Welcome back friends! Well, we finally made it. After our latest forced hiatus for March Madness, we finally got a new H50 episode and what a fantastic one it was. Those of us who have been in the fandom for years, have for most of those years, been hoping that Alex would one day get the chance to direct an episode. Many of us also hope that Scott too, will get the chance to shine behind the camera or, more likely for him, with his pen. Both men are so damn talented. Maybe someday they’ll convince Scott to write but for right now…. this episode was all Alex’s and damn, he did a fantastic job of it.
A Tale of Two Episodes: This episode was exactly the type that I don’t care for because it not only had three story lines going on, but they were three entirely separate stories, each one having absolutely nothing to do with the others and with the team completely separated from each other. Absolutely not my favorite kind of episode.
But, that is why this is a tale of two episodes because while I don’t like the “three-story” format, I loved the episode because of what Alex, in his directorial debut, did with those three stories. I was amazed, for a first-time director, how well Alex weaved the audience’s attention through all three stories without making it feel jumpy or disjointed. It never seemed that any story was being shortchanged, in my view. Each one was fully fleshed out and every actor was given ample opportunity to shine.
I also really enjoyed the different camera angles Alex chose to use. It was a H50 episode but at times, it didn’t look like one. Attempting to make Honolulu look like Newark is no easy feat but Alex handled it beautifully. His idea to wet everything down and have his actors in jackets and boots and blowing on their hands as if it were a chilly autumn was perfect.
The camera angle he chose when Ray is pinned to the hood of the police cruiser after his beat down of Danny in 1999 is almost identical to the one from quarantine in 2018, with Danny looking over his shoulder at a prone Ray. It was brilliant.
But what impressed me the most was the amount of time Steve appeared in this episode. I keep thinking back to the last time one of the actors directed, S5E17 “Kū kaʻawale” (“Stakeout”), and the amount of time Chin was in the episode. He did appear in several scenes; however, they were all in HQ, either giving exposition at the Magic Table, or in interrogation, or at the very end of the episode when everyone gathered at Kamakona’s. Also, other than a rather over the top “Robocop” sequence (which Chin was not a part of), there was very little action in the “apartment-based stake out” episode.
Contrast with this episode where, because Junior, Tani and Danny were occupied elsewhere, only Steve and Lou were available to work the “crime of the week”. Steve was pretty much everywhere, in the episode almost as much as any episode Alex didn’t direct.
And, there was a major chase scene, both in the car and on foot and a shootout. Alex didn’t take the easy way out one bit. He was handed a three-story episode, with tons of action, laughs, pathos, flashbacks, story canon and an amount of his own acting participation to make anyone’s head spin and handled it all beautifully. I can’t imagine how exhausted he must have been once it was all in the can.
Crime of the Week: I have two positive things to say about this story. The first, Ian has been fantastic. There is an old saying that a good actor can always elevate the material and that’s been the case with this story. Even though it’s had some interesting aspects, I’ve still been pretty much bored with it almost from the beginning. But Ian has rocked every scene and has been the only thing that’s made this story worthwhile.
The second positive thing is that now that Hedeki is dead, no matter who’s responsible, I’m hoping it means this story is coming to a close very soon. I am intrigued to meet Adam’s half-sister, not that her existence is much of a surprise. Most of us guessed that was going to happen ages ago when Michelle Shioma dangled her big secret in front of Adam’s nose.
Back when we first met Michelle Shioma, I was excited that it looked like our new “big bad” was going to be a woman. But Michelle never reached that height. But another Noshimuri? One who obviously seems to have a personal vendetta against her half-brother. Who, with Hiro and Michael both dead, sees Adam as the only obstacle left to remove so she can be the head of the Yakuza family? Now that could prove to be very interesting. Not to mention give Adam something better to do in (hopefully) Season 9 than running his own, dysfunctional task force.
Tani and Junior: I’m trying to figure out if there is any way I could love these two more. They are so perfect together and make such great partners, even if they are both rookies. I also have to admit this story was my favorite of the three in this episode.
It’s been a bit of a bone of contention that Junior, a Navy SEAL, was made to attend the Police Academy before Steve would consider him for Five-0, while Tani, who not only never graduated but was actually kicked out was given her badge outright. I love how Junior never forgets that and how, when Steve gave him the assignment, Junior insisted Tani go along too. It’s logical that in order to graduate, a recruit would be required to spend some time walking a beat and it also makes sense that Tani should do it too.
It was fun watching them bond over Spam musubis (apologies to my 808 Ohana… I tried… I really did… but no…. I just can’t!) while making a kid paint over graffiti, bicker in the car in true Steve and Danny fashion and try to deal with a domestic dispute which was anything but.
And watching poor Junior bested by a little old grand-ma and her can of mace was priceless as was Tani’s promise that she’d make sure everyone, starting with McGarrett, would find out about it. 😊 😊
I suppose writers David Wolkove and Matt Wheeler felt the episode needed a bit of levity to counter the tension of Adam’s story and the pathos of Danny’s and as much fun as following these two “beat cops” around was, the story also had some truly touching moments. It was very touching listening to Tani tell Junior how she became a cop because she wanted to set a good example for Koa because they had both been making bad choices and getting into trouble after their father died. It made me feel so bad for her, considering the way things are with Koa these days.
Tani and Junior will forever be better cops because of this day! It is a humanizing experience dealing with citizens on a one to one basis. Something you don’t experience chasing terrorists and deadly viruses!
The encounter with little Kawika is a case in point. Wondering around alone without any supervision, he catches their eye. Kawika’s mother is dead and his dad “sometimes gets sick and falls asleep”.
Realizing what could possibly be going on, they head to Kawika’s house where Junior finds the boy’s father passed out on the kitchen floor after shooting up. Junior realizes this is a man consumed with grief over the loss of his wife, not a hardened criminal.
While Tani takes Kawika to his auntie’s house, Junior takes the father into custody. But, he lets the man walk to the car without cuffs, allowing the man to say good bye to his son without the trauma of having him see his father in cuffs.
Hearing Junior tell Tani that he remembers what it was like to be a little kid and see his dad taken away in handcuffs was truly enlightening. A small glimpse into Junior’s past we’ve all been hoping to get more of. It made the way he helped the father all the more poignant. Junior didn’t want that child to see what Junior saw far too many times.
And, of course, Danny: I know there are a lot of fans out there who are disappointed in the way the “who shot Danny” mystery was shown. I’m not going to be one of them. Sure, I would have loved some grand scheme, with all kinds of subplots and twists but this story suited me just fine. And more important than that, in my opinion, it suited Danny.
I know I’m going to probably catch heat for this and I may be the only person who feels this way but, reading posts on Twitter Friday night and early Saturday morning, many of them really bothered me. Yes, I will agree that Danny getting involved with Brooke was not a very professional thing to do. However, I don’t see it as the character assignation some on Twitter make it out to be. Let’s look at how this all went down.
It is 1999, which means Danny is 22 years old, but even as a rookie cop, it shows he’s already a good one. He immediately recognized what was going on in Ray and Brooke’s household. And like the compassionate person he is, he immediately had the ability to make Brooke trust him. Trust him enough that, eventually, she uses the identification card he gave her to call him for help.
No indication was given as to how long it took before Brooke made that call, so we have no idea how long the abuse continued. Once she calls him, Danny goes out of his way to help her. Gets her away from Ray and into a safe place to live.
I did not get the impression that this was an “assignment”, but something Danny was doing because he wanted to help her. I don’t get the accusation that Danny “took advantage of a woman he was assigned to protect”. He took care of her because he wanted to not because he was assigned to do it. Again, there is no indication as to how long they knew each other before Ray found out Brooke was “seeing someone”. It was probably weeks, if not months.
Once again, I will agree it really wasn’t the best idea for Danny to become involved with Brooke but, come on. He was 22 years old. Are we proud of all the things we did when we were 22 years old? Some may view their affair as Danny taking advantage of a vulnerable woman. It could be viewed that by some. But personally, I prefer to look at it more equitably. As something they were equal partners in.
Brooke was a woman who had been put through hell by a man who claimed to love her, who probably promised to always protect her, but turned out to be a monster who blamed her for every bad thing that was happening to her, for every slap and every punch and told she was worthless and deserved to have the crap beat out of her.
Physical abuse is easy to see. Emotional abuse is so much harder. Being battered into submission, a person’s psyche may begin to believe they truly do deserve the things that are happening to them, that it really is their fault. Maybe Brooke needed someone to show her that she was deserving of love. That she was needed. Perhaps she needed to feel cared for. Perhaps she just needed someone to be there for her for a change. And she was the one who invited Danny into her hotel room. He didn’t break the door down or manipulate her in any way what-so-ever.
What he did do was get her out of that house. He found her a motel to stay in where she was hidden, making sure she’s not just eating out of the vending machine and had the basic necessities she’d need. He went out of his way to get her into an anonymous shelter where she was guaranteed to be safe . He’s warm, caring, supportive, funny. All the things Ray was not. Is it so hard to see why she’d fall for him? Is it so hard to see why he’d want to be for her everything she needed? Should it have happened? Of course not. But we are all just human beings, after all.
And, let’s talk about that beat down Danny took from Ray. If anyone doubts that Danny is one of the most self-sacrificing people around, that beat down should put that notion to rest. He had his gun but chose to keep it in the car as he goaded Ray into a fight Danny had no intention of defending himself in. Danny knew that trying to put Ray away for abuse might not work but beating up an off duty, unarmed cop in front of other cops was a sure-fire way to get Ray away from Brooke for a very long time. Twenty years, it turned out. Add to that, the fact that Danny never told Brooke what he did, shows he didn’t do it to get the upper hand with her. He did it purely for her benefit.
Danny really is one hell of a good man and I’m a bit perplexed as to why people who claim to love him above all chose to see him as some kind of a shirt chasing jerk because he was kind, supportive and gentle to someone who was hurting. And, yes, that is only my personal opinion.
Some more personal observations:
- I saw some people question how Danny could not have possibly recognized Ray when he burst into quarantine. I’m sorry, but do you remember every person you have ever known from twenty years ago? Ray looked very different in 2018 than he did in 1999. How many times do you think Danny set eyes on Ray? The night they were called to the house. The night of the beat down. Maybe in court. That’s probably it. Over the course of twenty years and God only knows how many cases in Jersey and Hawaii, it’s not hard for me to believe he didn’t remember a man he saw maybe three times twenty years ago.
- People were also wondering about why Ray was still in the morgue months after he died and why they needed Brooke to identify him. They didn’t need Brooke to identify him. They figured out who he was, probably because of his record, ages ago. The fact that Brooke was there proves that. What? People think she just happened to go to Hawaii to reminisce with Danny out of the blue? Of course not. Once they confirmed Ray’s identity, Brooke was called to Hawaii to identify and claim the body. The reason he was still in the morgue is because they only release the body to the next of kin, and in this case, it was Brooke. Maybe it just took her this long to get there.
- It was fun to see Danny and Rachel’s first meeting even if they didn’t portray it as it was written in Season 1 canon. Yes, Rachel rear-ended Danny’s car but in canon, it was his police cruiser not his personal car and he was in uniform. And he didn’t just get her phone number. He offered to give her driving lessons instead of writing a ticket. But even though it wasn’t exactly as it should have been, it was fun to see the moment that would play a pivotal role in the lives of so many people.
I will say that I hope that scene and the one later of Danny going over to Rachel’s house to pick up Charlie it’s not a precursor to them getting back together. I can understand that now that Danny has Charlie in his life, he’s willing to forgive Rachel for the horrible lie she told, but I don’t see how Danny can forget about it. They have managed to rediscover a friendship between them but that deceit, in my book, is just too great for him to ever truly trust her again.
Some lies are just too much to be brushed aside. They can be friends. They can be awesome co-parents to Grace and Charlie but that’s it. I really hope that’s it. The last thing either one of our guys needs is to have the writers make them look like fools for getting back together with the women who have hurt and deceived them for their own benefits for years.
- It was such fun to hear, a few hours before the Friday night telecast that Alex would be taking over the official @HawaiiFive0CBS Twitter account during the show. There was much speculation on Twitter Friday night that it really wasn’t Alex tweeting during the episode.
Well, of course, I have no more information than anyone else but personally, I don’t believe it would have been announced he was tweeting if there was no intention of him doing so. I think, again personally, that Alex did take over the official account, but I don’t think he was sitting there at the computer sending out every tweet. I honestly believe Alex was on the account, reading everything but he probably had someone with him doing the actual tweeting. I think that was the reason for the re-use of some of the quotes from recent interviews, but I think all the “likes”, re-tweets and “thank you” tweets were really Alex.
It could be he wanted to do it for his fans but, didn’t really feel like he wanted to fully engage in a “live tweet”. I can certainly understand that. I was worried he’d be bombarded with questions about his contract, or to talk about the return of Catherine, or something stupid like being bugged to take a picture of himself with his shirt off like he did five years ago. It’s also possible TPTB told him to keep it generic to curtail those types of things.
I have no problem with this. After all, filming only ended a couple of days ago, Alex is just starting his well-deserved and much needed hiatus. He’s probably exhausted. The fact that he was willing to do this for the fans when all he probably wanted to do was crash, sleep and play with his kids, is very sweet. If he maybe had someone on hand to do the actual tweeting or re-used a few quotes, who cares?
- Steve McGarrett playing the Portuguese guitar while Frank Bama sings along in his office. Jimmy Buffet singing while accompanied by Alex O’Loughlin on guitar! My week totally made!!!!!
- The one thing I really wish we could have had, even if I have no idea where Alex could have fit it in, was for Steve and Danny to have at least one scene together at the end of the episode where they could have discussed the closure of who shot Danny. Just a couple of minutes to show that both men got the closure on what was a very traumatic incident. Danny almost died but it was a horrendous experience for Steve as well. It would have been really great if they could have spoken about it, even if only for a couple of minutes. But like I said, I have no idea where they could have fit it in. Since Danny isn’t in the next episode, I’m sure it will probably never be brought up again. Such a shame.
Well, that’s it my friends. There was a lot more in this episode I chose not to touch on but please feel free to bring up anything you feel I missed in the comments section. Also, as I said, I know I’m in the minority with many of my opinions on this episode but please, feel free to express your own in the comments as well. Even if we don’t all agree, all are welcome to express their feelings as they chose. This is a no scolding zone! ♥♥♥
I hope everyone is having a wonderful Easter or Passover weekend! Have a great rest of the week and I’ll see you next weekend!
Aloha. Malama Pono
All screen caps are mine unless other wise noted
FINAL NOTE: Although we have seven episodes coming up in the next seven weeks, filming has ended for the cast and crew for Season 8. We haven’t gotten any word on a Season 9 pick up as of yet, but I’m confident we will be back for Season 9. I’m not even going to entertain any other alternative. Glass half full, remember?
I just want to thank the entire cast, crew, writers and production for another wonderful year. I have enjoyed pretty much every moment of it, with a few exceptions and I’m positive I’m going to enjoy the rest of this season as well (with at least one exception). Thanks to everyone who brings this great show to our screens every Friday night. Have a wonderful hiatus everyone and we’ll hopefully see you in July!