#H50 Review: 8.15 He Puko’a Kani ‘aina (A Coral Reef Strengthens Out Into Land)

Courtesy of @SurfBelle2

Hey everyone!  I hope everyone had a great couple of weeks.  I’m sure, like me, you were anxiously awaiting the return of our favorite show after a one-week break.  As always, I enjoyed the episode, but I have to admit, this one didn’t really excite me the way most episodes do.

Let’s start with the cold opening.  You guys all know how much I love these, but this one left me kind of underwhelmed.  I will say, it was pretty cool watching those kids cliff diving even if the mother in me sat there apprehensively holding my breath.  It’s one of those things that looks like a hell of a lot of fun that I never want to see my kid actually doing! 😊 Finding the dead body anchored under the water was sufficiently gruesome but the entire opening only lasted 35 seconds.  I suppose it really didn’t need to be longer than that, but it just felt a bit too rushed for me.

There were three stories going on in this episode.  Of course, you know I am not a fan of multiple story episodes.  If I have to, I can deal with two stories, most of the time, but three definitely isn’t my cup of tea at all.  There’s just not enough time in 42 minutes to do justice to them all.  I always feel like one of the stories is shortchanged and should have had more focus.  But, this episode was written by two of my favorite writers, David Wolkove and Matt Wheeler so, even if it’s not a favorite, there was still enough in there to like to make the episode worthwhile.

Uncle Vito:  I don’t remember if it was ever stated in show canon, (I don’t think it was) but I’ve always, from the very beginning, believed that Danny came from a family that was half Italian.  References to his mom’s lasagna, and all the hot-headed arm waving and talking with his hands always felt very familiar to me, being Italian myself.  Growing up in Philadelphia and spending half my time with my South Philly relatives and summers at the Jersey shore, I’ve always felt that I understood Danny.  He is 100% familiar to me.

Now I can say the exact same thing about Uncle Vito.  I could not stop laughing during that opening scene on the beach and at the restaurant because Vito reminded me so much of my Uncle Tony.  Uncle Tony couldn’t get through a single sentence without a barb or a jab or a joke.  I can remember friends of mine who were scared to death of him because they could never tell if he was serious or not.  Me and all my cousins would just be rolling on the floor in fits of laughter because our friends just didn’t know how to take the guy.  Poor Steve!  The look on his face was so reminiscent of the look all our friends used to wear back in the day, I really had to feel for the guy!  Jersey (and South Philly) humor is an acquired taste! 😊😊

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Tell me you didn’t wonder if Vito was serious about burning down the restaurant?  Steve’s sure he’s serious; Danny’s sure he’s just messing with them.  Hard to tell, right?

What wasn’t hard to tell was that handing over five thousand dollars in cash probably wasn’t the brightest idea.  Danny trusts Vito but Steve’s “bad idea synapse, firing…firing…firing” was right on point.

I honestly could have done without the naked bondage nonsense, but it was pretty obvious that girl was not interested in Vito for his winning personality or heart stopping physique! 😊

 I did like the fact that Vito went to Kamekona for help.  I’m really enjoying the way the writers are utilizing Kamekona this season and working him into more and more episodes. He’s been a favorite of mine since the Pilot and he always adds just the right touch to every scene he’s in.

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I can just imagine what a sight it was…… Kamekona and Vito entering store after store as they return all the stuff she bought with Steve and Danny’s money!  That could have been an entire hilarious episode all on its own but I’m glad they didn’t use up any episode time to actually show us.

The synopses for this episode lists Vincent Pastore not as a guest star but as recurring so it seems like we’ll be seeing Vito again.  Once he was able to get back all the money (with the exception of the “8 bills” spent on Adonis) Vito came through for the guys.  He got them everything they needed on the list.  Hopefully, this is the Vito we’ll get from now on. Someone who really can help Steve and Danny get the restaurant up and running, and not the jamoke he was at the start of this episode.

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I really like the restaurant story and I really want Danny’s “dream” to come true.  But it is painfully obvious that can’t happen any time soon.  Maybe Vito can talk Kamekona into helping out even more.  They made a good team.  We already know Kame knows exactly how to get a business off the ground and how to make it successful.  And I’d love to see Kame and Vito working together again.  It would be hysterical.

Adam and Jessie:  When we met Jessie in the last episode, I said I wasn’t too sure how I felt about this story line.  I said I was a bit concerned that this story line would pretty much insure that we’re always going to have split episodes, since this “task force” is separate from the main one.  And so it was here.  This was the second of three story lines in this episode.

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And I’m still not completely sure about it.  I mean, something just doesn’t sit right with me.  Do not get me wrong.  I love Adam and I’m thrilled TPTB decided to expand his character and make Ian a series regular.  But I thought this “sub” task force was under the auspices of Five-0 and I didn’t think the entire organized crime task force would be just Adam and Jesse.

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If this task force is under Five-0, how are they able to do anything without keeping Steve in the loop on their activities even for something as mundane as approval for all tech support and fancy equipment they seem to have on hand?

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It’s pretty certain they are working as their own separate entity.  They had no backup when Adam sent Jesse into the lion’s den with Hideki and it almost cost Jesse dearly!

Last episode I said I wasn’t sure if we could trust Jesse just yet.  I’m still not sure.  Who was that masked intruder who stunned Adam and left him tied and chained in a rusted old container in the middle of the jungle somewhere?  Did Jesse rat him out? Is it someone from Adam’s past? A mini cliff hanger to take us through the long month between this episode and the next one on March 2nd.

So yeah, I’m not completely sure about this story line just yet but I’m willing to stay the course to find out if there really is some bigger fish pulling Hideki’s strings and to see if Jesse really can be trusted.  There is also that mysterious secret Michelle Shioma knew about Adam.  I’m still looking forward to finding out what that is.  The fact that I get to see Ian on my screen more and more is a wonderful added bonus!

COTW:  I suppose this case had the potential to be really great, but it was bogged down with the amount of time taken up with Vito and, even more so, with Adam and Jessie.  I’m not going to go into all the details of the case.  I’m only going to say it really didn’t do too much for me.  There was way too much exposition around the magic table for my liking.  I know exposition is important but there just seemed to be too much of it in this episode.

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However, I’m going to look at it from a different angle.  Not every case involves car chases, gun fights and explosions.  Many real-life crime cases are solved by good old fashioned detective work, interviewing potential witnesses, pouring over files, connecting dots and tying together what looks like random, seemingly unrelated tidbits into a solid case.  That’s what happened here.

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There were so many random pieces in this one and the entire team had a hand in piecing them all together to solve a case that started off with a dead private investigator and ended with a sham-guru using hallucinogens to bilk vulnerable people out of their money.  All leading to the eventual take down of the jungle based operation and the arrest of the man who killed not only the private investigator but the missing man as well.

Was it exciting?  Was it edge of your seat riveting? Nah. But maybe, just maybe, it gives a little insight that not all police work is exciting. That some police work is more pavement pounding then heart pounding.  So, yeah, this wasn’t the most exciting COTW but it did show a team of great detectives doing what they do best.  It may not have been sexy but it was something a lot of people spend a lot of time complaining this show is not.  It was real.   I’m sure we’ll get back to the over the top action in no time.

That’s it for this week friends.  It’s going to be a long month until our next new episode.  I’m going to be a bit selfish here and say I’m actually thrilled there isn’t a new episode until March.  You see I’m going to be away for a couple of weeks visiting my darling daughter in Australia and I was heartbroken to think I was going to miss episodes and terrified of the amount of work I’d have to do when I got back to catch up with the blog.  So while I feel really bad for everyone who must wait an entire month, I’m relieved for me.  Like I said…. selfish but so be it! 😊😊

Aloha.  Malama pono

All screen caps are mine unless otherwise noted.

One last one…… just for fun!  Thanks Belle!

Courtesy of @SurfBelle2a

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13 thoughts on “#H50 Review: 8.15 He Puko’a Kani ‘aina (A Coral Reef Strengthens Out Into Land)

  1. Wendy says:

    Definitely not a favourite episode, Linda. While I love Adam that part just seemed forced to me. Could have done without it. The COTW was weak when it could have been so much more. And how come Danny wasn’t on the compound raid? He seemed to disappear a few time during the episode. Did love the Steve/Danny/Vito moments though, made the episode worth watching. Long wait until March 2nd, but I do hope that you enjoy your visit with your daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. rhondagemini says:

    Great review, Linda! As usual,you nailed everything! I do agree with you about Adam not keeping Steve in the loop about what he & Jessie were doing-that made no sense to me at all and now we have to wait a whole month to find out if Adam gets rescued-a very strange mini-cliffhanger,as you called it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. COTW was that weak. But Vito and Kameonka with McDanno more than made up for it. And really do not like it now that the show will not be new due to the Olympics. And having to wait. But then again, some things are worth waiting. So see ya on March 2nd!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jlopie1 says:

    Least enjoyed episode this season for me. Hey’ I’m just being honest. The only good thing for me was Danny/Steve/Uncle Vito/Kamekona.

    Sure, there were “moments.” Unfortunately, less moments than usual.

    COTW was rather snooze-worthy, although it COULD have been good if they’d spent more than 1/3 of the episode on it!

    Adam? Oh, dear…I would prefer Adam as part of the regular team and not off on his own with just one chick fresh out of prison after a 6-year stint! He might have been “in the business” in his past, but I doubt he has all the surveillance techniques down, and he apparently has learned McG’s methods of “act first, ask questions later.”

    I absolutely do NOT trust Jessie. We’ll see what happens with this story in March, I guess!

    Probably the one thing I missed most in this episode is more Danny. The restaurant storyline was fine, but Danny didn’t work too hard on the main case this week, and that was definitely disappointing. Whatever…Take what I can when Danny is onscreen.

    So, Linda, we diverge again this week. Not too much — I did like parts of this ep, but less parts than you this time around. See you in March – please bring home some sun and warm temps? This darn winter is too long!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Susan Schoppe says:

    I totally agree with your review, nailed it. You always seem to say just what I’m thinking. I hope as well Kame & uncle Vito are in many more episodes together. I want to trust Jessy but I’m leaning towards not! Still hope for her to be ok. And as always really enjoyed the team together. Enjoy your trip and your daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Carole says:

    Have to say this one was so-so……….I do like how Steve seems to be delegating more instead of running on ahead. It does show a more mature approach (and of course it means a bit lighter workload for AOL) that said I too am not sure how I feel about Adam’s storyline at all. Shouldn’t he be reporting back and keeping Steve in the loop? Also, maybe it was scheduling, but Danny was missing some of the time……a lot of him on the phone to uncle V so maybe he was distracted……or maybe still recovering. Hopefully things will become clearer – soon. Have a wonderful trip – a couple of years since I was there, but absolutely love Aus!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kacee says:

    Once again, I agree with you. This ep had a hard time holding my attention. I’m just not that interested in the Adam/Jessie storyline & I really want to get to know Tani & Junior better. The Adam/Jessie storyline pulls away from the core of 5-0 & leaves me feeling a bit underwhelmed. It feels like they’re throwing all of these characters at us but not letting us have a deeper connection at the same time… it’s almost dizzying. Danny is there but he’s really kind of not & I’m missing a McGarrett storyline still. Steve & Danny are everything & I just miss them. I do enjoy the restaurant but I miss S & D working cases together & just the easy banter & affection. Hopefully for a shift to Steve, Danny, Lou, Tani & Junior soon! 🙏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dan Gibson says:

    I agree with every comment here … this episode was average at best. I’ve seen every episode in the 7-8 years at least twice — but this hour will break that pattern. Adam’s “sudden expertise” (and daring) is hard to believe … Danno’s Uncle I hope to see only here and there … I want to see much, much more on the development of Tani & Junior, and I definitely need more STEVE. For he is the guy who gives this Task Force its GO ! Hoping for a huge episode with 1 good central story, come early March ! Mahalo !

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ll go one step further — I thought this episode was a stinker. I’m done with the restaurant drama. Either open it or dump it. The writers use it to cause arguments between Steve and Danny and not much else.

    I very much dislike the Adam/Jessie storyline. It feels totally separate from 5-0 and just wrong.

    And shame on the two SEALs for marching into that jungle compound without scouting it out first, where they would have seen armed gunmen and devised a different plan. That was just stupid.

    I miss the episodes of old that left us with an emotional punch. I have been rewatching S4 this weekend — Aunt Deb telling Steve she has a brain tumor, the Pearl Harbor ep with the samurai sword and the poignant way Steve’s
    grandfather played into it, 4.11 when Danny and Grace find the locket that belonged to a tsunami victim, 4.21 when Catherine stays in Afghanistan and Steve’s heart is broken — every one of these episodes made me cry. I hope we’ll get some stories with depth and heart in the shows to come.

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  10. Well, sorry I am late with this but I was working all weekend. I watched the episode twice now and it was a little better the second time. I had to watch a second time because I had a hard time following it this week. Like you said, too many things going on. I was lost part of the time. I agree with what everyone has said here. And I did not understand why Danny was missing part of the time. I would like more Danny, I did not really get into the Adam and Jesse storyline either. But now maybe 50 will get involved more with Adam being kidnapped. Not one of my favorite episodes either. But I am really going to miss this show not being on a whole month,

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  11. Well, I’m late in posting due to busy family issues but wanted to throw in my .02. While I usually get carried away here I’ll TRY to keep it brief…mainly because everyone has said so many things that I agree with–right on point, y’all! I think they should stay away from triple story lines completely. We barely have enough time for two and I would totally prefer one most of the time anyway. The Adam/Jesse thing almost felt like a potential spin-off because it was so separate from everything else. If that’s their plan, then they better send them to another location because there is only ONE Hawaii Five-0. I felt my attention wandering during those scenes and that is not a good sign. Uncle Vito was great mainly b/c he’s Danny uncle and the interaction with him and the boys were so funny. I think I’m ready for the restaurant to open and be managed by Uncle V and Kamekona for a while, though. Don’t want it to turn into a money pit and now it feels like it’s pulling Steve and Danny away from everything else. S & D are NOT ready to retire (we’re not ready for them to do that either) and I can’t imagine them having dual careers at this point. Let the other guys get it going and run it a while first while it still belongs to S & D. And final point of agreement, I really hate when Danny is suddenly just “not there” in a connecting scene for absolutely no reason at all. It’s positively glaring. And having so many characters floating around yet again hurts the cohesiveness of the team and sometimes the integrity of the stories. I want some eps like we’ve had in the past as well…and I’m sure that, if the writers asked for our favorites, they’d see a lot of the same titles being mentioned more than one. I want more emphasis now on strengthening this team, all of them getting to know each other better…and that is done through more personal stories. So I’m ready for that!
    Have a great time in Australia, Linda!!!

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