Well, I’m in a bit of a quandary this week. You know after a two week wait for a new H50, I was more than excited. You also know, since this is H50, it’s pretty much guaranteed how I’m going to feel about the episode. Hence my quandary. This episode didn’t really impress me. There were things I liked, of course, but overall, I have to admit, this episode left me kind of disappointed. It’s very rare when I say that. As a matter of fact, off the top of my head, I can only think of one other time when an episode didn’t do it for me, and that was when Lou went to Chicago to terrorize Clay Maxwell into confessing to the murder of his wife. So, let’s start with that.
The Maxwell Murder: I am not a fan of split episodes. Where one member of the team is completely separated from everyone else in a story line that has absolutely nothing to do with the main story. And here we go again, with Lou being not only separated from the team, but over 4,000 miles away, this time in Florida. And again, for the fourth time, we’re revisiting the Clay Maxwell story. Don’t get me wrong. I love when Chi gets the opportunity to really shine in a story. And while I didn’t like the over the top violence in the first Chicago episode, I was blown away with the way Chi portrayed the material.
But, why was this story necessary? I really wish the writers would let this story go. I understand it’s still a thorn in Lou’s foot that Clay isn’t paying for his wife’s murder, but the man is in prison. It’s not like he’s walking around free or something. They got Al Capone on tax evasion! I also understand that Lou’s been ostracized by everyone he once called “friend” in Chicago PD but he doesn’t live there anymore, doesn’t have to see those people anymore. Why does it matter?
We’re taken to Florida with Lou, where he meets death row inmate Sebastian Wake, only hours away from his execution. He tells Lou he has the evidence to prove Clay killed Diane but will only give it to Lou if he stops the execution.
Of course, Lou can’t do that, and Wake is executed by electrocution. This was something I really didn’t need to see. I would have far preferred to “hear” it happening while the camera stayed focused on Chi’s extremely expressive face. Watching Wake electrocuted and seeing the smoke rise from his body was bad enough. But did they really have to make him survive the voltage, so they had to do it again?
Wake ends up giving Lou the evidence in the end anyway. Leaving an envelope for Lou with a map that leads him to a box full of cassette tapes, presumably of conversations Wake had with Clay in prison. All the evidence Lou needs to finally prove Clay killed Diane.
But what does that mean for us? Are we now going to get a fifth Clay Maxwell episode, so Lou can finally confront not only Clay but the men he once called “friend” in Chicago PD? Does it mean Lou can allow Samantha to go to North Western now without fear of what she might encounter when all of Chicago thinks he’s a traitor to the force? To be truthful, I hope not. I really hope this is finally the end of the Clay Maxwell story. I don’t really understand why it was even part of this episode. The best part of it was, as usual, the acting of Chi McBride and James Frain, who played Wake.
Happy Halloween: I always love it when H50 delves into Hawaiian legends and folklore. It reminds me that our show isn’t just plopped down in Hawaii, like so many shows are in LA or New York or wherever. And while we always say that Hawaii is as much a main character as any other, it also reminds me that Hawaii isn’t just beautiful beaches and sunshine. There is a deep, rich cultural background that is monumental in making Hawaii the wonderful place it is.
I’m not even going to try to delve into the Hawaiian stories which made up a big part of this week’s crime of the week. There is no way in hell I could ever do them justice. As always, I refrain from reading reviews of other bloggers before I write my own, so I haven’t read this week’s Five0 Redux from my friend Wendie Burbridge yet. But, if I know Wendie, I’m more than willing to bet she’s written all about the myths and legends touched on in this episode. Even if she didn’t go into full detail, her Redux is always worth a read. You really should check it out.
I’m not going to try to discuss the Hawaiian legends in this episode, but I will say I wish there was more to them in the story. I would have loved if this episode was 100% Halloween and based on the killer of the week making her victims look like they were killed by Pele rather than have the story broken up in “threes” between the COTW, Lou in Florida and the return of……
Alicia Brown: Here we have another character which causes fans to fall dramatically on one side or the other. People either love her or hate her. There doesn’t seem to be that many who fall somewhere in between. Well, I’m one of those who falls in between.
I like Alicia. I understood that she pretty much lost her mind when she thought her daughter had been killed and she thought it was her fault. I can’t imagine what I would do in that situation. I didn’t like that she put herself and Steve in danger because of her recklessness but, again, what would I do if I thought I could catch the person responsible, even indirectly, for the death of my only child?
When Alicia pulled the trigger on Dr. Gray, it didn’t bother me that the screen went to black. It was pretty obvious what happened. I actually thought it was an interesting artistic touch, ending the episode that way. Very “Sopranos”. Those of us who watch MacGyver found out Dr. Gray was dead on the crossover episode but even without that, it wasn’t hard to guess what happened.
Again, I don’t blame Alicia for pulling the trigger. In that moment, she felt it was the only way she’d ever get Dr. Gray to leave her alone, the only way she could protect her daughter. She just got her back. She wasn’t about to let Dr. Gray threaten her again. Was it the right thing to do? Absolutely not. Should she have just held her at gunpoint until HPD got there to take her away. Damn straight she should have.
But Gray painted the picture quite well. She told Alicia straight out that putting her behind bars wasn’t going to stop her. She’d always find a way to get to her. We’ve seen it plenty of times in this show. Criminals who, even while in prison, manage to somehow continue to orchestrate their crimes. Dr. Gray’s threats were a clear and present danger to Alicia and to her child. The same way Danny knew Marco Reyes would never stop when he threatened Grace. I didn’t fault Danny for pulling that trigger. I don’t fault Alicia either.
I also give her credit for wanting to tell the truth at her trial. Of course, she should have just told the truth from the beginning. I’m sure, with the backing of Five-0, it would have been considered self-defense right from the start. Now a jury, finding out she’d been lying all these months, would certainly have “reasonable doubt” as to her claim of self-defense.
I’m also not surprised by Steve’s reaction. We’ve all been watching this show long enough to know that “what happens within Five-0… stays within Five-0”. Steve and Danny, by pulling Alicia into the Gray investigation, effectively made her Five-0 for that time. How many times have Steve and the team looked the other way when one of their own has done something less then kosher? I can’t in good conscience fault Alicia for killing Gray any more than I could fault Danny killing Reyes or Chin killing Delano. They are all good people who rid the world of heartless predators. Steve turned a blind eye on both Danny and Chin. He’s doing the same here with Alicia. I honestly see no difference.
Now, you’re probably asking yourself “I thought she said she was in between on Alicia”? I am. Yes, I like her. I think she and Steve have a really nice relationship. A friendship built on shared experiences and similar histories. But for those who think they would make a great “couple”… that I do not see at all. I see great chemistry between them as friends. But that chemistry doesn’t translate into anything more than that. I just don’t see it.
I was also shaking my head at her miraculous plea bargain deal. Even though it wasn’t true, Alicia’s statement to HPD said Dr. Gray came at her with a knife. So even though a serial killer allegedly broke into her house and came at her with a knife, the DA still saw fit to try Alicia for murder. Then, seemingly out of the blue, the DA decides it’s acceptable to settle the case to 18 months’ probation. Just like that? Why?
Just because she helped Five-0 with their latest case? I don’t see that she did all that much to help the case at all. She didn’t give them any insight they couldn’t have come up with all on their own. And part of the 18-month deal is she must make herself available to help Five-0 with cases when needed?
Unless there is a case with another killer the caliber of Dr. Gray, I don’t see why she’d be needed. Of course, Marissa Walker, our serial murderer in this episode managed to get away and is still at large. It was just all way too convenient, just to make Alicia available for more episodes.
I really don’t mind if Alicia turns up once in a blue moon to help with a case here and there. I just don’t see that it needs to be all that often. We now have a cast that is more than huge enough. Having her there only dilutes the screen time and dialog of other, more important characters, like……
Danny: I was so excited when the sneak peeks for this episode came out because every single one was centered around Danny. But, it turned out those scenes in the peeks was the majority of screen time we got of Danny. Mostly because the places where Danny should have been, beside Steve at the Magic Table (instead of all the way on the other side). in the passenger seat of Steve’s truck and beside Steve tracking through the woods, were taken up by Alicia.
But what we did get of Danny was wonderful. I’m really liking the dynamic shaping up between Danny and Tani. With Steve spending pretty much this whole episode with Alicia, Danny teamed up with Tani and I just love them together. I liked that it was Tani who filled Danny in on the legend of Pele and, of course, Danny being Danny, he had to be skeptical. I was a little disappointed, when he heard about the old lady and her dog in the legend he didn’t recall Mrs. Kekoa and her little dog from the apartment he almost rented in Season 2 (before he found out it was haunted by…. Mrs. Kekoa and her little dog!).
I also really enjoyed the first meeting between Danny and Junior. I was wondering how Danny would react to Steve taking Junior into his home, but it turns out Danny already knew. Of course, Steve would have filled Danny in on the new living arrangements while he was away. I love Junior’s habit of calling everyone “sir” and how the guys keep telling him it’s not necessary. It’s very endearing.
I’m also a little disappointed the writers couldn’t have come up with a better reason for Danny’s injured arm. Junior heard about Danny’s “fall”, from a ladder at the restaurant. Of all the ways Danny could have gotten hurt, this one is pretty lame. He just got back from Jersey last week. There are all kinds of possibilities for things that could have happened, off camera. But, they took the easy way out and, of course, he fell from the ladder because Steve bought a cheap one. Recurring theme… his fall was Steve’s fault because Steve is cheap. I really wish they’d come up with something a bit more interesting.
I am wondering if the amount of time Danny was in this episode didn’t have something to do with Scott’s real arm injury. Maybe his injury caused some filming limitations. There were times you could see Scott holding his arm or adjusting the brace and sling, as if he was in discomfort. This was the first episode he filmed after the surgery on his arm so it’s safe to assume it was still pretty tender. Maybe that’s why there wasn’t much more of Danny besides what we saw in the peeks.
Fun Stuff (of course there is always fun stuff):
Junior and Tani are adorable. I love the idea of a friendship forming between these two especially if Junior is going to join Five-0 eventually. It will be nice for them both to have someone who understands what it feels like to be a newbie on an established team. Will it turn into something more? Who knows? For now, I really like the idea of them hanging out and getting to know each other.
But, it looks like Steve is going to be getting a grilling from Junior soon. The look on his face when he found out that Tani didn’t graduate from the Academy but was still hired for Five-0 was not a pleasant one. You could practically read his mind. “What the hell? Graduating from the academy is “the way it should work” for me but not for her?”. Yes, I can see Junior and Steve have a lot to discuss.
Jerry: I loved that Jerry promised Max he would continue the Halloween tradition of Keanu costumes because Steve and Danny liked them so much. Such a sweet promise made between two of the sweetest friends on this show. And even if Danny scoffed at the notion that he and Steve loved the costumes so much, notice it was Danny who remembered that Max wore that same costume three years ago.
Eddie: I am more than thrilled they are including Eddie in the episodes as much as they are. I sure hope that continues. That dog is friggin’ adorable. I loved the look on his face as Junior was cleaning up his “accident”, how he looked away, ashamed, when Junior said, “don’t look at me that way”. It was also perfect that it was Eddie who found the little girl tied up in the woods. I loved how he ran up to her, licked her face and stood over her until the others arrived on scene. God, I love that dog!!!
So, there you have it. This episode won’t go down as a particular favorite of mine. I think it would have been so much better if the Halloween theme, with all the Hawaiian legends, had been expanded and if we hadn’t had the Lou/Maxwell side story. And while I didn’t mind Alicia being part of the episode, she really didn’t need to be part of the case.
But having said that, there was still plenty of stuff to enjoy. Just because there were things I didn’t think were up to snuff doesn’t mean I still can’t see what was really good. The Hawaiian legends were really fun, I loved every moment of Danny in this episode, Tani and Junior were wonderful and, of course, Eddie.
Have a great week my friends! See ya next week! Aloha. Malama Pono
All screen caps are mine!