#H50 – Season 10 news – Welcome to #AlohaFriday #MagnumPI

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As I’m sure many of you have already heard, today, May 15, 2019, CBS had it’s day at the Upfronts.  For those of you who aren’t aware, the Upfronts are a yearly “gathering at the start of important advertising sales periods, held by television network executives and attended by major advertisers and the media”.  This is when the networks lay out their broadcast lineups for the new TV season.  In other words, for shows whose status hasn’t already been announced, it’s do-or-die time.

Happily, we already knew over a week ago that Hawaii Five-0 was renewed for its 10th season.  To be perfectly honest, as I sat my desk in my office working, I didn’t even think about following what was going on at the Upfronts today.  Why bother?  I already knew H50 was coming back and I felt pretty secure that the Friday night lineup which as been CBS’s most dominate night for years, would remain intact.

Just goes to show, you should never assume a damn thing.  It’s not bad news, however.  H50 is indeed still remaining on Friday nights  however, our time slot is changing.  H50 will now be seen at 8pm EST, one hour earlier than in previous years.  H50’s old 9pm time slot will be taken over by Peter Lenkov’s newest reboot, Magnum PI.  Blue Bloods remains in their original 10pm home.

The odd man out here is Peter’s other reboot, MacGyver.  While we’d already gotten word that MacGyver has been renewed for it’s 4th season, it will not have it’s season premiere until mid-season.  I’m not sure what that means for MacGyver but I hope it’s just a delayed season and not a shortened one.  I really like that show.  As a matter of fact, I like it more than Magnum.

Regardless, it looks like Friday nights will be our own little 2 hour mini-vacation to Hawaii each week.  The new hashtag of #AlohaFriday has already sprung up on Twitter.  And while I know they are not a favorite among some, I personally like crossovers so having all our Hawaii based crime fighters back to back on Friday could mean, if  not actually crossovers, maybe at least more cross-mentions between the shows.  That has to be a lot of fun.

With only one episode left for this season coming Friday night, the long summer hiatus will be upon us.  Well, not horribly long since early July, when the new season blessing will take place and when we should start to get behind-the-scenes-pictures again, is only a couple of months away.  Friday nights should be fun this fall.  Be there!  Aloha!

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#H50 Review:  9.24 Hewa ka lima (The Hand is at Fault)

HawaiiFive0_S9_TheHandAtFault_SG0024b_FULLPhoto Credit:  CBS

Happy H50 weekend!  As usual, I enjoyed this episode but, after talking to some friends and re-watching it, I have to admit to myself that, upon that second viewing,  it could have been done a bit better.  And while I think it did a good job of setting up the season finale next week, for the penultimate episode of the season it felt a little…. I don’t know….. blah.

I suppose it felt that way to me because there were things that just didn’t make a lot of sense.  Now, you know me… I am ridiculously easy to please when it comes to this show and things not making a lot of sense is something I wash down with a lot of KoolAid frequently.  It doesn’t affect my enjoyment of the show.  I just giggle at the silliness and accept it for what it is.  Like watching James Bond movies.  And I did like this episode a lot.  It had some great moments, some genuinely amusing ones, some incredible stunt driving and gun battle and some wonderful acting.

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Alex’s body language and facial expressions at moments when he had very little dialog was fantastic.  As always, there were pages of unwritten dialog portrayed in those moments.  Alex has always been so incredibly good at that.

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But, still, there was an unevenness to this episode that can’t be ignored.  Like, let’s talk about Lou and Percy.  I really enjoyed their little story.  I love the fact that we could get an actual cargument out of them.  I love the way Chi and Clifton Powell, as Percy, play off each other.  Just like the wonderful chemistry between Chi and Michelle Hurd makes it easy to see them as husband and wife, Chi and Clifton are totally believable as bickering brothers.

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This story was cute and finding out it was Flippa who was selling Percy’s baked goods as some sort of product research into opening his own business with Percy was a nice little twist.  This story was fun.

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But did it belong in this episode?  It seemed totally out of context with what was going on in the rest of the episode and Percy’s line that there’s more than enough Five-0 personnel to spare Lou to help his brother was funny in the moment, but it turned out the team really did need Lou at HQ.  With Danny gone and Lou off with Percy, that left no one at HQ managing the magic table and tracking the team when Jerry was out in the field.  That didn’t make sense.

Then there is Aaron Wright.  I don’t find it unbelievable that a Government alphabet agency would make a deal with someone with a very specialized set of skills to use those skills to the Government’s advantage rather than having them either A) rotting away in some prison cell somewhere or B) being used against them.  So, Aaron working for NSA didn’t seem that far-fetched at first.

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But this is Aaron Wright we’re talking about here.  This guy has been a master manipulator from the very first moment we met him.  Hell, considering the gene pool he and his brother Ian sprang from, he’s probably been a master manipulator since he was born.  It’s really hard to understand why everyone believed Aaron so easily.  The story woven around him, was really hard to follow, even on a second viewing, but they all went for it.  You’d think they’d have all been more cynical considering their past dealings with this guy.

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This is where Grover and Danny were sorely missed.  Here is where one, or both of them, would have had something disbelieving and sarcastic to add to the discussion which would have at least voiced some skepticism at the manure Wright was shoveling.

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Then there’s Jerry.  Now, don’t get me wrong. I was thrilled that Jerry totally laid Wright out with that right hook to the face.  It’s about friggin’ time someone got some retribution for Toast.  And I love that Jerry is taking more of an active role in everything Five-0 is doing these days.

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HawaiiFive0_S9_TheHandAtFault_SG0021b_FULLPhoto Credits:  CBS

But, I wish it had been Danny who threw that punch.  Actually, I had to ask a friend of mine when Jerry and Toast had ever actually met because I couldn’t for the life of me remember.  She reminded me that Jerry was in the “Poopy Penguin” episode the last time we saw Toast, and he tagged along on the breakfast trip to the mainland.  I guess he and Toast continued a friendship.

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But that’s not a friendship we’ve ever actually seen. Jerry sang a song of tribute to Toast at the end of the episode when Toast died but even then, it felt misplaced to me because we never heard Jerry even mention he and Toast had maintained any kind of connection.  What we have seen, over and over, are the clips from past episodes with Toast and those clips always include Steve and Danny’s history with him.  The fact that he was Danny’s CI long before Steve ever set foot back on Oahu.  That it was Danny who initially brought Toast into the fold.  That it was Steve and Danny who recruited him for help with cases.  That it was Steve who was forced to listen on the phone as Toast was brutally attacked and killed.

It’s why Alex’s ability to speak those pages of dialog with only his eyes is so incredible.  Jerry got to throw that punch, but as my friend so eloquently put it to me, he was able to “convey both his rage and disdain for Wright through his expressions and tone”.

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I do really hope that in next weeks finale, when Danny inevitably comes face to face with Wright, the writers remember that the longest relationship Toast had on this show was with Danny and they let him give Wright more of what he has coming.

For all it’s unevenness, this episode did have one of the best chase scenes we’ve had for a very long time.  Junior might be our JuniorSEAL but Tani is a chip off the ol’ Steve block as well.  She’s as fierce a driver as he is when she’s on someone’s tail.  I half expected Junior to exclaim his “rational concern” at any moment.  And who else’s heart literally stopped when the SUV sent airborne and flipped over?  An RPG?  Seriously?  Good thing Junior has a good eye and Tani has great reflexes.

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The gunfight that followed started off as pure Bonnie and Clyde.  I still can’t believe they got out from under that hail of gunfire.  I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything like that aimed at our team before.  Well, there was that time when Chin was fired on like that.  The Season 4 premiere when Danny’s Silver Bullet went kablooie!

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It was an amazing scene with Steve showing up just in the nick of time, of course, just as “planned”.  But this was another head scratcher.  I just can’t believe the writers actually had Steve send Junior and Tani out as bait to draw out the killers.  Well, not the bait part, but the doing it without any backup part.  Danny has always bitched at Steve for going into things without backup but that’s usually Steve taking the foolish risk.  Risking himself is second nature to Steve but he never risks his team.

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

Tani and Junior are riding around in an SUV as bait, Jerry is with Steve and Adam in the van, Lou is with Percy, God knows where Danny is, and there is no one back at HQ monitoring any of this?  Junior and Tani didn’t even have HPD backup.  Nope… not right.

The best part of this episode for me was Junior’s story.  I thought it was really well done.  It was integrated into the episode, as a whole, by having Junior’s thoughts wander to the court proceedings all during their day.  It didn’t take anything away from his ability to do his job well, he’s a professional after all, but it was on his mind as it’s only natural it would be.

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One thing I was very happy about was, after the events at the wedding last week, we didn’t open the episode with Junior and Tani in bed or something.  TV writers always seem to think that’s the next natural progression every time a couple make eyes at each other on the dance floor, especially at a wedding.  It’s so cliché and we know for a fact that just because a couple wakes up in bed together the next day, that doesn’t mean a damn thing with regard to their relationship if the foundation isn’t already there, or hasn’t already been damaged by previous events.  I like how the writers are bringing Tani and Junior along slowly.  It feels so much more realistic then if they’d fallen into bed too quickly.

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Tani going with Junior to the probation hearing was perfect.  They are solidifying themselves as great and loyal friends above all else.  They are there for each other and support each other through thick and thin.  Any romance or commitment they may or may not eventually make, that foundation of solid friendship and loyalty will serve them well.

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It would have been so easy for Junior to be cynical with regard to the speech from the man responsible for Maya’s death.  After all, he just spent the entire day listening to a man talk about his regret over previous crimes and his insistence that he’d turned over a new leaf.  It was all lies.

It would have been so easy for Junior to say to himself, “Why should I believe you?  What’s the odds that you’re blowing smoke up my ass and won’t just turn around and do the same thing again to someone else?”

But, as always, we see that Junior has a heart of gold.  He believed in the man’s sincerity and did a very noble thing.  I only hope his rebuilt relationship with his father can survive it.  After all, he and his mother thought it best to not even tell him the man was up for parole.  How is he going to tell his father that he not only got paroled but Junior was a big reason why?  Something tells me dad isn’t going to appreciate Junior’s generosity of heart.

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So, all in all, a good episode but one that could have been a lot better.  I really liked it, but I would have preferred to love it.  What it did do was set things up very nicely for what should be an action packed and very intriguing season finale.

Season finale!  Now that we have the officially official word from CBS that we’re coming back for a Season 10, at least we know that no matter what happens in next week’s finale, we’ll be back in September to see how it all works out.  That’s a load off.  Now we can enjoy bitching about how slow the summer hiatus is again for another year.

I don’t know when I’ll be posting my finale review next week.  I’m leaving on a vacation at the ass crack of dawn on Saturday, so I won’t be writing anything for at least a couple of days.  If I manage to drag out my laptop in the few moments when my butt isn’t plopped on the beach, I’ll get it out sometime during the following week.  I’m sure by the time I manage to post something, all the topics will have been all talked out on Twitter or other blogs but that’s ok.  I just can’t let the season end without carrying the blog over its own finish line!

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone out there celebrating with the people they love.  I hope you’re all having a fantastic weekend!  Aloha.  Malama Pono

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#H50 – Season 10 is officially OFFICIAL!!

Courtesy of Cinematographer Kurt JonesPhoto credit:  Courtesy of Cinematographer Kurt Jones

Not that I was worried for a single second.  Not even when inappropriately mistimed “confirmations” were all over the place did I doubt the truth that it would happen.  But finally…. finally…. on Peter Lenkov’s birthday, no less, we got the official announcement from the only source that counts…. CBS.  Hawaii Five-0 is a go for Season 10.

There are also multiple reports that the entire cast is returning for the new season.  Personally, while I am thrilled with these reports, I’m going to go into it a bit cautiously.  First, like with the official announcement of renewal, I feel this needs to come, well… officially, from CBS.  On the other hand, the press release regarding the Season 10 pickup did list the entire cast in the announcement.  So, technically, they did say they would all be back.

But, there is that pesky cliffhanger in the season finale.  “A cliffhanger that is going to affect one of the main characters…..in a way that the audience will question whether they’re going to come back or not”.  There is also that queasy feeling from being burned once before by assumptions of a full cast return and then getting kicked in the teeth a week before filming was to start.

But you guys know me.  I’m an eternal optimist.  So while I might be taking the teeniest grain of salt, I’m still going to go with the official CBS press release which listed the entire cast and say I’m not only thrilled we’re getting a Season 10, but getting one with all my favorite characters returning.  After all, what’s Hawaii Five-0 without our full Ohana? Right?

Of course, the most important part of that is the return of Alex and Scott.  I can’t imagine this show without the wonderful, on-going bromance between Steve and Danny.  Yeah, it’s not as prominent as it once was, and that does make me a bit sad, but it is still there.  We still get a lot of wonderful glimpses of it.  They have always been and still remain the heart and soul of this show.  I hope in this new season the writers see fit to bring us more of the wonderful McDanno moments that have made this show such a success over all these years.

Still can't believe they've been bickering for almost 10 years.- Courtesy of @alohaspaceman“Still can’t believe they’ve been bickering for almost 10 years” – Photo credit @alohaspaceman on Twitter and IG

So congratulations to Peter Lenkov (MacGyver and Magnum are also coming back for new seasons), and the entire cast and crew.  They’ve all given us nine years of wonderful fun and entertainment, given us worldwide friends we’d never have met without them and continue to give us a great way to spend our Friday nights.  Here’s to another great year.  Can’t wait to see what Season 10 will bring our way!

Aloha.  Malama Pono

Courtesy of Cinematographer Kurt Jones

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#H50 Review: 9.23 Ho‘okāhi no lā o ka malihini (A Stranger Only for a Day)

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There are certain things about Hawaii Five-0 that are, for the most part, a given.  Throughout any season there will be gun battles and explosions, action and adventure.  There will be touching moments and Ohana moments and eventually, somewhere along the line, Danny will be exasperated with Steve.

There is also another given.  If a script is written, whether it be alone or in collaboration with another writer, by Zoe Robyn there will be humor.  A lot of fantastic humor.  There will also be moments that melt you into a warm puddle.  The kind of moments that reminds us all that H50 isn’t just a show about crime stoppers but a show with a huge heart and a very good sense of humor.

Zoe knocked it out of the park with this one.  An episode chock full of heart and an over abundance of humor.  What a great way to spend a damp and chilly Friday night.  Spending an hour alternating between laughter, breath holding, and “awwww”ing.  It was such fun!

Twenty-three episodes into the season with just two to go, this episode was clearly designed to give Alex a breather week.  Last week Danny had the day off and this week it’s Steve’s turn.  Having Mary visiting and Steve taking a couple of days off to be with his sister was a perfect break for Alex.  But, unlike when Scott gets a down week, we still get to see a lot of Steve on screen even if he’s not doing anything physically demanding.  Not only that, but we got to see Alex’s comedic side which is always a wonderful treat.   The last two episodes of the season promise to be high octane and edge-of-the-seat stressful, so we’ll have plenty of opportunity to see our SuperSEAL in action. This was a wonderful calm before that storm.

Ok…yeah… there was a crime of the week but, honestly, I can’t say I remember it much.  I was having too much fun with the interactions between the characters, again.. the humor was off the charts… to pay too much attention to what the actual crime was.  Seriously, it was so secondary to everything else.  And the Steve and Mary scenes were just too perfect for mere words.

So, I’m not even going to go into this week’s “crimes”.  Let’s just talk about a couple my favorite highlights….. (of course feel free, as always, to add your own favorites in the comments 😘😘)

The opening scene:  Pure perfection!  Jumping right into “prom etiquette” between Danny and Lou was wonderful.  I loved the back and forth between the two of them over the picture taking ritual and at whose house it should take place.  Sorry Lou, going to have to go with Danny on this one.  It’s nice to know that Grace and Will’s relationship is still going strong.  Honestly, other than Lou and Renee, Grace and Will are the longest sustained relationship on this show. 🤣🤣  The facial expressions from Junior, Tani and Adam while this was going on was totally priceless.

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It only got better when the discussion transitioned into Tani and Junior’s wedding non-date. It really is hysterical how Danny, Lou and Adam go totally “high school” with the idea of the two of them going out together. Oh yeah… sure… totally platonic.  You keep telling yourself that Tani.  Just don’t look at Junior’s face every time you say it because the sad puppy dog face he’s wearing will tell you immediately that no matter how many times you say it, he 100% does not feel the same way!

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Courtesy of @alohaspaceman2 - platonic plus onePhoto credit: @alohaspaceman on Twitter and IG

But then, the scene gets even better with the arrival of Steve and Mary.  God, I love it when Mary comes home. If we must have a once a year appearance of a recurring character I wish it could always be her.  Hell, I wish she’s move back to Oahu permanently.  She, at least, has a valid reason for being there.  We wouldn’t have to see her all the time since, of course Taryn wouldn’t be available all the time, but we would know she’s there and it would provide acceptable reasons for an Alex light episode when needed.  Steve taking Joanie to the zoo or maybe off seeing her in a school play or something. And we could see them both from time to time whenever Taryn was available.  God, I’d love that.  Alex and Taryn have such an easy-going affection for each other it translates so beautifully to their characters on screen, it’s a joy to watch them together.

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I also really loved the good-natured ribbing Mary was giving Steve after she met Junior and Tani.  Steve saying how young and hip they both are and Mary countering with how they’ll help Steve keep in touch and, as an added bonus, make him look old!  🤣🤣 And, how cute is it that Steve remembers all of Mary’s favorite foods, stocks the freezer with her favorite ice cream and goes all disappointed and hurt when she doesn’t want to stay with him??

Courtesy of @alohaspaceman - You're totally madPhoto credit: @alohaspaceman on Twitter and IG

We also got a great update on Joanie (damn.. six-years-old already? Where does the time go?!?!?) found out Mary is allergic to cats and, best confirmation of all, Junior is indeed still living at Steve’s.  For some reason, hearing that makes me exceptionally happy.  The good-natured ribbing all around that table made this scene one of the best Ohana scenes we’ve ever had.  Honestly, if it had lasted the entire episode I could have been content.

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Lou and Tani:  I absolutely love the interaction between these two.  I have from the very first time Lou began to realize he really liked her (when she full out punched Duclair in the face in her first episode), to his reaction when she called him “Uncle” and pretty much every moment in between.  Not satisfied with teasing her about the wedding the day before, Lou starts again the very next morning.  Their banter is absolutely golden and Tani’s comment about Lou and his eyebrows was hilariously spot on.  Alex might be the king of presenting pages of dialog with only his facial expressions, but Lou’s eyebrows come in a very close second, that’s for damn sure! 🤣🤣

Courtesy of @alohaspaceman3 - eyebrowsPhoto credit: @alohaspaceman on Twitter and IG

But I couldn’t help but get the warm fuzzies with how Lou goes all “papa bear” with her.  “I see how that boy looks at you….. just be careful”.  Of course, we know Lou is not afraid that Junior will ever hurt Tani.  It’s the other way around actually.  Lou doesn’t want Tani to inadvertently hurt Junior.  He might be a tough Navy SEAL but Lou is 100% right. Beneath that exterior beats the heart of a romantic puppy.

Danny gets to drive his own car:  It’s so funny how, on the rare occasions when it happens, people find it necessary to make a comment about Danny getting to drive his own car.  It’s so easy to lambast Danny for this constant complaint until you realize everyone sees he’s 100% right.

Courtesy of @alohaspaceman4 - danny drivingPhoto credit: @alohaspaceman on Twitter and IG

But how awesome is it that even when they are not in the same car, Steve and Danny are able to still have a cargument?  I really love all the Mr. Pickles mentions too.  For some reason, it also makes me ridiculously happy to know he’s also still at Steve’s house.  🤣🤣

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I also really enjoyed seeing Danny heading up an investigation.  It’s been so long since the writers have remembered that Danny is Steve’s second-in-command and totally capable of heading up the team in Steve’s absence.  As much as I don’t like it when Steve’s away from the team, I can’t help but be thrilled to see Danny in charge.

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Steve and Mary:  Like I said above, I love it whenever Mary is in town.  They are simply priceless together and their relationship is incredibly believable.  Considering the amount of time they’ve spent apart for a majority of their lives, it’s wonderful how they’ve been able to reconnect and be so close.

And as different as they both are, they are also incredibly similar. From the very beginning, when we first met Mary, the McGarrett detective genes were evident.  When she found the Champ box, photographed all the evidence inside and attempted to figure out what it all meant, she proved then she was a McGarrett through and through.  Nothing has changed in the last nine years.  Just like her brother, she wasn’t going to let a mystery lay unsolved.  Wasn’t going to allow suspicious activity to remain uninvestigated.  Wasn’t, for one minute, going to let it go.  Exactly what Steve would have done.

But the best part of their relationship is the way Steve is always there to back her up.  Yeah, at the beginning Steve was pretty much just humoring her but he did go with her to confront the neighbor, Ben Miller, for trying to get her thrown out of the rental.  Arriving with malasadas in hand is a wonderful idea and watching Steve eat is always a joy! 🤣🤣

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Courtesy of @alohaspaceman1 - malasada lovePhoto credit: @alohaspaceman on Twitter and IG

I love the scene between Steve, Mary and the little boy. So, their “informant” turns out to be a kid who just wanted to get his drone back from the mean man who kept it after it crashed into his yard.  But his asking Steve if he’s ever heard of CIA black sites and asking if he was willing to take the risk of hearing “sensitive information that could get us all murdered” was hysterical.  Even Steve was impressed, especially when the kid, Blake, shows them the photos the drone took of what he, Blake (and Mary) believe are Miller’s nighttime shenanigans.  Steve McGarrett in miniature! 🤣🤣

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Courtesy of @alohaspaceman5 - this kidPhoto credit: @alohaspaceman on Twitter and IG

Of course, Mary being Mary, she just had to go snooping in Miller’s house not only to try to get the Blake’s drone back but to confirm her suspicions that Miller’s up to no good.  In one of the best conversations ever, Mary admits the reason she didn’t want to stay with Steve at Casa McG was because she’d reconnected with an old boyfriend and had hoped they could spend her short vacation together.  But that didn’t happen because the guy “ghosted” her.  And it looks like her suspicions that Miller was running a meth lab are way off even if her logic was quite sound.  Rain boots in case of spilled chemicals, cat litter to absorb the chemicals, going outside to smoke so the lit cigarettes don’t ignite fumes.  It all added up.

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Mary is totally crushed and chalks up both disappointments to her inability to judge people.  I actually really felt for Mary since I’ve always believed I’m a terrible judge of character too.  I tend to always think the best about people until I’m proven wrong and unfortunately, that happens alarmingly frequently.

But Steve won’t allow Mary to feel that way.  He loves her and he trusts her judgment.  One thing I do wish Steve had brought up in that moment is Joanie.  That was a pretty big decision, a huge choice Mary made for her life and it’s worked out beautifully.  If she’s questioning her ability to make good decisions, that’s a perfect example of how wrong she is.

He tells her he’s proud of the fact that she’s “still in the fight…. having a go” which is more than he can say about himself.  She will find the right person one of these days and once that happens, all the effort and disappointments will be worth it.  Steve then notices a basement wall that looks out of place and reveals that Mary’s instincts are bang on accurate.  There it is, an entire meth lab, just like she thought. “Ahhhh Mary?  Tell me again how you’re a bad judge of character!”

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Watching the two of them taking down Miller and his wife was priceless.  I loved how she MacGyvered that gas so they could disarm them both and take them down.  But seriously… that gun looked like it outweighed her by about 50 pounds! 🤣🤣

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A second Ohana scene… oh YES:  What could be better than not one but two wonderful Ohana scenes in the same episode?  “If it isn’t Miss Nancy Drew and her bad self!” This scene was as fantastic as the first one.  The guys congratulating Mary on cracking a meth case and Danny teasing her about not understanding the concept of a vacation was hysterical. How sweet is it that, Mr. Pickle allergy be damned, she’s going to go home with Steve and enjoy that ice cream!

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But, Steve playing the big protective brother was positively hilarious.  I don’t know what was funnier.  Steve trying to grab Mary’s phone away from her so she couldn’t answer it or the guys all chiming in with plausible excuses for the guy ghosting her.  They all reverted back to the high school boys they were in the first scene with Tani and Junior… all excited for Mary and her date.

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Of course, just like Steve thought it was Danny’s fault Mary wouldn’t stay at the house because of Mr. Pickles, Steve wants Danny to be fully aware that if this guy hurts his sister it will be all Danny’s fault even though everyone was involved.  Steve telling Mary he wants to see the xray of the guy’s broken leg was hilarious as was my favorite line of the entire scene.  “If he flakes on you again, I’m gonna break his other leg!”  Have I ever told you how much I adore Steve McGarrett?

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Tani and Junior:  What can I say about these two? Every week I think I can’t love them more.  Every week I think they can’t possibly get more adorable.  Every week I’m proven wrong.  Here we are another week into the season, they are more adorable than ever and I love them even more.

For a show that totally sucks at writing relationships (unless they’re writing for Lou and Renee) they are doing everything right with these two.  This slow buildup is being done perfectly.  The attraction between these two has been evident from the beginning but having their relationship grow from work companions, to good friends, and now moving into something more is nicely realistic.

Of course, everyone can see it.  Like Lou said… we see how that boy looks at her.  I don’t know.  Maybe she’s scared to mess up what she sees as a wonderful friendship or something.  They’re going to this wedding and she keeps pushing the idea that it’s totally as friends.  Even telling him they should have a code or signal so she can be his “wing woman” in case he sees an attractive woman at the wedding he might be interested in.  It’s so adorable that he’s not interested in that at all.  Open bar, free food and dancing are his only interests.  Tani girl… open your eyes!

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But she still tries to fight it.  Keeps going on about gender equality and driving duties.  Keeps trying to convince everyone they’re going to the wedding as just friends.  The only one she’s trying to convince is herself.  But, little by little, her resolve begins to crack.

When Junior went over that cliff to help Kira, Tani’s was beside herself with fear.  The entire team was holding their breath as their friend risked his life to help Kira but Tani?  You could literally hear her heart thumping with anxiety.

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Maybe she was hoping that Danny would try to stop him but that was a lost cause.  Danny knows better than anyone you will not deter a crazy SEAL from risking his life to help someone.

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Everyone breathed a sigh of relief when Junior was safe. I loved how Eddie was right there to make sure Junior was ok.  He was literally watching EMT with an air of “you better take good care of him if you know what’s good for you! 🤣🤣 (Side note:  Lots of Mr. Pickles mentions and Eddie on the case!  This episode just kept getting better and better) And if Tani’s anxious heart was obvious, her relief that he was ok was palpable.

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Danny was so cute with Tani too.  Just like Lou, he tries to get her to see the reality she’s trying so hard to ignore.  “You only get a few people right?  People in life that you care about.  When you get really old, like me, you can count the good ones on one hand.”  Listen to him Tani.  Don’t let this good one get away.

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Of course, even with all the talk about just meeting at the wedding, Junior turns up to pick her up anyway.  I absolutely adored Tani’s dress. She looked gorgeous.  If Junior didn’t have stars in his eyes before there was no way he couldn’t have had them then.

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Tani last grasp at avoidance crumbled once they’re at the wedding.  Tani doesn’t notice how Junior is having a hard time keeping his eyes off her.  She’s having a blast with their little dance contest (and damn… Junior has the moves!!!) but it’s not until a chance meeting at the refreshment table.  When a very attractive woman goes up to Tani and complements her on how good she and Junior look together, Tani trots out the old “we’re only friends” line.  This makes the woman perk up… hey.. maybe there’s a chance for her.  The look on Tani’s face was devastating.

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Finally….. finally … it clicks.  She could lose him.  Someone else could swoop in and become “the one” for him.  Finally reality kicks in.

When she moves toward him as the music slows her resolve is totally gone.  The look they give each other is so sweet, so loving.  I can’t be the only one awwww-ing at my screen and pleading “kiss her… kiss her… kiss her….”.  What a perfect way for this episode to end with the hope that this relationship will move on to yet the next level very soon.

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Steve and Danny relationship advise:  I’m of two minds about the little talks Steve and Danny had with Mary and Tani.  While I agree with both of them in what they said to Mary and Tani, the underlying feeling from both of those talks made me uneasy.

Steve tells Mary he’s proud of her because she’s still in the game.  A game his removed himself from.  He’s not happy about that fact.  Danny tells Tani that at his age, there are only so many good ones in his life.  I really don’t like the vibe those remarks give out.

I know all signs point to reunions between Steve and Danny and their atrocious exes. I will be extremely unhappy if either man ends up back with their ex for all the reasons we’ve discussed ad nauseum.  I am still going to hold out what small hope I can that TPTB will come to their senses and realize that both Steve and Danny deserve some happiness and their exes are not the place to find it.

Steve was freaking out over Mary’s date “ghosting” her.  If you think about it, Steve and Danny have essentially been extremely ghosted by their exes. Steve can look back and realize John was ghosted by Doris too.  My fervent wish is for both Steve and Danny to realize they are in a good place with their exes.  There is no animosity between any of them.  They have battled through the lies, deceit and betrayal and somehow managed to emerge on the other side as friends.  It’s a good, safe place to be.  I’d love it if they could both find a soulmate to love and, just as importantly, to trust who will make them happy.  I don’t know if TPTB have any desire to go the extra step to make that happen.  Of course, the McDanno shipper in me has the perfect solution! 😉😉

Well that’s it for this week my friends.  I absolutely loved this episode.  It was fun, it was funny, and it was heartfelt.  A perfect interlude before what’s sure to be a highly stress inducing last two episodes of the season.  We better hold on and hold on tight.

Have a great week.  See you next weekend.  Aloha. Malama Pono

All screen caps are mine unless otherwise noted.

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#H50 Review: 9.22 – O ke kumu, o ka māna, ho‘opuka ‘ia (The Teacher, the Pupil – Let it Come Forth)

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Hawaii Five-0 is a police procedural…….. Hawaii Five-0 is a show of action……. Hawaii Five-0 is a show of adventure……. Hawaii Five-0 is a show of murder, arson, kidnap, and other such mayhem……. Hawaii Five-0 is a show of international terrorists, human trafficking, drug dealers and mob bosses……. Hawaii Five-0 is a show of BAMF SEALs, BAMF cops, car chases, gun battles, hand to hand combat and explosions.

And we love every single minute of it all.  But, never to be forgotten, never to be overlooked, Hawaii Five-0 is a show about family, Ohana, blood ties recognized but totally not necessary.  Yes, as much as we love all the action and adventure, Hawaii Five-0 always comes back to Ohana.

I really loved this episode and I wasn’t sure I was going to.  Yeah, I know, I love pretty much every episode but this one had a very good chance of being one that wouldn’t measure up for me.  First off, this was a Danny-less episode which is always a first strike against any episode for me.  Second, I knew from the synopsis this was going to be a two-story episode where the stories had no connection to each other, where characters from one story would have little or no contact with characters in the other story.  And lastly, this seemed to be an Alex-light episode as well.  No Danny….. strike one.  Two unrelated cases….. strike two.  Limited Alex….. strike three.

But, that didn’t happen.  I found this episode to be extremely entertaining and very… very enjoyable.  Both stories were well written and they both afforded us with opportunities to learn more about established characters, Noelani and Adam.  There was even a small tertiary snippet for Junior where we learned a little more about his family and which set up things for an upcoming episode.  Any time we get to learn more about our favorite characters is a win in my book.

I thought Adam’s story was awesome.  I really enjoyed learning just how hard it must be for anyone raised in a crime family who doesn’t want their life dictated for them.  Just look at poor Tamiko.  First her father (and Adam’s father) tried to push the two of them together in an attempt to make each family business stronger.  When Adam refused to be married off by his father, Tamiko was forced into an arranged marriage by her father which was, predictably, total misery.

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It was uncharacteristically nice of her father to realize the mistake he made forcing her into a marriage of convenience.  It was also amazing that, even after finding out her true love was an FBI agent embedded in the family in an attempt to take them down, he was, out of love for his daughter, not only letting the marriage proceed, but setting them up financially so they could disappear and live a normal life.

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It seems Tamiko’s fiancé was a man with a heart of gold.  Years earlier, evidence he provided sent a man away to prison leaving his pregnant wife alone.  But he felt bad for the man’s wife and was assisting her and her child financially to help her make ends meet.  It was this man, furious to find the man who sent him to prison was involved, even if only financially, with his wife, who killed Tamiko’s fiancé.  But her father is a formidable man.  He may not have killed Tamiko’s fiancé, but he wasn’t going to allow the man who destroyed his daughter’s happiness walk away or simply be arrested.  I will say though, that I hope all the alphabet agencies in the real world aren’t as infiltrated with moles and snitches as the fictional agencies are.  Here we are yet again.  Tamiko’s father has someone in the agency who alerted him to her fiance’s true identity.

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I found that I really like the chemistry between Adam and Tamiko.  It’s also interesting that in the CBS Press Release for this episode, Tamiko is listed as a “recurring” character so it seems we will be seeing her again.  I can’t help but feel for her though.  She so desperately wants to leave the life she was born into and one knows better how she feels than Adam.  Is it too soon for Adam to be attracted to someone new?

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I’m not sure about that but I’m pretty sure we really don’t have to worry about Adam going back for that “drink” Tamiko’s father set aside for him.  Adam turned his back on the Yakuza a long time ago.  He knows who he is now.  He’s in a good place, not only with Five-0, but also with his Five-0 Ohana.  I honestly can’t see there being anything the Yakuza could offer him that would make him turn his back on everything and everyone that’s important to him now.  Besides, even if he got involved with Tamiko, she doesn’t want anything to do with the Yakuza life either.

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Of course, this is Five-0 and, unless you’re Lou and Renee, a happy relationship isn’t seen as interesting.  I hope TPTB aren’t looking to give Adam a “will he or won’t he” storyline wrapped around Tamiko and her father.  Meaning, I hope they don’t make them fall in love only to have her father force Adam into making a choice between his love for her and his love for his Ohana.

Courtesy of @alohaspaceman1Photo Credit:  @alohaspaceman on Twitter and IG

But, I’m getting ahead of myself here.  Let’s just see where, if anywhere, this is headed.

Both stories in this episode were very strong.  So strong, in fact, that it’s hard to tell which one was the “main” story.  Noelani’s story was powerful and extremely poignant.  Kimee was incredible throughout the entire episode.

We’ve seen Noelani as the consummate professional in the field, as well as being cute, gregarious and downright funny outside of work.  But this episode afforded us the chance to see her in ways we never have before.

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She was fiercely determined to help her friend and mentor no matter how terrified she was at being forced to retrieve a heart valve from a body in the morgue.  But she had the presence of mind to know someone (Five-0 of course!) would eventually look for her, so instead of just swiping her ID badge, she physically signed into the morgue with Dr. Chu’s name.  Smart thinking there, babe!

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Then she not only assists Dr. Chu in the surgery, she singlehandedly mounts an escape attempt.  I can’t be the only one who literally cheered from my sofa when she hit that jerk over the head with a fire extinguisher!  Who knew our Noelani could be so badass??

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And I really enjoyed how she performed the second surgery, following verbal instructions from Dr. Chu as she lay wounded on the floor.  I’m not sure which I loved more.  BAMF Noelani or pissed off Noelani.  Quoting my friend Lynnette, this episode showed “so many sides of the character, making her totally human and relatable.  The writers did a great job fleshing out Noelani in a way that makes everyone cheer for her.”  Kimee totally brought her A game in this one!

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I had a hard time feeling sorry for the death of Dr. Chu.  I felt no shock or sadness at seeing her shot.  God, that sounds awful, doesn’t it?  But I can’t help but think there had to be other ways for her to make a living after the malpractice suit besides working for criminals.  I don’t know.  Couldn’t she have gone to some college and teach, or something?  Anything other than work for the scum of society?

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Who I had no problem feeling sorry for, of course, was Noelani.  Her grief at not only losing someone she obviously loved but her grief at finding out she didn’t know her the way she thought was palpable.  Like I said before, I love it when we get to learn something new about our characters, so it was great to learn what, exactly, led Noelani into forensic medicine.  I have no problem understanding her reasoning; her fear of losing herself, by having to compartmentalize her feelings, when a patient is lost on the table.  I work for a surgeon and I’ve heard him say many times over the years that a doctor can’t “bleed for everyone who’s bleeding”.  It was heartbreaking to hear Noelani express guilt over not being able to help Dr. Chu after it was she who helped Noelani along her chosen path.

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This episode looks to have been one of those lighter ones for Alex.  He wasn’t in the episode a great deal.  Steve was mostly running the murder investigation from HQ, and other than going with Adam to the killer’s boat and then raiding the warehouse where Neolani was, it was definitely an episode where Alex got a much needed breather.

But the last scene between Steve and Noelani made up for it all.  It was incredible.  Extremely touching and somewhat ironic.  Who better than Steve to understand everything she is feeling.  Who better than he knows the heartbreak of finding out someone you love and thought you knew isn’t the person you thought they were?  And who better to understand the need to compartmentalize feelings in order to do a job and the mental toll that takes?  As a SEAL, he’s a master at it.

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It was really nice, however, to finally hear Steve say something about how he was affected by Joe’s death and how neither he nor Noelani could have saved their friends no matter who hard they wished they could.  How knowing it wasn’t their fault, knowing there wasn’t anything they could do, doesn’t make it one bit better.  It was an absolutely wonderful scene!

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

I love scenes like this.  The acting is always so fantastic and Alex and Kimee did not disappoint.  Steve, as always was a rock for a member of his Ohana.  I find it fascinating that a man who has been through so much, who’s seen so much and lost so much can still be there for his friends.  So many people in his life have treated him badly.  Friends and lovers have betrayed him.  We don’t even have to talk about his mother.  He could so easily have turned into a cold hearted, bitter man.  Instead he’s always there, ready to encourage, comfort, share his experiences and the lessons he’s learned over the years. To be that strong shoulder when they need him.  What an absolutely remarkable man Steve McGarrett is!

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I can’t end this review without mentioning Junior and Tani.   Their friendship has evolved and matured into one that is quite special.  I really love how Junior opens up to her about his relationship with his father.  I always get the feeling, even though it’s never been stated, that Tani has a real soft spot for the relationship between Junior and his dad.  It’s intimated that she had a very good relationship with her own father and I always feel like she really wants Junior to have the same type of relationship with his dad.  Tani’s father is gone but Junior and his dad still have a chance.

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It’s nice to see that Junior and his dad are beginning to mend those broken fences and how Tani is always willing to lend a hand and go the extra mile.  Junior asks her to restore a beautiful old portrait of his mom and dad and so he can give it to him as a gift.  It really is a lovely thought.  Junior had found the picture in an old photo album in his mom’s closet.  It was very touching to hear Junior tell Tani how it was taken in their senior year of high school and how hard it is for him to believe they were ever so happy and carefree.  Giving this photo as a gift would have been unthinkable not too long ago.  It was so sweet of Tani to not only restore the picture, but to have it beautifully framed.

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In a set up for an upcoming episode, we find out that the drunk driver responsible for his sister’s death is up for parole.  Junior is afraid of how his father is going to react to that news.  The synopsis for Episode 9.24 states that Junior will be speaking at the parole hearing.  Will he be speaking as an angry, grieving brother out to keep the person who killed his sister behind bars or will be noble and forgiving and show the huge heart we know Junior has?  What will it do to his father if it’s the later?

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As for Junior and Tani, I know we’re headed toward something more solid between these two and I’m really looking forward to it because, honestly, can these two get any more adorable?  I had to laugh when Tani told Junior, for future reference, how he should never go through a woman’s closet.  Future reference being, possibly, her closet?? 😉🤣  Who really knows what’s in store for these two but, hopefully, like with Adam and Tamiko, if they do end up together, they’re allowed some measure of happiness.

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Well, that’s it for this week my friends.  Only three episodes to go before the end of the season.  God, I hate the sound of that.  But next week Mary McGarrett returns to Oahu and that’s always a cause for celebration!

I hope you all have a wonderful week.  See you next weekend!  Aloha.  Malama Pono.

All screencaps are mine unless otherwise noted.

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#H50 Review: 9.21 He kama na ka pueo (Offspring of an Owl)

H50_S9_Offspring_SG3_FULLPhoto Credit:  CBS

Puzzle of the day:

50 down…. 6 letters…. “a thing put in a space or container to fill it”……. F I L L E R

50 across … 8 letters…. “inspiring great affection; delightful; charming” … A D O R A B L E

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Yes, as is often the case as the season begins to wind down and move toward a climatic end just 4 episodes from now, there will inevitably be a filler episode.  What is not inevitable, is that the episode will be as charming and enjoyable as this one was, the gruesomeness of the crime of the week notwithstanding.

What else but filler, do you call it when 50% of the episode is the quest to re-home a cat? I was totally thrilled when we saw the promo pictures for this episode and saw that the adorable Mr. Pickles was going to be making another appearance but I never expected his story to take up so much of the episode.  Nor did I expect that I’d enjoy it so much.  I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much throughout an entire episode.

Of course, we first met Mr. Pickles, along with Ricky Schiff in Episode 5.17 Kuka’awale (Stakeout).  I always enjoy it when the writers (in this case David Wolkove & Matt Wheeler) bring back a story or a character from the past. I don’t know about anyone else, but it always makes me feel more connected to the show when I instantly recognize a reference from the past. It’s even better when it’s a character or a continuation of a story.

“Stakeout” was a fan favorite episode because it was chock full of wonderful McDanno moments, something we haven’t gotten a great deal of lately.  So, to have the opportunity to harken back to that great episode and to have great McDanno moments in this one as well was wonderful.

Now let’s be honest.  If any one of us got a phone call from a lawyer saying we’re unexpectedly named in someone’s will, who wouldn’t immediately dream of a windfall?  We all do it every time we buy a lottery ticket.  “Ohhhhhhh if I win, I’m going to……” It’s only natural.  I loved that Danny’s first thought was retirement if his share was anywhere “north of $250,000”.  I’m totally with you there Danny.  That would be my first order of business if I came into that kind of money especially since I’m 16 years older than you!

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Steve, of course, is the more realistic one.  When Agnes Miller bequeaths the bulk of her estate to the Humane Society, Danny is adorably disappointed so much so that Steve whips out his phone to save “the moment when all your dreams crashed down around you” for posterity.

Courtesy of @alohaspaceman6Photo Credit:  @alohaspaceman on Twitter and IG

Courtesy of @alohaspaceman1Photo Credit:  @alohaspaceman on Twitter and IG

It really was very sweet that Agnes left Steve and Danny her beloved collection of cat miniatures.  After all, she’d never actually met the guys, only knew about them because, obviously, someone (probably Ruth Tennenbaum (Cloris Leachman) told her, after the fact, about the stakeout in her apartment.  She would, of course, immediately notice one of her precious figurines was damaged and lovingly repaired.  So, who better to leave the set to then the people who cared enough to take care of them when they belonged to a total stranger?  Technically she should have really left them to Steve alone but, of course, she wouldn’t have known which one of them had made the repair.

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It’s totally fitting that Steve be able to cash in on their collectability some day “fifteen or twenty years” from now when he’s ready to retire!  I love the sound of that time frame.

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

And who better than Ricky to leave Mr. Pickles with?  He, after all, took care of Mr. Pickles whenever Agnes was away so she knew he’d be the perfect choice.  Of course, Agnes didn’t know about the large pillow size bag of weed he kept stashed in her kitchen cabinet or his other illegal side businesses which would make him ill suited to keep Mr. Pickles.

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I loved the entire scene with Steve, Danny, Ricky and Mr. Pickles in the car and adored all the wonderful Steve and Danny, perfect McDanno time, throughout the episode.  The bantering between them was perfect, both guys being totally true to character.  I love that Danny got his comeuppance with regard to the cat figurines and that he took it extremely gracefully.

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All the “let’s find Mr. Pickles a new home” scenes were wonderful.  The Steve and Danny banter, as well as, the lame excuses the others came up with for not being able to take him.  Adam’s “allergies”, Junior’s “monogamous” relationship with Eddie and, my personal favorite, Tani’s fear of eventually turning into a crazy cat lady stuck at home watching Lifetime movies and wondering what happened to her life!

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And when Jerry said how cats can land on their feet from great heights, I loved how Steve covered Mr. Pickles’s ears and said not to give Danny any ideas! 🤣🤣 Of course Danny would never do something like that but his line about the windows not opening anyway was hysterical.

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Courtesy of @alohaspaceman5Photo Credit:  @alohaspaceman on Twitter and IG

Check out the way he lovingly stroked Mr. Pickles after he thought he found him a home.  Cooing about how he doesn’t want to take him to the pound because bad things happen at the pound!  Ricky is totally right.  Danny is totally a closet cat lover!!

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This story was full on delightful from beginning to end except for the obligatory 30 second Rachel mention that seems to be standard operation procedure these days.  Steve’s face when Danny said he couldn’t take the cat because Rachel is allergic was priceless and I’m sure pretty much all the rest of us had the exact same expression along with a hugely pronounced eye roll.

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So, Danny had to get rid of his cat when he married Rachel.  Rachel’s move to Hawaii not only took Gracie away from him, causing him to have to leave the only home he’d ever known and his entire family, but he also lost his elderly dog to the quarantine process because of that move. Add custody battles, threats to deny him visitation and again, to take Grace away, having his child and lying about his paternity for years, not only denying Danny his son but taking a son away from Stan, etc. etc. etc.  Oh yes, this woman is definitely a keeper.

The one thing the Rachel mention did show was that Steve isn’t completely in the dark that something more is going on with Danny and Rachel.  I highly doubt they’re living together again, but it’s obvious she’s spending a great deal of time at Danny’s if Mr. Pickles presence would cause a problem.

Personally, I don’t think Danny is out and out lying to Steve but he’s keeping things close to the vest because maybe he, himself, isn’t really sure what’s going on, isn’t really sure what he’s feeling or what his next steps will be.  Maybe he’s just trying to figure it all out and, eventually, he’ll go to Steve with a “Hey buddy… you got a minute?  I really need your advice on something important.”  Kind of like when Steve called Danny into his office because he didn’t know what he could do for Aunt Deb when he first found out she was sick.

Anyway, powers that be… yes…. yes…. we get it….. we get where you’re trying to lead us.  You really don’t need to throw in a reference every single solitary week.  You know where you could throw in a reference every now and then?  How about when the entire team has been working a case and the entire team is gearing up for the big take down and Danny simply disappears?  How about a reference in there somewhere, huh?

D21vfzlX4AAnFrVPhoto Credit:  CBS

There is also this idea that leaped into my mind and, of course, this is complete speculation on my part.  Maybe this Rachel thing is like the restaurant story.  It seems pretty obvious now that the restaurant story was manufactured to give TPTB an out if Alex and/or Scott decided Season 8 was going to be their last. When both signed on for Season 9, the restaurant was scrapped.  We haven’t seen it or even heard about it since Thanksgiving.  It could be this Rachel/Danny reunion is exactly the same. It could be it’s being written as an out option in case Scott decides he’s had enough.  But if he decides to come back for Season 10, it’s possible this story ends up on the scrap heap just like the restaurant did.  There’s no way to know until it happens, one way or the other, of course.

Anyway, I’m not letting that 30 second detour deter me from the fantastic enjoyment this episode provided, especially at the end.  Watching Steve and Danny in Casa McG with Mr. Pickles and Eddie was golden. Of course, I wish there had been more Eddie because I never feel like we see him enough.  But the comparison between Steve (as a dog) and Danny (as a cat) was hysterical.  “And yet we somehow manage to get along”.  At least, unlike Mr. Pickles, Danny has learned not to try to steal Steve’s food!

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

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

Another wonderful scene was the one between Lou and Adam.  I really liked how Lou felt he needed to check up on Adam after the tough time he’s had the last couple of years.  I have to admit I felt this talk was a bit out of place since it didn’t correspond to anything else happening in the episode.  But I loved the bonding moment between these two.  My only guess about why this scene was included here is the need for us to be reminded that Adam is ok and that he’s found happiness with his new job and with his Ohana.  But, we all know that happiness can’t be allowed to last very long on this show so it seems pretty obvious that there will probably be a change in the direction of Adam’s life coming sometime soon.

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And the final layer of delightfulness?  Just how adorable was Tani asking Junior to be her “not” date at her friends wedding.  I just can’t with these two.  They are the epitome of cute!  If we are destined to end this season with a coupling, please let it be these two.  In this show, which reeks of dysfunctional relationships between the breakup of Adam and Kono, to Steve and Danny and their respective awful exes, Lou and Renee are the only ray of relationship sunshine.  Please let #ReiRay be another ray!  They are just too adorable to believe.

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Oh yeah, there was a crime of the week too.  One which was book-ended in gruesomeness.  The “before the wave” murder one of the most horrendous we’ve ever had on this show.  Being burned alive in a crematorium.  It was horrifying.  Having the perpetrator blow his brains out rather than be taken in was grisly as well.

The story in between was a bit uneven, but it was enjoyable enough.  I didn’t really like the ending all that much and not just because of the way the bad guy killed himself.  I thought we could have done without the brutal beat down or at least it didn’t need to be as brutal as it was.  Normally that doesn’t bother me but this one seemed to go on just a bit too long.  I also thought the way the dad smiled at his long-lost daughter and her little almost smile back was odd.  She has no clue who this man is and the only father she’s ever known just killed himself in a standoff.  I think it would have played better if they would have shown how traumatic that would be for her.  But that’s just me.

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But it could very well be that I was enjoying all the Mr. Pickles fun too much to pay enough attention to the crime of the week.  What can I say?  I’m a sucker for a cuddly, purring lump of fur!

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Well, that’s it for this week friends.  No new episode next week so I’ll see you in a couple.  If you celebrate Easter, I hope you have a wonderful one.  Until next time… Aloha. Malama Pono

Screen caps are mine unless otherwise noted and once again this week, huge thanks to @alohaspaceman.  I seem to be stealing her wonderful creations more and more these days.  I’m just thankful for how fantastic they are.  Thanks Lisa!  You rock!

 

 

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#H50 Review: 9.20 Ke ala o ka pu (Way of the Gun)

It started off with the “core four”.  A wonderful team of four fantastic characters and stories which, for the most part, always involved all team members solving one interesting case each week.  After season one, several attempts were made to add a fifth member to the team, with very little success, until the wonderful presence of Chi McBride and the introduction of Lou Grover.

The “core five” became six and then seven with Jerry and Adam joining the team in recent years.  Do we really need seven full time team members?  I know many of you asked that question because I did as well.  It’s true that having such a big ensemble cast means less screen time for each individual character and, of course, that includes my beloved McDanno scenes, unfortunately.  While I fully support the reasons behind the larger cast and the flexibility it affords regarding lighter and less physically challenging work schedules for the more senior members of the cast, story wise, it doesn’t always work as well as it should.  Then there are episodes like this one.  Which was absolutely fantastic.

FULL SEVEN MAN TEAMPhoto Credit:  CBS

I admit, there was a major eyeroll from me when I first read the synopsis for this episode. “Augh!  Another multiple story episode!” And it did have five ….. yes…. five stories.  But, the main character wasn’t any one person or persons in different stories, but a .38 caliber “community” handgun that played an integral part in every story.  Paul Grellong crafted an excellent script which blended those five stories into a wonderful single-story crime of the week revolving (pun intended) around that gun! He was able to give every member of the team something important to contribute so no one was left by the wayside and no silly secondary story was needed just to give everyone something to do.  All energy and talent was focused on one case while still telling multiple stories.  It wasn’t until the very end when Danny and Tani and Steve and Duke paired off chasing the culprits of their individual past stories.  Grellong’s script was masterful.

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As was the direction of David Straiton.  It was inventive and extremely well executed.  The way he seamlessly moved between the stories, and the editing of those scenes, was flawless.  By not having the scenes simply stop and start, timeline to timeline, in the way we’re used to seeing but having them superimposed on each other was highly effective.  It not only smoothly moved the stories along, it made them all feel even more connected when several times characters from different timelines were on the screen simultaneously.  It was so well done it was extremely easy to follow which, considering the number of stories happening all at the same time, is a remarkable accomplishment.  This episode will go down as one of my all-time favorites of the series.

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The provenance of the .38 was beautifully intertwined with the destiny of all those involved.  Junior, in a call back to the time he was living in the homeless shelter before Steve took him into Casa McG.  Tani and her relationship with Damien, the evidence she supplied to HPD, her desire to keep Koa away from that life and her ultimate decision to join HPD herself.  Danny and the convenience store holdup on the night he arrived in Hawaii, before he even had his first day at HPD.  And, of course, Steve, John and Duke, the most unexpected and meaningful story of them all.

Courtesy of @ernsand2Photo Credit: @ernsand2 on Twitter

I really enjoyed all the flashbacks in this episode.  When I first read the episode synopsis, I was surprised they were going with flashbacks yet again.  I feel like we’ve had one or more in like every other episode this season. But these were absolutely wonderful.  It made the crime of the week seem secondary to the  history we learned about the gun and how it touched the lives of our team.

I’m really enjoying how we’re getting to know more about Junior and Tani this season, starting with Junior and his dad and in this episode, more about what lead Tani to join HPD.  Of course, we knew about Tani’s relationship with Damien from Episode 8.12 (Ka Hopu Nui ‘Ana – The Round Up).  It makes you wonder why, in 2015, Tani would have gotten involved with Damien in the first place because we can see she not only wanted Koa far away from Damien’s business, she clearly had a well-established sense of right and wrong when she turns Damien’s henchman Maleko over to HPD for murder.  A murder committed by that community .38.

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H50_S9_EP120_SG_5b_FULLPhoto Credits:  CBS

Five years earlier, in 2010, on his very first night in Hawaii, Danny heads into a convenience store looking for a bite to eat.  I had to laugh at his reaction to the spam musubi and his desire to find something that “comes from a cow, maybe?”  I agree with Danny about the spam musubi.  Having tried it myself it’s not one of my favorite things either. It was great to see Danny in “Pilot mode” again.  I loved that, in usual Danny fashion, we see him on the phone with Gracie, looking forward to seeing her the next day and sending his love to his precious “monkey”.  And ohhhhhhh,  I do so miss the tie!!

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H50_S9_EP120_SG_3b_FULLPhoto Credit:  CBS

It seems Danny has a lot of nerve calling Steve a “danger magnet” considering on his very first night on the island, he’s involved in a holdup which resulted in a murder.  A murder committed by that community .38.

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Twenty-seven years earlier, in 1983, John McGarrett receives a mysterious phone call, taking him away from his pregnant wife Doris and six-year-old Stevie.  Scott Hester, a man John helped put away ten years previously and who blames him for ruining his life has lured John to a remote area in order to exact his revenge by killing him.  He’s done so by also luring HPD to the area by killing a boar and leaving it in the road.  When HPD arrives, Hester kills one officer (a murder committed, once again, by that community .38, which incidentally Hester also used in the murder ten years prior).  He then forces the other officer to make that phone call to John.

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Who else’s heart literally stopped when Hester pulled the trigger on both John and the officer?  Thankfully, John had the foresight to wear a vest, but the fallen officer wasn’t as lucky.  It was a genuine “Oh my God” moment when John came to the officer’s aid to find that it was our own beloved Duke Lukela.  Now that was a twist I never expected!

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I was so happy they got Ryan Bittle to play John McGarrett again.  He did a fantastic job in Episode 8.19 (Aohe Mea Make I Ka Hewa; Make No I Ka Mihi Ole – No one Has Ever Died for the Mistakes He Has Made; Only Because He Didn’t Repent), which incidentally was shown almost exactly one year ago to the day on April 6, 2018.

It was great they got him to play John again and that we had the chance to see the McGarrett household fully intact.  In the past we’ve seen John or Doris with Steve at various ages, but we’ve never seen them all together.  It was a charming and yet simultaneously heartbreaking glimpse of the family that would one day be ripped apart by betrayal and lies.

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And how fantastic was it to see Dennis Chun get such meaty scenes from this story.  The scene between Steve and Duke in Steve’s office talking about the night John saved Duke’s life was fantastic.  You would think after all this time, Duke might have mentioned to Steve that his father saved Duke’s life but Duke did say that he and John never spoke of it after it happened so perhaps Duke just never thought to bring it up.  It’s not really the kind of thing that comes up in casual conversation, after all.

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I loved when Duke and Steve took off to track down Hester in California.  Watching the two of them together was absolutely golden.

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I also really enjoyed that Duke took Hester down with a shot to the leg, instead of killing him outright.  It gave us a fantastic face to face showdown between the two men, again with the wonderful direction of David Straiton flashing the camera from current Hester to current Duke, to young Hester to young Duke and back again.

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And that little headshake from Steve which literally silently yelled “Duke… don’t do it!”.  When Duke introduced Hester to “John McGarrett’s son” then asked him if he remembered him… it was chilling!  It was all masterfully done!

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Of course, no episode is 100% perfect even if this one came pretty damn close.  Lest I be accused of seeing only the good through my rose-colored glasses, I’ll point out this teeeeny flaw.  There was an error in Danny’s time line.  In the Pilot of the series, Steve goes to Danny’s apartment to conscript him into being his partner in his quest for Victor Hess.  Steve mentions that Danny’s captain told him that Danny transferred to HPD “6 months ago”.  However, the incident report from what Danny called his first night on the island is dated August 22, 2010.  As we all know, John McGarrett was murdered by Victor Hess on September 20, 2010, which is obviously, not 6 months after August 22nd.

But, you know what?  Who really cares? In the full scheme of things, this episode was incredible from start to finish.  It gave us one great crime of the week that managed to weave four additional stories into the whole without diminishing a damn thing.  And it gave the entire seven-member team great scene time.  And we managed to learn more about each of the characters involved in the stories.  Yes, indeed.  This one will go down as one of my favorites of the entire series.

That’s it for this week my friends!  Looks like the weather here on the East Coast is finally going to let Spring have her way.  I hope you all have a wonderful week full of sunshine and warmth!  Aloha.  Malama Pono.

Screen caps are mine unless otherwise noted!

FULL SEVEN MAN TEAMPhoto Credit:  CBS

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