawaii Five 0 Episode 7.17 Different Points of View

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