There have been some pretty monumental episodes of H50 over the years and sometimes, after such episodes, there’s a bit of a letdown. The adrenaline high of the week before sometimes makes the subsequent episode seem less than ideal. There’s also the annoying tendency of not having much, if any, continuity with the events which made the previous episode so monumental in the first place. I went into this week’s episode expecting to feel a bit disappointed. Boy was I wrong! I really enjoyed this one a lot. More than I thought I would. Oh… how I love pleasant surprises!
Even though this was a two story episode, one where neither story had any connection to the other, the writers (Chi McBride and Matt Wheeler) really did a good job giving us two very interesting and captivating stories while at the same time, not shying away from showing the full impact of what happened in last week’s episode.
Grover Family Dynamics: I absolutely adore Chi McBride and think he’s a fantastic actor and while I’ve enjoyed many aspects of the episodes which center around Grover and/or his family, it’s really not one of my favorite story themes. I was completely done with the Clay Maxwell story years before it finally ended and while I like the dynamic between Lou and his brother Percy, I’m not in any rush to see him again. So, when I heard this was going to be, yet another story connected to Lou’s family, I wasn’t overly excited about it.
But, I must say, I really enjoyed this story a lot and that’s all due to Nia Holloway as Siobhan. I thought she did an awesome job. Here Siobhan was, being given the opportunity of a lifetime and yet she was sullen, unenthusiastic and, at times, downright angry. Nia played her perfectly. Of course, her true feelings were telegraphed very early on when all she seemed really interested in was visiting her Uncle Lou’s job. Everyone thought they knew what she should do with her life. Everyone assumed that just because she had a natural talent on the basketball court, that was the direction her life should take. No one ever bothered to ask her what she wanted from her life.
Metta World Peace joined a long line of former and current athletes who have made cameo appearances in H50. Most of the time we’ve had former NFL players make small “can I have your autograph” type of appearances so it was nice, this time, for an athlete to actually play a larger part. It was fun watching Siobhan go up against him. I am curious to know why Lou owed him a favor, but we’ll never find out, of course.
It was great to see Michelle Hurd again as Renee. It’s always a joy whenever she’s in an episode. She and Chi have such a wonderful natural chemistry it always seems like they are married in real life. This is the relationship that works on this show. Love, honesty, mutual respect, loyalty… what a perfect couple they are. It would be so nice if Steve and Danny were able to find this kind of relationship for themselves too.
Like I said before, it was no surprise when Siobhan finally told Lou she wanted to be a cop just like him nor the fact that the “trouble” she’d gotten into in Chicago was all due to her trying to do the right thing and protect a friend. It’s exactly the type of thing Lou would have done.
And I really loved the flashback to when she was five years old and Lou rescued her from the room where her mother had ODed. It’s so sad to think just how often cops have to do such things every day in this country. How it’s up to them to get a child out of there and, as Siobhan said, make them feel safe. How much more tragic it must be when you actually know the family and already love the child? That scene was so well done.
Crime of the week: I really enjoyed the partner pairs for this case. Junior, Adam and Eddie in the jungle; Steve, Tani and Quinn on the street. I really love how they keep putting Tani and Quinn together as partners. These two work so well together, in a “Steve and Danny” type of way. Each of them have many of the same characteristics as Steve and Danny and we’ve seen how wonderfully that’s worked for over 10 years now. I really love their partnership.
I do wonder though, who was supposed to be in charge at HQ that day? I mean, Danny is away, Lou has the day off with Siobhan and no one expected Steve to show up for work after what happened. I suppose that would leave Tani in charge, if you consider tenure. Of herself, Junior, Adam and Quinn, she’s been on the team the longest. Of course, they are all quite capable of handling cases on their own.
I also really love how Eddie seems to be utilized more this season. He really needs to start being listed in the Press Releases as “main cast” because he’s been in almost every episode this season so far. I know I’m not the only one who worries whenever he’s out in the field and we just know gunfire is about to erupt all around them at any moment. My first instinct is always… “someone better cover Eddie”! But, of course, Eddie is a 100% team player. He even managed to take on one of the bad guys himself, giving Steve the opening he needed to take him down. Damn but I love that dog!
I had no idea that DEA agent Richie Gormican was played by Jesse Johnson, son of Don Johnson. I tweeted during the episode “Is anyone else getting a real “Sonny Crockett” vibe from this guy or is it just me?”. It was then someone told me it was Jesse, Don’s son. It was a real “duh” moment because, of course he is! I must have been blind not to realize it immediately. The resemblance is uncanny! What wasn’t hard to miss was the fact that the agent was sleazy from the get-go. It was no surprise he ended up being in on the drug deal from the beginning. It was even more obvious when I looked at the clock once the case was “wrapped up” and saw there was still 20 minutes left in the hour.
I really like the connection to the Cullen case though. Cullen told Steve there’s more going on than Steve suspects. Here we have more proof of that. Whatever is going on, it must need to be heavily bankrolled and I’m sure the money from the sale of all that heroin was earmarked for it. Someone big is running this operation. Let’s, for now, just call him Mr. Big for want of a better title.
Cullen screwed up by not killing Steve. Mr. Big eliminated him. Bishop was Cullen’s right-hand man. He allowed the heroin to fall into the hands of the authorities. Once it was certain Bishop would survive his injuries from the gunfight in the jungle, Mr. Big had him eliminated too. Gormican, probably sent in by Mr. Big to make sure the heroin arrived where it was intended to go, has been caught and the heroin ceased again. Who wants to bet we get word fairly soon that some horrendous misfortune has befallen him in lockup and he’s dead too?
There’s also the question of Gormican himself. How did he know about Doris? That mission was totally classified. So classified that when Steve brought the bodies of Lucia and Doris back to DC, Junior and the SEALs were nowhere in site lest the CIA know he’d defied orders and not gone in alone. But Gormican knew about the OP and about Doris’s death and that she was his mother. Would a DEA agent have access to that classified information? Would a DEA agent know the true identity of a CIA operative? Would he know that “Shelbourne” is Doris?
Mr. Big, obviously compromised Gormican into service. Steve was genuinely touched by Gormican’s sympathy over Doris’s death. Did Mr. Big furnish him with the information he would need to insinuate himself into Steve’s trust? And if he did, does that mean that Mr. Big is CIA? Peter Lenkov did say a while back that our new Big Bad was someone connected to the past. Who could it be? Ohhhhh speculation is such fun!
And then there’s continuity: There was continuity all over this episode. Lou mentioned very early on in the season that he and Renee were looking for a new home, wanting to downsize after Samantha and Will both left for college. And here we see them in their new awesome digs with the most spectacular view.
Then there was the Bishop and Cullen connection which connects us back to that storyline, also from the earlier episodes of the season.
And then there’s Steve! From the first moment he was on the screen to the last, this man was an open wound. The forlorn, dejected man sitting on the edge of his bed, ignoring his phone and lost in his misery was totally heartbreaking. We’ve never seen Steve like this before.
Oh, we’ve seen him trying to process loss before, but we’ve never seen it projected over an entire episode before. He is struggling to come to terms with so many things. The death of Doris, naturally, but also his guilt over what part he played in bringing about her death. He’s questioning himself over whether she’d still be alive if he’d left Mexico when she told him to. He knows it’s not his fault; that Doris made her choices in life and there was really no other way this could have ended. But there’s always that nagging voice that says, “if I’d left her to her own devises, she’d still be alive”. All this would crush a lesser man.
Of course, we didn’t hear any of this. Didn’t see any of it either. All we did see was Alex’s performance and, as usual, the man is awe inspiring. You could feel the weight Steve was carrying all day. He told the team he needed to work, and you could literally see how much he needed it. Alex moved with a heaviness about him that gave Steve an exhausted presence as he went about his day trying his best to concentrate on things other than Doris. But, every time he was alone, his mind and his body went right back to those dark places.
I know we’ve said it a zillion times but, as always, Alex was able, with just his eyes and body language, to convey a multitude of emotions and pages of dialog without ever uttering a word. God, I wish he could be recognized more for his amazing talent.
With a little help from his friends: I was very impressed with the way the writers made sure the horrible events of last week weren’t just brushed aside after that opening scene and that Steve struggled with the fallout throughout the entire episode. I really hope they continue to address it in subsequent episodes. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to see a despondent Steve as a long-term thing, but it would be great if we can see him going through the healing process over time. But, I have no doubt he will heal because he is a strong man and because he has his Ohana.
Right from the beginning, they all have his back. Adam, Tani and Quinn tell Steve they can take care of the crime scene, that he need not be there. Of course, he doesn’t listen. Later, Adam and Junior discuss his well being while they’re walking through the jungle. Adam is concerned that Steve might not be able to process everything on his own. Junior agrees but says the best they can do is keep an eye on him and be there for him when he needs them.
But it’s Quinn who makes the first gesture. At first I really thought it should have been Junior. After all, he was there when it all went down and would understand best but that’s the rub right there. Junior was there. Steve doesn’t need to relive it; he needs to deal with it. He’s questioning what he did, what Junior and the SEALs did with him.
He’s questioning whether he’s lost his edge. He didn’t get Doris out of Mexico and he didn’t realize Gormican couldn’t be trusted. Quinn pointing out that taking out multiple bad guys and stopping a ton of drugs from hitting the streets really makes for a pretty good day was something Steve needed to hear, even if he wasn’t prepared at first to process it.
But who he really needed was Danny. Of course, it was Danny. Even from afar, Danny is the one person Steve can always count on. He’s never let Steve down. I loved how, by the end of the day, on his last thread, he reached out to Danny, who’d been calling and texting him pretty much non-stop. That was so good to see. These two will always support each other, through everything.
Fighting tears, his voice cracking, he admits to Danny how he’s hurting, how he misses Doris. He’s made the first steps in his recovery. First with Quinn and more substantially with Danny. “I just miss her, Danny”.
But what or who is he missing? Is he missing Doris or is he missing the loving mother he lost when he was 15? Is he missing her or is he missing the closely held dream that, as long as she was still out there somewhere, she might walk through the door again someday? And what if she did? She wouldn’t be the mother he lost almost 30 years ago. That person… his mother…. ceased to exist when that car blew up.
Photo Credit: @alohaspaceman on Twitter and Instagram
Once again, he didn’t need to say any of this. Alex portrayed it all in his body language, his eyes and those five little words.
I have to say I am absolutely loving this season so far. Of the eight episodes we’ve had, only one hasn’t impressed me. I hope the rest of the season continues at this pretty high bar.
Have a great week everyone. See ya next week. Aloha. Malama Pono
All screen caps are mine unless otherwise noted.