It’s not something that happens very often; a Friday night H50 double header. It’s only happened two times before. The last night of Season 5 and the last night of Season 6. Each time, I decided on one long review to cover both episodes instead of doing two individual reviews. But those nights were the season finale nights of their respective seasons. I had the entire summer to get the extra long double review done if I needed to. And even though I didn’t take the whole summer, I did take my time to get it right.
But this is not summer. This is Christmas time. Cooking, baking, shopping, wrapping, decorating, house cleaning, Christmas festivals, it just goes on and on. So, this time, I decided to do two normal single reviews as if the episodes weren’t on the same night. Hopefully, they will only be a day or so apart. I’ll do my best.
This episode, like Episode #100 with Steve’s alternate reality, will go down as one of my most favorite episodes ever. I loved that we got to see Danny’s idea of a future reality. This is also the second of three end of year episodes where Danny is front and center. For me, that is always a bonus. The more we get of Danny Williams, the happier I am. So, let’s get on with the review.
And let’s start with…..
Quarantine: This is not a group of people who take “down time” very well and spending six days stuck in that one room would be enough to drive anyone insane. Playing “go fish”? It’s like they’ve run through every game they can think of and have resorted to the most mindless childhood card game imaginable because they just can’t think of anything else to do.
And no one is more bored than caged lion, Steve. I was having a conversation with a couple of friends last week talking about why Jerry cut his hair in the previous episode. We agreed that joining a dating service seemed like a valid reason. We were then speculating on what the reason could be for Steve to go into quarantine with hair and end up buzzed in the very next episode. I said to them… “Who knows? Maybe he just gets so totally bored out of his mind, he takes it out on his hair!” I love it when I’m right about something even if I was only joking when I said it! LOL
There was also a totally adorable moment between Tani and Junior when she asks him if he’s serious about growing out an Afro. When he says he was only kidding, she tells him he should, that he’d be really cute with one. They laugh back and forth with each other only to notice Steve and Danny looking at them with the funniest facial expressions ever. “What?” Junior asks, to which Steve and Danny jointly respond “Nothing”. But the looks on their faces, especially Danny as he looks at Junior, are unmistakably saying, “You do realize she’s flirting with you… right?? Whatcha gonna do about it??” So friggin’ adorable.
I also totally believe that Danny calling Steve “ghetto Vin Diesel” was 100% a Scott ad-lib. Of course, I have no way of knowing that for sure but based on the hysterical reactions from the other three it sure looked that way to me. And what on earth was Steve thinking to go anywhere near Danny’s hair with that razor anyway?!? ROFL
Of course, this happy little scene quickly collapses into one of horror when an unknown assailant, masquerading as a doctor (in full hazmat gear) enters the quarantine and, point blank, shoots Danny in the chest! If that wasn’t jarring enough, he then puts the gun to his own head and pulls the trigger.
Later, after Lou and Jerry find out who this guy is, and Five-0 raids his motel room, they find a photograph of Danny on a table with the words “He deserved to die” written across the top. Now I have about a million questions.
Who was this guy? He asked Danny if he recognized him and Danny said no. So, not someone Danny previously arrested. Or, at least, not someone he arrested who was memorable enough for Danny to remember.
Was he acting alone? Is this just some random guy with an imagined grudge against Danny or was he sent by someone else? Who do we know who might have it out for Danny? Could it be retribution for Marco Reyes perhaps? Even though it wasn’t the Colombians who arrested Danny and threw him in that Colombian prison, they were more than thrilled to get him there and exact their retribution. But Danny made it out of there fairly quickly. He was not meant to ever leave that place alive.
Or could it be an old case that reaches all the way back to Jersey? It would be reasonable that Danny doesn’t remember the face of every person he put away all those years ago or those also affected by those arrests. There were those 87 successful homicide investigations he had under his belt before he came to Hawaii.
Or could it be much more personal? Rick Peterson is still in jail somewhere, isn’t he? Or has he gotten out? Escaped? This is a puzzle that looks to be a story arc for the future. It’s exciting but I so hate the idea that someone else might be out there gunning for our Jersey Boy!
Steve, Tani and Junior mobilizing to save Danny was incredible to watch. Steve was terrified… again! This is the second time in two weeks he’s come *this close* to losing Danny. Except, unlike last week when he, for the most part, had to sit around helplessly and wait for help, here he could actually do something to save Danny as he reaches back into his experiences on the battlefield and uses techniques he’s seen utilized by medics in the field. With Junior at his side, who has also seen his fair share of battlefield trauma and was an invaluable assistant to Steve throughout, they’re able to stabilize Danny but not by much.
A cardiothoracic surgeon arrives a short time later and, communicating through the rooms speaker system, helps talk Dr. Andy… sorry… Steve through a delicate procedure to help relieve the pressure in Danny’s chest which is constricting his heart. This is one of those episodes where, even though you already know that everything is going to be alright, you still finding yourself holding your breath through entire scenes.
I also really liked how level headed and resourcefulness Tani was. Unlike last week, there was no minor freak out here. She had no time for that. With Steve’s very commanding “figure it out, figure it out. GO figure it out!!!” ringing in her ears she did the first thing she could think of. Throwing a chair at the unbreakable glass wall was exactly something I could see Steve do in that situation. Initially resort to brute force but then figure out a more logical solution. Flooding the bathroom as genius!
The writing of Zoe Robyn and the direction of Peter Weller were stellar in this episode. The dialog was dead on perfect. One of my favorite moments was when Lou confronts the guy from the bomb squad. He tells Lou he doesn’t understand how risky it is to try to talk anyone through defusing the bomb. Lou totally loses his shit (because we already know what Lou is like when his friends are in danger).
“Let me tell you about risky. You see him? That’s Steve McGarrett. You leave Steve McGarrett in a room without a plan, and you know what he’s gonna do then? He’s gonna come up with one of his own. And it ain’t gonna be risky. It’s only gonna be the most certifiably insane thing you or I could ever think of. So, for God’s sake, tell me there’s another option.” No truer words were ever spoken!
Unfortunately, the best solution the bomb squad can come up with its setting off another blast to bring down a wall. When the opening caused by the blast is only a small hole, Lou takes matters into his own hands. Taking a sledge hammer to the wall to bring it down the rest of the way. Luckily, Lou has experience with demolishing walls after his little excursion to Clay Maxwell’s house in Chicago! 😉
Peter Weller has turned into one of my favorite directors. I just love how he puts together a scene. The camera zooming in on Danny’s chest as Steve “operates”, the close-ups on the faces of the characters, especially Steve’s, to show the raw emotions. And I particularly loved how he handled Danny’s ……
Hallucinations: I often wonder what the average H50 viewer thinks when an episode first begins. We, of course, have seen press releases, behind the scenes and promo photos, sneak peaks. But, they are going into the “cold opening” completely cold. They have no way of knowing, in those first few minutes, that the hustling and bustling restaurant isn’t really happening. But I wonder if they were able to notice the subtle touch of Peter Weller throughout.
Steve and Danny’s Restaurant: Steve is working the room. Schmoozing the customers and expertly maneuvering the staff. (Personal note: Alex/Steve speaking Italian is positively orgasmic). Danny, meanwhile, is expertly working the kitchen, including a new creation from their master chef (“polenta crostini, a little porcini” which looks absolutely incredible). Danny feeding Steve the polenta so he can taste the new recipe and Steve’s perfect “Serve ‘em Danno” did all kinds of funny things to my heart, but then, a lot of things in this episode did that.
Peter Weller’s masterful touch in this scene was incredibly subtle. The edges of the scene, as if your peripheral vision was slightly out of whack, were slightly blurred. As the scene progressed, the blurriness became more noticeable, as the edges of clarity slowly moved inward. It was a wonderful way to show this is not real… this is imagination. It was extremely well done.
I liked how Zoe implemented Danny’s idea from the last episode for a waiting room for people who are waiting to be seated at their table. You can see people milling about just beyond the front desk of the restaurant. I thought the addition of photographs of the Ohana on the walls was an extremely nice touch. It warmed my heart they included Aunt Deb! But I was just a little disappointed the name of the restaurant wasn’t spoken or even printed on the front of the menus. I guess, even in Danny’s comatose dreams, that’s still up in the air.
I know this is not a view of the actual future. It’s only a hallucination in Danny’s mind but I can’t help but hope that this is exactly how the restaurant endeavor will play out. Steve dancing around a happy room full of patrons, Danny commanding a kitchen that would make Grandma Williams proud. They both looked so happy.
But, of course, for now, this is not happening. I loved how the news report of the TV of the “veteran detective shot and killed inside King’s Medical Center” dovetails us back to what’s going on in quarantine and leap frogs us into our story of the week. The gun-shot wound bleeding out on Danny’s pristine white shirt as Steve says “that’s you, Buddy” was simply perfect.
Gracie’s wedding day: I can’t decide what I loved the most about this dream of Danny’s. Gracie getting married. She’s marrying Will Grover. Danny comforts her when she gets cold feet about whether she and Will have what it takes to make a marriage succeed and assuring her they have exactly what it takes. After all the years that have passed, he is still her Danno and she, still his Monkey. Danny and Lou talking about wedding costs and how they each raised such fine kids. The wedding is taking place at Casa McG. Oh snap… there goes another one of those funny things in my heart. Nope, can’t decide what I loved most because I loved every moment of it.
HPD’s latest graduate: I don’t know who was responsible for the casting of grown up Grace and grown up Charlie, but they sure as hell hit a home run. Both were perfect, but grown up Charlie was so realistic it would be easy to pass him off as Scott’s son.
It was another perfect scene. Charlie sitting on stage with the rest of his graduation class while Duke gives the commencement speech. Who better than Duke? I absolutely loved his speech. It was absolutely perfect.
Danny, Steve, Kamekona, Flippa, Junior and Tani are all there to support Charlie on his big day. It’s a toss up as to who’s prouder, Danny or Steve. The father or the role model. Personally, I think, at this point, those terms may be totally interchangeable in how Charlie views Steve and Danny.
Steve and Danny are retired and “Captain” Tani is now head of Five-0 and married to Junior. I love how Danny’s mind totally ships ReiRey! And as cute as they are as flirty Five-0 rookies they are striking as a married couple. And Danny’s mind has dreams that Charlie will not only follow in his footsteps and be a cop, but he will be Five-0. My selfish heart wants this show to last long enough to see this dream become a reality too.
Kodam baby: My personal feelings about departures aside, I like how they are keeping Kono’s name in the episodes. Of course, with Adam there all the time now, it would be silly to pretend like the woman doesn’t exist. It’s very sweet how Danny views Adam as a friend and, since he’s always loved Kono like a sister, it’s nice that his hallucinating mind pictures them together, happy and new parents. The scene reminded me just a bit of the one after Charlie was born, of Steve and Danny gazing at the newborn in the nursery. And just like Danny was able to assure Grace she will be a wonderful wife, he does the same here for Adam. He’s a great uncle to Charlie… he will be an awesome father to his own little girl. I do wonder if there is any chance we’ll ever see Kono again and if this dream could come true. Even if it’s not in Hawaii.
Grumpy old men: This might just be my favorite scene in the entire episode and it seems perfectly appropriate that in Danny’s dying moment (his heart had just stopped beating) his thoughts would go to the most important person in his life. And there they are, Steve and Danny side by side, far in the future, in their golden years. They’re still sitting in their favorite chairs on Steve’s beach and they’re still good naturedly sniping at each other.
The makeup department really outdid themselves on this scene. Alex and Scott look incredible. I keep thinking how funny it would have been if they wore that makeup home to give Malia and Kacy a taste of what’s in their future! LOL And the way they modulated their voices to make them sound older was awesome. If someone just walked into the room, not knowing the show, and saw these two on the screen, they’d be hard pressed not to believe they weren’t actually old men.
My favorite part was when Danny tells Steve that his granddaughter Clara, who’s going to be the third generation of Williamses to go to the Police Academy, asked him about his life. If there was anything he’d change about it. He told her no, he’d wouldn’t change a thing. Of course, being typical Danny, he couldn’t resist a rib at Steve by saying “I would have changed my partner”. As always, Steve knows he doesn’t mean it, but I had to laugh, that all those years later, Steve tells Danny to “blow it out your ass!”
OMG… These two….in Danny’s mind… All is right in the world. They’re going to grow old together. They’re going to see the kids grow up and be successful. They’re going to retire and run their successful restaurant together. Five-0 will continue and thrive. Of course, these are all allusions in Danny’s dying mind, but it sure feels great to think it could all really happen this way.
The hospital waiting room: Once again, the entire Ohana has gathered outside an operating room worried about a member of their family. It was a nice touch to have Kamekona tease Steve about his new buzz cut. A bit of humor to alleviate the heavy tension while Danny is in surgery. It was a needed diversion because it was Eric who finally caused me to shed a few tears.
The tremble in his voice and the tears in his eyes as he’s speaking to his mother, Danny’s sister Stella, was heartbreaking. As was his conversation with Adam about what it was like for the family when Danny moved away and how it was Danny who set him straight and how much Danny means to him. It was a very heartwarming conversation and it definitely brought a tear to the eye. I was also very touched by the supportive hug Steve gave to a weepy Eric when he entered the waiting area. If I hadn’t been teary by then, that would have done it right there.
Of course, Danny pulls through and everyone gathers around his bed for an Ohana visit. There is good natured banter about whether Steve washed his hands before the “finger thoracostomy”. Steve: “You’re such a baby. You gonna be a baby about this? Let me tell you something. The fact is, if I didn’t put my finger inside of you, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now.” Eric: “Wow… thanks for that image!”. ROFLMAO…. Ohhhhhhh the McDanno slash lover in me loved that exchange soooooo much!
The episode ends with that raid at the motel room of “Joshua Hollister”, the man who shot Danny and the discovery of that photo with the cryptic “He deserved to die” scrawled across the top. I wonder when we’re going to find out who this guy was and why he tried to kill Danny. Just like 8.09 dovetailed into 8.10, it seems this story is also not any where near over. Something to definitely look forward to in 2018!
Let’s talk about Steve: As always Alex was phenomenal in this episode. In all the of Danny’s dreams, Steve was perfection. The bustling restaurant owner, Charlie’s proud “favorite uncle”, as old Steve, still loving Danny, still there, just like always, until death do they part.
But it was Steve, and the way Alex played him in quarantine that was the most incredible. Like I said before, Steve was terrified… again… at the prospect of losing Danny. This time he, literally, had the “hands-on” opportunity to do everything in his power to save him.
It was very touching yet totally unsurprising how Steve refused to leave Danny’s side for one second. He sent Tani off to figure out a way to contact the outside and try to get them out. Usually it’s Steve who’s coming up with, as Lou said, the “most certifiably insane” way to get out of a particular situation but not this time. There was no way in hell he was stepping a millimeter away from Danny.
Alex, as always, was superb. Watching Steve’s emotions play out was fascinating. He was stunned when the shot rang out and he saw Danny go down and totally thrown when the shooter then killed himself. He went frantic as they all struggled to cut their ties and mobilized to help Danny. His voice shook. His eyes were glassy with tears he refused to shed, lest them impede his ability to help Danny. He was steadfast and courageous as he performed emergency surgery.
But the worst (or best from an acting perspective) was when Danny was finally being wheeled out of isolation and headed toward surgery and Steve was forced to stay behind. The look on Steve’s face was pure torture. It went against every instinct in Steve not to stay glued to Danny’s side. Alex played it beautifully.
And finally, the look of determination on his face when he picked up that photo of Danny in Hollister’s motel room. This is not over. The fear for Danny is palatable as is the determination that no one will hurt Danny again.
Finally let’s talk about Danny: I just want to say something about the Danny that Danny envisions in his future. This Danny is a happy man. His daughter has grown up to be a beautiful, intelligent young woman and she’s marrying a good, decent, wonderful young man. The son of one of his long time best friends. His son has also grown into a wonderful young man, a man who has chosen to follow in his father’s footsteps. Danny, always the loving and proud father, envisions nothing but happiness for his children.
And, like Steve’s alternate reality in Episode #100, in Danny’s mind he is a happy man because everyone around him is in a happy place. This is Danny’s true everyday reality. Behind all the bluster and beneath all the snarky comments, this man loves these people, all of these people, with his full heart. When he’s at his most vulnerable, when he can’t control where his mind goes, when his mouth doesn’t get in the way 😉 this is how he truly feels about each and every one of them. His uninhibited mind tells the true story of his heart.
As for Steve, well, that’s always been a given. Even as old men, these two still can’t sit on a beach without the bickering that makes them who they are. Danny’s mind doesn’t change them into what they have never been. Decades in the future they will still be Steve and Danny, bickering like “an old married couple” and loving each other just like always. In Danny’s mind, they are already perfect. Oh yeah… there goes my heart again.
Well, that’s it for this episode review. Now off to work on the next one! Thanks for reading my friends.
Aloha. Malama pono.
All screen caps are mine unless otherwise noted.