“Hawaii Storm Might Have Set the State’s All-Time Record Low; Snow Fell on Maui, Too”
No, that’s not the tag line for this episode of H50 but it very well could have been. That is a real headline from weather.com from this past week, as a powerful storm raked Hawaii with damaging winds (gusting as high as 200 mph), historically low temperatures and snow…. yes…. snow at the lowest elevation ever on Maui. Maui!! Anyone who argues there’s no such thing as climate change has been guzzling from a much larger pitcher of KoolAid than anything I’ve ever served here, that’s for sure!
Of course, there was no way for writer Rob Hanning to know that the real time Hawaii weather would so easily coincide with his episode when he wrote it (nor when it was filmed weeks ago) but the timing couldn’t have been better. No way could anyone complain that the writing was unrealistic or “over-the-top” when the weather on the news was a lot worse. Did anyone else see those humongous 100-year-old trees that were uprooted in Kapiolani Park? Incredible!
You have to give director Karen Gaviola and especially the crew, a ton of kudos here for the way they manufactured that storm outside HQ. The wind and rain lashing at the windows of Steve’s office were so incredibly realistic it was chilling. Of course, we already know the crew on this show is phenomenal, but it’s still amazing every time they prove it once again.
Ok… who besides me found Alejandro “El Diablo” Vega (Raoul Trujillo) totally creepy? Why, oh why, can’t we have a “big bad” like him stick around for a while? He’d be one hell of a formidable opponent to Five-0, the likes of which we haven’t seen since WoFat and Gabriel. The look in his eyes, the eerie way he smiled and the unnerving way he stared into the rendition room camera, it was easy to see why Jerry said some people believed he had some sort of “mind control” ability.
Of course, this guy gets dumped into Five-0’s lap, with like 10 minutes notice. Yeah, it was needed as a basis for the story but come on…. how many military bases are there on that island? Military bases which I am certain have containment facilities available for when crimes are committed on base which are not under local jurisdiction. Military bases which are armed to the teeth. But the Palace, rapidly filling with civilian evacuees, who could easily become collateral damage, is the only secure place to take one of the worlds most notorious villains? 🤣🤣
I liked this episode because it was really entertaining even though it was clearly intended to be a bit of a breather for the cast after the previous very emotional and high-octane episode. Other than Steve’s fight with the assassin, which was totally bad ass awesome, everything else was relatively low key. Moving Jerry’s stuff from his basement office; Lou and Jerry taking care of the critically injured sheriff’s deputy; Junior driving around the island; Tani tied to a chair; a lot of running back and forth to rendition to check on Vega and/or pull him out of a CO2 death chamber. But nothing exploded, there were no car chases and the shoot-out in HQ was mostly just the assassin picking off FBI agents. Again, all very entertaining but still kind of low key. Steve’s fight and Tani’s back and forth with the bad guys at the stash house the only real action.
Even so, Rob Hanning crafted an episode which was both exciting and unique due to the main Vega story being confined strictly to HQ. It made the action feel very claustrophobic with the team and FBI trying to keep Vega both confined and safe. Restricting the action in HQ, surrounded by the raging storm, really ratcheted up the stress level. It was really well done.
I also enjoyed the scene between Lou, Jerry and the injured sheriff’s deputy. We’ve talked before about the evolution of Jerry from that guy living in his mom’s basement who was basically scared of his own shadow to this new confident and self-assured Jerry who’s become a valuable asset to the team. Not only was he, as he seems to always be now, invaluable in identifying the assassin, but in his cool-headed approach to treating the injured deputy. Who’d have ever thought the Jerry of old could have handled that situation so well.
And Lou? Well, he’s just a font of apropos stories for every situation isn’t he? His very amusing story serving its purpose in keeping the deputy conscious and responding until medical help could get there was golden! And Chi is just sooooo good at scenes like these.
As much as I enjoyed this episode… and here we go again…. it was an episode with three different stories going on and you all know I’m not thrilled with these types of episodes. This one isn’t an exception. I enjoyed Tani’s story, I did. I love Tani and I always think she’s awesome. I especially like it when she’s in scenes with kids because Meaghan always nails these and Tani’s interactions with little six-year-old Emmy, calming the frightened little girl and earning her trust, were wonderful.
Photo Credit: CBS
But this is a story we really didn’t need. I know, they wanted to give everyone on the team something to do, and that’s great, but I think that could have easily been accomplished with Tani at HQ helping out with the Vega situation. She really didn’t need to be pulled away for her own little side adventure. But at least she had more to do than Junior who, other than killing the last bad guy (who Tani could have totally handled on her own, thank you) was relegated to just driving around Honolulu all day. They could have both stayed at HQ and it would have been fine.
Photo Credit: CBS
And then there’s Danny. Now, you know I don’t like it when Danny is segregated away from Steve and the team during any episode. And here he is, not at HQ during a crisis, but at home, riding out the storm with Rachel and Charlie. My gut instinct when these things happen is to be really annoyed. But then I need to step back and think about it without my visceral emotions getting in the way.
First off, as a friend of mine pointed out to me, it’s obvious those scenes were filmed while Claire was still on Oahu back when they filmed 9.12. Since this episode is not one of Scott’s “five less a year” episodes, having it written this way made it possible for Scott to be in the episode but still get an extra week off at the same time. An extra week not meaning a “sixth” week but being able to get off two consecutive weeks.
And, as much as I don’t care for it, when I think about it that way, I have less of a problem with it. Yeah, I wish Scott was in every single episode, in practically every single scene, but I know this schedule is keeping him happy and that’s keeping him on the show. So, I don’t need to like it, I only need to understand it and since I adore Scott and Danny, I’m ok with anything that keeps him happy and, therefore, on this show.
As much as I loved Rob Hanning’s script, I do wish there had been just a couple more lines. Some indication, even if it was a small one, that being at work was not out of the realm of possibility. Maybe just a line from Rachel saying something like “Thanks Danny, I hope we’re not holding you from work” and Danny responding with something like “Don’t worry. I called Steve and told him you guys were being evacuated. He told me, since it’s already my day off anyway, to stay here but he’d call me if he needed more hands on deck”. Just a couple of lines would have gone a long way to help it look less like Danny just wasn’t at work and more like Steve approved of him staying with his family.
As for the interaction between Danny and Rachel…… what can I say that I haven’t already said before? Look, we know Danny has a heart as big as all outdoors and a capacity for love that is off the charts. His capacity for forgiveness is obviously just as huge. That is a wonderful trait in anyone. But this story upsets me on a couple of levels. Not only because of all the reasons we’ve discussed ad nauseam as to why these two don’t belong together but because I love Scott and Claire together. Their on-screen chemistry is, as always, phenomenal.
So, I watch these scenes and it bugs the hell out of me that I sit there, thoroughly enjoying the acting of Scott and Claire, and being angry, at the same time, that these two awesome actors were handed this awful story. I get angry at the unnecessary assignation of Rachel’s character and I get angry over what “could have been” if they would have written their story better. If it had been written that Rachel didn’t know about Charlie’s paternity until after he got sick, instead of knowing from the very beginning. That was the straw that broke my back in that relationship.
And I get angry that the current writing is giving the impression that Danny’s heart of gold and capacity for forgiveness is going to conveniently forget everything that has happened over more than a decade between these two, from before we ever met them 8+ years ago. That he’s going to conveniently forget the effects on Grace from the collapse of their marriage, their subsequent, unsuccessful reunion and the destruction of her marriage to Stan because of the Charlie revelation. That he’d knowingly and willingly run the risk of hurting Charlie the same way. That is not the Danny we know. The Danny we know would move the earth and stars to protect his kids from getting hurt.
My fervent hope is that all this good feeling between them will resonate with them and fully show them that they’re now in a really good place between them. They are both happy, civil, working together for their kids….. friends. Co-parenting with love and good will. That it’s just not worth risking what they have now in an ill-conceived attempt to recapture something they haven’t had in decades. To attempt to pretend all the nastiness that came before never happened. That way, I can sit back and go back to enjoying Scott and Claire’s chemistry and acting skills without dread.
Going back to what I said earlier about wishing there was a line or two thrown in there about Danny going to work, I loved that the first place Steve went once everything calmed down was Danny’s. So, even without the lines in the earlier scenes, Steve checking in on Danny, Rachel and Charlie and the way he greeted Rachel made it clear he did know Danny was staying home with them and he approved. There was no surprise in his greeting that suggested he didn’t know Rachel was there.
I also loved the subtle (or not-so-subtle) implication that Steve looks at a possible hook-up between Danny and Rachel as an impending disaster. Yes Steve… we couldn’t agree more!
The ending was funny and classic McDanno. Yeah, I wish there had been a ton more of that but even this little glimpse of it was sweet and fun. And…. Steve finally gets his pancakes. I wonder if Danny buttered them for him?? 🤣🤣
That’s it for this week my friends. Something to really look forward to next week. A two-episode Friday night. Have we ever had one of those before? Except for a couple of season ending Fridays? I don’t think we have so this will be a real treat especially since the second episode was directed by Alex. That promises to be fantastic!
Have a great week everyone. I don’t know when next weeks reviews will get done. I have a weekend full of plans and obligations and now two episodes to review. Hopefully I’ll get them done in a timely manner.
Aloha. Malama Pono
All screencaps are mine unless otherwise noted