Happy Easter my friends! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. As I suspected, the holiday pretty much ate up my entire weekend, hence why this review is so incredibly late. Of course, by this time, I’m sure I’m not going to be saying anything that hasn’t already been said, but this episode was so great there was no way I could let it pass without a review.
Now that’s more like it! After a disappointing offering last week, this week’s H50 was the kind of episode I expect from my show. Especially one that has a healthy dose of the McGarrett family legacy thrown in. And, even though I wasn’t 100% pleased with everything, I absolutely loved this one a lot. A hell of a lot more than I did last week.
As usual, I’m not going to go into a play by play of episode but going to hit the highlights of what made this episode so great.
Hawaii: I just love it whenever H50 centers a story around the mythology and/or history that Hawaii has in abundance. I especially love it when we have any story that revolves around Pearl Harbor because not only is it part of Hawaii’s history, it is part of the McGarrett family history. These types of stories always hit very close to home for Steve and because of that usually have material that Alex can really sink his teeth into. I adore any reason to give Alex great material that really shows off his acting, as well as physical, abilities.
COTW: Like every episode, our crime of the week gets laid out for us before the wave. This week’s set-up was particularly heartbreaking. It started out as such a sweet scene. A kindly grandfather (played by the wonderful Hal Holbrook) treating his heartbroken granddaughter to ice cream because she’s upset about a recent breakup. He’s absolutely right, of course. Ice cream really does make everything better!
I loved how he said her ex was an idiot for breaking up with her. It’s obvious these two have a very special, loving relationship. The warmth of this scene brutally ends when the car they are riding in is T-boned by another vehicle and this sweet old man, who’s survived a World War, two bouts of cancer and is one of the last remining survivors of Pearl Harbor is killed.
It’s no great surprise this crime would hit particularly close for Steve. Leonard Patterson was retired Navy, a Pearl Harbor survivor and, not only that, but a sailor on the USS Arizona as well. Of course, this case will be more than personal for Steve. We all know about his grandfather, the man whose name he bears, who died on the Arizona on that faithful day in 1941. The look on his face as he was talking to Leonard’s granddaughter Amanda spoke volumes. When Steve McGarrett looks at you like that and says he’s gonna find out who did this…. you better damn well believe it!
Since this is H50, it’s not unusual that our crime of the week be a convoluted affair that didn’t turn out to be what we originally thought. But usually our victim has something to do with the actual crime. Not this time, as it turns out, the death of Mr. Patterson isn’t really the crime of the week. That poor wonderful man was simply collateral damage of the real crime, as his car was hit by fleeing bank thieves.
Now, not only is Steve determined to find the men who killed Mr. Patterson he’s also furious because the team has realized the thieves are ex-military contractors using their high level of training to hit military credit unions. Another interesting twist was the reason for the thefts. A very personal one.
When one of their comrades, Mason Warren, was killed by an IED in Afghanistan, the rest of the team went on a vendetta and murdered several Afghani citizens, which caused the military to revoke their contract. Now they are robbing military credit unions not only as retribution for losing their contract but to help their fallen team mate’s widow, who’s on the verge of losing her house to the very same credit unions.
Their originally noble goal to help this woman and her son is completely overshadowed by not only their crimes but by their brutality and their total disregard for any collateral damage. They never even hesitated to carjack another vehicle after the crash that killed Mr. Patterson. They never even looked back to see the destruction they’d caused.
Memories of Pearl Harbor: It’s always something special when we are fortunate enough to have an actor of Hal Holbrook’s stature on our show. It really is a shame his character had to die so quickly in the story. But I am thrilled they could incorporate more of his talents in the episode via the videotaped interview Petty Officer Patterson gave for the documentary honoring the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Mr. Holbrook has such a wonderfully distinctive voice and listening to him reminded me of all the stories my dad used to tell me about that time in history. I’ve always been fascinated by it.
Of course, I didn’t have a personal interest in those stories like Steve does. Alex did such a great job of expressing all the subtle emotions Steve was feeling. First from listening to Patterson’s recollections of the attack and how he survived and then from Lieutenant Michael Murphy who recounted the bravery and heroism of Steve’s grandfather. As Murphy’s voice broke on his words “I will never forget him.. not for as long as I live”, you could literally see every emotion on Steve’s face.
Steve has always been proud of his grandfather. The details never mattered. But hearing them now, you could see the world of pride just brimming in Steve’s eyes. But, not just pride. Also a deep sadness for not only the loss of this great man but the opportunity for Steve to know him. As always, it was beautifully played by Alex. Once again, pages and pages of dialog delivered with just his eyes and facial expressions!
Explosions, gun fights and hand to hand: On a show known for its movie quality stunts and fights, this episode was one of the best. Right from the first moments the action took my breath away. The car crash that killed Mr. Patterson made me jump out of my skin. I knew it was coming but I never expected it to be so violent and look so damn real. I don’t know why it surprised me because, after all, I’ve been watching this show for years and they never do these things half-way but it honestly made me jump.
That ambush set up by the guy named Ryder in his house was something else too. When the lights went out and the green night-vision light turned on I was thinking the worst. I’m beginning to think the cops that accompany Five-0 on these raids should all be wearing red shirts, poor guys. That was a massive amount of gunfire going on there.
And as if that wasn’t enough they added that massive explosion which sent Steve flying off a roof and then, finally, the mother of all fights to bring the crime of the week to an end. Honestly, Steve really took a beating in this episode. He (along with the rest of the team) almost got blow up, he did get blown off a roof, got shot (thank God for Kevlar) and almost died in one of the best fight scenes I’ve seen since Steve and WoFat’s epic last battle.
I was literally holding my breath when Lee Campbell pulled that plastic over Steve’s face. When Steve was finally able to get lose, and flipped Campbell onto that rebar my heart stopped. I know we watch people die on this show all the time but that finish was astounding as was the way Steve continued to look into Campbell’s eyes as he died. An utterly stunned look on his bloodied and exhausted face as he realized just how close he came to losing this fight.
Alex was incredible throughout this entire episode. We’ve already talked about his subtle reactions while watching the footage of his grandfather’s heroism but there was also that great scene between Steve and Campbell (played by Dylan Bruno) in the diner. These two men are cut from the same cloth. Both highly trained, committed to the mission, do anything for and anything to protect their men. Watching them interact across the table from each other, from opposite sides of the law and in the hands of these two incredible actors, this was a study in perfection.
Detective Danny: I absolutely adored that we finally got to see Danny being an actual detective again. Those of us who love Danny never waver in our belief that he is a fantastic detective. The mere fact that Steve chose him to be his partner about a half a millisecond after he met him in the garage at Casa McG says all you really need to know. To doubt it is to doubt Steve’s competence as a leader, which is unthinkable.
The scene between Danny and Warren’s widow really showed Danny’s ability to sit with a witness or grieving family member and walk the delicate balance beam between having to ask the hard questions while still maintaining a level of compassion for the grief the person is feeling. Danny is one of the best at this.
Add to that it was Danny who put together the evidence to bring to Steve’s attention that not only did Campbell and his men go on their vendetta for Warren’s death but it is for Warren’s widow they are stealing the money. It was also Danny who, in the end, went to the credit union manager and worked out a deal so Warren’s widow wouldn’t lose her house. It’s been awhile since we’ve gotten to see Danny in this light. It was wonderful to see.
Adam and the found bone: Like last week, we had another episode with a secondary story line. But this week, I actually enjoyed it. I think the major reason why having a secondary story didn’t bother me as much is because it involved Adam and Jerry and didn’t pull one of the main members of the team off the primary case.
First off, I adored the first scene between Kono and Adam. It’s so sweet how she’s bringing him lunch to make sure he’s comfortable with his new job which isn’t the type of work anyone would have ever imaged he’d be doing. But he’s happy and she’s happy for him and they are simply adorable together. It reminds me of when my husband and I were first together and I used to visit him at a gas station where he worked while in school. I used to bring him dinner because he wasn’t allowed to leave to eat. It was unnecessary and silly but it’s a memory we still talk about to this day. He was always so appreciative every time I showed up!
I’ve always liked Adam and I’ve always felt he’s a really good guy and this story highlighted that. He’s really been struggling to find work after getting out of prison and he finally found a job that he likes, that makes him feel like he’s contributing again. The fact he was willing to risk that to do the right thing shows that he really is a good guy.
It would have been so easy to just do what his boss said and let it go after he unearthed a bone while digging. The boss makes a legitimate point. It could be that some guy decided to bury his dog decades ago. But Adam’s knows what it means if it turns out the construction site is an actual burial ground. He also knows that if he’s wrong it’s not only his job but shutting down the site to investigate would also impact the jobs of everyone on the job.
So, with Jerry’s help, he decides to investigate on his own. I know I’m not the only one who knew, the moment we saw Adam jumping that fence, he was going to be found out and fired.
When Jerry confirms the area was never used as a burial ground they’re able to deduce that the realtor, who originally owned the property and had a wife who went missing, may have killed her and buried her body in the foundation of the building. It was very satisfying when the same cameras which recorded Adam and resulted in his being fired, also caught the murderer trying to move the body.
A few things that could have been better:
- I have always liked it when Jerry and Adam are in scenes together. Adam seems to get such a kick out of Jerry. It’s not the first-time Adam has gone to Jerry for a favor. But this time that favor meant keeping a secret from Kono. Worse, after Adam was fired from his job, it meant an out and out lie. I really am tired of pretty much every important person in the lives of our team lying to them. I don’t understand why we always have to go there when the truth isn’t all that hard. At least Adam did it for a good cause, or what he thought was a good cause but I don’t see how telling Kono the truth would have changed the outcome one bit.
- When the team figures it out where the last heist is going to be, they all gear up for the take down (which was awesome to watch, by the way). The bad guys are cut off trying to make their escape and we’re treated to one awesome gun fight. The only problem with it, is it went on too long. I was sitting there thinking, “that’s a hell of a lot of fire power…maybe you should actually hit someone soon?”
- As I said before, Steve took a lot of hurt in this episode. I love me some Steve whump as much as the next gal but this was a bit much. That gunshot to the chest scared the shit out of me. But the things that bothered me the most was the complete lack of “Ohana” concern after Steve was hurt.
First after the explosion that basically propelled him off that roof and then when he was shot at close range. Danny’s sad/exasperated head shake and Lou’s off-hand remark at being “superman” aside.
But especially after that monumental fight at the end. I realize the rest of the team were still behind in the middle of a gun fight but by the time Steve was laying on the ground, bloody and exhausted, the gunfight was over. I fully expected the team, or at last Danny, who’s always supposed to have his back, to come in and find him. I missed that.
Another thing about all the hurt Steve took in this episode. Come on guys…. you have a crackerjack makeup department on this show. Steve took one hell of a beating in that final fight. The blood was pouring from his mouth and his nose. And all we saw was a tiny little mark on his face when he was back at HQ? And that shot to the Kevlar? Yeah, he was acting like it hurt for about a minute after it first happened but after that…nothing? Not cool guys!
But the ending of the episode made up for any disappointment I may have had about the lack of that Ohana moment. Like I said before, anytime we get the chance to delve into the McGarrett family history is a real treat. I also always love when Steve pulls out the old trunks, full of memories and moments he never really lived. You can literally feel the love and loss seeping out of him.
And, while Leonard Patterson is being laid to rest, Steve, in his pressed Dressed Whites, stands at the bow of the USS Missouri paying tribute to his memory while gazing at the Arizona memorial.
The exact same spot where we saw Steve for the very first time in the Pilot and the exact same spot where Steve and David Toriyama paid tribute to Steve’s grandfather at the end of the Pearl Harbor episode. Once again, Steve is drawn to the one place, more than any other, where he can feel his grandfather’s presence. It was an absolutely beautiful ending.
Well, there you have it my friends. An almost perfect episode of H50 as you’ll ever get! I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did. Unfortunately, there’s no new episode next week so I’ll be seeing you in two weeks. Have a great couple of weeks my friends! Aloha. Malama Pono.
All screen caps are mine unless otherwise noted.