Hi everyone! Still with me? I sure hope so because it’s time to get down to the review for the second episode of our December 15th Friday night double header. Ho ho ho!!! This review isn’t going to be as long as the previous one… lots going on around here this week before Christmas, but I couldn’t let this fun episode go by without a review!
Just as episode 8.09 dovetailed into 8.10 with the team in quarantine, 8.10 does the same with Danny. Having survived his gun shot wound, he is now at home recuperating. It’s Christmas Eve and Danny is settling Charlie down for bed with a Christmas bed time story.
While all the traditional Christmas bedtime stories are great, Danny decides to “mix it up” by telling Charlie a story no one else has ever heard before, a story about a Christmas miracle, using a case Five-0 has just concluded. So, this episode, much lighter fare than the previous one, is framed around Danny’s telling of this story.
I loved the premise of this episode. First off, it gave us another episode were Danny was pretty much in every scene. That’s three episodes in a row where Danny has been front and center. What an awesome Christmas present that has been. And considering that the ratings are some of the highest we’ve had in years, it seems a vast majority of the viewing public love seeing Danny too.
But it also gave us a full episode of Danny and Charlie! Daddy Danno time is always the best and I was really impressed with little Zach Sulzbach. He handled all the dialog extremely well. I sometimes have to remind myself just how young Zach is. He’s only seven years old, which means he’s still a year younger than Teilor Grubbs was in the Pilot. He’s really been improving with each episode he’s in and this one was his best yet.
COTW: If episode 8.10 knocked the breath out of you, then 8.11 was indeed a welcomed breath of fresh air. The crime of the week was basically a good old-fashioned caper. Cops and robbers. What little kid hasn’t played cops and robbers?
I liked how they used the animated story book pages morphing into the live action to introduce each scene. It was a cool way to remember, as the episode unfolded, that this was a story for Charlie.
I also really enjoyed the way Danny sanitized the story for him. The guy in the van gave Steve his gun because he wanted Steve to go after the bad guys, not because he was dead. The car the bad Santas were in simply ran out of gas, it didn’t crash because Steve shot the windows out. When Steve finally took down the last bad Santa, he didn’t kill him, Uncle Steve bored him into submission and the Santa simply fell asleep. I know there are going to be those who will criticize and say Danny is a terrible father for telling Charlie this story, but he didn’t really tell Charlie the real story, after all.
Danny using all of Charlie’s toys to tell the story was genius. I had to laugh when he used a toy donkey to represent Steve. Yeah, I know, a stuffed seal would have been more appropriate but that’s just not our Danny. The baby donkey as hysterical, especially after Charlie had already figured out that the crazy policeman in the story is his Uncle Steve.
It’s funny. It kind of reminds me of my Uncle Tony. When I was a kid, we all knew Uncle Tony was “crazy”. He rode his motorcycle like a lunatic. He was the one who would climb on the highest roof to retrieve our balls when we hit them above the houses. He once went down into the sewer when we lost our very last ball to get it for us. He was always doing the craziest things and my parents, aunts and uncles would just shake their heads and remind us, whenever any of us said we wanted to “have fun” like Uncle Tony, that he was “crazy” and we should never do anything he did. We all loved him like nobody’s business. He was kind, gentle and just so much fun. Like Charlie, if someone told me a story about the “crazy man” I would have known instantly they were talking about my Uncle Tony. He was awesome.
Vets to the rescue: Rob Hanning wrote a really fun story. Like I said before, a good old-fashioned caper. An armored truck robbery at Christmas time and the bad guys get away by dressing up like Santa and blending into the Christmas parade. Genius really, except they didn’t count on Steve being on the scene. (Note: I was disappointed that Mary and Joanie were in Oahu but we never got to see them)
The best part of the story was the arrival of the “good guys”. Junior is accompanying a group of veterans to a local shelter where they’re all volunteering some of their time for the Christmas season. When Junior finds out that Steve, Tani and Lou are at the local mall in pursuit of the thieves who blew up the armored truck, he and the vets head over to lend a hand.
As we all know by now, these vets are played by real life veterans. Every single one of them did a great job. Thanks to Rob Hanning on Twitter… here are the names of them all. Jason Redman (Frank), Kathryn Taylor Smith (Josie), Stephen Jackel (Henry), J. Eddie Martinez (Kekoa) and Zachary Perez-Rukavina (Reggie). Each had their own special gifts to bring to the case and they all did a fantastic job.
Charlie: This kid was perfect through the entire episode. He was awed in the right spots, scared in the right spots and he’s a damn smart kid to boot. It was really cute, he always seemed to ask just the right questions in just the right moment to advance the story or even ask what the audience was wondering about. Not to mention that he is absolutely adorable. I loved every scene with him and Danny. You can see how much Scott likes Zach. There’s a warmth in the way he interacts with him that’s more than just a seasoned actor working with a young kid. They are awesome together.
Adam: It’s a little unexpected but I like the friendship that seems to have formed between Danny and Adam. It first showed in Danny’s hallucination of being with Adam at the nursery after the birth of Kono and Adam’s baby. Here Uncle Adam is at Danny house making sure the chimney is in tip-top shape for the arrival of Santa. Ok, sure, we’ve never… ever… heard that Adam knows anything about chimneys but, whatever. It’s was sweet that he went over to take care of it so that Danny didn’t try to do it himself when he’s supposed to be resting.
I do hope we’re getting close to the point in the season where the writers are going to give Adam something permanent to do. I mean, I have loved how they’ve worked him into stories so far but it’s about time for him to have a true purpose. This week, he just “happens” to be at the mall when the bad Santas showed up and was pulled into the case. “Just a guy who’s in the habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time” is getting a little old.
The Fun of Christmas:
How adorable is it that the mantle at Danny’s house is hung with stockings of all the important people in the house. Danno, Charlie, Grace and…….Uncle Steve! Are we supposed to analyze what that means?? I know what I wish it would mean. 😊
The best duet ever! Jerry singing a duet with Cortina! Product placements are in no way anything new but this one was a hell of a lot of fun. I love it whenever we get to hear Jerry sing and this one was unique and so cool. Especially when Lou tried to tell Jerry that he was singing the “girl” part in the song. Lou: “The whole damn thing is ass backwards. Then it’s like she’s trying to seduce you instead of the other way around.” Jerry: “Feels good to be desired sometimes.” Lou: “By a machine?!” 😊😊
Of course, one of the things we all love the most about H50 are the Ohana moments when the entire team gets together for after case relaxation and fun. A Christmas party at Steve’s house is simply perfect. Everyone is there. Steve, Danny, Lou, Tani, Junior, Jerry, Kamekona, Flippa, Noelani, Duke, Adam, Dog, Eddie and, the best of all, Steve invited all the Vets who helped out on the case. It was the perfect way to celebrate the holiday, to celebrate the resolution of the case, and to honor the Vets for not only their help with the case but their service and sacrifice to their country.
The culmination of the party is when Steve presents Junior with his Five-0 badge. Junior was floored, since he hasn’t yet completed the H50 Academy course Steve said was mandatory for him to join Five-0. But Steve is right. Junior has shown over and over again in the last few months just how worthy he is to be a member of Five-0. I’m assuming Junior will finally complete the Academy course, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t actually see it. No matter. It’s time for Junior to join the team and I’m thrilled we’ll start 2018 with our full team set and read to go.
A Christmas Sleepover? As Danny wraps up the Christmas story, Charlie has finally lost that battle against sleep. Danny lovingly looks down on his sleeping son, turns out the light and heads out to the living room. Danny said he eats the cookies left for Santa and leaves the crumbs behind to make to look like Santa enjoyed the snack. But when he gets to the cookie dish, all the cookies are gone.
Enter Steve from the kitchen. Sleep pants and stocking feet, cold glass of milk and Santa’s cookies in hand. Like the “Uncle Steve” stocking on the mantle, are we supposed to analyze the meaning of this too? Steve shows up at Danny’s house, after bed time, on Christmas Eve because he was in desperate need of cookies and milk. OMG… these two. Do not tell me that Steve didn’t spend the night so he could be there in the morning when Charlie woke up.
You guys know me. I’m a McDanno shipper to my soul. But I’ve never expected it in the show. That’s what I have Fan Fiction for. But these last three episodes have brought joy to this McDanno heart. I know it’s all a tease, but I’ll take it. It’s just so much fun!
Well, that’s it. I know this is not as in depth as usual, but I hope you all will enjoy it anyway.
And, that’s it for 2017. So far, this first half of Season 8 has been fantastic. Better than I ever expected it to be. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us in 2018.
Have a Merry Christmas, my friends and the very best of New Years. I hope you do everything you love with all the people you love. See you next year!
Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau’oli Makahiki Hou
Aloha. Malama Pono
All screen caps are mine unless otherwise noted.