#H50 Review: 10.21 – A ‘ohe ia e loa’a aku, he ulua kapapa no ka moana (He can not be caught for he is an ulua fish of the deep ocean)

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Hi everyone.  You’d think after being in self-impose exile for the last two weeks I’d have all the time in the world to get this review done on time.  I’d like to say it’s still so late because I was swamped with meaningful activities like mega-spring house cleaning, outside gardening or awe-inspiring craft projects that monopolized all my time.

I’d like to say that.  But, truth be told, I just couldn’t seem to get myself to write.  With what’s going on in the world right now, all the fear and the uncertainty, my head has been all over the place. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s downright terrified about what’s going on and all the implications of it.  Sleeping has become a precious commodity; one I’m not enjoying a lot of these days.

In times of stress, I cling to the things that give me pleasure.  That take my mind off troubling thoughts and offer relief and escape to more pleasant and happy ones.  For the last ten years, one of those things has been Hawaii Five-0.  So, it’s been incredibly hard, especially now when we need it the most, to come to grips with the fact that after this episode there is only one episode left.  My eyes fill with tears just typing those words.  Only one episode left!  Hold me….. 😭😭

Lincoln Cole – how I would have liked to know you better:  Even though I really like actor Lance Gross, I was very ready to not like Lincoln Cole.  Knowing this character was probably destined to be part of Five-0 in Season 11 and possibly a replacement for Steve as team leader, made it very easy to go into this episode ready to find everything wrong with him that I could.

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But, I honestly couldn’t find one thing wrong with this character.  Not in the way Lance played him, which was awesome from start to finish, nor in the way the character was written.  Naturally, there’s no way he’d have ever been a legitimate replacement for Steve McGarrett, but as a character in his own right, he would have been a great addition to the team if we’d gotten another season.

There are a lot of similarities between Steve and Cole.  They have both faced very personal losses on the battlefield.  The last, most traumatic of those causing them both to choose to come to Hawaii.  For Steve it was Freddie’s death followed by, within days, his father’s murder, the latter of which, brought him home.  For Cole, the deaths of members of his team which he feels responsible for.  Steve lived with the guilt of leaving Freddie behind for years.  The guilt Cole is feeling is something very similar.

Steve may not have run away like Cole did but, as we’re finally seeing now, he really hasn’t dealt with his many personal losses in a constructive way.  He’s thrown himself into his work, into the life and the Ohana he’s built around himself, compartmentalized and soldiered on.  But he’s never really taken the time to ever fully deal with it all.  Other than the weekend he and Danny had on Maui for “couples therapy”, have we ever seen him take any time away to decompress in the least?

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The closest we ever came to seeing Steve deal with the traumas was one scene where he attended a PTSD group therapy session where he spoke about Freddie and how that loss affected him.  There have been many more losses and, obviously, majorly significant ones, in his life since then.  Even though I’m someone who never felt that a full-blown PTSD storyline was feasible for the show, it is unfortunate that scene ended up on the cutting room floor all those years ago.

The scene between Steve and Cole in rendition was incredible.  To extremely strong actors giving good material their all was incredible to watch.  The heart-to-heart really went a long way in not only understanding Cole but also showed how these two really could have been kindred spirits.  When Steve said that Cole “didn’t mind” being in the dark hole of rendition because after Kirkuk “you put yourself there”, Cole’s response of “you know, something tells me I could say damn near the same thing about you” showed that, even on extremely short acquaintance, these two totally got each other.

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It’s really a damn shame we couldn’t have met Cole sooner and been introduced to him under different circumstances, without the whole “maybe he’s going to be the new team leader” thing hanging over his head.  He’s strong, committed, well trained, loyal and very brave.  Danny was 100% right.  Going alone to surrender himself to save the woman and her son is exactly something Steve would do.

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I don’t know what made TPTB decide to end the series now and, of course, I’m heartbroken that’s the decision they reached. But I honestly think they could have gone on another season with Lincoln Cole. A reboot of the reboot, so to speak.  Would it have lasted?  I don’t know.  I do know there are a lot of people who would have given up on the show if there was no Alex/Steve and/or no Scott/Danny.

I wouldn’t have given up.  I would’ve been there because of my love for all the characters on this show, for the joy of seeing Hawaii on my screen every week, and my curiosity at how this character would have worked.  Would it have been “must-see TV” for me, like it is now? Of course, there’s no way of knowing that, but I doubt it.  But I still would have watched.  It really is a shame we won’t get that chance.

Oh Steve:  I know there’s been a ton of discussions on Twitter since the episode aired about what’s going on with Steve and I really hope some of those discussions will migrate here because I’d love to hear everyone’s viewpoint on it.  I know a lot of folks are not at all happy with the direction his story seems to be going.  I’m really trying to do what I always do, even though I know it annoys the hell out of some people and try to take a more positive approach.  The only thing that truly bothered me a lot, was Tani’s remark.

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The idea that Steve wouldn’t have the backs of his team is simply ludicrous.  I don’t know who was responsible for penning that line of dialog but no matter who it was, they need to be horsewhipped.  I understand the need to quick track this mood of Steve’s and the team beginning to notice a change in him but to question his ability to back up his team is just dead wrong.

I would have been totally fine with Tani, Junior and, of course, Danny noticing a change in Steve.  Danny has already mentioned it to him. How he’s noticed he’s not sleeping and Steve’s admission that he’s had a lot on his mind.

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Hell, if we go back and re-watch the episodes since Doris died, we can see the subtle changes as well.  The fight with Cole isn’t the first fight we’ve seen lately where Steve didn’t have the upper hand.

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Again, going back and re-watching the episodes, Alex’s acting has been superb.  He’s been playing Steve as moving toward burn-out so artfully it was extremely easy to overlook even if it was just the way Steve’s been looking more and more tired since Doris died. I honestly don’t think it was anything actually written into the scripts either.  If (and of course we don’t know for sure) Alex made his decision that this was his last season a long time ago, he himself was bringing this “feeling” to his performance, adding this layer of depth to bring us to this final arc.

When Danny admitted that after doing the job for ten years, a cop can get burned out and “lose reaction time”, Tani should have expressed her concern.  But her concern should have been solely for Steve, not for his capacity to protect his team.  She’s been there long enough to know, even with his dying breath, Steve would do everything in his power to protect his team. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if we eventually hear Steve say something to that effect.  “I need to straighten out my head, Danny, so I can be there for my team and Hawaii”, or something like that.

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For me, being the McDanno lover that I am, I’m totally thrilled it’s Danny Steve’s opening up to.  Who else could it be, honestly? It’s always been Danny who’s been there for Steve through every trauma he’s endured and vice versa.  It’s Danny who’s been there from the very first day Steve arrived back in Hawaii.  These two share a bond that can not be broken no matter what should happen in the finale next week.

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I refuse to believe even distance could break the bond between them. Even if Steve does leave the island to try to regain some of the balance he feels he’s lost, in my heart I know he’ll go back.  We, unfortunately, won’t be there to see it (unless the gods smile down on us and give us a movie someday) but in my heart, they will grow old together, drinking Longboards, on the beach.

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I can see why some people feel this “burn out” arc for Steve is out of the blue, but I keep reminding myself that, originally, these last two episodes were supposed to be the “season” finale, not the “series” finale.  I saw someone say (sorry, I can’t remember who it was) that if the show had been renewed, the season might have ended the way Season 7 did.  When we saw Kono leaving to go to the mainland.  We could have seen Steve leaving and, like with Kono, not found out he wasn’t coming back until the beginning of the new season.  But a door could have still remained open.  With Alex living on Oahu, it’s possible Steve could have come back, even if it was only for the real series finale, whenever that would have been.

But for now, they needed to find a way for Steve to leave (if in fact that’s what happens next week) without animosity or, God forbid, death so that possible return could happen someday.  This “burn out” arc seems like a decent way to do it because it means it’s by Steve’s own decision, not something he’s being forced into.  Again, if  that’s what happens next week.

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It also seems to mirror Alex as well.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who felt that many of the words coming out of Steve’s mouth could very well be mirroring what Alex himself could have been feeling.  He too hit the ground running ten years ago as Steve McGarrett, and he too has devoted his life, heart, soul and body to this job for those ten years.  He’s always said he’s felt a huge responsibility to the show, the cast, the crew and all the livelihoods dependent on it.  Steve’s words about protecting everyone except for himself could very well be exactly Alex’s feelings as well.  Not a regret for the time spent, just time to think about what he wants to do from now on.

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Steve’s feeling that he needs to get away for a bit actually doesn’t seem completely out of character to me.  After all, he’s gone off on his own without Danny or the team before.  To find WoFat, to bring back Freddie’s body (Catherine was Navy then, not on the team), when Joe took him to find Doris, to Montana, to Mexico.  It’s not out of character for Steve to go off on his own for missions he feels only he can do alone without the team.  So for him to feel he needs to go off alone to clear his head doesn’t seem that far-fetched to me.

That this was meant as a season finale which, again, could have left a door open, makes it feel, to me, that this isn’t Steve turning his back on Danny or the team. It’s not Steve leaving Danny behind, forgetting all they’ve shared or abandoning his desire that they be together always.  It’s just him needing a bit of time away to work things out.  If this really were the season finale, I don’t think people would be so upset.  Of course, I could be wrong about that.

But, we haven’t seen the end yet.  We won’t know how it’s all going to end until next week.  Who knows?  Maybe Danny’s brush with death will change Steve’s mind to a certain extent.  My mind keeps going to their discussion on the beach.  It seems funny to me that Peter and David would have written the whole “go to Jersey” thing.  Of course, it could just be a throw back to a cargument they had ten years ago about vacationing in Jersey (when Steve said people in Jersey came to Hawaii for vacation but it didn’t happen the other way around and Danny got “all Jersey up in this piece” and started rattling off great Jersey singers) or could it be something else?

Danny has been back to Jersey dozens of times over the years.  He went back after Matt died. When his father had surgery. After his ordeal in Cambodia. After he almost died being shot in isolation. Even more times just because Scott had the week off. 😉 From what we’ve seen of the finale, he’s going to have yet another brush with death. Doesn’t it seem logical that he’d head back to Jersey for a bit again? Is it so hard to believe that maybe… just maybe… they’d go there together?

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Ok…ok… I’m grasping at straws here, but we have no idea what’s going to happen in the finale other than we know Steve is leaving.  We don’t know how it will be done. As always, it’s a wait and see proposition.  I really can’t be angry about an ending I haven’t seen yet.

So, I’m going to keep an open mind and see where this final journey leads me.  For the most part, in these long ten years, there have been significantly less things that I’ve disliked than things I’ve loved.  I’ve reconciled myself to the fact that there are probably going to be some things (or at least one thing) I know I’m not going to like in this finale but I also know that this show has given me more pleasure and more fun than any show I can remember in my life.

Am I going to like the finale?  Probably not.  Not because of the story. Not because of any actor.  Not because of how a story is written or some dialog I may not like.  I’m not going to like the finale because it’s the finale. A finale I’m still not prepared to see nor one I thought I’d have to see for a long time.  I have no doubt it will be well written.  I have no doubt it will be expertly acted.  I have no doubt it will be a fitting end to a wonderful series, no matter the differing opinions it’s sure to cause.  I’m not going to like that I have to say goodbye, no matter how good it is.  That’s just a fact.

One more week.  Like always, we’ll get through it together.  Aloha.  Malama Pono

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#H50 Review:  10.20 He puhe’e miki – (A Gripping Cuttlefish)

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Well, we’re entering the home stretch.  Only two episodes left after this one.  In a normal season, this episode would have been a typical “filler” episode with just enough teasers to set us up for the season finale and a great cliffhanger for us to suffer through until September.  Of course, this isn’t a normal season anymore.  It’s painful to realize that pretty much everything we see now will be a “last time”.  But, I choose not to dwell on that, right now. It’s hard, I fully admit, but with so little time left, I’m trying my best to just enjoy my favorite show while I still have it to enjoy.  So, let’s get to it.

Tani and Junior:  Oh Tani, I’m glad you explained yourself at the end but dear Lord. The look on Junior’s face was worse than the saddest kicked puppy.  Would it have been so hard to just grab a handful of strawberries or something?  Maybe even, I don’t know, a thank you?  And the “we’re moving too fast” was ridiculous.  Too fast?  It’s been three years! Of course, every new couple must go through their first fight.  But, this wasn’t really a full-on fight. I mean, no one was yelling or anything, but Junior’s feelings were definitely badly hurt and Tani, knowing she totally screwed up, felt awful about it.

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I did get a kick out of them both getting relationship advise from Hirsch and Lou.  Not too surprising coming from Lou considering all his years of marriage to Renee. When you think about it, he’s really the only one out of any of them who can give successful relationship advice. Lou and Junior “walking on sunshine” were absolutely adorable.

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Hirsch on the other hand was a total surprise but, I guess, he really shouldn’t have been.  This character has really evolved from the Hirsch we met years ago. Sure, he can still be rather annoying at times, but he’s shown over the years that he really has a very warm heart. His advice to Tani, while not based on years of experience like Lou’s to Junior, was full of down to earth common sense.  Sometimes that’s all a person really needs to hear.

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And who didn’t love Hirsch’s #ReiRey reference??  Oh, Tani darlin’…. hate to break it to you but #ReiRey has already been a thing forever!  I’m so happy Tani confided her fears to Junior and he, naturally because he’s an absolute sweetheart, was full of understanding and comfort.  He’s not going anywhere.  Unfortunately, we are so we’ll never get to see just how awesome this couple will be long term.

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Hirsch:  Speaking of that warm heart of his, having his Uncle Oscar move in with him was a very loving thing to do.  I loved how he described his love for his uncle, being so very important to him in his young life when his own dad couldn’t be.  Did anyone else get a Joe White vibe from that little scene?

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His devastation at the thought that Uncle Oscar could be a murderer was palpable.  Of course, we all knew from the very beginning it would turn out to be someone else (just gotta love those H50 misdirections) and as soon as we were introduced to Stanley, well, duh!

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But it was still a fun story and I loved him working with Tani. Hirsch has always played well against the Five-0 ladies. His scenes with Kono were always fantastic and his here with Tani were too.  Even Eddie knew he was a good guy from their first moment.

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One of the best scenes was when Hirsch and Lou were sampling the wine at Casa McG.  If you hadn’t followed Chi on Instagram, he used to do IG stories called “Chi Talks Wine” because if there is one thing Chi knows and loves it’s every conceivable type of wine.  His IG stories were awesome. I really miss them now that he doesn’t do them anymore.  Watching Lou making faces and hating the wine reminded me of way back in Season 1 when Kono was giving Danny surfing lessons.  Chi hates wine like Scott can’t surf!  🤣🤣

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Crime of the Week:  Everyone else was busy working the weekly crime.  Danny was away with the kids for Spring break and I have no idea where Quinn was, but Adam was back with the team.  Lou (I guess he decided not to hold that grudge after all) and Junior were happy to see Adam back and my first thought was, “I guess Steve and Adam had that talk they needed to have for Adam to be welcomed back”.  But then Steve gave Adam “that look” and you could literally feel the temperature in the room drop.  That look was a hell of a lot more “you’re lucky I let your ass back in here” then “good to see you, brother!”

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The carjacking turned murder was another classic bait-n-switch story.  I loved how Lou knew immediately that the wife’s story just didn’t add up and, of course, it tuned out that our innocent victim wasn’t so innocent after all.  I know I’ve said this a zillion times, but I really love these red herring stories. Even in what’s obviously a filler episode, they make it fun when things veer off into different directions.  And, help me out here.  How many times is it now that the bad guys MO was diamond theft and/or smuggling?  Including this episode, I can, without much effort, count five! I’m pretty positive there were at least two or three more! 🤣🤣

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I was getting a real kick out of all the different team-ups in this episode.  There was quite a bit of musical chairs going on.  Steve was with Lou.  Lou was with Junior.  Junior was with Adam.  Steve was with Adam.  Adam was with Junior and Lou.  Steve was with Junior.  It was kind of making my head spin.  But the one thing that was inescapable was just how little time Steve was involved.  Other than the two scenes that were exclusively his at the beginning and end of the episode, it was pretty much everyone else who did all the heavy lifting in this episode.

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For instance, Steve was with Adam at the airport talking to the shuttle bus driver but when it came time to take the house where the bad guys were, he was nowhere to be seen.  Adam, Lou and Junior took the house.  I’m used to Danny just dropping out at times like this, but it was rather jarring for it to happen with Steve.  Most of the time we saw him it was just in HQ.  Even when he got the usual “first call” of the episode, instead of saying “On my way” or “I’ll be right there” like usual, he says “I’ll get some people down there as soon as possible.”  It just felt really weird.

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Just like Hirsch’s line about his Uncle Oscar reminded me of Steve’s relationship with Joe White, so did Steve’s words to Cynthia when the team finally tracked her and her accomplices down.  Steve talking her into laying down her gun was heartbreaking.  No one knows more than he does “the weight of that pain” of losing the most important person in your life.  Steve has lost so many people and watching those responsible for those deaths pay the ultimate price has never taken that pain away.

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Steve:  The opening and closing scenes with Steve were the best parts of the entire episode.  I know it’s really abrupt and probably should have happened a long time ago, but it seems that all of the trauma that’s befallen Steve over the years is finally taking its toll.  We found out last week that he’s not sleeping well because he “has a lot on my mind”.  Not even a strenuous run along the beach seems to be able to settle those disturbing thoughts.  It was totally heartbreaking to watch him reliving the deaths of John, Doris and Joe White in his mind. Hearing all the last words they ever spoke to him playing again in his brain.  No wonder the poor man isn’t sleeping.

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And it seems he just can’t let it go.  Tani, Junior, Lou, Adam and Hirsch are gathered at his house for a usual after case drink, but Steve is nowhere in sight.  He’s in the garage, going through the Champ box, listening again to the recording John made all those years ago.  The recording we all heard for the first time all the way back in the 2nd episode of Season 1.  “I want to be a cop, Dad, like you…. I told him to… be anything but that.” Hearing John say “more than anything… I have regrets” really sounds very ominous now with the way it seems Steve’s mind is working.

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Peter Lenkov told us all some time ago that we’d be getting all the answers from the Champ box.  Well, it’s only been 10 years, I guess it’s about time.  The phone call from the barrister (lawyer) telling Steve he has a package from Doris was even more ominous.  The woman has been dead for four months and yet, she’s still reaching out from the grave to screw with Steve’s life.

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When you really think about it, everything that has happened in Steve’s life is Doris’s fault.  Because she couldn’t (or wouldn’t) walk away from her CIA life she destroyed her entire family.  She emotionally destroyed her husband.  She robbed both her children of their childhood and their home.  It took Mary more than half her life to recover.

She robbed Aunt Deb of her chosen career because she took care of Mary.  Steve never returned home until John died.  John died because of WoFat.  WoFat who wouldn’t have been in their lives at all if it hadn’t been for what Doris did.  WoFat who caused Steve to be arrested for murdering the Governor, who killed Jenna, who captured and tortured Steve not once, but twice for information Steve did not have.

WoFat who, before Steve was forced to kill him, made him feel that Doris cared more for him than she did for her own children.  And now, after all these years, Daiyu Mei… Mrs. WoFat… come along to probably start it all again.

Do I even need to go on?  Now, she’s given explicit directions to a lawyer to make sure that months after her death, she could continue to make Steve’s life hell.  Honestly, I hope she is burning there.

It really is heartbreaking that we only have two episodes left until our beloved series comes to an end, because this story looks to be awesome.  Or could have been awesome long term if we actually had a long term to see it unfold.  Hopefully we’ll get to see Steve exorcise those demons before we all have to say goodbye.

That’s it for this week friends.  No new episode next week but please remember there has been a programming change due March Madness being cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.  April 3rd is no longer a 2-episode series finale night.  Originally episodes 10.21 and 10.22 were going to be shown concurrently on April 3rd.  Now, episode 10.21 has been moved to Friday, March 27th and episode 10.22 will be the series finale shown on April 3rd.  Please make sure to make a note of this so you don’t miss the penultimate episode on the March 27th.

Aloha.  Malama Pono

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#H50 Review:  10.19 – E ho’i na keiki oki uaua o na pali (Home go the very tough lads of the hills)

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Hello friends.  Well, I was in a bit of a better frame of mind to watch this week’s H50 than I was last week.  Not tremendously better, but better.  The shock, the sadness, the dread of knowing just how close we are to the end, still made it very hard to watch without tears threatening every other moment, but this was such an entertaining episode, I was able to live in 42 minutes of denial and just enjoy it.  But, come Saturday morning, writing about it took more effort than I’d like to admit.  Once I get started, these reviews, for the most part, flow pretty easily for me but the approaching end to the show has been a pretty hard blow and it’s making writing really hard.  But, there’s so little time left.  I need to make sure I’m here to the very end.  Where else could I possibly be but right here, with my favorite show and with my friends, until the end.  Naturally, I never imagined the end would be coming so soon.

Quinn:  I loved this story for many reasons.  First off, I really enjoyed the way Quinn reached out to Adam to go surfing.  It was a very sweet gesture on her part.

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But what made me happier is the knowledge that Adam still hasn’t been accepted back into Five-0.  Now, you know I love Adam, and I do eventually want him back with the team but, I’m thrilled Steve didn’t pull one of his “I understand you only did what you had to do”, and let Adam just slide back in.  It’s right Steve is making Adam cool his heels before he lets him come back.  Of course, with only three episodes remaining, I wonder if there will be time for any resolution on this point.

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But this wasn’t Adam’s story, it was Quinn’s and it was a really good one. Quinn has always been so tough and put together.  I’ve seen criticism of her on social media that she’s too hard, too wooden, doesn’t show enough emotion, pretty much all the things they said about Steve ten years ago when we first met him.  But we’ve seen glimpses of Quinn’s personality over and over this season.  In her friendships with Tani, Noelani and now with Adam.  This episode really opened her heart wide for us all to see.

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I’ve really enjoyed watching Quinn and the way she’s fit so seamlessly with the team.  Unlike all the other women who’ve ever been added to the team over the years (not including Tani who was a replacement, not an addition) she isn’t just there for the sake of being there.  And, she didn’t come in with an agenda (like Jenna) nor was she forced onto the team (like Lori) nor was she added because the boss wanted to give her a purpose because she’s his girlfriend.  I’ve loved Quinn from the moment she showed up on my screen.

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I’m so happy we got to find out some of her backstory.  She fell hard for and married an older man who swept her off her feet.  Add in a young daughter who totally stole her heart.  Her remark about how Jake was the kind of father she never had with her own father gave us a clear picture as to why a man devoted to his daughter would have appealed to her so strongly.  It’s sad they couldn’t make it work, with Jake’s gambling being a serious issue she just couldn’t tolerate long term.  How wonderful that her love for Olivia never wavered and she was always there for her even after the divorce.

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Having Adam help Quinn as she searched for Jake was a wonderful way to not have anyone else pulled from the team and not have Quinn dealing with it on her own.  Adam was there for her in a big way.  It was so hard for Quinn when they finally tracked down Jake and she forced him into the realization that she was giving him his last chance to get help and keep his daughter.  Her tears in the car showed that, through it all, even though she’s furious with Jake for leaving Olivia alone, there is still love there.  Oh, not the kind of love that could ever be rekindled, but the kind where she still hurts for him. She could have thrown the book at him but for Olivia’s sake and probably for the sake of what they once had; she gave him one more chance.

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It was really hard watching her unravel like she did because she’s always been so tough. I’m glad Adam was there to help her through it.  I just love her so much and getting this glimpse into her true character was wonderful.  Oh Quinn, how I wish we would have had the time to learn even more about you!

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Frank Bama:  The opening scene between Frank and Junior was adorable.  I loved Frank’s homespun wisdom about waffle recipes and Junior waxing poetic about Tani.  It was such a cute scene.  But I have to ask myself why was he there at all?  I mean, we know that Frank and Steve are friends and he’s dropped by HQ a couple of times over the years even when his pilot skills weren’t needed, so two friends hanging out over a few beers isn’t at all unusual.  But, having Frank there in Steve’s kitchen while Steve slept in just seemed off.  When the hell has Steve ever slept in?

 

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I love it anytime Jimmy Buffet makes an appearance.  Frank is a fantastic character and the friendship he has with Steve is strong because of their mutual connection and love for Joe White.  So, he’s taken over the McG kitchen to make breakfast for his friend after they had a “long night”.  I didn’t think too much about it at first, not until after the screen went black at the end of the episode but, was there something more to that “long night”?  Has Steve confided in Frank the reasons why he’s not sleeping well these days?  Does Frank know something no one else does yet?

COTW:  This week’s crime of the week was a pretty cool one.  I love when we have crimes that span decades and the team has to put together clues from things that happened years and years before.  This crime was a real “Hatfield’s and McCoy’s” story too.  As usual for H50, a story that looks to be going one way but ends up being something totally different.  No show does this as well as H50 does.  I love stories like these, that keep me on my toes.  But it wasn’t really the crime that made this story fun for me.  It was Tani’s boots being the first “victim” at the crime scene.  It was Junior finding out that Tani was the line dancing champ at “The Cattle Prod” bar, it was Lou’s, as always, wonderful wisecracks.  It was everything that was fun.

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HawaiiFive0_S10_ToughLads_SG17Photo Credits:  CBS

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And it was Steve and Danny.  As always, it comes down to ……

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Steve and Danny:  There is never going to be a time when I can get enough of Steve and Danny. No matter if we got 42 minutes of no one else but them, it wouldn’t be enough for me.  Put them on horses and I’m in heaven.  Having them arguing on horses, and I’m lost.  These two crack me up.  Remember back in 7.18, when they were tracking the stolen nuclear material through the jungle? They were having a rather loud discussion about retirement and restaurants and we were all thinking… “guys… making a bit of noise there, aren’t you?”.  Same thing here.  They’re arguing as they’re tracking the outlaws.  “Stealth” just isn’t a thing for these guys!   Until Danny brings up the fact that he’s been hearing Steve up at night.  Knows he’s not sleeping.  It’s a shame Steve couldn’t have just told Danny what’s going on with him, whatever it is, right there.  I thought they’d come far enough after all these years that they were past the “I’m good” stage. I guess it was something just for Steve to admit he’s got a lot on his mind.

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There were so many throwbacks in this episode.  The one I just mentioned above from Season 7, the guys on horseback, just like when they were on Lanai with Lori back in Episode 2.02 and the “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” shootout, again a throwback to 2.02.  Steve has evolved from a “Neanderthal” to a “Nincompoop”.  And then there’s Danny coming to Steve’s rescue with the fatal shot just in the nick-of-time, just like in Episode 3.10. So many memories……

HawaiiFive0_S10_ToughLads_SG25Photo Credit: CBS

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Courtesy of @alohaspacema2Photo Credits:  @alohaspaceman in Twitter and Instagram

It makes me think of all the things everyone’s been discussing on social media all week.  What is all this leading up to?  There were those who felt, from very early in the season, with the wrap up of the Doris story and Peter’s spoiler that we’d be getting all the answers from the Champ box by the end of the season, that everything looked to be leading up to a series end. I was not one of those people.  I never felt we were leading to the end.  I assumed we were heading toward a new direction (not that I had any clue what that direction would be) but I never thought we were coming to an end.  Every indication out there pointed to the show coming back for an 11th season.  I didn’t see any reason to disbelieve that.

But as I watched Steve in hand-to-hand combat with that huge goon, as I was enjoying seeing our SuperSEAL in action once again in a way we really haven’t seen much this season, I had one thought.

As I said last week, this is 100% conjecture on my part, but I do believe Alex made the decision that Season 10 was his last a very long time ago and that this entire season has been written to move us toward that eventuality. And, I also believe scenes like that fight scene could very well be one of the reasons why.

Sure, Alex has stuntmen to do the most vigorous aspects of fights like this, but Alex is still expending a great deal of physical energy to make the fight look as realistic as possible.  And it’s not like he does it once and it’s on film.  More than likely he’d have to do it over and over again until the director was satisfied that he had the shots he needs.  Maybe Alex’s physical issues are the reason. Maybe not.  Maybe he’s just tired of doing the same thing after ten years.  Who knows?  As a person who’s been doing the same job for the last 21 years, I can tell you from personal experience that no matter how much you like it, no matter how much you like the people you work with and for, no matter how good you are at it, you still get to the point where you just don’t want to do it anymore.

It really doesn’t matter in the long run what the reason is.  Some people can stick to their stubborn opinion that the show is ending because of ratings, which the numbers do not support because H50 is still consistently strong week after week.  But I’m sticking to my stubborn opinion that Alex’s decision was made based on his ability and on his conviction (or lack thereof) to continue with scenes like this one.

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So, what is going on with Steve?  Who knows?  He’s not sleeping well.  He won’t tell Danny what’s up.  He took a brutal hit to the head during that fight, a fight he really wasn’t doing well in to start with.  We’ve seen Steve in hundreds of fights and seen him take hits to the head more times than I can count.  Is there some significance in the camera becoming all unfocused to show his vision going blurry? Of course, it could just be the director’s way of showing a harder than usual hit to the head.  It didn’t seem to be affecting Steve that much as he made his way back down the hills later.

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And what’s with all the philosophical opining about beautiful vistas and taking sunsets for grated because he always figured he’d see a million more? Has life handed him something else on life’s terms?  My heart is breaking again at the thought of what all that could mean.  And I keep remembering a video of Alex at SOTB where he said he thought the best ending for Steve would be for him to die. I pray to God that’s not where this is heading. I don’t think I could survive that.

Courtesy of @stellagioiaPhoto Credit:  @stellagioia… @Hawaii50Italia on Twitter

Of course, Steve could just be contemplating life in general.  There have been many references over the season related to age.  They’ve mentioned their “ten years” numerous times, including in this episode when Steve teased Danny for not knowing Hawaii doesn’t have squirrels after living there for ten years.  There was even an off hand reference to Steve’s cholesterol level a ways back. Age has been an ongoing sub-theme all season.

Steve and Danny riding off into the sunset together was perfect. The two of them leaving together, metaphorically riding off into the sunset together would be a perfect way for this series to end.  But from the way this episode was written, from the way Steve was acting at the end of this episode and how he’s been all season (which is easier to see now that it’s all 20/20 hindsight) and from the few spoilers we’ve gotten I’m really afraid that’s not the ending we’re going to get.

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Only two Friday’s left.  I still can’t believe it every time I’m forced to think about it.  As we come down the home stretch of every season, as we see each episode leading up to the season finale, I’m always in a bit of fear at what they’re going to throw at us in the finale. But I always console myself that, come September, everything will work out and our team will be there like they always are.  This wind down is torture because that bit of fear is starting to build again but, this time, it’s such a heavier fear.  There is no next year to make it all better.

Ok, now that I’ve depressed you all as well as myself, I better stop right here before I make it worse.  I know this isn’t me in my usual upbeat self but, ever since we got the word last Friday, upbeat has been really hard to sustain.  So, I’ll rely on what I usually do. My love for this show and the two men who have made it so wonderful for so long.  No matter what, my heart will always belong to McDanno!

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See you all next week.  Aloha. Malama Pono

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#H50 Review:  10.18 –  Nalowale i ke ‘ehu o he kai (Lost in the sea sprays)

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I want to say “happy” H50 weekend like I always do, but of course there is nothing “happy” about this H50 weekend at all.  I want to do a proper review of this episode, but I find I really can’t.  So just a few quick observations:

Adam finally comes clean:  Thank God this story is over.  And thank God Steve ripped Adam a new one for going behind his back and going on another one-man quest that could have ended in disaster.  Steve’s anger was 100% justified and the reason Adam gave for why he did it was totally unsatisfying.  He did it because of what Kenji did to Tamiko.  He did it for her.  Not that it’s not a noble reason but it’s not what a law enforcement officer is supposed to do.  It’s not supposed to be personal.  I love Adam but I hope Steve thinks long and hard about accepting Adam back into the fold.  How can he ever trust that Adam won’t go rogue again?

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HawaiiFive0_S10_SeaSprays_SG20bPhoto Credits:  CBS

Noelani and Quinn:  The friendships between the women on this show have been wonderful this season.  Quinn and Tani.  Tani and Noelani.  Here we have Quinn helping Noelani try to solve how her beloved uncle died.  It was a great story, full of heartfelt emotions.  Every time they give Noelani a great story, Kimee totally rocks the material.  It was heartbreaking to watch Quinn tell Noelani about her brother who’d committed suicide.  Heartbreaking for how the death affected Quinn but more so because it shows how little we know Quinn.  Her backstory is one I was really looking forward to learning more about.  Sadly, we’ll never get the chance to really know her well.

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COTW:  The crime of the week was pretty predictable, but I enjoyed it mostly for the individual scenes within it.  Watching Tani’s fight to take down that goon on the ship was awesome.  Damn that girl is badass.  Seeing Junior totally panicked as he watched through that unmovable bulkhead as Tani fought was nerve wracking for both him and us.  And, damn, what a gun battle to finish out the case.  Steve, Danny and Junior in that house with the drug dust filling their air and their lungs was breathtaking in the least.

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Ohana ending:  For me, the best part of any episode is the Ohana gathering together somewhere for an after-case drink.  This one included Magnum PI’s Rick since they all gathered at his place for some end of day relaxation.  I loved the #ReiRay vs #Quick dance off.  Everyone looks so relaxed and happy and they were all having so much fun.  It was hard to watch without tears coming to my eyes.  As a matter of fact, this entire episode was hard to watch without crying.

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And we all know why!  Because, just like an unexpected heart attack which takes down a relatively young, seemingly healthy man in his prime, Hawaii Five-0 is coming to an abrupt and heartbreaking end in just one month.  Four more episodes and this wonderful show, that’s given me more pleasure and more pain, more laughs and more friends than I could have ever imagined is ending.

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Talk about a gut punch! Just a few hours before this episode was to air, this tweet appeared on all our timelines, sucking the air out of each and every one of us.  It was followed very quickly by the first reports hitting the entertainment media.  One of the first reports came from Dateline.

‘Hawaii Five-0’ To End After 10 Seasons On CBS, Sets Two-Hour Series Finale

 

EXCLUSIVECBS’ Hawaii Five-0 will be coming to an end. The popular action crime drama series will wrap its 10-year, 240-episode run with a two-hour series finale on Friday, April 3.

Developed by Peter M. Lenkov, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci as a reimagining of Leonard Freeman’s classic series and by Lenkov for the show’s entire run, Hawaii Five-0 has been a strong profit generator tor for CBS. In addition to its solid ratings performance, initially on Monday, and as a Friday anchor for the past seven seasons, Hawaii Five-0 has been a big international seller for CBS TV Studios, seen in more than 200 countries. Additionally, it was the last broadcast drama series to score a blockbuster off-network deal, landing $2 million an episode from TNT during the series’ first season on CBS.

“It’s never easy to say goodbye to a hit franchise that carried on the legacy of the original with such distinction while establishing its own signature style,” said Kelly Kahl, President, CBS Entertainment. “From episode one, Hawaii Five-0 has been a huge success for us. Thanks to the amazing talents of the producers, writers, cast and crew, it has played a key role for a decade on our schedule and helped establish our powerhouse Friday night. We cannot be prouder of its quality, longevity and are thankful for the passionate fan-devotion it inspired.”

Hawaii Five-0 will end its run with its original stars Alex O’Loughlin as McGarrett and Scott Caan as Danno. I hear both of their current contracts are up at the end of this season. O’Loughlin suffered a serious back injury during the early seasons of the show, and has been dealing with effects from it ever since. There was speculation that he may leave the show two years ago but he stayed on after receiving stem cell treatment. I hear this time around, he felt he could not continue. I hear the network explored continuing Hawaii Five-0 with Caan’s Danno and a new partner but, ultimately, everyone felt this was the right time to end the series.

“This show has been pretty much every waking moment for the last 10 years of my life,” said O’Loughlin. “Everywhere I go on this planet, in every language, I am McGarrett to all these people. What we’ve done, what we’ve accomplished, it’s extraordinary. I can’t really put words to express my level of gratitude. I’m just glad to have been a part of this, a part of history and I’m going to miss it. And to the fans, I don’t know how to thank you guys. Thank you for following us the way you have. I’m going to miss you. Aloha.”

Launching a Hawaii Five-0 reboot had been a top priority for CBS TV Studios for more than a decade. There were multiple unsuccessful attempts with other writers and producers until Lenkov came on board, teaming with Kurtzman and Orci for the pilot. It was the first of a slew of successful reboots Lenkov has delivered for CBS and CBS TV Studios.

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Hawaii Five-0 has been such a blessing to me and all of the people who have worked on this incredible show,” said Lenkov. “I truly learned the meaning of ‘ohana’ as the viewers embraced us and the people of Hawaii welcomed us with the privilege to film on their shores. I am forever indebted to the creative genius that was Leonard Freeman who gave us such a beautiful story to begin with. And my eternal gratitude to our cast, led by our hero Alex O’Loughlin, the writers, the production team, our CBS ohana, and most importantly – YOU, the fans, who allowed us to come to work with pride and made our series such a success. Mahalo.”

Hawaii Five-0 currently stars O’Loughlin, Caan, Ian Anthony Dale, Meaghan Rath, Beulah Koale, Katrina Law, Taylor Wily, Dennis Chun, Kimee Balmilero and Chi McBride.

Like most long-running series, it went through multiple cast transitions. That included the controversial exit of original co-stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park after Season 7. Returning for the two-hour finale are recurring cast members James Marsters (Victor Hesse), William Sadler (John McGarrett) and Mark Dacascos (Wo Fat).

Hawaii Five-0, which consistently wins its time period, has been watched by almost 40 million viewers this season. In addition, the show has ranked in the top 15 or higher of broadcast dramas during its run. Also, Hawaii Five-0, is CBS’ most social primetime drama, generating 47 million impressions, 3.7 million engagements and 3.8 million video views, season-to-date.

“For 10 seasons, Alex, Scott and the rest of the talented Five-0 cast have brought fans exciting adventures in a spectacular tropical paradise,” said David Stapf, President, CBS Television Studios. “We specifically want to thank Peter and the incredibly talented production team for 10 years of consistently outstanding television. The drama has been a great success for the Studio and Network, and as a global franchise for our company. We’re pleased to give it a big sendoff and that viewers will have the opportunity to say goodbye to their favorite characters as the final season wraps.”

Lenkov executive produces the series with David Wolkove, Matt Wheeler, Kurtzman and Orci.

Link to article:  https://deadline.com/2020/02/hawaii-five-0-end-10-seasons-canceled-cbs-s-two-hour-series-finale-1202870780/

So if you take this article at face value and, there doesn’t seem to be any reason to doubt it, all indications are that TPTB knew from very early on that this was going to be Alex’s last season. It looks like the network wanted to try to keep it going with Danny as the leader of the team and with a new partner, probably Lincoln Cole, the new character being introduced in the last two episodes.

Peter Lenkov has confirmed on Twitter that the finale script was not changed, so it was supposed to be the season finale, not the series finale. From things posted on social media, mostly on Instagram, the crew was as blindsided by this as we were, because they all thought they’d be back in July with a new direction for the show without Alex.

Now this is 100% speculation on my part.  Repeat:  100% speculation on my part.  It is possible that when presented with that option, Scott said no. It is possible that his answer was, if Alex was out, he was too. We all know Scott is not religiously attached to this show in the way that Alex is, so it’s not hard to imagine him saying no to doing it without him. Many people have recollections of interviews where Scott said just that years ago.

It’s also possible (again, pure speculation on my part) that the three camps of representatives, Alex’s, Scott’s and the network’s were trying to work out a compromise that would keep both Alex and Scott with the show for a new (possibly shortened) season so they could wrap things up properly. I think the finale was written to give Alex an out but also an opportunity to change his mind, if he so chose.  Like he did back at the end of Season 7. When it became certain no compromise could be reached, it was decided that the best course of action would be to end it.

This is not really too hard to understand.  We’ve said it a zillion times over the years.  If we ever got to a point where Alex and Scott decided they’d had enough, the show would end.  It’s just heartbreaking that it’s happening now, heartbreaking that we didn’t get a heads up, the time to process the news and prepare for the loss.  This is exactly like that heart attack that takes down a person in the prime of his life.  Totally unexpected and utterly heart wrenching.

My heart is heavy but where it goes out the most is to the lesser cast and especially to the hundreds of crew who make this show the success it is. They are the best crew in the world and they work their asses off to make this show the best it can be.  These people went to work in the morning, thinking it was the last day of the season, thinking they were going to be saying their “see you soon”s and “see you in July”s.  Instead, they were blindsided and saying their final farewells.  Now, instead of heading off to hiatus vacations and hiatus time with their families, they will all be looking for jobs.

It is those people who I think would have made this decision by Alex so difficult.  We know him so well, from all the interviews he’s given over the years.  We know about his total commitment, body and soul, to the show and to all the crew who work so hard and get their livelihood from it.  There is no way he made this decision lightly.   My heart tells me he agonized over it.  For him to admit that he couldn’t go on, no matter how much money, no matter how much down time they’d give him, knowing what it would mean for all those people he considers Ohana, must mean his physical discomfort must be more than he could continue to endure.  

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It breaks our hearts to let it go, but we have to respect Alex’s decision because this is about his health.  If walking away is what he needs to be happy and even more importantly, to be healthy for himself, Malia and their children. he did the right thing.

We have four more episodes to go.  Whatever comes, one way or the other, I will be there. I hope you’ll all be there too.

No screencaps from me today.  Just didn’t have the heart.  All credits are noted above.

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#H50 Review:  10.17 – He kohu puahiohio i ka ho’okele i ka lepo i luna (Like a whirlwind, whirling the dust upward)

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Happy H50 weekend!  I’m not exactly sure how to approach this week’s episode.  There were parts I absolutely loved, parts I didn’t like and parts that were just plain confusing.  I guess the best thing to do, is to take it one by one.  Let’s start with……

Parts I didn’t like:  Well, this isn’t too hard.  First, it was a multi-story episode and you all know I really don’t like these, especially when the stories are all cut off from each other.  Here we had Steve, Danny and Lou working on the “mystery writer” murders, Tani and Junior helping out Harry Langford and Adam off doing whatever it is Adam is doing.  Oh… and Quinn was where?  Not only was it a multi-story episode, it jumped around a lot.  Usually, I don’t find it particularly hard to follow from story to story (even though I don’t like it) but for some reason, the jumps seemed more jarring than usual in this one.

The other thing I didn’t like, and again this isn’t too hard…… Adam!  I’m getting tired of saying how much I don’t like this story, as much as I love what Ian is doing with it.  The only saving grace, by the looks of that last scene, is that this could possibly be coming to an end soon.  Finally!

Watching the scene between Steve and Adam was downright painful.  Steve knows something is going on. It’s plainly obvious.  He’s playing this game, watching Adam uncomfortably straddling both sides of the fence, even expertly slathering on a nice layer of guilt…. “I know that you did what you did for good reasons”…. “I trust you, ok”……  all the while giving him a ton of rope to see how long it’s going to take before he hangs himself.

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The look on his face as their discussion ended showed just how much he hates every bit of this, and his actions are literally begging Adam to come clean.

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I’ve been saying all along that I believe this is a long con and the more I see the more I believe it.

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Watching Kenji murdering Endo and Haru and Adam’s “Gotcha!” as he watched on the hidden camera he placed in the jungle, proves he’s working to bring Kenji down.  Naturally, I’m concerned by those ninjas heading into Adam’s condo.  That can’t be good.  I wonder if Haru was forced to give Adam up before Kenji killed him.  However, it happened, it looks pretty obvious that Adam’s cover’s been blown.

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I’m thrilled that it looks like this story is coming to an end. I just hope the writers come up with a pretty damn good reason for why we were subjected to it all this time.  I need to hear exactly what whoever is behind this held over Adam’s head for him to continue to keep Steve in the dark for so long.  It not only needs to satisfy us, but it must satisfy Steve.  I know Steve trusts Adam to do the right thing in the end but there still needs to be a major discussion about all this and not just Steve giving the standard “I know you did what you had to do” and everything is back to normal. I fear that’s exactly what’s going to happen.  Unless the writers pull a fast one and we find out that Steve’s known about this all along and he’s been playing a different game than we’ve been thinking.  That would be a pretty awesome twist.

Parts that were confusing:  Well, maybe confusing is the wrong word.  The story didn’t really confuse me, it just made me wonder why it even existed.  Look, I adore Harry Langford and I adore every single time he’s part of the show but what was the purpose of this story?  It was cute, that’s for sure.  It gave us Harry as his always suave, debonair self, which is always fun.  His interactions with Steve and Danny, especially are always something special.  Honestly, I’d watch the three of them bounce off each other for hours.  Yeah, this story was fun.

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Watching Danny’s reaction as Harry told he and Steve about writing a book in two weeks and suddenly finding himself with a big fat book deal and a bestseller worth millions was hilarious.

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His “Cyrano de Bergerac” routine with Gabe, as he impersonated Harry’s pseudonym “Michael Blanton” was equally funny especially when Steve and Danny had no idea why he suddenly went blank and unresponsive to them.  “I think you broke him.”…. “I didn’t do anything. What’d I do?” 🤣🤣 Naturally, when bad stuff inevitably happened, it was poor Gabe who was targeted instead of Harry.

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But, my original question still stands.  What was the purpose of this story, other than for a bit of fun and the opportunity to see an old friend again?

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The only purpose I can see is to establish that there’s “space on this task force”.  Space that may or may not be filled by the new character (played by Lance Gross) set to appear in the last two episodes of the season?  And if so, what space?  Quinn showed up just as Jerry left so we’re still at our season starting complement of seven team members. I suppose, if he wants to, Steve could create as much space on his task force as he wants.

Other than the fact that I adore Harry, the next best part of this story for me was Jack Cutmore-Scott, who played Gabe.  Not only was he really awesome in the part (that was one hell of an impressive James Bond impersonation) but he’s also the real-life fiancé of Meaghan Rath.  The little back and forth between them in Harry’s hotel room was adorable.

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Parts I loved:  I really liked the “murder mystery” murders.  A story with twists and red herrings, it was a perfect H50 story.  Ok, let’s all admit we pegged Suzanne Ridge’s assistant Kevin as the killer from the beginning but that didn’t make this story any less fun.

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I got a kick out of listening to Suzanne explain Maureen Townsend’s fictional crime writer “Deirdre Naismith” to Steve and Danny.  “A crime writer who always got invited into the most coveted dinner parties and events, where inevitably a murder would take place and she would help solve it.” What a perfect description of “Jessica Fletcher”!! 🤣🤣 (Dating myself here, I know!)

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I have to admit, although I suspected Kevin from the beginning, it didn’t occur to me that Suzanne was part of the scheme until she was found in that tub with the ceiling tile left ajar above her. My first thought was that the opening looked way too small for anyone to be able to get out of.  I was wrong about that but, like Suzanne and Kevin, I never considered that the vent could be completely blocked. That was a brilliant twist.

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Watching Suzanne and Kevin squirm while Steve, Danny and Lou spelled out how their homicidal PR stunt had failed was positively delicious.  I saw my friend Belle say on Twitter Friday night; “Honestly, I love the BAMF action, but I also enjoy episodes where everything is wrapped up with solid detective work.”  I could not agree more!

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The next thing I really loved about this episode is that it marked the…. count ‘em…. fifth straight episode in which Danny has appeared and appeared to a significant extent.  And he’s slated to be in 10.18 as well.  I don’t know yet about the last four (OMG, there’s only five episodes left! *sob*) episodes but these six episodes in a row have so far been absolutely fantastic.  You guys know me.  The more Danny there is in any episode the more I like it.  The more Steve and Danny time, whether it be personal time or working partner time, the more I love it.  These consecutive episodes are wonderful.

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Now let’s talk about the smallest part of this episode but, by far, the best moments of them all.  The reunion of Tani and Junior was absolutely beautiful.  Finally!  At last!  About time!

Tani looked adorable standing there with a huge grin and a “Reigns” sign in her hands as she waited for Junior to come across the tarmac.  That hug looked like they were never going to let go.

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But that was only the beginning.  At first, Junior’s face in the car looked as if he were remembering some dark moment on the battlefield but what he was really doing was putting on his determined face to do what he’d been planning to do from the moment he was deployed.

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I’m sure he expected Tani to be open to that kiss, but I think she may have taken him by surprise with her enthusiastic response. A very… very pleasant surprise for sure.  The post-coital bliss coming from them was palpable.

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These two have had a great connection from the moment they first met over two and a half years ago.  That slow dance at Tani’s friend’s wedding last year was a huge push in the right direction.  I’m so happy they’ve finally taken this huge step to solidify their relationship.  I’m curious now to see how they go about their lives from this point.  I don’t believe they’re going to have any difficulty working together day to day but I’m curious to see what happens when one of them is in real danger.  We’ve already seen Tani lose it when Junior was taken in the Magnum crossover.

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I’m also looking forward to when they finally fill in the team about their new status.  Or will the team figure it out on their own?  Or will Junior move in with Tani and Steve will find out when Junior informs him he’s moving out of Casa McG?  This is going to be a lot of fun.

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Of course, as much as I love the Casa McG fraternity of Steve, Danny, Junior and Eddie, it’s always been inevitable that situation can’t last forever.  I’m rooting for Junior moving into Tani’s house so Danny can keep living at Steve’s! 🤣 🤣 I just hope that it doesn’t end up with Steve and Eddie alone in the house again.  My heart would break to see Steve be so alone again.

Well, that’s it for this week.  This episode had a lot of moving parts and I really liked most of them for the most part.  Most of the episode was just pure fun and that easily outweighs the parts that I don’t prefer.  Happily, those parts were small compared to the rest.  As always, I loved the episode as a whole.

Until next week my friends.  Aloha. Malama Pono.

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All screencaps are mine unless otherwise noted!

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H50 Review: 10.16 – He kauwā ke kanaka na ke aloha (Man is a slave of love) – Happy Valentine’s Day

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Hi everyone!  As you can see, this review is super late. I wasn’t sure I was even going to write one for this week’s episode.  I just got home after spending a week in Nassau in the Bahamas.  My wonderful husband, along with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law took me away for my 60th birthday.  Nothing better than escaping February in the Northeast by heading to warm sunshine, beaches, good food and lots of alcohol!  The resort was amazing!  We has a blast!

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I did manage to watch the episode in my hotel room on Friday night but, as is the case with many hotel TVs, it was a very small screen, not in HD and the sound was horrendous.  I finally got to re-watch the episode properly on Tuesday night.  Needless to say, I loved it. I’m really short on time this week with getting resettled after vacation and heading back to work but I wanted to jot down a few thoughts.  I haven’t had the chance to read any other reviews so forgive me if everyone is talked out about the episode all ready.

Noelani and Tani:  I really like the friendships which have formed on this show between all the women.  We’ve seen the great connection Quinn and Tani have formed and here we see it again, between Tani and Noelani.  Noelani’s surf lesson scene was a hoot. I’m not sure who was more excited about her success on that board, her or Tani.

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And I loved Tani’s good natured ribbing over the way Noelani was flirting with the surf instructor.  But most of all, I love seeing them outside of work just having friend time.  And, commiserating over their disappointment over it being Valentine’s Day and both their boyfriends being away.

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The holdup at the convenience store was a sad commentary on a very real problem in this country these days.  There are millions of people who either have no medical coverage at all or they have coverage but with such high deductibles and/or out-of-pocket expenses, it’s virtually impossible to get medical care when needed.  Of course, it was taken to the extreme here for the purpose of a TV plot but, to be honest, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if something like this doesn’t happen in real life when people are simply desperate to find money for care.  It’s even something we’ve seen on this show before.  Remember all the way back to Season 1 and the asset forfeiture locker?  Chin’s uncle stole that money in order to pay for his wife’s kidney transplant.

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Kimee Balmilero was awesome in these scenes.  It was so great to see her highlighted here since lately it seems we see her more on Magnum PI then we do on H50.  She’s so great at bringing all of Noelani’s personality to the screen.  In this episode alone, she was adorably rambunctious during her surf lesson, a giggly girl-friend with Tani, scared when “Bonnie and Clyde” pulled weapons on everyone then, extremely resourceful and brave when trying to help “Clyde” during his seizure.  I just love her!

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Adam:   I will continue to say, week after week, that I do not like Adam’s story.  What I did like in his episode was Lou calling him on his crap!  It’s about time someone… anyone… said something to Adam about what’s going on with him.  I was so sure when Lou started speaking that he was just going to give Adam another free pass.  While he wasn’t as forceful as I thought he’d be (considering the murderous look he gave Adam in that jungle last week) I was relieved to hear him call Adam out.  Adam’s actions put Bonnie in danger and, even though Lou is grateful to Adam for getting Bonnie back, he’s not going to be forgiving or buddy-buddy with the guy for quite some time.  Good for you Lou!

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I’m still, in my heart, going with the belief that Adam is in some sort of long con.  The way he reacted to Lou’s anger, the way he looked at Steve in last week’s episode, the pained, remorseful look he gets every time he does something he knows is wrong, makes me believe that he is not doing any of this because he’s “gone to the dark side”.  I’ve said it a million times.  Adam was never a bad guy and he sucked at it when he tried.  I don’t believe he’s a bad guy now.

Then there is that scene in the car when Adam handed over HPD intel to one of the Yakuza.  But was he Yakuza?  The way the scene was written can be taken two ways.  As presented; bad guy Adam handing over stolen HPD intel to one of Kenji’s men OR …. the press release for the episode lists the actor, Jess A. Cruz. as playing a character listed only as “Fed”.  So, an agent of Asian descent, posing as one of Kenji’s men?  His concern over Adam’s welfare, his warning about how unpredictable Kenji can be, telling Adam to watch his back.  None of that sounds like something a Yakuza thug would be saying to an HPD/Five-0 spy to me.

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Detective Danny:  This week’s crime of the week was a really great one, full of the kinds of twists and turns we’ve come to expect from this show.  She killed her husband.  But, she didn’t kill him.  She was protecting her boyfriend who killed him.  But the boyfriend didn’t kill him so she was protecting him for nothing.  The killer ends up being someone not even anywhere near their radar but related to another killing years ago in Thailand.  Yup, typical bait and switch, red herring story telling.  A story that keeps me on my toes and engaged the entire episode.  I love these kinds of stories.

But the best part of the COTW is that we finally got to see something that’s been in very low supply in recent years.  The return of Detective Danny Williams.  The man who had “87 homicide cases” under his belt before he ever set foot in Hawaii and who, for years, was not only Steve’s partner but Steve’s equal partner.  This is what I’ve meant when I’ve said that, while I totally understand Scott’s reduced episode schedule, I don’t understand why they can’t utilize his talents and write great Danny material when he is available.  This episode shows it is very possible to do just that.

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Danny knew instantaneously that Lorena was lying about killing her husband, no matter how adamant her confession and Steve was also instantaneously ready to go with Danny’s instincts even while those back at HQ were more than just a bit skeptical.

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It was a nice bit of continuity with regard to Danny’s personal experience with battered women and how, when they do take matters into their own hands, it’s almost always a matter of self defense and not premeditated.  Not only was Steve totally on board with Danny’s instincts, Duke was too.  He was right there to help Steve and Danny get Lorena to safety rather than allow her to be taken into custody by the State Department.  They all risked a lot and all on their trust in Danny and his instincts.  Bravo to the writers on this story.

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Ohana Valentine:  I loved the McDanno scene we got at the beginning of the episode.  Steve’s face was so adorable when he admitted to Danny that he’s been seeing Brooke so often that he’s lost count.  It makes sense.  He went on that first date with Brooke.  Then he had a casual date with Emma the vet. Right after that, it all went down with Doris and we know Steve wasn’t himself for quite some time, dealing with Doris’s death.  Dating was obviously not on his mind at all.  Eventually, he began to feel like himself again and wanting to get back out there, remembered his date(s) with Brooke, realized how much fun he had with her and how much he liked her and called her again.  It just went from there.

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Is it weird that Danny, living in Steve’s house, had no idea about his dating habits?  No, not really.  Danny has been pretty preoccupied these days himself.  Even though it’s been happening off screen, Danny has been trying all season to work things out with Rachel.  Trying to work things out takes time.  I’m assuming, since Steve was trying to keep things on the down low, he was out with Brooke while Danny was with Rachel.

I am so enjoying all the time Danny has been staying at Steve’s place.  I know Junior is due to return from duty in the next episode and with Danny’s house ready for habitation again, he’ll probably be going home soon.  I wish there was a way for both Junior and Danny to stay at Steve’s.  I love the idea of the three of them (four if you include Eddie) in their own personal frat house and we already know Steve loves having a full house too.

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The tragedy of Joanna’s death rocked Danny.  Although I’m disappointed we haven’t heard anything about the kid who caused Joanna’s death being caught, it was nice to see the continuity of how Danny is dealing with what happened.  It was interesting to hear Danny tell Lorena that his life wasn’t making a lot of sense these days and he saw her predicament as a puzzle he could solve.  Even though it wasn’t specifically verbalized in the dialog, it was as if Danny felt he needed to help Lorena just as much for himself as for her.  He couldn’t save Joanna but he could save Lorena.

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I absolutely adored the Ohana scene at the end of the show.  It was so sweet of Steve and Brooke to cancel their date to be there for Danny.  The addition of the others was very sweet.  Steve had told Danny earlier that Quinn and Tani were having a movie night together (more girl-friend time… I love it!) so he just called them over to Casa McG, along with Noelani, Kamekona and Flippa to watch the movie there.  I’m assuming Lou was with Renee, since we know he better not forget it’s Valentines day!  As for Adam, well, I assume he wasn’t invited, all considered.

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It’s not one bit surprising that Steve would want to be there for Danny.  Danny has always been there for Steve in his darkest moments.  Holidays tend to emphasize the dark times.  Valentine’s Day is a silly “Hallmark” holiday but for those who are alone, it can be a hard pill to swallow.  Danny’s attempt to reconcile with Rachel has failed again and Joanna is dead.  Sure he didn’t know her well but there was a real connection between them, a more than small hint of what could have been.  Danny is hurting even if he doesn’t want to admit it.  Of course, he doesn’t have to admit it.  Steve just knows!

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Will we see Brooke again?  Who knows? Considering the track record of this show, I think we probably won’t but I hope I’m wrong.  We really haven’t seen them together for more than a few minutes so it’s hard to feel any particular bond between them yet but they’re cute together and they’re obviously comfortable with each other.  Steve is comfortable enough to include her in an Ohana evening with the team.  That says a lot.  I hope we do get to see, or at least hear about Brooke again.

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There is also the fact that she’s a mom of a child at Charlie’s school.  So there’s a kid, presumably close in age to Charlie.  How awesome would it be to see Steve interact with another small child?  How awesome would it be if, down the line, he finally got the family he’s always wanted?  Ok… ok…. I’m wildly jumping the gun, I know.  But the idea of Steve being a daddy just gives me soooooo many happy feels.

So, our episode ends with everyone settling down to watch “Love Actually” and enjoying each other’s company.  It could be any day of the year, it just happens to be Valentine’s Day.  I’m grateful for two things.  One:  They’re not watching “The Notebook” (I could never figure out what all the buzz was about) and Two:  That couch cuddle.  Oh yes, I full admit to adoring my McDanno moments wherever and whenever I get them.  The more the better.

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Well, that’s it for this episode.  I thought this one was very well done, in the crimes, the Ohana and, of course, McDanno.  Now all they have to do is end the annoying Adam story and I’ll be a very happy camper.

Until next time, friends!  Aloha. Malama Pono

 

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#H50 Review: 10.15 – He waha kou o ka he‘e (Yours is the mouth of an octopus)

Ian InstagramPhoto Credit:  Ian Anthony Dale on Instagram

Hi everyone!  I hope you’ve all had a great week.  Here we are again, enjoying yet another really good H50.  I was a bit worried about this episode, for no other reason, except that it was coming after last week’s extremely highly emotional one.  Sometimes, that leads to the next episode being a bit of a letdown but, thankfully, that wasn’t the case here.  While this episode, co-written by Chi McBride and directed by Ian Anthony Dale, didn’t have the highly touching impact that last week’s episode had, it was still pretty emotionally charged in its own right.  And it was a single-story episode with not only the entire team working together but with lots of Steve and Danny togetherness as well.  My absolutely favorite type of episode.

Chi’s scripts always seem to revolve around the Grover family and this one was no different.  We met Lou’s niece Siobhan only seven episodes ago when she told Lou she wanted to follow in his footsteps and be a cop. And here she was, already a stand-out recruit at the HPD Academy. That didn’t take long.

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The opening scene between Danny and (we now know her real name) Joanna’s sister was extremely touching.  Annika Marks managed to tear my heart out again.  She was so incredibly believable in Marie’s grief.  And Scott played Danny’s reactions to her perfectly. You could see there were so many things he wanted to say, so many ways he wanted to comfort her, but he was so choked up all he could manage to say was “I’m so sorry” over and over again.  Of course, Marie understood. She read the police report. She knows what Danny did to try to save Joanna.

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I do wish we could have had at least one line to say that the jerk who killed Joanna had been taken into custody but, honestly, the way the scene ended with the two of them clinging to each other in their grief was so poignant and heartbreaking I really didn’t need to hear it. I’m just going to assume that he is.

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I, of course, liked this episode a lot but I have to be honest, it kind of gave me a similar feeling to Danny’s story in last week’s episode.  I really enjoyed that story as well, particularly the fantastic acting of both Scott and Kate Siegel, but it felt to me that the only reason why that story was being told was to concretely show that Danny was 100% ready to move past Rachel.  That’s the same feeling I got watching Bonnie’s story.

It was a good story, but it really felt like the only reason for it to be told was to further the “what the hell is Adam doing..” story.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love Nia Holloway as Bonnie and no one can turn on the emotional waterworks as well as Chi. He’s so good at being able to go from frantic worry, to murderous rage, to desperation in the span of only moments.  It’s always a gut punch whenever a big strong guy dissolves into tears and no one does that better than Chi.

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Of all the guys Bonnie could have gotten involved with, she had to pick a Yakuza plant within the Academy. Of course, she didn’t know he was Yakuza, but he had to know her uncle was Five-0.  No, Bonnie isn’t a blood relative of Lou’s and, obviously, doesn’t share his last name but I can’t believe in the “getting to know you” part of their relationship, Bonnie didn’t mention why she wanted to be cop and the person who inspired her to do so.

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This is where the story gave me the same feeling as last weeks did.  Bonnie’s bad-boyfriend could have been anyone. But Chi and Matt Wheeler chose to make him Yakuza.  Joanna came into Danny’s life to propel his character away from Rachel and Endo and Bonnie’s story was only told to further advance whatever the hell Adam’s story is supposed to be.

I’m going to say this again…. I do not like this story one bit even if I love what Ian is doing with the material.  Especially in this episode, I was very impressed with the amount of time Adam was on screen considering that Ian was also directing. The old adage “a good actor can elevate the material” really applies with this story.

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For the life of me, I can’t figure out what the hell is going on here.  I pray to God this is a long con of some sort, like when Kono was undercover for Fryer back in Season 2, because this behavior of Adam’s makes no sense.  And this story is turning the team into something I never thought I’d see them be.  Distrustful and secretive.  Steve and Danny are searching Adam’s apartment behind his back while Lou, all buddy-buddy with Adam, is keeping him busy and distracted while they do it.

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I fully understand Steve’s desire to “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” but the fact that Adam has now found himself in the latter category is very disconcerting. Steve has had his doubts about Adam for a while but now it’s downright outrage coming from Lou.  If looks could kill, when Adam walked out of that jungle, he would have perished on the spot.

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I did notice something after Adam got Bonnie back to Lou.  He walked out of the jungle and he and Steve made eye contact.  There was a very subtle nod between them.  It was definitely there but I can’t decide what it could mean.  It seems pretty obvious that if Adam is undercover, he’s doing it for someone much higher up the food chain and that Steve doesn’t know anything about it.

There’s no way Steve would have put on a charade of searching Adam’s apartment in front of Danny because Steve wouldn’t deliberately keep Danny in the dark over something so important.  He would trust Danny with the truth. Steve was definitely in the dark when they were there.

But that nod between he and Adam? Could Steve have found out something after the search of the apartment?  Was that nod an understanding of some sort between them?  Or was it simply “I’m happy you were able to get her back safely but don’t think we’re not going to be talking about this.”

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UPDATE:  A huge thank you to @ernsand2 on Twitter for capturing the exact moment for me! ❤️❤️❤️

Whatever it is, Adam sure has a hell of a lot of explaining to do.  No, I do not like this story one bit.  However, the acting of everyone involved in it is making it easier to bear.  But I really can’t wait until it’s over and hope to God that when it is, we have our old Adam back again.  Maybe there is some hope…..

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Yup, this is the kind of episode I love. One story, everyone working together to solve the problem and lots and lots of Steve and Danny time.  The Steve/Danny feels were all over this one.  Right from the start, when Danny was called into the ME’s office to meet whoever arrived from Joanna’s family, there’s no way Steve was going to let Danny go alone.  And Steve knows Danny so well that when the usually overly talkative Danny didn’t want to talk about his meeting with Marie, Steve didn’t push.  When Danny’s ready to talk, Steve will be there.

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The last scene between them at the house was golden.  The scene was one of blissful domesticity.  First off, it was wonderful to see that Eddie is his old, cheerful self again while the guys banter over scrambled eggs and “bacon days”.  I honestly don’t know if most of that scene was adlibbed or not, but it sure felt like it was.  If it wasn’t, Matt and/or Chi wrote it perfectly.

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There were several throw backs in this scene as well.  Steve and Danny have been going at it over eggs and breakfast since way back in Season 1. There was also the line “you get what you get and don’t get upset” which is exactly the same thing Danny once told Charlie at the dinner table.

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Then there was that look, that fleeting look, on Steve face when Danny told him the repairs on his house were almost complete, so he’d be able to go home soon.

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Steve had that exact same look when Junior told him well over a year ago that he was looking for an apartment.  Just like he was happy that Junior was beginning to feel settled in Hawaii, Steve’s happy that Danny’s life is getting back on track.  But those good feelings are immediately tempered with the dread of the house being empty again.

Steve really likes having a full house, having a “family” living under its roof again.  With Junior deployed, Danny has filled the void.  If Danny leaves, and Junior is still away, I don’t think Steve can bear the thought of rattling around an empty house again.  It’s a pretty safe bet that Danny will eventually go home.  I just hope it’s not for a very long time because I just adore all the time they are spending together.  I really don’t want to see it end.

Lastly, I want to send a truly heartfelt Congratulations to Ian Anthony Dale, his beautiful wife Nicole and their adorable son Roman on the birth of their second child, a baby girl.  Ian shared the wonderful news via his Instagram account this past Monday with an adorable picture of himself, Nic and the little lady.  I’m sure you all will join me in sending them all the warmest of best wishes.  Ian is embarking on an adventure he can’t fathom yet.  There is nothing in this world that can reduce a big, strong man into a gooey puddle like a little girl.  I know he’s totally ready to be a phenomenal #girldad!

Well, that’s it for this week my friends.  I know this review isn’t quite as long and rambling as usual (maybe that’s not a bad thing, eh? 😉🤣) but I’m in the process of preparing for a little winter vacation.  I’m up to my neck in prep so not a ton time for screen caps.  Just a few this week.

I’m not sure when I’ll get to see next weeks episode but I’ll try to throw together something if I can.  Until then, Have a great week.  Aloha.  Malama Pono

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