On the surface, this episode appeared to be what we like to call a filler with an interesting crime of the week and a lot of Ohana and bromantic silliness to once again highlight the love and concern the entire Ohana have for each other. But it was a damn good filler with a deeper seriousness if you looked hard enough to find it. The burying of a part of someone’s personality deep in their psyche, whether it’s due to an illness or due to years of compartmentalizing the traumas in one’s life.
And, so we have the two stories of Oliver Mathus and Steve McGarrett.
Let’s start with Oliver: It’s kind of hard to feel anything but sympathy for Oliver. Not something we run across very often with our villains. Oliver is afflicted with dissociative identity disorder (DID – A disorder characterized by the presence of two or more distinct personality states. Thank you, Google!) a condition he’s managed to barely control through therapy, medication and, presumably, loving care from his mother. When Oliver finds the poor woman dead of natural causes in her bed, he loses his anchor, stops taking his meds and, unfortunately, falls back into DID.
Oliver’s DID manifests into not two but seven distinct personalities, including 5-year-old Ollie, who tries so hard to be a good boy and Patrick, the manifestation of all his feelings for his dead father, HPD officer Patrick Mathus, who it turns out, was a pretty bad guy himself. Michael Weston played the part of Oliver perfectly. Watching him transform before our eyes from personality to personality was chilling even if the resolution of the case was a bit underwhelming.
Underwhelming in the sense there were no gun battles or explosions but in this case, I think the end was just as it should have been. Like I said before, it’s hard not to feel sympathy for Oliver and Steve and the team really had to ask themselves if they were willing to kill little Ollie and the other five innocent personalities, because of what Patrick had done. I’m glad it worked out the way it did.
Alicia: I know there are a lot of people who don’t care for her, but I liked the way Alicia was used in this episode. This was a case that benefited from her profiling experience and it was she who figured out the best way to talk Patrick down and bring little Ollie to the fore, so the standoff could end peacefully. It was a gutsy move for her to go in there alone and it showed that she can be strong and determined and an asset to the team when needed. It gave us a glimpse of what she was probably like before we met her the first time.
If this is what the writers have in mind for a way to integrate Alicia into future episodes, I have no problem with it. Of course, I don’t think we need her every week, or even very often but occasionally, would be fine with me. She was a great asset to the team in this case and especially because having her there didn’t take away a second of time between Steve and Danny. I know that bothers a lot of people (me included) so it was great to see her utilized so perfectly while not interfering with the natural dynamic of the team. That’s my biggest concern if Alicia is around for a significant amount of time. If they can’t figure out a way to do it without it cutting into the time Steve and Danny are together, even though I like her, I’d really rather they not.
Now let’s talk about Steve: Like Oliver, there is personality within Steve that doesn’t show. Unlike Oliver, who has no control over his personalities, Steve is in full control of his. It’s not a drastic a problem like Oliver’s, of course. Steve doesn’t have a “split personality”. But what he does have is the well-practiced and ingrained ability to shut down a part of his emotions, things he simply does not permit to show.
Steve is a SEAL. It’s not something that we don’t already know. He has lived through every trauma we’ve witnessed over the years and hundreds more we can only imagine from his years in the military. He is trained to follow certain mantras. “The only easy day was yesterday.” “The only way out is through.” He has been trained to compartmentalize his feelings, to keep them tightly under control so they don’t interfere with the mission at hand, the job to be done.
We’ve watched Steve mellow over the years. He’s no longer the stoic soldier we met seven-plus years ago. He is no longer as emotionally shuttered as he was when we first met him. But there is a part of Steve that hasn’t changed. His ability to refuse to admit that, physically, he’s not 100%. That he can’t do, or more specifically, shouldn’t do some things anymore.
We’ve seen it zillions of times, long before the liver transplant. I can’t even count how many times Steve’s been hurt, sometimes seriously, only to bounce right back and assure everyone he’s “fine”. The transplant only brought it into clearer focus. Post-op instructions from doctors are more guidelines than rules. He’s fine… he can still leap tall buildings in a single bound.. no problem.
And then there’s Danny. Sometimes I think Danny is the fictional personification of many of Alex’s fans. Overprotective mother hens who worry if Alex looks too tired, or if they think a certain picture makes him look too thin. If he’s wearing his wedding band or not. I admit, I find myself falling into this myself from time to time. It comes from caring about someone so much. And we’re just fans of an actor most of us will never, ever even meet.
Now, think about Danny, Steve’s BFF (I love that so much LOL). Another overprotective mother hen. Steve tells him he has a “touch of radiation poisoning” but, as is Steve’s usual MO, he brushes it off and says it’s nothing. The pills will take care of it. And if anything comes of it, it’s years in the future, if it even happens. No need to worry about it now. Steve McGarrett…have you met Danny Williams???
I have to admit the intervention was uncomfortable. But then again, aren’t they always? Maybe the fact that this felt so awkward on screen is because they are awkward in real life. I can see Danny, at his wits end, trying to get Steve to take his condition seriously, turning to the others for back-up.
I really got a kick out of this entire scene starting with the scene on the beach. First off, Steve and Eddie taking their morning swim together is beyond adorable as was Eddie soaking Danny with his post swim shake out. But, of course, miles of swimming aren’t enough for Steve, he needs to tack on a run right afterwards. Physical fitness is not something Steve needs help with, that’s for damn sure. Because, yup… he’s fine, remember?
I can just see Danny spending hours doing all kinds of research on radiation poisoning to find out the best way for Steve to stay cancer free in the future and the fact that stress can be a big contributor. I loved the line about Danny going down the “WebMD rabbit hole”. Who hasn’t ever overdosed on WebMD after a particularly bad headache only to come away convinced they had a brain tumor?
Everyone played their part in the intervention perfectly. Jerry thinks Steve is a less indestructible Captain America. Tani is awkward as hell because she’s a newbie and doesn’t really know Steve that well. Kamekona manages to turn the entire thing into a monetary decision. And Junior uses the occasion to once again demonstrate the strong case of hero worship he has for Steve.
As for Dog? Maybe even more so than Tani, why was he there? All I can think of is they needed to have at least one person say they were totally against the entire idea of an intervention. Someone to say that ambushing a guy in his own home was “not so cool”. Who better, ironically, then the one guy who literally does that for a living every single day? It’s the only reason I can fathom as to why he was there.
But my favorite was Lou, who at first thought Danny was nuts with this “sensitive new-age quack science mumbo jumbo” but he cared enough about Steve to do his own research and find that what Danny is saying isn’t so far-fetched after all and Steve should try to listen “to your boy” because “you know he loves you”. My heart…
I really enjoyed the scenes with Chloe. They were fun. I don’t think they were particularly needed, but they were fun none-the-less. I could have done without the conversation about Steve’s sex life (although I’m thrilled Lynn is still in the picture) but the cargument that ensued was the perfect set up to Chloe telling Danny she thought he was a big part of Steve’s stress. Then Danny mentions the restaurant and all of Chloe’s bells go off.
She tells Danny he needs to try to be more pleasant to Steve, try to keep things more civil and positive. I loved how Danny took that to heart and really tried to do as Chloe said. Of course, it took Steve all of five seconds to figure out that Chloe told Danny he was the cause of Steve’s stress.
But it turned out that hiring Chloe and the intervention really had less to do with Steve’s stress than it did about Danny’s. That last scene between them was really very sweet. Danny’s laying awake at night worried sick about Steve’s health. Danny may not say it out loud, but he can’t bear the thought of losing Steve and he’s desperate to do whatever he can to prevent it. When he sees Steve acting as if nothing has happened, when Steve insists on doing everything the same way he’s always done it without regard to his changed health status, it’s Danny’s stress level that soars.
When Danny admits this to Steve, it causes Steve to finally open up one of those compartments where he stores his deepest fears. Yeah, Steve is scared too. He wants to live a long life, wants to get married some day and have his own kids. He loves Gracie and Charlie. He wants to watch them, and little Joanie grow up.
But Steve is still Steve. He’s still not going to obsess over something that may not ever happen and he won’t let Danny continue to obsess over it either. And if Steve isn’t going to change how he’s dealing with all of it, he doesn’t want Danny to change either. He doesn’t want him to obsess to the point that he can’t sleep, but as for everything else, he loves Danny just the way he is.
I thought the line “I need it to stay that way” was very telling. There is a chance that a lot will change in Steve’s life if the radiation poisoning does develop into something more serious. Steve needs to count on one thing never changing no matter what and that’s Danny. The love/hate nature of their relationship just works. It’s a constant in Steve’s life. Like his mother was to Oliver, Danny is Steve’s anchor and in his darkest hours, knowing he’s always there, a comfort. It’s really very touching!
So, there you have it. Another really great episode this week. Of course, the abundance of Steve and Danny in this one was sure to make me love it. Since next weeks episode is one where Danny won’t appear, I was glad to get a full dose of him and Steve in this one. It’s as it should be. After all, they are best friends forever!
Aloha! Malama Pono
All screen caps are mine.