Happy New Year my friends! Welcome back for another new year of H50. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season doing all the things you love with all the people you love in your life.
I had a fantastic holiday. My daughter came home from Australia for over two weeks. It was so incredibly wonderful to have her home. She’s getting married in the fall so we spent most of our time between holiday dinners and parties doing all kinds of wedding planning. We visited the historic Inn where the ceremony will take place, we visited the spa/salon that will do our hair and make-up and we bought her wedding gown. We went shopping and out to lunches and spent hours sitting on our beds just talking face to face instead of over a computer screen. It was all simply perfect.
I was, understandably, very sad to put her on the plane back home, knowing I won’t see her again until a week before the wedding. That’s ten months that will feel like years. Having a new H50 to take my mind off the sadness was a blessing. As has been the case over the last nine years, H50 is there to bring in a much-needed diversion from real life.
As you all probably already know, I was not overly excited about this episode because of the yearly dead horse we seem destined to always be beating but as I sat down to watch, I took a deep breath and was determined to try my best (try being the operative word) to be open minded.
After all, I was sure Alex would be incredible in his portrayal of Steve’s grief and determination after Joe’s death. Danny would be there for Steve the way he’s been there for every trauma Steve’s experienced. Junior would be there as a tangible connection to the SEALs. There would be Wade and Harry, both personal favorites of mine. All of that promised to make this a wonderful episode regardless of a secondary story line and any other presence I’d prefer not be there. But I came away from it very conflicted because while I was somewhat understanding, I was also, at the same time, totally annoyed. I was going to re-watch it, in an attempt to wrap my head around my conflicted feelings but I couldn’t bring myself to watch it again.
Of course, I am talking about the presence of Catherine Rollins. I was sure I was going to despise this episode simply because she was there, but I have to admit, she didn’t bother me as much as I thought she would. I am not a fan of this character by any stretch of the imagination and I’d prefer she drop off the face of the earth rather than ever see her again, but in this case, I do understand the reasons why she was there.
I’ve said all along that just because I don’t like her as a partner for Steve doesn’t mean I don’t think she’s a very capable operative. She has to be in order to survive in the profession and the life she has chosen to follow. Her connections and skill brought Gregers Thompson, the lawyer Hassan hired, to Steve and that, in turn, got Steve the information he needed to go after Hassan and ultimately, Greer. I also understand the connection she and Steve have, their mutual affection for Joe White and their long personal history. They are good friends. For all those reasons, it didn’t bother me that she was there because there were valid reasons for her to be there.
The episode itself, started off looking pretty great. Danny showing up after Steve’s been in Montana mourning for a month. Danny being there for Steve, the way Steve was there for Danny after Matty died (and wasn’t that a great confirmation of what we always suspected but never, unfortunately, got to see?) Danny being there for Steve just like he’s always been there, whether Steve feels he should be or not. That first scene gave me such a warm feeling about where this episode was headed.
But, unfortunately, that’s not where the episode headed. I’m sorry but this episode was such a wasted opportunity and a huge disappointment. 9.10 was such a wonderful, heart breaking set up for what should have been a 2.10 type of episode. The entire team should have been involved in some capacity, even if half the team was still in Hawaii. The secondary story line was nothing more than giving Lou, Tani and Adam something to do. The best thing about the secondary story line was the banter between Tani and Adam and the fact that it chewed up screen time that cut the other story short. I usually hate when that happens but, in this case, it was a blessing.
I’m sorry, and I hope to God I am wrong about this, but this episode gave me the impression that Joe White died for one reason only. To facilitate the reunion of Steve and Catherine. What a totally pitiful reason for killing off an exasperating yet wonderful character.
I can’t help but think TPTB are doing with these two the same thing they did with the restaurant story. Write the episodes one way but have a multitude of people around giving subtle and not so subtle warnings/advise in the opposite direction. For almost two years Danny and Steve worked toward making their restaurant a reality while at the same time, how many different people told them it was a horrible idea, until finally, they came to realize it themselves?
Here we have Steve and Catherine who have mutually decided they should not have been together and agree to just be good friends, while multiple people keep telling Steve it’s time for him to settle down and find someone. Foreshadowing just like with the restaurant. We all know who that someone will ultimately be, whether we want to believe it or not, whether we like it or not.
Alex, as always, was phenomenal in portraying every one of Steve’s emotions exquisitely. The look of devastation on his face when we first see him at the ranch was heartbreaking. His interaction and interrogation of Thompson was, quite frankly, terrifying. He was literally making my skin crawl with fear at the murderous look in his eyes. My heart broke again as he sat in the plane and remembered his affair with Greer. He looked so happy in that flashback. Why, oh why, do people continue to betray this wonderful man?
But, they totally screwed up with Catherine being there. Not for the op. Like I said, it was completely valid for her to be there for this operation, but the writers pushed it too hard. They were so desperate to make her as relevant as possible, she got a lot more screen time than she deserved. I repeat…. not for the op. I had no problem with her being there. I had no problem with her going undercover with Steve at the casino, although there was absolutely zero reason they needed to be “married” to pull it off. That was nothing but extremely transparent fan service to McRoll shippers. But, ok, let them have their crumb. It didn’t bother me that she was the one who went with Steve to go after Greer and although I would have preferred for Steve to take Greer out, the fact that Catherine killed her is neither here nor there for me.
However, when not directly connected with the operation, there was just too much of her. Every scene that should have been a Steve/Danny scene was sacrificed to her. She sat next to him on the plane, and she comforted Steve over his guilt with regard to Joe’s death. It should have been Danny. It should have been Danny telling Steve it wasn’t his fault Joe died, just the same way Steve helped Danny realize there wasn’t anything he could have done to save Matt. It should have been Danny because it has always been Danny.
It was Danny who Steve chose to help him form Five-0 and, in doing so, helped him recover from his father’s death. It was Danny who pulled Steve off the back of that truck in North Korea. It was Danny who was at Steve’s bedside after his ordeal at the hands of the Taliban in Afghanistan. It was Danny who was the first one Steve laid eyes on in that miserable torture chamber after WoFat. It was Danny who landed a crippled plane on the beach with Steve bleeding out in the pilot’s seat and it was Danny who gave a piece of himself to literally save his life. It was Danny who’s been by his side as he dealt with radiation poisoning.
It’s always been Danny for all the years Catherine has been gone, and for many years before. This notion that “when Steve is hurting, Catherine knows and is there” is nothing but pure fiction within fiction and utter nonsense. She’s never been there when he’s needed someone to have his back (other than when she went with him to recover Freddie. I won’t pretend that wasn’t important, because it was). Danny has always been there.
Unfortunately, in order to make her more important than she really is, Danny had to be shunted aside to make room for her in this episode. Danny showed up in Montana not because Steve called him there but because he wanted to be there for Steve. But Catherine was already there. How?
Did she hear about Joe and through her contacts, get her hands on Thompson and simply show up in Montana? Or did Steve call her? Logistically, it would be logical that she would hear about Joe’s death but not that she would know the details of how it happened or who was involved or responsible. Steve said right from the start it all had to be off the books and it was Tani, Junior and Lou who established the connection to Thompson. So, yeah, it’s more than likely that Steve called her in. But he didn’t call and tell Danny.
When Steve filled Danny in on what they were planning, he told him they wouldn’t be alone. Then Wade showed up. And Junior showed up. Steve called them in. But he didn’t call and tell Danny. Later when they meet up with Harry, he’s full of intel and plans so, obviously, Steve called him in. But he didn’t call and tell Danny. So what conclusion are we supposed to take from that? If Danny hadn’t showed up in Montana when he did, Steve, Catherine, Wade and Junior would have just taken off to meet up with Harry on this mission and Danny would have been home in Hawaii in the dark? Tani and Lou seemed to know what was going on. Did Danny call them and fill them in after he got to Montana? Did Junior fill them in before he left? This was all over the place and I’m more than a little bit peeved at the way the writing was very dismissive of Danny. Not only of his abilities but his right to be included from the start.
I now understand why the CBS synopsis for this episode was written the way it was. This was Steve and Catherine’s op and the others were simply tagging along. I mean, what did any of them actually do, except for Harry who was full of intel and “backup”? Wade rode his bike and neutralized goons at front doors. Junior had a cute moment struggling to fit into the waiter’s pants to add a nice bit of levity. For once the guy stealing another guys clothes isn’t conveniently the exact same size. And other then at the end when everyone geared up to take down Hassan at the hotel, all Danny seemed to do was stand behind Harry while he maneuvered Steve and Catherine through the casino.
The end of this episode would have been the perfect spot for a Steve and Danny moment where the fallout from 9.10 could have been fully explored. Here’s the spot where Steve could have voiced his guilt over Joe’s death and Danny could have talked him down and been a real brother to him, just like always.
But no, we had to revert back to the Steve and Catherine show with a flashback to the flashback of Joe basically ordering Steve to ask Catherine out and then a new flashback of him doing just that. I can understand Steve’s reasons for telling Catherine it was Joe who facilitated their first date. After all, people tend to reminisce about things that happened with loved ones who have died. And it was a sweet moment between the two of them, both being thankful to Joe for bringing them together. They may not be lovers anymore, but they are still good friends and they can be thankful to Joe for that as well as for all the good times they did have over the years.
But what did any of it accomplish? Did we learn anything new about them? Does the fact that we actually see Steve call her for the date make it any different from just hearing about it last season? As a friend of mine said to me, “they continue to avoid addressing her actions and the lack of trust that would result from those actions, so we’re back to the same old status. They are friends who were in a failed romantic relationship but now she can show up to help when her skill set is required”.
Nothing we saw last night wipes out what has happened between them. Off she goes again, back to the life she has chosen, leaving him again, with a broken heart and a life to put back together. And, regardless of the huge open door the writers left there for her to come back, yet again, it will be Danny who will be there, once again, to help Steve pick up the pieces. It’s really a god-damned shame we’ll probably never get to actually see it on screen.
I will say this about Danny though. Well, about Scott, actually. He may not have been given much to do in this episode but what he was given he played extremely well. He played Danny’s discomfort with the events taking place very well. He was subtle and quiet, for the most part, giving Steve space to do what he needed to do even when Danny was extremely uncomfortable with it. I just really wish we could have had some quite moments between Steve and Danny, just so they could talk things out a bit. I’m very disappointed we were denied that.
Well, that’s it for this week friends. No screen caps from me this week. All photos are courtesy of CBS because I just couldn’t bring myself to re-watch the episode to grab any of my own.
Now on to next week and a very Danny centric episode which looks to give Scott some powerful material to work with. Now that will be something awesome to see. Have a great week everyone!
Aloha. Malama pono.