Well, here we are my friends. The very last episode of Season 7 of Hawaii Five-0. Finales are always so bittersweet. Sweet in the sense that they’re always a great, adventurously fun ride, full of action, suspense, Ohana moments, well…everything that makes Five-0 great, actually.
But, oh so bitter because we know this will be the last time we get to see our wonderful cast in new adventures for four long months. It’s the same every year but this year, there is an added dimension we’ve haven’t had to deal with since the Season 1 finale when all four of our team were in upheaval of one sort or the other.
But we’ve never had to worry that one or more of our Ohana would leave us, for good. Oh, we’ve had people leave at the ends of seasons before. We’ve had people die, we’ve had people climb aboard ships and leave, we’ve had people ride off into sunsets. Of course, those who died were, obviously never coming back but for those who simply left we were either not worried because we pretty much knew they’d be back sooner rather than later, didn’t care whether they came back or not or were thanking the heavens they were finally gone. But we’ve never had someone from our team leave with the very real possibility they’d never come back. Then, of course, there’s Steve! Yeah, this bittersweet finale turned out to be a lot harder to bear than most.
Once again, I’m not going to go through a play-by-play of the episode we’ve all watched, probably more than once. Just gonna hit my highlights. I’ll just start by saying I absolutely LOVED this finale even if I wasn’t happy with everything that happened. Ok…let’s get to it:
The calm of the day: After the cold start before the wave which highlighted what was to come of the main story, we’re treated to our team, spread out, enjoying their day. There was no indication that Chin has spoken to Abby about San Francisco or a marriage proposal but they sure were taking advantage of having the house to themselves. The way Chin was saying he felt like he hadn’t seen her in “forever” makes it sound like HPD is keeping Abby as busy as Five-0 keeps Chin. Add a kid in the house and “alone” time takes a hit. Nice to see them taking full advantage of that empty house!
Speaking of Sara, it was such fun to see her and Kono out doing some party shopping for Jerry’s “He Finally Got His Badge” party. Kono obviously adores Sara, and vice-versa. Kono is going to make a wonderful mother someday and the fact that she picked up a home pregnancy test sure makes it look like she thought, at that moment, that it was a distinct possibility.
But the best was Danny and Charlie and Steve. Charlie is suitably awed with the Five-0 offices. I loved his little “whoa” when they walked in. And am I the only one who thinks Charlie sounded just a bit impressed that his Uncle Steve is such a “bad boy”?
This was also the first of several little “guments” between our boys in this episode. This one being over Steve, his eating habits and taking Charlie for snacks out of the vending machine. I know there are going to be those who will complain that Steve was totally out of character because he said he eats out of that machine. Nonsense!
Yes, this is the man who, fresh out of the Navy, told Danny he wouldn’t eat a malasada without bypass surgery. Seven years ago! But, over the last seven years we’ve seen Steve not be as stringent as he was when he first came home. Over the years, we’ve seen him put butter in his coffee. He never stopped eating on that stakeout (microwave eggs…. seriously?). He had an enthusiastic malasada dunking lesson with Lou. Loves LocoMoco from Rainbow. Is never hesitant to dive right in when Kamekona has a new delicacy to try. Should I go on? The fact that Steve has grown and mellowed over the years is something that should be celebrated. So what if he’s learned how to enjoy a few not-so-healthy snacks from time to time. It’s more than plainly obvious this is not a man who is scarfing down Twinkies all day. Besides, just the mere fact I got to hear Steve call Danny a “poopy-head” made this scene more than golden for me.
Crime of the Week: I liked how they linked this episode to the sex-trafficking story we first saw in early March, in Episode 7.19 Puka ‘ana (Exodus). The writers seemed to do that a lot this season, pulling stories from previous cases we thought were over and done with. This “crime” didn’t actually feel like the typical crime we normally see each week, in as much as it wasn’t anything new, but a continuation of an ongoing investigation that was happening behind the scenes.
You know what this felt like to me? It felt like, if 7.19 had been a two-hour episode, this would have been hour #2, where the team has tracked down the perp and are executing the take-down. That this takedown took up the entire episode was a great twist. Even though it didn’t add anything to the original sex-trafficking story (other than finding out the operation on Oahu was only a small part of a much larger network), it allowed the other elements of the episode the time they needed without sacrificing time for the main story.
And what a take-down it was: First off, I do have a couple of questions. I wonder why Moani didn’t tell Kono about Deon and his trucking business hauling the girls around the island sooner. 7.19 was two months ago. I understand she wanted to help the case against Emilio (the guy who forced her into prostitution) I’m just curious as to why she didn’t tell Kono about Deon sooner. I can only surmise that she was so traumatized by the entire ordeal she didn’t feel she could talk about it until now.
My second question was actually Lou’s. Deon took off before Five-0 could get to the house where he was stashing the girls. How did he know they were coming? Did we ever get an answer to that? If we did, someone tell me because I don’t think we did. Regardless, what follows is one of the most hair-raising chases and rescues we’ve ever had on this show, as HPD and Five-0 attempt to first stop Deon and his semi, then to get the girls safely off that truck.
Stunts, stunts and more stunts: Those of us who closely follow this show on social media were gifted with many behind-the-scene pictures and videos of filming for this episode. We could see they were filming something with giant green screens at the Studios. We could see Steve on top of a semi-truck, with Chin, Kono and Abby in a truck, driven by Danny, close behind. We knew this was going to be something big but, damn! Every week I think they can’t out-do themselves and damn if they don’t do it every time.
The action sequences in this episode were done extremely well. I was trying to live tweet during the show (something I’m not very good at in the first place) but I found myself unable to type a syllable because I couldn’t drag my eyes from the screen. Not to mention needing commercials to let out the breath I wasn’t even aware I was holding!
Car crashes? We’ve had a fair number of them over the years, that’s for damn sure, but watching that semi plow through a HPD roadblock was monumental. I wonder how they ended up explaining that to the Governor. Their “means” budget must be the total of national debt of several countries by now.
I haven’t read any other reviews (I never do before I post mine) but I’m willing to bet I’m not going to be the only one who was reminded of the movie “Speed” as I was watching the team attempting to rescue the girls from the truck. I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen when they did it in the movie and I sure as hell couldn’t here. It scared me to death when they couldn’t manage to get all the girls off. What the hell will Steve do now?
Steve’s idea to uncouple the rig seemed much more unbelievable than it actually ended up being. The trailer with the remaining girls inside, after much groaning and gouging out of asphalt comes to rest against an embankment, all inside safe while Steve, hunched behind the cab, easily takes down Deon. It only seemed anticlimactic because every moment up to that point had been so heart pounding.
But the most astonishing thing of all was the stunt that started the final take down. And I use the word “stunt” not only to describe the action choreographed and executed by the stunt crew (which was flawlessly terrifying) but also the fact that Steve thought up and pulled off this crazy stunt at all.
Once again, the entire team, this time including Jerry and Abby, are ranged against Steve and his idea to leap from the top of Tetsuo Harano Tunnel onto the speeding semi passing below. Once again, the team doing what they are supposed to do. Question the validity of a plan that sounds doomed to failure and possible death but ultimately, unable to come up with something better, follow Steve and his plan. I loved how Steve used Charlie’s toys to illustrate the elements of his plan.
The one time I was able to get my fingers to work trying to tweet, as I watched Steve preparing himself for that jump, the only thing I could think to type was “Steve McGarrett is insane!”.
Kono: It was more than plainly obvious, back in Episode 7.19, how much the case affected Kono. She literally beat Emilio unconscious with her bare hands when she caught up with him in 7.19 and has kept a close watch over Moani ever since. When Five-0 arrived at the house where Deon was keeping the girls, only to find it empty, Kono was furious. Finding out Oahu was only part of the larger network was more than she could tolerate. She’s devastated to know what they did in Hawaii, the girls they managed to save, was just a drop in the bucket as God-knows how many other girls are caught in the nationwide web.
I’m completely confused over what Kono thinks she’s doing, however. I mean, Kono has always been the most affected by this case but she just up and left Hawaii? She left without talking to Adam? I can’t believe she did that! She has been over the moon with happiness ever since she and Adam were reunited. She obviously thought she’s pregnant, which we know would make them both overjoyed.
But she left Adam behind! It doesn’t look like she even told him because, don’t you think Adam would have called Chin immediately and told him what she was planning?
And what is she going to do? I mean, what is her plan? She can’t seriously think she can take on the sex-trafficking crises in this country single handed!
I don’t know what’s going on with Grace Park. I don’t know if this is another temporary absence like the one at the beginning of Season 4 or whether she’s left the show for good. I hope to God this is only temporary like before. I can understand TPTB needing a reason to send her away (she and Adam went on the run the last time) but this reason confuses me. Hopefully Kono will be back sooner rather than later to explain her reasoning for this abrupt departure without talking to anyone about it.
Kono and Lou: It’s more than obvious that Chi McBride (like pretty much everyone in our cast) has chemistry with everyone but there is no more touching friendship that has developed than that between Kono and Lou. We’ve seen it numerous times since Lou joined Five-0 and this episode was no exception. Kono, simultaneously furious and dejected over not finding the girls in the house, confesses to Lou how she could feel the torment those girls felt in that room, the fear they went to sleep with each night, how she simply can’t shake the anger she’s been feeling ever since it all started two months ago and how she just can’t imagine what it would be like to be a parent. I wonder if there’s a deleted scene somewhere showing Kono taking that pregnancy test and having it come back negative because that comment didn’t sound like someone who just found out she was about to actually be a parent.
Lou, as always, is as supportive as he can be. He tells Kono he understands exactly how she’s feeling because he is a parent and he’s never been able to separate the feelings between his family and his job. He also admits how terrified he is to be sending Samantha off to Northwestern all by herself, to Chicago, to the place where every cop hates him. Add to that monsters like Emilio and Deon, and Lou is questioning whether he can let Samantha go. Yes… he more than understands where Kono is in her head right now. This scene was superbly written and performed by Grace and especially Chi!
Steve and Danny: Watching these two together has been a pleasure for seven years and this episode was one of the best to highlight their relationship. The banter between these two never ceases to entertain me, year after year. Here it started off with them in the office with Charlie, but continued throughout the entire episode. In the office, in the car, before Steve’s jump, even during the rescue as Steve was stuck in the semi with the remaining girls. Banter going from the usual good natured ribbing over whatever’s in the gift box Steve brought for Danny and Danny’s maybe retirement restaurant, to a full-fledged cargumemt over Rachel’s divorce and Danny’s feelings for his ex-wife to Danny’s all out ranting over Steve and his insane plans that Danny is terrified will get Steve killed. All done to perfection by Alex and Scott. They know these characters so well, these scenes are simply second nature to them now.
The cargument in this episode was classic. It managed to alternate through several different topics without missing a single beat. First off, they are in the middle of a high-speed chase with the semi that just busted through the HPD roadblock and yet they’re able to alternate between two phone calls from Jerry (one to give Steve Deon’s phone number and then possible methods for safely stopping the truck), Steve trying to get Deon to stop said truck, a disagreement on the best technique to use in a hostage situation and a discussion about Danny’s relationship with Rachel. Again, without skipping one beat. It was flawless.
But there was something there. Something behind the words that was different. I didn’t notice it in the office when they were with Charlie but something just felt off for me in Steve’s words and his body language as the episode progressed. To be honest, I thought it was one of two things. First I thought that maybe Alex just looked tired. It’s been a really long and physically grueling season and he must be totally exhausted by now. Then I thought it was just me. That because I wasn’t feeling well, I was feeling something that wasn’t actually there.
But Steve goes out of his way to buy Danny a gift (which turns out to be an adorable chef’s hat with Danny’s name on it) out of the blue, for no reason. Just to be nice. Not that Steve isn’t nice or that he hasn’t bought things for Danny before (the noise cancelling headphones leap to mind) but never without a solid reason before.
Steve tells Danny he doesn’t think this “thing” with Rachel is healthy. It seems as if Danny has been going over Rachel’s after work to “help with the kid” then stays there so they “can talk”. Steve accuses Danny of still being in love with Rachel and tells him he should give up pretending he’s upset Rachel and Stan are over. Why is he telling Danny that? If he thinks the relationship is unhealthy, why is he seemingly pushing Danny towards it?
Steve’s demeanor from the moment they settled on his crazy plan seemed off. When Danny said he wanted to give it some time before he had to watch Steve “commit suicide”, the way he called Danny “brother” and told him they didn’t have time felt weird. The way Danny looked at him as he walked out of the office seemed like he somehow felt it too.
Then there was right before Steve was about to jump. It was almost as if he resigned himself to the fact that he could very well not make that jump successfully. That’s not like Steve at all. He’s always been a “failure is not an option” kind of guy.
But he needed to tell Danny about the chef’s hat, how he thought he could use it for Steve’s. Did you hear that catch in his voice when he said it? Danny certainly did. Instead of continuing to rant at Steve like he always does, Danny pretty much admitted he only rants at Steve to try to talk him out of these crazy things and that, even though he has no intention of naming his restaurant “Steve’s”, Steve will know that because he most definitely is not going to die today and he’s going to be at the restaurant with Danny when the time comes.
I loved how they settled things after Steve was able to save all the remaining girls. Danny is 100% right. When he does things like this, Steve is insane but that doesn’t mean Danny isn’t proud of the things Steve can do. Danny clarifies that he in no way wants to hurt Steve and they agree to have a “re-set”. I don’t really know if that means a damn thing but watching my two favorite guys walk off arm in arm gave me all kinds of warm feels.
Radiation poisoning???: Unfortunately, that warm feeling didn’t last long. Like the main story in this episode, writers Peter Lenkov and Eric Guggenheim reached back to a story we thought was over and done with. Episode 7.18 E Malama Pono (Handle with Care) when Steve disarmed that dirty bomb.
I guess what I thought I was seeing wasn’t as far-fetched as I thought. And I’m not saying that because I think I have any great ability to notice something so incredible subtle. I’m saying it’s solely, 100% because of Alex O’Loughlin! Going back and re-watching the episode, I paid special attention to the places where I originally thought Steve seemed off. It’s Alex… all Alex and his ability to add just the smallest touch of “sickness” in Steve’s demeanor to make me feel like something was off but not being able to put my finger on it until much, much later. As always… Alex simply amazes me.
We all wondered whether or not that battery trick would be enough to protect Steve when he disarmed that bomb. I hate the fact that the writers made Steve sick but using the radiation from that bomb to do it was inspired. We all were pretty much expecting that Steve’s “little cliffhanger” would be health related and that it would be a problem with his new liver. To make it radiation poisoning is something I know no one ever expected. I may hate that Steve is sick but I love the way this twist was written.
I don’t know a damn thing about radiation poisoning and I’m not even going to spend the time to look it up. I’ve said this a million times. I don’t watch this show for a medical education and it doesn’t bother me one bit when they take an abundance of literary license with it. This is purely fiction and I watch purely for fun. I really don’t need to know all the details of this illness nor do I need to know every time the script isn’t 100% medically accurate. If we get to Episode 2 of Season 8 and Steve has miraculously recovered, that’s more than fine with me!
I also couldn’t be more thrilled that Steve told Danny about what was going on as soon as he found out. It’s obvious to me that he walked into Danny office with that gift ready to tell Danny about what he found out at the doctor’s. But then Charlie was there and he couldn’t. Then when they were alone together again, Kono pulled them into the case and the opportunity was lost again as they got swept up in everything that was going on.
But Steve had no choice but to tell Danny the truth at the house. One look at Steve’s pale and sweat covered face and there is no way Danny wouldn’t know something was seriously wrong. The look on Danny’s face when Steve told him was a mixture of shock, disbelief and extreme worry not only for Steve’s health but, more than likely, for Steve’s state of mind as well. This entire scene was positively heartbreaking!
Danny knows Steve better than anyone does. There isn’t any way in hell he wouldn’t run everything that had happened that day and every word Steve said and the way that he said it, through his mind. I’m willing to bet he’s going to keep an eagle eye on Steve and his “insanity” because he’s going to worry that Steve feels like he’s living on limited time. Steve always throws caution to the wind but this stunt, this was over and above any insanity Steve ever tried before.
I think Danny may worry that Steve thinks he’s going to die and because of that, will throw himself into even more dangerous and life threatening situations in the logic that, if he’s going to die, he might as well do it protecting or saving someone else. Danny is obviously going to be devastated and more protective than ever next season because he’s going to fear, all the time, that Steve is just going to go for broke because in his mind, he’s dying anyway.
This is the first real cliff hanger ending to a season we’ve had in years. Probably since the end of Season 2 when Steve opened a door in Japan and said “Mom?!?” We always knew Kono was coming back when she left at the end of Season 3. This time we have no idea if Kono will be coming back or if this is the last time we’ll ever see Grace as part of the cast.
And Steve? What is in store for our SuperSEAL now? I don’t know what’s going to happen with this story. Will they write it as they wrote Steve’s new liver story? Will they have him get over it quickly and then only refer to it from time to time as needed or will they have Steve dealing with it more realistically. I’m actually hoping for a bit of both. I’d love it to be more on the realistic side because there is so much potential for great character work from both Alex and Scott but I don’t want to see a sick Steve for weeks and weeks either.
Well, there you have it. One fantastic finale for one of the best seasons this show has ever had. It’s going to be a long hot summer before we get to see our favorite team back again. Hopefully, when we do, they will all be whole, healthy and home!
I would like to thank Peter Lenkov, Eric Guggenheim and Bryan Spicer for this fantastic finale to the season. I’d also like to thank each and every one of the H50 writing staff, the entire cast and crew, with special thanks to Jeff Cadiente and Eric Norris and the entire stunt crew for all their fantastic work to make this show so realistic.
Have a wonderful summer my friends. It’s been a pleasure spending this season with you all.
Aloha. Malama Pono
All screen caps are mine unless otherwise noted.