#H50 Review:  10.07 – Ka ‘i’o – (DNA)

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

“We don’t get life on our terms Danny. It’s life on life’s terms or not at all.” – Steve McGarrett

I suppose we could say the same thing about pretty much everything in life, including something as trivial and inconsequential as a TV show.  We don’t get it on our terms.  We get it on the terms of the powers that be, their story, their vision, their road on which we all travel as we enjoy what they offer us.

There are times when their terms are not to our liking.  Something we love, we don’t get enough of, to our satisfaction.  Things we would rather not see are thrust upon us to endure until they pass.  But there are times when all the stars align, and we’re given an episode which somehow manages to outshine even our most imaginative anticipation.  This is such an episode.

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Written by Alex O’Loughlin…… Directed by Alex O’Loughlin…. Produced by Alex O’Loughlin…. Staring Alex O’Loughlin… this episode is a masterpiece.

I could literally stop right there.  I was saying to friends on Twitter Friday night, those who were looking forward to my take on the episode, that there was no way in hell I could ever do it justice.  Could I just write “incredible” a million times and stop?  Because that’s exactly what it was.  Absolutely incredible.

How do you highlight something that’s already glowing brightly?  I can’t say anything about Alex the Producer since I know precious little about what being a producer really entails.  But we can talk about the things that were abundantly clear.

Alex the Writer:  From the first moment we heard about this episode, way back in the early summer, pretty much everyone was beside themselves with excitement and anticipation.  Those who have followed Alex’s career for many years know that he’s dipped his toe into writing in the far past, but he’s never attempted an H50 episode before.  What story would he choose to tell?  Would it be something brand new or would he decide to delve into H50 canon?

D_9kAM2UEAA3bR7Photo Credit:  Christine Lahti (@officialchristinelahti) on IG

Then word came that Christine Lahti would be returning as Doris and it became clear that canon it would be.  The more we heard about the episode, information from Peter Lenkov and interviews with Alex himself, the more the anticipation grew.  The man did not disappoint.

Of course, this wasn’t an original plot idea.  I remember years ago, in a creative writing class I took in college, the professor citing some (long ago forgotten by me) academic who believed there are only seven basic plots in literature and all stories are based on those plots.  I had a similar discussion on this blog a while back and went searching for who that academic might have been.  I saved the article I found at that time.

https://www.autocrit.com/blog/7-stories-world/

It’s not the originality of the plot that’s important.  It’s the way a writer weaves the story.  His personal vision of how he wants to tell his story.  And, Alex’s story was masterful.

I have been wracking my brain trying to find the best way to describe just how wonderful this story is and found myself, as I suspected I would, lacking.  Every time I started to write something I just couldn’t find the appropriate words to do it justice.  Then, while taking a break and just browsing Twitter I came across the following thread written by my friend @surfbelle2.  She managed to say exactly what I wanted to say, in a way I know I could never improve on.  So, I’m going to do something I very rarely do.  I’m printing her words here because they are absolutely perfect.  Please direct all well-deserved praise to her:

“Ultimately, I think only Alex could have written this episode and done it justice.  Not because anyone else would have lacked the skill but it’s clear, through Steve, he’s lived this relationship with Doris.  The pain of mourning her “death” then dealing with her resurrection.  Only to be abandoned and cast aside again and again while constantly hoping there was some reason, or justification, for her actions.  Trying to defend her to others or to save her from the consequences of what she had done.  I think for any other writer, especially one with understanding and affection for Steve’s character, it would have been hard to resist the urge to “fix” her for Steve.  To let her go out in a blaze of heroic glory sacrificing herself for him.

Instead, we’re treated to Alex’s truth. There could be nothing clean about her end because her life had been gritty and dirty.  She never saw what she did as harmful, even as she left a trail of pain and death in her wake, no matter if her victims were enemies or her own family.  She insinuated herself into WoFat’s family, then into John McGarrett’s life and finally into Carmen Lucia’s world.  She’s left each place a smoldering ruin.  There is no redemption for someone so oblivious to the suffering she’s caused, who thinks her “missions” justify anything.  Instead Alex gave us a just ending for her.  He left intact her professional reputation because her work had always been her driving force.  But he also showed that Steve recognized that while it was clear she wanted to love and, to the extent she was capable she did, that she was also one broken toy he could not fix.”

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Thank you Belle! There is no way in hell I could have ever said that any better!

Alex the Director:  Over the years we’ve been treated to the talents of many, many fine directors.  We all have our favorites and it’s very easy to add Alex to the list.  This wasn’t his first stint in the director’s chair, but it’s the best yet.  If there was any doubt that Alex’s future, if he chooses to leave acting behind, will easily transition into directing, there shouldn’t be any doubt now.

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Alex’s direction is full of originality, creativity and energy.  I loved how the story jumped from Mexico, eight weeks earlier in Oahu, then back again.  I loved the use of different color tones in the filming.  Oahu seemed even more colorful and crisp when compared to the muted, sepia inspired tones used in the South America footage.  It made those scenes feel rawer, seedier, more dangerous.

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Alex’s wonderful use of camera angles and quick cuts really ratcheted up the “edge of your seat” excitement.  We’ve had cars explode and flip a zillion times, but somehow, this one was different.. better.  Maybe because it came as such a shock because we’ve never had a member of our team in an exploding car before. (If we have, I can’t remember it).  It literally made me leap out of my skin.  All the action scenes were positively stunning.  I saw several people all over social media in the days leading up to Friday say how the episode was going to be like watching a movie.  They did not lie.  Brilliant direction by Alex and exceptional work by the always exceptional stunt team.

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There was also the marvelously shot scene from the interior of the pitch dark plane Steve got into in Panama.  What looked like light shining through bullet holes in the fuselage subtlety morphing into the star studded sky of Oahu was ingeniously beautiful.

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But I think the best direction of the entire episode was right after Doris dies.  Alex has the camera cast everything in a blurry aura, as if Steve, evidently in shock, is seeing everything through a veil of tears.  He doesn’t really feel the presence of anyone else with him, even with the SEALs and especially Junior right there, giving him both moral and physical support.  Also, other than the extremely haunting and mournful background music, Alex chose to have not a spoken word of dialog heard.  We are experiencing everything through Steve’s eyes and through Steve’s consciousness and in those moments where Steve is completely disconnected from what’s going on around him, when his only focus is on the loss of Doris, we’re left adrift along with him.  Feeling everything he feels.  It was probably the best scene I’ve ever seen in the series to date.  If someone doesn’t submit this scene for an Emmy it will be a crime.

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Alex the Actor:  Absolutely nothing written above would be relevant without Alex’s extraordinary talent as an actor.  This is no surprise to any of us, of course.  We’ve known it for years.  But this episode was the absolute pinnacle.  Alex was 100% on point every single second right from the very first scene in the parking garage when he was briefed by the CIA agent.  He went from “Oh God, what has she done now” exasperation to angered disbelief and loyalty when told Doris had killed her fellow agent in the blink of an eye.

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The range of emotions in Alex’s performance was beautiful to behold.  Not only was he literally ripping my heart out in every scene, I was amazed at how he was able to convey so many different emotions seemingly simultaneously.  Confronting Doris the first time, shifting from anger at what she had done, to determination to get her out of there, to the hurt of her abandonment and what that had done to his life.  “My life was compromised the day your walked out of it”.  Ouch!

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But it was those last scenes that solidified Alex’s performance into what I think should be an Emmy nomination (even though I know it won’t be).  Relief that he’d found her…. Shock that she’d hold a gun on him and wondering if she’d actually pull the trigger.  Considering that she pistol whipped him earlier that wasn’t much of a stretch.  Disbelief that, after all these years and after all she’s done and people she’s hurt along the course of her life, that she’d sell out for a “I have to get out of this life” payday.  Helplessness as Carmen held Doris at gunpoint and horror watching as Carmen drove that knife up and in for the kill.

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You could see it all play out on Alex’s face and your heart couldn’t help but go out to the man who listened helplessly as his father was brutally murdered, helplessly held Joe in his arms as he breathed his last and, once again, helplessly watching as his mother is murdered before his eyes.  You could see every one of those memories on his face as they played out in that moment.  Alex was magnificent.

And so was Christine!  I have never liked Doris. More times than not I have hated Doris. But I’ve always loved every single time Christine’s been on the show because she and Alex simply light up the screen together.  Their chemistry is off the charts and has been from the first time we ever met Doris all the way back at the beginning of Season 3.  I’m not sorry Doris is gone but I am sorry that it means, unless we have some flashbacks, we won’t get to see Christine again.

Junior and the SEALs:  Even without the CIA’s directive that Steve go on this mission alone, there wasn’t any way he would have allowed anyone from his team to go with him.  But I did like how he kept the lifeline open for Junior to have his back if, and only if, he was needed and only when Steve called in his help. After all these years, it was nice to see Steve admit that maybe he might just need someone to have his back even before he took off on his latest solo mission.

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I liked how he did check in with the team during the operation and we got to see how being away was affecting the rest of the team.  Everyone was beside themselves with worry, especially after that car explosion in Colombia.  No one knew if he was alive or dead.  The look of incredible relief on everyone faces when they heard his voice was juxtaposed with the still extremely worried look on Danny’s face was very telling.  Danny, more than anyone else, knows that just because Steve is safe at that particular moment, he’s not going to be truly safe until he’s back home in Hawaii where he belongs.

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I loved how Junior wasn’t just going to stand by and wait around for news.  Pulling all-nighters to find Steve is just what Steve would do if their positions were reversed. Remember when Junior was re-activated, (when they went to rescue Joe) and Steve called everyone he knew to find out what was going on?  They are SEALs. They leave no one behind.  They are brothers and Steve is his beloved mentor.  I would expect nothing less of Junior.  Bringing in the SEALs who were on that mission with them when they rescued Joe was inspired.

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Absolutely everyone in the cast brought their A-game to this episode.  Even when they had very limited screen time, there wasn’t a wasted millisecond. Everyone did a phenomenal job.

McDanno Rules:  Alex obviously had very definite ideas of how he wanted the Doris McGarrett story to end and he obviously has very definite ideas of who should be there with Steve when it ended.  Alex has said repeatedly in interviews over the years that the most important relationship in Steve’s life is Danny.  So, of course, who else would be knocking at his hotel room door, five thousand miles from Oahu, but Danny?

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But even before that.  He was so worried about Steve when he first heard of the mission he needed to remove himself from the discussion.  He knew if he allowed himself to stay part of that discussion, he’d end up in a rant born of his deep concern for Steve.  He’d go on and on about the stupidity of the mission, the idiocy of thinking he could do it alone and the inadvisability of trusting anyone associated with the CIA, in particular, Doris. Danny removed himself so Steve wouldn’t find it necessary to spend needless minutes trying to convince Danny or reassure Danny; precious minutes Steve would need to prepare for what was ahead.  The last thing Steve needed was distraction, so Danny made sure he wasn’t one.  Scott played those few minutes perfectly.

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75033050_10156706686245737_4448634439802552320_oPhoto Credit:  CBS

The last scene in the hotel room was gut-wrenching. The utter despondency of Steve was palpable.  It was literally jumping off the screen.  Alone…. so utterly alone.  The emotion was so raw.  He was a broken man.

When he was on the tarmac with Doris’s body and all the cars drove up with the CIA contingent, my first thought was “I hope that’s the team and Danny coming.  Steve is going to need so much support”.  When it turned out to be just the CIA, I was disappointed, although Alex made it fantastic with Steve’s reaction to the guys who dared touch her coffin.  But it wasn’t the team.  It wasn’t Danny.

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As soon as I heard the knock on that hotel door, I was saying out loud “please be Danny…. please be Danny”.  So ridiculous! Of course, it was Danny.  Who else could it have possibly been? Danny has always been there for Steve. Oh, there have been others who have periodically been there along the way.  They come and they mostly go, but it’s always Danny who’s there when Steve needs him.  In his darkest hours, Danny has always been there.

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I loved Alex’s ability to weave canon into Steve’s heartbreaking monologue.  A monologue that left me feeling as broken as Steve himself.  I have to admit, when he was saying how Five-0 stared with him burying John, then losing Joe and now Doris, I feared his next words were going to be “but here is where it ends”.  Even though I knew that wasn’t going to happen, Alex’s portrayal was so absorbing, it really felt like that’s where he was headed.  I couldn’t have been happier that Danny was there to be his support once again.

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And leave it to Danny to inject just a touch of levity into a morose atmosphere.  The silly smile on his face when he asked if the bed was big enough for two was wonderful. And you could immediately see it did exactly what Danny hoped it do.  It didn’t lift Steve’s grief.  It didn’t make him laugh. But when Steve looked at Danny and told him he could sleep on the couch, you could see a teeny bit of lightness in his tone, in his face.  Once again, the acting brilliance of Alex, because the change was ever so subtle, but it was there.  It was there.  Just like Danny.  For Steve…. He’s always there.

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Doris told Steve that the government had sucked everything good out of her life.  That may or may not have been true.  Doris had a choice.  She lived the life she chose to live.  She chose the government life over her husband and over her children. She could say, in the beginning that she “didn’t have any choice” but as the decades went by she had all the choice in the world.  As Steve said, all she had to do was get on a plane and go home.

She chose not to and once again, she’s left her children bereft of their mother.  Her choice. Please, for the love of God, let Steve also make a choice.  Please let this be the last time he has to deal with the CIA or any other agent of any alphabet agency on a personal level. They always make their choices for their own ends, never for his.

I have no doubt there will be discussions about this episode for weeks, of not months.  I can already imagine Fan Fiction writers running to their keyboards to bang out coda after coda.  This is not the best episode ever of this series.  That distinction still goes to the Pilot episode. But I’m hard pressed right now to think of another, beside the Pilot, that could top this.

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Well done Alex.  You did exactly what I thought you’d do. You hit it out of every ballpark in existence.  I pray this is not the last time we’re blessed with an episode from your vision and your pen.

Aloha.  Malama Pono

Screen caps are mine unless otherwise noted

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22 thoughts on “#H50 Review:  10.07 – Ka ‘i’o – (DNA)

  1. Perfect, Linda. And Surfbelle! I have never loved Alex more than right now. That this intense yet poignant story came from his mind is a testament to how he not only understands the character of Steve inside and out, but how he cares about that character so very much. And about Steve’s relationships with the other team members. Nailed it!
    I hope Peter passed along many of our tweets last night!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter said he was going to screen cap people’s tweets and show them to Alex. I’m sure he did just that (or will when he can). Alex totally nailed every single aspect of this episode. I hope to God he writes for us again

      Liked by 1 person

  2. jlopie1 says:

    Oh, my Linda, there is absolutely nothing left to add. Besides, I’m so drained from all the pre-viewing hype, the dramatic tension of actually watching the ep, and the post discussion/tweeting/sobbing that went on well into the morning hours and virtually all day today — I don’t think I have another coherent thought in my head or the ability to type it out here if I did!

    One thought came to mind, and I first mentioned this on the H50 FB page. In retrospect, there are really only three truly crucial episodes to the story of John, Doris and Steve McGarrett. In all 225 episodes, only three squeeze out the story of family, lost love and abandonment. The Pilot (I agree, the greatest episode of the whole series), where Steve loses the father he was estranged from for so long. The 100th, where Steve finds out Wo Fat’s real connection to his mother, and ultimately has to kill him to stay alive himself. And finally, this big beautiful testament to Alex’s total immersion in the character of Steve McGarrett and his story. The story ends with the final encounter between mother and son, and we all wanted to just reach in to our tv screen and embrace Steve (go ahead, try to convince me different😉). But Steve coming to terms with who his mother was, how his life was molded by her choices and actions, although heartbreaking to watch, was a powerful lesson for all of us. We do have choices in everything in life. We don’t always make the right ones. But we always have to deal with the consequences. Was there any other way for Doris to go out? No. She would never be able to get on a plane with Steve and go home to become Grandma Doris baking cookies for the team at HQ. She might have said she wanted out of the life, but it was too much who she was for it to ever be different.

    Steve has made choices in his life he’s had to deal with, as well. But somewhere, maybe it was from John, maybe it was from the total loyalty and a support he has received through the years from his friends and teammates, somewhere Steve became the man we all love. He could have ended up just like his mother, but the people he surrounded himself with held him to a higher standard. Maybe if Doris had chosen her her path better, this episode might have ended differently. Maybe…

    I also want to thank Alex for returning the central theme of this series to it’s place in the forefront of everyone’s mind. The show was formed around the friendship of Steve and Danny. Their loyalty and true affection for each other has been tested often and profoundly through 9 and a half seasons, but Alex knows it’s still there — or at least, he wants it to still be there, and darned if he isn’t going to write it that way! I would certainly have been disappointed if Danny didn’t show up on Steve’s doorstep at the end. It had to be him. There is just no one else to bring our boy home from hell.

    Love this episode with a passion I didn’t think I had for a television show! Thank you, Peter for giving Alex the green light to write this script, and trusting his vision and abilities to do this storyline justice. It has to be hard to let go of the reins on something you’ve be in control of for so long, but you needn’t worry, Alex pulled it off beautifully. And I’m sure he’s got another story or two in him yet to write, yes?

    Thanks, Linda! I didn’t think I had anything to say, but you know me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love your take on the three crucial episodes in the McGarrett story. You are so right. You’re also 100% right that there is no way Doris could have ever done what Steve ultimately wanted. Get on a plane and just go home. There is no home. There hasn’t been since the day she walked out of their lives when Steve was 15. She tried when she first came back. What did it last? 2 months? It just wasn’t in her “DNA”.

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      • jlopie1 says:

        Ohhh, I see what you did there! And I just realized this episode is titled DNA. Alex’s belief that it just wasn’t in Doris’ DNA to be any different than she was. I sure hope Steve realizes he’s only got half of her DNA.

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  3. rhondagemini says:

    Awesome review, Linda! This was one of, if not the best episode of this season so far and I must agree that it ranks second only to the pilot episode. Just as only Alex could have written this episode, only he could have directed it as he knew the story better than anyone and could have gotten the best out of everyone and I must say he got the absolute best out of Christine! Their scenes together were nothing short of amazing! My heart almost came up in my throat as Doris pointed the gun at Steve and he asked”So you’re going to kill me,is that how this ends?” I didn’t want to believe she would actually consider doing it. I was really shocked when she flapped him upside the head earlier and I knew then she was a lost cause. Thank God, Junior had his back and put together the team that helped them rescue Joe-he knew they would come to Steve’s aid, no matter what. I loved the look of relief on the faces of the H50 team when they heard Steve’s voice, but of course, Danny was beside himself with worry. At the end, when Doris died,the grief on Steve’s face didn’t need words, so it was great that there was no dialogue then. I could certainly understand why he reacted the way he did when one of the CIA agents dared touch Doris’ body. I agree with you that it was awesome when Danny showed up at his hotel room to be with him. if the situation had been reversed, Steve would have been there for him and as we know, there have been times when that happened. I am hoping that this episode will be sent to the Emmy folks for consideration,particular for Alex as best actor, Christine for guest actress in a drama and of course, Alex for his superb writing and directing. They deserve it. I do have one question: Where was Quinn? Was this meant to happen before she joined the team? In any case, this is an episode I will never forget!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I don’t know why Quinn wasn’t included in this episode. Maybe it’s because it was the first episode they filmed for the season even if it was the 7th one shown. I don’t think Katrina was on island when they filmed this.

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  4. Rhondagemini, I think most of this was filmed before Katrina came onboard.

    You touched on a point that I want to elaborate on — how much I love Junior! He found Steve on his own time, doing tedious late night searches, and decided he was going to take action, even though his orders were otherwise. And when the SEALs “surprised” Steve in his motel room, it was Junior who brought the humor: “It’s been so long I forgot.” And humor again when Steve is trying to thank them, and Junior says at least they’ll be tortured together. But I especially loved him just after Doris died, when he realized Steve was injured, dazed and incoherent. He got him up and in the car, and the emotion on his face spoke volumes — his mentor was hurting and it was clear he would do anything to protect him. Junior is my hero!

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    • I absolutely adore Junior. The relationship he and Steve have is a beautiful one, of respect, admiration and shared service. While no one knows Steve on a personal level like Danny does, but no one knows what it means to be a SEAL and the personal responsibilities being a SEAL carries like Junior. He left the service and the first person he sought out was not his father or anyone in his family but Steve. He only knew him by reputation yet he sought out Steve. It’s been a pleasure watching their bond grow and solidify.

      There are those who think this relationship takes away from the relationship Steve has with Danny. I could not disagree more. There is a bond of SEAL brotherhood Steve has with Junior but it is a bond of love he shares with Danny. There is room in Steve’s life for both and God knows he deserves all the love and devotion he can get.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Carole says:

    Well first off I need to rewatch sans commercials because they were driving me a little crazy last night. Alex did a great job. I can totally see him becoming a director full time some day – he has wonderful instincts. Doris was a lost cause – Steve relating his dream of her reading to him, but not hearing him call out to her just about summed up the fallout from her choices and no matter how much time pasted they would never be on the same page. I ache for Steve’s lost, but glad she’s gone because she would never be the mother he deserves. Loved Junior backing him up and we got a glimpse of how SEALS take care of their team even in the worst of circumstances. Loved even more that Danny was there at the end, just being Danny – the one person who will always be there to help put him back together.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve rewatched the episode twice more since last night and you’re right. Having no commercials really makes the episode even more enjoyable since the commercials really disrupted the flow. They also provided an interlude from the tension and the drama. Without them, the intensity has no respite which makes it even more intense and heartbreaking. I can’t wait to watch it yet again!

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  6. Brooklyngirl says:

    Wonderful review for an episode that has left me more in love with Alex and more in awe of his talents. Belle’s thoughts and words were perfect. I had a tough time falling asleep after the episode. Steve’s haunted face, his telling Junior that he wasn’t ready to let her go, the montage at the end with no words, just raw, unfiltered, blurry, emotions swirling.

    When all the hype started with the episode I had a feeling that this would be the end of Doris. I am really relieved that her death wasn’t at Steve’s hand because that would have definitely killed him as well. But I’m definitely happy she’s gone. Christine’s performance was excellent. She played being unhinged perfecly. Reading through tweets some were upset that it was Junior and not Danny who Steve chose to have his six.There are times when only your brothers in arms will do. But Steve always needs his brother period. Steve’s Ohana are the only group who have never abused his love and trust.

    I can go on and on but an Emmy nod would certainly be a fitting thank you to this highly under rated actor. Everyone who said “wait till you see it” weren’t lying. This episode will be forever etched in my heart and mind. I see many rewatches in my future.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Robin Jane Bridges says:

    Loved it.Jr, did what Steve would have done. Showed up after being told not to come. Danny showing up to keep Steve from being so much in his head. Maybe Steve can put his family past behind him. Unless Mary finds something to get into. It was great episode.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Deb S. says:

    Don’t forget his loss of dear Aunt Deb also. He has lost so much in his life that I wonder if we will see flashbacks ala nightmares, PTSD and such now. Will he find a stash of things from his mom in the house again like what was under the floorboards. I would love to see him now find out that he has a love child so that he can show his loving side and to make life worth it for him and not just being on the 50 team. Think the show was beautifully written and it did bring closure to the Mama McG character. One of my thoughts last night was if Catherine will reappear and he will try to talk her out of being an agent. Having the real SEALS on the show was a great move and the special effects were out of this world. Now we know why we didn’t see much of him while on hiatus he was too busy writing the script. Kudo’s to Alex for all he did.

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  9. Zia Diane says:

    EXCELLANT! Nothing else to really say. Tears flowed as I felt from Alex’s acting the pain of a character that I have grown to love so much over the years. Doris had her choices over and over, I can’t believe that she found no other solution of getting out. But she did show she was always thinking about her family. Leaving Joanie the money and the intention of leaving more for Mary and Steve showing she wasn’t totally heartless, just making the wrong choices over and over and not knowing all her family needed was her to come home. She was a broken toy, who did it to herself. I will miss Christine Lahti, but this was a fitting end to a character. I do hope that we see Steve showing how this effects him since he has lost so much, John, Joe, and now Doris. I hope that they do not just let him go on as if nothing happened. Danny and Steve are brothers, you don’t need shared blood line to know that these two are family.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. OMG! Everyone was right about this being a great episode. Alex did an excellent job. I was so worried that the episode was so hyped that when I watched I’d be disappointed from having high expectations. I’m glad my worries were for nothing. Honestly, for the character of Steve, this episode was needed. Alex’s acting is always good when he’s conveying Steve’s emotions. I really like the precision and artistry in his directing.

    I thought it was sad when Steve found out Doris was trying to set up funds for Steve, Mary, and Joanie. The only thing he wanted was for her to come home. I know a lot of people have hard feelings for Doris, but the truth is that you must love yourself before you can love anybody else. Of course, Steve once told Danny he grew up in a household where showing emotions was a sign of weakness. I was sad for Steve, but I didn’t have any tears for Doris. I felt that this was always going to be how her life ended. She destroyed Wo-Fat’s family and out of her own guilt destroyed her own family. She couldn’t face it and ran from her demons or maybe in running from her demons she was chasing death. She obviously was unable to come to terms with all the destruction she’d done so the only way out was to keep engaging in things that would eventually get her killed.

    I will add that I appreciated the end with Danny coming to check on Steve. Steve is very serious and structured man that has lived a regimented life. Danny might come off as an argumentative, whiny, overbearing, and intrusive person that overly mothers Steve. Danny might also provide comic relief and annoyance to some, but he also takes Steve out of and away from a life that would have made even the strongest of men snap. Perhaps this is the reason we haven’t seen Steve break yet or even lose his way like Doris.

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    • I love that thought. That having met Danny and having him in his life all these years is a sort of anchor for Steve. You could be very right. The Ohana Steve has built over the years started the day he met Danny in the McGarrett garage. I like the idea that meeting was the foundation onto which everything else has grown and the reason Steve has never gone down the same road Doris did. With his military background as a SEAL and in Navel Intelligence, it’s logical he could have very easily ended up in an alphabet agency and led a very similar life.

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  11. Mary Tomshack says:

    I loved this episode so much. I thought your review was right on point with everything that you said. I can see why Junior was the one to go in when Steve needed some help. And Danny was listening to Steve for once on this very important mission. But he let Junior go because he trusted Junior’s judgement. This was a great episode. And the highlight at the end was Danny showing up at Steve’s hotel room. I’m so glad it was Danny, A perfect end to a perfect episode. You could see Steve’s grief in his face. He has been through so much. Danny has got his back. Thank you for a great review. I would have written sooner but we left on Saturday morning to visit our son in Minneapolis. I was thinking about this episode all weekend. Alex really blew my mind. He is truly multi-talented. Till next time.

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  12. This aired on Veteran’s Day Weekend. Really one of the best in the series if not the season. And really Danny always has his back
    Steve losing his parents and father figure Joe White, you have to feel bad for him
    But really Junior coming on in and how the CIA did not catch that as they told Steve go to it alone and monitor him as do not know how Junior managed to pull that off but glad he did come to save Steve or Steve may had ended up in a body bag
    Will miss Doris and did not mind her like others contrary.
    Wonder how much money Doris left for Steve and Mary? Not that Steve needs it as he has his SEAL pension.
    A tear jerker to say the least. 10/10!

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  13. Dan Gibson says:

    After two weeks of average viewing (for the annual Halloween show has always been a yawner for me) THIS one stopped me in my tracks. This was Steve at his level best, on a mission that only HE could have pulled off. Even though I’ve never been a fan of the “doris” character, I ditched that thought as soon as I realized the angle here. This episode gripped me from beginning to end, then had the same effect on me when I saw it the 2nd & 3rd times over the weekend.

    This hour is going to stay with me for awhile. I was hooked 10 minutes into the Pilot episode in 2010, then I put the “keeper” tag on Wo Fat’s final episode, as well as the Pearl Harbor story, and most recently the departure of Joe White. Friday nite’s story joined the inner circle of my all-time episodes.

    More than ever, Steve McGarrett is my Hero …. and Alex O’Loughlin continues to blow me away with his expanding talents. The guy has Emmy written all over him.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. lindae5o says:

    Thank you Linda, for your great review. Spot on!! I loved everyone’s comments also.
    Alex was wonderful in everything he accomplished in this episode. He deserves an Emmy. I don’t have Twitter or other social media, but I would get them in order to harangue Peter Lenkov to get on CBS’ case to submit this episode to the Emmy
    committee.
    I liked Juniors’ and the other Navy SEALS’ involvement in the case. I think Junior should always be Steve’s right hand man. He, at least, respects his boss, unlike Danno, who treats Steve like he’s an idiot. I’m amazed that people still support the bromance, given Scott’s schedule and that Danno’s presence often seems little more than an afterthought. But, that’s just me.
    Alex and Christine were both amazing. I’m so proud of Alex. His still moments of quiet contemplation spoke volumes. Less, was more. I’m so proud of Alex. Bravo !!

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