“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.