Courtesy of @alohaspaceman in IG and Twitter
Where, oh where, does the time go? You’re curled up on the sofa watching a movie with the family and you glance over at your darling baby girl. But your baby girl isn’t sitting there. Instead, there is this young woman, tall and beautiful, a glass of wine in her hand, watching the movie with rapt attention. She turns her head to glance back at you and you’re floored to realize, well damn, that is your baby girl. When the hell did that happen?
Wasn’t it just last year when you held her in your arms the first time? Wasn’t it just last month when you were cheering her on as she took a first step across this very room? Wasn’t it just last week when you held her little hand as you crossed a street? Wasn’t it just yesterday when you were patching her first skinned knee? Where on earth did this grown up person come from?
Watching the start of this episode, a special “previously on Hawaii Five-0”, we could ask ourselves very similar questions as we were treated to clips of “little Gracie Williams” through the years. My how our little monkey has grown before our very eyes.
It was easy to get misty eyed as we watched Gracie grow up before our eyes once again but that warm feeling didn’t last very long as we are immediately thrown into every parent’s worst nightmare.
This was a really great episode. No, it wasn’t perfect. Very few episodes are. But writer Zoe Robyn crafted a truly wonderful script. Yes, it was a two storyline episode, never a favorite of mine, but Zoe was able to write two very captivating stories. While both stories could have easily been expanded to encompass an entire episode, neither one diminished the other by having to share the allotted time. It’s not easy to write a script that does that. Zoe did a fantastic job.
Her script was emotionally brilliant. It had all the feels that have made people love this show from the beginning. There was the fantastic (and frightening) stunt of Gracie’s car going over that embankment. There was laughter, anger, angst, determination, disbelief, fear and, the most important thing of all….. the overwhelming feeling of Ohana throughout both stories.
My personal highlight:
The incredible acting from Mr. Scott Caan. Of course, this is no surprise to any of us. We already know this man is an extraordinary actor and, given the right material, simply knocks it out of the park. This episode proved, once again, just how talented he is. Whether he’s demonstratively showing his anger and frustration at Katie’s understandably distraught father, or saying very little, his facial expressions and mannerisms speak volumes.
Danny’s hurt and angry that Rachel saw fit to keep yet another fact about his children from him. That Stan bought Grace a car. But I loved how, even though he allowed his resentment a moments free reign and called Rachel out on the fact that this isn’t the first thing she’s ever kept from him, he pulled it back. This wasn’t the time. Gracie’s life was in the balance. That’s all that mattered now. Scott played it beautifully.
It was heartbreaking to watch his face crumble when the surgeon came to tell him and Rachel there was a complication during Gracie’s surgery. It was equally heartbreaking to watch him crumble once more as he watched the video Rachel had put together for Gracie’s graduation. And the quaver in his voice throughout all the hospital scenes was literally painful to hear. His terror at the possibility of losing Grace was palpable.
It’s something that has always affected me ever since I was a kid watching soap operas with my mom. I can hold it together through the saddest of scenes but have a strong man begin to crumble and I just lose it. Scott had me losing it.
And, of course, there is Claire van der Boom. I have always loved her and I defy anyone to say that she and Scott are not wonderful on screen together. From the first moment we met Rachel back in Season 1, I have loved these two together. Scott and Claire, like Chi McBride and Michelle Hurd (as Lou and Renee) are so believable as a couple on screen someone not familiar with the show could easily believe they are a couple in real life. Even if they should never be a couple in the show again. More on that later!
“Yeah, I’m a cop but worse for you, I’m an uncle”
Scott and Claire were incredible in this episode, but so, of course, was Alex. Of course, there was never any doubt Steve would be there for Danny. He loves Gracie as if she were his own child and the thought of losing her himself, as well as what it would do to Danny would be devastating for Steve to even think about. He was an incredible combination of supportive, protective and driven to find the truth about how this happened to her.
I loved how the moment Katie’s dad started to move toward becoming combative with Danny, Steve placed himself right there between them. Not only protecting Danny but also protecting Katie’s dad from what he fears Danny could do in his state of mind.
He went into full investigative mode the moment Duke told him HPD was starting an investigation of the accident because of the rate of speed Gracie was traveling. Of course, it was Duke who breaks this news. Who else would it be? Duke is Ohana and there isn’t any way he’d allow anyone else to handle this duty. A regular cop would have followed protocol and went to Danny and Rachel as Gracie’s parents. Duke wouldn’t have allowed that to happen because that would have been heartless. He even apologized to Steve, there was no way he was going to burden Danny. It’s also no surprise that Steve doesn’t believe Gracie was recklessly driving for one moment. “You know this girl. It’s not her. Something’s wrong here.” Time for Uncle Steve to get to the bottom of this.
I love the scene between Steve, Lou and the mean girl, Cameron. I enjoyed watching Steve standing back and letting Lou fill in Cameron’s dad on exactly what went on at the party she and Gracie were attending. It was very satisfying to see the mean girl called on her bull. I hate people like her. People who get pleasure out of hurting other people. I loved the unwavering look on Steve’s face as he stared the little bitch down. But, at least, she managed to give the guys a timeline of exactly when Gracie and Katie left the party.
Gracie’s uncles were so proud of her. The way she stood up for Katie at the party. How she got Katie out of there when she was feeling alone and humiliated. How she took her out for something to eat, to make her feel better. How she stood up to a creepy dude in Zippy’s who wouldn’t leave the girls alone.
Having already determined at the accident site that there was another car involved which forced Gracie off the road, it’s an easy task to track down the license plate number off the creep’s car from the CCTV footage. The next scene was pure gold.
My husband was watching the episode with me and when Steve asked Keith the Creep to go for a test drive, he turned to me and said, “Ohhhhh this should be good…” 🤣🤣 And it sure as hell was. Watching Steve scare the crap out of the creep was a hell of a lot of fun. I think Keith may need to do some heavy duty cleaning of the passenger seat upholstery if he intends to sell that car after he gets out of jail.
With Keith the Creep taken off to HPD, Steve heads back to the hospital to check in on Danny. The scene in the hallway as they wait for word was fantastic. Danny tells Steve about the graduation video Rachel made for Grace and he jokes that Steve is in it more than he is, even though from the photos we saw that’s not really true. Makes me hope there is a fuller video somewhere that might show up as a DVD extra someday. But Danny says there is more Steve and it’s funny how Danny is perfectly OK with this as well as the influence Steve has on Grace.
I saw this tweet the night of the episode but I forgot to note who said it. If you recognize it, please let me know so I can give the proper credit. But for the purpose of this review, it’s too perfect not to include.
“Steve’s excitement about having Grace’s graduation party at his house, getting a big screen & inviting the neighborhood was such an excited father move, it was beyond adorable. And the fact that Danny didn’t really protest – again co-parenting at its finest. #H50“
The absolute best moment of the entire scene is the three person embrace between Danny, Rachel and Steve. After bringing them the wonderful news that Grace is out of surgery and all went well, she and Danny fall into an embrace of overwhelming relief. Steve, overcome with relief himself, braces himself against the wall, staying back and letting Grace’s parents have their moment.
But Danny isn’t having that. Danny needs to show Steve that he’s part of this, that he is just as much Grace’s family as they are. He reaches out and draws Steve into their embrace. One of the best gestures between them ever!
The Graduation Video
I don’t know who chose the photos to use for that video but whoever it was deserves a huge raise. Besides being wonderful to see even more pictures of Gracie over the years it was the emotional reactions from Danny and Rachel that made it so heartbreaking. And the pictures themselves tell an even more personal tale.
Most of the pictures used in that video are not pictures of Gracie and Danny or Steve. No, they are pictures of Teilor Grubbs (and, more then likely, her little sister as a toddler) with Scott and Alex. Tell me this. What does it say about the closeness and affection between your cast members when you can use behind-the-scenes photos of the actors as a montage for the love between fictional characters?? We’ve all watched Teilor grow up on screen but those guys, have been her on set loving uncles from the start.
Gracie’s car doesn’t have a license plate:
I saw a lot of people wringing their hands over this on Twitter the other night. Gracie’s car didn’t have a plate, so why was she allowed to drive it? A brand new car won’t have plates immediately since there was no previous registration (like from an already owned car) to transfer over. The dealer will register the new car with the state and give a temporary paper registration. You are permitted to drive the car with these until your permanent plates come in the mail, usually within a month.
The secondary story:
I really enjoyed this story a lot. Unlike last weeks secondary offering, this one didn’t feel like it was just giving the actors something to do. It was a good story and it highlighted the relationship between Tani and Koa, which is one of my most favorite dynamics in the show these days. I just love the relationship between these two.
I really enjoyed watching them work together, along with Adam, in trying to prove a woman Koa had in drug counseling didn’t die from an overdose but was murdered. I love it when Tani goes all hard ass on suspects even if this time it really was a bit over the top. But like Steve and Danny, when it involves someone they love, restraint isn’t their strong suit.
It was fun watching Tani and Adam working this case on their own. I like how the writers are working Adam into cases as if he’s always been there. His presence hasn’t been as jarring as I feared it would be at the beginning. And he and Tani work extremely well together especially with the special bond they share ever since Adam saved Koa’s life.
I enjoyed watching Koa play detective in his determination to find the truth. I know it wasn’t realistic. Tani would have known to look in the toilet tank for a stash. Koa was touching everything without wearing gloves. Major no-no. But, I didn’t care really. It was still fun watching him work the scene. Who knows? Maybe someday we’ll hear that Koa has decided to join the Academy. It would be a nice throw back to the beginning of the series. Kono followed Chin to HPD. Maybe, someday, Koa will follow Tani.
The elephant in the room:
Last week, I wrote in my review, that I felt the episode had been hijacked from what should have been a full episode revolving around nothing but the avenging of Joe White, into the Steve and Catherine road to redemption. Unfortunately, I get a similar feel about this episode as well.
Just like I had no problem with Catherine being part of the operation last week, I obviously have no problem with Rachel being there this week. Just like there was a very valid reason for Catherine to be there last week, (she is highly trained, very good at her job and had a long standing relationship with both Joe and Steve), Rachel is Gracie’s mother and, obviously, there was no place she should have been except by Danny’s side in that hospital.
But both episodes used the last few minutes of the episodes to point everyone toward the most ridiculous of roads. Just as there should never be a reconciliation between Steve and Catherine, so should there never be one between Danny and Rachel. I will never understand why TPTB on this show seem to want to force our heroes back into the arms of two women who have lied to them in the most hurtful of ways.
Unlike Steve and Catherine, at least there’s a legitimate reason for Danny and Rachel to be in each other’s lives. They are the parents of children. They will always be in each other’s life. Being able to get past their past differences, Danny being able to forgive Rachel for the hurtful things she’s done to him, is necessary for them to have a civil and friendly relationship for the sake of the kids.
Forgiving is admirable and to be commended. But forgetting is a totally different matter. There is no doubt there is still love there between them. Danny will always have a soft spot for Rachel, just as Steve will for Catherine. But on both counts, the trust has been severely damaged. That can’t just be swept under the rug, in either case.
We find out in this episode that Rachel knew before they ever left New Jersey that she wasn’t happy with Stan. And yet she still moved Grace all the way to Hawaii away from her father. She tried to sue Danny for full custody of Grace after the shooting at the football game. She tried to sue again so she could move with Stan (the man it seems she was never happy with) to Las Vegas. And, the Mount Everest of lies, she lied, with full knowledge, about the fact that Charlie was Danny’s son. So in essence, she tried to steal both of Danny’s children away from him. If that poor child hadn’t gotten sick, she’d have never told Danny about Charlie. Or Stan for that matter. She’s betrayed both her husbands.
It really is a god-damn shame. Just like I always liked Catherine until TPTB turned her into a selfish, hurtful liar, I always liked Rachel. But again, TPTB chose to totally destroy her character. Even with the move to Hawaii and the custody battles, I could have been on board with a reconciliation until she confessed about Charlie. That was so unnecessary. It would have been just as devastating to Danny to learn about Charlie and the years he’d missed if Rachel had not known Charlie’s true paternity. It could have been written that she always believed Charlie was Stan’s son and it was only after he got sick and they needed DNA testing for donors that they found out the truth.
But they chose to make Rachel fully aware from the very beginning that Charlie was Danny’s. That means she not only deprived him of those early years, she allowed him to assist in the delivery of his own son without knowing it was his son. That is unforgivable, plain and simple.
Yes, it’s a god-damn shame because Scott and Claire absolutely sizzle on screen together. You can feel the friendship that exists between them. It tangibly radiates from the screen. Their chemistry is off the charts. But, in my view at least, that should not translate into a reconciliation between Danny and Rachel. Just like Steve and Catherine, they should remain good and loving friends, but that’s all it should ever be. Both Steve and Danny deserve someone who will unconditionally love them and be unconditionally loyal and trustworthy. Neither Catherine nor Rachel fit that description any longer.
Welcome home Gracie:
A week after the accident, Gracie comes home to a full blown Ohana celebration. I don’t know anything about head trauma or brain surgery but one week doesn’t seem like a very long time to make such a recovery. Her cuts and bruises are far on the road to healing and except for a hat which is probably hiding the turban of bandages on the top of her head, you’d never know she’d been hurt. But, details…. details….
It was so awesome to see the entire Ohana there to welcome her home. Lou even mention how Will wishes he could be there for her, but will be home tomorrow to see her. Nice to know the kids are still together. And it was wonderful to hear Steve say, as if Grace didn’t already know it, that no matter where she goes in her life, they’ll always all be there for her.
Lots of love, laughter and food. Oh yeah, the food. Seems we finally have an official name for the restaurant. Kamekona’s Ohana Style Italian Restaurant. I suppose an “ohana style” Italian Restaurant means traditional Italian dishes with a Hawaiian flair? All I know is, if Danny walks in there and finds pineapple on pizza he’ll blow a blood vessel! 🤣🤣 And yeah, I still prefer “Steve’s” too!
As always it is the feeling of Ohana which permeates this entire series. I can only be grateful that we’ve been able to share in it all these years. In the show, and in the fandom, where I’ve met so many wonderful people who share my love of this show. Thank you H50. As Koa so perfectly put it…. “I appreciate being part of this big weird family you brought into my life”.
That’s it for this week my friends. As always, all screen caps are mine unless otherwise noted. But before I go, a little something in honor of this fantastic episode…… a throwback to a little video I made waaaaay back when! Aloha. Malama Pono.