After all these years and all the reviews I’ve written, I really need to find a better way of saying “I loved this episode” but what the hell….. I loved this episode. I don’t even want to waste time with trying to compose a witty opening paragraph to ease into the review. So, let’s just get to it:
Junior: H50 is a master at the cold opening. Always something to get your heart pumping and set the stage for the crime of the week to come. We did, eventually, get our usual type of opening but first, we get a wonderful opening scene of Steve watching Junior at the shooting range.
The more I see of Junior the more I’m looking forward to really learning about him. I got a kick out of Coach telling Steve that Junior reminds him of Steve. But he said something else too. He said he can see Junior “has a streak in him”. I don’t know what he meant by that. A streak of what? Determination? Anger? Competitiveness? I have no idea. But whatever it is, I’m sure it ties into the “long story” as to why he left the Navy so young.
I love how Steve, just like he always does, has taken Junior to heart, wants to see this guy make it in civilian life and wants to do all he can to help him. It was very heartwarming to hear Steve tell him how he understands how hard it is to adjust after so long on their “sea legs”. How the “process” can be tricky. I’m really going to like watching these two interact as time goes by.
Hearing Junior say he didn’t have a cell phone, immediately makes you think “what else doesn’t this guy have?” A place to live, it turns out. I’m looking forward to seeing Steve and Junior bond at Casa McG and learn all we can of his “long story”.
Toast: If memory serves, the last time a CBS promo said something like “one of their own won’t survive”, it was for the Season 4 Premiere. It turned out it wasn’t a human team member at all when they blew up the original Camaro. The promo for this episode showed Flippa’s shrimp truck exploding so I hoped they were pulling another intentionally misleading promo. Unfortunately, and I am heartbroken over it, it wasn’t misleading at all.
Toast. Dear, sweet lollipop loving Toast with his sweaty glandular condition and his affection for pakalolo. Toast, who was finally able turn his life around and use his spectacular computer ability to design a computer game that made him a millionaire. I know I’m not the only one who was instantly worried when the “Previously on Hawaii Five-0” took us all the way back to Season 1 and our first meeting with Toast. I am totally heartbroken to lose Toast even if we haven’t seen him in quite a while. I really loved that guy. So much so, he was a major part of the only multi-chapter Fan Fiction I’ve ever written. The Ohana gathering to honor his memory along with the little video tribute to him at the end of the episode was very touching and a lovely way to say goodbye to this much-loved character.
The Long Con: From the moment Steve and Lou went to see Aaron Wright I’m saying to myself…. ”don’t trust this guy”. Agreeing to help Five-0 for a better prison deal, better digs, isn’t new. Sang Min has asked for the same in the past. But this guy? This guy just makes all the alarm bells go off. “Don’t trust him…. Don’t trust him”.
But Aaron was still in prison, with no access to phones or internet, when the CI list was hacked and when Toast was killed. It never occurred to me that he hacked the list way back in the premiere as insurance for later. Maybe I should have seen that coming but I have to admit, I didn’t. But it was an inspired move. We all know that when it comes to people he cares about, Steve will do just about anything to protect them.
The delight on Steve’s face when his phone rang and he saw it was Toast, quickly morphed into one of shock and alarm when the screams and gun shots became clear. The devastation on his face as he stood over Toast’s dead body was heartbreaking. It was amazing watching Steve and the team circle the wagons and try to get all the CI’s on the list to safety, determined not to let another one suffer Toast’s fate. Alex simply killed every single moment of these scenes.
Tani: I really loved Tani in this episode. I loved her snark and her backbone in dealing with Wright but I also couldn’t help but feel bad for her too. Aaron used his skills to hack right into Tani’s vulnerabilities. Her self-doubt as to whether she’s right for Five-0 and the distraction her brother Koa is in her life.
But Steve knows Tani is right for this job. He wouldn’t have picked her if she wasn’t. Wright’s escape wasn’t Tani’s fault and Steve does what a great leader always does. Shoulder’s much of blame because he didn’t see it coming either. “We all make mistakes. Learn from it. Move on”.
I absolutely loved seeing Steve taking care of both the newbies throughout this episode. As a matter of fact, let’s talk about……
Steve: If there are still people out there who continue to say that H50 is an ensemble cast where every character, current or past, are 100% equal, this episode is a prime example to show that’s simply not true. Every single actor in this episode brought it, no doubt about that. But Alex, quite simply had an outstanding episode.
Alex was everywhere. Except for the scenes where Kamekona was being held in that basement, Alex was in every scene. And it’s pretty much like that in every episode. To quote a friend of mine, “People don’t realize it because all his scenes are Steve and Danny, or Steve and Lou, or Steve and pretty much anyone else. They don’t realize that it means he’s constantly filming and shifting locations while the others are popping in and out.”
In this episode, he’s at the gun range with Junior and buying restaurant equipment with Lou. He’s partnered with Lou throughout but he alone finds Flippa’s truck engulfed and rescues Nahele. He finds time to meet with Junior at Kamekona’s truck and later to go to Tani’s house to make sure she’s ok. Not to mention all the COTW scenes around town and in HQ. I could go on and on. And like I said, it’s like that in every episode. There is no way in hell anyone can fail to see why Alex is #1 on the call sheet!
Kamekona: I think having the story line center around Kame was totally brilliant. Toast wasn’t our first Season 1 CI, Kame was. I know I’ve said it before, but Kame was supposed to be a one shot. A pilot character only. But something clicked with him. Perhaps it was Taylor with the rest of the cast or Kame with the audience or, more likely, both. But Kame has become beloved with not only the island Ohana but with the viewers as well.
After Joey Kang went to prison based on info Kame had provided to HPD, he figured out Kamekona stole $500,000 from him. Kang wants his money back, and now! And he’s willing to kill Kame to do it. It was horrendous watching Kame take that beat down. My heart just ached for him. I mean, seriously, it was like watching someone beating up a loveable teddy bear. Also, if anyone doubted the reasoning behind making Kamekona and Taylor Wily main cast, this episode should put those doubts to rest. Taylor was phenomenal in this episode.
The raw emotion he displayed while confessing to Kang that he never believed he’d ever live this long or that he’d be able to elevate himself from the woeful situation of his childhood and early adult life to live as well has he does was beautiful. Kame really believed he was about to die and came damn close to it too. But he wouldn’t tell Kang where the money went, only that it was gone.
Having it turn out that Kame gave that money, anonymously, to build a community center was absolutely perfect. Giving that money to help kids, kids just like he and his brother who, without a safe place of refuge, could turn to crime the way he did, only proves just how big a heart the big man has. Taylor was incredible throughout all these scenes.
Danny: One down, four to go. This was the first Danny-less episode of the season. Of course, I never like it when Danny isn’t there but this episode, in particular, was one where I really missed him. Danny is the one who first met Toast, pre-dating the Pilot, when Danny first moved to Hawaii. It was Danny who brought Toast into his first case with Five-0. It was apparent Danny and Toast were, if not friends, at least more than just cop and CI. Danny put in a good word for him with a judge when Toast was pulled into ATM heists because of his skill set. Danny knew the best way to get around him was a large bag of lollipops. Toast affectionately called him “Jersey”. So, yeah, I really wish Danny had been in this episode.
But, even when Danny isn’t in town, the writer Rob Hanning still managed to make sure he was part of the episode. He remembered that Toast was originally Danny’s CI and had Steve get in touch with him to let him know what happened. Danny’s shocked reply and declaration that he was on the “next flight home” was such a really nice touch, as was Steve’s warm response “Home? You’ve come a long way, my friend”. Oh, my heart!
But seriously, as I saw someone on Twitter say after the episode, there is no way Steve has that generic avatar on his phone and not a picture of Danny. I’m rooting for Mr. November from the 1998 Newark Police Academy Calendar.
On a lighter note, I was so happy we still got a “restaurant” scene even if Danny wasn’t there. Well, he was there, if you consider Lou’s phone call. This scene was so much fun. Alex and Chi play off each other so very well. The scene was made by all of Lou’s facial expressions and witty comebacks. There really isn’t anyone better at it than Chi. I really do love these two together.
Last but not least.. Jerry: Jerry was his usual awesome self at HQ. I’m really adoring how they are using him this year. He’s taken over the Magic Table and really doing a fantastic job of it. I know, way back when we first met Jerry, it was written that he was not at all technologically savvy. Hell, he didn’t even like telephones back then. But, like Kamekona before him, what was supposed to be a one off turned into so much more and Jerry had to evolve. I know, in the real world, this makes zero sense but if we haven’t figured out this isn’t the real world by now, we are in serious trouble.
But even as Jerry has evolved into the tech wizard of the team, he hasn’t lost his love of the conspiracy nor his childlike awe in the presence of, what he sees as, greatness. Watching Jerry watch Harley Taylor (aka Mogera) expertly hack the hacker without his eyes was mesmerizing. I’m actually hoping Mogera becomes our newest hacker CI. His abilities, without eyesight, were incredible.
I’ve been a fan of Jorge’s since the very first episode of LOST but it wasn’t until the “Elvis” episode a couple of years ago that I knew what a wonderful singing voice he has. He knocked it out of the part in that episode and he did it again here. I’m looking forward to the day when we can get Jerry and Flippa together on a song for a special occasion. These two talents together would be awesome.
Eddie: I know, Eddie really wasn’t a part of this episode, solving crime wise, but he was there with Steve when he went to make sure Tani was ok. Steve points out that Eddie likes her but she counters “not as much as he likes you”. “Yeah, we’re growing on each other.” “So, you’re keeping him?” “Kind of the other way around, at this stage”.
Isn’t that always the way it is? They wrap themselves around your life and they wrap themselves around your heart. Once an animal chooses you, you are his and there really isn’t much you can do about it. Oh, you can try… you can try to believe you have a choice in the matter but, to be perfectly honest with yourself, your choice disappeared the moment you locked eyes and your heart was completely lost. Oh yeah…. Eddie is here to stay!
Ohana: This, of course, was the entire theme of this episode. As it is so often with H50, the theme of Ohana always runs incredibly deep. What these people mean to each other, what the newbies will learn about being part of the Ohana, the way Steve will do just about anything to protect those he feels are his family, even the confidential informants they’ve all grown to rely on and have come to consider Ohana as well. It’s been the heart of the show from the very first moment. I’m so thrilled that, with all the changes we’ve seen in this new season, this theme is still 100% constant.
That’s it folks. I hope you enjoyed this episode as much as I did. No new episode next week due to a Halloween special but we’ll return on Friday November 3rd with our annual Halloween episode. These are usually over the top, creepy, sometimes a bit campy and a hell of a lot of fun. Until then. Have a wonderful couple of weeks, my friends.
Aloha. Malama Pono
All screencaps are mine unless otherwise noted.
Note: My apologies for the lateness of this review. Hubs and I were out and about pretty much all weekend taking advantage of the beautiful weather to enjoy a relaxing anniversary weekend. It’s so beautiful outside we just couldn’t bear to waste it.