#H50 Review: 8.09 Make Me Kai (Death at Sea)

Hi everyone!  So sorry this is so late this week.  A ton of Christmas prep and festivities going on around here this weekend.  But, finally, I got this done.  At least it’s still the weekend, eh? LOL

Every week I look forward to the first few minutes of the new H50 because I know, no show does a cold open like this show does.  It introduces us to some of our players of the week, usually by giving us an opening picture of whatever our crime of the week is going to be.  This week was no different except that this opening was probably the shortest cold open we’ve ever had.  My first thought was “damn…. this must be a jam-packed episode if this opening is so short… they must need every second they can get!” I wasn’t wrong.

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This opening was just perfect.  It was an economy of time (45 seconds to be exact).  Just enough to give us the sense that something awful happened but not chewing up valuable seconds because, yes, we needed every available second for this awesome episode.  David Wolkove and Matt Wheeler, two of my most favorite writers, really crafted another great one!

I don’t want to recap the entire story here.  We all watched it. Most of us have watched it several times by now.  We all know the story of the crime of the week.  There’s no need for a point by point repeat of it all.  So, let’s talk about what made this episode so great besides an interesting crime of the week.  And that would be every single character in this episode.

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For the second week in a row, we had an episode where the entire team worked on one case. Yes, our team was split up but they all were still working together toward one goal. And never has there been a more important goal.  Working to save half of their team, dying slow, horrible deaths.  Every character was perfection, so let’s use this review to discuss them, one by one.

Monique Simms: It’s no secret the story lines on this show pretty much always have a red herring.  Someone who looks innocent and ends up being our bad guy of the week.  Well, meet Monique.  I’m not going to say I knew she was part of the crime the first time I saw her but once she told that story to Adam and Lou about fleeing the yacht because there was a robbery happening, my first thought was “yeah, sure!”

Monique did have an innocent look about her.  More’s the better to hide her true self.  But for a very high price, she was the one who got “Marco” on the yacht.  She had taken the antidote before the virus was released so, of course, she didn’t get sick like everyone else.  But she wasn’t a good person who “just got in over her head”.  She murdered a nurse to get out of the hospital and was about to draw her gun and shoot at Lou and HPD.

Tell me something. Why is it every time I yell at my TV “don’t shoot him/her” they always shoot him/her? Monique hit the dirt and all I could think of was.. “Oh God.. now what the hell are they going to do??”

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Adam:  So far, I’m really enjoying how they’re utilizing Adam.  This time Lou calls in Adam because he was an acquaintance of Monique.  They were both on a Board of Trustees at one point in time.  He goes with Lou to the hospital to talk to her when she regains consciousness.  It was Adam who pointed out the discrepancy in Monique’s story.  She didn’t leave before the virus was released but after. She knows where the antidote is.

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Adam also had contacts with the bank in Geneva from his days of running a multi-national company and was able to get them to release the info Jerry needed to find out who was Monique’s buyer for the virus.  We still don’t know what Adam is doing for work in between the times Five-0 calls him in for help.  Hopefully we’ll learn that soon. But for now, I am really enjoying the way they are working him into stories.

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Lou:  Poor Lou.  He basically spent this entire episode in an extremely high state of anxiety.  From the moment Steve called him from the yacht, Lou was beside himself with worry.  Lou, with the help of Adam and Jerry, worked like a madman to find the antidote.  As always, Chi McBride was superb this entire episode.

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As we’ve seen in the past, Lou is not the calmest of people when people he loves are in danger.  When they finally manage to catch up with Monique, Adam tries to reason with her but it’s Lou being Lou which finally gets Monique to tell them where the antidote is.  I know there are those who will probably not like the fact that Lou threatened to let Monique die unless she told him where it was but with the lives of his best friends on the line, I can’t see Lou doing anything else in that situation.

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Jerry:  Ok.. a bit of humor for a moment here.  Having taken over as Captain of the Magic Table, Jerry has been awesome this season.  But I want to talk about Jerry’s hair! OMG  I can’t get over how fantastic he looks with his hair cut.  It’s amazing how much younger he looks with it styled so nicely.  But I think Jerry might out do Danny in the use of products department to keep that look tamed.  Half way through the episode his hair was fighting to assert itself again. 

Noelani:  We didn’t get to see a lot of Noelani in this episode but what we did see was great.  As a matter of fact, the entire chopper scene of the flight out to the Serenity was fantastic.  Starting off with Steve giving the pilot the side eye.  You could practically read his mind that he wanted to be flying that chopper and that he felt he could do it better.

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But the best part was poor Noelani. She was simply terrified.  It was so cute of Danny to try to comfort her considering the way Danny has always felt about flying.  Of course, it’s usually Steve’s flying that terrifies Danny and since this flight is in the capable hands of a Coast Guard pilot, he tells Noelani how he used to be afraid too but statistically flying is safer than driving.

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But after Noelani tells Danny that, according to Google, choppers are 85 times more dangerous than cars, Danny wants to know why Steve never told him that.  Check out Danny’s face.  He reverts to the same facial expression Noelani was wearing.  Coincidentally the same facial expression he himself wore way back in 5.25 “A Make Kaua” (Until We Die) when the nuclear bomb he dropped from a chopper exploded.

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But Noelani overcomes her fears when it comes to helping the team once they are on the yacht.  She’s practically hanging out of the chopper as she looks back in concern at the team left behind as she flies off with the tissue samples and other evidence she hopes will help save them.

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Tani:  I have loved this character from the first moment we met her in 8.01 and every single week she makes me love her more.  She is more than capable of handling herself in any situation and even though she did freak out a bit in this episode she was still awesome throughout.

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I have to say, the thing I am loving the most about her is her ability to spar with both Steve and Danny.  This rookie can hold her own with them both.  And she’s a lot like them.  She and Danny can complain in stereo and she can, at times, be as reckless as Steve.  But she also gets them.  I love how she can verbally match them both with her intelligence and wit.  She’s just awesome!

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And I am loving the budding relationship between her and……

Junior:   Ahhhhh, Junior!  For me, he was a shining light during this entire episode and I can’t wait for him to be a full-fledged member of Five-0.  He was perfect from start to finish.  I love how Beulah plays this part.  He’s able to go from the subtle humor of being “Switzerland” between a squabbling Steve and Danny (“with all due respect, sir.  I’m just here to learn and observe”) to jumping right into SEAL mode to save Steve.  I can’t imagine what this episode would have been if Junior hadn’t been “shadowing” the team this week.

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Personally, I can’t see how anyone could find it in them to dislike Junior.  He’s respectful, honest, hard-working, intelligent and, well, just incredibly nice.  For example, he doesn’t know Noelani.  I don’t think we’ve ever seen them meet, have we?  Yet he reached out to try to calm her when she was terrified in the chopper.  A total sweetheart.

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Then there is the respect, some would say hero worship, he has for Steve.  Junior took it to heart that he was only in HQ to “observe”, staying back away from the magic table during the brief.  It was only after Steve waved him forward that he actively joined in with the discussion.  It was he who suggested they use the Serenity’s “ship to shore” coms radio frequency to triangulate its location after it didn’t respond to Steve’s calls.

Intelligent?  Well, hell yeah.  You can’t be a SEAL without a good head on your shoulders and Junior is more than capable in that respect as well.  He was the one to point out the deaths on the Serenity didn’t sit right.  “From a strategic standpoint, this doesn’t make any sense.”  Steve knew immediately he was 100% right.

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Bravery?  Another no brainer.  Steve, whose instincts won’t ever let him be anything less than a protector of his team, asks Junior, as they are collecting evidence of the horrific crime scene, if he’s alright.  “You don’t have to worry about me, sir.” And he didn’t blink an eye when Steve said they couldn’t leave the yacht, even though both Danny and Tani were slightly freaking out.

We still don’t know what Junior did as a SEAL. His missions, his experiences or why he left the Navy so young.  But I think it’s safe to say he’s seen his fair share of the horrors of war and has watched as fellow SEALs made ultimate sacrifices to keep others safe.

I loved how he was able to help Tani as she was descending down a path of desperation because of their situation.  His explanation of what it takes to be a SEAL is something we’ve always known.  We’ve been watching Steve for 7+ years after all.  But to hear him put it into words was truly enlightening.

“Most recruits in the SEAL program don’t quit BUDs in the middle of a test, they quit just before.  You see, it’s the fear of what they’re about go through that makes them want to throw in that towel. You see, the biggest battle is in here (points to his head).  You’re still walking and talking, and you can stand, right? You see, all that means you’re still in the fight and until you’re not, then you don’t give up. And I won’t let you give up.”

Because “the only good day was yesterday”. When the case holding the antidote fell into the sea, it was Junior who spotted it first.  He didn’t even hesitate to try to leap in after it, even if Steve stopped him from doing so (because… of course he did!).  But when Steve was in trouble, Junior took to the water without a moment’s thought to save his Commander.  Sick as they all were, they all did what needed to be done to save them all.  Because “the only way out is through”.

Oh… and I have to mention, besides Junior telling Tani about BUDs, I loved the little exchange when she first walked into HQ and saw Junior was there.

“Ohhh.. hello!  Does this mean I finally have seniority over someone?”  “Not quite.  Junior is just shadowing us for the week.” “Oh..oh well.  Ok, I’ll get over it, as long as we can haze him lightly”

The look between Steve and Lou was so adorable.  Like “Oh yeah.. these two.. we know….” LOL

Steve and Danny:  What can I say about these two. Every single moment between them in this episode was perfect.  I’m particularly thrilled with the way the writers are crafting the dialog between them this season.  I know I’ve said it before but the tone of their “arguments” is so much calmer now.  More like the squabbling of the past and not the heated, nasty exchanges of a couple of past seasons.  I don’t know what made the writers go back to the beloved bickering brothers, but I can’t tell you how much I love that they did.

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They never stopped the entire episode from the disagreement over healthy options on the restaurant menu to what chairs to buy for the restaurant “waiting room”.  But it was all tinged in the love these two guys have for each other.  No more so than once everyone began to get sick.  The concern they had for each other was wonderful to see.  Not that I would ever expect to see anything less.

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The scene of them together, sitting on deck chairs, drinking expensive champagne was priceless.  Danny begins by saying there’s something he wants to tell Steve and Steve thinks it’s going to be a statement on how they feel about each other and their friendship now that the end is near.  Steve doesn’t want to go there.  Like Junior before him, even if he doesn’t say it out loud, they’re still walking and talking, so this is not the time for good-byes.

But Danny isn’t going there either. He wants to talk about a restaurant idea he’s had about a separate waiting room for people waiting to be seated for their dinner.  I loved this discussion because it was warm and pacifying, it made them both feel good to think about something in their future, something that could very well not ever happen.  The fact that Steve hated the idea completely hidden as he did his best to make Danny happy.  Steve may not have given up just yet but he wasn’t going to add to Danny’s discomfort regardless.

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The gentle, tender way Steve took care of Danny when he was fully felled by the virus was so touching.  Trying desperately to get Danny to hang on just a little longer until help could arrive.  Steve was terrified.  It’s not something we see too often.

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Getting the antidote on the yacht:  This entire scene had me on the edge of my seat.  I could totally relate to Lou up in that chopper, watching from afar as the events unfolded and not being able to do a thing but watch.  Of course, you know everything will turn out fine but that doesn’t mean you’re not sitting there terrified the entire time.  It’s a testament to the skill of the not only the wonderful actors involved in the scene but the writers, the production crews and the stunt personnel who pulled it all off.  Every moment was movie quality.

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It was fascinating to see someone else be a hero besides just Steve.  Junior risked his life to jump into the sea to save Steve, to save them all.  It’s another thing we don’t see too often; Steve needing to be saved.  I don’t mean from a cave in Afghanistan or from the clutches of WoFat but from a situation that went sideways.  Yeah, Steve is SuperSEAL but he’s also not at peak performance, even before being hit with this killer virus.

To use the words of my friend Lynnette, because she stated it so perfectly to me, I can’t improve upon them:

“Steve will always be the one who pulls off the death defying feats to save his Ohana. What was good to see, was that Steve almost couldn’t do it last night. He actually needed the young gun to rescue him from the water. When he got back on the boat and literally collapsed, it was an eye-opening experience for us, as well as Steve, that he really is no longer invulnerable. That was really well done.”

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As for Danny, I loved him in every scene he was in as well.  I have to admit something though.  When Steve, Junior and Tani were on deck fighting the storm to try to get the antidote on board, I wanted Danny there too.  When Junior and Steve were in the water and Tani was desperately trying to pull them back on-board, I kept hoping that Danny would materialize by her side and help her haul them back in and I was momentarily disappointed when that didn’t happen.

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But it was only momentarily because I immediately understood why it was probably written the way it was.  This was the first episode filmed after Scott was able to remove the brace from his surgically repaired arm.  However, the script for this episode was written many weeks before that.  The writers, not knowing if Scott’s arm would be “operational” by filming time, wrote the episode with very minimal physical requirements for Danny.

As it turned out, the brace was off Scott’s arm by the time they filmed those scenes but just because the brace was off doesn’t mean Scott’s arm was fully functional for anything heavily physical. So, while I was a little disappointed that Danny spent the climax of the episode unconscious, I do understand the logic behind why.

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I loved the scene of the four of them sunning themselves on the deck.  Tani is bemoaning her fate as well as Danny has ever done about getting a hemorrhagic virus and dying two months into the job.  Junior, ever the eternal optimist suggests things aren’t so bad because at least she has a job.  But it’s Danny who gives her a bit of a classic rant.   There’s a bit of a silver lining in Tani’s fate because she hasn’t had to deal with Steve and his lunatic behavior for very long.  In the last seven years “stuff like this happens all the time” and she’s being spared the seven years of stress he’s been subjected to.

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Then Danny delivers my favorite line of the entire episode.

“This job ages you.  Look at me. I used to be gorgeous!” Ahhhhh dear Danny.  You are still gorgeous in my book! ♥ 

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Quarantine:  This episode ended in the best possible way.  Our team rescued, antidote administered and everyone healing.  I can’t tell you how much I adore the idea of these four being stuck together in quarantine for a week.  Junior being no less than what I’d expect, knowing what we do about him so far.  Working out to stay in peak physical condition.

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Danny checking in with Gracie and Charlie.

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Steve losing at chess to Tani (who had him so dead to rights…. it was hysterical).

And Steve and Danny squabbling over restaurant details yet again.  Tani might put her head phones on to block them out but I couldn’t love it more.

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Everything is as it should be.  Until it all hits the fan next week……

Well, we’re moving into the home stretch of 2017.  Two episodes next week which promise to be just as awesome as this one; as this entire season has been so far.

I took a look at the ratings this morning for this episode and they were fantastic…. again!  It seems the 8- 9 million viewers who watch our show every week are agreeing that the new cast and the new stories are working.  And with the Steve and Danny relationship back on course like in earlier seasons, and with all the Steve and Danny time we’ve had so far not to mention even more promised for the future, I think the ratings are proof positive that people are loving every minute of it all.

This season is going down as one of the best of the run. There is no way I could be happier about it all.

Well, that’s it this week my friends.  I hope you all have a fantastic week ahead.

Aloha. Malama Pono

All screen caps are mine.


20 thoughts on “#H50 Review: 8.09 Make Me Kai (Death at Sea)

  1. Susan Schoppe says:

    I so love reading your reviews. They are always right on target for me. This episode just seemed so perfect for the characters. And I did love the fact that Tani & Junior were with Steve & Danny. The newbes so to speak with the veterans, lol. As much as I love that I loved the way the are developing Adams part now, this is great. And the ratings seem to be rising with every episode, it does speak volumes about the new characters and the writing this season. I have to say I never knew Jerry could look so amazing, he does look younger, cute too. I’m hoping they don’t leave us hanging to bad next week. Have a Merry Christmas & enjoy family & friends. Many blessings to you 😊

    Liked by 3 people

    • I couldn’t help but think this episode was a bit of a baptism of fire for Junior. He more than showed his metal in this episode in every possible way. He was THE highlight of this episode for me, after all the McDanno love, of course. I really can’t wait until he’s on the team for good!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. jlopie1 says:

    Oh, wow! Great review for possibly my favorite S8 episode (considering it’s only #9 of 25, that could change – even as soon as next week!😜😍

    Nice of you to quote me, I appreciate it. I don’t know if it’ll change the way Steve normally thinks, but it might help him to realize that Danny has always had a valid point – he is not invulnerable, and there are somethings he’s just not able to overcome simply on his own. I think, possibly, this will be one reason Jr will be getting that Five-0 badge before 2017 ends – Steve might be realizing having a younger, fresher SEAL on the team might be good for all of them!

    You know, the cinematography and music editing were exceptional in this episode! It’s usually always good, but this week, it was just at a different level! Congrats to Wolcove, Wheeler and Vrillo for an epic episode, but as someone said on Twitter, next week it’s “out of the frypan and into the fire!”

    Liked by 3 people

    • I totally agree about Junior. As I said above, he really showed his metal in this episode. Of course, he’s a SEAL and you’re not a SEAL without the fortitude it takes to make it to that level. Steve knows that but with this episode he really got to SEE it. Add to how he handled himself in the bank robbery episode and Steve can see he is a more than capable addition to Five-0. With or without that Academy diploma.

      And you’re also right that this could be a bit of a wake up call to Steve that, wow.. look at that… he’s human after all and not totally invincible and just maybe having a “young gun” around to lift some of that weight will be a tremendous asset. I can’t wait for that shiny new badge to be added to Junior’s belt..

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wendy says:

    Love your review and loved this episode. Definitely the best of the season so far. Tani is great and Junior is growing on me. All the bromance and love between Steve and Danny was perfect. Next weeks episodes look fantastic, can’t wait.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. rhondagemini says:

    Great review,Linda! I agree about Junior-he will get that H50 badge sooner rather than later! He has shone on two occasions now that he deserves it! No one will be happier when he does than Tani-those two are really bonding and I love that! Loved the’arguments” between Steve & Danny-this situation really brought them closer together, I think! I know Lou didn’t want Monique to be shot, but at the same time,he was more than willing to let her die if she didn’t tell him where the antidote was. Once everyone received it and was in the hospital,it was awesome to see Steve tell Danny how he really felt about that waiting room idea! Like you said, things are peaceful at the hospital now,but it will hit the fan big time next week and I have a feeling Lou will not be very pleasant to deal with when it does!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Carol says:

    Another great review Linda. I felt the same about Danny missing from the climax…..thought maybe he wasn’t in town when it was filmed, but your explanation makes more sense. Sure don’t want him hurt again. Next week is going to be a roller coaster…..can’t wait!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m already having heart palpitations over what’s going to happen to Danny next week. Like the storm scene in this episode, I know everything will be alright but I’m still in a real state of anxiety over it.


  6. Perfect, perfect, perfect–the ep AND your review, Linda. Agree that the best part was how well all the characters were written, they all just gelled so well together. The visuals and action–wow! That had to be one wild sound stage for them but the quality showed b/c I was on the edge of my seat as well and actually didn’t realize it until commercials hit. It doesn’t matter that you know all will be well in the end–it’s that journey!
    I also felt disappointed that Danny was too ill to be part of the incredibly tense and dangerous antidote recovery–his absence was sorely felt. You could almost hear him yell, “Steve!” as Junior prevents him from diving in after their leader. But, as you shared, that kind of physicality would’ve probably been difficult for Scott right now with that newly healed arm. I know there was at least one shot where I saw him holding that arm at the same angle as his brace for several seconds and it dawned on me, you know? Now I feel like he’s actually getting a little R&R with his scenes in this one and the next (laying around a lot! lol).
    I’m really happy that this ep and the next tie together somewhat. I’ve been wanting a true 2-parter for some time now. We have lots of short and long story arcs but I just like the idea of having a 2-parter. And this is close enough. And from the way we get the next two, these three almost feel like a triple-pack! I know this makes our H50 holidays extra special, right?
    I hope we keep getting more well-scripted and directed eps such as this because it was superb. Ratings are through the roof–fans are more than pleased. In fact, I think fans are in bliss. I know I am. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lori says:

    Great review..as always…I agree 100% on everything you said….and found myself nodding in agreement to things you said..remembering that I thought the exact same things at the time I was watching…..this season is very special and there is still so much more if off to enjoy…just a side note..Junior and Noelani did meet before….in 8.04 at the end when Steve brings Junior to the restaurant before going to console Tani about letting Aaron Wright escape…..that is when Junior was introduced to Noelani😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love, love, love …
    I loved everything about this episode …
    all the members of the team are incredible
    Lou and Jerry work together perfectly … Adam is a perfect addition
    Tani and Junior … I love Tani since his arrival on the show and I appreciate Junior more and more each episode.
    Of course, my heart explodes with Steve and Danny, they proved once again that the real heart and essence of the family, the “engine” of the H50 show is McDanno
    (no matter how the different ships perceive this “couple” )
    McDanno is pure love, and their continual arguing are somehow their way of showing how much they care about each other and also their way of saying “I love you”
    So love, love, love 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Give this 10/10 as really love Jerry’s new head cut
    And that McDanno is no longer bickering and no longer using snide remarks
    But showing their real feelings.
    Also Tani and Junior beginning to growing to love there.
    And really think next week for the fall finale looks very intense.
    As Danny and Steve are driving Tani and Junior in the quarantine room nuts.
    Very funny in a very dangerous situation.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I did not get to wtch this amazing episode until much later but it was fantastic. I was working all weekend but my husband recorded it. I loved it. Everyone was fantastic in their part. I also love Tani and I am starting to love Junior too. I loved the way he was consoling Tani. This was great the way everyone was involved. I have watched about 4 times since it was on. Steve and Danny were awesome together. That was my favorite part. I can’t wait till next week. And I have the weekend off.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mcdanno says:

    Hi Linda! I am a HUGE fan of your reviews, amd have been reading them for about a year now. The first one I ever read was the 100th episode review, and it was and still is my favorite. Steve is my favorite character, but because I love this blog that should be evident. I love the mcdanno moments most of all. I do have a question for you. When we are going through a no new season period, I watch the older seasons on Netflix. In season 2 episode 6, Steve’s charity MMA fight, he picked up a bottle of tea tree oil and eucalyptus wipes, and I have been trying to get the name of the wipes so I can use them. If you could search around for them that would be awesome and very appreciated. I checked, and they don’t show you enough of the lable to tell what it says. Thanks, and Malama Pono.
    P.S. I always agree with everything you write, and it’s like you write what I think! Please let me know via email at fiveohauna@hotmail.com thanks!


    • Thank you for the wonderful comment. I’m very happy you have found enjoyment in this blog. I don’t know the brand of wipes they spoke of in that episode, The best I can do, is go back and re-watch it myself and see if they mention the name during the scene. I don’t recall if they did. You could also Google search for wipes containing the ingredients they mention in the episode (and you have listed above) and see if you find anything similar. It’s possible if they do mention a brand name in the episode it could be a made-up name if they didn’t get an endorsement deal from any manufacturer.

      Also, I don’t give out my personal email. Do you have a twitter account? You can reach me there at @lindastein1.


  12. Mcdanno says:

    Thanks! I’ll do that, and keep writing the AWESOME reviews. One last thing. For the mega 200th (!) episode, I am hope for a similar one to the 100th. Maybe Yow Fat has an angry brother who wants Steve? What do you think? I don’t do twitter, but I will continue to post here with new reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hoping #200 will be more of a “team driven” episode rather than another “Steve gets taken” story. OR a great Steve & Danny McDanno episode where they are stranded somewhere or something and the team must rescue them. Whatever it is, I’m sure the writers are gonna give us something awesome!


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