Copyright ©2019 by Mike Quigley. No reproduction of any kind without permission.
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This show started promisingly.
First, the big cliffhanger (not) from last season about who got shot was quickly resolved. It was Jerry, who seemed very blubbery compared to some click-bait web sites which include Jorge Garcia as one of those celebrities who have lost a LOT of weight. The Muslim momma didn't have pretty good aim, that's for sure. I guess she hadn't spent a lot of time at the pistol range.
Of course, Jerry survived. Even though he does not appear around the table at the end of the opening credits, he is still in the show. The teaser for the show went on quite a long time, until 7:37 when the credits kicked in, and after that the usual listing of cast members, producers, etc., etc. at the bottom of the screen kept going until 13:42, about a quarter of the way through the show.
Junior and Tani did their usual cute number again, going to the opera which was not an "opera" like Wagner or Puccini or Verdi, but some Hawaiian "operetta" on local themes which will no doubt encourage the Hawaiian Film Office and Department of Taxation to keep those credits coming.
On seeing some guy with a sniper rifle up in the theatre's wings, I thought, "Hmmmm, this is going to be interesting, sort of like that Hitchcock film where an assassin knocks someone off during a classical concert." It wasn't as fancy as that, though some guy is shot fatally which leads to McGarrett abandoning a date he is having at a restaurant with a hot babe named Brooke (a divorced acquaintance of Danno's from his son's school, played by Katie Wee). At the theater, McGarrett joins the well-dressed Tani (who is in a slinky dress) and Junior, (both of whom are assigned to "crowd control"), to find the killer who hasn't left the theatre yet. McGarrett must keep a change of work clothes in his car, because he gets there very quickly.
The killer, who is later determined to be "military trained," manages to get away following some brain-bending stunts by both him and McGarrett. Danno, who now has a really horrible haircut described to me by a friend as a "fauxhawk," takes numerous shots at the guy, all of which miss, and then has the gall to tell McGarrett, "That's great, he got away." Back at the office, McGarrett tells Danno, "How about next time you get in the game? A little less chatting, a little more chasing."
The guy who got knocked off is Billy Sato, who is "the head of the triads," leading to the first WHAT?!? moment of the show, because "Sato" is a Japanese name and I think it EXTREMELY unlikely that a Japanese would be the boss of triads anywhere, considering they are an organized crime syndicate based in China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Hello!
Sending a composite of the theatre shooter based on eyewitness descriptions and limited CCTV footage around gets results. A Veterans of Foreign Wars bar reports a woman came in asking about the guy, and Five-Zero is able to track her down via her cel phone number and McGarrett and Danno are soon in pursuit. When they finally corner her, she whips out a gun and identifies herself as Sergeant Quinn Liu from military police, also with CID (Criminal Investigation Division). As played by newcomer to the show Katrina Law, this character is one hot bitch (the character, of course, LOL). She IDs the shooter as Tom Kendall, "a veteran I booked for assault charges a few months ago. He's supposed to be checking in with me as a condition of getting his charges dropped, but he went MIA a couple days ago." She later says that Kendall is the second veteran to go MIA recently.
Kendall has carjacked a Doctor Gao at a hospital, forcing him to drive to some out-of-the-way location to get his wounds fixed up, but the doctor's car is tracked down by the usual vehicle recovery system information. When Five-Zero arrives where the doctor is, Kendall kills himself. Using Kendall's phone, McGarrett sends a text message to one of his contacts who Kendall was relying on for help, and the reply suggests that there are more hits planned.
The next scene is the next WHAT?!? moment. Adam goes to a meeting of yakuza bigshots to see if they might know why Billy Sato was knocked off (maybe because he had criminal connections and was Japanese, DUH!). This meeting was organized by Hajime Masuda (Sonny Saito), the local yakuza leader. You may recall that Adam was getting chummy with his daughter Tamiko in S09E22 and S09E25. When Adam arrives, Masuda wonders what Adam is up to, i.e., is he "doing it" with her, but Adam says "Tamiko and I have become close friends. I ... I assure you that's all she is."
Anyway, Adam, aside from being the son of corrupt business man Hiro Noshimuru who had heavy ties to the yakuza, is -- don't forget -- currently a cop working for the Five-Zero elite task force, and he talks to these yakuza dudes as if he is addressing the Board of Trade! I think this is a double-WHAT?!?
The gentlemen in the room suggest that none of them had anything to gain from taking out Sato, and his murder was likely something internal, a power play within the triad organization. Just then the doorbell ding-dongs and "Bitch" Quinn shows up with a warrant for Masuda. A gun battle between her and the yakuza in the room is quickly avoided thanks to Adam, who Liu does not yet know. When he shows her his Five-Zero ID, she tells him "You guys have been all up in my business today."
Liu shows Masuda some photos of him which she got from the room of Kendall's co-conspirator, a trained sniper named Marcus Sanders, which suggest that Masuda is a target. At the same time, Adam gets a call from Tani and Junior saying that based on various cel phone related information, Sanders is right outside the place in Kahala where this yap session with the yakuza is being held!
A huge firefight suddenly follows with members of the yakuza dropping like flies, and Liu is wounded. HPD cops including Duke show up, but Sanders escapes driving this GMC truck which is mounted on these massive tires like seen at monster truck shows. It crushes Liu's car to get out of Masuda's driveway, and soon after this, when McGarrett and Danno pursue the truck down the streets of Honolulu, it drives over and crushes about a dozen cars which are waiting in a lineup at a construction project. No doubt the show had a large budget to deal with these destroyed cars.
This whole business with the monster-like truck could be a WHAT?!? moment, except it is utterly absurd, bringing to mind the infamous "claw" which helped Wo Fat escape in S03E01.
First, when Liu drives up to Masuda's house just as Adam is being introduced to the "gang" (pun intended) inside, you can see that this truck is parked in the driveway right in front of the place! (At this point, we do not know that what we see from outside is Masuda's house, actually.) Don't you think that Liu would think there is something fishy about this huge truck? And why didn't Masuda's guards, who Masuda under fire nervously tells Adam and Liu "have [Sanders] outnumbered" (but are quickly becoming extinct) ... why didn't they take notice of it when Sanders parked it there? Really!
There are WWW sites devoted to these trucks. Some of them suggest because they are non-standard in various ways (like the headlights are not in the usual place) they are of questionable legality, though the cops often do not enforce laws against them. But we really have to ask: where did Sanders get this vehicle? At Honolulu Monster Truck Rental? Or did he steal it from a monster truck show somewhere? It is highly unlikely that he could afford to buy it, because the tires alone on these trucks cost thousands of dollars, as do the trucks themselves.
After this fracas and back at Five-Zero headquarters, where Liu, somehow having ingratiated herself into the Five-Zero team, is attending to her wound, Junior reports that an autopsy on Kendall revealed the presence of psilocybin, the compound produced from magic mushrooms, in his system. Liu reveals that Sanders was involved in a clinical trial at the VA hospital to treat post-traumatic stress using this substance, and it is speculated by Tani that maybe Kendall was also a participant. Liu says "Someone is recruiting snipers from within that study."
Further investigation by Five-Zero finds out that these recent killings were not part of some gang war. Instead "it was personal." As Adam, the resident yakuza expert, with the help of Grover, relates, "Back in the early '90s, before they were up-and-comers in their respective crime syndicates, Sato and Masuda worked as enforcers for a local loan shark named Isko Zhang (Roland Nip). A third man, Michael Lee, was part of the crew as well, serving as the point person responsible for brokering Zhang's loans. As enforcers for this loan shark, Masuda and Sato were in the business of collecting debts by any means necessary, whether it be bodily harm, breaking bones or worse. The loan shark, Zhang, is still alive and living on Oahu, but the other guy who was part of that crew, Michael Lee, he was killed two weeks ago. His body was found beaten and tortured just a few days after being released from a federal prison in Arizona. He had just served a 15-year sentence."
They figure that Lee, the front man for the loansharking, was tortured to reveal the names of the people behind the scenes -- Zhang, Sato and Masuda. McGarrett drives with Quinn at his usual breakneck speed and they arrive at Zhang's place where numerous bodyguards have already been knocked off by Sanders. McGarrett, who is no slouch in the ass-kicking department, has a great fight with Sanders, with the two of them flying off a balcony onto a glass table below, among other things. Quinn ends up killing Sanders, even though she would have preferred not to, because she was supposed to look after him and Kendall and she is sad that now they are both dead.
Meanwhile, Jerry, from his hospital bed, has been looking into possible connections with the psilocybin program at the hospital, and has found one particular person connected to the investigation, a real estate developer named Cullen (Rob Morrow) who Grover interviewed earlier in the show because it was Cullen's stolen car that was used by Kendall (which we now realize Cullen may have loaned to him).
Years ago, the short-of-cash Cullen had borrowed money from Lee (the front man for Zhang) which he was unable to repay when an investment tanked. Shortly after this, his car blew up in an explosion which was intended for him, but instead killed his wife and daughter. According to Quinn, Cullen has been waiting 15 years to exact revenge on Sato, Masuda and Zhang by torturing the recently-released Lee to drop a dime on his cohorts, and McGarrett concurs, saying, "That makes sense to me because what you have done recently is use your connections to the post-traumatic stress study that you financed [!!!] to recruit a couple of military-trained hitters. You turned them loose onto Lee to torture him and get the names of the accomplices." Nothing is specifically said about when Sanders and Kendall, who have been "missing" for a couple of days, may have gone to Arizona to get the information out of Lee. This business about Cullen financing the psilocybin program could also be a WHAT?!? moment, except it is just stupid, especially being pulled out of someone's ass like this at the last moment.
(Whether someone can be programmed to commit homicidal acts under the influence of psilocybin is another question, but I don't want to go there. One WWW page reports, "Entheogens like psilocybin, MDMA (ecstasy), LSD, and ayahuasca have received increasingly positive attention for their psychological benefits in treating conditions like PTSD or addiction, or even for general well-being. But a lot of their reported therapeutic effects happen in a clinical setting, with supervision by trained researchers.")
A scene follows at Kamekona's shrimp shack where a party is being arranged for Jerry, who just got out of the hospital. Jerry tearfully tells everyone, accompanied by sad music, "Look, joining Five-0 is the best thing that's ever happened to me. Not just because it gave me a job and a sense of purpose, but, well, 'cause it gave me ‘ohana. But having a close brush with death really makes you think about how you're living your life. And you realize how precious time is." The show concludes with a group hug, including Quinn, who has shown up on a motorcycle wearing her military camo garb for some strange reason.
The show ends with someone putting dynamite in the toolbox at McGarrett's house that he inherited from his father, which we have not seen for a VERY long time. Oh dear!! Another cliffhanger. Well, don't worry, I'm sure the powers that be who could make a spoiler out of a fart in Hurricane Dorian will be releasing little hints soon...
- Roland Nip, who played Zhang, the money launderer, also appeared on the original Five-O in two episodes: See How She Runs (1977) and The Pagoda Factor (1978). It's a good question whether the mug shot of Zhang represents what he looks like now and whether he was made up for his appearance in the show or vice versa.
- When McGarrett and Liu are driving to Zhang's place at top speed, they have a funny exchange. She asks him, "Can't this thing go any faster?" McGarrett replies, "I've ... never had that complaint before.
- After Jerry is shot, the music is "As Long As I Live," by Jerry Lee Lewis. In the hospital, Jerry and Junior are playing the game of Battleship. Junior accuses Jerry of cheating. There is a "previously on" at the beginning of the show where someone (now discovered to be Jerry) was shot in last season's last show, but it was only 10 seconds long.
This was the second show in a row where a cliffhanger from the previous show was resolved in record time. After a one minute “previously on,” McGarrett figured out within 45 seconds thanks to Eddie’s barking that something was amiss in the garage where dynamite was placed in the "Champ box" (not seen since S04E17?), and called for the bomb squad.
McGarrett says that his money is on the explosives being connected with Wes Cullen, the bland villain played by Rob Morrow in the previous show whose case connected with the "programmed" veterans murdering people was abandoned by the prosecuting attorney who didn’t feel there was enough evidence for a conviction. This was not pursued in S10E02 either; it’s something for a future episode, I guess.
Anyway, this discussion now leads into the Crime of the Week, or, as I like to call it, the "absurdly complicated plot":
Two years before, the FBI busted Jackson Wilcox (Marc Menchaca), "the biggest distributor of methamphetamines west of the Mississippi," at his compound in middle-of-nowhere McGill, Nevada. It was reported Jackson was killed, but he was actually just injured and kept around to become a valuable asset to the FBI. Eventually, Jackson was taken to a safe location in Hawaii where only recently (like two years later?) he was being grilled about dropping a dime on various competing distributors in the drug trade, particularly those in Mexican cartels. Jackson has throat cancer, for which he has to be taken to the hospital periodically for treatment.
As a condition of his co-operation, Jackson's wife Shayla (Kate Tobia) has been brought to Hawaii three days before. She is in a safe house of her own. Presumably conjugal visits between the two of them are arranged, during which her husband whispers stuff about his schedule for his cancer treatments. However, Shayla is in cahoots with Jackson's brother Mike (Jason New), with whom she is having a torrid affair. She has been sending him naughty pictures of herself by "text message" on what seems like a surreptitious cell phone where you can only send messages, not make calls. This is hidden in a toilet bowl, unknown to the FBI, but why didn't the FBI check her for a cell phone when she first met them?
Mike also arrives in Hawaii a few days before with a couple of accomplices. Getting tipped off by Shayla (I guess, despite what seems like a very limited time frame) and knowing when Jackson is going to get treatment, they follow the van used to transport him to the hospital. This van has been "borrowed" from the Department of Defense by the FBI. When it is in the Kapahulu Tunnel, the bad guys let off a bomb which causes the ceiling of the tunnel to collapse. The rationale for this, McGarrett speculates, is "they've entombed the entire crime scene ... it could have been hours before anybody realized this prisoner was gone." The FBI guards in the van are killed.
Soon after this, Junior and Tani arrive on the scene. There is a lineup of cars outside the tunnel, and the two lovebirds, who have been spending time surfing, manage to get inside to help people. It should be pointed out that there is a real "Kapahulu Tunnel" on Oahu, but it leads to the park inside Diamond Head crater. In other words, it is a dead end, duh! (I can just imagine people in Hawaii laughing at some of the geographic stupidities in this show, similar to many on the old Five-O.)
The bad guys who have sprung Jackson are still in the tunnel (which in real life is about 580 feet long), and when confronted by Tani and Junior, they set off a couple more bombs which cause more chaos with the walls and ceiling. Jackson and the guys springing him all escape through the "emergency service exit" (how convenient). Why didn't they just set off the bombs inside that?
Tani and Junior are now stuck inside the tunnel along with several other people, and various rescue teams show up outside to try and deal with the situation. There are topographic questions about where the collapsed parts of the tunnel are located (it is "sealed off at both ends"). If the end where Tani and Junior entered was "sealed off," how could they get through to help people?
There are concerns that there is no air getting into the tunnel and everyone in there will die, but there is this huge vent on the ceiling to which we are oblivious for much of the show. As well, there is a tunnel that McGarrett's dog Eddie crawls through which would bring air in from the outside. Someone says "the fan [in the ceiling vent] was constantly filtering out carbon monoxide," but there is no carbon monoxide being generated because all of the cars in the tunnel are screwed! And how can this fan, which we can see as people are eventually hauled up inside the vent, "filter" out anything?
The scene inside the tunnel is kind of cliché-ridden, with people arguing about stuff and doing stupid things reminiscent of an Irwin Allen disaster movie like The Poseidon Adventure. Everyone is eventually taken out, even Eddie. But when Junior is being hoisted up, the rope, which has been shown fraying for the last several people, breaks, and Junior falls a long way which you think would produce very serious injuries when he hit the ground. Tani volunteers to go down and help him, because the combined weight of Junior and McGarrett would be too much. Junior seems quite OK at the end of the show.
Meanwhile, Jackson, along with Mike and his two men all go back to Jackson's safe house. They murder all of the FBI agents there except one who they take hostage to lead them to Shayla. I guess they don't know where she is or she never told her husband or they put a bag over her head while they were moving her around Honolulu or ... AUGH!
At Shayla's place, there is a shoot-out and the FBI men who are monitoring her there are also killed. One of Mike's two cohorts, a red-haired guy, is seriously wounded and left to die. Mike, Jackson, Shayla and the one member of Mike's gang left head to the He'eia State Forest to make their escape because there is a boat offshore somewhere nearby which is part of their "plan."
While they are in the forest, other associates of Mike show up and kill the one guy who helped spring Jackson from the van who was still left. Jackson figures out his brother's hot pants interest in Shayla, and before he runs off with Shayla, Mike shows his brother a huge bag of money he received from a Mexican gangster named Moreno, one of the people that Jackson had jerked around in the past.
Moreno is quick to arrive on the scene, seeking revenge on Jackson, and so does Five-Zero, having been tipped off by the red-haired guy. There is yet another firefight, with all the bad guys knocked off. Jackson kills Moreno, despite having zip-tie cuffs on his hands, and flees into the forest after his brother and wife. Later, Five-Zero finds Mike and Shayla dead and Jackson has at least a 20 minute lead on them. At the end of the show, Jackson is still missing, likely having taken the boat mentioned two paragraphs previously, suggesting this story will also be continued in a future episode.
From a production point of view, the show fell into the category of "sort of OK," with some interesting special effects like in the collapsed tunnel. However, the "beers on the beach" finale was dumb. The time this wasted could have been used to flesh out the crime of the week.
I did like the line McG gave to Danno at this gathering, who started bitching about a steak he wanted that was intended to reward Eddie. Danno was told to go and get himself a peanut butter sandwich! Earlier, Quinn also had a good line for Danno, who was amazed by how quickly she was able to find out who Jackson Wilcox was on her phone: "Apparently, this thing in my hand has something called the Internet, and I can pretty much access the entirety of all human knowledge."
However, the best quote of this episode was McGarrett’s: “It seems like a very slim window to create such an elaborate plan." Translation: For 41 minutes, we are going to be subjected to "the absurdly complicated plot."
- The prisoner transport van used to move Wilcox to the hospital is "borrowed" from the Department of Defense, but this FBI operation is a big secret. Virtually all the information on the manifest connected with the operation has been blacked out. I think the only reason it was a DoD truck is so that McGarrett can contact Quinn, which of course appeals to her curiosity and gets her involved in the show. The way he is picking Quinn's brains for information about this van totally reminds me of the way that McGarrett used to do the same with Catherine.
- Danno and Adam meet the curious Quinn at the FBI "safe (not) house" from which Wilcox was extracted by his brother and his men. Danno says that the room Wilcox was in is "soundproof." While there does seem to be soundproofing on the wall, the door to this room is a sliding Japanese-style door called a shoji which has windows that look like paper (I think they are not paper in the show, though, they seem kind of glossy). These shoji doors are notorious for not being "soundproof"!
- There are a lot of WWW pages and articles on the web discussing whether a dog can be as multi-purpose as Eddie, i.e., sniffing bombs, drugs and people (see also review of the next episode). Alas, most people will not think about this, their eyes will glaze over when seeing Eddie just like seeing pictures of pussy cats and puppy dogs on Facebook.
- Considering Eddie was sitting around the house doing diddly-squat, why didn't he (especially considering he is a large dog) break the doors down in Super-SEAL McGarrett style and give the guy who was planting the bomb a good chewing? I'm surprised that Eddie didn't hear noise in the garage when the guy was originally there and started barking, which would probably have been enough to scare him off.
- Wilcox's plan after escaping was to go to the Maldives with his wife. I hope if she considered this, she brought her passport (but she was knocked off, so never mind).
- How did Moreno get to Honolulu? On a regular airline flight? Is this a failure of the TSA?
- In this show, Adam is "Mr. Exposition."
- Fred Helfing says that the "Kapahulu Tunnel" is the Diamond Head tunnel, though it looks like they did some 'photoshopping' on some of the painted street lines." However, if you look backwards from the area near the tunnel entrance, the road is quite different. Fred says, "I'm pretty certain that this road is just to the west of Battery Harlow on the North Flank of Diamond Head. It is not a road that leads to the tunnel. The building in the background is Hale Mohalu Hospital which cannot be seen from the Diamond Head entrance. The dirt in the background must have been placed there for the shooting because it is not there in Google Maps. There is no street view of this in Google Maps because it's not a public road." The "service" or "emergency" exit/entrance is probably here. This is seen in the Classic H50 episode S05E15 "Thanks For The Honeymoon" where Patty Duke witnesses Manolo commit a murder. The ventilation vent on top of the tunnel is purely fictional, in real life it would have to be a couple of hundred feet deep.
Dannoying is MIA for this episode, and the writers don't even bother coming up with excuses to explain this.
McGarrett gets Quinn (perhaps now known as Quinno) to rattle the cage of Wes Cullen (Rob Morrow), the shady real estate developer from S10E01 who purportedly funded a hospital study of veterans with PTSD being treated with psilocybin so he could use super-soldiers from this study to take vengeance on money launderers who jerked him around years ago (this crazy plot thread was painful to remember).
Considering charges against Cullen were dropped almost as soon as he was busted, Quinn, wearing a wire which McGarrett is listening to nearby, shows up while Cullen is having breakfast at some restaurant and attempts to intimidate him with a bunch of smart-alecky talk which doesn't work particularly well, though Cullen soon after this is seen making a phone call which is traced to a burner.
McGarrett and Quinn follow Cullen using McGarrett's huge, obvious red truck. This sequence was really laughable, making me wonder if this was an homage to the original Five-O series where this kind of close tailing was the norm.
Making it look like they abandon the tail, McGarrett and Quinn figure out where Cullen meets with some bad dude. The two of them hide behind some bushes nearby, and Quinn uses a camera with a telephoto lens to take pictures of this meeting which are sent to Adam. He runs them through facial recognition and finds out the dude is named Sam Bishop, who has criminal trespassing, 3rd degree aggravated assault and attempted homicide on his rap sheet, all dating back several years.
McGarrett and Quinn further tail Bishop, who meets with four tough-looking guys, observing this meeting from some vantage point nearby, and surprisingly, no one sees them or hears McGarrett's phone when it rings.
The four guys are pursued to a forest somewhere. McGarrett and Quinn with her telephoto lens are watching from nearby. The four dig up a 45-gallon drum which is full of money. When McGarrett and Quinn return to his truck, one of the tires has been flattened. McGarrett thinks this was done by Bishop.
The dialog that follows is idiotic, beginning with Quinn: "So any ideas on how we can kill some time while we're waiting for the tow truck?" They discuss playing Tic-Tac-Toe and 20 Questions. Really! Under normal circumstances, if McGarrett wasn't wracked with his usual Hamlet-like indecision and the fact we don't really know much about Quinn yet, because of the smoldering tension between the two of them, they would probably tear off their clothes and "do it" like wild animals in the jungle, causing a massive uproar in the H50 fandom.
When McGarrett and Quinn get back to town, she is busted by a bunch of military cops, acting on a tip that led to "a substantial amount of currency associated with a money laundering operation" in her apartment. This is obviously baloney, and because McGarrett just made her a member of the H50 team, she is released quickly by the Governor thanks to the usual immunity and means. McGarrett goes to Cullen's place and is pissed, because he figures Cullen was behind this frameup. Cullen replies by saying, "You have no idea what's going on here. But you're smart. I'm sure, at some point, you'll figure it out." Cullen walks into his house, which explodes.
There was a crime of the week, concerned with an airplane which crashed 36 years ago. The plane was only discovered recently, which seems very odd, though it took searchers 169 years to locate the ships from the Franklin Expedition in northern Canada which, unlike this plane, were buried under ice. Some deep sea diver is found dead in the wreckage of the plane which leads to an interminable amount of yap-yap among the members of the Five-O team at headquarters. Issues brought up in the show like conspiracy theories as to why the plane crashed could have probably been solved by Jerry in a matter of minutes. I am missing the big guy already!
The only major action sequence was at the end of the show, an underwater fight between Tani and a woman suspected of killing the diver. Like the big mystery propounded by Cullen before he got blowed up real good (or so it seems), there are a lot of questions left at the end of the show as to why the plane crashed, especially since its black box, which was recovered from underwater, was wiped of all data.
- While the jury is out on whether there will be a potential romance between McGarrett and Quinn, it is interesting that Quinn takes a phone call, speaking Kurdish, to some woman in Iraq. (With a reference to the Kurds, the show becomes unintentionally topical at the moment.) The woman's husband was a police officer who Quinn helped train, and he was murdered within two weeks of his training being completed. Quinn tells McGarrett "I keep in touch with his widow." This is reminiscent of the "humanitarian mission" in Afghanistan where McGarrett's girl friend Catherine was involved in repaying debts to some local people who helped her when she was wounded during her service there. Catherine spoke Pashto during a phone call in the earlier episode.
- On the plane in 1983 before it crashes, some woman is reading Hollywood Wives by Jackie Collins, sister of Joan, who appeared on the show last season. Hungry Like the Wolf by Duran Duran is heard on the soundtrack around this time. The CGI for the plane crash is mediocre.
- Quinn tells Cullen that McGarrett's dog Eddie "used to hunt IEDs for the Marines." According to one H50 wiki, Eddie was a "police patrol dog ... which typically includes protection and apprehension work along with some scent work (potentially narcotics/bombs/tracking)." But according to a line in S08E02, where Eddie made his first appearance (and my own review of the show, duh!), "Eddie's been with us [the DEA] for three years. Before that, he was a war dog stationed in Afghanistan." Thanks to Belle for the correction.
- A big deal is made of the fact that you cannot fire a revolver under water (a .357 Magnum specifically). So how does the suspect Tani is chasing (and we think is wounded by Tani) fire from under and up through the dock which is very close to the water line? Is she just hiding under the dock?
- Tani is super annoying in a jerky way when a conspiracy theorist named Pollack (Stephen Full) is being grilled in the blue-lit room. This interrogation is very heavy-handed, though the guy is kind of a creep. His name in the CBS press release is "Pollack," but in the subtitles it is "Pollock."
- The IP address of Delphi Son, the "godfather of Flight 912 [the crashed plane] conspiracy theories," is 258.100.124.005. The largest number you can have in a 4-part IP address is 255.
- When McGarrett and Quinn start to have their "what shall we do to kill time" conversation, the music almost starts to veer into the usual "cute" music heard during similar conversations between McGarrett and Danno.
- In the tenth season opener, Quinn tells Adam at the Yakuza meeting place: "You guys have been all up in my business today." In this show, she tells Cullen "So we [herself, McGarrett and the rest of the Five-O team] are gonna be all up in your business 24/7." Later in this episode, when McGarrett is with her, he asks her, "Is it just me, or are you always this up in everyone's business?"
- Tani running down the dock at the end of the show wearing these high-heeled shoes was pretty ridiculous.
- Quinn has a good line when she describes beef jerky as "meat trying to do a plywood impression."
This episode, directed by Peter Weller, had lots of ass-kicking action as well as one huge plot twist.
Unfortunately, we also had to listen to a lot of drivel at the beginning as the returned Dannoying was nagging McGarrett to get a girlfriend, using Eddie as an attractant. (Strangely, most of the posts on Google about girlfriends and dogs seem to be of the nature "Should I keep my girlfriend or my dog," "Are dogs good for relationships," "Girl friend makes a guy choose between her and the dog," etc.)
Thanks to Danno's meddling, Eddie ends up getting in a scrap with some woman's English mastiff and injured, requiring stitches. This necessitates a trip to the vet where the vet, Dr. Okino (Presilah Nuñez), is mega-hot. Danno cannot shut up about McGarrett's romantic issues even while in the vet's office, but fortunately, the "serious business" phone call is received, and McGarrett assigns Danno to deal with it.
McGarrett does ask Okino for a date near the end of the show, after Eddie, wearing an Elizabethan collar, starts conversing with him by whining and whimpering, sort of like the famous German shepherd in the YouTube video which has almost 200 million views.
There was only one crime of the week, which had to do with what looked like a tenth grader from a Honolulu private school named Yumi Chun (Kirstin Leigh) being kidnapped. When the van of the three men who grabbed her on the street late at night is found, they are all dead, and evidence suggest that she killed them all.
After she is tracked down, Tani and Quinn go to see Chun, thinking that she murdered the trio because they raped her, but in a major twist, the girl puts both Tani and Quinn out of action with various martial arts moves and escapes. It turns out that she is actually an IT specialist from North Korea who is the subject of an Interpol Red Alert.
Because Jerry is no longer with the team and Adam's computer skills are not far-reaching, Grover and Adam go to Halawa where they get computer whiz Aaron Wright (Joey Lawrence), now incarcerated there, to help them. They have found out that Chun befriended another girl at the private school whose father, Major General Avea (Kevin E. West), is a big shot in the US military, and grabbed the password from the father's computer via a camera which she installed in a lamp above the keyboard on his desk when visiting her new friend's house.
At a coffee shop with wi-fi, Chun accesses Avea's account using this password and is going to upload tons of top-secret information to the Dark Web, something the wise-cracking Wright has to thwart. This is all designed to distract people from Chun's actual mission, which is to grab a North Korean defector now working with US intelligence named Jae-Sung (Robert M. Lee), who was "responsible for one of the most successful mass escapes from North Korea in modern history" and return him back home (though it is connected with her mission, as the next paragraph will reveal).
Chun grabs Jae-Sung from his apartment after taking out 6 guys from CID who were sent to deal with her in another spectacular display of martial arts ass-kicking. (Seriously, too bad this woman is a villain, and a now-deceased one. Five-Zero could use someone like her to replace the long-departed Kono.) If she doesn't get a plane to take the two of them back to their homeland, she will release the military secrets to the Dark Web in half an hour.
Fortunately, Wright is able to stop the transfer of data in a Goldfinger-like finish with only one second left. Grover, who is wearing a very cool shirt in this episode, motivates Wright by telling him, "If you can't stop this document dump, that means you're not as good a hacker as we thought you were, which makes you pretty much useless to us." He and Adam threaten to leave, adding, "That means we'll be the last human contact you ever have in your entire wasted life, and that coffee that the floor's drinking right now [which they had gotten for Wright], well, that'll be the last thing you ever taste that ain't lukewarm and suspiciously lumpy." Wright tells Grover, "You paint a vivid picture."
The show was not without some things which caused me to scratch my head:
The whole business of downloading or uploading data by Chun in the coffee shop was confusing. She is "uploading" information while seemingly accessing Avea's account, which doesn't make sense. It actually says on her screen: USER LOG-IN > MAJOR GENERAL AVEA: Classified Access Granted and 100% UPLOAD COMPLETE when the upload is complete.
Typically she would have to download the information from Avea's account on to another device (like a laptop, a very large flash drive or the cloud), then prepare it to upload to the Dark Web with a timer of some kind, as per her threat. Wright says she accessed ten terabytes of data, which is a massive amount. Assuming Chun was transferring this amount of data in the coffee shop in some way (which I doubt), this would take a lot longer than the time spent by the guy whose computer she was "borrowing" who was getting them a couple of lattes. It would have made more sense to just show her activating the timer for data which she had already prepared.
From what we can see, in Halawa Wright is just accessing the names of the files, not the files themselves. But McGarrett requests that Wright do a keyword search for "North Korea" and "Oahu." Is this in the file names or the actual files? If it was for the actual files, and he had to slog through ten terabytes of material, this would require an extremely fast Internet connection and an extremely fast computer. (Even the file names for ten terabytes of material might take quite a while to view and/or search through.) Do they have wi-fi of that capability in the prison? Even if there was fiber-optic available there with fast speeds of 1 or 2 gigabytes per second, accessing it via wi-fi on a laptop would produce much slower speeds.
However, despite this dumb stuff and the Dannoying nonsense -- and even the beers on the beach finale where Quinn talked about her first real day on the job -- I enjoyed this show, which was a huge improvement over the first three of this season!
- The bad guys who kidnap Chun are all candidates for "the wackiest names that don't exist for anyone in the real world so we won't get sued": Silas Gajaista, Richard McFebland and Otto Vellonello. Actually "Vellonello" was mentioned in S09E14, the name of a shopping center in Colorado being attacked by terrorists, another episode directed by Peter Weller.
- In S10E01, Quinn tells Cullen near the end of the show: "You borrowed money from Michael Lee, not knowing that he was just the front man for Isko Zhang." In S10E04, supposedly the same quote, Quinn tells Cullen in the "previously on": "You borrowed money from Michael Lee, not knowing that he was just the front man for the yaKUza." She pronounces "yakuza" wrong, with the emphasis on the second syllable.
- When Danno natters on about McGarrett's social life at the dog park, he is told "Shouldn't you be focusing on your own dating life? Like your ex-wife?" Later, Danno relates a story to McGarrett about how he tried to impress a girl in high school which is really pitiful. Later still, during a brainstorming session around the Supercomputer, Danno interrupts Tani, telling her that she has "no lead at all" based on information obtained from the kidnappers' van, but she is not finished, and tells him, "Patience, darling. Allow me to get there."
- In addition to Mandarin, Quinn can speak and understand Korean which she "uses to translate the hostage taking of some of America's most dangerous secrets," not to mention a discussion between Chun and Jae-Sung where it turns out the relationship between the two is "personal."
- If you search Google News for Presilah Nuñez who plays the vet, you will find some interesting pictures of her. For some reason, Nuñez wasn't included in the CBS press release for the show at all, even though she is in the credits at the beginning of the episode. Kirstin Leigh, who played Yumi Chun, has only a couple of very insignificant entries at IMDb prior to the show. She does have a considerable following on Instagram and YouTube, though.
- The computer that Wright is using has a sticker for Oahu State University on it.
I couldn't get excited about this episode at all; it took me five days to review it.
Similar to previous Hallowe'en shows, there were a lot of Hawaii Five-Ohana aspects to this one, like the party at the beginning. There were some laughs at how lame Noelani's Elton John costume and accent were, and how the old lady, ostensibly Flippa's mother, was fussing over everyone. (Flippa was dressed as a very fat Elvis.) Tani was a bone-racky mermaid, who made you wonder how she and the long-departed and equally bone-racky Kono could be the ass-kicking queens of the Five-Zero team. Tani's makeup was hideous. There were also laughs from McGarrett's dog Eddie, who, greeting trick-or-treaters at McGarrett's place, was unco-operatively dressed up as a lion (also pretty lame).
There was some minor cattiness between Tani and Quinn (dressed as Maverick from Top Gun) when the latter wondered where Junior was, to which Tani said "How would I know that?" Quinn replied, "I'm ... I'm sorry. I just ... I assumed ... I mean, I assumed that you ... What are you guys?" Tani said, "Ah, at this point, I want to say I ... I don't know." Whatever!
Max (Masi Oka), the previous medical examiner who left the show in S07E13, over two years ago, was present, again in Keanu Reeves getup, though I couldn't figure out if Max had returned just for the party. Considering he is working for Doctors Without Borders in Madagascar, who have a default salary starting around $25,000-$30,000 a year (depending on experience, it's almost a "voluntary" position) and it would cost over $5,000 to fly him and his kid to Honolulu (a hideous 38-hour flight via Johannesburg and New York), I wonder if Max is independently wealthy (was this ever established?)?
Max has brought along his son Tunde (Jonny Berryman), who is adopted, just like Max himself was. There is no mention of Max's wife Sabrina, played in earlier episodes by Bruce Willis's daughter Rumer. During the show, Max cannot resist being annoying, inserting himself into Five-Zero's investigation of two crimes of the week and dispensing his usual geeky information.
The first crime of the week involved Edith Lahela (Blossom Lam Hoffman), an old lady who is brutally gunned down in her front hallway while dispensing Hallowe'en goodies by Ralph Fosse, who was doing renovations at her house recently and noticed that in her basement there was this room with a thick steel door that looked like a safe. However, it isn't a safe but a bedroom for a man named Kimo (Derek Mears) who the old lady adopted as her son years before.
Edith was once a nun, and she was helping out Mother Superior Decosta (Lisa Kaminir) at their convent by taking a kid that the Mother Superior had had out of wedlock to a hospital, but then decided to keep him. Confined to Edith's house for many years and often locked up in this basement room to keep him out of trouble, this kid developed an elephant-man-like skin condition (how this happened was not explained).
The whole business of keeping someone under wraps like this for years is not impossible -- there are numerous cases throughout the world, usually involving young girls who are kidnapped and sexually abused, but recently in the news was the story of a family in Holland who spent nine years living in a small room in their house "waiting for the end of time," and never venturing out of the place.
When Fosse breaks open the "safe," he gets a big surprise, since there are no valuables, and he gets killed by Kimo. Kimo pursues Fosse's accomplice, who runs away in terror. Later, Tani and Quinn are delegated to track down Kimo when he is seen invading someone else's house on its security system, the owners being absent at a Hallowe'en party. Tani is again wearing the clumpy high-heeled shoes seen in the previous episode and when she goes up stairs in this place, she is walking at an angle. (I can relate to this, since I have size 13 shoes.)
The second crime has to do with the recovery in the trunk of a submerged car of the body of Lana Nakua, a young girl who had vanished a couple of months before after a frat party she was attending. Three well-heeled mainland boys were the major suspects in her disappearance, but Duke, who was investigating the case, was never able to prove anything. After Lana's gross-looking recovered body is stolen from the morgue, giving Noelani a few scares accompanied by clichéd horror music, Five-Zero tracks down two of the frat boys, both of whom are now dead, leading to the conclusion that the remaining guy, Zach Wyatt (Alex Kingi), orchestrated the plan to steal the body and then murder his two associates.
The ending of this crime was kind of stupid. Zach is about to bury Lana's body, but suddenly her sister Emily -- who was so freaked out by the theft of the body from the morgue that she wouldn't even get out of bed -- suddenly appears out of nowhere (Zach is already in the middle of nowhere) and puts Zach out of action. Dazed, he thinks that the sister is Lana, because of the family resemblance. So how did Emily know where to find Zach?
There was a hair found, presumably from Lana, on one of the two dead frat boys, and it is black. According to Junior, "it was a familial match ... DNA was female." But it is NOT from Lana. The Supercomputer pulls up a picture of Lana's mother, whose hair is blonde. But considering she is a middle-aged woman and Asian, it is very likely that her hair really is black and she has just dyed it, duh! McGarrett and Junior check out a picture of Emily, whose hair is black and McGarrett says "Hair's a match," duh again!
All by her self, Emily has put Zach in the trunk of his car along with her sister's body and she dumps it underwater somewhere just like happened with Lana two years before. Five-Zero all too easily pings Emily's cel phone, and Junior tracks the car, now submerging, and pulls Zach from the trunk just as he is on the verge of drowning. Nearby in a forest, McGarrett tracks down Emily who is trying to escape.
What follows after this is disappointing. The deformed Kimo is cornered by HPD cops including Duke, who have been after him all evening. When Kimo will not comply with the cops' demands, Duke starts talking about taking him out with "lethal force." What? I always had this idea that Duke was kind of a laid-back, compassionate type of person, but here he is acting like a typical cop who would shoot first and ask questions later -- "If he doesn't back off, we're going to have to take the shot." If a resolution like this happened in real life today, you can imagine the huge uproar there would be from people concerned about the rights of disadvantaged people like Kimo!
Fortunately, thanks to Tunde, who had just performed a kind deed towards Kimo by giving him a Hallowe'en candy, as well as Max, who shows up with kind words like "I lost my mother, too. And I felt angry and scared, and alone, just like how you're feeling right now. But you're not alone. You're not alone anymore," the situation with the cops is diffused.
Kimo's real mother, Mother Superior Decosta, is also there (don't ask me how Five-Zero accomplished this so quickly). She shows him her eyes, one blue, one brown -- which Kimo also has -- that they had bonded together over many years before during a brief visit at Edith's place, and a headline-making and demonstration-provoking incident is avoided.
This episode, consisting of two crimes, was bad ... like excruciatingly bad, dude.
At the beginning a car is being chased by HPD, having committed vehicular homicide when it ran through an intersection and killed a pedestrian. When the cops finally manage to stop it, there is no driver inside -- it is a "driverless car." Its plates are fake and the VIN has been filed off.
Meanwhile, two stoner videographers from Instagram (and maybe YouTube) named Scooter and Skeez (Tom Allen and John Parr respectively, a real-life comedy duo of sorts) arrive at the "Christian Bale Batcave," a.k.a. Five-Zero headquarters, to film a recruitment video for HPD with their cell phones. McGarrett, being kind of busy, assigns Tani and Quinn to work with them., describing the two women as "very knowledgeable, very professional, and very patient,"
The governor reportedly hired or at least approved of this dopey duo to make the video, a decision which is hard to understand. Surely this would have been put "out for tender" with respectable ads in newspapers and so forth. Maybe "appeal to young people" was a requisite of applying to make it? Or considering that Noelani immediately knew who Scooter and Skeez were, maybe their reputation preceded them with the governor? We don't know how old the governor is, after all. Or maybe the governor was smoking crack when she (assuming she still is a "she") hired them?
Why Dumb and Dumber are suddenly following Five-Zero around is curious, since the video is supposed to be about HPD. Maybe they already wore out their welcome with the latter? When Duke encounters them later at a crime scene, he says "We've already met," not looking too enthusiastic. More likely, it was because Five-Zero would have their finger on the pulse of major crimes that HPD deals with, so they can get access to stuff other than jaywalking tickets … and maybe the idea is, if you work hard at HPD you could be eventually appointed to work for Five-Zero. After all, look at some of the miscreants who make up (and have made up) the “team”!
The two filmmakers follow the two gals from Five-Zero around as they investigate the murder in an apartment building of an old biddy named Marion Polani who was harshly disliked by everyone living there -- "there's not a single person in this building that Marion hasn't managed to piss off." I hated every second the two social media stars were on the screen. The stereotypical stoner dialogue they were mouthing and situations they kept getting themselves into were moronic. I kept saying, “Who wrote this garbage?” and “How could actors act this garbage?" Seriously, it was worse than S06E11 (McGarrett and Danno go to a couples' retreat) and S07E16 (the 1979 Valentine's Day episode).
Meanwhile, at the HPD crime lab, one major obstacle to cracking the case with the driverless car is the fact that the transmitter for the car operates on an ultra-high-frequency radio link that can be operated from as far away as 150 miles. As well, there is a remote-controlled box in the car that opens up to accept money from dope fiends who show the cash to a camera and then, once the cash is secured, dispenses drugs to them from another box.
It seems to me that this idea, as Danno says -- of "some tech-savvy drug dealers [who] have found a way to mitigate the risk of their own guys ratting on them" -- is not going to make an major impression if it's pitched as a business proposal to Shark Tank or Dragon's Den. The bad guys supposedly have lots of cars — "a warehouse full of these puppies," according to Grover -- but cars are not cheap, and I suspect neither is the fancy equipment that is installed in them so they can drive driverless. Yet these entrepreneurs are using these cars for $400 drug transactions? This is really not a viable business plan, especially when one of your cars gets cornered by the cops and another flies off a cliff and blows up!
The crime lab, after working harder, determines that the driverless cars' operating system is some proprietary software owned by a company called Tropovision Technologies -- which, of course, just happens to be based in Hawaii. Julia Wahea (Sophie Oda),who runs R&D at this company, is "some kind of whiz kid, [who] basically invented this software herself."
Because an unauthorized download of the code did occur, Julia is hauled into the blue-lit room and grilled. She denies she had anything to do with the downloading, even though, as Grover points out, her "student loans are still sitting there unpaid." (Geez, these guys know everything, don't they?)
Grover has to eat his words, though, when he brings a laptop into the interrogation room shortly after this which shows someone else apparently downloading the code, and it just happens to be Julia's father Micah doing the deed at what looks like an Internet coffee shop! Now, her father has never been established as a geeky type. In fact, 12 years ago, she "tried to help him get clean but he was too far gone," meaning some serious substance abuse. More recently he showed up "clean and sober," but obviously still had some kind of connection to the "dark side," because "the drug dealers strong-armed him into it [getting the code]," after the father told them that his daughter had developed it. There is so much background data missing here it is unreal!
We get to see another camera with surveillance footage which is where the bad guys have taken Julia's father and he is being badly beaten up -- obviously in the garage or warehouse where all the drug delivery cars are located. Fiddling on the keyboard that has been provided to her at Five-Zero headquarters, Julia controls one of the cars in a manner like Knight Rider and the bad guys are all put out of action.
Meanwhile, back at the crime scene where they are hanging out, Scooter and Skeez have locked themselves out of the apartment building on the roof where they went because, as Quinn puts it, "their stoke levels were getting low and they came up there to get blazed," and then called for the two Five-Zero women to let them back in. Despite this, while they were waiting, the two "cracked the case wide open," that whoever killed Marion avoided the security cameras in her building by using a ladder to come to that building's roof from the one next door, which seems like a very hairy operation more suited to the Flying Wallendas.
The prime suspect in this, who suddenly appears in the blue-lit room at headquarters without any explanation (though S and S already guessed "dude could be guilty" earlier on, accompanied with an infantile diagram) is Brent Garis (Greg Cromer), the building manager.
Turns out that Garis was accused by Marion of embezzling money from the building, for billing the owner for repair work that was never performed. How Marion figured this out is a mystery; her e-mail, which Quinn and Tani had time to snoop in, revealed this, and gave Garis "motive." As well, Garis' bank account, which Five-Zero had instant access to in the usual manner, shows "several large deposits that coincide with work that [he -- Garis] billed [his] boss for but never completed."
There is some further "circumstantial" evidence related to this which gives material for discussion. Records from Garis's cell phone show it connected and disconnected between the building next door which Garis allegedly used as the base for the ladder and Marion's building when the phone was using the wi-fi in each building. Both of these buildings were managed by Garis's company.
Along with the financial information mentioned above, this suggests that Garis was the one who crossed over using the ladder (seemingly oblivious to anyone on the ground), murdered Marion and then went back to the second building. I would think that if you went from one building to the next one, and the buildings are not THAT far apart, the cell phone signal would stay locked on to the router in the first building you had been in. But there are several factors affecting this -- what kind of a phone Garis had, the strength of the signal from the routers, etc.
There are also questions about Marion hassling Garis through e-mail, based on plenty of pro and con articles on the Internet as to whether seniors are tech-savvy or not, but Marion sounds like someone who had little else to do with her time other than snoop in everyone else's business.
One positive thing about the show was the returning Dannoying was very restrained, almost philosophical in his car discussion with McGarrett, who he called a "catastrophist." McGarrett had a good response: "You're really making the most out of that 'word of the day' calendar, huh?" Danno got to drive his own car to the crime scene at the beginning of the show; however, Danno did not show up at the shoot-out at the driverless car garage near the end, only McGarrett, Junior and Adam.
The show is good for one star at least -- for the gruelling stunt work where several guys got hit by cars! The ending, showing the final version of the video where the two "dudes" are dressed as HPD cops and there are two "doppelgangers" for Tani and Quinn, and the one representing Tani (Divine Dennis) says "We couldn't have solved this case without you," was actually pretty funny.
- The domain name that is heard at the end of the show where you can sign up with HPD — http://www.JoinHonoluluPD.org — is real.
- One of the people in Marion's building who is a suspect in her murder for a few seconds is a guy named Todd (Ryan Sypek), a bartender, who came home around the time Marion was killed. But it turns out that Todd has an alibi -- every Tuesday he tells his wife Emily (Liana Green Wright) he is working late, but instead he goes to a "neighbor's apartment" to play Dungeons & Dragons. The neighbor's name is "Reko," spelled this way in the subtitles, but it is more likely "Reiko," which is a Japanese woman's name. Todd says "[Emily] and Reko sort of had a falling out last month," but nothing is made of this.
This show, written, directed and produced by Alex O'Loughlin, as well as starring him, was emotionally gruelling, especially its last 15 minutes. (McGarrett's mother gets killed, just to get that out of the way.)
Unfortunately, there were lots of problems with the episode. Now you might think I should give it some slack because so much of it was praiseworthy, much like I gave shows from the original Five-O 25 years ago when I first did my reviews of its episodes, because making that show in the late 60s and 70s was a big deal and lots of problems and mistakes were bound to occur, because it was being made in Hawaii.
Re-viewing Classic Five-O episodes some 25 years later has produced quite a few disappointments by how many "problems" there are with those old shows, and many of my ratings have dropped, including several of my "favorite" episodes. However, we are in 2019, when many of these problems no longer exist, or should no longer exist, because Hawaii has been the location for many TV shows over the years, and you would expect that the problems have been ironed out.
Probably the biggest issue with this Five-Zero episode is that the time frame is totally screwy. Why? Because typically on Five-Zero, events are seen happening around the time they would happen in real life, i.e., holidays like Hallowe'en and Thanksgiving, and sometimes specific days are mentioned which means the show is happening right now or very close to right now.
After the main credits, this show starts "8 weeks ago." A CIA dude named Coen (Taylor Handley), whose name on his CIA ID merely says "Agent Coen," meets with McGarrett (as well as Danno and Grover) in Honolulu. He says one of their agents trying to get close to Carmen Lucia Perez (Onahoua Rodriguez), boss of a faction of the Sinaloa drug cartel, was killed by McGarrett's mother who was also on the case in Mexico. McGarrett is incredulous. The CIA and DEA want him to go and get his mother and bring her home so they can hear her side of the story directly. They also want him to kill or capture Perez.
Coen basically says this will be a Mission: Impossible type operation where management will disavow any knowledge of what McGarrett is doing. Coen also suggests that if McGarrett declines this proposition, "we can't promise this will end well for her [his mother]."
After discussion at Five-Zero headquarters regarding what McGarrett should do, the reaction to which ranges from Danno walking out of the room without even saying "good luck," to Grover telling McGarrett "Like it or not, man, that's your mother, and if you don't go down there and see for yourself, you're gonna regret it for the rest of your life," McGarrett goes to Colombia because this will supposedly make it easier to get into Mexico since Perez, with "a lot of Mexican officials in her pocket, gets advanced warnings of any flagged operators or law enforcement specialists entering [Mexico]." But this makes no sense! There are seven other countries in Central America where he could begin his journey. Of course, not many of them are friendly to Americans using their territory for this kind of adventure, but...
In Colombia, McGarrett is supposed to catch a boat near the port city of Turbo which will take him to Panama City (you have to go through the Panama Canal to do this). Then he will catch a plane which will take him to Mexico City, which is still about 1200 kilometers south of Culicán, the capital of Sinaloa. But Perez already knows things (which we don't find out until the end of the show) -- like the fact McGarrett was going through the Paramillo Forest in Colombia, probably on northbound Highway 62, which is where we first find him after he gets there. (Google Maps is not too specific, the highway seems somewhat west of this forest, a national park.)
From above, we are shown an SUV containing McGarrett, who is being driven to Turbo by his "point man," DEA Captain Mateo Dias (Benito Martinez, from "The Shield"). They are on a 2-lane highway, driving on the left side of the road, which is wrong, because in Colombia, you drive on the right. Dias says they are "close" to Turbo, but if they are near the forest, they still have about 60 to 80 kilometers to go.
Suddenly they are no longer on the paved highway, but some dirt road, which makes me think that, uh, OK, maybe they really are close to Turbo. But they run into some "policia," who are, according to a credit at the end of the show, members of the Colombia National Police (CNP). These guys are quite likely on the take from Perez as per the comment above.
Dias shows these heavily-armed cops (who he says he trusts "with my blood") his DEA identification, which to me is a really bad idea. The cops suddenly start talking among themselves, and one of them gets an itchy trigger finger, so McGarrett tells Dias to "DRIVE!" I figure if they could average 60 MPH for the next 27 seconds, they would be almost 2400 feet away from the cops, though you can still hear the cops yelling and shooting at the SUV, which flips over and explodes in a spectacular manner so violent that no one could survive it (Dias is killed).
Of course, McGarrett, who seems very beaten up by what has happened, does survive, pulling himself out of the SUV, and disappears into the nearby jungle with only the clothes on his back to begin his "little Eliza on the ice floes" journey to Turbo, Panama City, Mexico City and Sinaloa. Think about it, this tall, badly bloodied, non-Latin-American-looking guy who would stick out like a sore thumb can make it all the way to the pre-arranged boat, because there are no roads connecting Panama City to Colombia through the Darien Gap (it is about 200 miles from Turbo to Panama City as the crow flies) and then to the plane with no one asking any serious questions.
Meanwhile, back in Hawaii, the "8 weeks" from the beginning of the show have passed, and it is "8 weeks later" (i.e., now). Junior is getting antsy, because he was ordered by McGarrett that if he "can't hold the line, Junior comes downrange -- to watch my six [my back]," only in the case of an "absolute, worst-case scenario" and only if McGarrett reaches out first.
For the last "few weeks," Junior has been running some computer algorithm in conjunction with satellite view that considers the average male height in Mexico is five foot to five-foot-seven and it "uses time stamp to determine sun angle and then people's height by their shadows." (I'm sure someone will tell me that you can really do this.) There are somewhere between 800,000 and 900,000 people living in Culiacán.
Following up on leads on anyone who was six-foot-plus like McGarrett, Junior cross-referenced those with local traffic and CCTV footage and hit a bunch of dead ends until he found him. So soon after this, Junior heads there with a couple of SEALs, Mike (Stephen Paul Kaplan) and Ethan (James Beck), the same two guys who helped with the operation involving Joe White in S08E24, which probably would take a few days more to organize. (Both these actors are retired SEALs.)
The teaser for the show took place on the Mexican Day of the Dead (November 2nd this year) and its scenes are rehashed as the bearded McGarrett, wearing a baseball cap, is seen wandering around Culiacán, still looking totally out of place, especially when he walks with his head down past a group of armed military types. Considering he was in Honolulu a couple of weeks ago during the Hallowe'en show, this date makes no sense. He goes to the CIA "safe house" (I think) where he has been staying ("living in a hole for the last couple of months") and is set upon by Junior and the SEALs. During the teaser, we see the gun of one of the SEALs fired during this scene, which is never explained.
McGarrett has managed to track down his mother. She is hanging out with Perez, who has "always preferred the company of women, biblically speaking," according to Grover earlier. Using a massive pair of binoculars, McGarrett already saw his mother give Perez her gun to shoot some guy dead on the docks. Pretending to be a janitor, complete with ID, McGarrett encounters his mother in the Sinaloa Port Authority Building, and tells her that she is going away with him. She smacks him in the face with her gun and tells him to quit interfering with what she is doing.
McGarrett talks to Junior and the SEALs, saying "Something's very wrong here" and that his mother is "unstable." He continues, "What we're about to do is completely insane on every level. Our chances of success are extremely low. We're going up against a much larger army of complete animals, who, and I promise you, if they get their hands on us and this thing goes south, will make us wish that they'd put a bullet in our heads." Their course of action includes explosives like ammonium nitrate which is in a cupboard in the place where McGarrett has been staying and a cache of guns and other armaments elsewhere. (All this is hard to fathom considering the kind of control Perez reportedly has in the area, so much so you would suspect that if someone farted too loudly, she would know about it. An earlier picture of some building connected with her shows 20 guys armed with machine guns standing outside it.)
McGarrett and his A-Team of three are soon watching the docks where a Panamax container vessel -- one which will go through the Panama Canal easily -- and a mini sub intended as a drug shuttle are seen. McGarrett's mother is on the docks with Perez. There are also a lot of heavily-armed guys in Perez's employ. A firefight to end all firefights commences, with shit blowing up real good left, right and center. The special effects people should get high marks for this, considering the extent of the chaos that is caused.
As the gunfire dies down, McGarrett encounters his mother in one of the warehouses on the dock and she points a gun in his direction, followed by some very intense conversation. But Perez sneaks up behind his mom, grabs her and then stabs her to death. Of course, what follows is very sad, which continues as McGarrett accompanies the body of his mother (and that of Perez, who is killed by Junior) back to Washington, D.C.
Coen is there, and he tells McGarrett, "Shelburne [McGarrett's mother's code name, which we have not heard for quite a while] outfitted that sub and Lucia's Bentley with audio and tracking devices. She stayed on target till the end. She did her job. I'm sorry about your mother, Commander."
The show ends with Danno showing up at McGarrett's hotel room, and the conversation -- at least as far as McGarrett is concerned -- is philosophical: "From the minute that woman walked out of my life, the only thing I've ever wanted is to have her back in it. So, am I okay? I don't know if I'm okay, but I do know that none of this is on our terms. We never really get to choose how it's [life] gonna look. Only what we do with the information when we get it. This whole Five-O thing started with me burying my father. Then Joe White last year. Now my mother. So I don't know how I feel, but I do know that we don't get life on our terms, Danny. It's life on life's terms or not at all."
Danno, whose presence at the end is totally unnecessary except as a sop to McDanno fans to convince them that things are coming back to normal, says that he is bagged from his trip to Hawaii and wants to share the large bed in the hotel room. McGarrett tells him to sleep on the couch. Symbolism alert, right up there with "Day of the Dead" earlier! McGarrett and Danno will not share the same bed ... and remember that it was O'Loughlin who wrote this!
Director and actor O'Loughlin -- who seems to be following in the footsteps of Jack Lord, who produced, directed and acted in several Classic Five-O episodes -- did an outstanding job, especially the last 15 minutes of the show. From the angle of "don't think about it too hard," especially the finale, this show overall should get four stars.
Hopefully the very positive reception for this episode will encourage the powers-that-be to give O'Loughlin more chances to engage with other large-scale projects like this. It was far ahead of the show directed by Daniel Dae Kim, S05E17, which had a really terrible script.
I would be really curious to see how O'Loughlin's original story for the episode compares with the final product. Not too be too cynical about his writing credit, but I am reminded by something the late Larry Cohen said regarding productions like this one where there are a large number of producers, co-producers, co-executive producers and executive producers: "[T]hey're really writers. And what they do is they keep turning the script over from one to the other to the other to the other, till nobody really wrote it and everybody really wrote it." You can see what I am talking about by the cover of this script from an earlier episode as to how many revisions a script might go through. This photo is credited to hawaii_isla_808 on Twitter.
This was a formulaic episode with the usual two parts, one the crime of the week, the other some "ohana" stuff relating to Grover.
You would think that after last week's horrible happenings, McGarrett would be allowed to take an episode (or even more) off, but after grieving for 1:12 in the teaser, including scenes featuring his late mother from the previous show, he was ready to get back into the swing of things, saying "I need to get back to work," though the members of the team expressed concern about him doing this throughout the episode.
At the beginning of the show, a medevac helicopter is bringing some guy to Honolulu after he was found in very bad condition, suffering from "extreme exposure," in the Mokulei‘a Forest Reserve. The guy flatlines, but after an injection, he comes back to life and throws two paramedics out of the helicopter, forces the pilot to land, and then kills him as well. McGarrett arrives on the scene where the helicopter ended up, saying "I guarantee there's a reason" for all that happened, i.e., there is something fishy about this guy connected with why he didn't want to go to the hospital.
Back at headquarters, the team is stumped as to who this "five-eight, slight build, Asian, early 40s" character is. Junior and Adam are delegated to go the area where he was picked up by the helicopter and try and "find out what the hell these guys [including the hikers who found him] are doing in the middle of the jungle."
Meanwhile, bleeding badly, the fugitive goes to some convenience store where he murders the clerk. When Tani and Quinn arrive there, they use security camera footage to see that he stole a burner phone. They use the number from this to locate an address not far away which the perp called. Inside the house, they and McGarrett find a DEA agent, Richie Gormican (Jesse Johnson). He talks to them in a smart-alecky way reminiscent of Don Johnson, no great surprise, because the actor is the Miami Vice actor's son and the resemblance between the two is uncanny.
Gormican identifies the "psycho" as Ben Tam (Garret T. Sato). He says it is unlikely that Tam wants to leave the island, because "if he did, he'd be leaving a $100 million dollars' worth of heroin somewhere out there in the jungle." Gormican says "one of his men" was flying a Cessna containing the heroin and Tam to a private air strip on Oahu when it crashed in the forest. Gormican is at this house because he has overheard chatter on a phone number in Hong Kong which Five-Zero also saw that Tam had called on the burner phone.
Tani finds out the house is rented by Sam Bishop (Walker Haynes), who we have already met in episode three of this season, the bad guy who was a pal with Cullen (now deceased). McGarrett and Quinn had surveilled Bishop and some associates finding a barrelful of money in the jungle.
Quinn says that it looks like the "big conspiracy" that Cullen hinted at before he was blown up is coming to light and it involves a connection to the Asian heroin trade. Neither Bishop nor Tam are at the house, probably because they already got together, and they are heading back to the location in the forest where the plane crashed, therefore Junior and Adam (and Eddie) are in serious danger!
As they are on the way to the forest, Gormican tells McGarrett he knows what happened in Mexico the week before, suggesting that McGarrett's involvement in the Sinaloan drug trade could make things more difficult for people like himself. On the other hand, he does offer McGarrett sympathy for the death of his mother.
In the jungle, Eddie tracks down the crashed plane and Junior and Adam arrive there moments before Bishop and his tough-looking goons also show up. Despite the fact that McGarrett, Quinn, Tani and Gormican are "10 minutes out" and Junior and Adam are in the forest somewhere in the middle of nowhere, the two guys from Five-O attempt to flee, leaving really obvious tracks for Bishop and his thugs to follow. Despite Junior and Adam quickly running out of ammo, the rest of Five-O shows up within mere seconds, and there is a laughable firefight, with bad guys dropping like flies, including Bishop. Eddie gives one of the villains a good chomping on his arm. Tam is dead, and Bishop isn't in good shape. A medevac is requested and quickly arrives, as do a bunch of US Marshals to remove the heroin from the crashed plane.
Back at headquarters, things get complicated. The pilot of the crashed plane is identified as Carl Brauer, formerly Garmicon's DEA partner, an agent who was on suspension for the last six months pending an Internal Affairs investigation connected with his dealings to the New York Serbian Mafia. Earlier, McGarrett and Quinn eyed each other, saying they didn't trust Garmicon, and their suspicions are now confirmed. The Marshals' truck is tracked down, and both marshals are dead and the drugs are gone!
The ending of the show is stupid. Using the Supercomputer, Adam puts up a flag up for all known associates of the Serbian organization and gets a hit. "This crew just touched down in a chartered plane at a private airfield in Makiki, all using fake IDs." How convenient! Five-O rushes to this airfield, where everyone is captured in a fairly boring manner (i.e., without the usual big shoot-up). McGarrett tells Gormican "things are about to get much worse for you," as the DEA agent is taken away without a word.
The "ohana" part of the show was not particularly interesting to me, though well-written, directed, produced, etc. (Chi McBride co-wrote this show, which was directed by Carlos Bernard, Tony Almeida from "24.") If this part of the show had a title, it could have been the Hawaiian word for "favors."
Grover invited Siobhan (Nia Holloway), a.k.a. "Bonnie," the daughter of his friend Mike, with whom he has been "tight since the fifth grade" to Hawaii to try out for the University of Hawaii basketball team since she is the "number one high school player in the nation." (Grover later calls her his "niece," probably a non-related expression, similar to her calling him "uncle.")
In addition to owing Mike a favor, which is not elaborated on in the show, Grover is also owed something from Metta World Peace (playing himself), currently a professional basketball coach and a legendary player, who Grover has also brought to Hawaii to help prepare Siobhan for her "audition." Details about what Peace "owes" Grover are also sketchy; at the end of the show, Grover starts to explain, but his dialogue just fades out.
Siobhan puts on a very good show. Grover later tells his wife "she gave homeboy the business," which is pretty funny, since we see her best him in only one move. But there is a problem with Dana Paul (Marita De Lara), the University of Hawaii women's basketball coach, because back home, Siobhan got in a fight with some girl and got expelled from school. Her father also told Grover that she has fallen in with the female faction of The Apostles gang in Chicago and a gun was found in her room. If Siobhan is to become a member of the UH team, she will have to stay with the Grovers, who have recently downsized, to receive "necessary positive influence." Grover worries that this will cause problems, but his wife Renee assures him that " if Siobhan needs our help after everything that she's been through, we will figure it out."
Unfortunately, the kid has been overhearing their conversation and she runs away, but she is soon located, no doubt thanks to help from Five-Zero tracking her phone. Siobhan takes this opportunity to straighten Grover out. She is not in a gang. Romella, a girl at her school is in a gang and was threatening Tianna, a friend of hers, with the gun. Siobhan stole the gun from Romella's backpack and "beat her ass," which is why she got expelled. Following this, Siobhan took the gun down to the police station.
Siobhan says the school and her father "don't care" about what happens to her and her friends. Her father in particular only "sees ... a chance to live out his dreams through me because he never made it to the pros" (so there is a basketball angle with her father as well).
When Grover asks Siobhan what she really wants out of life, she says she wants to be a cop, inspired by how he took care of her after her mother died of a drug overdose: "I wanted to be a cop since I was five years old." This leads to beers on the beach, which is only a minute and a half long, where whether Siobhan might join the team eventually is vaguely alluded to, at least in the H50 fandom if not the characters on the show.
McGarrett is not completely back to normal, but Quinn assures him that everything that happened today with the heroin bust and so forth would be seen as a great day for his career. She has even heard that Bishop will be released from ICU soon and can shed light on the mysterious "conspiracy." Unfortunately, as the show ends, Bishop is knocked off in the hospital, so is this the end of the conspiracy theme or not?
- While the burner phone Tam called was used to call Hong Kong, the number which appears on the phone company records that he called there is a Hawaiian number: 808-555-0114. Other numbers Tam called are 808-555-0183, 888-555-0135, 808-555-0115, the last of these on Maui. The phone serial number is 002934944.
- According to his rap sheet, which was likely seen in episode of three of this season, Sam Bishop's Social Security Number is 926-63-1325 and his address is 200 Fornander Drive, Honolulu 96825 (though I don't know if this is the rented house in this episode). He was charged with criminal trespass in April 1998, aggravated assault 3rd degree in June 2001 and attempted homicide in January 2004.
- Gormican's Social Security Number is 976-17-9812. His address is 27 Caruthers Ave., Washington DC 20009.
- The Johnny Cash song "Guess Things Happen That Way" is heard on the soundtrack when Tam is in the convenience store.
Another two-part episode. Alas, we are in the "holiday" trope ghetto: Hallowe'en, Thanksgiving and (probably) Christmas. Next real show, December 6, is where Adam's girl friend Tamiko gets kidnapped "right in front of him" (kidnapping = another tiresome trope)!
Crime of the week was the usual absurdly-plotted nonsense. A koa tree, worth a fortune, is stolen from the yard of a "philanthropist" named George Parks (David C. Farmer), though the word "philanthropist" is not used anywhere in the show itself. Parks was murdered while the tree was being taken.
The tree is cut down, and a very clean cut, too, which means that a chainsaw with a very long blade was probably used. Assuming this tree was even moderately sized, it would have been a big deal to take it out of the yard, which means that a large truck would have been used, but Five-Zero doesn't check this angle. They do find "boot prints," but seemingly don't bother to look for truck tire tread marks, etc.
Via a guy named Lolo Joe (Atticus Todd) who specializes in koa woodwork, legal and otherwise, the four dudes who stole the tree, which includes Parks' gardener, are soon tracked down, all of whom have also been killed. A piece of the tree which has a hole in it is missing and the Supercomputer under Adam's direction is able to show this, sort of like a jigsaw puzzle. If there was a hole in the tree, there must have been something in the hole, probably connected with "an earring lodged in the lower section of the trunk" which contained "DNA ... for a Jane Doe cold case from 15 years ago," duh!
Suspicion for what has transpired soon falls on Parks' grown son Preston (Dan Amboyer). Grilled in the blue-lit room because of inconsistencies found in his cel phone records as to when he heard from his father about something fishy going at the property and Preston arrived to find his father dead and called 911, Preston starts snivelling that years ago he met some backpacker named Lena Schmidt from Germany at a beach party. He took Lena to his home where they had "a little party" of their own which involved drugs and drinking. When Preston pushed Lena into the swimming pool, she hit her head, knocking her out, and to avoid "that kind of scandal," he "took care of the problem." Her body, connected to the cold case via the DNA, was cut up into pieces which were scattered around a forest. Seeing a picture of this, Danno describes what happened as "disgusting." According to Know-It-All Adam: "It turns out the head was the only part that was never recovered. So it's possible we just found what was inside [the hole in] that tree."
Noelani points out, based on Lena's skull which, according to Preston's confession, was thrown in the Ala Wai Canal (make a note: Preston knew this) and recovered mere moments ago, there were additional injuries than the one where she struck her head on the pool. Three depressed fractures on the other side of her skull were what killed her. Grover and Quinn, who conducted the interrogation with Preston, realize that if Preston was the one who killed her, he would have noticed that "Lena's skull" (which, of course, is just someone else's used as a prop by Quinn) was missing the three fractures. The two from Five-Zero go back to the Parks house where Grover, in a very tacky manner, starts accusing the other two grown kids -- Olivia (Ellen Hollman) and Darren (Kyle Leatherberry) -- of actually killing Lena, right while their father's wake is happening.
This is supposedly what happened, though the other two totally don't say anything implicating themselves and look like "nice, innocent people." Preston, who has been brought along, is dragged into the room, and says that 15 years ago they must have killed Lena and chopped her up, etc., because they sent him to bed with some pills after they came home from the movies on the night Lena died, and he was obviously shocked to hear details of what happened after this during his grilling ... or was he?
According to Adam, who has been studying relevant text messages, after Preston arrived at his father's house, he followed the tree thieves, texted his sister about this, she tipped off Darren who went and killed them, and then she and Darren took the head and threw it (and the piece of the tree?) in the canal. But you have to wonder -- why did they put the head in the hole in the tree in the first place 15 years ago? Talk about stupid! Have they never heard of "dental records"? (Quinn suggests because of dental records, "You'd want to keep the skull close." I don't think so...) A dismantled AR-15 stashed in the garden shed at Darren's house has also been recovered, and bullets from it match those in the bodies of the guys who stole the tree, duh again!
I am not making all this garbage up, seriously! Anyway, the three "kids" are busted; I'm sure they will hire high-priced lawyers.
Grover and Quinn said several stupid things during this last section, by the way:
GROVER: How 'bout we begin with the fact that all of you here were drinking and using illegal drugs. (It was only stated that Preston was doing this. The other two were "at the movies," and there is no suggestion that the other two started indulging when they got home. And so what if they were?)
QUINN: Plus, there was the potential manslaughter charge on deck for Preston -- if she didn't survive. (Why would he be charged with manslaughter if Lena accidentally hit her head on the pool? It's not like Preston threw her into the pool with intent to injure or kill her.)
GROVER: And if she did, well, that leaves this family wide open for a multimillion dollar civil suit from Lena's family back in Germany. (Why would there be a lawsuit if Lena's injury was because of an accident? This doesn't make sense, though that doesn't preclude the family from launching action like this.)
The other story in the episode involved TanJoon. Junior's parents' house was robbed, including some valuables which his father had stashed in a secret place. There is only one person who knew where this was, other than family, which is Junior's "hanai [adopted] brother" Owen Ocampo (Damien Diaz), a kid who was taken in by Junior's parents years ago because of issues with Owen's mother, who was arrested. Without any build-up saying that either Owen or his mother were drug addicts (the only clue is the mother got "sober"), Tani suddenly blurts out "addiction is genetic"!
Well, it turns out that Owen is a doper, and TanJoon track him down to Ala Moana Beach Park where Junior gives the apologetic Owen a good talking to and convinces him to either go to jail or go to rehab. He chooses the latter.
The box of stuff that was stolen is recovered, Junior returns it to his father, and the sort-of-estranged two have a tearful reconciliation, because, despite the fact that the father has been acting all along like he didn't care about Junior's tour of duty in Afghanistan, he was keeping tabs on his son through letters from Junior's commanding officer which were in the contents of the stolen box.
Very nice acting by Beulah Koale and Meaghan Rath in this section, though it falls under the trope of "little to do with Five-Zero." At the end, now that the issues between Junior and his father have been resolved, we are left wondering if this means that the potential romance between these two will develop.
Incidentally, when TanJoon are searching for Owen, they go to visit his mother Eileen (Marisol Ramirez). When I first saw this character, I went "WHOA!" because the actress is totally gorgeous. However, someone in the casting department screwed up, because, aside from seeming to be about 10 years younger than the character should be, you would expect the character to be kind of skanky looking because she has been an addict for many years. They try to make her look a bit skanky in a couple of shots, but there is no way this will work. Personally, I hope they send the character to rehab and give her a respectable job as the Five-Zero receptionist, sort of like Jenny in Classic Five-O.
- The music at the beginning of the show is "Slow Down" by Larry Williams. Near the end, it is "Made It Home" by AHI.
- Among the DVDs seen at Junior's parents' house are Deadpool 2, Bull Durham, Lawless, The DaVinci Code, Saw, Spider-Man, Billy's Boot Camp and Last Action Hero.
- Owen's mother tells TanJoon "When you see my kolohe [violent] son, tell him he owes me $50."
- My favorite line from McGarrett to Danno: "You get all jittery and stupid when you drink too much coffee."
- Darren's Social Security Number is 974-16-9924; his drivers license is HW2213092. He lives at 55-1660 Umealu Road, Honolulu 96825. Preston's drivers license is HY8712220G; his SS number is 953-05-9999. His address is 1978 Hukui Drive, Honolulu 96815. Olivia's SS number is 912-12-8573; she lives at 772 Sundown Court, Waimanalo. Her drivers license is HE95341325.
- It is interesting to hear how quickly Lena's skull is located in the Ala Wai Canal. In Classic Five-O episode S04E09, "The Burning Ice," a gun is thrown into the canal, and after two days, the ace HPD diving team still cannot find it.
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