One hundred and seventy-five. What a milestone. So many TV shows, shows which have been beloved for decades, never make it to 175. Those that do and those that go on even farther, go down in TV history as icons, get shown in syndication for decades and draw in new fans year after year after year.
To say I am more than trilled to see my favorite show enter that realm is an understatement. To say I loved the 175th offering of this wonderful show is an even bigger understatement. Was it a perfect episode? Nah! It wasn’t the perfection of #100 and, even though there were major things I didn’t like about #150, that one was pretty good too.
Yet, this #175 had pretty much everything I need to make an episode exciting, heartfelt and a hell of a lot of fun. It was a worthy choice to be shown at last weeks Sunset on the Beach. The only things that were missing were Danny and Eddie. I was glad Eddie got a wonderful heartfelt and enthusiastic mention from Steve and Danny was also included with several mentions as well. I especially loved when Steve said to Adam “You think I need more time in a moving vehicle with Detective Danny Williams” when Adam suggested a food truck over a brick and mortar restaurant. It still would have been greater if Danny was actually there but I’ll take what I can get.
The thing I liked the best about this episode was not only an exciting crime of the week, but that it centered around our three newest regular characters. Junior, Tani and Adam. Of course, Adam isn’t a new character. We’ve come to know him very well over the years and he is already Ohana.
I’m a bit torn over the story of Kono off on the mainland hunting down the sex trafficking ring. This is one of the stories where a lot of leeway needs to be given because, it really doesn’t make a lot of sense. Kono and Adam have been through hell and back to be together. I don’t need to go into a list here of all the things they’ve been through. Finally, they have what they always wanted, are just about to start a family of their own together when Kono takes off on her “legacy”?
I do give Kono a ton of credit for wanting to do this, for wanting to try to put an end to the horrendous exploitation of young girls. I also give her credit for keeping everyone in the loop. We’ve heard Steve mention several times that he’s spoken to her on the phone. They all know where she is and what she’s doing, and it’s given Adam the opportunity to join her. She didn’t just take off with some ridiculous fabrication of where she was going.
What doesn’t make sense is that Kono would be ok with Adam returning to Hawaii without her; in his decision to “try to have some semblance of a life” without her. This is not consistent with how we’ve come to know them as a couple. A couple who were so completely inseparable it took a prison sentence to keep them apart.
Of course, if Grace Park had re-signed her contract, it’s obvious this story line would not exist. I have no clue what their story line would have been if Grace had stayed. Maybe Kono would have found out she was pregnant, and we would have had a season of her trying to deal with her job and a pregnancy. Sorry, but that sounds like a silly soap opera and boring as hell. This story was born out of the necessity to find not only a reasonable explanation for Kono’s departure but a heroic one as well, so it wouldn’t paint her in a bad light.
It’s hard not to feel bad for Adam. He’s obviously hurting. The woman he loves has a new passion and he’s not part of it. She was all ready to return home with him, had the airline ticket and everything, but decided at the last minute her “legacy” was more important. Again, I give her credit for wanting to do such important work, but I can understand Adam’s reluctance to simply follow her from place to place on a mission that may never end.
You see… this is where I’m torn. Kono left her home and her Ohana to be with Adam as he fled across the world to escape the Yakuza. She waited 18 months for Adam to be released from prison so they could start their life. Shouldn’t Adam be willing to do the same for her now? I guess, in his own way, he is. He’s just going to do it in Hawaii instead of in a never-ending parade of crappy motel rooms. But are crappy motel rooms equivalent to mud and huts in the middle of Asia and being hunted down on the verge of being murdered at any moment?
But, again, this is story born out of the necessity of having one half of a couple re-sign their contract while the other half did not. All the writers are trying to do the best they can to craft a decent story out that uncomfortable eventuality.
I also found it a bit heartbreaking listening to Steve try to comfort Adam with the promise that it won’t go on forever and Kono will come home and they can start that family they wanted. Steve, of all people, knows what it feels like to wait for someone you love to come home to you. To dream about a life built together. Hopefully someday Kono will come back, even if only for an episode or two, so she and Adam can tie up this loose end. Hopefully it won’t be for Adam like it was for Steve. Hopefully if Kono comes back they will be together for good, whether in Hawaii or elsewhere and her return won’t just be a pit stop on her way to something else she finds more important.
I was also really happy to see this episode finally start us on our journey to learn more about Tani and Junior. We already met Tani’s brother Koa and we already know this kid (is he a kid? I wonder how old he’s supposed to be?) is an ongoing thorn in Tani’s side. It’s obvious he’s living without a rudder. He has no direction in his life and is following a road that will lead to no good. Tani wants to protect him, promised their father on his deathbed she would look out for him. But some people just don’t want to be helped and it looks like Koa may be one of them.
Tani’s heart is in the right place but her judgement is off kilter. She’s already been thrown out of the police academy. She’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime to overcome that by being chosen for Five-0. To risk that to protect her brother is a foolish, if understandable, action on her part. Sometimes people do stupid things for family. The same way, a long time ago, Chin took the blame for the stolen asset forfeiture money to protect his uncle.
I really loved how Lou understood this. Lou is such a wonderful character and as played by Chi McBride a jewel in this cast. Chi is able to take Lou from disappointed yet understanding father-figure, to ferocious interrogator, to protective teddy bear with incredible ease.
The only thing I loved more than Lou protecting their new rookie was the fact that Tani decided she didn’t want to be protected. The same way she lived with consequences of her actions at the police academy, she is going to live with the consequences of this too. I don’t need to see the conversation between Tani and Steve to know how it played out.
Then there is Junior. We still don’t know much about his reasons for leaving the Navy so young. We still don’t know why he came home and found himself living in a shelter instead of with family (does he have family?) or taking advantage of the resources available to him with the Navy. But we did get a glimpse of what he lost when he left Hawaii for the Navy.
I must admit almost getting hit by a car, looking up and finding your first love behind the wheel is a bit too coincidental but the scene of Kayla literally running into Junior was still very touching. It was a wonderful illustration of what is left behind when people choose to serve their country.
Kayla moved on with her life, is pregnant and happy. It’s painfully obvious that Junior has never forgotten her or what could have been between them. The fact that he has not only saved the video from their prom on his computer but that it has a prominent icon permanently on his desktop speaks volumes.
Kayla did say something interesting. She said she wanted to catch up and hear “all about Iraq. People say you’re a hero”. Junior’s answer “yeah, I don’t know about that” only confirms there is still so much we need to learn about Junior.
Junior’s early morning run and almost crash with Kayla leads us into our crime of the week. Junior notices a bunch of guys with large empty duffle bags getting out of an old beat up car with no license plate (should I love the fact that it’s an old Mercury Grand Marquis LOL) and heading into the bank. It was nice to see he didn’t go all McGarrett and immediately head over there but used his head and called Steve instead. Steve, still in the car with Adam, heads right over.
I’m not going to go into a scene by scene description of the COTW here. I’m just going to say there was a ton to love in it this week. Let’s start with Steve and his “back-ups”.
It was a blast watching Steve being the reasonable one. Steve is basically on his own with two civilians here, no matter that Junior is a SEAL. He tells them both, in no uncertain terms to stay with the truck and “wait for back-up”. I think other than “Book ‘em Danno” this might be the most famous phrase to come out of Season 1 of this show!
But, of course, Junior, who seems to be cut from the same cloth as Steve with regard to “not liking to wait” not only doesn’t wait, he picks the lock on Steve’s gun safe to get a gun. Steve McGarrett… meet Steve McGarrett! The only thing that would have been better is if Steve had said “I told you to wait for back-up” and Junior would have replied “I am the backup”.
There were two really fantastic stunts in this show and the first happens when Steve, Junior and Adam, who followed Junior after Steve, advance on the safe where they believe the thieves are hold up. That explosion was incredible. It totally knocks all three of them on their asses and out cold. I literally jumped out of my skin.
Earlier I said this was not a perfect episode (even though I couldn’t care less about that) and here is the first thing that had me scratching my head. The tunnel out of the vault was huge! And it looked to go through solid rock. Were we supposed to believe the thieves made that tunnel in the time between when Junior first saw them going into the back and when the three of them woke up from the explosion? Or are we supposed to believe the bank teller/inside man, Bobby Akamu, dug the tunnel earlier? So, no one in the bank went into the safe for however long that took? But, like I said, I really don’t care. It’s one of those things I just accept as part of fiction.
We often talk about the ability Alex has of delivering pages and pages of dialog with only his facial expressions. That was highlighted to perfection in this episode. Steve, having followed the thieves into the tunnels is fired upon by one of the thieves he is chasing. As they always do, Steve fires back. Only this time, Steve “didn’t have a visual” and finds that the person he shot is a cop.
The subsequent car (we can’t call it a chase) race to get the fallen officer to the hospital was awesome. Even before that, it was fun to watch Adam driving Steve’s truck all over the place trying to follow Steve’s signal down in the tunnels. Once they needed to really haul ass to get the cop to the hospital Adam was in full on McGarrett driving mode. I couldn’t help but wish Danny was in the passenger seat to give Adam the full McGarrett experience of driving like a lunatic even when it is warranted.
Ok, so it took all of 30 seconds for us watching the episode to predict the cop wasn’t really a cop, right? But that doesn’t mean it still wasn’t fascinating to watch Steve panic just a little when he realized what he thought he’d done and then frantically try to save the man’s life. When the doctor in the ER pronounced him dead, the floor literally fell out from under Steve’s feet. The look on his face, as he sat alone outside the hospital was heart wrenching. There go those pages of dialog again. “What have I done?”… “I didn’t have a visual”… “I messed up”… “I didn’t have a visual”… “This is not what’s supposed to happen”… “I didn’t have a visual”.
Ok… here’s another moment that could have been better. So, a fallen officer is wheeled into the ER. He codes as they wheel him in and with the smallest amount of effort to revive him, he’s pronounced dead. You know damn well there is no way they wouldn’t have tried for probably going on an hour to get that guy back, especially because they believed he was an officer shot in the line of duty. What was that? 30 seconds? I understand the necessity of expediency when you only have 42 minutes to tell a story but perhaps a few more minutes, at least get him into a treatment room or something, could have been worked in.
I couldn’t help but wish it was Danny who was there to comfort Steve. While I completely understand the reality of episodes without Danny in them, it’s always a kick in the pants when it happens in episodes where Steve really needs him. But, as usual, when Danny is away, it falls to Lou to be the voice of reason for Steve, even thought Steve was in no condition to really listen to him. “I didn’t have a visual”.
The relief on his face when Junior and Adam saw the “cop” on the surveillance video was palpable. He sees the evidence that he clearly did not kill a cop, turns away from the screen, closes his eyes and lets the relief wash over him. The “oh thank God” written all over his face. Again, no need for dialog in the hands of Alex. It almost makes me wish the guy really had been a cop and we could have seen Alex act out the ramifications of how that would affect Steve, possibly into the next episode or so.
As far as the bank robbery is concerned, the 10 million that was stolen was all deposited, in cash, the day before the break in. Adam points out that only organized crime would probably do such a thing. Lou correctly states that if organized crime is involved, this was bigger than just a bank robbery. The dialog was written to specifically call attention, by way of filling in Junior and Tani, to Adam’s history. It looks like this could possibly be the story arc that gives Adam his story for the season.
I really got a kick out of seeing familiar faces in episodes. I love it when old perps show up in new crimes. This is the third time we’ve seen Dave Lockhart. We first saw him in S2E6 “Ka Hakaka Maika’I” where pretty much all Danny and Chin could get out of him in interrogation was “lawyer”. It turned out he wasn’t who Five-0 was after in that episode but he obviously didn’t stay out of trouble. The next time we see him, in S3E13 “Olelo Ho’Opa’I Make” he’s an Halawa inmate when Chin was dumped in the prison by Delano.
I don’t have any problem believing that Lockhart in full on official HPD uniform wouldn’t have any problem causally walking past security in HQ. I’m even willing to accept, by virtue of being held there himself in the past, him knowing exactly where the interrogation room is and how to get there. But isn’t that room locked? How the hell did he get in there to shoot Akamu?
I’m also curious to see if he shows up yet again. All that money has now taken up residence in the evidence locker at HPD thanks to the second and even more spectacular stunt of the episode. I’m not sure what was more remarkable. The intensity and intricacy of the crash or the fact it was all set up and accomplished right outside the Aliʻiōlani Hale. The trunk just popping open and the money all falling out was a very light-hearted moment after such an intense stunt.
So, does Dave Lockhart show up again? Just who’s involved in the organized crime element the money originally belonged to? You know they are going to want their money back. I’m thinking this could be the start of a nice story arc for us all to enjoy.
Well, that’s it, my friends. I know there is plenty more I didn’t touch on here so feel free to bring it all up in the comments, so we can dissect some more. It’s always such fun to get everyone’s take from every angle. No new episode next week since it’s Thanksgiving here in the U.S.
I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday, filled with too much food, too much drink, too much laughter and all the family, friends and love there is.
Aloha. Malama Pono
All screen caps are mine.