Welcome back my friends! So, for the second week in a row, we not only had an episode with three separate story lines, but we also were taken down memory lane once again. I always enjoy when we get flashback episodes, especially ones where we get to see Steve as a kid and get to know more about John McGarrett. This episode really highlighted the strong, good man John McGarrett was and how much Steve grew to be very much like him.
Leroy Davis: It wasn’t too hard to figure out, from the first scene of Leroy in the doctor’s office, that this man was about to get some very bad news. Of course, we find out later that Leroy, a former hit man for the Hawaiian syndicate, is suffering from a fatal brain disease which is going to kill him in less than six months.
Knowing that his time, not to mention his mental capacity, is limited and filled with regret over the crimes he committed, he decides to confess those crimes to the one man who came so close to catching him back in the day, John McGarrett. Of course, Leroy knows John is dead, so he does the next best thing. He seeks out Steve and confesses to the unsolved murder of HPD Detective Jake Ozuki as well as seventeen other people.
Over the years, we’ve learned so much about John McGarrett and the one constant has always been what a good man he was. It was no different in this episode and I just loved this story line. Remembering the single-minded focus John had for decades after Doris “died” and his attempt to unravel who “killed” her, it’s no surprise that a much younger John was no different. Once he zeroed in on Leroy as Detective Ozuki’s killer, he was relentless in his pursuit to put him away.
I loved all the flashbacks and the actors who played young John and Leroy (Ryan Bittle and Thomas Q. Jones, respectively) were fantastic. Ryan played John’s anger, determination and dogged resolve perfectly. Thomas, and Frankie Faison, as the elder Leroy, both showed not only the resignation but also the regret Leroy felt with the profession he chose.
I was a bit taken back that Steve went off with Leroy alone to find the bodies but, then again, it was pretty obvious this old, infirmed man wasn’t going to be a threat to his safety. At first, I thought it would have made more sense if Danny had gone along and I would have loved every minute of that. But then when I really think about it, it was better that he didn’t. The one-on-one between Steve and Leroy, the revelations he was sharing about not only the killings but his relationship with John as well, wouldn’t have been as powerful if someone else had been there as a kind of buffer.
And it was powerful. Alex, once again, was wonderful in portraying all kinds of emotions with just his eyes. He looked like he’d been struck when Leroy said “at least one of you got your man” after Steve told Leroy he’d caught the man who killed John.
And I still can’t figure out what that look was when Leroy told Steve he was responsible for saving John’s life. Was it surprise? Was it relief? Was it disbelief? Alex is so amazing to be able to put so many emotions into one simple look.
The best part was when Leroy tried to explain the reason why he ended up killing for a living. It was the only skill he learned in the Army and he put it to use when he couldn’t find work when he returned from Vietnam. But, this is not a story of redemption. This is not a story of “I only did what I had to do”. There will be no absolution.
Steve, rightfully so, angrily points out that his father fought in that same war. That he, like Leroy (and many other soldiers who returned from that war… I unfortunately remember those days), was called “baby killer” and spat on. But he didn’t choose a life of crime. “So, why don’t you save that story for someone else!”
The most heartbreaking scenes were at the very end. As Leroy is being taken into custody he explains to Steve that the reason he decided to turn himself in was “for Jack”. Back in the doctor’s office, Leroy had seen a drawing the doctor’s young son had drawn when he was six. A little boy named Jack. It reminds Leroy of Detective Ozuki’s son.
John had taken Leroy to the cemetery on the anniversary of Ozuki’s death to show how the detective’s family, his wife Linda and son Jack, visited his grave every year to fill him in on their lives. The heartbreaking thing about these yearly visits is that they are visiting an empty grave. John never let Leroy forget “every murder has two victims; the deceased and the family left in the wake”.
And those families are all there, waiting outside Noelani’s ME office after she and her staff were able to identify all 17 of Leroy’s victims. Yeah, it was a bit schmaltzy to have them all hugging, kissing and presenting Steve with lei’s as if he’d singlehandedly solved all those murders.
But, who cares, really? It was very moving and bittersweet. They were all there including HPD Officer Jack Ozuki, a cop just like his dad, to thank Steve for helping to finally bring the closure all those families had been waiting for, for years. I know I’m not the only one who shed a tear or two watching that scene.
And for Steve; a moment of profound pride in the work his father had done and in Steve’s own part in bringing about the closure of a case that haunted his father for years.
Noshimuri Family Values: You all know I’ve not been enamored with this story line, but this installment kept me on the edge of my seat and left me, not necessarily wishing for the quick end as I was before, and a little bit worried about where it’s going to go next.
Last week I said that it might prove interesting to meet Adam’s half-sister. “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.”
Well, she’s definitely interesting and more like Hiro and Michael than she is like Adam. She is ice cold and ruthless. But, once again, it’s all about that damn money. And what the hell? Adam has known where that money was since Michelle Shioma died! But now what? Jessie did pretty much what most expected from the beginning. She ran, and with the money. It’s not a huge surprise she ended up with a bullet for her trouble and once again, the money is gone.
Now what? What happens now to Adam, not to mention Kono, Chin, Abby and Sarah? Did Noriko have her goons follow Jessie, kill her and take the money? If she did, and now has the money, will she leave Adam’s loved ones alone? And what about all those “certain debts” Hiro left behind, debts which now can not be paid? This story has finally gotten a bit more interesting.
Inspections can be a bitch: Anyone who has ever bought or sold a house can identify with what it’s like when the inspectors come calling. This third, very small story was cute. It was a nice bit of silly levity to balance out the very emotional aspects of the other two stories. And it was innocuous enough and short enough that it didn’t distract from the other stories even if it was story #3.
It was fun to see HNN-TV’s Billy V as Fire Inspector Ed Romero. Billy is a great guy and a big fan of H50. He’s hosted SOTB the last few years and has contributed to episodes before. For instance, he was the play-by-play announcer for the airplane race in which Steve participated in Episode 8.08 “He Kaha Lu’u Ke Ala, Mai Ho’okolo Aku (The Trail Leads to a Diving Place; Do Not Follow After)”.
In one of the only scenes which Danny was a part of in this episode, Romero informs Steve and Danny about the numerous code violations he found during the inspection of the restaurant. I actually really liked this scene, because it highlighted something I’ve been saying for some time now. Many people keep complaining about the restaurant storyline, saying they are tired of Steve and Danny bickering over it all the time.
But here we have a scene where, yet again, a problem has come up regarding the restaurant. Not only that, Steve inadvertently puts his foot in his mouth and lets it slip that the electrical contractor who’s working on the restaurant is the same one who put HQ back together after it was shot up. Of course, that sends Romero off to inspect all of HQ as well.
This would have been the perfect moment for Danny to lose his mind. To scream and yell and call Steve all kinds of names and blame him for everything. Well, in this case, it was Steve who not only hired the electrician but let it slip about the work in HQ. Had this been a couple of seasons ago, Danny would have gone ballistic and Steve would have felt compelled to fight back.
But it’s not a couple of seasons ago and Danny didn’t lose his mind. Which is what I’ve been saying for some time now. Other than when the tools were stolen, these two have not really been fighting. They’ve been having reasonable disagreements, yes but the “constant bickering and fighting” others seem to be seeing is just not there, in my view.
Anyway, there were a number of cute scenes with Romero. With Steve and Danny, Danny and Jerry down in Jerry’s office and back up in the bullpen with Jerry and Lou. But, once Romero went off to count fire extinguishers, he was never seen again. I wonder if we’ll ever find out just how many violations Romero found in HQ because it was all pretty funny!
I, of course, was sad that Danny wasn’t in this episode more but I’m pretty sure this is one of Scott’s off weeks. More than likely they had him film his couple of scenes at the tail end of the filming for 8.18 so he could at least be in this one. I never like it when Danny’s not in an episode, even if I understand why. At least this time, although limited, he was in this one and it was a fun scene with Steve. Not ideal, but I can live with it if I have to. Any time we get with Danny is better than no time at all.
Well, that’s it for this week. I really enjoyed this one and, I’d like to say I’m looking forward to next weeks episode like I always do. But I honestly have to say I’m not looking forward to next weeks installment and the return of Catherine Rollins at all.
I’ll be back here, of course, because I won’t allow my distaste for one character ruin my love for the show as a whole. I’m encouraged by the fact that next weeks episode is another three-story episode so, hopefully, her time on screen will be more limited than if it was a one-story episode. I can only hope that’s so!
Regardless, I’ll do my best to be objective and make sure there are several tall cold pitchers of KoolAid available (I might just have to add a liberal amount of alcohol to those pitchers) to help me get through it. See ya next week!
Aloha. Malama Pono
All screen caps are mine unless otherwise noted.