#H50 Review: 9.13 Ke iho mai nei ko luna (Those Above are Descending)

Hello everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful week.  Welcome to this week’s KoolAid review!

I’m going to do something I don’t usually do, and jump right in with what was, in my opinion, the best part of this entire episode.  The opening scene of domesticity with Danny, Grace and Steve.  In what was a very enjoyable episode overall, this was the icing on the cake by far.

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No one in their right mind would think that Danny would be acting any differently then we see him here; in full Jewish Grandmother hen mode with a recovering Grace.  Who could blame him? No matter how old she is now, Grace is still his baby girl, his “monkey”, and he came ohhhh so very close to losing her forever.  If he’s going a bit over the top in taking care of her, so be it.  As a parent, I totally understand where he’s coming from.  I pity the children of anyone who doesn’t.

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But I have to tell you, thinking back on an experience of my own when I was about Gracie’s age, I can soooooo relate to her in that scene too.  When I was 20 years old, I got a pretty advanced case of mono and was housebound for almost the entire summer.  For the first couple of weeks, I was really sick.  I needed someone there to take care of me and make sure I got up and moved around and, most important, that I ate something, because I didn’t do too much of anything except sleep.  My mom was wonderful.

After three weeks or so, as I started to get better, I really didn’t need someone there 24/7.  I wasn’t sleeping as much, and I could get up and make food for myself.  But by this point, my mother was in full “Daddy Danno” mode and there was no stopping her.  It was excruciating.

We had a family vacation planned at the Jersey Shore in early August and by that time, other than still being housebound, I was totally able to take care of myself. Remember, I was 20 years old, not a child!  I begged my father to please take my mother and go down the shore.  It was only five days and the shore was only a couple of hours away if I needed them.

Of course, my mother wouldn’t hear of it.  She’s wasn’t leaving her “sick child” alone. It was another month before I was allowed to get the hell out of there.  I literally thought I was going to lose my mind!  God, I wish I’d have had an “Uncle Steve” to rescue me!

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I loved how Steve did come to Gracie’s rescue, but I also liked how he made sure she understood why Danny was acting the way he was.  The panic and helplessness he felt while waiting around the hospital not knowing if she’d pull through, making him go overboard now that he has the chance to take care of her.  The fact that Grace totally gets that and loves her Danno for it was very touching.

It’s also very touching that Grace is so comfortable with her bickering “dads” throughout this entire scene.  Steve and Danny may not be a “couple” in that sense but it’s clear to everyone with a millimeter of a brain that both these men look on Grace with fatherly adoration and Grace is totally ok with that.  I hope this isn’t the last time we get to see Grace as she goes off to college but if it is, it was a fantastic scene for us to look back on someday!

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All in all an absolutely adorable scene full of love.  And adding more butter to those pancakes is finding out that Steve’s line was as total Alex ad-lib!  How perfect is that???

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alex's ad-lib

I do wish the writers would stop angling nonsense about the love lives of our heroes, though.  As long as I live, I will never understand this.  I don’t understand it when it comes to Catherine and I don’t understand it when it comes to Rachel.  I just don’t get what TPTB get out of it except to keep everyone on edge.  Is it some sort of mind game to keep everyone engaged in the show?  (FYI.. don’t need it… been fully engaged over here for nine years, thank you!)

Is it to keep those who love the ships waiting for reconciliation?  Keep those who dislike the ships agitated and waiting for, hopefully, final breakups?  While TPTB sit back and watch the havoc they cause?  If that’s the intention, it’s working.  Personally, as I’ve said before, and quoting my mother once again, I wish they’d just shit or get off the pot because this is more than just a lot annoying.

I suppose, if I wanted to really squint, I could look on that scene as Steve just trying to understand this new dynamic between Danny and Rachel.  Danny’s response to Steve’s question about what’s going on says a lot.  “Nothing’s going on.  I mean, we don’t want to kill each other for the first time in a long time”.  Personally, I find it a bit of a stretch to go from not wanting to kill someone to full reconciliation but maybe that’s just me.

113896_0066b_fullPhoto Credit:  CBS

So perhaps Danny’s “free-styling relationship jazz” is a mature way of them both sitting back and just letting things happen at their own pace.  That could just as easily lead to a mutual decision to remain loving friends and co-parents as it could lead to anything else.  I’m hoping to God they both realize the third time is not the charm and leave things just as they are.  I’m also hoping to God that Steve sees it and decides to follow their example.

113896_0307b_fullPhoto Credit:  CBS

The rest of the episode was given over to the crime of the week.  I enjoyed this story but maybe not for the reasons writers Rob Hanning and Sean O’Reilly may have envisioned.  I was less interested in the particulars of the victim and the crime than I was in the interactions and adventures of the team as they worked the case.

I loved the set design of the Neptune One SeaLab.  It’s was fun to see a case that was totally different than any other we’ve seen before.  We’ve seen bodies pulled from the sea and we’ve seen evidence and dead bodies wash up on shore a zillion times.  We’ve even had dead bodies tethered to the ocean floor, but we’ve never had a murder and the investigation take place  hundreds of feet below the surface.  That was pretty cool.

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I also really loved that Steve gave Junior the lead on the investigation.  It makes sense that with two fully trained SEALs on the team, one would stay on dry land as a backup in case of emergency and it was cool that Steve felt it was time to give Junior a command of his own.  It also makes sense that it would be Tani and Adam who rounded out the dive team. We all know how Danny feels about the water and I can’t see Lou getting himself wetsuited for this op.  I thought the Junior/Tani/Adam team did an awesome job.  I loved the little bit of levity added to the mission brief too!  🤣🤣

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708b1d29e0d8d71f01c7ba40657da240Photo Credit:  CBS

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What made this story interesting for me was how great Junior was in leading the team and what happened after the killer escaped in the submersible the team had used.  She not only took the sub, she sabotaged the lab so it would lose oxygen and threw all the oxygen tanks on the lab overboard.

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Did you see the way Junior, without the slightest hesitation, leaped into the water after that sub?  What did he think he was going to do? Pull it back by himself with brute force?

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With the submersible gone, the team can’t communicate with the surface and they are rapidly running out of breathable air.  Junior had schooled the others in what physically happens to the body after long exposure in deep water and they soon learn for themselves as they begin to feel the effects.

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Junior knows his stuff.  He knew there must be an emergency communication buoy on board and with only minutes of oxygen left, Junior finds it and records an SOS “hail Mary”.  He then takes to the water again, this time to make sure the buoy reaches the surface.

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Just like when he jumped in after the sub, it was such a “Steve” thing to do, such a SEAL thing to do.  Tani volunteers to do it but Junior is in command here.  He’s not going to let Tani do anything he feels he should be the one to do.

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Unfortunately, he uses up all his strength and air trying to deploy the buoy to the surface.  Thank God Tani jumped in to save him after he becomes disoriented.  Of course, this saps them both of all their remaining reserves and they both begin to lapse into unconsciousness.

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Naturally, Steve staying behind, was exactly what was needed to save the day.  It’s always so fantastic to see our SuperSEAL in action.  That dive was really something else.  I loved how worried Danny was for Steve’s safety doing such a dangerous dive and how relieved he was when Steve resurfaced.

I have to say that I was really impressed with the amount of time we got with Steve and Danny.  At Danny’s house, at HQ and out on the boat.  Since they were not front and center in the investigation on the Neptune One, I thought we’d get precious little of them overall in the episode.  I’m so glad I was wrong.  It was really great that Alex and Scott got to have a bit of a breather with this episode while we still got a great amount of them together on screen.  It was really very well done!

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I’m also glad the scene was written so that Steve didn’t just pop out of the water as if it was no big deal.  He was totally exhausted with labored breathing.  He has a hard time even forcing out a few words. He resorts to hand signals as he tries to catch his breath.  Alex played it perfectly, as usual.  It was totally realistic.

And, speaking of realistic, there was much vitriol on Twitter and especially on Facebook about Steve’s deep water dive.  I, myself, tweeted and asked, during the episode, how Steve would be able to make that dive and not get the bends on the way up.

And, you know what?  There’s this wonderful thing called social media and the internet in general, where information is readily available to answer such questions.  I’m the first to admit I don’t know every damn thing in the world and learning something new is always exciting.

First off, there were tweets from writer Rob Hanning himself explaining the science of Steve’s deep water dive:

courtesy of @alohaspaceman and @robhanningPhoto Credit: Compilation courtesy of @alohaspaceman from tweets of @RobHanning

And his gratitude to “super-researcher Taylor Amsler” for doing the equations Steve used to calculate how long the two oxygen tanks would last for the people on the Neptune One.

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courtesy of @robhanning1

Then there are the great fans of the show who go out of their way to do the research when they see something they want to better understand and share it with the rest of us.

courtesy of @surfbelle2courtesy of @surfbelle2acourtesy of @surfbelle2b

I know this show has taken some pretty large liberties in the past.  Sometimes it’s like watching a James Bond movie and suspension of belief helps a great deal.  But I love it when the writers and the research staff really do their homework and teach us that not everything we think as unbelievable or unrealistic is.

courtesy of @robhanning

It really is too bad more people don’t avail themselves of the wonderful bounty of information that’s available on line.  A two second Google search isn’t all that hard to do, really.

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Maybe if more people would give it a try they wouldn’t find the need to go on social media and complain about the ridiculousness of something that is not ridiculous at all.

*** An alien from another planet, landing on Earth asks what the internet is.  The helpful human explains, “The internet is a vast resource, available at the fingertips of everyone, holding all the knowledge of the world.  We use it to argue with people we don’t know and watch videos of cats.” ***

One of the reasons it was so cool that Junior got to be the leader on this mission was the excruciating way his day had started.  We’ve heard about Junior’s dad before, and the contentious relationship between them.  Hearing about it and actually seeing it is another story.  This was downright unpleasant.

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We already know that Junior’s dad, Natano, didn’t want Junior to join the Navy.  We know it’s been a bone of contention between them but that first scene hints at more underlying difficulties between them.  Natano seems to fall quite easily into criticizing Junior for everything.

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Oh, he starts with using the wrong wood to fix the deck but his “never sticking around” and “always finding an excuse to leave” speaks to much more than just Junior’s decision to join the Navy.  It’s obviously an argument they’ve had many times before as Junior doesn’t even try to engage.  He doesn’t need to make up an excuse to leave this time.  “You’re enough” speaks volumes.

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It makes me think of what we already know about Junior’s past.  We know his sister died and we heard the heartbreaking voicemail Junior still has on his phone from when his mother called to tell him his sister had been killed.  I need to go back and re-watch that episode.  Was Junior deployed when that happened, which is why it was a voicemail?  I don’t remember.  If he was deployed, does that mean Junior didn’t make it back for the funeral either?

Then there is that rather horrendous scar that runs down the right side of Natano’s face.  What caused that?  Is that yet another tragic accident that happened while Junior was away.

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Does Natano feel Junior should have been there for his family instead of with a Navy he never wanted him to join?  Does Natano feel, perhaps, if Junior had been there, his sister wouldn’t have died or that whatever happened to cause that scar on his face could have been avoided?  There is more to this story, that’s for sure.  I wonder if it’s part of the “long story” we still haven’t heard as to why Junior left the SEALs so young.

I enjoyed the scene at the end of the episode when Junior goes back to his parents house to find his dad working on the deck himself.  I liked how there was no dialog here, just his dad handing Junior a hammer so they could work together on the deck.

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Does Natano read about Five-0’s work in the paper, or perhaps, see the good work they do on the news?  Does he recognize that what Junior does is important and necessary?  I hope we get to find out more about him but for now, at least, he seems to be minutely moving toward trying to repair their relationship.

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I really liked that this was a one story line episode.  Other than the fantastic opening scene with Grace and the two with Junior and his dad, it enabled the writers to fully explore the main story and have room for some great McDanno moments on the boat and wonderfully amusing moments like Tani’s exasperation at Anime vs Cartoon arguments in the “hyper-barbaric” chamber! 🤣🤣  You know me, whenever we get a one story line episode, I’m in heaven!

courtesy of @alohaspaceman1Photo Credit:  @alohaspaceman

Tani dear?  I can think of any number of people who would jump at the chance to help you out there.  Over two weeks in isolation with Steve, Danny and Junior.  And now another sixteen hours alone with Junior and Adam.  Damn girl! 😍😍😍  Oh, and by the way….. cartoons!

Well, that’s it for this week my friends.  Hope you all have a fantastic week to come.  No new KoolAid next week since it’s a re-run, damn it all!

As always, all screen caps are mine unless otherwise noted.  Aloha.  Malama Pono

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#H50 Review: 9.12 Ka Hauli O Ka Mea Hewa ‘Ole, He Nalowale Koke (A Bruise Inflicted on an Innocent Person Vanishes Quickly)

courtesy of @alohaspaceman2Courtesy of @alohaspaceman in IG and Twitter

Where, oh where, does the time go?  You’re curled up on the sofa watching a movie with the family and you glance over at your darling baby girl.  But your baby girl isn’t sitting there.  Instead, there is this young woman, tall and beautiful, a glass of wine in her hand, watching the movie with rapt attention.  She turns her head to glance back at you and you’re floored to realize, well damn, that is your baby girl.  When the hell did that happen?

Wasn’t it just last year when you held her in your arms the first time?  Wasn’t it just last month when you were cheering her on as she took a first step across this very room?  Wasn’t it just last week when you held her little hand as you crossed a street?  Wasn’t it just yesterday when you were patching her first skinned knee? Where on earth did this grown up person come from?

Watching the start of this episode, a special “previously on Hawaii Five-0”, we could ask ourselves very similar questions as we were treated to clips of “little Gracie Williams” through the years.  My how our little monkey has grown before our very eyes.

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It was easy to get misty eyed as we watched Gracie grow up before our eyes once again but that warm feeling didn’t last very long as we are immediately thrown into every parent’s worst nightmare.

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This was a really great episode.  No, it wasn’t perfect.  Very few episodes are.  But writer Zoe Robyn crafted a truly wonderful script.  Yes, it was a two storyline episode, never a favorite of mine, but Zoe was able to write two very captivating stories.  While both stories could have easily been expanded to encompass an entire episode, neither one diminished the other by having to share the allotted time.  It’s not easy to write a script that does that.  Zoe did a fantastic job.

Her script was emotionally brilliant.  It had all the feels that have made people love this show from the beginning.  There was the fantastic (and frightening) stunt of Gracie’s car going over that embankment.  There was laughter, anger, angst, determination, disbelief, fear and, the most important thing of all….. the overwhelming feeling of Ohana throughout both stories.

My personal highlight:

The incredible acting from Mr. Scott Caan.  Of course, this is no surprise to any of us.  We already know this man is an extraordinary actor and, given the right material, simply knocks it out of the park.  This episode proved, once again, just how talented he is.  Whether he’s demonstratively showing his anger and frustration at Katie’s understandably distraught father, or saying very little, his facial expressions and mannerisms speak volumes.

Danny’s hurt and angry that Rachel saw fit to keep yet another fact about his children from him.  That Stan bought Grace a car.  But I loved how, even though he allowed his resentment a moments free reign and called Rachel out on the fact that this isn’t the first thing she’s ever kept from him, he pulled it back.  This wasn’t the time.  Gracie’s life was in the balance.  That’s all that mattered now.  Scott played it beautifully.

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It was heartbreaking to watch his face crumble when the surgeon came to tell him and Rachel there was a complication during Gracie’s surgery.  It was equally heartbreaking to watch him crumble once more as he watched the video Rachel had put together for Gracie’s graduation.  And the quaver in his voice throughout all the hospital scenes was literally painful to hear.  His terror at the possibility of losing Grace was palpable.

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It’s something that has always affected me ever since I was a kid watching soap operas with my mom.  I can hold it together through the saddest of scenes but have a strong man begin to crumble and I just lose it.  Scott had me losing it.

And, of course, there is Claire van der Boom.  I have always loved her and I defy anyone to say that she and Scott are not wonderful on screen together.  From the first moment we met Rachel back in Season 1, I have loved these two together.  Scott and Claire, like Chi McBride and Michelle Hurd (as Lou and Renee) are so believable as a couple on screen someone not familiar with the show could easily believe they are a couple in real life.  Even if they should never be a couple in the show again.  More on that later!

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“Yeah, I’m a cop but worse for you, I’m an uncle”

Scott and Claire were incredible in this episode, but so, of course, was Alex.  Of course, there was never any doubt Steve would be there for Danny.  He loves Gracie as if she were his own child and the thought of losing her himself, as well as what it would do to Danny would be devastating for Steve to even think about.  He was an incredible combination of supportive, protective and driven to find the truth about how this happened to her.

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I loved how the moment Katie’s dad started to move toward becoming combative with Danny, Steve placed himself right there between them.  Not only protecting Danny but also protecting Katie’s dad from what he fears Danny could do in his state of mind.

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He went into full investigative mode the moment Duke told him HPD was starting an investigation of the accident because of the rate of speed Gracie was traveling.  Of course, it was Duke who breaks this news.  Who else would it be?  Duke is Ohana and there isn’t any way he’d allow anyone else to handle this duty.  A regular cop would have followed protocol and went to Danny and Rachel as Gracie’s parents.  Duke wouldn’t have allowed that to happen because that would have been heartless.  He even apologized to Steve, there was no way he was going to burden Danny.  It’s also no surprise that Steve doesn’t believe Gracie was recklessly driving for one moment.  “You know this girl.  It’s not her.  Something’s wrong here.”  Time for Uncle Steve to get to the bottom of this.

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I love the scene between Steve, Lou and the mean girl, Cameron.  I enjoyed watching Steve standing back and letting Lou fill in Cameron’s dad on exactly what went on at the party she and Gracie were attending.  It was very satisfying to see the mean girl called on her bull.  I hate people like her. People who get pleasure out of hurting other people.  I loved the unwavering look on Steve’s face as he stared the little bitch down.  But, at least, she managed to give the guys a timeline of exactly when Gracie and Katie left the party.

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Gracie’s uncles were so proud of her.  The way she stood up for Katie at the party.  How she got Katie out of there when she was feeling alone and humiliated.  How she took her out for something to eat, to make her feel better.  How she stood up to a creepy dude in Zippy’s who wouldn’t leave the girls alone.

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Having already determined at the accident site that there was another car involved which forced Gracie off the road, it’s an easy task to track down the license plate number off the creep’s car from the CCTV footage.  The next scene was pure gold.

My husband was watching the episode with me and when Steve asked Keith the Creep to go for a test drive, he turned to me and said, “Ohhhhh this should be good…” 🤣🤣 And it sure as hell was.  Watching Steve scare the crap out of the creep was a hell of a lot of fun.  I think Keith may need to do some heavy duty cleaning of the passenger seat upholstery if he intends to sell that car after he gets out of jail.

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With Keith the Creep taken off to HPD, Steve heads back to the hospital to check in on Danny.  The scene in the hallway as they wait for word was fantastic.  Danny tells Steve about the graduation video Rachel made for Grace and he jokes that Steve is in it more than he is, even though from the photos we saw that’s not really true.  Makes me hope there is a fuller video somewhere that might show up as a DVD extra someday.  But Danny says there is more Steve and it’s funny how Danny is perfectly OK with this as well as the influence Steve has on Grace.

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I saw this tweet the night of the episode but I forgot to note who said it.  If you recognize it, please let me know so I can give the proper credit.  But for the purpose of this review, it’s too perfect not to include.

“Steve’s excitement about having Grace’s graduation party at his house, getting a big screen & inviting the neighborhood was such an excited father move, it was beyond adorable. And the fact that Danny didn’t really protest – again co-parenting at its finest. #H50

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The absolute best moment of the entire scene is the three person embrace between Danny, Rachel and Steve.  After bringing them the wonderful news that Grace is out of surgery and all went well, she and Danny fall into an embrace of overwhelming relief.  Steve, overcome with relief himself, braces himself against the wall, staying back and letting Grace’s parents have their moment.

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But Danny isn’t having that.  Danny needs to show Steve that he’s part of this, that he is just as much Grace’s family as they are.  He reaches out and draws Steve into their embrace.  One of the best gestures between them ever!

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The Graduation Video

I don’t know who chose the photos to use for that video but whoever it was deserves a huge raise.  Besides being wonderful to see even more pictures of Gracie over the years it was the emotional reactions from Danny and Rachel that made it so heartbreaking.  And the pictures themselves tell an even more personal tale.

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Most of the pictures used in that video are not pictures of Gracie and Danny or Steve.  No, they are pictures of Teilor Grubbs (and, more then likely, her little sister as a toddler) with Scott and Alex.  Tell me this.  What does it say about the closeness and affection between your cast members when you can use behind-the-scenes photos of the actors as a montage for the love between fictional characters?? We’ve all watched Teilor grow up on screen but those guys, have been her on set loving uncles from the start.

Gracie’s car doesn’t have a license plate:

I saw a lot of people wringing their hands over this on Twitter the other night.  Gracie’s car didn’t have a plate, so why was she allowed to drive it?  A brand new car won’t have plates immediately since there was no previous registration (like from an already owned car) to transfer over.  The dealer will register the new car with the state and give a temporary paper registration.  You are permitted to drive the car with these until your permanent plates come in the mail, usually within a month.

The secondary story:

I really enjoyed this story a lot.  Unlike last weeks secondary offering, this one didn’t feel like it was just giving the actors something to do.  It was a good story and it highlighted the relationship between Tani and Koa, which is one of my most favorite dynamics in the show these days.  I just love the relationship between these two.

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I really enjoyed watching them work together, along with Adam, in trying to prove a woman Koa had in drug counseling didn’t die from an overdose but was murdered.  I love it when Tani goes all hard ass on suspects even if this time it really was a bit over the top.  But like Steve and Danny, when it involves someone they love, restraint isn’t their strong suit.

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It was fun watching Tani and Adam working this case on their own.  I like how the writers are working Adam into cases as if he’s always been there.  His presence hasn’t been as jarring as I feared it would be at the beginning.  And he and Tani work extremely well together especially with the special bond they share ever since Adam saved Koa’s life.

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I enjoyed watching Koa play detective in his determination to find the truth.  I know it wasn’t realistic.  Tani would have known to look in the toilet tank for a stash.  Koa was touching everything without wearing gloves. Major no-no.  But, I didn’t care really.  It was still fun watching him work the scene.  Who knows? Maybe someday we’ll hear that Koa has decided to join the Academy.  It would be a nice throw back to the beginning of the series.  Kono followed Chin to HPD.  Maybe, someday, Koa will follow Tani.

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The elephant in the room:

Last week, I wrote in my review, that I felt the episode had been hijacked from what should have been a full episode revolving around nothing but the avenging of Joe White, into the Steve and Catherine road to redemption.  Unfortunately, I get a similar feel about this episode as well.

Just like I had no problem with Catherine being part of the operation last week, I obviously have no problem with Rachel being there this week.  Just like there was a very valid reason for Catherine to be there last week, (she is highly trained, very good at her job and had a long standing relationship with both Joe and Steve), Rachel is Gracie’s mother and, obviously, there was no place she should have been except by Danny’s side in that hospital.

But both episodes used the last few minutes of the episodes to point everyone toward the most ridiculous of roads.  Just as there should never be a reconciliation between Steve and Catherine, so should there never be one between Danny and Rachel.  I will never understand why TPTB on this show seem to want to force our heroes back into the arms of two women who have lied to them in the most hurtful of ways.

Unlike Steve and Catherine, at least there’s a legitimate reason for Danny and Rachel to be in each other’s lives.  They are the parents of children.  They will always be in each other’s life.  Being able to get past their past differences, Danny being able to forgive Rachel for the hurtful things she’s done to him, is necessary for them to have a civil and friendly relationship for the sake of the kids.

Forgiving is admirable and to be commended. But forgetting is a totally different matter. There is no doubt there is still love there between them. Danny will always have a soft spot for Rachel, just as Steve will for Catherine.  But on both counts, the trust has been severely damaged.  That can’t just be swept under the rug, in either case.  

We find out in this episode that Rachel knew before they ever left New Jersey that she wasn’t happy with Stan.  And yet she still moved Grace all the way to Hawaii away from her father.  She tried to sue Danny for full custody of Grace after the shooting at the football game.  She tried to sue again so she could move with Stan (the man it seems she was never happy with) to Las Vegas.  And, the Mount Everest of lies, she lied, with full knowledge, about the fact that Charlie was Danny’s son.  So in essence, she tried to steal both of Danny’s children away from him.  If that poor child hadn’t gotten sick, she’d have never told Danny about Charlie.  Or Stan for that matter.  She’s betrayed both her husbands.

It really is a god-damn shame.  Just like I always liked Catherine until TPTB turned her into a selfish, hurtful liar, I always liked Rachel.  But again, TPTB chose to totally destroy her character.  Even with the move to Hawaii and the custody battles, I could have been on board with a reconciliation until she confessed about Charlie.  That was so unnecessary.  It would have been just as devastating to Danny to learn about Charlie and the years he’d missed if Rachel had not known Charlie’s true paternity.  It could have been written that she always believed Charlie was Stan’s son and it was only after he got sick and they needed DNA testing for donors that they found out the truth.

But they chose to make Rachel fully aware from the very beginning that Charlie was Danny’s.  That means she not only deprived him of those early years, she allowed him to assist in the delivery of his own son without knowing it was his son.  That is unforgivable, plain and simple.

Yes, it’s a god-damn shame because Scott and Claire absolutely sizzle on screen together.  You can feel the friendship that exists between them.  It tangibly radiates from the screen.  Their chemistry is off the charts.  But, in my view at least, that should not translate into a reconciliation between Danny and Rachel.  Just like Steve and Catherine, they should remain good and loving friends, but that’s all it should ever be.  Both Steve and Danny deserve someone who will unconditionally love them and be unconditionally loyal and trustworthy.  Neither Catherine nor Rachel fit that description any longer.

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Welcome home Gracie:

A week after the accident, Gracie comes home to a full blown Ohana celebration.  I don’t know anything about head trauma or brain surgery but one week doesn’t seem like a very long time to make such a recovery.  Her cuts and bruises are far on the road to healing and except for a hat which is probably hiding the turban of bandages on the top of her head, you’d never know she’d been hurt.  But, details…. details….

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It was so awesome to see the entire Ohana there to welcome her home.  Lou even mention how Will wishes he could be there for her, but will be home tomorrow to see her.  Nice to know the kids are still together.  And it was wonderful to hear Steve say, as if Grace didn’t already know it, that no matter where she goes in her life, they’ll always all be there for her.

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Lots of love, laughter and food.  Oh yeah, the food.  Seems we finally have an official name for the restaurant.  Kamekona’s Ohana Style Italian Restaurant.  I suppose an “ohana style” Italian Restaurant means traditional Italian dishes with a Hawaiian flair?  All I know is, if Danny walks in there and finds pineapple on pizza he’ll blow a blood vessel! 🤣🤣  And yeah, I still prefer “Steve’s” too!

As always it is the feeling of Ohana which permeates this entire series.  I can only be grateful that we’ve been able to share in it all these years.  In the show, and in the fandom, where I’ve met so many wonderful people who share my love of this show.  Thank you H50.  As Koa so perfectly put it…. “I appreciate being part of this big weird family you brought into my life”.

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That’s it for this week my friends.  As always, all screen caps are mine unless otherwise noted.  But before I go, a little something in honor of this fantastic episode…… a throwback to a little video I made waaaaay back when!  Aloha.  Malama Pono.

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#H50 Review: 9.11 Hala i ke ala o’i’ole mai (Gone on the Road from Which There Is No Returning)

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Happy New Year my friends!  Welcome back for another new year of H50.  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season doing all the things you love with all the people you love in your life.

I had a fantastic holiday.  My daughter came home from Australia for over two weeks.  It was so incredibly wonderful to have her home.  She’s getting married in the fall so we spent most of our time between holiday dinners and parties doing all kinds of wedding planning.  We visited the historic Inn where the ceremony will take place, we visited the spa/salon that will do our hair and make-up and we bought her wedding gown.  We went shopping and out to lunches and spent hours sitting on our beds just talking face to face instead of over a computer screen.  It was all simply perfect.

I was, understandably, very sad to put her on the plane back home, knowing I won’t see her again until a week before the wedding.  That’s ten months that will feel like years.  Having a new H50 to take my mind off the sadness was a blessing.  As has been the case over the last nine years, H50 is there to bring in a much-needed diversion from real life.

As you all probably already know, I was not overly excited about this episode because of the yearly dead horse we seem destined to always be beating but as I sat down to watch, I took a deep breath and was determined to try my best (try being the operative word) to be open minded.

After all, I was sure Alex would be incredible in his portrayal of Steve’s grief and determination after Joe’s death.  Danny would be there for Steve the way he’s been there for every trauma Steve’s experienced.  Junior would be there as a tangible connection to the SEALs.  There would be Wade and Harry, both personal favorites of mine.  All of that promised to make this a wonderful episode regardless of a secondary story line and any other presence I’d prefer not be there.  But I came away from it very conflicted because while I was somewhat understanding, I was also, at the same time, totally annoyed.  I was going to re-watch it, in an attempt to wrap my head around my conflicted feelings but I couldn’t bring myself to watch it again.

Of course, I am talking about the presence of Catherine Rollins.  I was sure I was going to despise this episode simply because she was there, but I have to admit, she didn’t bother me as much as I thought she would.  I am not a fan of this character by any stretch of the imagination and I’d prefer she drop off the face of the earth rather than ever see her again, but in this case, I do understand the reasons why she was there.

I’ve said all along that just because I don’t like her as a partner for Steve doesn’t mean I don’t think she’s a very capable operative.  She has to be in order to survive in the profession and the life she has chosen to follow.  Her connections and skill brought Gregers Thompson, the lawyer Hassan hired, to Steve and that, in turn, got Steve the information he needed to go after Hassan and ultimately, Greer.  I also understand the connection she and Steve have, their mutual affection for Joe White and their long personal history.  They are good friends.  For all those reasons, it didn’t bother me that she was there because there were valid reasons for her to be there.

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The episode itself, started off looking pretty great.  Danny showing up after Steve’s been in Montana mourning for a month.  Danny being there for Steve, the way Steve was there for Danny after Matty died (and wasn’t that a great confirmation of what we always suspected but never, unfortunately, got to see?)  Danny being there for Steve just like he’s always been there, whether Steve feels he should be or not.  That first scene gave me such a warm feeling about where this episode was headed.

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But, unfortunately, that’s not where the episode headed.  I’m sorry but this episode was such a wasted opportunity and a huge disappointment.  9.10 was such a wonderful, heart breaking set up for what should have been a 2.10 type of episode.  The entire team should have been involved in some capacity, even if half the team was still in Hawaii.  The secondary story line was nothing more than giving Lou, Tani and Adam something to do. The best thing about the secondary story line was the banter between Tani and Adam and the fact that it chewed up screen time that cut the other story short.  I usually hate when that happens but, in this case, it was a blessing.

I’m sorry, and I hope to God I am wrong about this, but this episode gave me the impression that Joe White died for one reason only.  To facilitate the reunion of Steve and Catherine.  What a totally pitiful reason for killing off an exasperating yet wonderful character.

I can’t help but think TPTB are doing with these two the same thing they did with the restaurant story.  Write the episodes one way but have a multitude of people around giving subtle and not so subtle warnings/advise in the opposite direction.  For almost two years Danny and Steve worked toward making their restaurant a reality while at the same time, how many different people told them it was a horrible idea, until finally, they came to realize it themselves?

Here we have Steve and Catherine who have mutually decided they should not have been together and agree to just be good friends, while multiple people keep telling Steve it’s time for him to settle down and find someone.  Foreshadowing just like with the restaurant.  We all know who that someone will ultimately be, whether we want to believe it or not, whether we like it or not.

Alex, as always, was phenomenal in portraying every one of Steve’s emotions exquisitely.  The look of devastation on his face when we first see him at the ranch was heartbreaking.  His interaction and interrogation of Thompson was, quite frankly, terrifying.  He was literally making my skin crawl with fear at the murderous look in his eyes.  My heart broke again as he sat in the plane and remembered his affair with Greer.  He looked so happy in that flashback.  Why, oh why, do people continue to betray this wonderful man?

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But, they totally screwed up with Catherine being there.  Not for the op.  Like I said, it was completely valid for her to be there for this operation, but the writers pushed it too hard.  They were so desperate to make her as relevant as possible, she got a lot more screen time than she deserved.  I repeat…. not for the op.  I had no problem with her being there.  I had no problem with her going undercover with Steve at the casino, although there was absolutely zero reason they needed to be “married” to pull it off.  That was nothing but extremely transparent fan service to McRoll shippers.  But, ok, let them have their crumb.  It didn’t bother me that she was the one who went with Steve to go after Greer and although I would have preferred for Steve to take Greer out, the fact that Catherine killed her is neither here nor there for me.

However, when not directly connected with the operation, there was just too much of her.  Every scene that should have been a Steve/Danny scene was sacrificed to her.  She sat next to him on the plane, and she comforted Steve over his guilt with regard to Joe’s death.  It should have been Danny. It should have been Danny telling Steve it wasn’t his fault Joe died, just the same way Steve helped Danny realize there wasn’t anything he could have done to save Matt. It should have been Danny because it has always been Danny.

It was Danny who Steve chose to help him form Five-0 and, in doing so, helped him recover from his father’s death.  It was Danny who pulled Steve off the back of that truck in North Korea.  It was Danny who was at Steve’s bedside after his ordeal at the hands of the Taliban in Afghanistan.  It was Danny who was the first one Steve laid eyes on in that miserable torture chamber after WoFat.    It was Danny who landed a crippled plane on the beach with Steve bleeding out in the pilot’s seat and it was Danny who gave a piece of himself to literally save his life.  It was Danny who’s been by his side as he dealt with radiation poisoning.

It’s always been Danny for all the years Catherine has been gone, and for many years before.  This notion that “when Steve is hurting, Catherine knows and is there” is nothing but pure fiction within fiction and utter nonsense.  She’s never been there when he’s needed someone to have his back (other than when she went with him to recover Freddie. I won’t pretend that wasn’t important, because it was). Danny has always been there.

Unfortunately, in order to make her more important than she really is, Danny had to be shunted aside to make room for her in this episode.  Danny showed up in Montana not because Steve called him there but because he wanted to be there for Steve.  But Catherine was already there.  How?

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Did she hear about Joe and through her contacts, get her hands on Thompson and simply show up in Montana?  Or did Steve call her?  Logistically, it would be logical that she would hear about Joe’s death but not that she would know the details of how it happened or who was involved or responsible.  Steve said right from the start it all had to be off the books and it was Tani, Junior and Lou who established the connection to Thompson.  So, yeah, it’s more than likely that Steve called her in. But he didn’t call and tell Danny.

When Steve filled Danny in on what they were planning, he told him they wouldn’t be alone.  Then Wade showed up.  And Junior showed up.  Steve called them in.  But he didn’t call and tell Danny.  Later when they meet up with Harry, he’s full of intel and plans so, obviously, Steve called him in.  But he didn’t call and tell Danny.  So what conclusion are we supposed to take from that?  If Danny hadn’t showed up in Montana when he did, Steve, Catherine, Wade and Junior would have just taken off to meet up with Harry on this mission and Danny would have been home in Hawaii in the dark?  Tani and Lou seemed to know what was going on.  Did Danny call them and fill them in after he got to Montana?  Did Junior fill them in before he left?  This was all over the place and I’m more than a little bit peeved at the way the writing was very dismissive of Danny.  Not only of his abilities but his right to be included from the start.

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I now understand why the CBS synopsis for this episode was written the way it was.  This was Steve and Catherine’s op and the others were simply tagging along.  I mean, what did any of them actually do, except for Harry who was full of intel and “backup”? Wade rode his bike and neutralized goons at front doors.  Junior had a cute moment struggling to fit into the waiter’s pants to add a nice bit of levity.  For once the guy stealing another guys clothes isn’t conveniently the exact same size.  And other then at the end when everyone geared up to take down Hassan at the hotel, all Danny seemed to do was stand behind Harry while he maneuvered Steve and Catherine through the casino.

The end of this episode would have been the perfect spot for a Steve and Danny moment where the fallout from 9.10 could have been fully explored.  Here’s the spot where Steve could have voiced his guilt over Joe’s death and Danny could have talked him down and been a real brother to him, just like always.

But no, we had to revert back to the Steve and Catherine show with a flashback to the flashback of Joe basically ordering Steve to ask Catherine out and then a new flashback of him doing just that.  I can understand Steve’s reasons for telling Catherine it was Joe who facilitated their first date.  After all, people tend to reminisce about things that happened with loved ones who have died.  And it was a sweet moment between the two of them, both being thankful to Joe for bringing them together. They may not be lovers anymore, but they are still good friends and they can be thankful to Joe for that as well as for all the good times they did have over the years.

But what did any of it accomplish?  Did we learn anything new about them?  Does the fact that we actually see Steve call her for the date make it any different from just hearing about it last season?  As a friend of mine said to me, “they continue to avoid addressing her actions and the lack of trust that would result from those actions, so we’re back to the same old status.  They are friends who were in a failed romantic relationship but now she can show up to help when her skill set is required”.

Nothing we saw last night wipes out what has happened between them.  Off she goes again, back to the life she has chosen, leaving him again, with a broken heart and a life to put back together.  And, regardless of the huge open door the writers left there for her to come back, yet again, it will be Danny who will be there, once again, to help Steve pick up the pieces.  It’s really a god-damned shame we’ll probably never get to actually see it on screen.

I will say this about Danny though. Well, about Scott, actually.  He may not have been given much to do in this episode but what he was given he played extremely well.  He played Danny’s discomfort with the events taking place very well.  He was subtle and quiet, for the most part, giving Steve space to do what he needed to do even when Danny was extremely uncomfortable with it.  I just really wish we could have had some quite moments between Steve and Danny, just so they could talk things out a bit.  I’m very disappointed we were denied that.

Well, that’s it for this week friends.  No screen caps from me this week.  All photos are courtesy of CBS because I just couldn’t bring myself to re-watch the episode to grab any of my own.

Now on to next week and a very Danny centric episode which looks to give Scott some powerful material to work with.  Now that will be something awesome to see.  Have a great week everyone!

Aloha.  Malama pono.

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#H50 Review: 9.10 Pio ke kukui, po’ele ka hale (When the Light Goes Out, the House is Dark)

 

 

Oh my God!

Once again, I spent the entire day on Saturday and pretty much most of Sunday on family obligations.  But every time I let my mind wonder back to Friday night’s H50, those were the only words that kept coming to mind.

Oh my God!

Of course, we could talk about any number of things in this episode.  It was pretty much perfection from beginning to end. We could talk about the action sequences.  The knife fight between Steve and the assassin in his kitchen was not only one of the most brutal and bloody fights we’ve seen in a long time, it was masterfully choreographed and executed.  That knife flip of Steve’s before he runs his attacker through was a thing of beauty.

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The battle between Steve, Joe and Cole and the assassins sent to take them all out was also superb.  Watching the three of them arming for the attack was incredible.  The booby-traps and the arsenal of weapons they had at their disposal was impressive to say the least.  After over 16 years they all still worked together as a well-coordinated and well-oiled machine.  Their easy banter and comradery a nice juxtaposition to the deadliness of battle they knew was coming.  And, ohhhh, what a battle it was!

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We could talk about Lou Grover and his voicing what everyone already knew.  There was no need for Steve to ask for help.  His team was there for him no matter what he needed.  His certain knowledge that Steve wasn’t just going to go to ground and stay safe but to confront this head on. Lou’s single-minded determination to crack the assassin sent to kill Steve was, as Lou always is in these intense situations, just a bit frightening. He can seem so calm and composed when he’s skillfully manipulating the suspect by hitting all his vulnerable spots.  Using his son as leverage and a promise of time served in Germany was cold, calculating and, most importantly, effective!

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We could talk about the rest of the team being totally relentless in tracking down who was responsible for the contract put out on Steve and the rest of the SEALs.  It’s not anything they haven’t all done in the course of investigations before but this one is more than just a little bit personal.  They worked at a fevered pitch in their determination to give Steve all the information he might need to find out who is responsible.

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We could talk about Junior. Junior berating himself for not being there when Steve was attacked.  His determination to be part of the operation to take down those responsible because it’s SEALs who have been assassinated and Junior wants in on the retribution to avenge his brothers.  How he wanted in on that OP more than anything, but he’ll follow Steve’s orders, SEAL Commander to SEAL.  But you could see he was not happy about it one bit from the thunderously murderous look in his eyes.

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We could talk about the fact that Steve was alone in the house when the assassin came to call.  We could wonder where Eddie was, why wasn’t he out in the ocean with Steve for his morning swim.  Or we can thank the Hawaiian gods that Eddie wasn’t there.  I mean, do you think that assassin would have wasted an instant in putting Eddie down to get to Steve.  Personally, I don’t think I could live through seeing Eddie shot again!

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We could talk about Greer and her betrayal of Steve and the SEALS.  We can talk about whether she is intended to be the new “big bad” or if she’s just going to be seen as a bridge to who may or may not be the new “big bad” on the radar, Omar Hassan.  A small boy who watched as Steve’s SEAL team killed his father in that long-ago raid.  Now a 26-year-old businessman with an impeccable record and a hell of a lot of money.  But, he’s no terrorist.  He’s a son out to avenge his father, not a completely foreign concept for this show.

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We could talk about the similarity in the names of Omar Hassan and Umar Hassan, the Taliban terrorist who, back in 4.21 kidnapped young Najib and other Afghan children, who captured and tortured Steve and was killed in the Navy SEAL raid that rescued Steve.  We can put to rest any notion that the writers are trying to manufacture a “planned coincidence” between 4.21 and 9.11 because Umar Hassan was a) a terrorist, which Omar is not; b) Umar was Afghani while Omar is Moroccan; c) Umar was at least 10 to 15 years older than Omar; and, most importantly, d) Umar Hassan died in that miserable hole in Afghanistan at the hands of the SEALS.

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Yes, we could talk about all of that but, of course, there really is only one thing to really talk about in this episode.

Oh my God!

There was nothing here we didn’t already know, of course.  We are all fully aware of the powerful relationship between Steve and Joe.  But it was fascinating to watch as every aspect of that relationship was played out on the screen.

We even got a bit of conformation of a theory many have harbored for years.  Joe did indeed know Doris was alive from the very beginning and Doris also knew from the very beginning that John had sent Steve and Mary away from Hawaii.

Doris had people watching 16-year-old Steve and knew he’d stolen a car in a futile attempt to get back to Hawaii any way he could.  She called Joe and he managed to get Steve out of trouble with no mark on his permanent record.  Because of that, Steve was able to later go to Annapolis, serve in the Navy, be a SEAL and Five-0 and become the extraordinary person he is today.

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It was more than obvious from the beginning that Joe thought this could very well be his last mission.  Sitting in the car with Steve, waxing poetic about ponderosa pines with a wistful look on his face, you could see he was resigning himself to the belief this could be the end.  Steve could see it too even if he didn’t realize it at that moment.  That’s why he told Joe to “go into the wind” like Cole and let Steve handle the situation alone.  Joe, being Joe, naturally wouldn’t allow that to happen.  Wouldn’t let Steve have “all the fun”.

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When Steve finds a picture of Joe with a young woman Joe, once again, gets reflective, telling Steve not to make the same mistakes he’s made, not to wait too long to find someone to share his life with.  This is the moment Steve realizes what’s going through Joe’s head.  You could see it on Steve’s face, how concerned he looked that Joe felt the need to pass this advise along at that moment.

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Personally, I wish Joe would have knocked it off with the relationship advice.  His four wives should prove to anyone he’s hardly in a position to tell anyone the best way to sort out their love life.  But I will give him this much.  He did manage to find love with his new lady.  He’s not pining over a lost love or trying to rekindle something long over.  In this regard I agree with Joe.  Steve needs to find someone new, just like Joe did. Someone totally devoted to him, who makes him her top priority, just as he makes her, his.  In all his 41 years, Steve has never met a woman like that.

The final scenes of this episode will go down as some of the best written and best acted scenes ever on this show.  Both Alex and Terry hit major homeruns with material that went above and beyond.  Emotional, gut-wrenching, dramatic.  All terms that don’t even come close to what these last scenes were like.  I was totally gutted by the time the end credits rolled and I know I’m not the only one.

All their best laid plans turn out to be not enough.  They lose Cole in the gun battle.  I was forcibly reminded of watching Steve as he looked on as Freddie was gunned down all those years ago.  Unfortunately, Joe is hit as well.  I think we’ve all been watching this show long enough to know those abdominal wounds, those where the bullet has not exited, are never a good thing.  Joe, tries to downplay it, telling Steve he’s seen worse, but he knows that’s not the case and he knows where he wants to be when the end comes.

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That lone ponderosa pine is calling him one last time.  As they both ride off to what Steve believes is medical help, Joe admits to Steve that he cancelled the medevac that was headed their way.  Steve is furious.  “If you’re not going to fight, I’ll fight for you”.  Of course, we saw the way Steve fought to save Joe not too long ago.  Steve is not ready to give up on him now.  But Joe is ready.  He wants to get to his favorite spot on the ranch, to that magnificent tree one last time.

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Steve cradles Joe as they sit at the base of the tree and Joe begins to lose his hold on life.  Steve thanks him for that long ago save after he stole that car.  Thanks him for giving him the opportunity to have the life he’s lead.  Joe looks at him like he’s lost his mind.  Doesn’t Steve realize that he thanks Joe every single day just by being the man he’s become?  Doesn’t he realize Joe couldn’t be more proud of the way Steve looks out for the people he loves in his life the same way Joe always looked out for him?

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It’s been two days and I’m still gutted.  Gutted by the story, by the loss of Joe and by the stellar acting by both Alex and Terry.  We’ve always said that Alex can portray a dozen pages of dialog with just his eyes and it was gut wrenching in that moment when Steve realized what was going to happen.

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“Have you ever in your life seen a sunset like that?”  No Joe, we haven’t.  Your death is a sunset we never, along with Steve, thought we’d see.  “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away”.  And as you faded away into that sunset, with Steve hugging you close, we cried along with him.

Cried for the man who, while infuriating at times, was a good man.  A man who helped teach, guide and shape Steve into the man he is today.  And cried for Steve as well.  Just like the day he had to listen to John die while there was nothing he could do to stop it, Steve sits, cradling the man who became, from the age of 16 on, the only father he really had and we all wept for him and this incredible loss.

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Well, I don’t know what else to say.  This is the last episode of 2018 and as far removed from a Christmas episode as you can possibly get.  We have a little under a month of Christmas hiatus to pull ourselves together before the ramifications of this episode play out in 9.11.  It will be interesting to see how Steve comes through this huge loss.  A loss so much more devastating than any he’s suffered since John was murdered 9 years ago.  I look forward to seeing Alex hit another homerun to start off the new year.

That’s it for 2018 my friends!  Whatever holiday you celebrate, here’s hoping it’s a joyful one filled with everything you love and all the people you love.  See you all in the new year!

Aloha.  Malama Pono

All screen caps are mine unless otherwise noted.

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#H50 Review: 9.09 Mai ka po mai ka ‘oia’i’o (Truth Comes from the Night)

Hey everyone!  I hope you all had a fantastic weekend.  Me?  Well, mine was less than fantastic and full of what seemed like never ending family drama.  Everything is fine, don’t worry, but it’s been several exhausting days.  Unfortunately, that means, I won’t be doing a full review this week.  Just a few quick observations then I’m going to throw it to you guys to expand on in the comments section, if you so choose.

Adam and the gun:  Like the restaurant story line, this story came to a rather abrupt end.  I’m 50-50 on this one.  First, there was all the worry from Tani over what Steve’s reaction would be if she accused Adam and she was wrong or worse, if she was right.  There was all the fandom discussion over Tani and Adam keeping it all away from Steve and how he’d react when he found out.

All unnecessary talk and worry, it seems, since we never got to see anything even remotely like that.  I’m disappointed because I would have loved to see Steve drag them both on the carpet for acting alone and keeping it from him (even though we all know he’d get over it quickly and understandingly).  I would have liked one of those heart to hearts between Steve and Adam after the arrest, at the very least.

But, of course, we’ll probably never hear about it again.  Next week is Steve and Joe’s SEAL story, then hiatus, then the “expendables episode”.  By the time we’re back to an Oahu based crime of the week, it will be mid-January and this gun story will be buried and forgotten.  But, let’s be honest.  It was such a ridiculous story anyway and no one believed for one blessed minute Adam killed Noriko.  Maybe it’s better they just did a cut and run on it.

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Comic-con:   I loved this story.  I loved all the parallels it had.  The superhero parallel of a child who watched his parents killed in front of him, who’s determined to find out the reasons behind it and chooses to try to make the world a better place by trying to stop the bad guys.  Classic Batman!

But there was also the parallel of our own superhero, our SuperSEAL.  Listening to Steve describe why Batman was his favorite, how he was just a human being with no extraordinary ability who had to work and train his whole life to reach his peak so he could go out there and do what he needed to do, you couldn’t help but realize Steve was describing himself, whether he realized it or not.

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I liked that the story gave Jerry some “police” work to do as well as using his nerd-credentials at the magic table.  It’s nice the way Steve is bringing Jerry into cases more and more, making him feel more like a member of the team instead of just the tech guy.  I don’t want to see Jerry leaping after perps (crashing into them with motor vehicles is fine, of course 😉😉) and I really don’t think we ever need to see him packing a gun, but watching him in rendition was a blast.

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And of course, I adored the ending with Steve and Danny as comic book super heroes.  That was inspired.  Jerry finishing off The Night Sentinel’s comic book with the Adventures of Steve and Danny was great but actually seeing it on screen as the comic book came to life was awesome.  Jerry may have written it as a fantasy ending, but we all know we’ve seen Steve pull off that helicopter maneuver ourselves first hand, and have known for a very long time, he’s our super SEAL hero!

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Courtesy of @alohaspaceman2Photo credit: Copied these from Twitter but forgot to label who posted them.  If you know, please let me know in the comments and I’ll update the post to reflect proper credit.

So many players, so little time:  I did enjoy this episode, even if it was a bit ….what’s a good word……choppy?  There were extended absences of more than one member of the team throughout the episode.  Don’t get me wrong, the ebb and flow of the story was good, with the usual twists and turns that always makes H50 enjoyable, even if it wasn’t as fast paced as usual.

The disappearances of team members felt disjointed.  We’ve become used to seeing Danny in a couple of scenes, then having him disappear for a period of time, only to reappear at some later point.  But this time it happened with several others as well.  Steve doesn’t appear at all until over eight minutes in,  then Danny is off screen for a while, then Grover, then Adam and so on.  It seemed like the only person who was consistently there was Jerry.  I suppose, considering the comic book/nerdy subject matter, that made sense, but it was still a bit jarring to have so many of the others appear, disappear then reappear again.

But, I’m thinking this is something we’ll just need to get used to.  There are now seven full time members of Five-0 to be utilized in the same 42-43 minutes we’ve always had.  There is also the fact that it seems the writers are giving Alex a few more breaks in episodes.  Add that to the already reduced schedule Scott’s had for years and there’s going to be times when others fill that void only to be moved aside when Alex and Scott come back on screen.  This is probably the new normal.  Personally, I’m ok with that.  I just have to get a bit more used to it.  But, as long as I still get my mandatory McDanno time, I’ll take it anyway I can get it.

I really enjoyed the fact that there was only one story line in this episode even if it seemed a bit sluggish to me.  Most of the time, episodes fly by, jumping from one story to the next, there being so much going on.  I’m not going to complain though because I prefer one story episodes over multiple ones any day.  And, of course, I was a bit distracted with everything going on so it could be a failing on my part more than the episode’s.

And there was Eddie helping on a raid!  Yay!  I’ve missed seeing Eddie!  And I adored Jerry’s Batgirl story. Yet another parallel since Jerry, like Batgirl, needed to prove himself to the team before being fully accepted.  His addition making both himself and the team stronger, just like Batgirl and the Dynamic Duo!

And the ending, in the comic book shop was golden because we got a fantastic Steve/Danny/Charlie scene.  I always love it when we get to see these three together.  Steve’s new “Mini D” nickname for Charlie is friggin’ adorable.  They could not have cast a better kid than Zach to play Charlie. He really does look like a “Mini D”!

FuRXNqbEPhoto credit:  CBS

113570_0565b_FULLPhoto credit:  CBS

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

Well, that’s it folks.  Sorry this is so short and incomplete but life.. you know!

Have a great rest of your week.  Next weekend doesn’t look to be too much better than this one for me.  I’ll do my best to give a better review of what looks to be an awesome episode revolving around Steve and Joe and the SEALS.  That always makes for a great Friday night!

Aloha.  Malama Pono

Screencaps:  I’ve been so overwhelmed over the last week or so, I didn’t even get a chance to re-watch the episode, which is another reason why this review is so unusually concise! 😉😉 I did grab just a couple of quick shots that I needed but other than that, I relied on CBS and the wonderful @alohaspaceman for photos for this review.  Thanks Lisa! 😃😃

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#H50 Review: 9.08 Lele pū nā manu like (Birds of a Feather) – Thanksgiving Episode – Written by Chi McBride

Written by Chi McBride1

As always, as I was watching this episode, I was formulating how I would go about writing my review.  I have to admit, this one was a challenge.  For while I liked the episode just fine (of course, I always do) this one came up a bit short for me.

This was a split story episode where the two stories had absolutely nothing to do with each other.  Not a favorite format of mine (although much better than those three- or four-story episodes) since I always prefer, if we must have two stories, they be somehow connected.  I went to bed with my head buzzing trying to figure out what to write about this one.

Then, as I sat down to write, I was still having real trouble wrapping my head around the episode.  It wasn’t until I got into a conversation with a couple of H50 buddies that I realized the reason why.  I both liked and didn’t like it at the same time.  I really liked Chi’s story of the Grover family, but the crime of the week left me totally cold.  Oh well, let’s go through it together.

First the fun – The Thanksgiving Family Football game:  What’s Thanksgiving without the family football game?  This scene was golden.  It’s always such fun to see everyone having fun together and I loved that Al Harrington’s Mamo was there.  He played in the game the last time we actually got to see it (back in Season 4) but now, a tad older, he’s graciously given his time to referee.

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I did kind of feel sorry for Tani’s team, though.  It seemed they were at a distinct disadvantage right from the start.  Of the five-man squads, Steve had Nahale, Adam, Noelani and Jerry.

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Tani having Junior, Koa, Kamekona and Flippa, who voiced exactly what I was thinking when I saw the lineups.  “I thought we just stand there and be big”. 🤣🤣 Even still, they almost managed to pull out a win, if Junior had managed to stay inbounds when he caught that final pass.

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It really is too bad that Danny was spending Thanksgiving with his family in Jersey and had to miss the game.  But Tani more than made up for his absence.  Her teasing and trash talk with Steve was perfect.  I loved the moment when Junior asked Koa if she’d always been so competitive.  It’s nice when we have relatives to give us insight into our characters from before we knew them.  The line that she was only competitive until she was eight because after that “no one would play with her” was hysterical.

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As was the look on Mamo’s face when he thought she was calling him old. The only thing funnier was Steve’s face when she said it was actually him, she was calling old! 🤣🤣 Ah…. Ohana!

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

The Dysfunctional Family Grover:  If it’s not Thanksgiving without football, then what’s a holiday without some family drama?  The Grover family sure provided that.  But there was also warmth, comedy, sentimentality, acknowledgement, forgiveness and tears.

I really enjoyed Chi’s story.  For a first attempt, I think he did a great job and seeing as it was partially based on his own relationship with an older cousin, it was obviously one he wrote from his heart.

Anytime we get to see Lou and Renee together is a total joy.  I know I’ve probably said this in the past, but the first time I ever saw them on screen I wondered if they were really married in real life.  The chemistry between Chi and Michelle Hurd is off the charts.  As it is whenever Chosen Jacob’s Will is there.  It’s too bad they couldn’t get Samantha home from college for the holiday too.  That would have made it perfect.

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Lou Gossett Jr, Gladys Knight and Clifton Powell as the extended Grover family were perfect.  Especially Gladys as the ferocious mama bear of the family.  She was awesome.  You know, there is an old saying that girls marry men like their Daddy.  Well, true or not, it seems Lou married a lady very much like his mama.  Both Renee and Ella are formidable women of their households.  You ain’t gonna mess with either one of them, if you know what’s good for you.

H50_S9_BirdsFeather_SG12_FULLPhoto Credit:  CBS

This point was perfectly illustrated in Percy Sr’s talk with Will when Will jokes with his Grandfather that he’s scared of his wife the same way Lou is scared of Renee. Percy’s logic is incredibly simple.  If you’re lucky enough to find a woman as good as the women he and Lou were lucky to find, you spend “every waking hour of life trying our best to be worthy of those women”.  So, hell yeah, you’re scared.  Not of her, but of disappointing her.  I loved how he told Will that, if he’s lucky, he’ll find a woman to be scared of too!

H50_S9_BirdsFeather_SG7_FULLPhoto Credit: CBS

H50_S9_BirdsFeather_SG8_FULLPhoto Credit:  CBS

You could see it in Lou’s face later when he and Percy fight in the backyard over the turkeys.  When Renee looked down at Lou with utter disappointment written all over her face, put her arm around her son and ushered him away as if ashamed to allow him to see his father in that moment, Lou’s was crushed.

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I understand what Chi was going for with his story of Lou and Percy’s relationship and it was really good but, perhaps, a bit overdone.  Why were Percy and Lou so incredibly hostile to each other?  After all, Percy had always looked out for Lou when they were kids and, we find out later, has been proud of his accomplishments every step of the way since.  So why all the anger?

And Lou?  Is it because he’s worked his butt off to get where he is all his life and his brother has just coasted along?  Is it because his parents don’t seem to call Percy on it often enough and think every little step forward is wondrous even if it means several steps back a short time later?

There were some wonderfully light moments in this story.  Percy dousing Lou with ice water in the shower and the entire house waking up to Lou’s scream was hysterical.  Gladys was perfect in this scene.  I love how she calls Percy Jr. “Little Percy” and gives him the full “angry mother/little boy” treatment not to mention telling Lou “Boy, ain’t nobody thinkin’ about your little naked behind… I changed your diapers, man” 🤣🤣🤣🤣

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And I loved the looks Renee, Ella and Percy Sr. were wearing as the guys sniped at each other at the breakfast table.

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But it very quickly devolved into hateful rhetoric designed to do nothing but hurt.  I can understand jealousy and even some resentment, but this animosity was painful to watch.

I’ll give Chi credit.  It was a compelling story of family dynamics.  Many families have that one person who brings out the worst in people and it’s usually not one thing that pushes a person over the edge but a build up of years of events that just finally boils over.

But it’s clear the family love is there and that love guides both the Grover households.

H50_S9_BirdsFeather_SG6_FULLPhoto Credit: CBS

It’s a shame it had to come to a knock down, drag out fight and almost burning the house down for the two knuckleheads to finally realize that.  There were a few too many tears from two grown men for my liking but the resolution was a sweet holiday treat.

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Lou getting Percy a job at Kamekona’s restaurant was an interesting twist.  Makes me wonder just how often we might get to see the restaurant after this episode unless they’re adding Clifton Powell to the cast as a new recurring character.  If they’re not, then we’re either not going to see the restaurant all that much or, on the occasions when the Ohana does meet there, no one will ever mention the excellent pastry again.

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The COTW:  Because the episode was so centered around the Grover family story, it would have been great if it was tempered with a decent crime of the week.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.  I’m sorry to say this but the COTW left a lot to be desired.

So, a thief breaks into a house and attempts to break into a safe.  When he can’t open it, he tries to steal what is obviously an incredibly “gi-normous” safe by pulling it down a flight of stairs on a blanket.  Ooooookay…. no one ever said thieves were particularly intelligent.

After the safe, predictably, falls down the stairs and crushes the idiot, yet another thief breaks into the very same house, on the very same day, to try to get inside the very same safe.  Oooooookay…..

And, when finding poor crushed thief #1, thief #2 doesn’t call for help or even just high tail it out of there.  Nooooo….. he stands there and drills into the safe right there on top of the guy.

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Thief #2, Patrick Hale, was after a vintage 1948 Stan Musial baseball card.  It seems the owner of the card, John Henman had been funding a yearly Thanksgiving dinner for the shelter where Patrick worked as not only a tax dodge but a bit of personal PR.  Write a check and show up for a photo OP and make himself look good.  Patrick was perfectly content with Henman’s antics as long as the money was there to feed the people.  When Henman found a new, better tax dodge and refused to fund Thanksgiving dinner, Patrick decided to steal what he knew was a very valuable baseball card to get the needed cash.

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Modern day Robin Hood or not, it’s very hard to find sympathy for Patrick.  Ok, he did the wrong thing for the right reason but there is no way to rationalize this guy who’s supposed to care so much for the homeless yet doesn’t feel any sympathy for the thief lying under the safe in a puddle of blood.  In fact, nobody showed any interest in him at all, which was weird.

The best scene in this story was pairing up Adam and Jerry at the memorabilia store.  The two of them trying to come up with a semi-believable cover story in order to approach the dealer was hysterical.  It also looks like Adam is a quick learner in the Steve McGarrett method of catching a suspect.

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Anyway, Tani and Junior find Patrick at the shelter serving his ill-gotten Thanksgiving dinner.  Unlike me, they have sympathy for the guy.  I will give him a little credit that he didn’t deny what he did and was ready to take full responsibility for it but that’s as far as I’ll go.  It was sweet of Tani and Junior to put off his arrest until after he finished serving dinner and for chipping in and helping him serve.  But that’s more a testament to how nice Tani and Junior are than any sympathy Patrick deserved.

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Adam:  OK, so without much fuss or bother, Adam is now officially Five-0 with the gun and the badge and chasing down suspects with abandon.  Yeah, we’ve discussed this before.  It doesn’t make a lick of sense, but I don’t really care. I loved seeing Adam working a case and I loved his Steve-like take down of the suspect.  Moving on…..

I was a bit taken back that the guys didn’t remove the pictures of Adam with Kono at the restaurant. Not because they should forget about Kono.  Not by any means but because it was heart wrenching for Adam to see them there.  IF we do see the restaurant again, I would hope they’d change those pictures out for individual pictures of Adam and Kono.  Kono should be represented, of course, but not necessarily as part of a happy couple that no longer exists.

But the writers (did Chi write this part too??) saw fit to not only leave it there but draw attention to it by having Adam regretfully looking at it.  The conversation with Jerry was sweet but I thought it should have been Steve having that conversation with Adam.  After all, when you really think about it, it was Steve who brought Adam on board to run the special sub-task force, the operation that ultimately cost Jesse her life and “changed” Adam.  I’m not saying its Steve’s fault, not by any means, but still it seems more appropriate for Steve to be the one in that conversation with Adam instead of Jerry.  Steve always takes such personal responsibility for all those he considers Ohana you’d think he’d be the one to comfort Adam in that moment.

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And, speaking of conversations that should be happening between Steve and Adam…. has he told Steve about that gun yet?  Has Tani?  It would seem they haven’t because I can’t believe they would have told him and he’s just shrugging it off until a later episode.  They need to get on that and soon because the longer they keep it from Steve the worse it’s going to be when he does find out.  Although we already know that Steve will ultimately be understanding about it all, I hope, initially, he rips them both a new one for keeping him in the dark.

Steve and Danny:  It seems every week I have something to say about these two even when one, or in this case both of them have limited screen time.  Of course, this was an off week for Scott which was to be expected.  Going back over the years, Episode 7 of each season is usually one Scott misses.  Except for Season 5 and, of course, this season when Episode 7 were the monumental #100 and #200.  So, it’s not surprising that Scott would miss this episode.  It’s just a shame it had to be the Thanksgiving episode because I would have just adored seeing him playing in the football game.  To be frank, he wasn’t needed for the COTW.

It was such an uninspired COTW they didn’t even need Steve since it turned out this was also a limited episode for Alex.  With Jerry and Adam at the memorabilia shop, Tani, Junior, Jerry and Adam around the magic table, Tani and Junior tracking down Patrick at the homeless shelter, and the amount of time allocated for the Grover family saga, we didn’t see Steve at all in the second half of the episode.

To be specific, we see Steve with the team around the magic table at approximately the 21min mark in the episode then we don’t see him again until until everyone is gathered at the restaurant for dinner.

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I know this might sound a bit strange, but you know what?  It didn’t bother me as much as I would have thought.  Because Alex deserves some built-in breaks during the season.  He works his ass off both physically and mentally and, after nine years he’s earned some down time.  And, to be perfectly honest, if the writers are going to give him those breaks, I’m kind of happy they did it during a Danny-less episode.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I want as much Steve and Danny as I can get. If it were up to me, they’d be in every single scene of every single episode and always be together.  But we already don’t have them together for five episodes a season because of Scott’s schedule.  If they schedule Alex’s down times during those same five episodes, that means we won’t have to have even more episodes without them together.  As much as I don’t like it when they’re not together, it’s better that it be five episodes a season rather than, let’s say eight or ten.  Does that make sense?

“Steve’s”:   Is it “Steve’s”?  That’s what Kamekona called it when Steve added his signature to the document (already signed by Danny before he left for Jersey) to officially transfer the ownership to him.  My gut tells me, in that moment, Kame was simply using the name Steve has always used.  I’m not convinced he’s keeping “Steve’s” as the official name.  Like I said last week, the symbolism of that name isn’t the same now.  It’s no longer Danny’s restaurant with Steve’s name so they can always be together.  I won’t lie.  I’d be thrilled if Kame chose to keep that name, but I won’t be surprised if he doesn’t.

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Regardless of what the name ends up being, it’s a fantastic place for the Ohana to gather for occasions a bit more formal than the picnic tables at the shrimp truck.  I don’t expect we’ll be seeing a lot of the restaurant after this, although I hope I’m wrong about that, but it was especially touching that everyone ended up there for Thanksgiving dinner, including the Grover clan, since their kitchen ending up toast.  It was a wonderful way to end a bit of a lopsided episode on a heartwarming note.

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That’s it for this week.  Please feel free to bring up anything I left out, that you wish to discuss, in the comments.  I always look forward to everything you all have to add!

Here’s hoping you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  See you back here in a couple of weeks!

Aloha.  Malama Pono

Screencaps are mine unless otherwise noted.

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#H50 Review: 9.07 Pua a’e la ka uwahi o ka moe (The Smoke Seen in the Dream Now Rises) – Episode #200

DnHOmh6WwAArb0QPhoto Credit: Peter Lenkov on IG

Two hundred episodes! Not an achievement to be taken lightly by any means.  Hawaii Five-0 has had its critics over the past eight plus years, and it still has its critics among “fans” who find more to criticize than like, but here we are.

Two hundred episodes!  There aren’t a lot of shows that have reached this milestone.  Among those that have are some pretty impressive names.  Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Dallas, Cheers, Frasier, NYPD Blue, M*A*S*H and, of course, the original Hawaii Five-O to name just a few.  There are more modern examples too, of course, but it’s worth noting that the good majority of shows that have reached the 200+ milestone are from an age when there were basically only three networks to choose from when it came to watching TV.

Shows which have reached this milestone in more current times face a much more challenging TV landscape.  People now have hundreds of choices of programming to tempt them, as well as, all manner of ways to watch. Live, DVR, streaming, binge, etc.  For any show in this modern era to be able to capture the hearts of viewers, enough that they tune in week after week for over eight years when there are so many other choices, is a testament to the quality of not only the writing of the show but to the entire cast, and the fantastic crew which puts it on our screens every week.  Hawaii Five-0.  Two hundred episodes and still going strong.  Critics be damned!

I guess I don’t have to tell you that I loved everything about this episode, with one notable exception that I’ll talk about later (even though you probably already know what it is).

Right off the bat, the episode had a wonderful old time feel about it with the 1940’s era inspired rendition of the theme song. Of course, I would never want our weekly theme song changed in any way because the updated version from the original is so awesome, but this was a really nice touch.  Well, the music throughout the entire episode was inspired.  Once again, the music of Brian Tyler and Keith Power took an already wonderful episode and made it a 1000% times better.  It was pure 1940’s.

This week’s crime of the week was, of course, a crime of 80+ years. The last unsolved case of famous HPD Detective Chang Apana. Until I read the synopsis for this episode I’d never heard of Chang Apana.  I knew of Charlie Chan, of course, but never knew he was based on a real person.  It’s a part of H50 that I have always loved. When they incorporate Hawaiian history into their stories in some way.  I love learning more about the islands and her people whenever I can.  It makes H50 unique from any other show.

It also gave us a glimpse into the social atmosphere of the times.  The rich plantation owners who relied on indentured servitude to tend their crops and enrich their coffers.  The scandal when a rich man’s son is found sneaking around with a lowly hula girl.  The disposal of an innocent girl’s dead body to prevent the scandal from tarnishing the rich family name.

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But, like last weeks episode, the crime of the week, although a really good one, isn’t what will make me watch and re-watch this episode as much as I’ve re-watched Episode #100 over the years.

There’s just something about the 1940’s.  What was that line from the old “All in the Family” theme song?  “And you knew who you were then.  Girls were girls and men were men”.  It was such a simpler time when a man could look admiringly at an attractive woman and not be accused of sexually harassing her.

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The entire dream sequence was done brilliantly.  If you didn’t know better, you’d swear you were watching a real 1940’s movie.  The cars, the clothes, the way people acted.  I adored the accents they all used, especially Alex and Scott.  The fedoras, the suspenders, the toothpick, the cigarettes, it was perfect.

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Kudos to every single person on the crew from wardrobe, to lighting, to obtaining the proper cars, and so on and so on who pulled it all together.  Did you catch old Waikiki Beach of 1941?  It was magnificent.

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And the cast… talk about wonderful.  How much fun must it have been for them all to step out of their usual characters and get to play something new.  I loved how pretty much everyone in the cast got to appear in this episode.  They all nailed their new character even if it was only for a few moments.

It was fun to see Dennis Chun, again as an HPD cop, but this time wearing the actual uniform his dad Kam Fong wore when he was on the force.

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Beulah, as Lila’s (the missing girl) brother, complete with a great local Hawaiian accent.

(UPDATE:  Originally this paragraph read “with his real-life New Zealand accent”. However, thanks to a discussion I saw on Twitter between those who know far more than I do about such things, people who actually live in Australia and/or New Zealand, I discovered I was wrong.  I have made this correction accordingly.  Thank you @ibyshire, @missslothy, @racoon_sa, @Andie_Louise_ and @alohaspaceman for setting me straight without even knowing you did it! 😃

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Chi, as Capt. Charles Sumner, the stereotypical hard nose Captain putting his foot down on, who he feels are, his wayward detectives.

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Ian, as Earl Blackstone, a notorious crime boss, with the mustache all such characters seemed to have in the 1940’s.

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Kimee as the, excuse me, I’m a doctor, who treats Steve at the hospital and Taylor got a quick nod as “Biggie” Tupa, appropriately, the proprietor of the night club where (not)Tani is the lounge singer.

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Meaghan was fantastic as Alexa Alana, an old friend of Lila’s.  Remember a couple of years ago, the first time we heard Jerry sing and we were all amazed that Jorge had such a great singing voice?  Well, count me astonished again.  Damn, but Meaghan can sing! Watching her on that stage, gorgeous in that slinky dress, singing her heart out was incredible.  She did such a fantastic job.

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She also played a major part in the case.  Because it was Alexa who gave Steve and Milton their first clue as to who Lila had been seeing and who may have been the last person to see her alive.  It was heartbreaking to see her shot and die in Steve’s arms.  I have to say it kind of gave me the willies.  In 8+ years, we’ve seen members of our team shot numerous times, but we’ve never had one die.  I know this was a dream and it was Alexa and not Tani, but I still didn’t like seeing it.

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And speaking of Jorge… who didn’t love him as Officer Mike Flanagan?  It was a ton of fun watching (not)Jerry being a real cop.  Of course, Flanagan fulfilled pretty much the same purpose in 1941 as Jerry does for the team today, digging in the archives and pulling records for Steve and Milton but it was a blast watching him join Steve and Milton in the field and to see him get to shoot that big gun.

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But the absolute best thing about this episode is the fact that it was, literally, the Steve and Danny/Steve and Milton show. Steve and Danny at the restaurant, Steve and Danny at Casa McG, Steve dreaming that Danny is Milton, Steve and Milton working and solving the case together, Steve and Danny’s ultimate restaurant decision.  They were together the entire episode.  That makes any episode top notch in my book.

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Courtesy of @alohaspaceman2Photo Credit: @alohaspaceman on Twitter

Steve McGarrett is truly a man for all ages and every time I think I can’t love him more, he proves me wrong.  Especially when anything has to do with his family, in particular, with his grandfather.  His admiration and pride in the man whose name he carries has no limits and it only deepens with everything new he learns.

Learning of the old unsolved case from the elder Milton, you could see Steve’s fascination that his grandfather had once wanted to become a cop.  I find the correlation between Steve’s dream and Milton’s words about how December 7, 1941 changed everything intriguing.  Because once Steve starts to delve into the evidence of Lila’s disappearance and falls asleep, his mind takes him to the days in time right before everything changed.  December 5th and December 6th.

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Dreams are full of “what if’s”.  What if Steve Sr. hadn’t joined the Army (or was drafted).  What if he and Milton weren’t just two best friends with a weekend hobby of trying to solve an old case just in case, they ever got to be real cops.  What if they’d both been able to fulfill their dreams of being detectives.  Ahhhhh to sleep….. perchance to dream!

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Milton tells Steve that he and Steve Sr were best friends who hung out together on weekends practicing being cops. So, of course, in Steve’s subconscious, who would he want by his side?  The same way every dream Danny had when he was shot included Steve, in Steve’s dream, only Danny could be his Milton.

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I also liked how they worked the Pearl Harbor attack into Steve’s dream. It was the day, after all, when “everything changed”.  Steve’s subconscious ending his dream with the event which ended his grandfather’s life and his dream.  It was brilliant.  It also reminded me of Danny’s 9/11 episode.  Of course, that wasn’t a dream.  He really did watched it all happen.

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In our dreams, some semblance of reality always manages to come through.  Steve’s Milton has a wonderfully unique Jersey accent.  His Milton also has Danny’s snappy comebacks.  His Milton is still unfailingly loyal and has Steve’s back 100% of the time.  Steve’s Milton still retains everything of what makes Danny, Danny.

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Reality also come through in the way both Steve Sr. and Milton work.  They still butt heads, they still have carguments, they still pick and poke at each other but, more importantly, they are both still there for each other.  When Steve and Milton come under fire, Steve yells “Milton… get down!  the same way our Steve always yells “Danny” before he pushed them both out of the line of fire.

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And as Steve dreams about a car on fire about to explode, it’s Milton who pulls him to safety.  #McDanno or #McMilton.  It all works out the same in the end.

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That’s what this entire episode was all about.  Yeah, the case was great and watching everyone play different parts and wear period costumes was a hell of a lot of fun.  Going back to the 1940’s with the cars and the music was an absolute blast.  Getting more of Steve’s family history is always a huge bonus.

But this episode, in my opinion, was really about one thing.  The reaffirmation of the one thing that makes this show tick.  The relationship between Steve and Danny.  Story lines come and go.  People come and go.  Other relationships come and go.  But through it all, Steve and Danny endure.

The love and admiration these two have for each other is universal.  When Steve waxes poetic over the accomplishments of Chang Apana, of all the injuries he sustained throughout his career and his determination to solve every single case, Danny’s immediate response is “he sounds like you”.  With all his ranting over Steve’s antics, it’s plainly obvious Danny is proud of his partner and what he’s done over the years.

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And what does Danny do?  He goes out and buys a book about Chang Apana in order to learn more about the man his partner looks to as not only a hero but another link to the grandfather he is so proud of and never got to know.

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And nowhere was the bond between these two more evident than in the last two minutes of the episode.

Yes, of course, I’m disappointed.  “Steve’s” is no more! I really….. really…. wanted the dream we saw when Danny was shot to come true.  I enjoyed this storyline, although I do agree with many that it needed to come to some sort of resolution after all this time.

I thought the soft opening, which looked like a great success with everyone having a great time and enjoying the food, meant it was all going to work out.  After all the blood, sweat and arguments, that it would finally all be worth it.

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I think we’ve all pretty much agreed that the original premise was pretty silly.  There really was never a way for the guys to be full-time cops and full-time restaurateurs.  We all pretty much figured someone would have to step in and run the day-to-day operations for them.  Kamekona was the perfect choice.  I was hoping that would be that.  Soft opening a success, Kame running the place with Steve and Danny as the owners who would take over one day when they actually retired.

So, no, I wasn’t expecting it to all be over and so quickly.  After, over a year, for them to decide to give it all up in under two minutes was rather jarring. But having said that, I’m not has heartbroken over it as I thought I would be because, as disappointed as I am, I’m thrilled it was as much of a mutual decision to call it quits as it was to start it in the first place.

The bond between these two men is unbreakable.  They are like magnets.  One moves, the other moves too.  A year and a half ago, Danny was determined he was ready to retire soon and when he proposed the two of them start the restaurant together, Steve was all in, without hesitation.  Touched and thrilled that Danny wanted him to be part of his dream.

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And now, when Steve says he just wants to be a cop and not run a restaurant, Danny’s immediate response is “If you’re out, I’m out”.

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It illustrates clearly that restaurant or no restaurant, there is no way Danny’s ever going to retire until Steve does.  The fact that Kame was already proposing buying out their shares means they can replenish their retirement savings, and everyone can move on.  It was an elegant solution, even if it was a bit abrupt.

The look on Steve’s face when he told Danny of his decision was very telling.  He was bracing himself for the explosion.  But Danny didn’t explode.  There have been so many obstacles along this journey and it seems painfully obvious now that somewhere along the line, they were both questioning whether they’d made the right decision. But each one didn’t want to disappoint the other, so they just soldiered on.  The only way out is through.  But you could see the relief rolling off the both of them when they both realized they were on the same page all along, as usual.

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So, yeah, I’m sad but the restaurant isn’t going away.  From the previews of next week’s Thanksgiving episode, the Ohana is celebrating there.  Hopefully, like the shrimp truck, we’ll get to see them all hang out there every once in a while.

Courtesy of @alohaspaceman3Photo Credit: @alohaspaceman on Twitter

I do wonder what Kame is going to name the place though.  It would be nice, as a gesture to all the blood, sweat and tears the guys put into the place, that Kame would try to recognize that in the name.  I still love the name “Steve’s” but the symbolism of that name isn’t the same now.  It’s no longer Danny’s restaurant with Steve’s name so they can always be together.  “McDanno’s” doesn’t make sense either since neither Mc nor Danno is associated with it any longer.  I’m curious to see what Kame is going to do.

But it really doesn’t matter because as this episode solidified more certain than ever, Steve and Danny don’t need a restaurant to assure they will be together forever!  #McDanno is forever….. period!

To Peter Lenkov, writers David Wolkove and Matt Wheeler and director Bryan Spicer, thank you for this wonderful episode.  What a fantastic job. It’s always wonderful anytime Steve gets to connect with his family.  The story and the characters were different and fun.  And while the ending was bittersweet, the guys were happy with their decision and that really is all that counts.

To all the producers, writers, the fantastic cast, both past and present, and the incredible crew, thank you a thousand times over for 200 wonderful episodes and 8+ years of wonderful entertainment.  I will never regret staying up on that Monday night so long ago and falling in love with a show that has given me so much.  I will always be grateful for all the wonderful friends I’ve made because of this show.  Friends I hope to keep long after the show crosses the finish line.  Which, I pray, won’t be for a very, very long time.  Mahalo nui loa to each and every one of you!

Aloha.  Malama pono

DnHU6jnUcAAjhXwPhoto Credit:  CBS (I think)

Note:  Special prayers for Peter and his family, Jeff Hunt and his family and to all those in the cast and crew (along with everyone who lives in California) who have homes, family and friends in the path of the devastating fires now ravaging California.  As we sit and enjoy our fun and entertaining Friday night and the rest of our weekends, they are evacuating from their homes, mourning the loss of their homes and fleeing the fires.  Here’s hoping everyone is safe with their friends and family and that their homes remain untouched by the fires.

All screen caps are mine unless otherwise noted.

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