#H50 Review: 9.19 – Pupuhi ka he’e o kai uli (The Octopus of the Deep Spews Its Ink)

I hate to say it, but this episode didn’t really do much for me.  First off, it was a “triple” episode, my least favorite kind.  With two crimes being worked on it kept two sets of team members totally separated the entire time.  The third story being the Reign’s family saga, which was actually my favorite part of the episode.  Unfortunately, those scenes were only a total of about ten minutes, five at the beginning and five at the end of the episode.

The two crimes of the week were both a bit odd, but still enjoyable.  I guess I was just expecting more.  Especially since I already knew there wouldn’t be any “McDanno” time in this one, as this was a scheduled “Danny-less” episode.  I’ve gotten used to these episodes being very Steve heavy.  It’s something that bugs the hell out of me because these episodes usually have great Steve action or heavy Steve emotion I’m always disappointed Danny wasn’t there for.

So, having this episode be “Danny-less” and “Steve-light” made it seem really off.  Look, I fully understand the logistics we find ourselves in these days.  Scott’s “5 episodes a season less than Alex” is long standing. At least five years now.  And, we also know Alex’s new contract calls for more down time.  I am full on board with both these things.  As much as I love Steve and Danny and want them together on my screen as much as possible, I love Alex and Scott just as much.  These schedules make them happy.  Obviously so, since they both chose to return to the show for more seasons.  Alex and Scott happy….. more seasons of the show with them both …. WIN-WIN.  Consequently, I suppose we’re going to get episodes like this one every once in a while where there’s no Danny at all and they give Steve a bit of a breather at the same time.

You know me, of course, so even when there’s an episode that’s not up to par in my eyes, there is still plenty to love because, well, it’s me and this is H50!

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Hirsch:  I’ve liked Hirsch from the first moment we met him.  I know there are some who dislike the way he always acted toward Kono (and now seems to be projecting onto Tani) but it’s never been a big issue for me.  Both Kono and Tani are strong women who have absolutely no problem dealing with his personality.  It never bothered Kono enough to actually do anything about it and it was quite obvious she had a soft spot for him regardless.  Considering it was Tani who called Hirsch into this case and put his name in as a possible person to run a foundation to assist dissident artists, I think it’s safe to say she doesn’t have a problem with him either.

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I always liked that TPTB gave Hirsch his crime scene clean-up business because it gave him something legitimate to do that would keep him out of jail and could keep him on the H50 canvas (pun intended) even when there wasn’t an art related case.  But it’s fun when they do have a case that involves art so Hirsch’s true talents can be utilized.  The old masterpieces stolen by the Nazi’s in WW2 for instance and, of course this episode.

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I really loved the “street art” element of this case.  I’m from Philadelphia and I’ve spent my whole adult life admiring a program in the city called “Mural Arts Philadelphia”.  “The program was founded in 1986 under the direction of a local artist, Jane Golden, as part of the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network, with the goal of facilitating collaboration between professional artists and prosecuted graffiti writers to create new murals in the city.”

In the over 30 years since the program began, hundreds of murals have gone up all over the city and I have to tell you, having seen many of them in person, they are magnificent.  It’s helped turn many neighborhoods, once utterly defaced with graffiti into living works of art. Living… because many of the murals are painted on the sides of homes where the adjacent home has been torn down.  Without the murals these “empty walls” would invite vandalism.  Now they are works of art. Being a Philadelphia Phillies fan, this is my all time favorite.  If you’re interested in seeing more of the beautiful murals, check out their site.

2010-014_Phillies_01Photo Credit:  Mural Arts Philadelphia     https://www.muralarts.org

So, having a story about street art and being able to include Hirsch in the investigation was pretty cool.  Of course, this being H50, it couldn’t just be a straight forward case of a “window washer” falling to his death.  Turns out the window washer was actually a street artist going by the name “Brikz” whose art has been defaced all over the island.  Hirsch thinks his death could be linked to that and by using his considerable skill as an art forger, paints a piece in Brikz style to draw out the vandals.  There is also Brikz manager who could have killed him knowing that his death would cause the value of his art to skyrocket.  They need to shift gears when they find the manager not only dead but tortured for information.

By the way, have we ever seen Steve get a bit nauseous over the dead body before?  We’ve seen him react to the horrible smell of decomp a couple of times, but I don’t think we’ve ever seen him literally doing the nausea thing.  It was pretty funny.

Eventually the team finds out that Brikz was working with another street artist, going by the name “Phoenix”, using her art to speak out against her government in Nicaragua who she blames for her son’s death.  She was with Brikz when he was killed as her government attempted to capture her and make a public example by executing her.

Naturally, the team rescue her in time, but I have to admit, the rescue was a bit jarring.  I actually thought for a moment that I maybe fell asleep and missed a crucial scene. One moment they’re all doing exposition around the magic table and the next second, Steve’s face appears on the video camera and Tani is pulling Phoenix to safety.  It was a tad abrupt to say the least.

Lou and Adam:  Vintage aloha shirts?  Who’d have ever thought they could write an entire story around vintage aloha shirts?  I did like this story but mostly because I was getting such a kick out of watching Lou and Adam working together.  I was a little concerned when the season started, and Adam was made a member of Five-0.  I just couldn’t figure out where he’d fit in.  Well, it turns out, he fits in just perfectly… everywhere.

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Adam has been teamed up with every member of the team at various times throughout the season and he’s been great with them all.  Ian’s warm personality and his chemistry with every member of the cast is extraordinary.  The more I see of Adam on the team, the more I like him.  But then, I’ve always liked Adam, right from the very beginning.

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Of course, this story pretty much existed only to give Adam and Lou something to do since the other story really didn’t have enough meat on it to support the entire team, even with Danny missing.  But any opportunity to visit to a real local Oahu attraction (in this case Bailey’s Antiques and Aloha Shirts) and getting a bunch of Lou Grover one-liners is wonderful in my book.  Watching Lou pretend to be an antique aloha shirt appraiser was hysterical.

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Jerry:  I know I probably say this every week, but he continues to amaze me.  Not only was it pretty cool the way he mapped out all the footprints on the rooftop with that drone but seeing him in the lab manufacturing fingerprints to crack Bricks computer was awesome.  I kept waiting for Eric to walk up to him and give him grief for doing his job.  That would have been pretty funny.

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Tani and Junior in the car:  This wasn’t a very long scene, but it was one that really stood out for me.  First off, I loved Tani calling out Junior for being just as tight-lipped as his dad when it comes to discussing emotional concerns.  Her line about “a man who shares the same DNA” and her asking to be fanned so she didn’t faint while driving was really funny.

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I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday and she and I both agreed that scene had us both feeling a bit nostalgic because it was so reminiscent of Steve and Danny car scenes from the early seasons.  I really miss those scenes.  Even when they were having those classic “carguments”, there was usually something “non-argumentative” to go along with it.  Looks like Tani and Junior are really great at creating those very same vibes.

Reign’s Family Saga: This was by far the best part of the episode.  Eric Scanlan, who plays Junior’s dad, Natano, is awesome.  He’s able to convey so much with just his facial expressions and body language.  His grief is so palpable, you can literally feel it flowing from the TV screen.

Of course, we know that Junior’s sister, Maya, was killed in a car accident before he enlisted in the Navy and we also know that Natano did not approve of Junior’s decision.  He had already lost one child and didn’t want to lose another.  It’s so unfortunate the two of them couldn’t have communicated about their shared grief at the time. It didn’t have to be something that drove them apart.  They hadn’t spoken since, not until very recently and even then, the relationship has been extremely contentious.

But the two of them, in their own pig-headed way, are trying to work things out between them.  The rebuilding of the deck being the perfect metaphor to the rebuilding of their relationship.  Little by little.  Plank by plank.

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We learn something new every time we see these guys together and each revelation brings us closer to understanding them both, especially Natano.  For instance, this time we learned that Natano loves musical theater because Junior’s mom has always loved it.  We learned that he joined the chorus in high school so he could connect with her.  It was a very charming memory and one it was obvious Junior never knew about.

Finding the bracelet Maya lost many years ago is an extremely disarming moment.  Junior recognized the significance right away, remembering when she lost it.  I can picture he and Maya looking everywhere for it at the time.  But Natano simply picks it up and puts it into his pocket without any fanfare.  Unfortunately, Junior is called away for a case before he can press his dad on it.

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Later, Junior returns to find his father drunk, in Maya’s old room.  In his whiskey infused haze, Natano can see it right in front of him…. the day he gave Maya the bracelet.  The love he felt for her and the way she loved him right back.  It was heartbreaking and incredibly poignant.  Finally, after all these years, Natano allows himself to show his grief to his son.  The embrace they share as Natano weeps on Junior’s shoulder was heart wrenching.  It’s a grief they should have shared a very long time ago.  Hopefully this is a real breakthrough for them.  I don’t think it’s going to all of a sudden make them into people who share all their feelings openly all the time, but it certainly looks like a promising start.

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Then there is that prosthetic leg.  Now that was a huge surprise.  Of course, we always knew that Natano was afraid to lose another child when he disapproved of Junior joining the Navy but as soon as I saw that leg, my first thought was “Wow… Junior’s dad lost a leg! Becoming a bit clearer why he didn’t want Junior to join the military!”  Having noticed the pretty significant scar along the side of his face before, I jumped to the conclusion that Natano didn’t want Junior in the military because he held a grudge because something happened to him while serving.

But then a friend of mine on Twitter, Lori Silvano (@Witchy0268) said something that made a lot more sense.  Perhaps Maya wasn’t alone in that car the night she died.  We know she was driving (Junior having mentioned it in a previous episode) but maybe Natano was in the passenger seat.  Maybe his drinking in this episode isn’t a new thing.  Maybe he called Maya to pick him up after a bit too much to drink that night.  Maybe it’s not only grief over her death but guilt that if he hadn’t called her, she wouldn’t have died.  That leg and that scar would be an every moment reminder, not that he would need it, of course, of what happened, what was lost and his guilt thinking it was his fault.

It kind of makes sense.  His grief is still so all consuming, even after all these years, it’s possible there could be more to it that we just don’t know about yet.  As he and Junior continue to “build that deck”, perhaps we’ll learn even more about what happened that night and how these two can continue to heal.

I’m looking forward to that a lot because both these actors, Eric Scanlon and Beulah Koale, are totally rocking these scenes and I can’t wait to see even more.

Well, that’s it for this week my friends!  I hope you all have a wonderful next couple of weeks.  If you’re a basketball lover, you’ll be in March Madness heaven while the rest of us suffer through hiatus hell.  See ya all in April!

Aloha.  Malama Pono

Sorry gang.. no time for screen caps this week.  Other than the Mural Arts photo, all photos are courtesy of CBS

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12 thoughts on “#H50 Review: 9.19 – Pupuhi ka he’e o kai uli (The Octopus of the Deep Spews Its Ink)

  1. Courtney says:

    I understand Alex and Scott needing time off but even when they are there they have nothing to do. It seems since we got back from the holiday break it has been non stop Grover/Junior/Tani/Adam stories and back stories while Steve and Danny stand around. While I liked them at first I am starting to resent them. PL praises them non stop gives them tons of stories and he never says anything nice about Alex and Scott and gives them no stories or back stories. If this does not change this will be my last season.

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  2. Agree with you almost 100%. It’s funny how we all like different characters. I have never liked Adam. Never ever. This is the first episode where I actually related to him a little bit. That vintage shirt portion was priceless. I love Lou and his one-liners.
    I am having a hard time warming up to Tani too. Kono was tough but there was a human I could see and relate to. Tani is like a robot. However once again a small scene in the car with Junior made me feel like maybe I could like her given more time. Her comment to Junior was hilarious. I laughed out loud because she hit the nail on the head there. I loved the episode and always enjoy the annoying Hirsch. Didn’t miss Danny at all because sometimes it’s nice to include the rest of the cast and let them shine. And last but not least, Jerry and his tech toys are awesome. It is always a pleasure to watch him work his magic.
    Thanks for the tremendous work and effort you put in to this capture each week. I’m always excited to see it in my mailbox.

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  3. rhondagemini says:

    Great review, Linda! To me, the crimes of the week were a bit confusing at times and like you, I thought I had missed something when Steve & Tani rescued Phoenix-I mean, as you said, one minute the team is at the magic table and the next,Steve’s face is on the screen as Tani is leading Phoenix to safety-very strange. I loved the scenes with Junior & his father and thought the same as you at first-that the lost leg with behind Natano’s disapproval of Junior going into the military. However, what your friend said about Maya’s accident and Natano possibly being in the passenger seat that night does make more sense-I hope we find out more in a future episode. Loved Lou & Adam working together-Adam fits in with the team perfectly. It looks like Hirsch is picking up with Tani where he left off with Kono,but Tani doesn’t seem too bothered by it. Looking forward to the next episode in April-not too many more episodes left this season-where did the time go?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Carole says:

    I figured this would be a filler and with no Danny I wasn’t expecting to be wowed, but there were enough good bits to make it entertaining: Adam worked well with Lou who had some good one liners (thankfully no monologs) Hirsch was.Hirsch – quirky and endearing and Jerry had a real CSI vibe going with all his nifty tech gadgets. The COTW were kind convoluted and I did lose track a bit when I stepped away to take a call. The last scene with Junior and his dad had the biggest impact – it may well be that he was in the car, but for me it made me think of a Vietnam vet we knew when we lived in Hawaii – he suffered chemical burns and eventual amputation of his leg.. Interestingly he was on the original H50 – just a couple of bit parts, but he was pretty proud of it. Junior’s dad might be about the right age – I am interested to see where they go………anyway hoping we get a lot if Steve & Danny these last episodes – I am seriously missing them!

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  5. Robin Jane Bridges says:

    What you said. Maybe Steve’s medicine makes him reacted to dead bodies different now. Jr family always makes me cry. Have we seen his mom yet. Steve needs Danny. The vibe between them makes it work.

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  6. I agree with you Linda, this was a “meh” episode but I’m grateful the show is still going strong.
    I remember Steve having to hold back the barf in an episode in S7 or S8 when a serial killer was on the loose– Steve found a bunch of bodies in a basement, and there were flies buzzing all around. It was gross!
    I was very glad to hear the mention of Joe White — even though he’s gone, his contacts were able to aid Steve. Nice touch. I was so afraid they’d just forget about him. His life and his death are important to Steve and shouldn’t be trivialized.
    Not looking forward to this two-week break but I bet the remaining episodes will be full of kick-ass action!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Brooklyngirl says:

    It was as light an episode as it was confusing. I couldn’t quite follow either COTW but Iiked seeing Adams skillz and Lou’s one liners I did enjoy the little bit of Pua we saw and Jerry being all techy and gadety. I love Hirsch (loved him as Mazzie from White Collar too) so was happy Tani called him in to help. I read the other comments about her and in this episode she didn’t bother me but she has in others. I guess her snark was minimal this time.

    I just wish that had given a “Kleenex” warning for the best part of the episode. It was very heart breaking but rewarding to see a small piece of the wall being chipped away. I hope we get more of Junior and Natano.

    I got a chuckle out of Steve reacting to the smell too! But damn, he looked really good in this episode. His lightened schedule is working wonders! 😍😍

    I can’t believe there are only 6 episodes left. Hopefully we’ll hear the glorious words “renewed for s10” very soon!

    Thanks for another good review. I’m going to check out the graffiti link you listed above.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Joey Lawrence per Spoiler TV returning for finale in two part
    But really that hope there is a season 10.
    People wonder if they are trying to transfer the show from McDanno to that of Adam and Grover as the leaders I read in some sites. Hope there is a season 10.
    Really wonder if Hirsch and Tani will have kind of a father-daughter relationship type like thing when he had with Kono. Both of them together adorable.
    Junior and his father bonding after being estranged for such a very long time
    But sadly the sister/daughter died and the father was angry/sad for losing one child, he did not want to lose another. But Junior I think came back more of a man after his stint with the SEALS! Wanting to prove himself to his dad I think. In the end, the father seemed proud of Junior’s decision after all.

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  9. Well. I just have to say that, for the most part, I was bored and/or feeling unvolved with this episode. I can’t believe I’m saying that about H50. Everybody has pretty much touched on the issues. I will admit there were a few moments that worked, especially that ending scene which was very emotional and came out of nowhere. But, really…I’m just bummed by the lack of Steve and Danny this season (with a few exceptions). Of course it’s good that Alex and Scott have contracts that make them happy so don’t get me wrong. I just feel like, since we have those eps without the two of them, in exchange, most of the other eps should be Steve & Danno strong. I’m feeling cheated because the partnership that launched the show and made it unique years is being swept under the rug and a multitude of other characters are supposed to distract us from that. Right–like that’s going to happen. I honestly felt like this past ep could’ve been any other CBS crime procedural show (and not an outstanding one either). The two COTW stories were all over the place, not well-developed and never pulled me in. I can only hope this was an anomaly and not the direction we’re going to keep seeing.

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  10. This week’s episode was okay. This show has been on for 9 seasons and it doesn’t bother me having a Dannyless and Steve-light episode. These men have lives and I know they must be exhausted. There is such a huge cast and team that I am can accept them not being used as much. Like you, I am not a fan of several stories in one episode.

    I was happy to see Hirsch and I loved his panda mural. It was fun seeing him use his past skills for good. I’m sure I’ve posted this before, but I really enjoy Tani and Junior’s addition to the show. I enjoy their interactions and the fact that they add some youthful energy to the show. Their quick and easy friendship is enjoyable, and I like that they have a certain trust in each other. I thought the underlying cause of the street artist death the be interesting, but I didn’t like the way it came together or thought it could have been written better.

    I didn’t find Lou and Adam’s story that interesting. I did enjoy Lou, the fashionable big and tall man, schooling Adam in eccentric fashion. Chi always delivers in his scenes. I love IAD, but I cannot get into the direction Adam has gone in and find it difficult to watch. I really hate when I like an actor but find the character, they play to be unnecessary to the show. It’s almost like they shoehorn the character in and try and to find a way to plausibly include them. There are other characters that could be utilized in situations that involved these unnecessary characters. This is certainly not the only television show I watch that does this, but I find it to be a waste.

    My favorite part of the show was Junior and Natano. I would have been happy if they would have had one major case involving the main case and thrown in a few more scenes with Junior and his dad. I realize one small revelation and emotionally insightful moment between the two is not going to fix everything in their relationship. I do think that it is a start and I enjoyed seeing Junior connect with his father. I would love to see a little more interaction between these two men. Junior has a heart of gold and has really grown on me this season.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mary Tomshack says:

    I was not crazy about the episode either. It is never my favorite episode when Danny is not in it. I wish they would have at least mentioned him. But, it’s all good. Hopefully, it will keep him around longer. And, Alex too. They need their breaks. Well, it will be a rough couple of weeks without them. But, it will really make us appreciate when they are back.

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  12. Lori Silvano says:

    Hey Linda..thanks for the shout out but as you know you were right!!! As you saw I asked Peter Lenkov and he answered me that his leg was lost in the military..but I still say my theory was legit tho lol!!😉💖 I, like you, didnt love this episode. I didnt hate it coz well.. its H50..lol but def. Not my fav ep of the season..kinda like a filler ep. I love Hirsh so I was happy to see him. Hes kind of endearing… I would def be friends w him coz he cracks me up so much. As for the scene when Tani and Steve found the body..I didnt take it as being nauseous as much as it reeked to high heaven ..I think he was covering his nose to the smell..more then the body making him nauseous 🤷‍♀️..and I agree 100% about Adam and his cheekbones…both if which rock !!👍

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