Hello friends! I’m so sorry this review is so late. Family events and weather got the best of me this weekend. Not only was I out of the house for most of the weekend, we lost power for several hours on Saturday. Wow…was that a storm!! Anyway, here we are, at last.
Right off the bat, let me get this over with. I loved this episode. And before you roll your eyes, yes, I know, that’s no big surprise. Every week I think “there’s no way they can top this episode” and each next week they do. This season has been a complete joy. The writing and the acting, the stunts and the action have been incredible.
I’m not going to go into a scene by scene recitation of the episode here today. I’m just going to jump right into what I liked and maybe didn’t like (was there something I didn’t like??) about what we saw. And, please bear with me because I know I’m going to ramble because there was just so much here to love.
The cold opening: I loved this opening. Of course, I was totally wrong about what I thought it was going to be after I saw it online early Friday. I was thinking that maybe Steve and Danny would make it out of the jungle only to find there was a second device. My question was whether this would be at the end of the episode… another cliffhanger?… or would it be at the beginning with the rest of the episode being a “12 hours before” type of thing?
That it turned out to be a visualization of an OP gone bad being used as a training device for HPD rookies was genius! I loved the use of slow-motion for it as well. These types of things happen so incredibly quickly on this show, I usually find myself pausing the playback so I can see individual reactions. The use of slow-motion gave the impression of the OP being explained in detail vocally while the visuals played at the corresponding speed. Inspired!
Steve snoops in Danny’s office: Many years ago, I had a co-worker who saw no problem with checking out things that were on my desk. I hated it. What I was doing and how I did it was none of her business, so to thwart this intrusion, I not only password protected my computer but also certain documents I didn’t want her to see. I never left notes or papers on my desk that were none of her business. I wasn’t the only person she did this to and eventually she was fired for this behavior, among other things.
Of course, she was not my boss as Steve is Danny’s boss. While my work was none of my coworker’s business, Danny’s work is Steve’s business. But, having said that, Danny’s personal business should be just that, personal. It’s not right for Steve to invade Danny’s privacy by reading personal notes on his desk.
But, Danny should also be smart enough to know that is exactly what Steve is going to do if he sees something laying there that peeks his interest. Steve can be such a child, God love him! If Danny doesn’t want Steve to see something, he shouldn’t leave it out on his desk. He should make sure what he doesn’t want seen, isn’t out to be seen. Should he have to do that? Of course not, but this is Steve we’re talking about. This is the man who wouldn’t let Danny walk into HQ with a bagged lunch until he knew exactly what was in the bag. Seven years on, Danny should just know better. LOL
But, should Danny have brought this up in front of a bunch of rookies? Duh! It looked like this was a continuation of a discussion they were already having about invasion of privacy and trust issues and when Steve told the rookies how important it is that you always trust your team, Danny just couldn’t contain himself.
I know there will be those who will incessantly whine about Danny being annoying or his insubordination or some other such nonsense. If this were the real world, I would agree it wasn’t the place for that discussion. But this is not the real world, it is a TV show meant to entertain and entertain this did. I loved the back and forth between them, I loved the bemused looks which passed between the rookies watching them and I especially loved Duke stepping in to bring it to an end, like a benevolent father separating his squabbling children. Ever since the Pilot, the arguments between Steve and Danny have been pure gold to me and even more so now that we’ve gone back to the bantering and left the nasty bickering behind.
Danny’s retirement: All the way back to before the season premiere, Peter Lenkov said this season would be one of reflection and this episode was Danny’s turn. While someone may decide unexpectedly to quit a job, retirement is not something someone does on a whim. There is much soul searching, especially if the job is an important part of the person’s life. He must take into consideration all the pros and cons, economically, personally, how it will affect his family and what he will do with himself when his days aren’t filled with work anymore. It’s the prudent way to make such a big decision.
But, I never, not for one moment, entertained the belief that Danny would retire even though I fully understood his reasons for considering it. Danny’s life’s blood is being a cop and he’d never quit but the approach of his 20th year on the force, gives him the opportunity to at least think about what life would be like if he did retire. And as always, it’s the welfare of his children at the top of his priorities list.
Somehow, Grace has managed to grow up to be a well-adjusted, happy young woman despite all the things that happened in her life, both to her and to her beloved Ohana. It has always bothered Danny that Grace has lived through such things because of his job. Now Danny has little Charlie to worry over. If retirement will protect Charlie even from just the worry that Daddy may walk out the door and not ever come home, it’s worth considering.
The Bromance: Seven years in and these two men are still so solid! They just get each other. They love each other and when you love someone you allow for the idiosyncrasies. Only narrow minded people can’t see that. There are things in every relationship not to like. That doesn’t mean the relationship is worthless.
Danny can’t stand Steve’s control issues. Whether it’s invading his privacy or his need to control every situation regardless of his own personal safety. Yes, Danny rants and raves and complains and bitches and moans but he does it because he cares. I mean, his anger over having his privacy invaded is 100% justified, no doubt about that, but the rest?
Just look at what happened when Steve arrived home after the Academy class. He’s on the phone with Chin (who seems to be agreeing with Danny about Steve’s snooping) when Steve sees blood on the open lanai doors. What does he do? He tells Chin he needs to call him back, draws his gun, and goes to investigate alone. Alone! He had Chin on the phone! Did he say, “Chin, I need backup at the house”? Nope, he hung up without saying a single word and went to deal with it by himself.
Of course, it turned out it was only Sang Min but what if it wasn’t. This is a typical situation for Danny to lose his shit. “What the hell is the matter with you? You go in alone? What if it was someone intending to shoot your head off?”
Danny is a realist. When you drop a hammer, it falls. If you jump off a building, you will hit the ground, painfully. When bullets fly around, people tend to get hit. In Danny’s world, there is always the chance to fail, you need to acknowledge that and prepare for it, just in case. He’s a “glass is half empty” kind of guy and it scares him to death to think of someone he loves getting hurt or worse, killed. It also scares him that it could be him and he won’t be there for his kids. But to SuperSEAL Steve, failure is never an option. If you’re going through hell, just keep going. If he dies protecting others, especially if it’s people he loves, it’s worth it.
Danny knows this about Steve. He’s accepted it. But that doesn’t mean he likes it or that he’s going to quietly stand by while Steve risks both their lives without voicing his concerns. Just like Danny should remember that sunny day in Season 1 when Steve demanded to know what he had for lunch, Steve needs to remember what Danny said on their very first official case in S1E2 – Ohana:
“I swear to God, I just want to know. I want to know, because if everything is going to become a personal mission to you– okay, I count my odds at job security, not to mention survival, pretty slim. Okay? We are partners. So if you are going to be the shoot first and ask questions later type of a guy, I would at least like to be consulted so I know when to duck.”
And Steve does remember it but he can’t help being who he is. As a SEAL, he’s trained to look at a situation and immediately extrapolate the best scenario for success and to act on it. Danny understands this he just hates it when Steve plows ahead with his plans without acknowledging all other potential eventualities. So Danny feels he needs to voice all those other possibilities, even though he already knows, Steve’s way really will be the best way.
Five-0 is not the military. It’s not a SEAL team. Yes, it is a benevolent dictatorship but that doesn’t mean the Second-in-Command needs to blindly follow orders without ever voicing his concerns. It may annoy the hell out of Steve, but he understands this is who Danny is. Steve chose him to be his partner, his Second-in-Command because he knew, from the very first moment, that Danny is a good cop with great instincts. So yeah, even if Danny’s delivery isn’t always the best, it still has great value, and Steve’s knows that. Like I said, they just get each other and more important than that. No matter what, they trust each other implicitly.
Steve’s reaction to Danny’s retirement: I think the theme of this episode, trust, is what was bothering Steve the most when it came to the possibility of Danny retiring. He told Danny he was hurt that Danny didn’t discuss with him the fact that he’d been considering retirement. It would be easy to say, like the note on Danny’s desk, this was an extremely personal decision and Danny had every right to keep it to himself until the decision was made.
But when you really think about it from Steve’s point of view, it’s almost heartbreaking. Steve walks into Danny’s office and sees the Zippy’s receipt with Danny’s “retirement to-do” list. It probably felt like a kick in the gut when Danny told him what it meant. All Steve’s life people have left him. His mother, more than once. His father by abruptly sending him away and then by death. His best friend Freddie. Catherine, also more than once. Steve had zero say in any of this. Due to death or choice, all these people he loved left him. Without warning. Five-0 and Danny have been his constant. The one thing he could always count on to be there, to have his back, to love him and be there for him, no matter what. People he could trust with his heart without hesitation.
The thought that Danny had been seriously thinking about retiring, leaving the team, leaving Steve, scared him to death. Yeah, he was hurt Danny hadn’t discussed it with him because if Danny had decided to retire, Steve wouldn’t have found out about it until the decision was made. He wouldn’t have had any chance to plead his case, to talk Danny out of it. Again, he would lose someone he loved and he’d have no say about it. Yeah, no shit that hurt.
Which is another reason I knew Danny really wouldn’t retire. And also, probably, why he didn’t tell Steve he was thinking about it. Because thinking about it and doing it are not the same thing and if Danny really believed he was going to retire for real, there is no way in hell he would have done it without discussing it with Steve first. Because Danny just wouldn’t do that to Steve. I firmly believe that, subconsciously, Danny knew he wouldn’t really do it so there was no need to worry Steve about it unnecessarily.
We will always be together: I adored the entire trip through the jungle between these guys. Starting with that hilarious tandem jump. I am totally with Danny on this one. Hot Navy SEAL behind me, not withstanding, I’d be terrified. Wouldn’t matter one iota that the guy behind me has done this a zillion times or that I know I’m in the best possible hands. Even if I’d reluctantly agreed to it, I’d be screaming “I hate you” the entire way down too! I adored the facial expressions as they descended. Steve in total SEAL mode and Danny looking like he’s about to throw up! It was hysterical. The only thing better was the wonderful views from on high and Steve’s absolute glee that he finally got Danny to make a jump.
While we’re very accustomed to seeing Danny’s fears, it’s not so common to see Steve’s. With only an hour ticking away on a dirty bomb, no way to disarm it and no available communications, it becomes obvious that the only solution is to drive the dirty bomb away from Abati’s camp to an area where they can get cell service. Unfortunately, the old beat up pickup truck holding the bomb isn’t exactly a smooth-running convenience.
Seeing Steve, visible frightened as he turned the key on the old junker was something I never thought I’d see. When Steve’s softly exclaimed “I love ya, bro” before he turned that key, it reminded me of when he lit the fuse to blow out that collapsed building wall when he and Danny were trapped. Each time, at a moment when Steve wasn’t sure they’d survive, he needed to be sure the last thing Danny heard was that Steve loved him.
If that wasn’t enough, there was also this: Steve, waiting for the bomb to explode, reconciles that Danny may really retire and open that restaurant, asks Danny to name the restaurant after him.
“If you open that restaurant, I want you to seriously consider calling it “Steve’s,” please…..because then if we’re not together, we’ll still, you know, we’re still gonna… we’ll be together still.”
Steve just can’t bear the idea that he and Danny won’t be together in some way and not just now, but in the long ahead future as well. But, happily, for those who were so looking forward to Danny retiring and opening that restaurant. My condolences. Hate to break it to you but….. Danny ain’t going nowhere!
Darius Rucker: Continuing a long line of musicians who have made appearances on H50, I thought Darius Rucker did a really good job with the part of the bomb making terrorist, Abati. He didn’t have a ton of dialog but he did a great job with the material he was given. I was happily thinking it would be cool if he really did get away so maybe we’d get the chance to see Five-0 deal with him and his bomb making talents again someday.
I did think it was a bit naïve to think that Abati would ever help them disarm the bomb. I mean, he wanted the bomb to explode in the first place, why would he help them disarm it? All he cared about was getting his ass of that island before it exploded. Well, it all became mute anyway when Kono and her sniper skills do what they do.
The return of Sang Min: I have loved Sang Min from the first moment we met him in the pilot. He has been a wonderfully unique character from the very beginning. It was a stroke of genius to extend this character from the one shot he was supposed to be in the pilot to a recurring character we can continue to enjoy today.
But in order for Sang Min to stick around for as long as he has, the character needed to evolve. Each season, we see him move further and further away from the cold blooded human trafficker he was when we first met him. And he’s paid the price for his crimes. He’s served time and lost his family because of the things he did. But he’s also helped Five-0 over and over again with investigations, not to mention that he saved Chin’s life when he was dumped into Halawa. Having been out of the trafficking game for a very long time, he decides to dip his toe back in solely for the purpose of helping a refugee family. With all the things in the news these days, to me, that seems like an extremely noble cause. Even here, instead of just getting Abati off the island, he made sure Five-0 knew what was going on so they were able to take Abati down.
I’m also really happy that even as they’ve allowed Sang Min to evolve, he hasn’t lost that wonderful unique personality I’ve loved from the beginning. The scene with Noelani at Steve’s house was wonderful. “He’s lost a lot of blood” “I didn’t lose it, I’ve been sitting in it for hours waiting for McGarrett to get back from dance class or something” ROFL Poor Noelani. I guess Max never informed her that part of her unofficial duties would be dealing with things that are “a bit irregular” when it comes to Five-0!
The head scratcher: I don’t know a thing about bombs, defusing bombs or the properties of uranium other than to know that’s some really nasty stuff. I have no clue if the lead in a car battery would be enough to protect someone from the effects of uranium exposure. I’m going to go with the “it’s TV, meant to entertain” thing again here and let this one go. It served its purpose for the scene and who knows? The amount of time it took Steve to remove the uranium rods was extremely short. I counted the beeps. It was 57 seconds. Perhaps a car battery is sufficient to protect someone for such a short amount of time? The same way I have no clue if that’s true, others have no clue that it is not.
I can’t hear you: I could not stop laughing at Steve, rolling around on the ground in hysterical laughter after the bomb detonated. A combination of utter relief that they both survived the blast, being thrilled that Danny decided not to retire anytime soon and his misunderstanding that when Danny does decide to retire, he can’t name his restaurant after Steve. Of course, the inner-ear concussions they’ve both suffered makes it impossible for them to understand each other and the round-robin of miscommunication was simply hysterical.
The music is always golden: As always, the music used in this episode was sensational. Not only the original background music which is always some of the best ever used in a TV show but I loved the use of the British band Foghat classic “Slow Ride” as Steve and Danny were negotiating the jungle at a snail’s pace in that old truck.
Speaking of music; right before Steve and Danny took out Abati’s men, there was a very subtle look between them. Once again, as has happened so many times in the past, they were able to communicate their next move almost telepathically. I couldn’t help but be reminded of the refrain of another old classic “Just One Look” – “Just one look… That’s all it took. Yeah, just one look…. That’s all it took. Yeah… just one look” LOL
Steven MacGyver: Welcome back Steve the Science Guy! I loved the use of the flares, the rubber floor mats and the wet tree bark to make the repair in the leaky fuel line. Please take notice that it was Danny who pointed out that using a hot, fiery flare under a bomb was probably not a wise idea and Steve, immediately seeing Danny’s point, added the wet tree bark to the equation. Once again, Danny, pointing out the unpleasant possibilities and Steve listening to him.
We were the target: The ending of this episode was as unexpected as the beginning. Even though Danny said he wouldn’t name any future restaurant after him, the entire Ohana gathers at Casa McG for a taste of the “Restaurante de Stephen” menu care of Danny’s kitchen skills.
It the middle of all the fun and good food, Lou gets an unexpected call from HPD. They’ve tracked the logo on the truck Steve and Danny were driving to K&L Construction, a company contracted to do renovation work the next day, across the street from the Palace, coincidentally, at the same time the Governor was scheduled to be there. As Grover’s words settle, Steve looks back into his house. At all the people who mean the most to him. The Palace, HPD, the Governor, Five-0 were the intended targets.
It’s obvious Abati wasn’t the mastermind behind this. He was simply a tool needed to build the bomb. So, who is behind this? Who out there still has a vendetta against Five-0 with enough power to pull off taking down HPD and the Governor too? WoFat is gone. It looks pretty certain Madison Gray is gone. Gabriel is gone.
Wait… Gabriel. Yes, he is dead but he left a pretty big vendetta against him unresolved. The baddie who wanted revenge for Gabriel’s murder of her father and was thwarted by Five-0. Michelle Shioma is still in the wind with the power of the Yakuza behind her.
Looks like whatever is going on, this episode was a great beginning for the set up to the season finale. Ohhhhhh how I hate the sound of that!
That’s it for this week my friends. There’s no new episode next Friday so I’ll see you in a couple of weeks! Aloha. Malama Pono
All screencaps are mine unless otherwise noted.