It’s always a happy day when, after a hiatus of several weeks, we get a new H50 episode. After two missed Fridays and three full weeks, it was a breath of fresh air to see our favorite team back on our screens. It’s always a question of what kind of episode we’ll get after such a break. Will it be a high octane, action packed episode filled with gun fights, car chases and explosions? Or will it be a bit more fun and low key?
There is also the fact that we’re beginning to wind down to the end of the season (I know… I hate the sound of that too!). We should be prepared for more intense, more dramatic, action packed episodes leading up to the finale. Add to that, the fact that our last episode was very dramatic with a highly-charged theme (sex-trafficking) and a lot of action, I was expecting this episode to be less, well, explosive, for want of a better word.
Well, maybe nothing got blown up but it was still a fantastic episode full of twists worthy of H50 and a hell of a lot of fun too.
So, what do you say, we make our way through it……
Previously on: I often find these things annoying. Especially when they show something that only happened a short time ago. It wastes time, something we often have precious little of when it comes to telling the stories, or multiple stories, in an episode. This time, though, I thought it was a necessary evil. It’s been so long since we’ve seen Rachel and Harry Brown, it was very appropriate to use the “previously on” to reacquaint the viewers with them.
Of course, it’s not like viewers don’t know who Rachel is. I’m not so sure we needed to see everything about her all the way back to Season 1 (1.10 Heihei – Race) and the first time we ever met her, but I understand the reasoning of trying to briefly show some of the events which have transpired in the relationship between Rachel and Danny over the years.
As for Harry Brown…the “previously on” was much more appropriate. Just from being on Twitter in the days leading up to the episode, I saw there were many people who didn’t remember who Harry was. We first met Harry back in Season 5 (5.10 Wāwahi moeʻuhane – Broken Dreams), a story about a beautiful hula dancer who witnesses a murder and is killed for it. It was a really good episode if not a particularly memorable one. Add to that, Harry looks about 20 years older than he did just 2 years ago so it’s easy to understand why some people didn’t recognize or remember him.
So, yeah, the “previously on” didn’t bug me as much as it sometimes does but I still think it was a bit too long with all the Rachel stuff that pretty much everyone already knew.
Opening Scene: I’ve said this in the past more times than I can count but no one does a cold opening like H50. Here we are watching an ordinary guy, strolling through the grocery store, picking up snacks and beer (and, ominously…duct tape) just like any guy on a Saturday afternoon. He even puts money in the box to help homeless pets! What a guy! You just know this bit of normalcy isn’t going to last because something always happens before The Wave. Personally, I was expecting a gang of thugs storming the place and this guy getting caught in the crossfire. Or maybe, gunned down as he walked out the front door. But I knew something was going to happen.
But, no, he strolls out to his car, not a care in the world, to put his purchases in the trunk. Having to move the bound and trussed up hostage already in there to make room was not what I was expecting. But, seriously, this is in broad daylight. There was no one around that could see he had a person tied up in his trunk? Whenever Five-0 needs surveillance, there seems to be a camera on every corner and on every store front. No one saw this? Must not be a very popular store… no foot traffic, I guess.
COTW: Both stories in this episode played well into the title of “entangled fishhooks”. It’s like the tangled threads in my cross-stitch box. Sometimes the threads…. the fishhooks… can be untangled and sometimes they are hopelessly knotted together and no amount of fussing can unravel them. When that happens, it’s a matter of living with the ugly tangle and continuing to try to work out the knots or just tossing the entire thing away.
In the case of our crime this week, we start off with a story as old as cop shows. A husband, Tom, thinking his wife, Celine, is cheating on him, hires our old friend Harry Brown to follow her and get proof. But, Celine ends up getting kidnapped right in front of him, earning Harry a gun butt to the back of the head and a trip to Five-0 for help.
I liked this case a lot because, in true H50 fashion, it wasn’t as it originally seemed. It wouldn’t be a H50 case if it didn’t have a twist. A twist I didn’t see coming at the beginning but one I figured out about half way through. I was totally taken in with Celine’s kidnapping and her fear when we saw her tied up in that basement. I also totally bought into how she gave the kidnappers Natasha’s name when Tom refused to pay the ransom for her. Her frightened logic being if he won’t pay for his wife, he’d pay for his mistress.
It wasn’t until she walked out of that house with the bomb vest on that I began to think something was up. She appeared scared but clearly not as scared as she should have been. And she was much too put together when they took that vest off. We’ve seen scenes like these before where the victim literally crumbles to the ground in terrified relief their ordeal is over. Celine was even calm enough to sit nicely by the car and answer questions. I thought I knew, at that point, that she was in on the whole thing from the start.
So…here are our tangled fishhooks. Tom was cheating on Celine with Natasha. Celine was cheating on Tom with Colin Hanson. Tom hires Harry to find proof so he can divorce Celine and be with Natasha. Celine knows if Tom finds out he will divorce her and she’ll be cut off from his money for violating their prenuptial agreement. She knows Harry is following her so she comes up with this kidnapping plot with Colin to get the money through a ransom for her. When Tom refused to pay, (he figures these kidnappers will just handle his problem for him… what a scum bag!) Celine decides to use Natasha as a means to get the money.
This tangle of fishhooks is one that can never be unraveled and needs to just be tossed away. Tossed away into a jail cell for Celine and Colin. As for Tom and Natasha? Well, Natasha now sees what a scum bag Tom really is and hopefully she gets as far away from him as she can. But she’s not totally innocent either. She may not be a criminal but she did have an affair with not only a married man but the husband of her friend. No wonder they had a “falling out”. Finding out your friend is sleeping with your husband tends to put a damper on a friendship.
William Forsythe as Harry Brown: His voice is like velvet and his delivery is as smooth as silk. I just love William Forsythe. It’s funny, just a couple of nights ago, my husband was watching the movie “The Rock” for about the 100th time and I was getting a kick out of watching Forsythe in that movie. He was much younger, obviously, but the voice and the delivery was exactly the same.
I really liked the way Harry put the clues together and came up with the answer. How he stood back, listening to the team hash out the clues and, head cocking side to side, brow furrowed, quietly put it all together. Of course, regardless of what Steve said, we know Five-0 would have come to the same conclusion quickly but it was nice to see Harry come up with the final answer.
Harry added old school police work to the mix but also a touch of comedy too. It’s not “in your face” comedy, but very subtle. Like if you don’t pay attention you might miss it. The facial expressions, the body language and the little remarks casually thrown into the dialog. Like the little names he was giving to pretty much everyone. From the moment I saw one of the sneak peeks this week, I was laughing, wondering if Harry maybe knows Tony Archer (James Caan. 2.18 Lekio – Radio). He was calling Danny the same names Tony did. “Muscles” and “Hairdoo”. I also got a real laugh out of the names he had for the others too. I think “our man with the two first names” for Chin was my favorite!
A Three-way cargument: This scene was priceless. We already know that Alex and Scott love these scenes because they can just riff off each other and they do it so incredibly well. Well, Forsythe was more than up to the task as the third wheel here. The timing was impeccable. They all played off each other extremely well. Three times divorced Harry giving ex-wife advise to Danny was golden. I absolutely adored the look on his face when Steve asked Danny if Rachel and Stan had tried counseling. “It worked for us”. “Did you just say…us?” ROFL. I know there are those out there who are tired of carguments and, while I’ll never tire of them, I can see how some might view them as a bit passé. This was a nice little reinvention and I loved every minute of it.
I also really enjoyed the scene in Danny’s office with Steve and Harry. I loved how Steve condensed Danny and Rachel’s entire history into about 15 seconds of rambling facts to try to explain to Harry about Charlie. Seems guys gossip as much as teenage girls at times. Danny’s comfortability level was severely strained. It was hysterical. Danny looked like he was about to punch them both.
I do take a bit of an issue with the words “Rachel and Stan were having a break” though. I don’t remember it ever being said that Rachel and Stan were separated when she and Danny got together. As a matter of fact, Rachel and Stan were on Maui together when Danny was poisoned with Sarin in Season 1, trying to save their marriage. When we saw Danny and Rachel together, Rachel said that Stan was coming home from one of his business trips and they were “going to have to tell him”. Never was it said they were separated.
Now it could just be a simple word choice on Steve’s part, a throw-away line used to keep this rambling history condensed but it should not be forgotten that Rachel cheated on Stan while they were still very much together and Danny was a willing participant in that. They were no better than Tom and Natasha in our first story. The fact that they are ex’s makes no difference. The only one not at fault in that situation was Stan.
Danny and Rachel: Ok… having said that… let’s talk about the second story of the episode. But first, I want to separate what I’m going to say into two parts. Part 1… Claire van der Boom and Scott Caan. Part 2…. Danny and Rachel.
Over the years, there have been four women connected to Danny, romantically or otherwise. Rachel, Gabby, Mindy and Melissa. Of the four actresses who have played these parts, none had the chemistry with Scott that Claire does. Don’t get me wrong, I have liked all the actresses a lot and the characters they played but there is something between Claire and Scott and just sizzles. When you think about it, we can’t even call Rachel a “love interest” for Danny because, other than that one scene of them at the end of Season 1, we’ve never seen them romantically.
But it doesn’t matter what they are doing or what situation they are in, these two simply light up the screen when they’re together. So, I am saying I’m happy to see Rachel back because I love to see Claire and Scott together again on my TV. How I feel or don’t feel about Rachel has nothing to do with Claire. I positively adore Claire and Scott together.
Now… Part 2… Danny and Rachel. I must admit, I like this development in the Williams/Edwards family saga. I like it because it makes sense. Rachel and Stan’s marriage has been on shaky ground since Season 1. As I mentioned before, they had been on Maui trying to see if they could work things out, so they were already having problems even before she and Danny had their affair. Six years later, having somehow overcome the affair and whatever their initial problems were, they are still together.
But, Danny didn’t need to ask Steve if he thinks Charlie is an issue. That’s a no-brainer. As devastated as Danny was to learn that Charlie was his son, that he’d missed the first three years of his life, Stan had to be equally, if not even more devastated to find out that his son, the son he’s loved and raised for three years belongs to another man. In a marriage that was already on shaky ground, that had to be the death knell. I’m amazed they’ve stayed together as long as they did.
So yes, this development makes sense to me. Stan has pretty much been shit on for seven years, through no fault of his own. All he ever did was fall in love and marry the woman he loved, try to provide for his family, treat Gracie as his own, take a bullet to protect her, and tried his best to keep a dying marriage alive for the sake of children that are not even his. That the time has come where he just can’t do it anymore and has decided the marriage is over is more than logical.
Then there is Rachel. Stan told Danny he thinks Rachel is still in love with him. I don’t know about that. I sometimes wonder about Rachel’s ability to be her own woman. I mean, it seems she has a very difficult time with being alone. She and Danny broke up, she immediately moved on to Stan. She and Stan were having problems, she immediately moved back to Danny. When Danny failed to show up at the airport to go back to Jersey with her, she immediately returned to Stan. These men are her safety net. But now one half of that net is leaving for good. It’s her MO to immediately reach for the other half. Stan may see that as love. I see it as a desperate person who is terrified to be alone.
And just because Rachel may reach for the safety net she feels Danny provides, that doesn’t mean Danny will provide it, at least not in the way she may or may not expect. But there will always be love between them. They share history. They share children. But it takes more than love to make a relationship work. It also takes understanding, commitment and most importantly, trust. I’m sorry to say but Rachel destroyed that.
I never thought Rachel was a bitch for moving to Hawaii and taking Gracie away from Jersey. Marriages break up all the time and people remarry. It’s not uncommon for new jobs to take loved ones far away from home and family. Life just happens. In some cases, a parent must be content with seeing their children over summer or Christmas holidays and that’s it. Danny was lucky enough to have the type of job where he could relocate to be near Grace. Up to that point I have no issue with Rachel. Even when she attempted to take Gracie away again, I gave her the benefit of the doubt, chalking it up to over protectiveness and another of Stan’s job opportunities. But, that’s where my meager tolerance ends.
Of course, Charlie is the issue between Rachel and Stan because he’s the huge issue between Rachel and Danny too. Even more so, in my opinion. Stan always thought Charlie was his. Finding out otherwise was devastating. But Rachel put Danny through the wringer. First telling him the baby was his and giving him the hope of getting his family back. Then telling him the baby wasn’t his at all and she was staying with Stan. She called Danny when she went into labor and allowed him to watch her deliver his son. Danny even went so far as to take a picture of the newborn to send to Stan because “no father should miss this”. She let three years go by before she told the truth, three years of Danny seeing Charlie every time he was at Rachel’s house to pick up Grace. And after all that time, it was only because Charlie got sick that she came clean. If that hadn’t happened, she would have gone her entire life letting two men and a little boy live a lie. I can give some leeway on the rest but that is 100% unacceptable.
So, the breakup of the Edwards marriage makes logical sense but any rekindling of old fires between Danny and Rachel, in my opinion, does not. There is no denying there is still love between them and I have no problem with Danny being there for Rachel if she needs him. I also have no problem with them being warm and affectionate friends and good parents to their children. But I can’t see it ever being more than that.
I didn’t see anything romantic between them here. The fact that Rachel held Danny’s hand doesn’t mean they are on the road to reconciliation. It means she was upset, had to do something that was extremely difficult to do, he was there for her, and she was thankful for his support. That’s all I saw in those scenes.
Of course, TPTB may decide to get these two back together. They can do whatever they want, after all. But I think this episode showed their relationship moving in a different direction. Away from the animosity, away from the pain of the past, the lies eventually forgiven but never to be forgotten. The beginning of a mature relationship that puts all the events of their past, the happy and the hurtful, into proper perspective so they can forge ahead into a friendly partnership that benefits their children. Friends….without benefits! Because it’s the kids they should be focusing on now. This is the second time Grace will have to live through a divorce. And little Charlie’s world must be reeling. How on earth is his little mind supposed to process this on top of everything else?
But this bundle of tangled fishhooks should be saved and not thrown away. It may take a very long time to unravel the hard feelings, the bad memories and the lies but these two will work through it and using the connection they will always have, form an ongoing friendship that will benefit them all, especially their children. And since I don’t really think Claire is coming back to the show on a regular recurring basis, it would be easy for Danny and Rachel to co-parent their kids, to have Danny mention Rachel from time to time and we not really see her. It’s actually exactly how it’s been all this time she’s been with Stan.
A few words about Danny: I know, I’ve just said a hell of a lot about Rachel and Danny above but I just wanted to add a few words just about Danny. This episode highlighted everything I love about Danny. His interactions with Steve and Harry were both heartfelt and funny. The conversations in the car and in his office showing Scott’s ability to shift between drama and comedy flawlessly. (Kudos to Alex and Forsythe here too, they were wonderful in these scenes as well).
But it’s Danny’s level of compassion for Rachel and Stan’s situation I find incredible. After all they have been through, he still has the capacity to be appreciative of the love and devotion Stan has given to his children and calls Stan to try to help. And, Rachel? It is a testament to Danny and his loving, open heart to find it in himself to look past all the hurt and still be a compassionate friend to Rachel. Danny Williams, quite simply, has a heart of gold. I just adore him!
As always…there are the fun moments:
Steve and Kono in the chopper: We’ve been seeing Steve and Kono working together a lot in the last couple of episodes and I simply love it. They work so well together and the combo of Steve as chopper pilot and Kono on sniper rifle is golden. There is no better team in a situation like that then them.
Lou’s boat: Oh Lou…. we of a certain age understand your dilemma all too well. We all want our kids to do well, we all want them to get good grades and get into the best schools. Then one day we turn around and realize they did exactly what we always wanted and we go into a state of sticker shock at the price tag! Northwestern is an incredible school with an incredible price tag. Lou may be in a panic now but we know he’s extremely proud of Samantha. Hopefully, with her grades, she’ll get some scholarships to help with those boat-dream shattering bills.
Steve in this scene was a delight (isn’t he always?). Talking Lou through his panic, pointing out Sam’s income potential and the possibility of guilting her into buying her daddy that boat someday. And his absolute delight to hear Lou won’t be spouting any “Williams-like” talk about retiring. Steve already knows Danny isn’t going anywhere and now he knows Lou isn’t either!
Naolani’s “house calls”: Well, if Naolani thought that treating Sang Min at Casa McG was a one-time thing, she knows now that’s not the case. It’s too bad Max didn’t fill her in on these little side jobs she’d be called to do for Five-0. Between San Min a few weeks ago, and Harry and Danny this time, that’s three “house calls” for Five-0. Come to think of it, other than the time Max found Steve shanked in his kitchen, I don’t remember Max ever making a Five-0 “house call”. I could be mistaken but if I’m remembering correctly, that may be why Max never filled Naolani in. In any event, Steve needs to get in touch with whoever is in charge in the ME’s office and get her a raise.
Jerry has a house?: Did I miss something? The scene with Harry in Jerry’s dark room developing the old school film the overlaid words say “Jerry Ortega Residence” and he said he “keeps a records of all the cars that park outside my house”. When did Jerry get a house? Wasn’t he sleeping in Steve’s office just a few weeks ago??
All the mentions of John McGarrett: One of the best things about Harry Brown being in an episode is his connection with Steve’s dad. Way back in episode 5.10 Harry mentioned that he was poker buddies with Steve’s “old man” and that line of the story is carried over to this episode as well. I simply love the idea of Steve heading out with Harry to his weekly poker game with more of John’s old poker buddies. I love the thought of Steve sitting around the poker table hearing all the old stories, laughing and maybe even shedding a tear or two, at the memories of the dad he never really got to know. It’s also really nice to know that John, “Mr. All-in” sucked at poker as much as Steve does!
Patient kidnappers: I know the moment when Natasha is snatched from her home by the kidnapers wasn’t intended to be a moment that would bring a laugh but, seriously? Natasha is in the shower when she hears the doorbell ring. She gets out, wraps a towel around herself and heads out of the bathroom. We then see her, about 2 seconds later, heading to the front door, where the door bell is still ringing, fully dressed and with her hair fully dried and styled and makeup impeccably applied . Either someone didn’t get enough coffee in the editing room the night they cut this scene or these are the most patient kidnappers on the face of the earth!
So, there you have it again, my friends. Another really great H50 episode. There was plenty more I could have added but I thought this was getting to be a bit too long. Please feel free to bring up all the things I missed in the comments section. You know how much I love the discussions!
And, hey…..guess what? At the end of this episode, we actually got a real, honest-to-goodness, promo for next week’s installment. It’s been forever since we had a real promo and this one did not disappoint. It looks like Five-0 will be in some deep trouble with the return of Michelle Shioma and her gang of Yakuza henchmen. It promises to be one hell of an episode. I can’t wait until next week even if it does bring us even closer to the end of the season.
But…. there’s some really good news going into the home stretch and the summer hiatus. We already got the news over a week ago that H50 was picked up for its 8th season but today, as confirmed by Daniel Dae Kim on Instagram, we know for certain that Scott Caan will be back for Season 8. So as far as we know, the entire main cast will be back for another great season.
I still hate that the season is coming to an end and it still will be a hell of a long wait until early July when filming starts again. But knowing they will be starting again and that the entire team will be on board sure makes those months a little easier to bear.
That’s all for now. Have a wonderful week my friends. Aloha. Malama Pono!
All screen caps are mine unless otherwise noted.