Hawaii Five-0 (2010) -- Season 7 Episode Reviews

INCLUDING ODDITIES, GOOFS AND TRIVIA

Copyright ©2016-2017 by Mike Quigley. No reproduction of any kind without permission.


JUMP TO ANOTHER SEASON:

NEW FIVE-0 (2010-?):
| 1st Season | 2nd Season | 3rd Season | 4th Season | 5th Season | 6th Season | 8th Season | "Next" Season |

CLASSIC FIVE-O (1968-1980):
| Pilot Movie (Episode "0") | 1st Season (Episodes 1-23) | 2nd Season (Episodes 24-48) | 3rd Season (Episodes 49-72) | 4th Season (Episodes 73-96) | 5th Season (Episodes 97-120) | 6th Season (Episodes 121-144) | 7th Season (Episodes 145-168) | 8th Season (Episodes 169-191) | 9th Season (Episodes 192-214) | 10th Season (Episodes 215-238) | 11th Season (Episodes 239-259) | 12th Season (Episodes 260-278) | 13th Season |

RETURN TO THE HAWAII FIVE-O HOME PAGE


RATINGS:
★★★★ = One of the very best episodes, a must-see.
★★★ = Better than average, worthy of attention.
★★ = Average, perhaps with a few moments of interest.
= Below average, a show to avoid.
1. (S07E01) Makaukau ‘oe e Pa‘ani (Ready to Play?) ★˝
Original air date: 9/23/16

If Five-Zero's episode 14 of season 2 is to be forever known as "the Subway commercial show," this episode will be forever known as the "Zombie Jack Lord show." At its beginning, McGarrett is visiting the chapel in the medical center where he had his liver revamped and some guy is there in the room with him, who looks very much like Jack Lord. This guy says "I was a cop too, a long time ago." McGarrett is having thoughts about his life like "is it all worth it," and this apparition (presumably a real person, not a ghost) gives him some advice that "yes, it is."

The main problem with this "Jack Lord" (the actual name for the character in the end credits) was it was like a giant head puppet, generated with CGI in a manner similar to Andy Serkis in The Lord of The Rings and various other films, and not very imaginatively.

Surely if this character was, as he stated, a cop who had been married to the same woman for 45 years (practically the same as Jack Lord), you would figure he was about 65-70 years old, and his hair would be graying. As well, his voice was totally wrong. The accent was a combination of eastern U.S. (Boston) and southern U.S. Why didn't they get Rich Little to do the voice? If anyone could have done it, he could have. His website describes him as "a man of many voices," and, not only that, he was ACTUALLY ON THE ORIGINAL FIVE-O so there would have been a connection to the old show there!

Executive producer Peter Lenkov said in an Entertainment Weekly "exclusive" interview that he had been wanting to do a tribute like this for some time, especially "to be the final scene in the series." Unfortunately, Lenkov jumped the gun, expecting that his show will run forever, I guess.

This messing with classic Five-O on Five-Zero (read: "making a tribute") has happened before with the character of Wo Fat, whose father will make an appearance in the reboot's current season as well, if publicity photos are to be believed. Mark Dacascos' Wo Fat was much more of a cartoon character than the original's Khigh Dhiegh, escaping from an armored-car like police vehicle dropped into the water by a claw, breaking out of the Colorado Supermax prison and being captured ignominiously on a reality TV show, as if to say "how the mighty have fallen."

People on Five-Zero forums like IMDb were pretty vocal about the CGI Jack Lord character, with comments like "creepy," "weird," "horrible," and evoking the term "jump the shark," which has been heard before. But it was worse than that, especially for fans of the classic series. This was a real "pussy farts" moment or vaginal-flatulence-during-sex moment that was so awkward and embarrassing that you NEVER, EVER want to speak about it again!

After this ghostly or ghastly beginning to the show, depending on your viewpoint, McGarrett and Danno are seen racing around the hospital corridors in wheelchairs in a manner reminicent of the chariot race in Ben-Hur, causing chaos and running into things with people jumping out of the way. McGarrett goes flying out of his wheelchair to the floor along with an IV stand, though no one bothers to see if this has affected the injuries which we left him recovering from at the end of last season.

Aside from a brief foray into family soap-opera (will Chin Ho be able to look after his niece Sara (Gabriel's daughter, played by Londyn Silzer) or will her aunt and uncle in Mexico adopt her?), the episode basically had one story, unlike the usual double-bill. This was a positive move, though not without some problems.

McGarrett returns to work the next day, and immediately the body of one Anthony Lee Hein (Scott Francis Russell) is found in the Five-0 office with a note saying "I've been a bad boy." Hein works at a car wash, but when the team goes to his place, they find a hotel employee's uniform. At the hotel, the Palekaiko Resort and Spa, they use two key cards also found at Hein's to enter two different rooms. In each of these rooms is a murdered tourist couple with their eyes gouged out.

The newly-elected no-nonsense governor of Hawaii, Keiko Manoe (Rosalind Chao), is quick to arrive on the scene and make sure that McGarrett understands this kind of crime will give the islands a very black eye (no pun intended by me). She tells him she wants these murders kept out of the press for the time being. Grover later meets with a local reporter at Kamekona's shrimp shack asking for his co-operation in this regard.

At the forensics lab, Danno's nephew Eric, who now sports a moustache, finds videos of the tourists' murders on Hein's cel phone and also audio from what sounds like another murder. In a far-fetched manner, a house near Ewa Beach is tracked down where there is one more dead tourist couple. And another body is found by Grover at Kamekona's in Grover's own SUV, a guy named David Larsen, which leads to yet another house in Manoa with eight bodies in the basement. The Governor is really pissed now, especially since the press is all over the most recent developments, and she is even talking about putting the islands on quarantine, which seems very extreme. While getting berated by her, McGarrett makes even less eye contact with the governor than before.

In the mouths of these murder victims, including Hein's and Larsen's, is something that looks like it is carved out of walrus ivory. Jerry investigates and finds that these are part of an 11th-century chess set which was stolen from a home eight years before. Pierre Shaw (Jesse La Flair), who was suspected of being connected with this robbery (though nothing was ever proven), has recently been paroled for possession of stolen goods.

When McGarrett and Danno confront Shaw at his apartment, they find out that he is keeping a woman captive and torturing her in one of his rooms which has been lined with egg cartons to act as soundproofing. Shaw jumps off the balcony and makes his way to the ground below, followed in a ridiculous manner by McGarrett, which leads to a chase that goes on for about 9 and a half minutes. Included in this is a major fall when McGarrett -- who has been cautioned by his doctors not to drive a car or operate machinery for two to three months -- jumps off a building and after he lands, you can see blood on his shirt.

When nagged by Danno, McGarrett almost takes things easy, but he is still on the scene when Five-0 tracks Shaw to a hotel where there are 1,500 guests staying (once again the press is on the scene broadcasting everything). Shaw is chased to the roof of the building, making one final leap which does not work too well, because he plummets to his death.

As the Five-0 team leave the hotel in slow motion, things look like they are wrapped up, and Kono suggests they should all go for a beer (augh, Kono, puh-leeze!!), which McGarrett and Danno are not allowed to have for a couple of months. As McGarrett arrives home alone, he finds one of the chess pieces on his kitchen table.

To be continued...

MORE TRIVIA:


2. (S07E02) No ke ali'i wahine a me ka 'aina (For Queen and Country)
Original air date: 09/30/16

I thought the season premiere last week was pretty dumb, but compared to this second episode, it was like Citizen Kane.

There was a continuation of the first show's serial killer story line because, as anyone who follows the usual Five-Zero spoilers which are littered all over the internet like ants at a picnic is aware, this will be featured in the first four episodes of the current season.

Danno and McGarrett find themselves at the house of Alicia Brown (Claire Forlani), a former FBI profiler for 15 years who is now retired and living on Oahu. It says this right on the screen: Alicia Brown Residence, Manoa -- DUH!

Typically if you introduced a new character off the bat like this, there would be some introductory dialogue like

Danno: Steve, we are getting nowhere with this case, everyone is pulling their hair out, we are at a dead end.

Steve: That's OK, Danny, I found out from my contacts in the FBI that there is someone that can help us [Alicia Brown].

But not in this show!

Anyway, Brown says she cannot help them, because she emphasizes she is RETIRED. But after McGarrett "forgets" the chess piece that was left in his house at the very end of the last show when he and Danno leave, she is intrigued, and gives a look like she knows more than we suspect. Brown later finds out that HPD officer Philip Lau was investigating cold cases with relevance to the serial killer murders. When she brings evidence about this to Five-Zero's office later, McGarrett wants more info, but Lau's work was unofficial and he committed suicide six months before. Brown hands over a thick folder of paperwork that Lau had amassed to McGarrett, but where did she get all this, because she is RETIRED?

The soap opera with Chin Ho and his niece Sara continued, with the kid sounding depressed because she would have to go and live in Mexico with her "family" (as Chin referred to Gabriel's wife's relatives) rather than "Uncle Chin." You have to wonder if sometime Chin Ho is going to change his haircut which is probably a holdover from when Daniel Dae Kim played The King and I in New York until the end of June.

Soon enough, we join the story of the week. A well-dressed English-accented gent named Harry Langford (Chris Vance) attends an invitation-only party for rich types at Egyptian playboy Lucky Morad's (Faran Tahir) penthouse in Waikiki. While no one is watching Langford, he breaks into a room where there is a safe (and how did he know the safe was in that particular room?). He opens up the safe using some LED device that he attaches to the front of it. In the safe is what looks like a porcelain Asian doll that Langford pockets. A menacing security guy from the party notices the intrusion into this room, but Langford either leaves by another door or hides and sneaks out without being seen.

At the entrance to the party, Langford is about to leave when he is stopped by Morad and his security men. Langford has seemingly deposited the doll in the pocket of Casta Mitchell (Michelle Vawer), a babely model he has hot pants for, as she is about to leave the place, though her jacket doesn't seem to have any pockets. When the security guys can't find the doll on Langford's person, they take him to a bedroom with the intention of making him strip down. Langford beats the living crap out of all three security guys and leaves.

We jump ahead to the next morning, when Casta is found dead, though there is no indication as to who called the cops. According to the new medical examiner Noelani Cunha, Langford's DNA is found under her fingernails, so he is the number one suspect in her murder.

Shortly after, we follow Langford as he tries to escape from Five-Zero in a high-speed chase through Honolulu. When he is captured and taken to the blue-lit room, Langford says that he did not kill Casta, they just had hot sex together (but how did Langford figure out where Casta lived?). Langford further reveals that he works for MI6, the British secret service, and his identity as a thief is a cover that is known to his bosses as well as the CIA. He has been infiltrating the illegal arms market with the intention of tracking down Nashid El Hamadi, who was responsible for the bombing of the English embassy in Madrid in 2012 which killed Langford's wife. El Hamadi wants "the Greystone" which is an encryption tool capable of cracking any computer network. Langford expected to find the Greystone in Morad's safe, but Morad had already swapped it to El Hamadi's courier Amir Rabbab (Alavi Rumi) for the diamonds.

Now that Langford's identity is cleared up, he is Five-Zero's pal and they are all on the same page. The next evening, Danno and Kono go undercover at a black-tie event where Morad will be present. The two of them arrive in a fancy sports car, while Chin and Grover are standing around inside without partners talking to themselves (actually to each other via ear microphones), which I'm sure looks odd to the people present. Since Five-Zero has been in business for seven years, one might suspect that some of these high-profile cops would be recognized by Morad and his security people, but NOOOOO, this does not happen. Kono gets flirty dancing the tango with Morad, whispering some sexy dialogue in his ear and telling him she has the diamonds and wants to deal. She sweet-talks Morad to a patio outside, and he is accompanied there by a couple more bodyguards, presumably ones who survived the attack by Langford. While Kono and Morad are talking, McGarrett and Langford rappel down from above and punch out the security men. They then hold Morad over the balcony in a scene reminiscent of McGarrett's persuasive techniques in a notorious first season episode until Morad blabs details about who now has the Greystone.

This is when things start to really get stupid. Langford, Danno and McGarrett jump onto a private jet plane piloted by Langford which heads for Europe. (But Langford arrived in Hawaii not using this plane, which Danno suggests is Langford's, but on a regular flight.) Chin calls to say that Rabbab, the courier with the Greystone, is in Prague. Normally, using the fastest plane like this, a flight from Honolulu to Prague via North America would take about 10˝ hours, but they are only about 1˝ hours out of Prague when we join them.

After arriving, they show up where Rabbab is passing the Greystone to one of El Hamadi's men, who escapes. In a yellow-lit room in Prague, McGarrett manages to extract information from Rabbab about where El Hamadi's gang is located locally by using tasteless ISIS-like torture, pouring gasoline over Rabbab and then creating sparks from jumper cables attached to a car battery.

With Rabbab's "co-operation" plus help from a team led by blonde Czech security woman Klara Slavik (Julia Ubrankovics), to whom we are not formally introduced, they track down where bad dudes with vague Muslim connections are hiding out in Prague and using the Greystone to screw up nuclear reactors all over Europe, compromising their coolant systems and causing meltdowns. With three minutes to go before Europe will turn into radioactive soup, the Five-Zero duo and Langford are stymied, until McGarrett blasts a computer running the operation with his machine gun, thus bringing the whole sinister plot to a close.

At least it is closed in Europe, but Langford takes the Greystone and flees to Peshawar in Pakistan where he meets with some stooge who works for El Hamadi. Langford gives the codes to this guy but then wants to see the guy's "boss" who he wants to knock off because of what happened in Madrid.

On the way to El Hamadi's hideout, Langford and his driver are stopped by two terrorist types whose car has stalled on the road. But guess who these terrorist types are? McGarrett and Danno, who have tracked Langford via a GPS which Jerry inserted in Langford's James Bond-like watch in Honolulu! This laughable scene is really jaw-dropping, and reminded me of a Bob Hope/Bing Crosby "Road" movie the way McGarrett and Danno are dressed up.

What follows is McGarrett leading a raid on El Hamadi's hideout with Langford and some Navy Seal types, a sequence obviously inspired by the 2011 attack on Osama Bin Laden's compound in Abbotabad. El Hamadi is shot dead during an exchange of gunfire.

But things are not over yet. The story concludes in London with super-spy Langford visiting the grave of his wife in a scene reminiscent of certain James Bond movies. The ending, with Langford, McGarrett and Danno each receiving a medal from Queen Elizabeth (seriously!) is absurd. Maybe the producers of the show should have used their spiffy new CGI techniques which reincarnated Jack Lord last week to copy the Queen's actual face onto the body of an older woman (we only see her from the back), or should have gotten Scott Thompson from Kids in the Hall, who used to do a pretty mean imitation of the Queen.

My notes for the episode were full of multiple exclamation marks and expressions like "STUPID!" throughout because it was so ridiculous the way that Danno and McGarrett acted with impunity in Czechoslovakia and Pakistan and jumped all around the world in what seemed like a very limited time frame. It's really amazing that the people producing and writing the show can try and fob this nonsense off as "entertainment." Of course, people will say "Oh, Mike, it's just a TV show, lighten up (or don't watch it)," but my response to them is, if you find this drivel entertaining, you are the one who should question your priorities.

MORE TRIVIA:


3. (S07E03) He Moho Hou (New Player) ★˝
Original air date: 10/07/16

A show which was sort of OK, yet another example of "how could it be worse than the previous one which was so bad." But aside from the usual comedy and soap opera, the show featured a crime of the week which was boring and confusing, and another trip to Kono's world which had virtually nothing to do with Five-Zero, the same as her epic surfing journey in S05E23.

Kono gets a call from Rosey Valera (Kanya Sesser), a championship surfer who beat Kono in a competition years before. She is in jail because of a drunk and disorderly charge. Rosey has fallen on hard times after a tour of duty in Iraq where her legs were blown off in an explosion. (Sesser was born without legs, but despite this has carved out a very successful modelling career.) This whole part of the story was bulletproof ... how can you say anything bad about it? (This has not stopped people on IMDb from criticizing Sesser's acting abilities, though.) It touched on torn-from-the-headlines issues like veterans suffering from PTSD and other adjustment problems after returning home and living in squallid conditions like the camp where Rosey hangs out with several of them. This part of the show tugged at Kono's heartstrings and ours, but unfortunately, went on far too long, taking up about a third of its length.

The crime of the week had to do with drugs, something we have never seen before on the show! Hector Frontera (Manuel D. Baez, Jr), the Cali cartel's representative in the Far East, is on his way to a meeting in Hawaii with his U.S. counterpart, Armando Sanchez (Tony Stephanov). With Frontera on the plane, aside from the pilot, is an undercover DEA agent named Evers. Frontera finds out via a leak that when the plane lands he will be busted, so he kills the pilot and Evers, throwing Evers' body out of the plane, and parachutes to the ground before the plane crashes nearby.

Without any explanation as to how they locate Sanchez, the scene switches to the circular exit ramp of a parking garage where McGarrett and Danno are chasing him, having a carparkgument about various things, including the liver transplant, which happened "six weeks ago."

Sanchez is duly captured and taken to the blue-lit room where McGarrett and Danno engage in a good cop/bad cop routine that Sanchez amazingly cannot see through. As the good cop, Danno actually has a few good lines, I will give him that.

Sanchez gives up the name of his DEA informant, which is a female agent named Amy Raine. When Five-Zero arrives at Raine's place Frontera is there, but he shoots her in the head and escapes, leaving a bag containing $10 million in cash. Frontera eventually gets taken prisoner by some other guys involved in the drug trade, and McGarrett gets a call wanting to swap Frontera for the $10 million. When McGarrett meets with these guys, the exchange is made, but Kono is hiding inside the very large duffel bag and she pops up, killing all five of them in mere seconds. Kono tells McGarrett, "Please don't ever ask me to do that again."

Too bad that we didn't see more of this side of Kono, with the show mixing some Five-Zero related action with the story about her surfing pal. Kono was also seen at the beginning of the show doing tai chi exercises with Chin at the beach along with Kamekona and Flippa, offering to help fix things as far as Chin's adoption problems with his niece are concerned.

Jerry appeared briefly during the show, wasting a couple of minutes with some idiotic speculation comparing Frontera to D.B. Cooper, who extorted $200,000 in 1971 and parachuted out of a plane, never to be seen again.

FBI profiler Alicia Brown also returned, waking up to find a dead body with a chess piece in its mouth in bed beside her, meaning that she now has no choice about getting involved in the ongoing case about the serial killer. She will be appearing at greater length in the next episode where this plot thread is supposed to wrap up.

MORE TRIVIA:


4. (S07E04) Hū a‘e ke ahi lanakila a Kamaile (The Fire of Kamile Rises in Triumph)
Original air date: 10/14/16

Sigh. Was this a disappointing ending to the four-part serial killer arc? You bet.

Even considering the anything-goes comic book logic we have seen on the show, the writing by Lenkov and "consulting producer" Cyrus Nowrasteh was unusually bad.

Let's get the comedy and soap opera out of the way first.

Kamekona meets with Kono and Grover at his shrimp shack to promote his new idea, malasadas with shrimp in them. The entrepreneurial big guy wants to make this one of the offerings in his "food of the month club" which he will be marketing to people on the mainland. The two crime fighters think this would be a REALLY bad idea. The only reason for this diversion is to have NFL legend Otis Wilson appear in a brief but pointless cameo which causes Grover to forget his own name.

Now I think Taylor Wily is a funny guy, and he has even done good dramatic work as in S06E11. So instead of these silly comedy bits, how about giving the guy his own half-hour show? This would be a hard task for the writers, given their ineptitude, but, come on, Lenkov, I know you, as CBS's "Boy Wonder," could do this and make it a hit! And while you are doing this, how about giving Dennis Chun a Duke-centric episode of Five-Zero as well? (It wouldn't have to be a separate series, Duke being a cop sort of ties in with the overall theme of Five-Zero.)

In Five-Zero's "ohana" world, we find out from Kono that Adam will soon be released from jail, his sentence reduced because he helped out during the prison break in S06E21. Hopefully none of his fellow inmates know about this prior to his release, or he could suddenly become very unhealthy (not to mention after his release).

The business of Chin Ho adopting his niece Sara gets complicated, because Jerry found a phone number on the cel phone of one of the Cali Cartel guys killed in the last episode which is the same number as Sara's aunt and uncle in Mexico who want to adopt her. Chin calls on Robert Coughlin (Ingo Rademacher), brother of his former Internal Affairs nemesis Rex to help him investigate, since he is a "US attorney" who "worked with the Federales in Mexico." There is now no bad blood between Chin and Robert, and they actually discuss Chin's inamorata Abby, who is nowhere to be seen.

OK, so let's pick up the story from last week, where McGarrett and former FBI profiler Alicia Brown go to see HPD psychiatrist Madison Gray (Elisabeth Röhm). After they talk to Gray, McGarrett finds it hard to believe that HPD officer Philip Lau, who was being treated by Gray, never mentioned the serial killer cases that he was investigating. Gray says that Lau killed himself because of a painful separation from his wife. But McGarrett points out that a recent autopsy after Lau's body was exhumed proved that Lau was murdered. As McGarrett and Brown leave HPD headquarters after Gray promises to have paperwork regarding Lau available for them the next day, there is a lot of weird lens flare and sunshine in the camera, as if something ominous will happen.

Prior to this, we have seen a flashback to Brown's career when she was a lecturer eight years before at the FBI academy in Quantico, Virginia. She is seen talking to a group of recruits in front of pictures of famous serial killers like John Gacy, Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer. The editing for this sequence is very peculiar, full of strange cuts which are perhaps supposed to impress those of us who took English 100 at university that "something is amiss here."

A young woman speaks up at this lecture, bringing up a politically correct point -- "if the very term 'serial killer' is defined by sexual motivation and the desire for power over their victims, that would alleviate almost all female murderers." This young woman turns out to be Brown's own daughter, Sienna (Ashleigh Domangue). Alicia stage-mothered her kid to become a profiler, which turned out to be a very bad move, because Sienna was later killed by a serial killer named Ed Sears (Ryan Locke).

Later on in the show in another flashback, we jump five years back to the Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wisconsin (a real place) where Sears is incarcerated. Over the objections of the warden, Brown wants to talk one-on-one to Sears about what happened to her daughter in a scene obviously inspired by a famous one in Silence of the Lambs -- except that unlike what happens in that film between Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins' characters, Brown totally freaks out after Sears taunts her and she is dragged from the room screaming by the prison guards.

Back to the present, when McGarrett gets a call from Brown, who has broken into Gray's house where she finds three files on the recent serial killings (plus two more that they didn't know about), confirming that the pleasant-looking Gray is the mastermind they have suspected. So how does Brown get into the house? Did Gray just leave the door open? Did Gray set this whole thing up, knowing that Brown would be curious? There is also a medieval chess set at Gray's with various pieces missing which tie in to the current case and give clues about what might soon happen.

Brown gets a large kitchen knife plunged into her back by Gray. (We have seen this prior to the main titles with Brown getting dragged across the floor leaving a trail of blood.) So does McGarrett, who shows up shortly to help her. So we are beating a season record set by S07E02 for the point where the show becomes really stupid (around 13:00 in this show, 28:30 in that show). Considering what happens from this point on in this show, this knife in the back business is totally absurd -- unless someone wants to contact me and let me know if there is some Wikipedia page like "Places You Can Get Seriously Stabbed And Still Function Normally." After all, there was an episode of the original Five-O where some guy stabbed himself on purpose after studying medical textbooks to determine where he could make it look like someone attacked him but still live.

While they are on the floor feeling horrible pain and bleeding, Brown attempts to profile Gray, who engages in "off the charts" OCD behavior cleaning up the knives and her kitchen counter. Brown tells Gray, "one of your parents was bipolar and the other one was completely under their sway," suggesting the "other one" was her father who taught her chess in her room with the door locked and likely sexually abused her. Gray gives it right back to Brown, saying that if Brown hadn't been a control freak who wanted her daughter to pursue the same career as herself, the daughter would still be alive today. Gray says "Never play psych games with a shrink, Ms. Brown."

In what seems like an introduction from The Ed Sullivan Show, Gray then brings in a white trash couple, Donald and Mallory Whitten, who, according to Brown, whispering to McGarrett, "The FBI's been looking for ... for over ten years." Turns out that Brown arrested Donald years ago and Mallory helped him escape. These two have been "off stage," as it were, perhaps staying in Gray's cabana or something. If the FBI couldn't find these two, where did Gray find them? Did she look them up in the Yellow Pages under "Really Bad Killers For Hire"?

This duo, vaguely reminiscent of another classic Five-O episode which featured a white trash serial killer family (but four people, not two), take McGarrett and Brown away in a van. This is the McGarrett and Brown who have been horribly stabbed in their backs, you recall.

Meanwhile, back at the Five-Zero office, everyone is freaking out because McGarrett hasn't shown up for a meeting, and he is "never late." The usual cel phone GPS tracking is employed, though you would think that if Gray is so clever, she would have just smashed McGarrett's and Brown's cel phones with a hammer.

Chin and Kono track down the signal to a Trans Hawaiian Parcel delivery truck and when they find the specific package which contains McGarrett's phone, there is no return address on the parcel. The driver says that not only is there no return address, but "I must've picked it up on my route" through the Kahala area. WHAT?!?!? This is the twenty-first century where parcel companies use computers and so forth, isn't it? How can he not know where the parcel was picked up? Surely someone (Gray) called to have it picked up, which means that at the delivery company, there would be a record of this, and the driver would likely also have a record of the parcel on some handheld device which the geeky Chin or geeky Kono could immediately check out! Once again, the Five-O writers make an exception to the rule with something technological for the sake of dragging out the plot.

Fortunately, Jerry and Grover at least know from the driver approximately where he was going, so they check out all the addresses on that route, seemingly cross-checking the parcel company's computer and finding an address for Gray, whose name Grover recognizes. But if you look at the data they are examining, the only one of the people whose name is actually displayed is that of Gray's. The other people are just identified as "property owner." So if Grover hadn't seen Gray's name (because he never met the woman), McGarrett and Brown would be doomed.

Of course, by the time anyone shows up at Gray's house, she is far away, torching McGarrett's Silverado in a fiery explosion.

The killer couple drive McGarrett and Alicia to a place near Makapu'u Point, a familiar landmark to fans of the old series, where they throw the two of them into a blowhole where the tide is going to make sure that both of them drown -- and, according to Mallory, "Brown has a phobia about drowning" Uh, how would Mallory know this?

Now, this part of the show at least piqued my interest when I stopped writing notes and started freaking out about whether McGarrett and Brown would escape, and the underwater sequences were imaginatively done, though the means by which they get back to the surface at the end -- seemingly by a rope made out of seaweed or something -- seemed kind of far-fetched. (Actually, it looks more like seaweed resembling the banners which hang above used-car lots.) However, among other things, I kept saying to myself, "If these people had been horribly stabbed in the back, wouldn't their exposure to salt water really hurt like hell?"

Chin Ho and Kono manage to find the Whittens, and a gun battle ensues with the trashy twosome possessing some firepower which seems pretty extreme. Kono does a cute dance when Donald sprays the ground near her as she runs to take cover behind some rocks. Of course, the Whittens meet an appropriate end and McGarrett and Brown are OK -- aside from the horrible stab wounds in their backs, of course. The two of them cuddle under a blanket provided by Chin Ho which had even mean old me saying "Awwwww."

With only a few minutes of the show left to go, I kept wondering if there was going to be some dramatic confrontation with Gray, but NOOOOOO, she just escapes town, dyes her blonde hair black and ends up in Beverly Hills where she meets a guy in a restaurant who tells her "When you wrote on your profile that your favorite fairy tale is Jack the Ripper, I knew immediately that was a woman I had to meet."

Yeah, right.

You know what? If Gray had just tasered McGarrett and Brown, I would likely have given this show a much higher rating, aside from its faults, which included the character of Gray, who was dull as dishwater. She had virtually no personality, other than that which was "profiled" by Brown. Gray definitely did not come across as some kind of mastermind. (I haven't even bothered to think about how she was able to deal with the three guys who died in previous episodes.) It would have been better even if, as a friend of mine suggested, Gray had used old-fashioned chloroform on McGarrett and Brown.

MORE TRIVIA:


5. (S07E05) Ke Kū Ana (The Stand)
Original air date: 10/21/16

I dreaded watching this show, because according to the CBS Express press release, it was going involve GUNS. I remembered how Danno's anti-gun rant in the new show's remake of Hookman (S03E15) came close to derailing that episode and guaranteeing that it was not going to be a classic Five-Zero episode like the Pearl Harbor one (S04E10).

I'm sure it is no coincidence that the ratings-hungry people behind the reboot scheduled a show with this kind of theme just as the U.S. election is only a couple of weeks away, trying to capitalize on hysteria that is being whipped up over the Second Amendment, not to mention the use of force to protect oneself from the threat of immigrants and even overthrowing the government if the election doesn't turn out the way people would like.

The crime of the week began with some guy driving a modified bulldozer into a Waikiki gun range and destroying it, almost killing several people in the process and then going to the range's basement and, in the space of about five minutes, helping himself to an "arsenal of very expensive [and illegal] weapons" that people could pay a lot of money to the range's owner, Johnny K. (Alan Shepard), to illicitly use. Then this Looney Tune takes his killdozer and parks it over a nearby manhole and escapes with all this hardware down through the Honolulu sewer system! I'm not kidding! Are the writers for this garbage living in Washington or Colorado?

Mr. Nutbar then goes to visit a local gun aficionado named Matty McConnell who has 12 million followers on social media, ostensibly to sell him an M134 Minigun he stole from the range's basement, but kills McConnell instead and takes a picture of him which is posted on McConnell's "FlicPhoto" account. This is actually a good thing, because it allows Five-Zero to see the killer's face in a reflection on the dead McConnell's sunglasses.

Without any continuity explanation, McGarrett and Danno go to a support group for people who have experienced gun-related violence where they are told by the group's leader Gary (Andrew Manning), based on the reflection, that the name of the vigilante is Marvin Osweiler (Brent Sexton), who conveniently attended some of the group's sessions.

Marvin is tracked down to his house, but he is not there. Instead, we jump to the Hawaii State Supreme Court, where he is taking two judges and other people hostage. Somehow McGarrett knows that the hostage-taker and Marvin are the same person.

It turns out that Marvin's real name is Kyle Kane, and his son Sean was involved in a mass shooting in a Virginia mall two years before where he killed six of his classmates and injured 12 others. Kane wants a TV crew to come inside the court because he has "things to say" about "something that's become a crisis in America."

Kono and Grover quickly learn the ropes of being an interviewer and a cameraman and go into the courtroom, a ruse which quickly collapses after one of the judges with a concealed-carry permit (Jay Miller) wounds Kane. Although McGarrett would like the SWAT team to storm the padlocked court chambers and rescue everyone, Danno instead lays on a heavy trip over the phone with Kane, saying things like "I am outraged at how easy it is to get a gun, no questions asked. As a father, I'm even more outraged," and Kane eventually surrenders.

As Kane leaves the courtroom, the show turns into a music video with a cover version of John Lennon's "Beautiful Boy," accompanying pictures of Kane and his son in happier times. Now, I normally HATE it when the show's "creative" people try to make a point in this manner, but, seriously, in this case, I just about puked.

Aside from this jaw-dropping intrusion, the writing for this show was mediocre, once again omitting far too many things you would have expected the Five-Zero crew to investigate, especially with the use of the Supercomputer.

For example, Grover says "this bird [meaning Kane] jacks a bulldozer from a construction site, and he tricks it out into some kind of bullet-proof battering ram" without any elaboration. Did Kane work for a construction company? (Nothing is said about Kane's occupation.) Did the vehicle have a serial number that could be traced? Were there any security cameras that could have captured the theft?

Was Kane capable of modifying such a vehicle? For example, was auto repair or something metalwork-related on his résumé? Was there a place on Kane's property where he could have done modifications on a vehicle of this size? If he wasn't living out in the sticks, didn't Kane's neighbors notice anything unusual?

And then there is the issue, brought up in discussions of the show and in other reviews, that Hawaii has gun rules and regulations regarding ownership and use that are relatively strict compared to other U.S. states. But I guess we shouldn't think about this angle too hard, considering the reboot's constant depiction of the islands as a cesspool of crime where gun violence rivals that on shows of yesteryear like The Untouchables -- or even that of the original Five-O, which took a lot of heat over the level of criminality it depicted and the reputation of the state which it created as a literal pistol-packin' Wild West, geographically speaking.

The show also featured a major "gun-gument," with Danno ranting that it was "the height of hypocrisy" that "this guy is using a gun to go on an anti-gun crusade" (which is quite true). McGarrett commented "So what if normal people, what if citizens want to protect themselves and their families from the bad guys? Shouldn't they have a right to do that?" Danno replied, "How about if we just don't let the bad guys have any guns? Then the good guys won't need any guns, and nobody needs any guns, how about that?" McGarrett threw it back to him: "While we're at it, we can eliminate discrimination, war, hatred, violence, all that kind of stuff. We'll all live happily ever after, and we can ... ride our unicorns to work every day."

In other words, a typical pro- and anti-gun argument, which gets nowhere! What will the show debate next, abortion or gay marriage?

Elsewhere, the becoming-tiresome issues with Chin Ho and the adoptive family for his niece Sara continued, with no resolution in sight. The other big sub-plot had to do with Adam's release from jail and his efforts to convince Emily Kalama (Tani Fujimoto-Kim), the estranged daughter of one of his prison pals, to reconcile with her incarcerated father Louis (Christopher Cho), who is dying from cancer. Despite the fact that Kono appeared naked (from the back) in one scene, which would typically have piqued my interest, I found all of this, especially the banal dialogue accompanying Kono and Adam drooling in each other's mouths, to be nauseating.

MORE TRIVIA:


6. (S07E06) Ka hale ho'okauweli (House of Horrors) ★ľ
Original air date: 10/28/16

Another episode to dread -- the Hallowe'en one. Those from the previous five years (there was none in the first season) were mediocre, rated by me with scores of 2 or 2-1/2 out of 4 for an average of 2.2.

There were actually some things I liked about this season's episode. Its look was colorful and made you think it was indeed Hallowe'en, so points to the production designer and the camera people for that. The music was so-so. There were some scary bass noises, but also the clichéd pizzicato plink-plunk, meaning "this is cute" or "this is funny."

Nothing was mentioned about Chin's niece, and Danno was relatively subdued with no cargument. Max is back from Doctors Without Borders in Burundi which he described as "the single greatest experience of my lifetime", and he has married his girl friend Sabrina, which is nice for him, but he is still a totally irritating character. In keeping with the show's Hallowe'en tradition, Max was dressed like Keanu Reeves, in this case in the 2014 action film John Wick.

Jerry wasted everyone's time again, helping Danno's kids carving pumpkins and taking them out for trick or treat. All this part of the show did for me was illustrate how the characters of Grace and Charlie have grown up as we have been watching them for the last several years.

The crime of the week revolved around the death of 64-year-old Marjorie Webb (Jean St. James), a retired TV "medium" who ran a psychic hotline. According to Max, Webb was literally scared to death ("a sudden and catastrophic cardiac arrest") by something that happened in her house, which had a paranomal history. Nikki Pressman (Skyler Day), Webb's personal assistant for the last two years, tells Five-Zero that Webb "had become convinced that she was being haunted."

Five-Zero checks out Webb's financials, which reveal she gave a check for $5,000 to Nathan Betts (Sasha Feldman), a "low-rent junkie." Pulled out of the county lockup and taken to the blue-lit room, Betts reveals this payment was for him to dig up the grave of Eli Jones in a local cemetery, which contained no body. When Grover and Chin Ho go to check this out, they find Webb's name scratched on the inside of the lid of Eli's coffin.

It turns out that when Jones disappeared a few years before, his parents consulted Webb to psychically track him down, and she told them that he was alive and well in New Orleans. But after the parents investigated, spending two years and thousands of dollars, they found out this was all a scam and that their son had died within 48 hours of first being reported missing. After this, Webb's reputation went in the toilet and her career effectively ended.

Back at Webb's house, Eric and Danno find a vast amount of paranormal special effects in the house, controlled from a hideout in the place's attic: "hidden speakers in the wall, blood packets in the faucets, stage wire on the door and bookcases, all hooked up to remote control triggers." So the big question becomes: who could have set this up?

Spyware on Webb's phone gets traced by its IP address to Charles Michael Triblaine (David Fierro), a local magician named "Triblaine the Great." As the show's second occupant of the blue-lite room, Triblaine admits that he was no fan of Webb's, and spent much of ten years trying to expose her as a fraud. Eric says that Triblaine has the "skills to rig up a haunted house," even though he seems like a very unspectacular kind of guy in a YouTube-like video where he is performing parlor tricks on Kalakaua Avenue. Triblaine has an air-tight alibi for the time Webb's house was rigged with all the magic gimmickry. He offers to help Five-Zero with the things he learned about her, including how she was "involved in dozens of private consultations over the years."

Almost instantaneous investigation by Chin Ho traces the purchase of several items from Webb's attic to a guy named Ian Miller, who, according to Max, was found dead just a couple of hours before with a stab wound to his neck. Max uses DNA analysis on a hair found on Miller's body to connect with a missing persons case from six years ago -- specifically, Julie Hillman, who turns out to be Webb's assistant Nikki. The third person grilled in the show in the blue-lit room, she sits there while McGarrett tells us everything we need to know about her -- that she was working in cahoots with Miller, taking revenge on Webb, who fleeced her parents after she ran away from home six years before and told them that she was dead, following which her father committed suicide. More recently, Nikki stabbed Miller to death after he threatened to go to the cops. McGarrett lays a heavy trip on her, saying that if she had just gone home after running away, she wouldn't be facing a double rap for murder and manslaughter and that this would have been a lot easier than going after Webb.

The sub-plot of the week concerned the two lovebirds Kono and Adam, or, as the Intense Study WWW site calls them, "Kodam." The two of them are driving in the middle of nowhere on Oahu on their way to a "weekend getaway" at Turtle Bay when they almost run into some bloodied woman who says she and her friend were in a car which veered off the road. Investigating this accident, Kono, Adam and Dana (Alex M. Savusa), the woman who was really driving the car, are kidnapped by a bunch of psychos belonging to a "death cult" which gets together in an even more middle-of-nowhere location nearby on Oahu making snuff videos every Hallowe'en. (The woman who flagged them down on the road belongs to the cult).

What follows is utterly ridiculous. Adam, Kono and Dana are chained to poles inside a barn-like structure. But when two guys come back later and one tries to let Kono loose, she bites his ear. He drops the key for their locks which Kono picks up with her feet and throws it exactly to Adam's hands which are still chained above his head to a pole several feet away. Adam manages to kick the guy holding an axe and standing beside him to the floor and then unlocks himself, using skills that he maybe picked up in jail. The guy gets up as if he is going to attack Adam with his axe, but Adam hits him with a chain, causing the axe to go spinning through the air, landing exactly above Kono on the pole where it cuts through her chains. After these two guys are completely put out of commission, Adam, Kono and Dana then escape through a back door of the place to a house nearby, but in a cliché-ridden scene, Bobby (Tate Rolfs), the guy who lives there and uses words like "ain't," is connected to the cult nutbars who he calls -- though they are already on their way, speaking to each other in grunt-like noises.

Kono quickly disables Bobby, and Adam calls HPD, but a gun battle with the pursuing cult wackos takes place with Kono and Adam having limited ammunition. Adam throws a pot of hot water in the face of one of the bad guys, despite the fact he has only been heating it on the stove for about 40 seconds. Just as it seems the three, who have locked themselves in the bathroom, are doomed in the middle of nowhere (need I emphasize this again?), HPD shows up very quickly and takes the cult members into custody.

Throughout much of this, Adam and Kono seem to be smirking and making wise cracks as if this was all in a day's work for them. I began to wonder: is Lenkov using this a run-through for a remake of McMillan & Wife set in Hawaii?

MORE TRIVIA:


7. (S07E07) Ka makuahine a me ke keikikane (Mother and Son)
Original air date: 11/4/16

This terrible episode was a flashback to Five-Zero's A-Team adventures in North Korea (S02E10 and S03E20, two shows I loathed), except this one took place in Morocco. That is when it wasn't dithering around with other things.

The fact that this show was the 150th episode was supposed to be significant, as if that is some milestone that all TV shows should aspire to achieve. It sort of reminded me of a recent release of a giant CD box set to commemorate the 225th anniversary of Mozart's death, only 25 years after another giant box set in 1991 for the 200th anniversary. This peculiar math also reminded me of Steve Martin, when he was playing the banjo on Saturday Night Live and dividing the audience up: "Okay, this half of the room! Beautiful! Now this half! Good, good! All right, two fifths! Now, three-fifths! Good. Seven-ninths! Two-ninths. All right, in Chinese now!"

Considering how this show was hyped ad nauseum by both CBS and executive producer Peter Lenkov for weeks because it would likely contain bombshell revelations regarding both McGarrett's mother Doris and ex-girl friend Catherine that would give "closure," I couldn't believe how much time was taken up at the beginning and the end with other nonsense.

Danno's daughter Gracie is staying at Grover's place while her father is back in New Jersey because his father has undergone surgery. (Surely at some point the writers will run out of lame excuses to explain Scott Caan's absences from the show.) Grover wants his son Will (Chosen Jacobs) to find out if Gracie has a boyfriend, because Danno, who is incapable of just asking his daughter about things like this, wants to know. This went on for almost two minutes.

Then the ongoing sad saga of Chin Ho's soon-to-be-on-a-plane-for-Mexico niece resumed for almost two and a half minutes as Chin told Sara a "fish story" and Kono commiserated with her cousin about Sara's fate.

Already I was screaming at the TV, "Why can't you just leave this crap for the next episode and get on with it!"

At least the teaser did have something relevant to the plot, despite the opening minute and a half of McGarrett preparing a gourmet meal for his current girl friend Lynn. (Sarah Carter's bleached-looking long hair was hideous, though.) His former inamorata Catherine suddenly appears and tells McGarrett that his mom is in BIG trouble and that "if you don't help her now, you will regret it." McGarrett drops everything and the two of them rush off to Morocco. At least this prelude to the show had one good moment, when Lynn gave Catherine a real mackerel-in-the-face moment when she mentioned that prior to Catherine leaving in S06E03, McGarrett was just about to propose to her. Talk about catty!

I don't intend to talk too much about most of this show, where the objective was to rescue Doris from a CIA "black site" in Rabat. Once this was achieved, Doris insisted that her son also rescue Wo Fat's father, Yao Fat (George Cheung), who was being held captive in the same place. The script was full of stupidity piled on stupidity, with the Five-Zero team first torturing some guy who "just happened" to work at the black site to find out where Doris was being held. After this, McGarrett and his merry band of men and women -- Chin Ho, Kono and Grover having arrived to "get his back" -- knew exactly what they had to do to achieve their goals, were familiar with the lay of the land at the black site including the computer system and, finally, obtained weapons and gear from who-knows-where to help them overcome what were supposedly well-trained and well-armed personnel who should typically have been able to stop them dead (literally) in their tracks. And where was Jimmy Buffett?

At the end of the show, a plane departed from Morocco taking Catherine, Wo Fat's father and Doris to a mysterious destination after some tear-jerking moments. This was around 40:42, with a couple of minutes still to go. I thought "surely we are not going to have a beers-on-the-beach!" Thankfully not ... but in a scene back on Oahu to rival the one in the recent gun control episode that made me want to stop reviewing this show forever, another pop song wailed in the background (Goodbye to You by Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals), and Chin Ho gave McGarrett a run for the money in the "looking really sad" department for a minute and a half as he reminisced about Sara, who was now long gone.

So why did I even bother to give this show one star? Because it brought back Michelle Borth, who, despite being given some of the most awful dialogue (give her a phone book, please!) was the proverbial sight for sore eyes, with some nice cleavage shots. Undoubtedly sexist, I know, but I'm sure women (and some men) were equally happy about the McGarrett beefcake at the beginning of the episode as our hero got dressed for dinner.

MORE TRIVIA:


8. (S07E08) Hana Komo Pae (Right of Passage) ★˝
Original air date: 11/11/16

If someone had told me that on Five-Zero or even classic Five-O some day I would see an episode where one of the characters gave his son instruction in the facts of life using the expression "no glove, no love," I would have told them they were nuts. But that is what happened with this show after a teaser which was basically a "stuff-that-you-will-soon-see-in-the-show" preview.

After the main titles, we had to endure Grover talking in a totally embarassing manner to his son Will (Chosen Jacobs) about his adult responsibilities connected with a winter formal dance for Leeward Academy, where Will attends school. Then we had to put up with Danno hyperventilating big time, because it turns out that Will's date for this occasion is none other than Gracie, Danno's daughter, who goes to the same institution. (Danno got even more anxiety-stricken later when he had to crawl through a ventilation duct. Remember that Danno suffers from claustrophobia.)

The relationship between Will and Gracie [sic] was probably the worst-kept secret in the history of television thanks to the usual advance blabbery by King of the Khyber Spoilers, Five-Zero showrunner Peter Lenkov. In a TV Guide interview, Lenkov was quoted as saying, "We had hoped it was going to be a surprise, but the promo department let that surprise out." Hook him up to a lie detector, please!

Danno ends up chaperoning Gracie at the dance thanks to the fact that the flight times back to the mainland for his ex-wife Rachel, who was supposed to do this, changed. Because one of the other students at the school is Jeremy Ramos (Max Tepper), the son of "some high-ranking diplomat in the Philippine government," the dance is invaded by a terror group called Jemaah, a splinter group of Al-Qaeda based out of Jakarta, who want to seize Jeremy and make a deal. Their imprisoned leader, an imam named Suharto Chandra, is scheduled to be executed in the Philippines in two days.

This hostage taking begins just as Danno and Will are having a talk in the washroom about Will's intentions, so they are able to avoid the ballroom and do stuff behind the scenes. The "tech-savvy" Will changes the message on the sign outside the hotel from "Leeward Academy Winter Formal" to "Hostages Inside - Call 911" from the hotel's "control room." All he does is erase one message on the computer controlling this sign and replace it with another, but the font for the message changes from a relatively inconspicuous to one in large red letters which can be seen from much further away. This does not help.

Danno is able to knock out one of the terrorists who is snooping around the basement of the hotel, then take his rifle and kill two others. Will bonks another terrorist on the head with a fire extinguisher. This guy is tied up with zip ties used for handcuffs which he inexplicably was carrying. Danno and Will find Jeremy, who is hiding in some obscure location of the basement getting stoned out of his mind. A couple more bad guys get knocked off by Danno.

At this point, Grover, who has been playing poker with the boys at McGarrett's house, comes to the hotel since his text messages to his son aren't getting any response -- because all the cel phone signals in the hotel have been jammed by the terrorists. Outside the hotel, Grover does get a signal as Frank Pine (Demetrius Grosse), the bodyguard for Jeremy who works for the Philippine consulate and who is the terrorists' lookout at the front of the place, pulls out a gun and shoots at Grover, who is standing only a few feet away, but misses. Grover wounds Pine just as two terrorists come out of the hotel and start shooting. We don't find out what happens to these guys; presumably Grover kills them. Grover calls McGarrett and lets him know what is going on.

Within what seem like mere seconds, Five-Zero and HPD show up and surround the place. It seems very odd to me that the guys in ballroom wouldn't have heard the shooting outside (obviously the two guys Grover likely killed did hear the commotion). As well, the terrorists in the ballroom can do an inventory on all the people there based on the guest list, which shows that Danno and Will are not present. There are quite a few people in the ballroom. When they threaten to start killing people, starting with Gracie, Danno shows up with Jeremy, but not with Will, who the terrorists know is on the "missing" list!

The terrorists reactivate the phones, and Grover contacts his son, who is still in hiding. Will comes to one of the ballroom doors and, using his cell phone, is able to send a "live feed" of what is going on inside to his father, showing that there are five bad guys holding people hostage. For no particular reason, two of the terrorists start to head to the north exit of the ballroom, so Five-O and the cops go inside the building and, upon encountering these guys, shoot them dead. No one hears this shooting, though it looks like Kono, who is responsible, has a silencer on her rifle. A thermite bomb opens the door to the ballroom, killing another terrorist, and the remaining two are shot dead almost immediately and the hostage taking is over.

Some parts of this show were passably interesting, if you enjoy a family comedy without a laugh track. I am also a sucker for scenes with a lot of cop cars and SWAT action at night with lights flashing all over the place. But the writers really didn't overexert themselves with the crime of the week, considering in S01E05, the daughters of the Philippine ambassador were kidnapped to make him co-operate with rebels, DUH!

Don't get me going on how many story lines overall have been about kidnapping since the show began. In my review of S01E17, I pointed out that of the shows up to that point in the first season, 9 of them had been about kidnapping. Maybe it is time to update this list.

At least the writers get points for "torn from today's headlines" realism with the Philippine president refusing to co-operate and release the imam in exchange for Jeremy. In fact, when told about the hostage taking by Jeremy's father, the president "expedited the imam's execution," i.e., he is already dead. This is a course of action which the current hardline president of the Philippines would certainly follow.

MORE TRIVIA:


9. (S07E09) Elua lā ma Nowemapa (Two Days in November) ★★˝
Original air date: 11/18/16

I was of a mixed mind about this episode. On one hand, I was interested in the story line, which was connected with the JFK assassination. After all, I can remember exactly where I was when I heard that the president had been shot (Mr. Barclay's English class).

On the other hand, because a conspiracy was involved and the episode was going to be very Jerry-centric, I was not looking forward to that aspect of it, though it turned out Jerry was not as annoying as I anticipated. In fact, I enjoyed much of the show because it was different, though the whole thing got seriously derailed near the end because of the writers' ineptitude.

You know there is a big problem when eight hours after the show was broadcast there is only one message about the episode on IMDb. You have to ask: was the story's historical connection too far back or too complicated to appeal to today's audience? That one message wasn't even concerning the crime of the week, which was about the murder of a conspiracy theorist -- Susie Freeling (Katie Malia), a cute woman friend of Jerry's -- who is investigating the fact that several members of President Kennedy's administration were in Hawaii just before his assassination (historically correct, by the way). The rumour among conspiracy buffs was that they had something to do with what happened on November 22, 1963.

The one message that was posted at IMDb related to something that Danno said in his discussion with Grover near the beginning of the show, which continued the B.S. from last week about Grover's son dating Danno's daughter. I couldn't deal with this garbage at all, especially considering the "seriousness" of the rest of the show. I just fast-forwarded through that whole section (I reviewed the subtitles for it later). This baloney lasted for over 3 minutes.

The show did a good job handling flashbacks to November of 1963, with Five-Zero in some cases following up with people were who still alive today, including a rarity for the show, an older actor, Wayne Ward playing George Sellers, who delivered a cryptic telegram to Kennedy's Secretary of State Dean Rusk (Marty Ryan) way back when (his younger self was played by Benen Weir).

I also liked the business with McGarrett getting jerked around by the Feds, specifically FBI agent Ward (Matt Battaglia). When Ward read McGarrett the riot act over who had jurisdiction, you could see the wheels turning in McGarrett's head about how he was going to get revenge later ... which he did!

But there was one big problem with the episode. It is revealed that the members of JFK's team meeting in Hawaii were not talking about their boss's assassination a couple of days later, but "Operation Mongoose," a CIA covert operation authorized by Kennedy at the end of November 1961. This concerned various schemes against Cuban leader Fidel Castro ranging from making him look like a fool in the eyes of the Cuban peple to assassinating him.

The conversation around the Duke Kahanamoku nightclub table, with Don Ho (Kahu Watters) singing in the background and involving people like Rusk, went like this: "The chiefs have little faith in the CIA's ability to pull off a clean assassination. They're about to be proven wrong. Yes ... and God willing, years from now historians will look back and say Operation Mongoose did more to ensure this country's security than the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki."

The problem with this dialogue was Operation Mongoose was not planned just before JFK's assassination. If the writers for the show had actually looked this up on Wikipedia, they would have seen that this "operation" was disbanded at the end of 1962, about 11 months before JFK got knocked off. ("By October, as the Cuban Missile Crisis heated up, President Kennedy demanded the cessation of Operation Mongoose. Operation Mongoose formally ceased its activities at the end of 1962.") So it seems odd that the government members in Hawaii would be discussing this a couple of days before JFK was killed, not saying anything about carrying on the work which had been done before it was cancelled (if that is what they are supposedly doing). As a result, we learn via Jerry near the end of the show that the big mystery about a possible JFK assassination-related "conspiracy" connected with the presence of JFK's men in Hawaii was nonexistent.

If you read the Wikipedia article about Mongoose further, considering the operation was highly classified until the mid-70s, it is quite possible that it was continued, even beyond the '70s into the late '80s -- according to left-wing guru Noam Chomsky. But if that was the case, instead of making us listen to over three minutes of drivel between Danno and Grover, why didn't Jerry say something like "Holy crap, I always thought that Operation Mongoose ended with Kennedy's order around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, but this [the stuff he discovered on a tape of the nightclub conversation] means that it was still going on just before JFK was killed ... and maybe it is still going on today!"

The show had a very lame ending where they explained the killing of Freeling because she was also investigating some "chemical company" (like Monsanto, I guess) and it was the chemical company who arranged for her murder. That is all we are told! BAD!!!

MORE TRIVIA:


10. (S07E010) Ka Luh (The Burden) ★★★
Original air date: 12/09/16

This episode should have been titled "Jerks" (or the Hawaiian equivalent).

Chin Ho is being a jerk, because he is obsessed with his niece Sara's Mexican aunt and uncle who adopted her to the point where his background checks, delaying the adoption and having the kid show him their house via Skype is going to make his relationship with her very difficult. Kono tells Chin he doesn't want to know what she really thinks about his interfering, but he makes her tell him anyway, and then realizes she is right. But ... next week the story regarding Sara is going to take a different turn with international intrigue, hopefully not another adventure like the idiocy we experienced about a month ago with the rescue of McGarrett's mother.

Then Danno is being a jerk about his baby sister Bridget (Missy Peregrym), who is in Hawaii for an insurance company retreat. Danno's concern over his daughter Gracie pales in comparison with the hysteria he is having over Bridget (an adult woman, remember), who is having trouble with her marriage and is hanging out at the retreat with a guy named Spencer (Daniel Bess), who she says is just someone whose shoulder she can cry on. Danno tells us that he had similar feelings about his partner Grace many years ago, which he managed to suppress. All the annoying things we have come to love or hate about Danno were on display in this episode, including a couple of carguments. Danno finally realizes he is being stupid and, without actually saying "I'm sorry," tells Bridget this at the end of the show (sort of) after which the two of them relive childhood memories by watching Smokey and the Bandit.

The crime of the week revolved around Reese Holland (Joey Luthman), a troubled youth having flashbacks while under hypnosis at the office of his psychiatrist, Dr. Linda Silver (Laura Kai Chen). Reese sees a killing that happened ten years before, and later, after this is reported to the cops and they go to the scene, they find the body of Maggie Reed, a star softball player at Kukui High who mysteriously disappeared around that time. Five-Zero talks to HPD officer Pearson Yang (Charles Rahi Chun), who was in charge of the case back then, which leads them to the prime suspect back then, Travis Wilson (Trent Garrett), who doesn't help matters by later confessing to killing Maggie, even though he didn't do it as McGarrett lets us know after having a major brainstorm, including re-enacting some of the crime.

There was a lot to like about this episode, written by two women, Helen Shang & Zoe Robyn, and well-directed by Carlos Bernard, Tony Almeida on "24," who had an acting role as Witness Protection Agent Chris Channing in S03E02 and S03E08. I was about ten minutes into the story when I realized there was something unusual about the show: there were actually some scenes where there was NO MUSIC, and in others it was very minimal. This was to be expected, however, because there were no gun battles or car chases. But it was nice! The acting by Luthman as Reese was very good, though I had to keep wondering why it was ten years before the suppressed information about Maggie's death was finally revealed.

Unfortunately, the ending of the show was disappointing, the writers once again having written themselves into a corner that they couldn't get out of.

Turned out that Reese's trauma resulted from being in the family car driven ten years before by his drunk mother Monica (Cathryn De Prume) who ran into Maggie. The mother then picked up a large rock and killed Maggie by smashing her in the head, causing a fractured skull, and then buried her body in a nearby forest. This kind of violence was literally overkill. There is no logical reason why the mother would have done this, despite the fact that Reese said his parents were "fighting" and Monica was "so afraid they'd take Reese away from [her]."

There is also the question of how the mother buried Maggie's body; the grave was 3' x 5' by a couple of feet deep in the ground as seen by the position of the skull when the cops dug Maggie up at the beginning of the episode. Did the mother use a shovel? If so, where did she get it? There is a suggestion that she dug the grave with her hands, because Reese, in his flashback near the end of the show, said "She's [his mother] all dirty." On the other hand, when McGarrett recreated the crime, he was also pretty dirty afterwards, including some silly very dirty footprints going into his office. McGarrett used a shovel; you can see it leaning up against the wall in the office after he returns there.

So, continuing with the theme of "jerkiness" in the show, Reese's mother was a jerk for acting in this panicked manner, as was his father Fred (Paul Ganus), who took the blame for the damage on the car that resulted from hitting Maggie, filing an insurance claim as if he was the driver, saying that he hit "a boar."

MORE TRIVIA:


11. (S07E011) Ka’ili aku (Snatchback)
Original air date: 12/16/16

It's difficult to avoid once again using using the expression "another A-Team adventure" to describe the trip Five-Zero takes to Mexico in this episode, yet another example of the "ohana" going to some foreign jurisdiction and operating with impunity.

The show opens during Chin Ho's birthday party when he gets a call that his niece Sara has been kidnapped. This causes him to suddenly freak out and leave the party in front of everyone, heading on his bike for the airport. Fortunately, McGarrett tails Chin and gets him to calm down for the moment.

Everyone soon ends up in Ciudad Juárez where Sara's aunt and uncle Jorge and Maria Morales (Felix Solis and Diana Chavez) live and the kidnapping took place. Jorge and Maria ended up adopting Sara with the approval of everyone except Chin. Five-Zero is more than capable of using their cell phone tracking equpiment here, as well as being well-stocked with weaponry to deal with the local bad guys.

Despite friendly neighborhood DEA Agent Navarro (Maximiliano Hernandez) cautioning Five-Zero that they can't play by the rules they use back home, it's just business as usual for our heroes.

In a scene which is totally absurd, McGarrett walks into the home of Ciudad Juárez's El Chapo-like big crime boss Hector Ramirez (Jericko Espinosa) and wants to have a mano a mano chat with this guy, who exemplifies the most stereotypical "we don't need no stinkin' badges" type of Mexican, hoping he will help them help locate Sara. In real life, if McGarrett tried something like this, he would have been shot dead or would have had his head cut off with a chainsaw.

Juárez has a reputation as being one of the most violent and corrupt cities in Mexico, if not the world. According to Wikipedia, its reputation in this regard has improved somewhat in the last couple of years, but a more recent news report quoting some enforcer involved in the drug trade suggests that it is just as bad as it ever was.

The ending of the show was equally ridiculous. Chin Ho goes to meet the bad guys and exchange himself for Sara, but after this, the baddies take Chin away somewhere. Aside from the fact this leads to a cliffhanger not to be resolved until next year, why wouldn't they just execute him on the spot? And why is Chin Ho singled out as the one the kidnappers are particularly interested in? After all, it was McGarrett and Kono who were responsible for the killing of their pals in Hawaii in S07E03.

While this exchange is going on, Kono, who is usually in the thick of the action, gets left behind with Maria, told to analyze some tapped phone calls while the boys are out taking care of business. What is dumb: Kono finds one call between the kidnappers and Sara's aunt dating from before Five-Zero showed up which reveals that Sara's kidnapping was just a plot to lure Five-Zero to Mexico. Kono tells Chin about this, but Chin, who has just about been having an aneurysm since he arrived, doesn't wait for any details. Instead, he almost kills the uncle, assuming he knew about this deception, which it turns out he did not, because his wife was sworn to silence.

I didn't find the business with Danno and Grover taking over the Ciudad Juárez morgue to be very amusing as was likely intended, especially considering the music behind this sequence, including the really gross parts of it, were kind of upbeat. I also didn't think much of the scene where the masked members of Five-Zero broke into the police station and recovered the money from Quintanilla (Ernie Lopez), the corrupt cop connected with its theft from Sara's uncle. (Jorge had received $700,000 cash from one of his "clients" about a month before.) Do they think there will be no repercussions for this? HELLO!! Someone is stealing back the money stolen from the uncle. Could the people doing this (the disguised Five-Zero members) possibly be connected with him?

One thing I thought was very good about this episode was the color photography which was outstanding, especially the beginning birthday party for Chin Ho. As well, the yellow tinge for the photography of "Mexico," aside from bringing back bad memories of the show's first season, was also very effective and similar to that seen in the recent James Bond movie Spectre.

But what a pity that this, as well as some stunts near the end of the show, showed off Five-Zero's very high production values when the script was total baloney

Oh yeah, I was happy about one other thing. The press release for the show revealed a veritable kitchen sink of guest actors, all of whom were present at the birthday party, either in person or via some kind of video feed: Kamekona and Flippa, Duke, Uncle Choi (George Takei), Sang Min, Officer Pua Kai, both of Danno's kids and the repugnant Dog the Bounty Hunter. Prior to the show, I was thinking "Surely these people are not all going to Mexico to help rescue Sara!" And, thank God, they were not.

MORE TRIVIA:


12. (S07E012) Ka 'aelike (The Deal) ★˝
Original air date: 1/6/17

After making us wait three weeks since the big cliffhanger in S07E11, the title of this episode should have been "Loa O‘opa" or, in keeping with the Mexican setting, "Totalmente cojo" ("totally lame," in case you are too busy to look it up).

The whole business about Chin Ho getting kidnapped by very bad drug cartel dudes and, after he is rescued, his niece Sara being turned over to him by her adoptive parents Jorge and Maria because of future danger ("Juarez is not a safe place for her" -- DUH!!) was resolved by 8:40 into the show, not including a 47-second "previously on" segment and 30 seconds for the main titles. I guess no one figures that there will be no danger to Sara back in Hawaii; anyone like to check S02E15?

As well, within this very limited time frame, Adam breaks his parole and suddenly shows up in Mexico. He says "I couldn't just sit by and do nothing [in Hawaii]." But what does Adam do to help the Five-Zero ohana in Mexico? He does nothing! In fact, no one does anything other than McGarrett, who says "I'm not gonna put this [Chin being in a pickle] on anyone else. This is on me."

For example, Grover says to Kono: "[W]e're gonna get him. And we're gonna bring him back." Adam says: "We need all the help we can get." Just before they leave to help Chin, Grover says: "Oh, we ready to go. Danno's out there loading the car right now." (Danno is not seen in the episode at all.) Then Adam says, "Let's [i.e., let us] do this."

The only one seen actually rescuing Chin out in the middle of nowhere is McGarrett, wearing some fancy Special Forces outfit that he no doubt picked up at one of the Ciudad Juárez Walmarts.

What was even more ridiculous about this rescue scene was the fact that the nasty Mexican boss of the gang didn't shoot Chin Ho dead immediately as his pals were being dispatched by McGarrett, including one of them falling into a pit full of equally nasty dogs that were intended for Chin.

As far as the Crime of the Week (COTW) is concerned, it began almost the moment the team stepped off the plane back in Hawaii the next (or maybe the same!) day. Don't laugh -- at the end of the show, Chin visits Adam and, thanking Adam for his help [sic], says, "What you did for me yesterday [yes -- YESTERDAY!] coming all the way down to Mexico -- that was above and beyond ... You came down to Mexico and put yourself on the line for me [sic]. It meant a lot."

The convoluted COTW had to do with 39-year-old Mitch Lawson, a car salesman at Pacific Motor Sales, found dead with his head seriously bashed in, in the trunk of his car in the middle of nowhere. Because car salesmen, according to Grover, who used to work for his car lot-owning uncle in Chicago years before, are liars, crooks and basically dirtbags and therefore totally untrustable, Grover himself goes undercover working for this company as Roy Watts, a new member of the sales team.

Suspicion for Lawson's killing falls very quickly on Paul Burnett (Ron Melendez), another salesman who was in competition with Lawson to get the company's $50,000 sales bonus and who was also seriously in debt because of some bad investments he made. After it's discovered that Burnett was poaching Lawson's potential customers, Burnett is taken to the blue-lit room where he turns out to be the episode's first red herring, because he has multiple alibis for the time Lawson was killed.

However, Burnett reveals that he overheard a heated phone conversation involving Lawson the night before. Kono, using the all-encompassing and all-powerful "I pulled the phone records from the dealership" technique, determines that this call was to the company's stock manager about a sale Lawson had lined up where another salesman had sold the car to someone else, a big no-no.

So suspicion falls on this second salesman, Bob Mason (Dominic Flores) who gives Grover a lot of fancy excuses until Grover moves a plant which is placed in a "weird" non-feng shui way in Mason's office which reveals bloodstains on the floor. Turns out that Mason was confronted by Lawson the night before about stealing his sale and after Lawson got extremely violent, Mason bashed him in the head with one of the "Salesman of the Year" trophies in his office and then put Lawson's body in the trunk of his car and drove it out to the middle of nowhere until it ran out of gas.

Lawson's sales records are probed, and reveal that for every other month of the last two years, he has sold the exact same model of car (the same one connected with his murder) to the same individual, Lee Sung, an affiliate of a Korean gang that controls most of the heroin trade on Oahu. That particular car is assembled in India, according to McGarrett, "one of Asia's major trade centers for heroin." (Gee, not only car salesmen are slagged in this show, but an entire country!)

Five-Zero raids Lee Sung's body shop, where a lot of heroin, presumably hidden in cars, is being packaged, but they fail to find the particular car which Mason sold. Sung is hauled into the blue-lit room where he turns out to be the show’s second red herring, because he is no longer doing business with Lawson who got "a better offer." The guy who bought the car from Mason is currently out in the middle of nowhere (a popular locale on this show), where he is being pulled over by an HPD cop. The cop can barely ask him some questions before he (the cop) is run over by this nasty looking guy, who has been tailing "his car" that he wanted to buy from Lawson before Mason got involved. He is Tad Smith (according to the driver's license he left at the dealer's), real name Jared Namal (Peter Lester), who has been on a FBI and Interpol watch list for the past six months and has ties to several active terror cells.

After Max does an autopsy, he finds the driver of the car, who Namal killed, had traces of gamma radiation in his system. In other words, the car was not being used to transport heroin to Hawaii, but radioactive material which someone is likely using to build a bomb.

Namal, whose Interpol rap sheet shows he is from Saudi Arabia, is seen at his place taking a metal cylinder out of a metal suitcase where it has been stored in some grey foam. He must not have gotten good marks in bomb-making class, because he is wearing what look like thick rubber gloves with no other protection. He unscrews the top of this cylinder after putting it next to another cylinder which is made out of glass. He pulls the top up, exposing what look like metal rods (perhaps the "core" of the cylinder). Namal's arms (above the rubber gloves he is wearing) and his face look quite normal. This is followed by a commercial.

Within what seem like minutes, Five-Zero shows up wearing what looks like blue anti-radiation hazmat clothing. There has obviously been a time gap here between the previous scene, because we learn later that Namal passed along the radioactive material to someone else (see below). Namal's arms now all look badly burned, and he shoots at Five-Zero with an automatic weapon. They enter the house, after which Namal goes into a room and commits suicide. When they turn his body over, his face, neck and arms are all gross-looking. (How quickly could the radiation have caused this?)

Grover finds the suitcase which contained the cylinders, radioactive material, etc. (this case seems much bigger than the hole in the car from which it was extracted, if that was the case, no pun intended). The case is extremely radioactive, so Five-Zero assumes that it contains something very bad and leave the premises without opening it.

HPD hazmat guys take this case and put it in a special truck. (As this happens, there is a fade from this scene to the next one, which is an aerial shot of Honolulu. I don't recall having ever seen this kind of fade on the show before.)

At the end of the show, Grover phones McGarrett to report that "DHS [Department of Homeland Security] X-rayed that suitcase. They found it to be empty ... [T]he levels we detected at the apartment were from residual radiation." When McGarrett speculates that Namal passed the suitcase on to someone else, Grover says, "That's right. And whoever that someone else is, they now have enough of that stuff in their possession to kill half the population on this island."

Woo hoo!

There are some questions about this scenario, though.

If Namal passed everything along to someone else, are they going to take precautions? Maybe they will end up horribly burned like him, and the bomb will not be finished and Oahu won't turn into a parking lot. (How big a bomb would it have to be to kill almost half a million people? Most of them are concentrated in the Honolulu area, mind you.)

There are also issues to do with other people who may have been contaminated by the radiation, i.e., people at the dealership where the car was received, people connected with the car as it was transported from India, etc. Of course, tracking down these people is kind of insignificant compared to the threat this material poses to the general population.

MORE TRIVIA:


13. (S07E13) Ua ho‘i ka ‘ōŤpua i Awalua (The Clouds Always Return to Alawua) ★˝  BOOK 'EM, DANNO 
Original air date: 1/13/17

The big deal about this show was it was the last episode featuring medical examiner Max Bergman, because actor Masi Oka is leaving the show. Just think about it -- it was also the first time that one of the stars of the show REALLY left the show (some future conditions apply, I am sure) and a kitchen-sink sample of the cast actually got to experience closure!

Unlike some people writing about this episode, I am not going to shed any tears over Max's departure. If I was present at the party at the end of the show and had to address the assembled, I would have been like Don Rickles, saying "I NEVER LIKED YOU, MAX!" And it is true. While Max did his job well, performing autopsies and so forth, to me, most of the time, he was just another annoying character in a show which is full of them.

The only exception to this was S02E20, where we learned a lot about Max's back story, specifically the murder of Max's natural mother and his attempts to clear Richard Branch, a man who was arrested and convicted on circumstantial evidence for the crime. That episode ended with a touching scene where Max met the now-exonerated Branch when he was finally released from prison.

The farewell finale to Max went on for an interminable seven minutes and forty seconds. It was not helped by black-market-art-dealer-turned-crime-scene-cleaner Gerard Hirsch, who, as far as I recall, never had any major connection to Max, and who carried on for about a minute like a drunken Catskills comedian at a Dean Martin Roast.

On the other hand, the earlier scenes with Jerry helping Max move things out of his office (total time around 8 minutes), with Jerry instead becoming obsessed with reading Max's daily journals were not as bad, maybe because each of these characters' geekiness tended to cancel the other's out. There were several flashbacks to highlights of Max's appearances on the show. After all this, Jerry's final comments were quite appropriate: "You're not going to be working with stiffs anymore. You're going to be interacting with living, breathing people on a daily basis. Gonna have to learn to open up and share your feelings. Trust me. It's a good thing."

As far as the rest of the show was concerned, it was terrible.

The opening 2 minutes and 14 seconds consisted of a pointless discussion between Grover and McGarrett on whether one should dip a malasada into coffee. The only reason I can think this was inserted in the show was to make up for the way a box of malasadas was thrown in the garbage (by Max!) in the previous show, though Leonard's Bakery, the Honolulu culinary landmark whose name was on the box, was not mentioned in this show at all.

Then we had a ridiculous scene of Danno and his son Charlie playing with a toy known as the Pie Face Game! (a real toy, look it up on Amazon). Sort of a combination of those sheets of plywood where people stick their heads through holes to become cartoon characters and a carnival dunk tank, this thing launches a "handful" of whipped cream into the face of a victim who is not particularly unsuspecting. Maybe this was to show how good a father Danno is? There was no "promotional consideration" credit for Hasbro, the makers of this toy, at the end of the show, which was surprising.

Later there was an appearance by helicopter-pilot-when-Five-Zero-goes-to-foreign-jurisdictions Frank Bama (singer Jimmy Buffet) who suddenly appeared in the Five-O offices holding a surfboard, on the run from some warlord who threatened to cut his head off. This made no sense at all, other than for me to observe the difference in height between Buffet and Chi McBride (5′7″ versus 6′4˝″) and, because during a phone conversation with McGarrett, Bama overheard mention of the stolen nuclear material in the last show (puh-leeze!), a possible connection to some future plot.

The Crime of the Week was just filler. Indulge me while I try to reconstruct the whole thing, much of it from dialogue in the show, in the order it happened chronologically, not the way it was revealed by the script.

Edward Gabler (Brian McGovern) was a former weatherman who was accused of stabbing his girlfriend Heather Mayfield to death in his North Shore vacation home eight years before. In the subsequent trial, the jury deadlocked and the judge declared a mistrial. Prosecution decided not to refile.

Right after he killed Heather, Gabler called up his lawyer Brian Hadley (Tom Choi) in a panic. Gabler asked Hadley, who got to his house before the police, to dispose of the knife which Hadley stuck in his company safe and tried to forget about. More recently, one of Hadley's employees named Leo Stein came to see him and said he had reason to believe the firm had the knife. (There is no indication how Stein knew this.) He threatened to go public and told Hadley he wanted justice for Heather. (There is no reason why he should want this, other than he had some connection with Heather's brother -- see below.)

Hadley fired Stein, who then hooked up with a guy named Jimmy Rorke (Jason New), who was previously arrested for grand theft as well as breaking and entering. (There is no indication how Stein was familiar with Rorke.)

Stein, Rorke and another unnamed accomplice broke into Hadley's offices (it is not said how, other than using "drilling equipment"), but, while they were doing this, they ruptured a gas line which led to a huge explosion which seriously damaged the building and killed Stein. The fireball from this explosion was so big it could be seen from Danno's house miles away. A news report covering the aftermath of the blast says "The explosion devastated the offices of local law firm, Hadley and Becker," but it appears much more severe than that -- the entire building, which was at least five stories high, looks like a bomb went off. In fact, Chin Ho discounts the fact the explosion has any connection to the radioactive material in the previous week's show.

(There are lots of questions about the explosion. It is very unlikely that the building could be damaged to the extent that it was [it looks REALLY damaged] without a large amount of gas building up inside the building and then being ignited. If Rorke and his accomplices ruptured a gas line, then they likely would SMELL the gas, which is a clue that they should get out of the building as soon as possible. Stein was obviously in the building when the explosion happened, because he is later seen horribly burned in the back of Rorke's van, because Rorke didn't want to take him to a hospital. The production designer for the show should get high marks for how bad the building looks, though I suspect it was just some building which was being demolished or there was some CGI involved.)

Aside from Stein, there was a casualty connected with the explosion, Miles Barton, a cop from Milwaukee who, along with other policemen attending a convention in Honolulu, was helping to look for survivors of the explosion. McGarrett speculates this cop was stabbed by Rorke or the other survivor of the explosion after they showed up the next morning and obtained the knife in the safe which they had not been able to find before the building blew up. After he was stabbed, the cop's body was thrown down a hole which just happened to connect to the legal company's vault which contained their most important files and where the safe was located. This is all very far-fetched.

Rorke is tracked down after McGarrett and Kono convince Hirsch, who is trying to peddle his services at the police convention, to lead them to a stringer named G-Stealth (Alex Mauga) who takes videos of crime scenes like the explosion and sells them to local TV stations. After taking G-Stealth into custody, they obtain one of these videos which shows the license plate (GNU 556) on Rorke's truck leaving the crime scene the night of the explosion. Kono uses this to track Rorke down.

After finding that Rorke called Hadley, McGarrett says it looks like he was trying to extort money out of the lawyer. Hadley denies this is the case, but McGarrett tells Danno to book him on a charge of obstructing justice because he hid the knife.

Back at the Five-Zero office, Grover tells the assembled "I think we've just I.D.'d the blackmail target," meaning Gabler. At this point, there is no indication how he knows this. McGarrett has a major brainstorm where he figures out most of the scenario that I have discussed so far regarding Hadley, Rorke, Stein and Gabler.

McGarrett and Danno immediately go and have a talk with Hadley, who is being held in the blue-lit room. McGarrett tells him "[O]ur M.E. compared her [Gabler's girl friend's] stab wound to the victim's stab wound [the cop at the explosion scene], and confirmed that it was the same blade." This seems VERY far-fetched.

The plot quickly thickens, because Grover tells McGarrett that Leo Stein's e-mails reveal that he was in touch with Alan Mayfield (Adrian R’Mante), the brother of Gabler's murdered girl friend Heather. Gabler had a restraining order against Alan, who had threatened to kill him. And Alan is on Oahu now.

Cut to a location in the middle of nowhere, where Rorke is meeting with Gabler to receive two million dollars for the knife. The exchange is duly made, but then Alan suddenly appears out of nowhere with a gun. (And how did Alan know where this was happening?) Alan tells Rorke to get lost and Gabler to get on his knees. But in a typical TV trope, Alan cannot just shoot Gabler dead immediately. He waits long enough for McGarrett and Danno to show up and talk him out of killing Gabler, and Rorke is nabbed by Chin Ho nearby as he attempts to flee.

Terrible!

The only thing that I liked about the Crime of the Week was the character of Hadley, well-played by Choi in a relatively unslimy way that made me actually sympathetic to his typical lawyer-like comments about the privileged relationship with his client Gabler and annoyed about the way McGarrett and Danno trampled on his rights.

MORE TRIVIA:


14. (S07E14) Ka laina ma ke one (Line in the Sand) ★★˝
Original air date: 1/20/17

Kanuha Noe (Kalani Queypo), wanted in connection with a recent murder, flees from the cops into the Nation of Hawaii, a protected area on Oahu for native Hawaiian nationalists. Bumpy Kamahele, the leader of the Nation (playing himself -- very well), gives Kanuha the benefit of the doubt after listening to his story, because Bumpy himself has been jerked around by the cops in the past. When Chin Ho comes to the main gate of the Nation and asks Bumpy to surrender Kanuha, Bumpy refuses, pointing out that Chin was also on the receiving end of injustice from the police in Honolulu, so he should be more sympathetic. McGarrett's pleas to let Five-0 have Kanuha are also turned down. Bumpy tells Five-0 they will only release Kanuha if Five-0 can prove he is guilty.

Soon after this, U.S. Marshals show up under the leadership of Wes Lincoln (Lou Diamond Phillips), threatening the people of the Nation with heavy artillery because "the DOJ [Department of Justice] caught wind that an armed group is harboring a fugitive." Lincoln is a major league prick, throwing his weight around and telling Five-0 that they have until sundown to persuade Kanuha to surrender. Prior to this, Lincoln orders his Marshals to do things like cut off the water and power as well as cel phone service and send drones over the Nation to do aerial surveillance.

So what was the crime Kanuha was connected with? Six weeks ago, he got out of jail after serving seven years for robbery and resumed his old ways, borrowing some tools from his former partner Akemoto, who was let off on a technicality during their original trial. (Akemoto, who had "gone straight," had nothing to do with the recent robberies.) Kanuha's employer, hardware store owner Devon Berris (Jeffrey D. Sams), the brother of John Berris (Matthew St. Patrick), Kanuha's parole officer, was participating with Kanuha in thefts from local homes, ranging from guns to audio equipment and flat-screen TVs. When Akemoto decided to go to the cops and blab what Kanuha and Devon were up to, Devon wasted him, with the blame falling on Kanuha.

The resolution of this crime of the week seemed particularly lame, with Devon getting admitted to the Nation to talk to Kanuha to let him "know that he's got friends on the outside," but in reality to tell Kanuha to keep his mouth shut and take a plea so Devon could avoid going to jail. After Devon and Kanuha duke it out, Chin Ho busts Devon, saying "CSU's processing the car right now, and I'm betting they're gonna find traces of [Akemoto's] blood in the trunk."

Lou Diamond Phillips' appearance, a one-note role acting tough and tougher, was largely a waste of time. The show began with a pointless sequence of McGarrett taking his driving test, supposedly not having renewed his license since the beginning of the series, with Danno heaping sarcastic abuse on him not only then, but also when McGarrett was talking on the phone to the Governor at the scene of the confrontation later. Jerry also had an unnecessary scene where he was vetting some other conspiracy nut hoping to become his new roommate.

According to a news story about this episode, "Producers say they wanted to tackle a real issue with a storyline that has relevance in today's world so they decided to feature the ongoing struggle of Native Hawaiians seeking recognition as a sovereign people following the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii 124 years ago."

Much of the show was about "respect," especially respect for the Nation of Hawaii. However, I could not help but think about the hypocrisy of the show with regard to "respect." From the beginning, the reboot has had little respect for the civil rights of suspects, for the sovereignty of other countries and for certain ethnic types who are stereotyped as default criminals. Of course, someone has to be the bad guys. In the old show, some bogus countries were made up, though there was no secret that Red China was the home country of villain Wo Fat.

The show has other issues with "respect," like "respect for the viewers' intelligence," and "respect for women." I am sure I will have an opportunity to discuss the latter very soon.

MORE TRIVIA:


Following my review of S07E14 above, I received the following lengthy response. I don't usually post stuff like this in the review area, but since this "my WWW site," I don't see why not. ☺ The sentiments here fall under the category of "I couldn'ta said it better myself."


I think talking about the hypocrisy angle is appropriate at this point. It is becoming more slanted and visible in the show. The writers seem to have lost interest in anything remotely real. The Danny rant to McG's driving tester was WTH? That's a friend? But we're supposed to giggle? The Fed was ridic. LDP was wasted in that mannequin role. These too are respect issues. And yes the denying perps' civil rights in the age of Trump isn't funny, not anymore.

As to the women issue, what has ALWAYS, from the show's beginning bugged me is that women are indeed second class citizens on this set, afterthoughts, or always the Eve character, the one that is fallen, who sins, who isn't up to the honor and merit of the male heros.

It begins by there being so few women. 5-0 began as 3 guys and woman, she being the least of the quartet. Danny's wife, always a villain bitch. McG's GF, at first a booty call but eventually a regular, who the McDanno fans went after mercilessly. Even as a show regular, she had less screen time AND, turns out Cath was only a replacement for Kono during Grace's maternity leave cos GOD FORBID 2 women on the damn team. Eventually we also get Abby ... but she too starts off as a villainess ... she is spying on 5-0 for Feds, Chin redeems her, cos he's a magic man. His first wife died, BTW, so he could have an emo storyline. Cath gets written out so McG can have one. Girlfriends blithely come and go for our boys. Kono, however, HER BF becomes a regular with SLs [second lifes] of his own, cos he's a male actor and we like to keep those.

Rachel is a douche. Cath is a what? She's suspect now cos they can't write her as a hero cos woman. And now fans hate on her. Jenna was helpful but ... dun dun dunnnn ... like all Eves, was a betrayer. Lori was portrayed as incompetent half the time. Doris is certainly not trustworthy. Aunt Deb died to give McG more emos. Must ruin women to give the guy empathetic SLs! And Mary has been a flake, a joke, from the start.

Soooo many male sidekicks are quirky, but actually quite reliable in and respected for, their particular geniuses ... Max, Jerry, Kamekona, McG's barber dude, UncleJoe, Sang Min (a damn criminal but now ohana ... few women are ohana but a crime gets into the frat), and Jimmy Freakin Buffet! How many of the women I noted are allowed to be respected for their foibles and particular genius? Zero?

And to end, no one liked 5-0 having 5 members when Lori, Jenna, or Cath was that 5th. But bring in another dude, Grover (and maybe even someday Jerry), and the fans gooooo wiiiiiiiild with joy!

Misogyny on set, in casting, in the scripts, and in the damn fandom.


15. (S07E15) Ka Pā‘ani Nui (Big Game) ★★˝
Original air date: 2/3/17

This show featured "torn from the headlines" story lines. The press release for the show said "When working a murder case involving the illegal practice of shark finning, Five-0 uncovers the possibility that a former Nazi war criminal may be hiding out in an old leprosy [sic] colony in Hawaii." But these two things were not connected at all, if that is what is suggested. There was also the issue of big game hunting, in the news recently ranging from the notorious killing of a lion by an American dentist to trophy kills by Donald Trump's sons.

About a fifth of the show also had comedy, which seemed unnecessary and distracting, considering the seriousness of these issues. Less comedy and even saving the shark finning business for another episode might have made a much more interesting episode focused on the Nazi story.

The show began with almost three and a half minutes of Grover making "pineapple papaya pancake surprise" while having "quality time" with his son Will, who was totally disinterested, preferring instead to play with his cel phone. They were soon joined by Gracie, Danno's daughter, who was equally disinterested. This was just stupid.

Yet more comedy of sorts was in store with Kamekona's shrimp shack being behind a lame picket line with the picketers led by the big guy's cousin Flippa. In three segments, this took up around 5 minutes of the show's running time. Five-0's response to this non-emergency was interesting, including Danno's refusal to cross the picket line because, as he said, "I'm from a union family." Grover also revealed that in Chicago he was a "former police union rep" and that he was the one that put a bug in Flippa's ear about organizing during Chin Ho's birthday party.

The big-game hunting/shark finning plot was investigated mainly by Kono, Grover and -- compared to last week -- a relatively subdued and unsarcastic Danno, aside from him saying about animal rights groups "those people can be pretty nuts." Adventure-seeker Sam Harrison, shown in photos on social media with trophy kills of a leopard, a lion, an elephant and an alligator, was obsessed with killing a great white shark. When he is found hanging upside-down at the Honolulu docks like a landed big fish, his autopsy reveals that there are several shark bites on his torso. One of the suspects in his killing is Lily O'Neil, an ecologist whose mission is to convince the world that sharks aren't as bad as their reputation in films like "Jaws" has made them. Known as "The Shark Whisperer," she was played by the very attractive Ocean Ramsey, who swims with sharks in real life and is the person her character was based on. (Am I the only one who thought when she peeled off her wetsuit after emerging from the water, she avoided looking at the camera at the camera in kind of a nervous manner?) Despite her abhorrence of Harrison's ambitions and what she said about him on the Internet, Lily says she would never take extreme measures like killing him.

Kono and Danno have more luck solving this case after they get a tip from Kamekona which leads to Marty Reynolds (Kirk Bovill), a local fisherman who kills sharks and removes their fins which are sold to restaurants serving shark fin soup (both very illegal practices). Grilling in the blue-lit room reveals that Harrison chartered Reynolds' boat, and then decided to dive into the shark-infested waters off Oahu without a cage. When Harrison was badly bitten, Reynolds took his body back to the docks where he completed the shark's work by stabbing it in the chest cavity, then hung it up, gutted like a marlin (or a shark), as if some protester had done the job.

The Nazi-related story began when a woman's body was found floating about five miles off Oahu. It had an unusual tattoo, consisting of the number 202501, on the woman's left arm. Chin Ho suggests this looks like something from a World War II Nazi concentration camp, and when he checks with the Shoah Foundation, a nonprofit organization which records testimonies of Holocaust survivors, he figures the woman is Leia Rozen (Angela Galvan), whose grandfather Itzhak (Bernie Kopell), who had that number, was imprisoned at Auschwitz and died a year ago. (The grandfather is seen in a video testimony telling how he was forced to kill either his brother or sister while in the camp or all three of them would be killed.)

After learning that Leia made a credit card purchase on Molokai, specifically in Kalaupapa, a town formerly associated with the leper colony on the island, McGarrett and Chin Ho fly there by helicopter to liaise with the local Sheriff Alana (Musetta Vander). Leia was part of a group of volunteers coordinated by Bill Walker (Max Gail), who suffers from leprosy (known more politely as Hansen's disease) and has stayed there rather than try and integrate with regular society. Danno's nephew Eric arrives on the island to do some forensic work and has a few "touchy" scenes (pun intended) with Walker, though you would figure that Eric would know that leprosy is not as contagious as people used to think. A fingerprint found in the room where Leia was staying is connected to Tony Nguyen (Julian Yuen), a punk who works on the island and has several outstanding arrest warrants for theft, assault and damage to property. He leads McGarrett and Chin on a parkour-like chase before being captured, though he has a secure alibi for the time of Leia's death, despite the fact he sold her a Glock 26.

Based on an analysis of where Leia has been travelling, Jerry suggests that she was following the rat-lines or routes that Germans escaping from post-World War II punishment took to places like South America. McGarrett and Chin figure out that Leia had come to Molokai to track someone down connected with her grandfather's imprisonment. Jerry does further investigation and determines that the person involved in the incident with Leia's grandfather at the camp was an SS Unterscharführer (Sergeant) around 19 years old named Tomas Sauer. When McGarrett shows an "aged" picture of Sauer (Don Dailey) to Walker, he recognizes him as Alan Smith, a missionary who worked in the orphanage where Walker stayed from 1950 on and currently lives on the island. It turns out that Smith/Sauer's daughter is none other than Sheriff Alana.

When McGarrett and Chin arrive at Sauer's place, both he and Alana, who used to stay there, have gone. Eric points out the remnants of a blood stain on the floor, which causes McGarrett to have a brainstorm that Leia showed up to kill Sauer using the gun she got from Tony and was herself murdered by Alana, who then planted the gun back at the volunteers' bungalow.

Chin wonders how they will find Sauer and his daughter, and McGarrett says "This is not 1945. There's a camera on every street corner, not to mention in everybody's pocket. Everyone's got a cel phone, all the kids have got smart phones. Social media, 24 hour news, there is no hiding any more. We're going to put the word on the street and he won't stay missing for long."

Even still, it is a huge stretch to abruptly jump from this scene to one soon after where McGarrett, Chin and various law enforcement types show up in Ash Fork, Arizona, where Alana and her 91-year-old father are hiding out. Louis Armstrong singing "What a Wonderful World" plays a bit too obviously on the soundtrack and then the two of them are taken into custody.

MORE TRIVIA:


16. (S07E16) Poniu I Ke Aloha (Crazy In Love)
Original air date: 2/10/17

Chicken salad!

Chicken salad!


17. (S07E17) Hahai i nā pilikua nui (Hunting Monsters) ★★˝
Original air date: 2/17/17

After around 40 seconds of "previously on," rehashing the Alicia Brown/Madison Gray story arc from the first four episodes of the season, Gray (Elizabeth Röhm) walks into the cop shop with her hands and dress covered with blood. Several cops, including Duke draw their guns. Why? Does she have a weapon?

We can't just continue with this potentially interesting story after the main titles. We then cut to the week's "cute" material with a continuation of S07E15's sub-plot where Kamekona's workers went on strike. Flippa has his own shrimp truck now, which, to Kamekona's annoyance, does not have a logo with Kamekona on the side. Drummer Max Weinberg, who just happens to be in Hawaii, is dragooned into cutting a ribbon for the dedication ceremonies, which gives Danno an opportunity to blather in his usual stupid way about why he moved there from New Jersey. (Weinberg appeared in two previous episodes of the show as gunshop owner Norm, in case anyone has forgotten.) Overall, a waste of 3 and a half minutes.

Gray, who is now chained up in an interrogation room, insists that she is a tourist named Lauren Parker from Eagle, Wisconsin. McGarrett doesn't believe this despite her tearful pleas. He brings in a shrink to ask her questions who says that she has Dissociative Identity Disorder, also known as Multiple Personality Disorder. A polygraph examiner is called in to give her a lie detector test, which she passes, but maybe she has a tack in her shoe. Chin Ho says that it will take 24 hours to get DNA results from the blood on her hands and clothes, which is unusual, because these results on the show are usually almost instantaneous.

McGarrett has been trying to get in touch with Alicia (Claire Forlani), and just getting her answering machine. When partial DNA results show the blood is from her, McGarrett and Grover go to her house, where she has been doing stuff wearing headphones. They talk to her about Gray, who Alicia says is "very dangerous" because of this act she is putting on.

When they take Alicia to police headquarters, Gray freaks out, saying Alicia is the woman who tried to kill her. Gray says that she cut Alicia on her arm, and Alicia shows a cut on her forearm, which she says she got the day before when she went hiking and slipped and cut her arm on a rock. As Alicia leaves the room, Gray smiles at her. Alicia starts to get very agitated; McGarrett tells her she has to stop letting Gray get into her head.

McGarrett comes to Alicia's house that evening for dinner, and, acting as a bodyguard, he sleeps on the couch after she goes to bed. When he wakes up at 4:06 AM the next morning, Alicia is gone. She is at police headquarters where Gray is back to her normal self. Alicia pulls a razor blade out of her shoe and threatens to slit Gray's throat, but she cannot do it. Gray tells Alicia that she has a secret, "one that will change your life forever," and unless Alicia frees her, she'll never know what it is. Alicia overpowers the HPD guard outside the room and the two of them head to the airport.

Later that day, Five-Zero rack their brains over what has happened. Within seconds, a BOLO (Be On The Lookout) reveals that the two women are now in Madison, Wisconsin. Using the Supercomputer, our heroes figure that this has some connection to Edward Sears (Ryan Locke), the serial killer who was locked up in the Columbia Correctional Institute in Portage, WI thanks to Alicia's FBI profiler efforts and who allegedly orchestrated the killing of Alicia's daughter Sienna from inside his prison cell. (A check of S07E04 where Alicia confronts Sears in the prison is ambiguous as to what actually happened to her daughter. The only person saying that Sienna is dead is Gray, who says "She ends up dead at the hands of a serial killer.")

McGarrett and Chin Ho go to the prison in Portage very quickly. Up to this point, there were several effective "This is creepy, I don't want to watch any more" moments, but things start to get stupid. Chin says that according to the prison logs, Gray as Parker visited Sears once a week for the last four months. In what capacity was she visiting him? Didn't anyone raise any questions about this? Sears says she was a "groupie."

McGarrett says that Sears had an accomplice on the outside who was responsible for Sienna's "murder," and they want to know who that is, or they will persuade him to give them this information. Sears says he wants pen and paper. He takes the pen, which looks like a normal ballpoint pen, stabs himself in the throat in a horrible manner and dies within seconds with blood spurting all over the place, which I could see coming a mile away.

McGarrett and Chin, without any consideration for evidence, then tear Sears' cel apart trying to find some clues as to who Sienna's presumed killer is. They find some letters from a guy named Benton Jones dating from August 2012 hidden in Sears' mattress, which is ridiculous. A high-level prisoner like Sears would have his mail going in and out of the prison read very carefully by the authorities, and I'm sure that his cell would be thoroughly inspected on a regular basis.

Meanwhile, Gray and Alicia are driving to some snowbound middle-of-nowhere location in Waupaca County, which is where Jones (Brandon Smith) lives. When they get there, Alicia finds her daughter (Ashleigh Domangue) is still alive. There is a confrontation with Jones, and the two women try to lock themselves in a room in his shack. Things look bad, but suddenly shots ring out and McGarrett and Chin appear; Jones is dead. (The fact they arrived there so quickly is very far-fetched.) Everyone leaves the place as the usual song telling us how to feel is heard in the background.

Back in Hawaii at Alicia's place, things seem normal. McGarrett checks in on her and leaves after giving her a hug. Despite the place being locked with a deadbolt, Gray suddenly appears inside the house, pointing a gun at Alicia, saying "Finish the game." Gray lays her gun on a table. Alicia picks it up and points it at Gray, dialling the cops on her cel phone, saying that she wants to report a murder. A shot rings out.

So who fired the shot? McGarrett? Sienna? Alicia? Only Alicia is in the press release for next week's show, but it is quite possible the producers are jerking us around again...

MORE TRIVIA:


18. (S07E18) E mālama pono (Handle with Care)
Original air date: 2/24/17

Well, that was bad, a near non-stop Danno whinefest from beginning to end of the show. (Well, not the very end, the last three minutes were taken up with a dinner at McGarrett's house.) It was worse than Danno and McGarrett on a lifeboat, worse than Danno and McGarrett on a stakeout, and worse than Danno and McGarrett on vacation with their girl friends two episodes ago.

This show, after a 21-second "previously on," started with McGarrett and Danno participating in a Tactical Teamwork Seminar at the HPD Police Academy on how important it is to expect the unexpected when dealing with a crime scene and how they have to put trust in the people they are working with. Danno brings up the issue of how McGarrett had "invaded his privacy" by snooping in his office, looking at a list of things that Danno wanted to do when he retired, which sounded like it would be in a couple of years (is this an excuse for Scott Caan to leave the show?). The dialogue in this scene, with Danno making a total fool of himself and humiliating McGarrett, was painful to listen to. Luckily, Duke was there and brought this embarrassing display to an end.

At least this section of the show had an very cool simulation of the Five-Zero team getting "blowed up real good," a part of their talk to the cops which made you wonder "how they heck did they do that?"

When McGarrett gets home, he finds Sang Min (Will Yun Lee) bleeding to death on his floor, and we have to once again endure this character's horrible mugging, reminiscent of Robert De Niro in "comedy" films like Analyze This. McGarrett enlists the new medical examiner Noelani Cunha to patch Sang Min up. (Can you imagine Max making a house call like this? Hopefully Noelani will not become the new object of Sang Min's "cute" sexist abuse, replacing "Spicy" Kono.) Sang Min got shot when he thought he was going to be smuggling a family on to the islands, but instead it turned out to be Desmond Abati (Darius Rucker), "one of the world's most dangerous terrorists." According to Chin Ho, Abati has reportedly been helping out the likes of ISIS and Boko Haram recently (first mention on the show for both these groups, AFAIK).

It doesn't take long for Five-Zero to find out that Abati has a connection to Nadim Tahan (Faruk Amireh), a dude Donald Trump would probably deport, who has been on the FBI's terror watch list for a long time and just happens to be living in Hawaii. Tahan was posting online about setting up a terrorist training camp on US soil and Danno's nephew Eric finds a map on a laptop with information about where this camp might be.

Danno and McGarrett go to check out this camp, which leads to yet more whining from Danno as the two parachute together into this middle-of-nowhere location, even though it is obvious that there has to be a road of some kind to there which they could have used instead. On the ground, Danno whines some more, and then they are captured by a bunch of bad guys hanging out at this camp, where the uranium that disappeared at the end of S07E012 is being used to make a bomb as predicted in that show. Managing to shut up for a few seconds, McGarrett and Danno overcome all the guards, though Abati, who is at the camp, escapes.

Before he dies from wounds received in the gun battle, Tahan activates the bomb, which will go off in an hour. As Danno blathers away yet more, he and McGarrett have various adventures driving the old truck holding the bomb through the jungle, including on boards across a stream, which was obviously inspired by the classic film The Wages of Fear, which was remade as Sorcerer. This is a very tense operation, considering the explosive material in the bomb is supposed to be highly unstable, according to McGarrett. As the bomb ticks down to zero, with the timer not corresponding to real time in the show at several points, they finally manage to get a cel phone signal, and talk to US Navy bomb expert Alex Aukai (Jennifer Jalene), because Abati has been shot dead by Kono at the docks where he was trying to escape (as if he would help them!). Using tools from who knows where, McGarrett removes the uranium rods from the bomb to separate them from its explosive material. You will recall that in S07E12, the guy handling the bomb got horribly burned when he did something similar. McGarrett takes the battery out of the truck and, in a ridiculous scene, ties it in front of his chest with ropes, as if that is going to make a lot of difference (his hands, arms and other body parts are not protected at all, duh!).

With less than two minutes before the bomb will explode, and no depiction of how Danno helps McGarrett lift the bomb off the truck other than push it with his feet, Danno puts the battery back and reconnects it and the two of them drive off with 35 seconds to go. McGarrett flips the truck over not too far away, which causes Danno to just about have an aneurysm, and the two of them hide behind the engine block in a scene which brings to mind the scene in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull where the hero survives a nuclear blast inside a refrigerator.

Of course they are not killed by the explosion, though they are temporarily deafened. When this happens, the music itself is also muted for a few seconds (how nice).

During the dinner finale of the show, which features the usual actors showing up for their weekly paycheque, Grover gets a phone call from HPD saying that the company who owned the red truck used to transport the bomb was scheduled to do some work across the street from the Iolani Palace the next day at the same time the governor was to be there.

I got seriously confused by this ending, which didn't make any sense. It might have helped if I heard the critical final line of the show, mumbled by McGarrett, correctly: "We were the target."

But once I clued into what the ending really meant (thanks, Wendie!), this provoked more questions.

How did HPD find out about the "renovation work" the company was going to be doing? Had K&L Construction, assuming this was a real company, scheduled this project before the bad guys stole the truck, or did the baddies phone up the city works department after the bomb was ready and say "Hello, this is your friendly neighborhood terrorists ... er ... K&L Construction, we are going to be doing some work near the Iolani Palace [on such and such a date], even though we don't have a permit or anything, and we probably would have contracted this through you or told you about it some time ago"?

MORE TRIVIA:


19. (S07E19) Puka 'ana (Exodus) ★★★
Original air date: 3/10/17

Kono was in major kick-ass mode in this serious episode where the crime of the week was about child sex trafficking and she found herself getting heavily involved with the plight of some of the girls that were victims. ("I know it's not a good thing for a cop to get angry. To get emotional. But I can't help it.") The show hearkened back to S03E22, which was about the purchasing and kidnapping of young girls so a couple could scam welfare benefits, also an above-average episode.

Kono's talking to McGarrett at the beginning about what was going on with her life recently was nice, even though the dialogue was kind of banal, because it was 180 degrees from Danno's whiny bullshit during the previous episode. They were interrupted by Chin Ho's niece Sara who was peddling various flavors of Aloha Girls cookies to most of the characters on the show.

Unlike most episodes where McGarrett gets called away from some light-hearted opening, in this one Kono was phoned by Noelani, telling her to come to King's Medical Center where a 15-year-old girl named Moani Anosa (MacKenzie Aladjem) had been brought by her "uncle" and both of them suddenly disappeared when Anna (Betsy Beutler), the attending nurse, left the room to report that the girl looked like she was suffering signs of abuse.

Several scenes which followed had Kono responding in a very heavy-handed fashion, even though some of the recipients of her wrath well-deserved it. One instance which was not deserved was when she smashed the window of some guy's car after he honked at her as she was steaming at a traffic light. Later on, when the house containing Moani and other trafficked girls was located, Kono provoked their cornered pimp Emilio to pick up a knife that he had thrown on the ground and fight her. This was dumb.

Just like the question of how can anyone these days be a crook when there are surveillance cameras and people have cel phones and dashboard cams all over the place, how can police think they can get away acting like Kono did without any possible consequences from someone recording what they are doing? She did not identify herself as a cop to the guy honking his horn, though she had her badge and gun on her belt. Witnesses could have been capturing this window smashing from afar on their devices and someone could also have been recording the scene with the knife as well.

Remember: a long time ago in S01E12 and S01E24, a witness -- some little old lady -- was Kono's downfall with a similar situation. You would expect Kono to be more careful, despite her very strong feelings about the episode's main theme.

This window-breaking should have been done like a daydream sequence where Kono gets out of the car and busts the window, and then we cut to Kono who is still in the car, having imagined the whole thing.

The confrontation at the end could also have been handled differently. For example, Emilio has a knife but keeps it hidden. Kono tells him to lie down on the ground to handcuff him and she has to put her gun down or aside to do this. Then he attacks her with the knife and she starts doing martial arts with the guy, kicking him in the balls, etc.

I was very surprised at the end when McGarrett approached Kono as she was beating the crap out of Emilio and he didn't tell her to stop. But this was not the first time McGarrett said nothing in the show where you might have expected him to.

After Kono meets Joe Cardiff, a high school teacher who is a client of one of the trafficked girls who he had sex with and shows him a picture on her phone of this girl, Kono doesn't even wait for him to confirm her identity, but punches him in the stomach. (McGarrett just says "I'd do what she says if I were you.")

Later, when the "house mother" for the abducted girls, Tori (Christina Souza), is held in the blue lit room, Kono tells her, "Tonight you're gonna stay at the women's correctional facility. We know a lot of inmates there. Some of them owe us favors, other ones looking to get on our good side. ... Those women will do to you whatever we ask, and the guards will look the other way." This dialogue was really incredible. Was Kono just bluffing? This suggestion that Five-Zero is in collusion with criminals is just as tasteless as the jury tampering which occurred in S02E13.

The secondary crime of the week -- about the murder of three people at the Clear Path Sober Living House, which took up about 8:18 of the running time -- was also serious, but unnecessary, aside from giving Chin Ho and Grover something to do. If they had eliminated this, they could have focused more on Kono's dilemma. For example, she could have talked to Chin about her feelings and Five-Zero's tracking down the bad guys could have been expanded.

Despite the issues with the script, Grace Park gave an outstanding performance, especially in the scenes where she was talking to Kelsey (Madalyn Horcher), a girl she and McGarrett rescued who had been sex-trafficked for four months and was suffering from numerous instances of physical and sexual assault.

But why did they wait seven years to give Park such a dramatic role? Let us hope there is more like this from her before the show ends.

MORE TRIVIA:


20. (S07E20) Huikau nā makau a nā lawai‘a (The Fishhooks of the Fishers Become Entangled) ★★
Original air date: 3/31/17

The teaser for this show started with a "previously on" segment with highlights from the life of Danno involving his ex-wife Rachel (Claire Van Der Boom) and a couple of scenes from S05E10 with William Forsythe, this episode's guest star, appearing again as former HPD cop/now private investigator Harry Brown who was also a friend of McGarrett's father.

There was more stuff in this teaser, which we will get to later.

The Danno flashbacks were necessary to those people living on Mars who don't follow the show religiously every week, because after the main titles we had to deal with yet more Five-Zero soap opera drivel as we found out that Rachel is getting a divorce from her new husband Stan, and there will be issues with whether she "really wants to do this," how she and Danno are going to explain all this to the kids, blah blah blah. (The show closed with yet more of the same.) There were also a few hints here and elsewhere suggesting that Danno might be leaving the show sooner than later, including Grover referring to "Williams-style retirement talk," though I am told that Scott Caan’s presence next season has been assured.

All this was followed by more cutesy-poo nonsense (CPN) as usually happens at the beginning of a show before McGarrett gets a phone call alerting him that some serious work has to be done. In this case, the CPN was more family baloney as Grover told McGarrett his dreams of becoming a sailor owning his own boat in Hawaii were shattered by the fact that his daughter Samantha had been accepted at Northwestern University back home in Illinois, which will drive him to near bankruptcy.

Luckily McGarrett got the expected phone call after a couple of minutes of this B.S., which had to do with the fact that Brown had arrived downstairs to see Five-Zero, but his gun set off the metal detectors and he was jumped by security guards. Brown has gone back to being a P.I. working for an "older guy" named Thomas Stratham (Robert Gant), and was looking into whether Stratham’s "younger broad" wife Celine (Lena Georgas) has "a little something going on the side." That morning, Brown witnessed Celine being kidnapped by two men, one of whom gave him a nasty wound on the back of his head. Stratham has already gotten the usual "no cops involved" call from the kidnappers, and the deal for his wife is a million bucks in cash in three hours (not something which is easily assembled, I would surmise).

McGarrett figures there is more than meets the eye as far as what is going on is concerned, and asks Harry to think if there was some small detail that stood out from Celine's daily routine that he observed, "a little bit of minutiae" (yes, McGarrett actually says "minutiae"!). Brown recalls that a few days ago, Stratham's wife had an argument with another woman while the two were having lunch. Much to McGarrett's astonishment, Harry produces a roll of film containing a picture of this woman that is turned over to Jerry to develop. It reveals she is Natasha Baron (Melanie Rains), identified by Stratham as an old friend of his wife, a freelance graphic designer.

McGarrett, Danno and Brown head to Natasha's house, during which we have endure a discussion about the Danno/Rachel/Stan dilemma, with some banal "old folks advice" dialogue from Harry, who has been divorced three times. He tells Danno what is happening is not the end of the world: "[T]he way I figure it, in the end, life will go on. Because nothing stays the same. Which is gonna be pretty sad when the good times stop rolling, but it's what gives us hope when we're in the pit of despair. Just remember one thing, hairdo. No matter what happens, the sun will rise tomorrow, and you're gonna put your pants on one leg at a time." (Brown calls Danno not only "hairdo," but also "muscles," and is aghast when he hears that the "two lovebirds" Danno and McGarrett have a therapist.)

Before the trio arrive at Natasha’s house, though, the kidnappers of Celine also grab Natasha, eventually taking her to the basement of their place where she is tied up with Stratham’s wife. (I won't mention the huge goof here, commented on by just about everyone else, where Natasha is emerging from the shower as the kidnappers push the doorbell at her place, and she then takes her time about drying off before she answers the door.)

Now let us jump back to the teaser. This will produce an issue with the continuity of this review, but there is an issue with continuity, period.

There are two kinds of things that can be in a teaser: things that are happening right now that will lead into something else happening subsequently, that will likely require Five-Zero’s urgent attention; or a "preview" of things that are happening later in the show. Things in the second example are always repeated in the show when they happen, but this did not happen in this episode. (In the original Five-O, example one was used in seasons 1-4; example two was used in seasons 9-12. Seasons 5-8 just began with the main titles.)

In S07E20’s teaser, we see a guy named Gary Fallon (Kolton Jensen) shopping at the Rainbow Valley Supermarket (a real place, located at 1720 Palolo Avenue in Honolulu). Considering this is what is likely a "usual teaser," we can suspect that there is something "iffy" about Fallon, and sure enough, when he takes the stuff he purchases in the store to his car and opens the trunk, we see there is a woman tied up in there with a bag on her head, which is Natasha. Fallon puts his groceries and stuff in the trunk with her after pushing her back further into the trunk.

Later in the show (like where we are now with this discussion), after Natasha is kidnapped and before she is taken to the basement, a picture of her in the trunk without the covering on her head is sent to Stratham, and guess what? The Rainbow Valley Supermarket bag containing groceries Fallon put in the trunk along with a case of beer, as well as parking lot surveillance footage of his car’s license plate, can be used by Chin Ho to figure out who Fallon is and where he lives! DUH!

We do not actually see when and where Fallon takes the "proof of life" picture of Natasha he sends to Stratham (that's what Kono calls it). But it really doesn't prove anything of the kind. If the kidnappers were smart, they would let the person who was kidnapped talk to whoever was going to pay the ransom to prove they were still alive.

There are a lot of questions about this part of S07E21's teaser, not to mention the location and angle of the store's surveillance cameras. When and where did the two kidnappers tie Natasha up (they seemed to be in a big hurry after abducting her), where is Fallon’s accomplice (because he doesn’t seem to be in the car in the parking lot), and how stupid is Fallon that he would have taken this picture with the bag from the store and the beer showing, assuming he actually did take the picture (the answer is "very")?

Anyway, to time warp back to the show, the picture of Natasha is sent to Stratham and since Kono is monitoring his calls, suddenly there is speculation that Stratham was having an affair with Natasha and that he purposely bungled the original ransom payment for his wife with the hopes that the kidnappers would murder Celine, leaving him to live happily ever after with Natasha. Because of this speculation, Brown punches Stratham in the face, calling him "a degenerate," which prompts Danno to say "Hey, hey, we don’t do that ... not usually we don’t," which is actually kind of funny.

When Five-Zero and the cops go to Fallon's place, the two bad guys shove Celine outside with a fancy bomb attached to her body (which is later proven to be a dud). They escape with Natasha but the cops lose them.

Stratham is directed to make another attempt to pay the ransom via a convoluted set of instructions which has him going to the roof of an apartment building and then attaching the suitcase containing the money to a wire which goes to a hotel across the way. Despite the fact the kidnappers wanted no involvement with the cops, a huge contingent of them from HPD arrive outside the hotel and McGarrett and Kono are flying around the building very obviously in a black police helicopter, which reminded me of the film Blue Thunder.

Chin and Danno pursuing Hanson inside the hotel and Kono shooting from the 'copter at least injected a bit of interesting action into the show, though Danno going down the clothes chute was dumb. Typically these chutes do not go down at an angle, are not large enough to accommodate a person like the claustrophobic Danno, and may not have a pile of clothes at the bottom to land on, instead a metal cart or a concrete floor!

Following this, Brown has a brainstorm where he realizes that when Celine was kidnapped, she was not forced into the car, nor was she treated badly by her abductors, compared to Natasha. Brown, using "old fashioned methods," grabs Celine from her house with a bag over her head and brings her to the blue-lit room where she admits that she was the one who set up the whole kidnapping scheme in cahoots with her boyfriend Colin Hanson (Matt McTighe), Fallon’s "associate," who was just busted at the airport. His phone was found to contain "texts, voicemails, [and] pictures" of him with Celine. (Hanson was tracked down from info on the cel phone of Fallon -- who is now very dead thanks to Kono's sharpshooting from the helicopter back at the hotel).

While Forsythe’s presence in S05E10 was one reason I liked that show (a bit more than this one), and it was nice to see an "older" actor having a major role on Five-Zero, I felt that he was being a bit too laid-back at times in this episode and I had difficulty understanding some of his lines, like the one where he explained his current job for Stratham. The acting of Georgas as Stratham’s bitch wife was very good. (Both actresses playing the wife and girl friend were very hot, actually.) One thing which was disappointing was the music, which thumped along in the usual manner, often in the most inappropriate moments.

For those people who like to screen-grab shots of Alex O'Loughlin as McGarrett, there were lots of opportunities to get them in this show, especially one with a big smile from McGarrett and Harry at the end.

MORE TRIVIA:


21. (S07E21) Ua malo'o ka wai (The Water is Dried Up) ★★
Original air date: 4/7/17

This episode started in a slam-bang fashion, especially since I had my amplifier left on a very loud setting. A small boat is floundering in a huge storm and the man and woman on it are happy to see a ship which turns out to be from the Hawaii Maritime Patrol. But when they board this ship, they find out that the entire crew has been murdered. This whole sequence was excellent.

After the main titles, we had the usual "cute" opening. In this case McGarrett and Danno are in a doctor's office where a shirtless McGarrett is told by the doctor "your new liver is doing well." Prior to this, Danno takes an otoscope out of a nearby drawer and sticks it in McGarrett's ear, where he says in a German accent "There's nothing inside," adding McGarrett's brain "looks like a pea or a little bean." McGarrett tells Danno he is an "idiot," which is very true, though not as idiotic as this whole sequence.

The usual phone call brings McGarrett and Danno to the office, where the patrol boat massacre is the main topic of conversation. Jerry tells them it was pursuing a trawler from Japan and slugs pulled from the boat have already been linked to a yakuza family, namely that of Michelle Shioma, who disappeared in last season's penultimate episode. The trawler has been tracked to an isolated location on Lanai.

Five-Zero boards a helicopter and proceeds to this location, with Jerry holding the fort at home. Now just pause for a second and think. In the last show we had Five-Zero flying around in a helicopter very obviously despite the fact that the bad guys said they didn't want any cops involved and it's not like the bad guys were deaf. Then three shows ago we had other bad guys living in an isolated jungle location where there was no easy access for cops! So what is in this show? Both of these plot elements. You have to wonder are the writers thinking so much about going on holiday soon that they are this lazy? I'm surprised that the entire Five-Zero team didn't parachute to the jungle below like McGarrett and Danno did in S07E18.

Soon after Five-Zero land, they are of course captured by the yakuza, who have been hiding out in this place for at least six months according to Noelani who guesses at this time frame after seeing the last thing the team sent home, pictures of some rotting bodies hanging from trees in the forest. The spokesman for the crooks says one of these bodies is Shioma, but after McGarrett tries to bluff them with information about $20 million she supposedly left on Oahu, who should appear but Michelle Shioma herself.

Considering the Five-Zero foursome are locked in a metal cage, while he is briefly outside trying to negotiate with the baddies, McGarrett secretly grabs a bullet from one of them after engaging in some samurai-like fighting where he is hopelessly outnumbered. He uses the gunpowder from the bullet to open the cage's lock in a MacGyver-like move when the yakuza are abandoning the place because they think that more police will soon be arriving. But the problem is, no police know about this and the whole operation is kind of hush-hush. Only after serious mental gymnastics does Jerry get Duke and HPD involved. (It's strange that the yakuza don't leave anyone to guard the cage while McGarrett is opening the lock.)

Five-Zero grab machine guns from those at the rear of the retreating crooks after overpowering them, and just as they are running out of ammo, HPD shows up in full force with multiple helicopters looking like a scene from Apocalypse Now that have men rappelling down and shooting as military-like music plays in the background.

Shioma, who was escaping on the trawler, is grabbed by HPD and eventually brought to the blue-lit room where her daughters are threatened by McGarrett, saying "the family that you hid them with is very eager to cooperate with us, as long as the girls are left out of it."

Jerry finally receives his Five-Zero badge despite the fact (or, more likely, because) he "directly disobeyed an order" to keep the Lanai operation secret. This puts him in good company with the rest of the team who have made this kind of M.O. a specialty over the last eight seasons in "not doing things the normal way" in terms of following procedures, violating suspects' rights and so forth.

The crime of the week took about 21:31 of the show's total running time and the stupid comedy at the beginning about 2:31. The remaining 18:10, far too much, involved Grover returning to Chicago to testify against his former partner Clay Maxwell who murdered his wife during a trip to Hawaii in S05E20. Grover previously travelled to Chicago in S06E13 where he attempted to get Maxwell to confess to the murder, but only ended in getting him charged with stealing money from a crime scene. In S06E19, Maxwell had Grover and his family pursued by bogus FBI agents and in fear for their lives.

Grover finds himself a pariah for violating the "ohana" of his former friends on the Chicago police force by turning Maxwell in, so much so that he is assigned a cop to protect him and his son who has come along for some "bonding time." I found it rather peculiar that Maxwell had exhausted all of his appeals and there was no mention anywhere along the way of all the things that Grover had done to him during his previous visit to Chicago, which included breaking and entering, kidnapping, assault, forcible confinement, and destruction of property. I guess that Maxwell would not have "ratted" out his fellow cop Grover, just like Grover was expected to do the same and not "do the right thing."

While the acting (especially by Chi McBride) and writing for this sub-plot was good, it really had little to do with Five-Zero other than appeal to those who follow the show's equivalent to Facebook pussycats like Danno, Jerry, Max and, to some extent, Grover.

MORE TRIVIA:


22. (S07E22) Waimaka ‘ele‘ele (Black Tears) ★★˝
Original air date: 4/14/17

This was pretty much a "meh" episode, which I think broke a record for the oldest actor to yet guest-star on the show: Hal Holbrook, born February 17, 1925 (92 years old). Holbrook's appearance at the beginning of the show, around a minute long, was also probably one of the shortest for a guest star, since his character was almost immediately knocked off. He did appear briefly later for about 17 seconds during a documentary which McGarrett viewed that revealed some interesting facts about how his grandfather was a hero at Pearl Harbor.

Holbrook's character, Leonard Patterson, also a Pearl Harbor veteran, is killed when an SUV full of bad guys T-bones the car his Trump-daughter-resembling granddaughter Amanda (Lexi Atkins) is using to chauffeur him to and from an ice-cream parlor. When McGarrett talks to her after the crash, Amanda does not seem as upset as we might expect.

DNA from the car crash scene which belongs to Nicholas Rider, a former private security contractor in Afghanistan, leads to a middle-of-nowhere house where Five-Zero and cops just walk in without even announcing themselves. The lights suddenly go out, four cops are shot and a bomb goes off as Rider escapes (nice explosions, nice stunt work).

McGarrett pursues and kills Rider, who worked for a company called Paladin Security which provided Blackwater-like details for key civilian personnel in Afghanistan. Paladin's contract with the Department of Defense was cancelled and information about it is classified. It is soon declassified, and reveals that there was "an incident that involved the death of several Afghanis."

This leads to another "contractor" who worked for Paladin, Lee Campbell (Dylan Bruno). Campbell and others who worked for this company -- the late Rider, Chris Davis (Matthew Taylor), and Bobby Mullin (Paul Gutierrez) -- are robbing military credit unions because Mason Warren, one of their team in Afghanistan, was killed by a Taliban suicide bomber. The proceeds from these robberies are intended for Warren's widow Kiana (Austin Highsmith), who lives on Oahu and is in danger of having her house repossessed.

Rather than haul Campbell into the blue-lit room, McGarrett says "I know military boys. It's gonna be hard to squeeze a confession out of them. Probably even harder still to get them to roll on one another [!!!]." Instead, McGarrett meets with Campbell in a coffee shop.

Campbell is aggrieved because of what happened to Warren: "[W]hen the Taliban started using civilians strapped with explosives to target my men, you know how this military responded? They investigated us." Describing Campbell to his face as "not a soldier" but "a thug with a gun chasing a payday," McGarrett tells him "our military investigated you 'cause you ran your crew like a death squad. You murdered innocent people." But he has nothing to charge Campbell with ... yet.

Five-Zero anticipates there will be another robbery soon, and when it happens, Supercomputer alerts go off all over the place, despite the fact that Campbell, who "hacked all the alarm servers" at several financial institutions, has never been established as an electronics genius. Jerry figures out that a jewellery store is the bad guys' actual target, and when Five-Zero shows up at that location, there is a terrific firefight, reminiscent of the film Heat. Again, the action and stunt work was very good, though Chin Ho's Mustang, parked near the thick of the action, will probably require some body work soon.

McGarrett pursues Campbell and there is a terrific kick-ass fight between the two. When McGarrett triumphs, killing Campbell in a particularly gross way by throwing him on top of a rebar, the look on Alex O'Loughlin's face before his character passes out is like "Do I have to do another season of this?"

The secondary crime of the week had to do with Adam, who now has a job with Makaukau Contracting Inc., operating a backhoe at a construction site. You would figure that Adam could have come up with something better, but he says "It took me months to land this job."

Adam finds a bone in the dirt he is digging up, and tells his boss (Brian McNamara), who says to ignore it, otherwise the site will be shut down and people will be thrown out of work. Of course, Adam is curious (there are the usual memes about sacred ground) and comes back in the middle of the night to search for more bones.

Now I knew right away that this would somehow be captured on video and, not surprisingly, the foreman had cameras installed recently because of thefts at the site, so the jig is up for Adam. He doesn't tell Kono, but gets the help of Jerry, who flashes his new badge and snoops around.

Jerry finds that the wife of a real estate agent named Daniel Nesmith (Matthew Pederson) connected with the sale of the site in the early 90s disappeared under mysterious circumstances. So, not telling Kono, Adam puts a bug in Nesmith's ear and in the middle of the next night the security cameras catch Nesmith digging up his wife's body which Adam somehow was not able to find. The result: Adam is a hero, but he has no job because the foreman fired him.

This sub-plot was sort of OK, but the Kono/Adam dialogue was horribly banal with lines like "You're really stepping up your sandwich game" as Kono brings Adam lunch and "[A]t the end of the day, I get to come home to my beautiful 'smokeshow' of a wife." All this did was emphasize to me how stupid the Adam/Kono relationship really is.

Probably the best part of the show was that Danno was relatively subdued throughout. There was no cargument, his interview with Kiana Warren was devoid of any histrionics, and when she told him to leave, Danno did so without any fuss. Even better, Danno didn't match the poor-taste line from S04E10, also dealing with "old folks" connected with Pearl Harbor, where he said about one of them that McGarrett was dealing with: "What's this guy in for, bingo brawl?"

Unfortunately, since the show was written and filmed weeks ahead of its broadcast date, there is no way this change in Danno's demeanor had anything to do with the recent outbreak of fan outrage over him being a major league PITA.

Also unfortunately, considering there are only a few episodes left this season, and according to a report in TV Guide "An upcoming episode will tell, in flashbacks, the story of how the seeds were planted for Danny and McGarrett's legendary bromance," things will soon be back to "abnormal" with Danno.

MORE TRIVIA:


23. (S07E23) Wehe ‘ana (Prelude) ★★★
Original air date: 4/28/17

I got very nervous with the home renos at the beginning of the show where McGarrett and Danno were fixing up Danno's son Charlie's bedroom, because this whole sequence was so stupid. (Freudian slip, I originally typed “homo renos"!) I thought I would be fast-forwarding through the show a lot or maybe just turning off the TV. But then in a switch from normal, it was Danno who got called away from the usual “cute” drivel at the beginning of the show.

The rest of the show was much better than I expected, with lots of action, cool stunts and so forth, but was this supposed to be the previously-announced-in-TV-Guide-big-show where McGarrett and Danno go crazy expressing their feelings for each other? I don’t think so, and there are only two episodes left this season!

Danno's former HPD Captain Tanaka (Michael Paul Chan) is the one who tells him that Ahe‘ahe Makino (Chrichton Uale), a critical witness to a drug-related execution Danno was dealing with seven years ago just before he joined Five-Zero, has been located in the Haleiwa Assisted Living Center where he is expected to come out of a coma soon. Makino, who disappeared way back then, was thought to have been murdered, but it seems more likely that dope dealers, perhaps acting on a tip from an informant at HPD, were the ones who threw him off a cliff and put him in the coma.

Makino has been all over the TV news as a "miracle patient," and when Danno arrives at the Center, the place is on lockdown. A guard has reportedly been killed because it is suspected bad guys are after Makino. A nurse (Lauren Shaw) who comes to Makino's room turns out to be Lara Kendall, a hired killer in disguise, which results in an unusual fight between her and Danno.

The rest of the show involves Makino's real nurse, Jenny Kitson (Lori Petty) and Tanaka moving Makino with Danno to a more secure location in an ambulance while they are being pursued by baddies connected to Dario Mendez (Roel Navarro), local drug kingpin and the current head of the Ochoa cartel who was connected to the events of seven years before.

There was no way I was going to give this show four stars because of the beginning, which knocked it down to three and a half. But then, I started to think hard about the show and I realized there were a couple of dumb things.

First, when the bad guys are following the ambulance and showering it with automatic rifle fire, why don’t the windows of the ambulance on the back door get shattered or why don’t any of the bullets seemingly not penetrate through the ambulance walls? The bad guys, after all, appear to be using very high-powered weapons.

Then, during the big finale when Danno, Tanaka, Kitson and the holding-onto-life-by-a-thread Makino are about to be terminated by Mendez' hired guns in some suburban house where the four of them are holed up, McGarrett drives his truck into the house, somehow magically managing to figure out the place's exact location just by driving through the area and hearing the sound of guns going off, and killing the baddies in the process. (Note that once again the ability of Jerry and/or The Supercomputer® to exactly locate someone (in this case, Danno, via his cel phone) has been compromised in order to advance the plot in a certain direction.) This reminded me of the pilot episode where a truck is driven into a warehouse to run over bad guys but avoids killing the almost-naked Kono who is being humiliated by Sang Min.

Once Makino is in a safe location, Danno starts reminiscing in a totally unnecessary way to the still comatose witness about all of his friends at Five-Zero, and Tanaka, who opened a restaurant after he retired, starts cautioning Danno about doing the same thing because Tanaka's experience with this kind of business was that it was a really bad idea. To me, these things merely added to recent speculation that Scott Caan is leaving the show soon, but more likely executive producer and spoiler-blabber Peter Lenkov is just jerking us around as usual.

The acting by Lori Petty and Michael Paul Chan was very good, and the cool fight between Danno and Kendall, the “hit woman,” was totally unexpected. (But if she was a "professional," why did she mention Makino’s name, thus alerting Danno that something fishy was going on? Duh!!)

I also liked the business about Tanaka apologizing for the way Danno was treated when he was originally investigating the Makino case, though Danno was the one who actually screwed it up because he was talking to his wife on the phone and neglected to pick up a call that Makino was making to him.

MORE TRIVIA:


24. (S07E24) He ke‘u na ka ‘alae a Hina (A Croaking By Hina’s Mudhen) ★˝
Original air date: 5/5/17

This crime of the week in this Danno-free (YAY!) episode was stupid. While the acting was good and the level of intensity of the action in the show was seriously ramped up, the writers once again took us to the illogical fantasy comic book world seen in previous shows where members of the team went to North Korea and Colombia to rescue people and similar idiocies.

At the beginning of the show, present-day McGarrett finds himself at Guantanamo, talking to former Al-Qaeda leader Naser Salaam (Omid Abtahi). McGarrett had developed a rapport with Salaam after he was captured by McGarrett and his SEAL team 10 years previously by treating him "with dignity," giving him food and drink as well as a prayer mat. Back then, McGarrett said "You keep treating him like our enemy, he's gonna treat you like his enemy." But McGarrett "doing things his own way" put him in direct conflict with a CIA officer (Terrell Clayton) who would rather use traditional information-extraction methods with prisoners.

There is something very wrong when McGarrett is nice to people like Salaam, part of a terror group which was responsible for thousands of deaths on 9/11, not to mention thousands of other deaths (and not all of them Americans, either), but then uses extreme and illegal measures on suspects in present-day Oahu for crimes which, relatively speaking, are much less significant than those Al-Queda committed. As well, McGarrett being nice to Salaam to get his co-operation 10 years ago did not do Salaam a hell a lot of good. After 10 years, Salaam is still imprisoned! If you read Salaam's résumé (see trivia section below), he is indeed a "very bad dude" who is hardly worthy of sympathy.

When McGarrett returns to Hawaii and tells Chin Ho, Kono and Grover that the reason he was summoned by Salaam was to be informed that a terrorist attack on Oahu is imminent, they are incredulous. Salaam was tipped off with this intel after "he had a brief encounter with another prisoner" whose name Salaam is not going to reveal. But Salaam is in Guantanamo, and the public perception of this place is that it is controlled to the Nth degree and that prisoners there just about have microphones up their asses. Not only that, where did the "other prisoner" hear this chatter from? McGarrett agrees that maybe Salaam is just stringing him along, but he recommends that they take what his pal has to say very seriously.

A code phrase given to McGarrett by Salaam is connected to a travel agency in Honolulu. When Five-Zero raids the place, they find that money is being funnelled through there and sent to "a broker in the Middle East." The company's ledger contains "hundreds" of names, and the Supercomputer must be working overtime to do optical character recognition on all of them.

One of the names turns out to be Adnan Khalid (Nick Shakoour), an associate professor of international relations at Oahu State. He received several transfers over the past few weeks totaling well over $100,000. Five-Zero busts into his house, but he is not there. Instead, there is a laptop front and center with a message from him intended to be uploaded somewhere (social media?) in about 3 hours. In this message, Khalid says "The action taken moments ago on Oahu is in response to your barbaric deeds against Islam and Muslims, particularly our brother, Turiq Al-Mussawi, slaughtered in Kabul last week." Al-Mussawi was taken out in a SEAL raid, so McGarrett figures whatever bad is coming down is going to have some connection with the military.

A burner phone which Khalid purchased at a convenience store is pinged (would a store like 7-11 keep records of the phone number in this case?) and it looks like Khalid is attending a mosque in Manoa. Five-Zero arrives at the mosque and Khalid's phone is called to figure out who of 50 men leaving the place is him, and some guy runs away, only to get run over by a truck in a very gross stunt. But it is not Khalid!

McGarrett analyzes Khalid's message from the laptop and with help from Eric in the crime lab, figures out that Khalid is a patsy. Photos from the burner phone lead McGarrett, Kono and Grover to a downtown building which is under the flight path of a plane heading for Honolulu airport which will contain the body of a soldier and several Marines from the SEAL raid. The threesome encounter serious resistance as they work their way up to the roof of the building, so McGarrett climbs up the side of the building like Spider-Man, which is totally absurd.

On the roof, along with a tied-up Khalid, is a KGB mercenary with a surface-to-air missile aimed at the plane which is approaching. McGarrett disarms the guy, a kick-ass fight follows, and McGarrett takes the missile and shoots it at the KGB guy, who blows up real good. Nothing else is affected, like the roof of the building or any other buildings in the nearby area.

Since about 9 minutes of the show are remaining, beers on the beach are inevitable, and McGarrett gets a call from Joe White, who has not been seen on the show for over two years. The guy who got run over near the mosque is seen in a cel phone photo taken on the U.S. Capitol steps, and Joe reports that "there's mounting evidence of a rogue faction within the United States government" and "[what happened in Oahu] may very well have been a first strike in a much bigger political agenda." Oh, REALLY? Could this be echoing what some people suspect is happening in the U.S. government these days?

The material in the show other than the crime of the week was pretty useless.

First, we got the late nasty Internal Affairs HPD cop Rex Coughlin's brother Robert, the FBI guy, offering Chin and Abby a job in San Francisco to run a task force "like the one you have here in Hawaii, with cops who think outside the box." Coughlin elaborated: "I don't think you would have the full immunity and means in California that you're granted here. But you would enjoy much greater latitude than normal law enforcement." Uh, okay … this totally came out of left field, and sounds like Daniel Dae Kim is leaving the show, but more likely it is just another example of Executive Producer Peter Lenkov jerking the fans around in his usual manner. Or maybe DDK is one of the actors who has not yet renewed his contract for an eighth season and Lenkov has to expect the possibility that his contract (and that of Grace Park, who will also face a "big decision" in the finale next week) will not be renewed, though in the case of DDK, I seriously doubt this. Chin has to think about his future, and does so all by himself, because in this show Abby is nowhere to be seen.

Then we had over five minutes of some idiotic sub-plot involving Gerard Hirsch's attempts to get a bank loan to expand his crime scene cleanup business. Aside from Kamekona, who ended up as Hirsch's silent partner, this dragged Adam (sorely in need of some razor blades) into the story along with Kono, who was once again the object of Hirsch's embarrassing sexual double entendres, now delivered in Adam's presence! Seriously, once again you have to wonder why the writers come up with this infantile drivel which sounds like material cribbed from a teen magazine story.

MORE TRIVIA:


25. (S07E25) Ua mau ke ea o ka ‘āina i ka pono (The Life of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness) ★★
Original air date: 5/12/17

This final episode for the season was one big mishmash, with a couple of good scenes and some which were utterly ridiculous, though at times the latter verged on "so stupid that they are entertaining," like S05E13 with its giant wrecking ball. Some of the stunts in this show were total insanity, and some of them were in "Claw" territory (see S03E01).

Rather than ending with a cliffhanger involving some pending catastrophe, most of the suspense at the end had to do with whether certain characters will be back next season. I suspect that some of this may have to do whether the actors in question have extended their contracts since they reportedly signed on to do the show originally for seven years. We know that Alex O'Loughlin will be back, because he signed for an eighth year and expects next season will be his last. Other cast-related issues which have been discussed previously include Chin Ho and Abby going to start a Five-Zero-like task force in San Francisco and Danno retiring and opening a restaurant. (Scott Caan is already working on a five-episodes-less-per-year schedule.) Kono may be leaving as well, as you shall soon read.

The crime of the week continued the sex trafficking theme from S07E19, which would have made more sense if that episode from March had been the previous one. Although the earlier show seemed to resolve issues, in this final episode, it turns out that there were another 10 young girls who were suddenly moved from the house where they were held captive near Kaneohe as the show opened at 5:43 a.m.

After this, there was a 14-hour flashback to events the day before, which included Danno bringing his son Charlie to the office since his ex-wife Rachel was visiting her D-I-V-O-R-C-E lawyer. Danno, who was absent last week, was his usual obnoxious self, telling Charlie that McGarrett's office was far away from the others because Steve was "in a constant state of time out." Charlie said "He's a bad boy," to which Danno replied "He's the worst." Hello, McGarrett was the guy who not only helped Danno put Charlie's room together in S07E23, but baby-sat the kid near the end of that show. However, McGarrett also had problems in the "teaching respect for your elders" department a few minutes later when he and Danno started arguing about whether junk food from the vending machine was suitable for Charlie's consumption and McGarrett turned to the kid and said "Charlie, why is your dad such a poopie-head sometimes?"

Then we jump to a scene with Chin Ho and his girl friend Abby about to "do it like monkeys." This seemed rather odd, because while Abby hasn't been physically seen on the show since the first episode of the current season where she became a member of HPD, she was referred to in several others: 4, 12, 16 and 24. It's not like she went back to the mainland for an extended holiday or something. This vignette really emphasized how "nice" Chin Ho is. I am starting to be annoyed by his persona on the show. Although he can be "angry" from time to time, overall his character is far too "sanitized."

The next scene takes us to a variety store where Kono and Chin's niece Sara are shopping for things connected with a party for Jerry to celebrate his getting a Five-Zero badge (seriously). These two gals are goofing around a bit, but then Kono goes to the section with feminine protection products and so forth and grabs a Clearblue pregnancy kit. (Note: I predicted this eventuality in a Tweet on May 6th.) Kono suddenly gets a phone call, which is the usual "phone call taking Five-Zero away from the cute beginning of the show."

Kono soon finds herself at the Ho‘ola Na Pua Pearl Haven Facility on the North Shore to talk to Moani (MacKenzie Aladjem), the girl who was rescued in the previous sex trafficking episode and who Kono took there at the end of that show. Moani wants to know if Emilio, the guy who was busted in the previous show, is saying anything, and Kono says his lawyer told him to clam up. Moani shows Kono a picture that she sketched of Deon Miller (Rick Otto), another guy connected with the trafficking of girls.

Back in the office after what seems like an hour or so, Miller is IDed with facial recognition and is determined to be a very bad dude. McGarrett tells Kono to "Reach out to HPD, tell 'em to lock that perimeter down [around Miller's house in Kaneohe]." HPD doesn't seem to do a very good job, because the next morning at 6:28 a.m., Five-Zero raids Miller's place to find everyone has departed as per the beginning of the show, which happened only 45 minutes before. (I wonder why Five-Zero waited until the next morning to take action, rather than going there immediately after their session in the office. There is also the question of how Miller and his associates knew that Five-Zero was coming. Maybe there is a mole in HPD?)

As Kono and Grover drive away from the scene, their conversation, with Kono depressed about the sex trafficking and Grover worrying about his daughter going to university in Chicago where all the cops hate him, was actually very good.

Miller's truck is soon spotted. We later find out that he was heading for the Kalaeloa Airport. Although there is no time gap specified between the early morning raid and when the truck is first seen, you have to start wondering about some of the time and topographic issues which plague the rest of the show. In fact, when the truck is first viewed, it is driving on a viaduct, which looks like it is the "right" viaduct of a divided highway, and the truck is driving the wrong way! But maybe this is just an entrance to the main drag or something (or perhaps the whole scene is "flopped," i.e., backwards in the camera).

It is difficult to figure out where this truck is really driving when it is being chased by Five-Zero and the cops. At one point, Duke, Abby and a bunch of other policemen attempt to stop it, but the truck just plows through their roadblock and a couple of the cars explode. Abby stands in the way with her hands up and only gets out of the way at the last second.

McGarrett and Danno soon join the chase, and Miller is following what's going on with his cel phone which is broadcasting a live feed of the pursuit taken from a helicopter by the local news station. Miller tells McGarrett, "Try to stop me, and I will drive this truck off a cliff." This produces a pretty funny exchange when Danno asks McGarrett what does he expect for threatening Miller, to which McGarrett replies, "Oh, now you're the perp whisperer." Although there are numerous possible ways of stopping Miller without harming the girls in the truck, McGarrett has a brainstorm, says what they are not doing isn't working, and everyone returns to the office.

There, McGarrett tells everyone of a plan to force the car from the H1 freeway to the H3 freeway which goes through the Tetsuo Harano Tunnels where he will jump on top of the moving semi-trailer. For the second week a row, everyone is appalled at a plan that McGarrett has come up with, with Danno in particular saying it is ridiculous. However, McGarrett gets his way, and he is soon poised on top of the tunnel exit with Jerry co-ordinating things to determine the exact moment he should jump on top of the truck.

Meanwhile, Grover, driving a large Chevrolet Suburban, comes up beside Miller as he approaches the H3 turnoff. Although there is a SWAT truck and a police car further down the H1 which you figure Miller would wipe out just like he did with the cop cars when Abby almost got creamed, maybe because Miller is concerned that his truck will get scratched or something, he follows Five-Zero's plan and heads up the H3, which, oddly enough, takes him back in the direction of Kaneohe, which is where he started out that morning.

There are lots of questions about the stunt where McGarrett jumps on to the roof of the truck. For example, nowhere do we hear from Jerry which of the four lanes the truck is going to be in when it comes out of the tunnel. Isn’t this kind of important?

McGarrett manages to jump on the truck successfully. Then he pulls out this blowtorch which looks like a mini light saber and starts to cut a hole in the trailer's roof. But there is a bad guy inside who starts to pepper the ceiling with machine gun fire. McGarrett loses his balance and hangs off the edge of the truck for several seconds but soon recovers and drops through the hole just as the bad guy inside is facing in the other direction. The obligatory kick-ass fight occurs and McGarrett overcomes the guy and hurls him out the truck's back door where the pursuing cars barely miss him (as if that should make any difference).

Chin Ho, Kono and Abby are following in what looks like some kind of a farm vehicle with an overhang above the cab. They drive up behind the trailer and half of the 10 girls manage to escape using this means. But Miller's cel phone reception, which was temporarily disabled, suddenly returns and, seeing the live TV coverage, he steps on the gas, foiling the rescue attempt of the other five girls.

McGarrett then climbs up to the roof of the truck through the hole he made and drops down to the platform behind the truck where the trailer is hooked up. Miller does not see him do this, despite the fact there is a window at the back of the truck's cab. McGarrett manages to unhook the trailer which then, separated, follows with its landing gear (which is what normally holds the trailer up when it is sitting detached from the truck) tearing up the pavement, finally stopping against a hill on the side of the road.

Miller stops the truck and gets out and is promptly shot dead by McGarrett, who has saved the day -- the remaining five girls in the trailer are all OK.

Back in the office during a post-mortem, Kono seems very depressed despite McGarrett's comments that they did the best they could and "ten more girls went back to their parents," especially when she hears that Miller was heading for the Kalaeloa airport and the plane was going to Carson City, Nevada. In addition to this place, Deon's cel phone is analyzed by Jerry, who determines that other cities are hotbeds of sex trafficking, including Flagstaff, Phoenix, El Paso, San Antonio, New Orleans, Omaha, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Charlotte, Atlanta, Miami and Tampa.

The show ends with Jerry's party, where the usual party-goers like Kamekona, Flippa, Pua Kai, Noelani, Duke, Nahele and Noelani are present and where McGarrett reveals to Danno that he has radiation poisoning from handling material connected with the bomb in S07E18. Kono is not there. Chin Ho attempts to contact her, with no luck. We then cut to an airplane heading to Las Vegas and Carson City where Kono is one of the passengers on a quest to deal with the issue of sex trafficking and its Boko Haram-like victims. I will be really interested to see how they resolve this plot thread next season.

MORE TRIVIA:


JUMP TO ANOTHER SEASON:

NEW FIVE-0 (2010-?):
| 1st Season | 2nd Season | 3rd Season | 4th Season | 5th Season | 6th Season | 8th Season | "Next" Season |

CLASSIC FIVE-O (1968-1980):
| Pilot Movie (Episode "0") | 1st Season (Episodes 1-23) | 2nd Season (Episodes 24-48) | 3rd Season (Episodes 49-72) | 4th Season (Episodes 73-96) | 5th Season (Episodes 97-120) | 6th Season (Episodes 121-144) | 7th Season (Episodes 145-168) | 8th Season (Episodes 169-191) | 9th Season (Episodes 192-214) | 10th Season (Episodes 215-238) | 11th Season (Episodes 239-259) | 12th Season (Episodes 260-278) | 13th Season |

RETURN TO THE HAWAII FIVE-O HOME PAGE