YAWN!!!: Once upon a time, writers sat down to plan out a story for the latest episode of their TV show. The outline began only with the words, “Catherine Rollins comes back to Hawaii”.
Mindful of the polarizing effects brought on by this character, they tried to think of the best way to minimize the damage. “How do we make her bad ass so those who love her will be happy, while at the same time, satisfy those who do not like her and wish she wouldn’t come back, while at the same time keep that door open, while not pissing off those who don’t want that door open?”
The best way to tackle this daunting task, they allegedly thought, would be to make the story as noncommittal as they possibly could in an attempt to please everyone. And that’s exactly what this story did, it made the attempt by giving lip service to every fan and non-fan of this character and it consequently made the story boring as hell.
Honestly, this story was such a total waste of time. I feel bad for writers Rob Hanning and Sean O’Reilly for getting stuck with this stinker because I usually really like their stories. But this one was doomed from the start, and it’s a testament to their great abilities as writers that they were able to make it better than I ever expected it could be. Well, I guess that comes from having extremely low expectations to begin with.
Other than the fact that we had to have our obligatory (and incomprehensible) once a year Catherine appearance, what was her purpose in this story? It could have been anyone. Any old SEAL friend of Steve’s or a random CIA agent, or even Doris, for that matter, who showed up with intel then tagged along to work the case. There was absolutely no reason for her to be there.
Catherine is a highly qualified operative. She wouldn’t have been recruited by the CIA in the first place if she wasn’t. She had a long, successful Naval career. She was Five-0. There is no question that she is extremely good at what she does. And, she’s working in a field that is predominantly filled with men. She’d have to be tough as nails to work in those situations. So, her barking orders like a military general, slamming other agents against walls and putting them in choke holds isn’t really all that unrealistic. Was it overkill in the attempt to make her look totally bad ass to appease her fans? Probably. Is she obviously great at her job? Definitely! So why don’t they just let her do her job in AnywhereonEarthistan and stay away from Hawaii?
I’ll give kudos to Hanning and O’Reilly for sparing us the “Steve opens the door with a look of shock and surprise on his face as he comes face to face with Catherine” scene. Been there… done that, twice, thank you very much. Having her just be in HQ giving exposition was good enough. More kudos to the writers for having Lou say the exact thing we were all thinking. “What is she doing here?”. I’ve watched the episode twice now and I still don’t know. I adored the way Lou was giving her the side eye and an accusatory smirk the entire time. He knows how she hurt his boy! He wasn’t falling for her crap about “catching up”. I was so happy Steve wasn’t falling for it either.
She looked so smug when she saw that the artifact she found was Hawaiian. It was almost like she was looking for a reason to go back to Hawaii and here, her “high value target” conveniently laid a reason right at her feet. She had an agenda in going back there and there was more to it than just finding dirty bombs.
The look on her face when she saw that artifact and when she mentioned catching up, spoke of more than going to Haleiwa Joe’s for a drink and conversation about old times. Steve knew it too.
And what was that totally awkward, nauseatingly coy conversation in the jungle? First off, there was only one reason Catherine brought up Tani. Because it would have looked extremely obvious if she asked about the only topic she really had on her mind right off the bat. So we have to have a few moments of insincere Tani flattery to ease her way into talking about Lynn. And, please…. Tani is nothing like Catherine. Just another fan service paragraph written into the script so McRolls can hyperventilate “he likes her….. he really likes her”..
“So, how’s…. Lynn??”. She knows exactly who Lynn is and don’t tell me she wasn’t hoping he’d say they weren’t together anymore. I cheered for joy when Steve said he and Lynn are still a couple, even if it is still casual. Who could blame him (or Lynn for that matter, considering she knows what happened) for taking their time? Being repeatedly burned will do that to a person. Then after telling him her line of work makes it hard to see people, she makes sure he knows she’s “dating” someone. Yeah, ok. “You’re still with Lynn so I better make it look like I’m in demand too.” Please….
Up to this point, I was at least being minutely entertained by this story. Laughing at her over the top bad ass behavior, Lou and Steve’s antics in HQ “talking” behind her back and that ridiculous high-five convo in the jungle had my eyes rolling so much it was making me dizzy. They were both so desperate to appear cool and nonchalant they succeeded in doing nothing but look ridiculously adolescent. As I saw someone on Twitter say last night, they tried too hard to make it look casual and all it did was look forced and fake.
The best part was the two of them, finally admitting, that being together as a couple was a mistake they never should have made. That sleeping together ruined their friendship by attempting to make it something it was never intended to be. That now they were happy they could go back to just being really good friends, like they were before they messed it up. This was the best part for me because I never want to see these two in a relationship again.
But, I have to say I don’t buy that bilge anymore than either of them does. Sleeping together didn’t ruin their friendship. They were sleeping together long before Steve ever returned to Hawaii. All of Season 1 and 2 and particularly in Season 3, their friendship worked, their relationship worked. They were cute together and they were both happy in their lives together. To say now that it all was a mistake is a cop-out. No, I don’t want them together anymore but that has more to do with what happened after Afghanistan and in the last three years, not because I think they were a mistake all along. If things hadn’t changed, if they’d gone on the way they were in Season 3, I would have had no problem with them being together forever.
That’s why the next scene made my blood boil. Again, proving that she had an agenda long before they ever set out, she chose the most inopportune moment to corner Steve about his almost proposal. This was obviously something she’s had on her mind for over a year. “Were you really going to propose, or did you just buy that ring in the event that you decided to propose?” What the hell is that supposed to mean? Oh sure, guys just go out and drop thousands of dollars on a diamond engagement ring for no other reason but to keep it on hand just in case they might need it someday!
Again, more fan service dialog. This is the asinine crap Catherine lovers delight in spewing. It’s all Steve’s fault because he waited too long. I call total bullshit. When was the first, last or anytime in between where she gave any indication that she wasn’t perfectly fine with their relationship just the way it was? When did she ever give any indication that she wanted or expected more? He waited too long? She seemed perfectly content with things just the way they were.
For years neither one was willing to put a label on their relationship. They both went out of their way not to categorize it as a “boyfriend/girlfriend” relationship. They had “a thing” and both were perfectly content to keep it that way. Correct me if I’m wrong but neither one felt the need to say “I love you” to the other until they were thousands of miles apart. How dare she suggest them not being together is only his doing.
She’s the one who left and stayed away for over a year. She’s the one who told him not to wait for her and he waited anyway. He didn’t move on and he was happy and excited when she finally did come back, promising him she’d stay. And in those weeks that she was there, all the while telling him she was back to stay and finally making it look like she was ready for true commitment, he went out and bought that ring, determined to propose.
And what did she do? She left again. She told him she was there to stay. She gave every indication by her seemingly loving behavior that she was ready to stay. He, unfortunately, believed her charade, and was excited to ask her to marry him.
It doesn’t matter that she didn’t know he was going to propose because, seriously, how many guys, trying to make a perfect proposal, tell their intended what they are about to do? “Oh.. just so you know, just in case you’re thinking about bolting again, I’ve got a ring and I’m going to propose to you as soon as I find the perfect setting and time. Try to act surprised when it happens, ok.” How dare she accept zero responsibility for her part in it all.
After yet another absurd scene, this time in order to get them something to drink, because, of course, Steve McGarrett, trained Navy SEAL, needed her to scale a coconut tree (oh my, what would we ever do without her?!?!? 🙄 ) the story mercifully fizzled out.
They find the bunker, kill one terrorist in a shoot out where the CIA Operative couldn’t hit the side of a barn, until… of course… she shoots a bad guy at point blank range to save Steve 🙄 🙄, while the other terrorist gets away, only to stumble while running and blowing himself up with one of the dirty bombs he was carrying.
They find a cell phone left behind in the bunker and conveniently, it has all the intel Catherine needs to bring down her high value target. All wrapped up in a neat little bow. A boring story that did nothing but provide an opportunity for unnecessary, inane fan service conversation between Steve and Catherine. When Lou asks Steve back in HQ after it’s over “so..was it nice to “catch up?”, the look on Steve’s face was priceless. As always, Alex and his pages of dialog with only a look. “Yeah, it was nice” but don’t worry my friend. I’m not falling for that again.
So, now they’re friends. Now they can commiserate over who they are dating and tease each other about their abilities and joke about who buys dinner. Isn’t that sweet? 🙄 Yeah, ok, whatever. It’s fine. Two adults who decide to remain friends after a break up. I can deal with that, especially if I only have to deal with it once a year.
Indiana Jerry: Jerry was the only thing that made this story fun. I loved the “Raiders” references. Steve calling Jerry “Dr. Jones” was perfect as was the homage to all the movies with Jerry having to deal with spiders in the bunker. I’m still itchy! Even the music while Jerry was in that bunker was perfect. Pure “Raiders”!
I found it hysterical that part of Catherine’s logic about bringing the OP to Five-0 was because “no one knows this island” meaning Oahu, like Steve. Then it turns out the place they need to explore is the island of Kahoʻolawe, where Steve has never even been. Leave it to Jerry to con his way into going along just so he can try to find the burial site of King Kamehameha. It was really great to have Jerry tagging along though. His comic relief is always a joy to have around and having him there cut down the Steve and Catherine alone time, which was a huge bonus.
I can’t help but feel bad for Jerry when the artifacts he finds in the bunker all turn out to be fake, but I’m happy the writers didn’t actually have them find the burial site. I don’t know much about it, but I do know it’s been centuries that people have been searching for King Kamehameha grave. It just wouldn’t have seemed right to have it all of a sudden just stumbled upon for a TV story.
The stars of the show: The absolute best part of this episode was Junior and Eddie. What a fantastic find TPTB pulled off when they hired Beulah to play Junior. He is remarkable. His timing is perfect whether the material is exposition, action, or in this case, slightly comedic and dramatic.
I loved every scene Junior was in. The scene at Casa McG between Tani and Junior and, of course, Eddie was really funny. Junior trying to act all cool munching on a Snickerpoodle, much to Eddie’s chagrin, and making himself sick.
It was also really sweet of Tani to try to give Junior some moral support over whether he’s going to go to his father’s birthday lunch. These two have developed such a sweet friendship. I don’t even care if it goes any further, because right now, they are great just the way they are.
It’s so cool how Junior and Eddie have taken to each other as much as Eddie has taken to Steve. I like how, when Steve is away, Junior takes on the responsibility for Eddie and includes him in his day and his workouts. The scenery in the Kuliʻouʻou Valley where they went running is simply breathtaking and Junior is making sure to keep himself busy running rather than face the idea of attending his father’s birthday.
Unfortunately, it only takes a bit of distraction for an accident to happen and Junior finds himself at the bottom of a deep ravine, badly injured and with no way to climb out. It was so touching to see how badly Eddie wanted to climb down that hole to Junior’s side, so much so that Junior had to resort to throwing rocks in Eddie’s direction to dissuade him so he wouldn’t fall in and get hurt too. Being the great dog he is, Eddie immediately takes off to find help.
You’ll notice, Eddie doesn’t run back to Casa McG. He knows no one is there. I have no idea how far the Valley is from HQ but Eddie was smart enough to know that’s where he needs to go. Tani is instantly worried about Junior when Eddie shows up at HQ and sets out to look for him.
And I was so happy that I got my “Lassie” reference, courtesy of Tani even if it wasn’t exactly how I’d hoped.
Beulah was awesome as Junior kills time by playing video games on his phone (he’s playing Poopie Penguin, the game Toast invented. A nice shout out to our dearly departed friend. And thank you to @SurfBelle2 and @alohaspaceman for the find) and taking selfies in an attempt to keep his spirits up until, hopefully, help arrives. It’s when he’s going through his phone looking at pictures of his SEAL buddies and selfies he’s taken with Tani that he pulls up a picture of a beautiful young woman.
This part of the story was simply brilliant and extremely touching. We finally got more depth into Junior’s story. The beautiful young woman, Junior’s best friend, his sister who was killed (we don’t find out how) leaving Junior lost and heartbroken. Listening to a voice mail he’s long saved, how she calls him “Juns” just like Tani does, the love in her voice was wrenching as was the voice mail from his mother, obviously distraught over whatever just happened that cost her daughter her life.
He’s also heartbroken when the one person he’s always looked up to and wanted to emulate and make proud, his father, turned his back on Junior’s dream to join the military and serve his country. It’s not hard to understand a grieving father not wanting to risk losing another child but it’s also not hard to understand Junior being crushed when his hero didn’t support his dream.
Listening to Junior recording a voice message to his father, possibly thinking this was his last chance to tell his father all the things he needed to say, absolutely broke my heart. Having the battery run out on the phone before he could finish was heart wrenching. Possibly his last chance to ever speak to his father denied by a dead battery. Beulah was incredible throughout the entire episode.
My only complaint about this story is that there wasn’t enough of it. It would have been so much better if they would have cut out some of the boring Catherine story and devoted it to this one. It would have been nice to see Junior’s sister in a flashback, or see the scene of his father flinching at the idea of Junior in the military. After all, Junior is a member of Five-0, a permanent member of the team and someone we should know more about. He, unlike Catherine, is here to stay.
Adam: This third story of the episode didn’t amount to much until the end. Adam is understandably heartbroken and blaming himself over Jesse’s murder and has come to the conclusion we all came to weeks ago and wants out of the task force. Steve tries to reason with him, telling him it was Jesse’s poor choices that caused her death and not anything Adam did, but he’s done. He wants out. Thank God, that task force story is over. I’m sure I’m not the only one who was thinking that.
But then something unexpected happened. Adam goes back to the old Yakuza “banker” and asks him to provide Adam with an alibi. What the hell are you up to Adam, that you need an alibi?
As the entire team gathers at Kamekona’s shrimp truck to celebrate the conclusion of Catherine’s OP and Junior’s rescue, we find out the possible reason. A body has washed up on a beach, Duke informs Steve by phone, and not only that, but it’s none other than Noriko, Adam’s half-sister.
Oh Adam… what have you done? Was it revenge for Jesse? Or for FBI Agent Douglas Fischer, his wife and their beautiful six-year-old daughter? For stealing the money? For threatening Kono, Chin, Abby and Sarah? Are we 100% sure Adam actually did anything at all? Is it a red herring?
I’ve always said that I believe that Adam has always been a good guy. Is it possible that after all these years of trying to be a good guy, of trying to not be what everyone expects of a Noshimuri, he’s decided to embrace it? Trying to be the good guy hasn’t actually worked out too well for him. Maybe he’s ready to see what being a bad guy can do for him. Maybe he just wanted to send a message to whoever else is out there, Yakuza or other crime organizations. Do not threaten my family! I have no idea where this is going but finally…. finally this story has gotten interesting.
So, there you have it. There is so much more I could have touched on in this episode, but I figured I should just stop before this became a novel. Please, as always, feel free to agree, disagree, vent and add anything you feel I missed or you want to discuss in the comments below.
This episode was pretty forgettable for obvious reasons, but it is Five-0 and, as always, no matter how much I might dislike something, there is always something else in the episode to love. Indiana Jerry, Adam’s cliffhanger, Lou’s faces, Eddie and, of course, Junior still made this episode an enjoyable one. I don’t know if I’ll ever watch it again, but if I do, I’ll thank the heavens for the fast-forward button on the remote.
Have a great week my friends. Harry Lankford returns to Hawaii next week. Happily, a returning character that actually adds something to the episodes he’s in! That one should be a great one!
Aloha. Malama pono
All screen caps are mine unless otherwise noted (original watermarks kept in place)