#H50 Review: 9.08 Lele pū nā manu like (Birds of a Feather) – Thanksgiving Episode – Written by Chi McBride

Written by Chi McBride1

As always, as I was watching this episode, I was formulating how I would go about writing my review.  I have to admit, this one was a challenge.  For while I liked the episode just fine (of course, I always do) this one came up a bit short for me.

This was a split story episode where the two stories had absolutely nothing to do with each other.  Not a favorite format of mine (although much better than those three- or four-story episodes) since I always prefer, if we must have two stories, they be somehow connected.  I went to bed with my head buzzing trying to figure out what to write about this one.

Then, as I sat down to write, I was still having real trouble wrapping my head around the episode.  It wasn’t until I got into a conversation with a couple of H50 buddies that I realized the reason why.  I both liked and didn’t like it at the same time.  I really liked Chi’s story of the Grover family, but the crime of the week left me totally cold.  Oh well, let’s go through it together.

First the fun – The Thanksgiving Family Football game:  What’s Thanksgiving without the family football game?  This scene was golden.  It’s always such fun to see everyone having fun together and I loved that Al Harrington’s Mamo was there.  He played in the game the last time we actually got to see it (back in Season 4) but now, a tad older, he’s graciously given his time to referee.

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I did kind of feel sorry for Tani’s team, though.  It seemed they were at a distinct disadvantage right from the start.  Of the five-man squads, Steve had Nahale, Adam, Noelani and Jerry.

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Tani having Junior, Koa, Kamekona and Flippa, who voiced exactly what I was thinking when I saw the lineups.  “I thought we just stand there and be big”. 🤣🤣 Even still, they almost managed to pull out a win, if Junior had managed to stay inbounds when he caught that final pass.

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It really is too bad that Danny was spending Thanksgiving with his family in Jersey and had to miss the game.  But Tani more than made up for his absence.  Her teasing and trash talk with Steve was perfect.  I loved the moment when Junior asked Koa if she’d always been so competitive.  It’s nice when we have relatives to give us insight into our characters from before we knew them.  The line that she was only competitive until she was eight because after that “no one would play with her” was hysterical.

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As was the look on Mamo’s face when he thought she was calling him old. The only thing funnier was Steve’s face when she said it was actually him, she was calling old! 🤣🤣 Ah…. Ohana!

Courtesy of @alohaspacemanPhoto Credit:  @alohaspaceman on Twitter/IG

The Dysfunctional Family Grover:  If it’s not Thanksgiving without football, then what’s a holiday without some family drama?  The Grover family sure provided that.  But there was also warmth, comedy, sentimentality, acknowledgement, forgiveness and tears.

I really enjoyed Chi’s story.  For a first attempt, I think he did a great job and seeing as it was partially based on his own relationship with an older cousin, it was obviously one he wrote from his heart.

Anytime we get to see Lou and Renee together is a total joy.  I know I’ve probably said this in the past, but the first time I ever saw them on screen I wondered if they were really married in real life.  The chemistry between Chi and Michelle Hurd is off the charts.  As it is whenever Chosen Jacob’s Will is there.  It’s too bad they couldn’t get Samantha home from college for the holiday too.  That would have made it perfect.

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Lou Gossett Jr, Gladys Knight and Clifton Powell as the extended Grover family were perfect.  Especially Gladys as the ferocious mama bear of the family.  She was awesome.  You know, there is an old saying that girls marry men like their Daddy.  Well, true or not, it seems Lou married a lady very much like his mama.  Both Renee and Ella are formidable women of their households.  You ain’t gonna mess with either one of them, if you know what’s good for you.

H50_S9_BirdsFeather_SG12_FULLPhoto Credit:  CBS

This point was perfectly illustrated in Percy Sr’s talk with Will when Will jokes with his Grandfather that he’s scared of his wife the same way Lou is scared of Renee. Percy’s logic is incredibly simple.  If you’re lucky enough to find a woman as good as the women he and Lou were lucky to find, you spend “every waking hour of life trying our best to be worthy of those women”.  So, hell yeah, you’re scared.  Not of her, but of disappointing her.  I loved how he told Will that, if he’s lucky, he’ll find a woman to be scared of too!

H50_S9_BirdsFeather_SG7_FULLPhoto Credit: CBS

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You could see it in Lou’s face later when he and Percy fight in the backyard over the turkeys.  When Renee looked down at Lou with utter disappointment written all over her face, put her arm around her son and ushered him away as if ashamed to allow him to see his father in that moment, Lou’s was crushed.

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I understand what Chi was going for with his story of Lou and Percy’s relationship and it was really good but, perhaps, a bit overdone.  Why were Percy and Lou so incredibly hostile to each other?  After all, Percy had always looked out for Lou when they were kids and, we find out later, has been proud of his accomplishments every step of the way since.  So why all the anger?

And Lou?  Is it because he’s worked his butt off to get where he is all his life and his brother has just coasted along?  Is it because his parents don’t seem to call Percy on it often enough and think every little step forward is wondrous even if it means several steps back a short time later?

There were some wonderfully light moments in this story.  Percy dousing Lou with ice water in the shower and the entire house waking up to Lou’s scream was hysterical.  Gladys was perfect in this scene.  I love how she calls Percy Jr. “Little Percy” and gives him the full “angry mother/little boy” treatment not to mention telling Lou “Boy, ain’t nobody thinkin’ about your little naked behind… I changed your diapers, man” 🤣🤣🤣🤣

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And I loved the looks Renee, Ella and Percy Sr. were wearing as the guys sniped at each other at the breakfast table.

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But it very quickly devolved into hateful rhetoric designed to do nothing but hurt.  I can understand jealousy and even some resentment, but this animosity was painful to watch.

I’ll give Chi credit.  It was a compelling story of family dynamics.  Many families have that one person who brings out the worst in people and it’s usually not one thing that pushes a person over the edge but a build up of years of events that just finally boils over.

But it’s clear the family love is there and that love guides both the Grover households.

H50_S9_BirdsFeather_SG6_FULLPhoto Credit: CBS

It’s a shame it had to come to a knock down, drag out fight and almost burning the house down for the two knuckleheads to finally realize that.  There were a few too many tears from two grown men for my liking but the resolution was a sweet holiday treat.

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Lou getting Percy a job at Kamekona’s restaurant was an interesting twist.  Makes me wonder just how often we might get to see the restaurant after this episode unless they’re adding Clifton Powell to the cast as a new recurring character.  If they’re not, then we’re either not going to see the restaurant all that much or, on the occasions when the Ohana does meet there, no one will ever mention the excellent pastry again.

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The COTW:  Because the episode was so centered around the Grover family story, it would have been great if it was tempered with a decent crime of the week.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.  I’m sorry to say this but the COTW left a lot to be desired.

So, a thief breaks into a house and attempts to break into a safe.  When he can’t open it, he tries to steal what is obviously an incredibly “gi-normous” safe by pulling it down a flight of stairs on a blanket.  Ooooookay…. no one ever said thieves were particularly intelligent.

After the safe, predictably, falls down the stairs and crushes the idiot, yet another thief breaks into the very same house, on the very same day, to try to get inside the very same safe.  Oooooookay…..

And, when finding poor crushed thief #1, thief #2 doesn’t call for help or even just high tail it out of there.  Nooooo….. he stands there and drills into the safe right there on top of the guy.

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Thief #2, Patrick Hale, was after a vintage 1948 Stan Musial baseball card.  It seems the owner of the card, John Henman had been funding a yearly Thanksgiving dinner for the shelter where Patrick worked as not only a tax dodge but a bit of personal PR.  Write a check and show up for a photo OP and make himself look good.  Patrick was perfectly content with Henman’s antics as long as the money was there to feed the people.  When Henman found a new, better tax dodge and refused to fund Thanksgiving dinner, Patrick decided to steal what he knew was a very valuable baseball card to get the needed cash.

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Modern day Robin Hood or not, it’s very hard to find sympathy for Patrick.  Ok, he did the wrong thing for the right reason but there is no way to rationalize this guy who’s supposed to care so much for the homeless yet doesn’t feel any sympathy for the thief lying under the safe in a puddle of blood.  In fact, nobody showed any interest in him at all, which was weird.

The best scene in this story was pairing up Adam and Jerry at the memorabilia store.  The two of them trying to come up with a semi-believable cover story in order to approach the dealer was hysterical.  It also looks like Adam is a quick learner in the Steve McGarrett method of catching a suspect.

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Anyway, Tani and Junior find Patrick at the shelter serving his ill-gotten Thanksgiving dinner.  Unlike me, they have sympathy for the guy.  I will give him a little credit that he didn’t deny what he did and was ready to take full responsibility for it but that’s as far as I’ll go.  It was sweet of Tani and Junior to put off his arrest until after he finished serving dinner and for chipping in and helping him serve.  But that’s more a testament to how nice Tani and Junior are than any sympathy Patrick deserved.

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Adam:  OK, so without much fuss or bother, Adam is now officially Five-0 with the gun and the badge and chasing down suspects with abandon.  Yeah, we’ve discussed this before.  It doesn’t make a lick of sense, but I don’t really care. I loved seeing Adam working a case and I loved his Steve-like take down of the suspect.  Moving on…..

I was a bit taken back that the guys didn’t remove the pictures of Adam with Kono at the restaurant. Not because they should forget about Kono.  Not by any means but because it was heart wrenching for Adam to see them there.  IF we do see the restaurant again, I would hope they’d change those pictures out for individual pictures of Adam and Kono.  Kono should be represented, of course, but not necessarily as part of a happy couple that no longer exists.

But the writers (did Chi write this part too??) saw fit to not only leave it there but draw attention to it by having Adam regretfully looking at it.  The conversation with Jerry was sweet but I thought it should have been Steve having that conversation with Adam.  After all, when you really think about it, it was Steve who brought Adam on board to run the special sub-task force, the operation that ultimately cost Jesse her life and “changed” Adam.  I’m not saying its Steve’s fault, not by any means, but still it seems more appropriate for Steve to be the one in that conversation with Adam instead of Jerry.  Steve always takes such personal responsibility for all those he considers Ohana you’d think he’d be the one to comfort Adam in that moment.

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And, speaking of conversations that should be happening between Steve and Adam…. has he told Steve about that gun yet?  Has Tani?  It would seem they haven’t because I can’t believe they would have told him and he’s just shrugging it off until a later episode.  They need to get on that and soon because the longer they keep it from Steve the worse it’s going to be when he does find out.  Although we already know that Steve will ultimately be understanding about it all, I hope, initially, he rips them both a new one for keeping him in the dark.

Steve and Danny:  It seems every week I have something to say about these two even when one, or in this case both of them have limited screen time.  Of course, this was an off week for Scott which was to be expected.  Going back over the years, Episode 7 of each season is usually one Scott misses.  Except for Season 5 and, of course, this season when Episode 7 were the monumental #100 and #200.  So, it’s not surprising that Scott would miss this episode.  It’s just a shame it had to be the Thanksgiving episode because I would have just adored seeing him playing in the football game.  To be frank, he wasn’t needed for the COTW.

It was such an uninspired COTW they didn’t even need Steve since it turned out this was also a limited episode for Alex.  With Jerry and Adam at the memorabilia shop, Tani, Junior, Jerry and Adam around the magic table, Tani and Junior tracking down Patrick at the homeless shelter, and the amount of time allocated for the Grover family saga, we didn’t see Steve at all in the second half of the episode.

To be specific, we see Steve with the team around the magic table at approximately the 21min mark in the episode then we don’t see him again until until everyone is gathered at the restaurant for dinner.

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I know this might sound a bit strange, but you know what?  It didn’t bother me as much as I would have thought.  Because Alex deserves some built-in breaks during the season.  He works his ass off both physically and mentally and, after nine years he’s earned some down time.  And, to be perfectly honest, if the writers are going to give him those breaks, I’m kind of happy they did it during a Danny-less episode.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I want as much Steve and Danny as I can get. If it were up to me, they’d be in every single scene of every single episode and always be together.  But we already don’t have them together for five episodes a season because of Scott’s schedule.  If they schedule Alex’s down times during those same five episodes, that means we won’t have to have even more episodes without them together.  As much as I don’t like it when they’re not together, it’s better that it be five episodes a season rather than, let’s say eight or ten.  Does that make sense?

“Steve’s”:   Is it “Steve’s”?  That’s what Kamekona called it when Steve added his signature to the document (already signed by Danny before he left for Jersey) to officially transfer the ownership to him.  My gut tells me, in that moment, Kame was simply using the name Steve has always used.  I’m not convinced he’s keeping “Steve’s” as the official name.  Like I said last week, 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.  I won’t lie.  I’d be thrilled if Kame chose to keep that name, but I won’t be surprised if he doesn’t.

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Regardless of what the name ends up being, it’s a fantastic place for the Ohana to gather for occasions a bit more formal than the picnic tables at the shrimp truck.  I don’t expect we’ll be seeing a lot of the restaurant after this, although I hope I’m wrong about that, but it was especially touching that everyone ended up there for Thanksgiving dinner, including the Grover clan, since their kitchen ending up toast.  It was a wonderful way to end a bit of a lopsided episode on a heartwarming note.

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That’s it for this week.  Please feel free to bring up anything I left out, that you wish to discuss, in the comments.  I always look forward to everything you all have to add!

Here’s hoping you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  See you back here in a couple of weeks!

Aloha.  Malama Pono

Screencaps are mine unless otherwise noted.

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21 thoughts on “#H50 Review: 9.08 Lele pū nā manu like (Birds of a Feather) – Thanksgiving Episode – Written by Chi McBride

  1. Carole says:

    I enjoyed this outing more than I thought I would. Chi did a really good job. There were a lot of funny, ridiculous moments that reflect the way holiday family get togethers can be…..drama all around. I think the Grovers.could give the Williams clan a run for its money! COTW was filler to give everyone a bit of screen time. You made a good point about the guy under the safe…..I was caught up in the warm fuzzy feeding the homeless angle, but it was pretty cold to be drilling at the safe while you buddy’s laying there squished. I’ve seen a few other comments about pairing a Steve light episode with a Dannyless one. Since most of us want as much Steve & Danny as we can get I think it’s a smart way to go about it. It gives others a chance to shine and as long as they’re mentioned I don’t mind too much. I hope they continue to use the resturant as a gathering place.
    Have a safe and happy thanksgiving. ..stay warm on the east coast.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was established that thief #1 and Patrick, thief #2, were not working together but had simply showed up at the same house on the same day to rob the same save. But, regardless if he knew the guy or not. Patrick is someone who’s supposed to care so much about the homeless that he’s willing to commit breaking and entering and theft to feed them but cares so little for the poor squished guy he just leaves him there? Makes him a bit of a hypocrite, don’t you think?

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  2. Courtney says:

    I hope it is okay to saw this but I thought this episode was a mess. The COTW was a WTF the mulled someone but hey he is helping the homeless so it is all okay. I thought Lou look awful in this as well. As for Adam/Tani and the gun it is obvious that just like Cath and Doris before them they obviously have no respect for him. They think it is okay to lie to him and make him look stupid and he of course is not allowed to be upset by this he just had to take it. So sick of his so called Ohans treats him even Junior is lying to him. He is expected to do everything for them and he gets nothing but lies back in return. Sorry I have to vent.

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      • Courtney says:

        Thanks. I love the show but I just can not believe they are having Tani Adam and even Junior lie to him. I wish it would effect their relationship for a bit with forgiveness eventually. But most likely he will never find out or if he does he will shrug and act like he deserves it.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Brooklyngirl says:

    Hi! The episode was okay. I did love the fact that the Ohana were together and we did get to see Nahale, albeit way to briefly.

    The cotw was just toooo out there for words. Spoiled, spiteful come to mind but mercifully we weren’t subjected to it for any great length of time. Jerry and Adam were the highlights of an otherwise bad storyline. Stan “The Man” Musial deserved better.

    The family saga was ok. There’s competition and then there are the Grover’s. Big bro was obnoxious and annoying and truthfully so was Lou. The few sweet, touching moments didn’t quite make up for the over-the-top meanness that lingered throughout. Even the tears were way too over the top for believability, even though we know what a big mush Lou really is.

    I was sad to see Steve sign off on the restaurant but hopefully Kame will keep the name and we’ll get to see it on occasion.

    I have no problem with lots of light episodes for Alex and I hope he gets many more of them.

    Chi’s first outing wasn’t perfect but hey, practice makes perfect 😉

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. rhondagemini says:

    Great review as usual,Linda! I have to admit that the COTW was just plain odd and really didn’t make much sense. You’re right about Patrick-he should have tried to do something for thief #1,although it probably wouldn’t have done any good. I agreed with what Junior said that even though what he did, he did for the right reasons, it was still wrong, but at least he owned up to it and didn’t try to run from them. I loved the football game, but it would have been more fun if Danny had been part of it. As for the Grover family Thanksgiving, I thought it was good,although the jealousy issues were off the wall, so to speak. I got the feeling that Percy,Jr was wishing that Renee had married him, instead of Lou. I have to give special kudos to Lou Gossett,Jr and Gladys Knight for their portrayals of Lou’s parents-Lou is a great actor and he did a great job here. Now, I knew Gladys could sing(can she ever!)but I had no idea what a great actress she is-she was marvelous as Mama Ella,doing all she can to keep her family together. Lou singing in the shower was so funny,as was Percy,Jr, hitting him with the cold water! Hope Percy, Sr remembers to keep his glasses on from here on out or as Miss Ella said,she’ll tape them to his face! It was really nice to see Lou & Percy,Jr. make up after what could have been a disaster or even worse with the kitchen fire-the other good thing to come from this is that Renee will get that new kitchen she’s been wanting,although I’m sure she didn’t want it under these circumstances. All in all, a pretty good episode and for his first script, Chi didn’t do too badly!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I totally agree with you about Lou Gossett and Gladys Knight. They both nailed it! I love the little “Officer and a Gentleman” homage from Lou and I especially loved how Mama Ella kept calling “little Percy” on his mumbling. “You got something to say?” “No mama” “That’s what I thought”. ROFL. I got some of my worst hits as a little kid when I did that to my mom! LOL

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  5. I’m so glad most of us feel the same way. I thought I was going to be the only one who didn’t love this episode. It was okay for what it was — Chi’s take on a family with issues was predictable and even cliched, but not horrible.

    The COTW was awful. So glad I’m not the only one who thinks Patrick is NOT a saint.

    I like Adam a lot, but not as a team member. He has no business taking down and cuffing suspects. His presence will take away screen time from the core team, and that doesn’t please me. I knew this season would have Steve-lite episodes, and that’s great for giving Alex a breather, but filling holes with Adam is wrong. Let the others shine.

    Hope everyone has a happy turkey day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel you babe. Personally I don’t have any problem with Adam picking up the slack sometimes if Steve and/or Danny aren’t there. I just don’t want him doing stuff Steve and/or Danny should be doing when they ARE there. Does that make sense?

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  6. Mary Tomshack says:

    Well, of course, since Danny was not in this episode, it wasn’t my favorite. I’m never too fond of any episode without Danny. But, I’m glad that he is getting the time with his young family. And it is better to see him in five less episodes than not at all. So, with that being said, I didn’t mind it too much. Chi did a pretty good job with his script. He was hilarious in some parts. And the ending was very heartwarming. I missed seeing Danny at the football game or the ending when they were all at the restaurant. I’m glad that Percy got the job at the restaurant. It wasn’t a bad episode and I agree; if there is going to be less of Steve, it should be when Danny is gone too. I thought Tani was very good and funny during the football game. I always like Tani’s snark. Her and Junior fit in very well with the 50 team. Both of them were good additions to the team. Thank you for your great review.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I totally agree with you. It’s something some people just can’t grasp. Yes we have Scott for five less episodes a year but if that weren’t the case, there’s a good change we wouldn’t have him at all. Those of us who love Danny and want him there all the time understand this is the best of both worlds for him and for us.

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  7. Yeah as hope that Kameonka could keep the name Steve or McDanno’s for something they started and that he will end.
    Adam being on the team, Love Ian Anthony Dale but really it is odd since he has a criminal record.
    Football Game back in Thanksgiving glad to see. As well as Tani is super competitive indeed just ask her brother, the big guys do not know about football I take it LOL.
    But Case of the Week really not so interesting sorry.
    Chi’s first script hope he writes more. And really still think he and his brother are still are on the rebound and really the actor that played his brother had good chemistry with. But seeing them act as kids in particular dumping cold water on Lou not so cool. Will says if both are sick of being a cop and a would be chef, then reality TV could be it, but then again no way says Lou’s wife.
    Gladys Knight never ages IMHO. Glad to see her with Lou Gossett Jr.
    Hope to see Danny back soon. He will be back in episode 9.

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  8. Robin Jane Bridges says:

    I felt the same way. It was cold of the guy to just drill the holes on top of the dead guy. Lou and his brother was a bit over the top, but I was waiting for Wil to tell Grandpa about Grace “Lefty” Williams. I like the football and the gathering afterwards. I wished they had a phone call from Danny, so that everyone could have said “Happy Thanks Giving.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah.. I was hoping Will would have mentioned Grace too especially since we know we’re going to get to see her again in a future episode. It would have been a nice little foreshadowing that she’s coming back soon.

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