Photo Credit: Peter Lenkov on IG
Two hundred episodes! Not an achievement to be taken lightly by any means. Hawaii Five-0 has had its critics over the past eight plus years, and it still has its critics among “fans” who find more to criticize than like, but here we are.
Two hundred episodes! There aren’t a lot of shows that have reached this milestone. Among those that have are some pretty impressive names. Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Dallas, Cheers, Frasier, NYPD Blue, M*A*S*H and, of course, the original Hawaii Five-O to name just a few. There are more modern examples too, of course, but it’s worth noting that the good majority of shows that have reached the 200+ milestone are from an age when there were basically only three networks to choose from when it came to watching TV.
Shows which have reached this milestone in more current times face a much more challenging TV landscape. People now have hundreds of choices of programming to tempt them, as well as, all manner of ways to watch. Live, DVR, streaming, binge, etc. For any show in this modern era to be able to capture the hearts of viewers, enough that they tune in week after week for over eight years when there are so many other choices, is a testament to the quality of not only the writing of the show but to the entire cast, and the fantastic crew which puts it on our screens every week. Hawaii Five-0. Two hundred episodes and still going strong. Critics be damned!
I guess I don’t have to tell you that I loved everything about this episode, with one notable exception that I’ll talk about later (even though you probably already know what it is).
Right off the bat, the episode had a wonderful old time feel about it with the 1940’s era inspired rendition of the theme song. Of course, I would never want our weekly theme song changed in any way because the updated version from the original is so awesome, but this was a really nice touch. Well, the music throughout the entire episode was inspired. Once again, the music of Brian Tyler and Keith Power took an already wonderful episode and made it a 1000% times better. It was pure 1940’s.
This week’s crime of the week was, of course, a crime of 80+ years. The last unsolved case of famous HPD Detective Chang Apana. Until I read the synopsis for this episode I’d never heard of Chang Apana. I knew of Charlie Chan, of course, but never knew he was based on a real person. It’s a part of H50 that I have always loved. When they incorporate Hawaiian history into their stories in some way. I love learning more about the islands and her people whenever I can. It makes H50 unique from any other show.
It also gave us a glimpse into the social atmosphere of the times. The rich plantation owners who relied on indentured servitude to tend their crops and enrich their coffers. The scandal when a rich man’s son is found sneaking around with a lowly hula girl. The disposal of an innocent girl’s dead body to prevent the scandal from tarnishing the rich family name.
But, like last weeks episode, the crime of the week, although a really good one, isn’t what will make me watch and re-watch this episode as much as I’ve re-watched Episode #100 over the years.
There’s just something about the 1940’s. What was that line from the old “All in the Family” theme song? “And you knew who you were then. Girls were girls and men were men”. It was such a simpler time when a man could look admiringly at an attractive woman and not be accused of sexually harassing her.
The entire dream sequence was done brilliantly. If you didn’t know better, you’d swear you were watching a real 1940’s movie. The cars, the clothes, the way people acted. I adored the accents they all used, especially Alex and Scott. The fedoras, the suspenders, the toothpick, the cigarettes, it was perfect.
Photo Credit: CBS
Kudos to every single person on the crew from wardrobe, to lighting, to obtaining the proper cars, and so on and so on who pulled it all together. Did you catch old Waikiki Beach of 1941? It was magnificent.
And the cast… talk about wonderful. How much fun must it have been for them all to step out of their usual characters and get to play something new. I loved how pretty much everyone in the cast got to appear in this episode. They all nailed their new character even if it was only for a few moments.
It was fun to see Dennis Chun, again as an HPD cop, but this time wearing the actual uniform his dad Kam Fong wore when he was on the force.
Beulah, as Lila’s (the missing girl) brother, complete with a great local Hawaiian accent.
(UPDATE: Originally this paragraph read “with his real-life New Zealand accent”. However, thanks to a discussion I saw on Twitter between those who know far more than I do about such things, people who actually live in Australia and/or New Zealand, I discovered I was wrong. I have made this correction accordingly. Thank you @ibyshire, @missslothy, @racoon_sa, @Andie_Louise_ and @alohaspaceman for setting me straight without even knowing you did it! 😃
Chi, as Capt. Charles Sumner, the stereotypical hard nose Captain putting his foot down on, who he feels are, his wayward detectives.
Ian, as Earl Blackstone, a notorious crime boss, with the mustache all such characters seemed to have in the 1940’s.
Kimee as the, excuse me, I’m a doctor, who treats Steve at the hospital and Taylor got a quick nod as “Biggie” Tupa, appropriately, the proprietor of the night club where (not)Tani is the lounge singer.
Meaghan was fantastic as Alexa Alana, an old friend of Lila’s. Remember a couple of years ago, the first time we heard Jerry sing and we were all amazed that Jorge had such a great singing voice? Well, count me astonished again. Damn, but Meaghan can sing! Watching her on that stage, gorgeous in that slinky dress, singing her heart out was incredible. She did such a fantastic job.
She also played a major part in the case. Because it was Alexa who gave Steve and Milton their first clue as to who Lila had been seeing and who may have been the last person to see her alive. It was heartbreaking to see her shot and die in Steve’s arms. I have to say it kind of gave me the willies. In 8+ years, we’ve seen members of our team shot numerous times, but we’ve never had one die. I know this was a dream and it was Alexa and not Tani, but I still didn’t like seeing it.
And speaking of Jorge… who didn’t love him as Officer Mike Flanagan? It was a ton of fun watching (not)Jerry being a real cop. Of course, Flanagan fulfilled pretty much the same purpose in 1941 as Jerry does for the team today, digging in the archives and pulling records for Steve and Milton but it was a blast watching him join Steve and Milton in the field and to see him get to shoot that big gun.
But the absolute best thing about this episode is the fact that it was, literally, the Steve and Danny/Steve and Milton show. Steve and Danny at the restaurant, Steve and Danny at Casa McG, Steve dreaming that Danny is Milton, Steve and Milton working and solving the case together, Steve and Danny’s ultimate restaurant decision. They were together the entire episode. That makes any episode top notch in my book.
Photo Credit: @alohaspaceman on Twitter
Steve McGarrett is truly a man for all ages and every time I think I can’t love him more, he proves me wrong. Especially when anything has to do with his family, in particular, with his grandfather. His admiration and pride in the man whose name he carries has no limits and it only deepens with everything new he learns.
Learning of the old unsolved case from the elder Milton, you could see Steve’s fascination that his grandfather had once wanted to become a cop. I find the correlation between Steve’s dream and Milton’s words about how December 7, 1941 changed everything intriguing. Because once Steve starts to delve into the evidence of Lila’s disappearance and falls asleep, his mind takes him to the days in time right before everything changed. December 5th and December 6th.
Dreams are full of “what if’s”. What if Steve Sr. hadn’t joined the Army (or was drafted). What if he and Milton weren’t just two best friends with a weekend hobby of trying to solve an old case just in case, they ever got to be real cops. What if they’d both been able to fulfill their dreams of being detectives. Ahhhhh to sleep….. perchance to dream!
Milton tells Steve that he and Steve Sr were best friends who hung out together on weekends practicing being cops. So, of course, in Steve’s subconscious, who would he want by his side? The same way every dream Danny had when he was shot included Steve, in Steve’s dream, only Danny could be his Milton.
I also liked how they worked the Pearl Harbor attack into Steve’s dream. It was the day, after all, when “everything changed”. Steve’s subconscious ending his dream with the event which ended his grandfather’s life and his dream. It was brilliant. It also reminded me of Danny’s 9/11 episode. Of course, that wasn’t a dream. He really did watched it all happen.
In our dreams, some semblance of reality always manages to come through. Steve’s Milton has a wonderfully unique Jersey accent. His Milton also has Danny’s snappy comebacks. His Milton is still unfailingly loyal and has Steve’s back 100% of the time. Steve’s Milton still retains everything of what makes Danny, Danny.
Reality also come through in the way both Steve Sr. and Milton work. They still butt heads, they still have carguments, they still pick and poke at each other but, more importantly, they are both still there for each other. When Steve and Milton come under fire, Steve yells “Milton… get down! the same way our Steve always yells “Danny” before he pushed them both out of the line of fire.
And as Steve dreams about a car on fire about to explode, it’s Milton who pulls him to safety. #McDanno or #McMilton. It all works out the same in the end.
That’s what this entire episode was all about. Yeah, the case was great and watching everyone play different parts and wear period costumes was a hell of a lot of fun. Going back to the 1940’s with the cars and the music was an absolute blast. Getting more of Steve’s family history is always a huge bonus.
But this episode, in my opinion, was really about one thing. The reaffirmation of the one thing that makes this show tick. The relationship between Steve and Danny. Story lines come and go. People come and go. Other relationships come and go. But through it all, Steve and Danny endure.
The love and admiration these two have for each other is universal. When Steve waxes poetic over the accomplishments of Chang Apana, of all the injuries he sustained throughout his career and his determination to solve every single case, Danny’s immediate response is “he sounds like you”. With all his ranting over Steve’s antics, it’s plainly obvious Danny is proud of his partner and what he’s done over the years.
And what does Danny do? He goes out and buys a book about Chang Apana in order to learn more about the man his partner looks to as not only a hero but another link to the grandfather he is so proud of and never got to know.
And nowhere was the bond between these two more evident than in the last two minutes of the episode.
Yes, of course, I’m disappointed. “Steve’s” is no more! I really….. really…. wanted the dream we saw when Danny was shot to come true. I enjoyed this storyline, although I do agree with many that it needed to come to some sort of resolution after all this time.
I thought the soft opening, which looked like a great success with everyone having a great time and enjoying the food, meant it was all going to work out. After all the blood, sweat and arguments, that it would finally all be worth it.
I think we’ve all pretty much agreed that the original premise was pretty silly. There really was never a way for the guys to be full-time cops and full-time restaurateurs. We all pretty much figured someone would have to step in and run the day-to-day operations for them. Kamekona was the perfect choice. I was hoping that would be that. Soft opening a success, Kame running the place with Steve and Danny as the owners who would take over one day when they actually retired.
So, no, I wasn’t expecting it to all be over and so quickly. After, over a year, for them to decide to give it all up in under two minutes was rather jarring. But having said that, I’m not has heartbroken over it as I thought I would be because, as disappointed as I am, I’m thrilled it was as much of a mutual decision to call it quits as it was to start it in the first place.
The bond between these two men is unbreakable. They are like magnets. One moves, the other moves too. A year and a half ago, Danny was determined he was ready to retire soon and when he proposed the two of them start the restaurant together, Steve was all in, without hesitation. Touched and thrilled that Danny wanted him to be part of his dream.
And now, when Steve says he just wants to be a cop and not run a restaurant, Danny’s immediate response is “If you’re out, I’m out”.
It illustrates clearly that restaurant or no restaurant, there is no way Danny’s ever going to retire until Steve does. The fact that Kame was already proposing buying out their shares means they can replenish their retirement savings, and everyone can move on. It was an elegant solution, even if it was a bit abrupt.
The look on Steve’s face when he told Danny of his decision was very telling. He was bracing himself for the explosion. But Danny didn’t explode. There have been so many obstacles along this journey and it seems painfully obvious now that somewhere along the line, they were both questioning whether they’d made the right decision. But each one didn’t want to disappoint the other, so they just soldiered on. The only way out is through. But you could see the relief rolling off the both of them when they both realized they were on the same page all along, as usual.
So, yeah, I’m sad but the restaurant isn’t going away. From the previews of next week’s Thanksgiving episode, the Ohana is celebrating there. Hopefully, like the shrimp truck, we’ll get to see them all hang out there every once in a while.
Photo Credit: @alohaspaceman on Twitter
I do wonder what Kame is going to name the place though. It would be nice, as a gesture to all the blood, sweat and tears the guys put into the place, that Kame would try to recognize that in the name. I still love the name “Steve’s” but the symbolism of that name isn’t the same now. It’s no longer Danny’s restaurant with Steve’s name so they can always be together. “McDanno’s” doesn’t make sense either since neither Mc nor Danno is associated with it any longer. I’m curious to see what Kame is going to do.
But it really doesn’t matter because as this episode solidified more certain than ever, Steve and Danny don’t need a restaurant to assure they will be together forever! #McDanno is forever….. period!
To Peter Lenkov, writers David Wolkove and Matt Wheeler and director Bryan Spicer, thank you for this wonderful episode. What a fantastic job. It’s always wonderful anytime Steve gets to connect with his family. The story and the characters were different and fun. And while the ending was bittersweet, the guys were happy with their decision and that really is all that counts.
To all the producers, writers, the fantastic cast, both past and present, and the incredible crew, thank you a thousand times over for 200 wonderful episodes and 8+ years of wonderful entertainment. I will never regret staying up on that Monday night so long ago and falling in love with a show that has given me so much. I will always be grateful for all the wonderful friends I’ve made because of this show. Friends I hope to keep long after the show crosses the finish line. Which, I pray, won’t be for a very, very long time. Mahalo nui loa to each and every one of you!
Aloha. Malama pono
Photo Credit: CBS (I think)
Note: Special prayers for Peter and his family, Jeff Hunt and his family and to all those in the cast and crew (along with everyone who lives in California) who have homes, family and friends in the path of the devastating fires now ravaging California. As we sit and enjoy our fun and entertaining Friday night and the rest of our weekends, they are evacuating from their homes, mourning the loss of their homes and fleeing the fires. Here’s hoping everyone is safe with their friends and family and that their homes remain untouched by the fires.
All screen caps are mine unless otherwise noted.