I didn’t know how to write this review. Hawaii Five-0, the show I’ve loved and lived for the last 10 years is over. Just writing those words is so terribly hard. I can’t imagine a September Friday coming around and not hearing that theme song at the start of a new episode ever again.
I didn’t know how to write this review. I’ve loved these characters for so long. We’ve laughed with them and cried with them. We’ve seen them go through life’s triumphs and tragedies. We’ve watched kids grow up and old friends leave and sometimes die. We’ve seen them go through so much and I know there was so much more to see, so many more stories to tell. It hurts knowing that will never happen.
I didn’t know how to write this review. I didn’t know how to rationalize the things we saw. There were parts I absolutely loved. Parts that confused the hell out of me. Parts that had me bawling my eyes out and parts I will refuse to ever watch again.
I didn’t know how to write this review. I guess because I honestly didn’t want to write it. I didn’t want to try to wrap up an episode that ended the show I love. An episode that was so wonderful in parts and so utterly disappointing in others.
I think I’ll start with confusion. Peter Lenkov said we’d finally get all the answers to the mysteries of the Champ box in the finale. Did we? Let’s see…..
- John knew Doris was alive, or at least suspected it and that’s what his investigation was all about
- John knew about WoFat and Doris
- John didn’t want Steve to know Doris could still be alive or about WoFat
- WoFat worked in coordination with Victor Hess to get Anton away from Steve
- WoFat knew all along that Doris was alive but didn’t know she was Shelbourne?
- Or did he know she was Shelbourne all along and was only trying to torture her whereabouts out of Steve while pretending he didn’t know for the hell of it?
- John had never met WoFat, only talked to him on the phone. But he did meet him and shake his hand in Jamison’s office. So, he met him but didn’t know he was WoFat at the time? Did we all just hallucinate that video?
- WoFat introduced himself to John on the phone as Doris’s son and John wasn’t surprised. I’m assuming because of the time constraints of the episode, that line couldn’t have been written as it should have been?? “This is the man Doris raised as her son”. But the way it was presented, it sounded like WoFat was saying he was Doris’s biological son. We know that can’t be, because Steve tested the DNA. It was a huge plot point in the 100th episode. “She’s not your mother! I ran the DNA! She’s not your mother!” Did we all just hallucinate that as well?
- But John knew about WoFat. Did Doris tell him? Did he find out through his investigation? How did he know?
There was a ton of stuff in that Champ box and it all boils down to this? Doris and money? It was all always about Doris and money. For a show that’s had the ongoing theme for ten years of “daddy issues” it all comes down to Doris. I don’t really know how I feel about that. I mean, it’s not like we haven’t always known it. Maybe I was just hoping Peter would have been a bit more creative and come up with a better surprise instead of just falling back on what we’ve pretty much known for years. Everything was always Doris’s fault.
And what a waste of a character who could have been a totally awesome big bad, cut from the same cloth as WoFat. Deiyu Mei hasn’t been seen all season. Hell, she hasn’t even been mentioned since the first couple of episodes. But somehow, she knew about the cipher, knew Doris had it, knew she’d left it for Steve and, evidently knew the cipher would lead her to WoFat’s “inheritance”. How? How did she know all these things? Who would have known about any of this, who could have fed her that information?
And the huge secret was that Doris had a pile of money hidden in her crypt? Just how much money did she think she needed to buy Steve’s belief that she actually cared about him and Mary all this time? The money in Mexico? The money in the Swiss bank accounts? The money in the crypt? And, once again, who told Deiyu Mei about any of it?
We’ll finally have all the answers in the finale? Ummmm…. hardly!
So, let’s move on to the 2/3rd of the episode that I loved because, for me at least, it was a love letter to what’s made this show so special for 10 years. A love letter to McDanno. I loved every moment of this story. It was written perfectly to show Steve’s terror at the thought of losing Danny, “the most important person” in his life. His all-consuming desperation to find him. His guilt thinking it was happening because of him. His anger at God and demand that if He wanted a life, to take his and not Danny’s. His relief when Danny opened his eyes and demanded to know why he’d stop holding his hand.
I also really loved seeing Danny be a BAMF again. No one saved him. He saved himself. He got himself out of that hell hole, taking down several of the bad guys and almost made it all the way out on his own. He knew from the beginning Daiyu Mei wasn’t going to let him live. He knew Steve would be risking his own life if he agreed to her demands. Just like John McGarrett all those years ago, Danny warned Steve not to give her what she wanted. If Danny hadn’t freed himself, he would be dead.
Did you see the way Steve was holding on to Danny as they were rushing to the hospital? And the way Danny reached for him, even in his delirium as he was being wheeled in? They were totally in tune with each other.
And the look on Steve’s face in the chapel was positively murderous. I think it was that moment, more than any other, where he’d reached the point where he had enough. Enough pain, enough fear, enough with losing people he loves.
It’s why what came after was so hard to reconcile. This entire season has been one of the best for McDanno then we’ve had in years. The first 2/3rd of this episode solidified it. But then they turned around and blew the entire thing up. Everyone who’s watched this show over the years knows the essential and pivotal place Steve holds in Danny’s life and vice versa.
They’ve saved each other both emotionally and physically more times than I can count. Steve has half of Danny’s liver for Christ’s sake. Steve literally held Danny’s life in his hands when he was shot in isolation. They are best friends. They are brothers. Steve is Uncle to Danny’s kids, and they love him like a second father. These two have been inseparable for ten years and now, Steve just walks away?
And the reasons really make no sense. I understand completely that Steve’s had a tremendously hard year on top of everything that’s happened in his life. I understand needing to get away for a while, the need to clear his head and get some perspective. But Danny is right. They’re in Hawaii. There are seven other islands with more open and quiet spaces, mountains and beautiful beaches than you can shake a stick at. Take a few weeks, or even months, live the hermit life on some remote spot in the islands. Why does he have to totally leave?
Then there is the ridiculousness of saying he only stayed in Hawaii to solve his father’s case. What a load of bull. He was convinced to stay in Hawaii when he originally found the Champ box, yeah. But he’s built a life there. It wasn’t all that long ago, he was telling Danny he wanted to walk away from the restaurant because he loved being a cop more than anything and couldn’t bear the thought of giving it up. He has a family he built from the ground up with people who love him and support him more than his own family ever did. It makes no sense for him to say that now that his father’s case is solved he feels he can now leave.
Watching Steve walk away from Danny on the beach felt so incredible wrong on so many levels. Danny looked crushed and slightly diminished to see Steve walk away. Danny’s words are very telling. “my main dude is leaving me”. Not just leaving but “leaving me!” I still can’t believe Steve actually walked away. Just for one moment, it looked like he was going to go back. I was literally screaming at my TV. “Go back… what the hell are you doing… go back!!”
I mean, what the hell? Look, I know H50 has always been Steve’s story, from the very beginning. And I understand this finale was meant to bring him full circle. He arrived in Hawaii because he was unable to save his father from WoFat. He leaves Hawaii after he was able to save Danny from Daiyu Mei.
But what about Danny? Danny has had more than his share of tragedy in his life too. He’s had 2 partners murdered, his brother was murdered, Grace was kidnapped. He’s been poisoned and has almost died from being shot multiple times. He’s been sent to a Colombian prison to die and only a few months ago was in a tragic car crash where a woman he could have possibly built a life with practically died in his arms. We don’t even have to go into all the trauma in his life because of Rachel and her lies. Steve is leaving to find peace? Where is Danny’s peace?
The screen said it had been a week since Danny was shot. Well, he didn’t get out of the hospital in one day after that, and by the looks of him and the way he was moving, he’s only been home an extremely short time. Maybe it would have been a teeny bit easier to accept if it had been even a month later and Danny was healed and strong. But no. Danny’s been home for probably a day or two, he’s battered and convalescing, can barely move to get up out of a chair and Steve decides this is the time to leave? This is the man who wanted Danny to name his restaurant after him so they could be together always? Nope… doesn’t fly. Does not fly one bit.
The farewell scene between Steve and the rest of the team was very painful to watch. It was a wonderful scene because of the sheer talent of every actor in that scene. I read that Peter had only just told the cast that the show wasn’t coming back and that the cast was allowed to say pretty much what they wanted. Within character but also from their hearts as well. It was extremely raw and the pain coming from them all was palpable. I had started tearing up while Steve and Danny were on the beach but once Steve was saying goodbye to Eddie and asking that he look after Danno, I was a weeping mess.
But it was Chi’s Lou that really did me in. Damn but that big man can cry and watching a big strong man lose it is something that has always wrecked me.
When Junior grabbed Steve for a long and deep honi I could barely see the screen through the tears and forget hearing anything they could have been saying over my sobs.
As Steve is leaving he turns to Cole and utters the words that would have bridged the series into its post-Alex incarnation had the show been renewed. “Do me a favor. Hold down the fort for me.” I still think it would have been interesting to see what the show could have been like had it returned in September. Would the network have been able to coax Alex back for another season, or even for just a few episodes? Who knows? I’m just really sorry we’re never going to get a chance to see what could have been.
And Steve turns for one last look at his beloved Ohana. The look on his face is sadness but it’s also full of love for them all. “Aloha. A Hui hou.” Until we meet again. Fade to black. The End.
Ok..ok… but you know what? I’ve expressed my opinion so many times, I’m tired of hearing myself talk about it. Everyone knows my opinion. There is no need for me to express it again. The show ended with that wistful smile and shaka. Anything else, I simply choose to ignore.
And that’s how it should be. An ending that can be extrapolated any way people want. Those who loved it will write stories about happily ever after’s and ongoing adventures. Those who hate it will write stories of more deceit, lies and abandonment. I simply choose to ignore it completely.
Those of us who love Steve and Danny got a full season of some of the best McDanno we’ve had in years. We had laughs and we had camaraderie. We had Danny living in Steve’s house for months. In this episode, we got almost 40 minutes of great McDanno emotion and love. Steve’s panic and anger at the thought of losing Danny, at his bedside, on the beach. Everything that has made H50 what it’s been all these years. A validation… a solid, never wavering canon that Danny is “the most important person” in Steve’s life. And I know exactly where to cut off the playback on every re-watch forever. This series ended the moment Steve walked out of Casa McG for the last time. Period.
Well, that’s it my friends. I just want to thank you all for all the years of support you’ve all given me. It’s been a pleasure to write these reviews and all your wonderful comments and support have been sooooo incredibly appreciated. You’ll never know how much it’s all meant to me.
I don’t know if this will be my last post. I haven’t given a lot of thought to it beyond this last episode. But I’ll still be on Twitter and for any of you who follow me there, I hope we can all remain friends even if our show is no more. And, who knows, I may just be around here from time to time too.
Lastly, I want to say thank you to every single person who helped to make this show the great success it’s been, especially all the fantastic actors who brought these wonderful characters to life, as well as all the writers, directors, wardrobe, hair, crafts and, of course, the best crew ever.
I know no one connected with the show (with the possible exception of one person) will ever see this. I wish I could tell each and every one of them how much they have all meant to me. So I’m just going to paste here what I wrote on Twitter Friday morning. I don’t think I can express it any better than that.
Farewell, my friends. Aloha. A Hui hou…. Until we meet again.