#H50 Review:  10.09 – Ka lā‘au kumu ‘ole o Kahilikolo (The Trunkless Tree of Kahilikolo)

115982_0291bPhoto Credit:  CBS

🦃 Happy Thanksgiving 🦃

Even when times aren’t the best, there are still things in life to be thankful for. Sometimes it’s not always easy to find those things.  Sometimes life hands us more burdens than we think we can bear but we always try to find the strength to deal with what life throws at us.  No one knows this better than Steve McGarrett.

Steve has gone through and endured more heartbreak and tragedy than should be humanly allowed.  He’s lost much in his life.  Friends, colleagues, comrades in arms, and he was there to personally witness the murder of both his parents.  Helplessly listening from thousands of miles away and then desperately trying to hold onto a life as it slipped through his fingers.  How the man is still on his feet is unimaginable.  Yet, he soldiers on.

Yes, Steve has lost more than anyone should ever bear but amid all the tragedy throughout his life, something miraculous happened.  He built himself a family. Starting when Danny Williams first walked into the McGarrett garage and carrying on through the last ten years, the Ohana that’s grown around Steve has been more fortifying, more loving, more grounding and more supportive than any family he had from when he was fifteen to that fateful day in September 2010.

Season 10 castPhoto Credit:  New header photo courtesy of Katrina Law on Instagram

And what better day of the year to celebrate families than on Thanksgiving.  This episode did just that, revolving around all different kinds of families.

Family dysfunctional:  I’m not going to spend too many words on this family, or the crime of the week. To be honest, they could have cut the entire story out of this episode and used the time elsewhere.  It’s not that it was a bad or boring story. It’s just that the rest of the episode was so good and so touching, I’d have preferred this time been used to expand it.

As of this writing, I haven’t had the chance to go back and re-watch the episode but what I remember is a convoluted story of a stolen koa tree; an accidental murder that wasn’t a murder until it was; a brother and sister who let another brother think he’d committed the murder that wasn’t which was the murder they themselves committed; a disgustingly dismembered body with the head hidden inside said stolen koa tree.  All to avoid scandal and protect the family fortune they all couldn’t bear the thought of living without.  There are times when I think the writers should lay off the pepperoni pizzas late at night.

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Family rebuilding:  We’ve known Junior for over two years now and from the very start, the relationship between him and his dad has been fraught with difficulty. We’ve watched as they both worked to mend the problems between them.  We’ve watched them grow closer and we’ve watched them fall apart again.

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When we last left them, Natano had written Junior off once again after he stood up and supported the parole of the man who’d killed his sister Maya in a drunk driving accident.  They looked to be further apart than ever. But the Reigns family had once been so full of love they made space to bring into their home, a lost soul of a boy, Junior’s best friend, Owen. They kept him safe and gave him the opportunity to grow and prosper.  Unfortunately, Owen was forced back with this mother and this only led him down the same dark path of addiction she was on.

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When Junior’s mom, Lana, called him distraught that the house had been robbed and not only her jewelry but Natano’s most priced possessions had been stolen from their secret hiding place, Junior knew it was Owen.

It didn’t take very long for Junior and Tani to track Owen down.  It was nice to see the bond they had forged as young boys was still there.  Owen still loved the family enough that he wouldn’t sell Natano’s Purple Heart, no matter how bad he needed a fix.  Junior still loved Owen enough to force him finally into seeking help in rehab.  I wish we could have seen Koa again in this episode but it’s great to know he’s still working and flourishing at the rehab center.  There’s no doubt that with Koa’s help and the new family he’ll undoubtedly form in rehab that Owen will at last have a fighting chance.

Watching Junior and Natano finally resolve their differences and come together was so incredibly touching.  Natano finally understands why Junior chose forgiveness for Maya’s killer.  And Junior now sees what Natano could never tell him.  Junior always thought, because he’d gone against his father’s wishes and joined the service and because Natano didn’t want Junior to write to him that he didn’t care about him.  Finding those letters from his CO to his dad in Natano’s cigar box told a different story.  Natano did care.  He did worry about him and he did always want to know that he was safe.  Junior and Natano weren’t the only ones crying during that scene.

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Family maybe:  Will they or won’t they?  Will Tani and Junior finally see what everyone else can see?  That these two are more than good friends?  That they are destined to be a family themselves?

Now that Junior’s family drama is finally behind him, he can concentrate on what’s ahead for his life. And that looks to be Tani.  Like….duh!   She’s been there for him from the very beginning.  Even before he joined Five-0 he was confiding in her about his problems with his parents while she was confiding in him about her problems with Koa.

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Well, Koa is settled now and so is Junior’s family.  It was so sweet the way he thanked her for everything she’s done for him over the last couple of years.  Now it’s time for them to take that next step.


115982_1133bPhoto Credits: CBS

Maybe that’s why the writers haven’t had Junior move out of Steve’s place yet.  Maybe they’re holding off so that when Junior finally does move out, he moves in with Tani.  How awesome would that be?

Courtesy of @alohaspaceman3Photo Credit:  @alohaspaceman on Twitter and Instagram

Then there’s Danny and Rachel.  I’m going to give this about the same amount of time the episode did.  The writers felt obligated to have Quinn bring it up, so I’ll address it, but Danny didn’t make it sound like “trying to work it out” was going all that well.  He had no enthusiasm in his voice at all.  When Quinn asked him how it was going, his “well, she’s not here” sounded, to me, very much like “if it was working out, she’d be here, wouldn’t she?”

115982_0475bPhoto Credit:  CBS

Charlie and Grace are with Rachel for Thanksgiving.  Either Grace came home for the long holiday weekend or Rachel and Charlie flew to wherever Grace is in school. Danny didn’t feel he needed to be with them? Or Rachel didn’t feel the need for him to be there?  Either way, I don’t see that boding well toward “working it out” if they made no effort to be together on a family holiday.  Oh well… works for me.

115982_0450bPhoto Credit:  CBS

Family united:  For people who always like to complain that there is no story continuity or that no matter what happens to Steve, he’s back to perfect in the next episode, these last couple episodes have been for you.  While it’s sad to watch Steve go through it, I’m glad the storyline of his mourning wasn’t dropped after one episode and has not only continued but has involved everyone in Steve’s Ohana.

Right off the bat, we see how it’s affecting Steve when Junior says that Steve doesn’t feel up to the family football game this year.  We all know how important that game always is to Steve so the fact that he’s not up for it, speaks volumes.

Junior goes out of his way to comfort Steve by telling him how he felt and what he went through when Maya died.  It’s so touching to see just how much Steve means to Junior and how much he hurts to see Steve hurting.

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And then, of course, there’s Danny.  Ever since we found out that Danny was going to move into Steve’s place there was speculation on what the reason would be. My guess was termites! Having your house tented would mean you’d need a place to stay.  No.. not termites.  Mold!  But Steve is 100% right.  A poker face Danny has not.

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Everyone… everyone… could tell from the moment the words left his lips that Danny’s house doesn’t have one speck of mold in it.  I think even Eddie knew he was lying.  “I’m not giving up my couch for this guy when there’s not a thing wrong with his house!!” 🤣

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It’s the best thing ever that Danny faked having a problem at his house just so he could stay with Steve.  Sure, Junior is there but Danny still wanted to be there too.  He knows, well actually they all know, that this isn’t just another bad event in Steve’s life.  It’s been a horrendous year for him.  Think all the way back to the season premiere of Season 9 and on from there.  Betrayed by Greer, tortured…. again…. how many friends and old teammates died over that season? Then the death of Joe White, and now Doris.  Danny knows Steve is really going through major pain and he wants to be sure he’s there to help him, along with Junior and Eddie, through it.

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And just like the rest of us, Steve knew all along what Danny was up to.  But Steve knows Danny’s only doing it because he loves him.  And Steve loves him right back.  Enough to, for now, let Danny think he’s pulling it over on Steve.  These two…. oh my heart! ♥♥

Will Danny still be there by the next episode? I doubt this is a long-term situation.  After all, it’s not like Danny is homeless like he was in Season 2.  He has a very nice house.  He said he needed to stay for six or seven days so I’m pretty sure by the next episode he’ll be back home.  Or maybe he’ll still be there until he and Steve have a heart-to-heart (which I would love to see!) and he’s convinced Steve is feeling better.  Either way, it’s ok.  Mission accomplished here! #McDanno still totally rules!

Courtesy of @alohaspaceman2Photo Credit:  @alohaspaceman on Twitter and Instagram

Thanksgiving… A day for family, togetherness and love.  Junior, Eddie and Danny having Steve’s back on the home front.  The rest of the Ohana gathered around him emanating total love and support.  Lou telling him it’s “nice when you got a lot of friends that actually give a damn about you, ain’t it?” pretty much said it all.

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Adam, knowing how much the family Thanksgiving football game has always meant to Steve, draws him into “a few downs before we eat?” No matter what, they’re all going to make sure he gets through this.



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With his entire loving Ohana gathered around him, Steve’s gazes at them with the most humbling of bemused expressions on his face.  The open affection for him coming from them all was absolutely heartwarming.






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It’s a picture of pure indulgence.  They are indulging Steve to grieve in the comfort of knowing they are all there to pick him up if he should fall.  And he’s indulging them because he knows they love him, and they need to know he’s going to be ok.  The love emanating from the TV screen was palpable.  I think this Thanksgiving episode is going to go down as my all-time favorite.



Well, that’s it for this week my friends.  I just want to say I’m thankful for the wonderful cast and crew of Hawaii Five-0 and all the time, effort and work they put in day in and day out to bring us so much fun and enjoyment every week.  I’m also thankful for all the wonderful friends this show has brought me and for everyone who comes here to read and sometimes comment on this blog.  You guys all totally rock!

Here’s hoping you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday filled with laughter and love and spent with all the people in your lives you love.

Aloha.  Malama Pono.

Screen caps are mine unless otherwise noted.




19 thoughts on “#H50 Review:  10.09 – Ka lā‘au kumu ‘ole o Kahilikolo (The Trunkless Tree of Kahilikolo)

  1. rhondagemini says:

    Great review as usual, Linda! I agree that the overall theme of this episode was family and we had three different families(four, if you count Danny’s absent family)all dealing with different things. I’m with you that we could have done without that dysfunctional family of two brothers and their sister-not that it wasn’t interesting,but it seemed that money was more important to them than family! As for Junior & his dad, I was glad to see them come together,hopefully for good, but I do wish Junior had told him the truth about Owen,unless he was afraid it would tear the family apart again.I think,with Koa’s help,Owen will be just fine. It was great to see Danny care so much for Steve that he would pretend to have mold in his house so he could stay with him to keep an eye on him. I agree with you that things with Rachel don’t sound too good,based on what Danny said to Quinn. Lastly, I just wish Junior would go ahead and kiss Tani-he wanted to so bady, you could see it in his eyes! They definitely belong together! My heart melted as I watched Steve look as the family he now has-the H50 Ohana that started with Danny and continues now with Adam, Lou, Junior,Tani, Quinn,and of course, Eddie! He knows that while he has lost so many people from his life, he still has people in his life who love him and will always be there for him!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand why Junior didn’t tell Natano about Owen. First, I don’t think he wanted Natano to feel like his good heart was taken advantage of by Owen. Natano and Lana opened their home to Owen as a boy and I think Junior wanted him to remember Owen as that young boy, and not as the drug addict and thief he’d become.

      But I also think there was an element of selfishness there too. Junior would have had to admit that he was the one who showed Owen where that secret hiding place was. Even though it was a long time ago, and I’m sure, at this point, Natano wouldn’t hold it against Junior for something he did as an eleven year old, I don’t think Junior wanted to take that chance, not when there was a chance for them to mend all the bad blood between them. I don’t agree with his lying to his father but I do understand his reasoning for doing so.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Zia Diane says:

    Hi Linda,

    Not a whole lot to add. First, the Ohana Steve started with Danny keeps him sane. Without them Steve may well not be doing as well as he is.

    I don’t agree with Rachel and Danny reconciling, but the writers seem to want to go that way. The only real stable family for Danny, other than his children, is Steve. That relationship won’t be broken and is a source of comfort for both, no matter what happens.

    I just want to say, I love Eddie so much. This dog has the greatest and most hilarious expressions. Alex is an expert at expressing emotion without saying a word, and Eddie has to come in a close 2nd.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Brooklyngirl says:

    I agree 100% Linda, this is my absolute favorite Thanksgiving episode. And I also agree that the COTW should’ve been used as a filler in another episode (or not).

    My heart was so full when Junior told Steve, “if you’re not up to this, just let me know, and I’ll pull the plug.” And Danny showing up to make sure things are ok with his buddy. And Junior and Tani. And Junior and his dad. OMG I can cry again thinking about all of the love and Ohana in this episode!

    On a light note, another Groverism to cherish and add to the ever growing notebook full of them, “turn around and face the fruit salad!” 😄

    One thing is for sure. This patchwork quilt of a family will never hurt Steve and will always be there for him and he for them. They are the best thing to ever happen to him. Unconditional love, friendship and Ohana.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Robin Jane Bridges says:

    What you said. Steve has 3 bedrooms. What is in that 3rd one? LOL!! I don’t think R & D are getting back together. I wonder if something big is going happen and Danny will need Steve to him thru it. Hmmm…

    Liked by 1 person

      • Dq says:

        Maybe the house has only 2 bedrooms in real. But, when the McGarrett family lived there,it must have had 3 bedrooms. Moms and Dads, Steves and Marys. Also, the first Danny stayed with Steve when he had “mold”, he wanted to sleep on the couch and watched TV infos about gold coins because he couldn’t sleep from the sound of the surf. The writers just don’t understand how us fans notice every minutiae about Steves life.Their sense of continuity sucks.


        • Actually the continuity of the stories has been very good this year. Not only has Steve’s mourning over Doris not been swept under the rug so he’d be perfect in the next episode, but in other ways as well. References to Steve’s dad, talking about Joe’s death, even using the old Champ Box when the bomb was placed in the McG garage was a nice throw back. Continuity has been an issue over the years,but this season, they seem to be really working on getting it right. Number of fictitious bedrooms not withstanding.


          • Patsa says:

            Actually the continuity does suck. There are supposed to he 8 weeks passed between Halloween episode and this one yet it is Thanksgiving. That is a blatant blooper that is difficult to overlook without an alcohol induced pitcher of Koolaid, regardless of the fact Alex O’loughlin wrote it and in tour eyes he is perfect in very way. TBTB f**cked up plain and simple.


            • Alex spent the entire summer hiatus working on this story. As he was writing it, I’m sure neither he nor TPTB knew exactly where in the schedule it was going to fall. No official word of when the episode would air was made until well into the filming schedule even though this episode was filmed first.

              Alex wrote an 8 week time line into his story, without knowing when exactly the episode would be shown. You’re right. There is a large discrepancy in the timeline since, obviously there aren’t 8 weeks between Halloween and Thanksgiving. There were two ways that discrepancy could have been handled.

              1) After it was decided when the episode would air, they could have changed the overlay to read “2 weeks later” or some other shorter period of time rather than 8 weeks so it would have fit better between Halloween and Thanksgiving. But that would have changed the entire dynamic of the story. Would Junior have been so out of his mind with worry that he disobeyed orders and looked for Steve if he’d only been gone 2 weeks? Would Steve have been as disheveled, exhausted and worn thin as he was after only 2 weeks? Would he have had enough time to follow Doris, get the lay of the land, know her and Lucia’s routine, not to mention, have the time to stockpile the amount of weapons and explosives he would need on that raid in only 2 weeks? No… 8 weeks made much more sense to the story.

              OR 2) They could have held the episode and shown it later in the season, when there weren’t established holidays as timeline benchmarks. That seems to be the one that would have made more sense, unless they have other stories which are being fed from this one. They’ve continued Steve’s mourning several episodes out from this one and who knows if they have something else planned for the second half of the season which would have been compromised if this story had aired later in the season.

              I’m sorry the timeline blooper, as you call it, made the episode less enjoyable for you. It is such a stellar episode and yes, I think Alex did a fantastic job in every aspect of it. I actually got a chuckle out of the “8 weeks between Halloween and Thanksgiving” and then just moved on because, in my opinion only, it’s such a minor thing when held up to the excellence of the episode as a whole.


              • Patsa says:

                Or they could have aired it before halloween and all would have been well. If any one else would have written this you have have criticized it to pieces. Yes, Alex did a great job but fixing this could have made it better. As for him spending his summer writing this and not knowing when it would air, maybe he should have written it without a specified time frame.


                • Yes, I suppose they could have aired it before Halloween. I’m sure TPTB have their reasons for how they choose to order their episodes and since I’ve never worked for a TV network I’m not qualified to judge how they make those decisions.

                  But I will say, I have never been shy about voicing my displeasure with things I see in episodes and while I fully admit to being a “glass is half full” kind of girl, I have no problem criticizing things when I feel they need criticism. I have zero problem with the way this episode was written, however and I wouldn’t care about the timeline discrepancy no matter who wrote the script. It’s just not important to me. Obviously it is important to you and that’s fine. Everyone is entitled to like or dislike whatever they choose.


  5. Mary Tomshack says:

    I loved this episode. It was the best Thanksgiving episode in a long time because Danny was there. I love that he is still looking out for Steve. And Steve knows it. I don’t mind if Danny and Rachel don’t get back together. There has been too much that has gone on over the years. And it must be hard on Danny not having his kids with him over the holiday. Personally, I always liked Melissa. She really loved him. But it will be what it will be and we can’t change it. I really loved Junior and Tani together. Such a great couple. I didn’t mind the case of the week. It was okay. But, of course, my favorite part was McDanno. Well, looks like no new episode next week. Thanks for the great review.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Carole says:

    Thanksgiving gatherings can be a joy or something you just have to get thru. Families are big or small. You don’t get to choose blood relatives, but you can choose to surround yourself with special people. That’s exactly what Steve has been doing for ten years. He’s dealt with way too much tragedy, but this episode once again reminded us how much he’s loved….,he is most definitely not alone. TCOTW was ok. I think it showed how screwed up some families are. Loved Junior’s story. Although he’s a trained SEAL part of his appeal is the uncertainty, the little boy who wants to please and get it right. …we saw it when he first approached Steve for a job, the cute way he is with Tani, the way he’s a little in awe of Steve. I’m getting quite a soft spot for junior. It wasn’t a perfect solution about Owen, but it was for the best and taking his parents to Steve’s ….they’re Ohana too. The last scenes were the best – just about everyone who matters was there (only Mary, Joanie & Danny’s kids missing) Lou had good one liners, Adam had the football and then there was Danny being Danny….that BS about mold was so transparent! Have I said lately how much I love Danny. Quinn’s convo with him was interesting – not sure if it’s fan feedback or Claire’s availability putting a halt to that idea. I do think Alex’s influence as a producer has shown in the last few episodes. ..,,McDanno rules.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re so right about sometimes just having to get through it. It’s pretty much what I do every Thanksgiving. Just get through it. I couldn’t help but laugh when Junior reminded Tani of the advice she gave him last Thanksgiving because I loved the first time I heard it. “Here’s to dysfunctional families and the holidays that force us to spend time with them.” 🤣🤣


  7. Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving. And really think that his team is there for Steve. He considers his co workers his best friends and family.
    Glad Junior and his dad reconcile and really about time
    Still shipping that of Tani and Junior ever since they made the scene
    C.O.T.W. really spoiled siblings that killed their loving father who has given his all and in return this is how they repaid the poor man?!
    Danny moving in with Steve did not shed much more on that. But overall a good episode.
    7/10 Happy Thanksgiving!


  8. jlopie1 says:

    Great Thanksgiving episode! I’ll have to watch it again and pay attention to the COTW. That family was nothing but walking greed machines. A perfect example of a rotten family.

    I agree it’s about time for Junior and Natano to work out their differences and become the strong, supportive family they once were. And now that that’s over, please move on with Tani and Junior’s relationship! I don’t know of anyone who seriously is not behind this pairing!

    Oh, Danny! You’re so obvious,,. You love that big Neanderthal and a little pretend mold is your way of keeping track of your boy. Unfortunately, Steve knows you way too well and can see right through your moves, but since he appreciates your motive, he gives you a bye.

    My theory about Danny and Rachel is a throwback to S1. Just when Danny was ready to hop on that plane back to Jersey with Rachel and Grace, Steve goes and gets arrested for The governor’s murder. Danny leaves Rachel at the airport to support his partner and get him cleared. That precipitated Rachel returning to Stan and lying about Charlie. She was mad that he had overlooked her needs for his partner’s.

    Here again, the same thing happens. Danny and Rachel are slowly rebuilding their relationship with the idea of giving it another try, and Doris dies and Danny feels Steve needs him more now than Rachel does! I imagine there was a fight about it, and Rachel took Charlie off somewhere for Thanksgiving. It’s possible Danny is realizing Rachel and her begrudging his job is never going to change. Friends they can be, a happily married couple,..no.

    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!


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