Hawaii Five-0 (2010) -- Season 9 Episode Reviews

INCLUDING ODDITIES, GOOFS AND TRIVIA

Copyright ©2018-2019 by Mike Quigley. No reproduction of any kind without permission.


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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. (S09E01) Ka ‘ōwili ‘ōka‘i (Cocoon) ★★★½  BOOK ʻEM, DANNO 
Original air date: 9/28/18

The show began with a preview of what is to come during the show, different than the usual "previously on." McGarrett is in a John Lilly-like sensory deprivation tank in a large room, the "cocoon" of the title, wearing a red scuba outfit with a creepy white mask and connections to a computer plus breathing tubes. The person in charge of his deprogramming orders him out of the pool. Except this person is Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos), who was killed in S05E07, the show's one hundredth episode. McGarrett is strapped to a table and Wo, describing him as "a very stubborn man," removes the mask. McGarrett sees it is Wo, though his vision is blurry.

Then this whole beginning is repeated again, with McGarrett taken out of the tank when he starts hallucinating. Wo is not there any more, a guy named Kang (Roger Yuan) is in charge of things. Kang removes McGarrett's face mask. McGarrett cannot see Kang, because his eyes are covered with gutta-percha, a substance usually used in dental fillings, also used in the original show's "Cocoon" episode that this one is largely based on.

There is only one problem with Wo Fat's presence in this teaser, aside from the fact he is dead, which is that when we see this sequence later, Wo Fat is not there at all. We see only the part with Kang, and McGarrett has not only his eyes, but also his ears sealed with gutta-percha. He cannot hear anything, so how could he have "heard" the dialogue that Wo Fat said up to that point and visualize what he was doing, especially since Wo is in the nearby cocoon control room which makes him even more isolated from McGarrett?

I guess you can say "this is a hallucination, so anything goes," but there would have been a better solution to this opening of the show, aside from just eliminating it because it basically gave away a lot of the suspense about what is to come.

In the Classic Five-O pilot "Cocoon," originally a 2-hour made-for-TV movie broadcast on September 20, 1968, there was a scene which was not included. Perhaps cut out of this pilot, it was not seen until the pilot was re-edited, split into two one-hour parts and rebroadcast in June of 1969. In the second part of that show, McGarrett (Jack Lord) is hallucinating, and he is thinking about Wo Fat (Khigh Dhiegh), who is in charge of his torture in the tank. He starts yelling "Soundproof cocoon, baloney! You goofed, Mister Wo Fat! You hear me? You goofed, Fatso! I hear it – creaking, rubbing noises. That gurgling noise."

The revamped "Cocoon" would have made more sense if we had a point-of-view of Alex O'Loughlin's McGarrett in the tank after six hours thinking about the Mark Dacascos Wo Fat, maybe yelling something like the above, then he was hauled out of the tank, and we had an O'Loughlin point-of-view from the inside of the mask being cut off his face, with Mark Dacascos appearing and then dissolving into Kang. This sequence would appear later on in the show, not just in the preview.

The "cute opening" after the main credits involved McGarrett and Junior digging a large hole in McGarrett's front yard to bury the cash which Kamekona had given him and Danno connected with the "takeover" of their on-again/off-again restaurant. I don't know why McGarrett felt "I really don't have anywhere else safe to keep it. Except for maybe a bank." As he explained to Tani, who showed up to watch them dig, "If I deposit this money in a bank, I have to hire a lawyer, okay, to draw up a formal partnership agreement. We're trying to stay liquid at the moment."

Five-Zero has "immunity and means," fer chrissakes, so you would think they could come up with a more creative solution. But then maybe McGarrett was having bad memories of dealing with large amounts of money experienced earlier on in the series, which almost led to Five-Zero's dissolution. Tani, by the way, seemed unusually chirpy; I felt like telling her "Hey, you've only been on the team for a year, have a bit more humility like Junior!"

From this point on, the new "Cocoon," which was intended as a tribute to the original Five-O, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, was VERY GOOD. In fact, it was one of the top shows since the beginning right up there with S04E10, the "Pearl Harbor" show. The remake of "Hookman" does not qualify for this pantheon, in my opinion, because of Danno's idiotic anti-gun rant in that episode.

Written by executive producer Peter Lenkov and based on the original Cocoon's screeplay by series creator Leonard Freeman, the new show followed the original closely, including characters, settings, locations and dialogue. Sure, there were some questions like "How does McGarrett get a job in the Arcturus, the ship which contains the cocoon?", "How does McGarrett snoop through the ship to find the cocoon despite the place swarming with guards," and "Why does McGarrett just walk casually around the docks waiting to be captured by Kang?" (which, of course, happened). But guess what -- the same questions could be asked of the original.

For the last month or so, I've been immersed in redoing my first season episode reviews of the original show because of the 50th anniversary, including an extremely detailed look at the original "Cocoon". So I don't know how someone who hadn't seen the original might view regard the remake.

I was expecting the worst from Danno in the new show, but he seemed relatively subdued, and some of his dialog actually filled in expository details, thus making sure the show would fit in one hour, instead of two.

There were some interesting touches like the CIA bigshot named Jonathan Kray (Jonathan Kay in the original -- who was also referenced by the late Jenna Kaye in the first two seasons and the 100th episode) and the guy accompanying McGarrett's former CIA girl friend Greer (Rochelle Aytes) named Miller (Jack Coleman), the same name as an agent played by Andrew Duggan in the original who betrayed McGarrett like Greer did in this one.

Another highlight of the new show was a kick-ass fight between McGarrett, Danno and the uncredited guy named Chow who was snooping around the room of McGarrett's murdered CIA friend Hennessey. Chow "used to work for the Ministry of State Security in China," according to Miller. The gun battle at the end, highly reminiscent of the original, was not bad either.

Probably the funniest reference was at the end where Danno was wondering if McGarrett had been brain-damaged by his experience in the cocoon, and he asked his pal how long they had known each other. McGarrett replied, "50 years ... Feels like 50 years."

One major disappointment was the usual non-stop music, which was not particularly memorable. Although I realize there are issues with the score from the original, which is involved in an ongoing lawsuit, surely considering this is the show's 50th anniversary, there could have been at least one reference to the Five-O theme in the show itself?

MORE TRIVIA:


2. (S09E02) Ke kanaka i ha‘ule mai ka lewa maia (The Man Who Fell from the Sky) ★★
Original air date: 10/5/18

After last week's remake of the original Five-O's pilot episode "Cocoon" which was one of the best Five-Zero episodes ever and definitely worth watching, even among devotees of the old show who find the reboot loathsome, we were back to the usual ho-hum two-for-one with this show.

It got off to a very bad start, with one of those not uncommon Five-Zero premises which mean everything after that should not make any sense.

A white guy who is in the employ of evil Chinese dudes (ECD) and pretending to be a US federal air marshal (USFAM) grabs this other white guy named Jack Teague (David Preston) who is a double agent the Chinese want to interrogate, torture, and so forth. This happens on a Hanalei Air plane while Teague is on his way to Hawaii, pretending to be Mr. Family Man. There Teague will meet up with Miller (Jack Coleman), former pal of McGarrett's ex-girlfriend and now traitor Greer (Rochelle Aytes), so he can be put in a safe house, because ECD know that Teague is up to no good. The USFAM, because of who he is pretending to be, can take a gun on board the plane as well as a huge carry-on bag which contains a parachute. He straps himself together with Teague and, opening the door of the plane, jumps out as it is approaching Honolulu International Airport.

There is only one thing that is really stupid here. When we see this, the plane is descending towards the airport over the water. Yet these two guys end up in the jungle which is pretty funny, considering places where you might land by parachute on Oahu in this manner have always struck me as relatively close to civilization in some way no matter where you are, as can be seen by the fact that Danno, Tani and Junior, who are sent out later to find these two guys, are not using satellite phones, but their regular cel phones, duh!

This crime of the week had a complicated plot, to say the least, compounded by treachery from Greer who seemingly did not leave Hawaii after she got intel from the (not) brainwashed McGarrett in the previous show. Like the trio from Five-Zero, Greer was in the jungle hunting for Teague with some ECD (to whom she spoke Chinese) and there was a predictable firefight between the two groups and, of course, Five-Zero triumphed and Greer was busted.

At the end of the show, as Greer is taken away to be "charged under the Espionage Act," according to McGarrett, Greer starts suggesting that she knows stuff that McGarrett did that was not on the up-and-up when they were romantically involved way back when. To be continued!

The show had some humor, with Jerry saying "Boo-yah" twice and Grover being concerned because his wife's SUV, which he was using while his car was in the shop, got totally destroyed at the end of the show when it rammed into a car full of ECDs taking Teague to the Chinese Consulate in Honolulu where he would become "untouchable" as far as Five-Zero was concerned. This further batch of ECDs seems in addition to those who were knocked off by the Five-Zero threesome in the jungle. (There actually is no Chinese consulate in Honolulu, by the way; the closest one is in Los Angeles.)

The secondary story for the week had to do with Tani, who is still having aneurysms over what she should do with Adam's gun that she found that may implicate the still-missing-from-this-season Adam in the death of his half-sister. She goes to see Captain Keo (Eric Steinberg), the training officer from HPD that Tani punched out, breaking his nose, which -- in addition to her cheating on her final exam -- resulted in her getting kicked out of the police academy and hired by Five-Zero. She wants Keo to check Adam's gun "off the books" because she doesn't want to destroy her relationship with McGarrett and the team. Keo describes her as "a rule breaker," and says he cannot help her, adding "that may be okay for you, for Five-O, but it is not the way I do things."

However, at the end of the show, Keo comes to see Tani, saying he has had second thoughts, because two days before their altercation, Tani's father died, therefore she was stressed. Or so the implication goes. But wouldn't have Keo already known that, because McGarrett and Danno knew this when they hired Tani at the beginning of last season? Keo tells Tani he will check the gun, but cautions her not to thank him yet, because "You don't know what I'm gonna find."

MORE TRIVIA:

3. (S09E03) Mimiki ke kai, ahuwale ka papa leho (When the Sea Draws Out the Tidal Wave, the Rocks Where the Cowries Hide Are Exposed) ★★
Original air date: 10/12/18

Another "meh" episode which, though well-made, was not like a typical Five-Zero show.

It prominently featured Junior and Tani, whose crime-solving and gazing with "will-they-won't-they" anticipation at each other took up more time than the Crime of the Week (see Excel spreadsheet below). Some of the show was light hearted, not only because of these two, but also because of comedy from Grover and Kamekona. The comedy parts of the show also took up more time than the Crime of the Week.

But the show was also horribly violent, with a nasty woman fugitive shooting two cops, one right in his chest as he was laying on the ground, then killing a motorcycle rider and stealing his bike as well as beating two other people so their faces looked like strawberry jam.

Tani didn't mention anything about Adam's gun at all, which was good. Tani did an imitation of Danno whining during a cargument, which was bad.

In the "please don't do that" department, the writers dragged in the restaurant where the power had gone out because of the heat wave featured throughout the show and the food in the freezer was being put in danger. Of course, there was the usual moronic discussion between McGarrett and Danno. UGH!

I don't have much else to say about the show, so I will just repost the notes I made. These are not exactly the original notes, they have been expanded a bit. If you have seen the show, you will know what I am referring to...

- A heat wave in Honolulu.
- Temperature is 100°.
- "So hot in here" – whose song? ["Hot in Herre" by Nelly]
- Tani is in car and hot, traffic jam.
- "Heatwave" - song by Martha & the Vandellas.
- Junior is watching football (who is playing?).
- Woman is fugitive, 2 cops are shot dead. Nasty violence!
- Dog the Bounty Hunter is first in guest stars, a bad sign.
- Restaurant has a blackout, freezer not working.
- Kamekona shows up, comedy.
- Missing woman is Tracy Benson.
[commercial break]
- Topless Dog the Bounty Hunter in tub of ice, repulsive.
- Dog talks to Grover who is playing golf despite the heat.
- Benson beat up her landlord badly, now in hospital.
- "Heat makes people do crazy things".
- Landlord's wife suggests Benson had insurance settlement, that's where she got her money to pay rent.
- Temperature is 105° now.
- Junior drives Tani's car like McG does Danno's.
- Tani does very lame imitation of Danno complaining while in car.
- Guy on roof threatening kids in his pool, name of Makaio (? Doesn't look Hawaiian).
- He is taking sertraline (an antidepressant).
- Junior is negotiating with guy, the music is stupid.
- Junior talks to Tani about his sister, she was taking meds, the music is sad.
- Tani's car gets stolen.
[commercial break]
- Temperature is 106° now.
- Junior and Tani decide to walk back to H50 HQ (how far is it, Junior says it takes ½ hour).
- Grover's caddy is Gary, he doesn't want to work, it is too hot.
- Jerry goes to get some ice from convenience store.
- Some guy buys the last 2 bags, a tattooed guy figures he should get it, starts to make trouble.
- Jerry knocks out tattooed guy on head with a bottle, then finds out this dude's wife is pregnant.
- The ice the first guy bought all melted (what, within a minute or so?).
- Kamekona puts the prices of his shaved ice up from $5 to $15, people are pissed.
- McG and Danno go to Benson's apt, the A/C is working there.
- Benson is ID'd as Allison Ross, a bank robber, money ($500,000!) she was hiding was taken by A/C repairman.
[commercial break]
- Temperature is 109° now.
- Benson's address is 3429 Kapulani Drive, McG and Danno check with A/C company as to who came to fix the A/C.
- Why does the A/C company give McG private info about where the repairman lives, even though McG identifies himself as from H50?
- Junior talks more about his sister, she was killed by a drunk driver. More sad music.
- Junior and Tani are happy to encounter an ice cream truck.
- Temperature is 110° now.
- Grover's golf score is 72, which is par for the course. He is happy, but the caddy has passed out, Grover persuades him to lie about witnessing a spectacular putt he made.
- McG and Danno go to A/C guy's place, he is badly beaten up.
[commercial break]
- They find Benson in the elevator which has stalled between floors b/c of power outage b/c of the heat (I guess), she died from the heat?!? I thought she would suddenly come back to life if McG dropped down into the car. How did McG get down the elevator cable easily? Remember he had experience with his mother a long time ago.
- The tattooed guy with pregnant wife brings her to convenience store, the clerk moves crap out of the cooler and she sits inside it (really). Mr. Tattoo holds a cold can of beer on the back of her neck while massaging his wife's leg and belly. The song "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley plays in the background. Shut up! [Very bad word is censored here]
- A mob of angry customers turned over Kamekona's truck.
- McGarrett lectures Kamekona.
- Tani and Junior track down her car, some guy stole it for the A/C. Tani has a good line to Junior regarding her car, b/c Junior left the keys in it, that's why it was stolen: "If he [the guy who stole it] used it as a toilet, you're paying to get it detailed." The thief wants sympathy from them, he is busted.
- When Tani and Junior try to drive the recovered car away, it dies because the A/C drained the battery.
- Tani and Junior go swimming, it starts raining, music is "Singin' in the Rain" (puh-leeze).

MORE TRIVIA:

4. (S09E04) A‘ohe kio pohaku nalo i ke alo pali (On the Slope of the Cliff, Not One Jutting Rock Is Hidden from Sight) ★★½
Original air date: 10/19/18

Time to get out the old Excel spreadsheet again, and as you can see below, the Crime of the Week was almost dwarfed by a secondary story involving Junior and Jerry. Too bad that it wasn't, because the story with the two Js was pretty good. On the other hand, the Crime of the Week was confusing and gross, and downright stupid at its end.

Junior and Jerry went to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware because Junior had been requested to accompany the body of Air Force Combat Controller Staff Sergeant Christopher Kaliko home to Oahu. Junior was escort officer for a dignified transfer; Jerry was along for the trip (at his own expense?) because he wanted "to honor a friend who died in combat."

On their way home with just Kaliko's flag-draped coffin in the hold of a massive airplane, we find out that Jerry wanted to enlist in the armed forces after 9/11, something which I found kind of incompatible with Jerry's geeky-paranoid-conspiracy-theorist persona, unless this event was what motivated him to become like that. Jerry was roundly rejected after having a panic attack in a recruitment meeting, though there is no indication if Jerry was "roundly rejected" for his weight at the time, assuming he was as rotund then as he is now.

The acting by both actors was low-key but effective in the way we saw both of them coming out of their shells. Jerry tells Junior that he convinced a friend of his named Mika to sign up for the military. Mika was accepted and later killed in combat (the friend mentioned above) which made Jerry sad because he felt responsible for his friend's death. Junior tells Jerry that he requested that his cousin accompany him home if he didn't make it out of the service alive, because his father had totally rejected him. In fact, Junior's father had said that if his son was ever killed in action, he wouldn't even come to his funeral.

Junior had no idea why he was asked to escort Kaliko, but at the end, after seeing a bumper sticker on the car of Kaliko's parents, he realized that after a pep talk he gave to kids at Kukui High School years before, Kaliko had approached him and told him that he was motivated by what Junior said and eventually joined the military.

Despite the fact that this part of the show was "really not about ," it should have been expanded to the entire hour, and would have had more impact if it was broadcast on November 9, close to Veteran's Day. Unfortunately, that time slot is taken up with some special event to celebrate the fact that the show on that day will be the series' 200th episode.

As far as the Crime of the Week goes, it was kind of lame, not to mention disgusting.

At the beginning of the show, some guy is driving a Kenworth dump truck full of sand. While being pursued by the police, he lifts the open-box bed and dumps the sand on the road and the cops run into it. I am skeptical that you can lift the box like this while you are driving 50 or 60 miles an hour. Aren't there some kind of safety provisions on a truck to prevent you from doing this, in case you happen to run into a freeway overpass? (I will obviously have to look into this.) As well, if you are travelling fast, would the sand coming out of the truck fall in one big dump, or would it be spread out over several hundred feet?

When he arrives on the sandy scene, McGarrett is clever, because he knows that black market sand is a hot commodity, much to Grover's astonishment, and if you do a Google search for news items about black market sand, you will find several from a few months ago, perhaps around the time the show was being written and/or produced.

Anyway, in this sand that is dumped is a body which has its feet cut off and its face badly mangled. (Grover says they used to call bodies like that in Chicago "Mr. Potato Head," gross!) Noelani later says that in one of the body's legs is a cavity suggesting there was an orthopedic pin that connected the shin to the ankle. The consensus seems to be the body had been dumped in the ocean with something holding its legs down (later seen to be a cement block) and its feet were ripped off when a dredger sucked up the body with the sand.

McGarrett and Danno visit Kamekona, who is getting tired of them consulting him because he seemingly knows "every criminal enterprise on this island," a trope which is becoming tiresome not only to Kamekona. It turns out that none other than Flippa had experience with black market sand, and he points McGarrett and Danno in the direction of the company likely connected with the stuff that was dumped earlier.

Of course, when McGarrett and Danno arrive at the place, the exact guy who was driving the truck is there, and they immediately know that he is the guilty party. (There doesn't seem to be anyone else working at this place, maybe that is why.) McGarrett pursues him in an exhausting parkour-like chase, with the two of them ending up in a dangerous machine which Danno thinks will chop both of them up into little pieces. They both survive this.

Danno and McGarrett then get some GPS co-ordinates from where the guy got the sand, which seems very far-fetched, they go out in the ocean south of Oahu and find not one, but two sets of feet, one of which has the orthopedic pin in it. Returning to the sand company, they find the body that the second set of feet belonged to, which is that of a woman.

This is where things get weird. The orthopedic pin is tracked down to a guy named Kaimi Alana. When Tani and Grover go to his place, they find women's clothing and "ladies' notions and potions," as Grover describes them. Grover suspects that Alana was "transgender," but Tani says, no, he was "mahu." She doesn't go into great detail about this, but we can learn from various web pages that "mahu" could refer to someone who is transgender or a cross-dresser. It also can be used pejoratively to refer to gay men and drag queens.

After Tani and Grover talk to a woman named Malie who taught dance with Kaimi at the Ohana Youth Dance Studio, and she tells them there was "no drama" in Kaimi's life, Grover wonders if Kaimi's murder was a hate crime.

The woman's body found at the sand company is also identified as Kaimi Alana, the same name as the "mahu" individual. (There is no indication how Noelani manages to ID this woman.) McGarrett, being a smart guy, figures that the reason there were two people with the same name killed is because of "a case of mistaken identity."

There is a huge gap in the story during the final commercial break, because when we come back, Noa Alana, husband of Kaimi Alana (the mistaken identity woman, not the "mahu" guy) is in the Five-Zero office and is being grilled, because they found that he was going out of town on a romantic trip to Bali with a woman named Hailey Adams, a friend of his wife. (Huh?) Danno bluntly asks the guy "Did you arrange to have your wife murdered?" and Noa immediately asks for a lawyer. But with typical Five-Zero smart-aleckiness, McGarrett tells him his goose is cooked because "Mr. Contract Killer" that Noa hired for $2,000 who they discovered by checking Noa's bank account and who killed both Noa's wife and the "mahu" Kaimi, has already confessed to the crimes! At that exact moment, this killer is being paraded past the interviewing room, which is not the blue-lit one, by the way. WHAT?!?!?!? Where do all these people and plot threads suddenly come from? I thought I had fallen asleep during the show and missed something!

There was another mini-story during the show, that of Duke, who has not been seen since S08E22 where he was caught breaking into the evidence room at HPD because he needed a key to a locker containing a lot of money to help free his granddaughter who was kidnapped. Duke has to go to a hearing, and is iffy about the whole thing, wondering if he should just retire from the force, because he will not lose his pension. Danno and McGarrett argue about this periodically during the show, and at the end, Duke decides that he will go to the hearing and make a case to remain a cop ... and McGarrett will back him up.

MORE TRIVIA:


5. (S09E05) A‘ohe mea ‘imi a ka maka (Nothing More the Eyes to Search For) ★★½
Original air date: 10/26/18

This annual "we-must-celebrate-Hallowe'en" episode had a major overdose of Jerry, who we had just seen in abundance in the previous show when he accompanied Junior to bring the body of a soldier back to Hawaii from Delaware.

Played by Joshua Gonzalez, Jerry was seen in flashbacks from 1982, attending "Camp Hina" when he saw what he thought was an axe murderer burying a body near the place where he and some pals were surreptitiously hanging out in the forest. Jerry later became convinced that a young girl who disappeared around this time was a victim of this killer. Revisiting this location for years turned into a tradition for Jerry and his friends to try and find where her bones were buried, but without any success.

The killer was suspected by Jerry to be Bo Bradley (Pat Gilbert), who lived in the woods near the camp, though there was no mention of how Jerry came to this conclusion. In reality, Bradley was a hermit type who was just "some dude that lives in the woods."

In the present, Jerry and his friends assembled once again this year to search for bones for the last time because the area where the camp was located and nearby was soon to be developed into a golf course. The current incarnation of the one woman in this gang, Crystal, "undisputed master of Donkey Kong and sports trivia of Camp Hina," was played by Mary Lynn Rajskub, Chloe on "24," which Peter Lenkov executive produced in its fourth season. Danno's nephew Eric (Andrew Lawrence) was present, replacing original member Gordie, who didn't appear until later in the show.

Jerry and pals were joined by Noelani, who brought a ground penetrating radar device from her office to help with the search. This machine did find some bones, but she identified them as being a dog's. This didn't stop Jerry, who kept digging during a terrific thunderstorm after the others went back to the still-in-existence campsite where they had been staying. Jerry insisted that killers would often put animal corpses on top of human burial sites to throw people off. And sure enough, he did find the girl's body.

Gordie (Michael Spellman) showed up as Jerry related his findings to his pals back at the camp. As Gordie went to his car to get the group's keys and cellphones which he had hidden as a practical joke, the real killer slashed his throat. As the killer started torching the camp building everyone was in, Bo Bradley suddenly appeared and shot this guy dead.

Although Jerry's explanation that the killer had been watching them because he figured that they would lead him to the burial site which he had forgotten and then he intended to murder all of them was kind of lame, it was made up for by Jerry's getting together with Bradley in a touching scene at the end of the show. Bradley said that he didn't mind the negative publicity because it kept people off of his property.

Although it fell under the category, used far too often on the show, of "this has little or nothing to do with ," Jerry's part of the show was not bad in comparison to the Crime of the Week where once again the writers strove to impress us with a hyper-convoluted story line which was just dumb.

Get this:

The other members of the Five-Zero team are dealing with the brutal murder of a woman named Karen Miles, who has been missing for 4 months. DNA from a crucifix on her body is traced to Jane Martin, a woman from Minnesota who divorced her husband two years before, but was denied custody of her daughter, Molly (Jaycee Cryan-Cadiente), because of her (Karen's) drug history. Martin's husband, Dennis Coleman, is now living in Hawaii and he is murdering other women who look like his ex-wife who have blue eyes and red hair. It also looks like he is using Molly as bait for these women and his daughter witnesses him killing them after drugging them with ketamine. The explanation by Junior for all this is, "Coleman lost his mind after his wife divorced him and just took his rage out on any woman who looked like her."

The five-year-old Molly comes to the attention of Five-Zero when she befriends another young girl named Katie (Saini Tuimaunei), an "intellectually advanced" kid, unknown to Katie's parents, and draws pictures of the murders which Katie's parents assume their daughter made. The parents are horrified to see one of these drawings showing the location on TV where Miles' body was found buried, and even more horrified to later see Molly late at night in Katie's room via a video monitor (though you have to wonder why they didn't see her Molly in the room before when they assumed that Katie speaking to her "imaginary friend" Molly was just part of a "phase" as diagnosed by Katie's pediatrician).

Given this was a Danno-less episode, the brainwork was left to the remaining members of the team who were given Wikipedia-like lines like McGarrett's "Serial killers, they often leave a totem on their victims, right?" Danno's "voice of reason" comments (minus the whining and bitching) were replaced by Grover's skepticism about Molly being a vision of Katie's, sort of like a medium would have (before we knew that Molly was a real person).

Tani was the hardest-working team member, finding a woman named Emily (Carly J. Casey) who was almost abducted by Coleman off the street 18 months before in Honolulu. Emily's sudden appearance out of nowhere after a commercial break, tracked down because of her appearance and the ketamine connection was a bit of a head-scratcher at first. Tani was also the one who made the DNA connection to Martin.

As the Crime of the Week drew to its conclusion, my notes started saying things like "B.S. ... a feel-good, tear-jerking ending is coming," which, no surprise, it was, Molly being reunited with her mother (Ashley Chewning), who flew in from Minnesota (I think ... see below). When Molly was rescued from her father's place there was the use of slow-motion as well.

The show ended with a brief phone call from Tani's contact and former teacher at HPD, Captain Keo (Eric Steinberg), who told her the gun at Adam's place was the same one which killed Adam's sister.

MORE TRIVIA:

  • This episode breaks down as follows: Jerry in 1982 - 17.79%; Jerry in 2018 - 49.25%; Crime of the Week - 28.39%; Miscellaneous (Titles/Credits) - 2.44%; Keo phones Tani (Adam related) - 2.13%.
  • The name of the boogeyman "Bo Bradley" is very similar to "Bo Raddley," a character in To Kill A Mockingbird," also considered to be sinister, but who turns out to be a good person.
  • Karen Miles' Social Security number was 977-21-4404, her driver's license HM5231288P, and her address was 879 Ma‘ahe road, Honolulu 96813.
  • There is confusion about Martin's "current" address. Tani says that it is in Minnesota (8763 Sterns Way, St. Cloud), but her record as flashed up from the Supercomputer shows her as having an address at 23 Hillebrand Street, Honolulu 96817. Her Social Security number is 945866452 and her driver's license (Hawaiian?) is HP5543012L. When divorce proceeedings between her and her husband were taking place, Coleman's address was 98640 Gibley Lane, Apt. 301 in St. Cloud. Their daughter was born 13/16/2011, which would make her currently 7 years old, not 5 years old as stated in the show.
  • There are references to events featuring Jerry and his friends in the past taking place "3 decades" and "30 years" ago, whereas it was actually 36 years before.
  • In the car at the beginning of the show where a couple are making out before the guy is decapitated after he goes for help when the car stalls, which forms the basis of a "scary story" told by Jerry to his pals in 1982, the radio station the guy and his girl friend are listening to is at 690 on the dial. The radio is made by JVC. The song playing on the radio is "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" by Blue Öyster Cult from the band's 1976 album Agents of Fortune.
  • Jerry's phone number in the 1980's looks like it was 555-0137.

(Review above written Dec. 24, 2018)


GUEST REVIEW BY JEFF: (Rating: ★★)

I watched the Halloween episode and I have to say I was not impressed, mainly because the storyline with Jerry was fairly lame and predictable, though mildly entertaining nonetheless, and the main storyline with the young girl was nonsense as well, but far less compelling than the Jerry story. I did enjoy the fact that there was no Danno in the episode which was a merciful twist. I'm also surprised that this is the second week in a row that Jerry has had a major storyline. I would probably give this episode two stars out of four, it was very mediocre, though I don't believe it was horrible. I was somewhat entertained despite the absurdity.


GUEST REVIEW BY TODD: (Rating: ★★★)

I wasn't exactly looking forward to yet another cheesy "spooky" Five-Zero episode, which always manages to appear at the end of October.  There's no reason for a long-running series like Five-Zero (nine seasons and counting) to celebrate each and every holiday with some kind of gimmick.

With that said, I actually enjoyed this episode, and in fact it was the best one of this young season.

First off, there was no time wasting with nonsense.  I've grown so accustomed to Five-Zero wasting precious episode time (which are only 43 minutes of running time to begin with) that I find I usually enjoy any of the rare episodes where they focus entirely on the main plots.

This episode split its time between two stories, the crime-of-the-week and an expedition into the woods where Jerry attempted to solve a murder from 1982 where, as a 12-year-old, he thought he saw a body being buried.

The Jerry plot actually took more of the focus in the episode, and while I thought it might end up being stupid, I actually found myself intrigued by it.  There was a scary man named Bo Bradley who lived in a creepy house in the woods in 1982, adjacent to a summer camp.  Bradley was believed to be a dangerous figure by the kids, and they loved to tell (made up) horror stories around the campfire regarding Bradley killing people.  However, when Young Jerry went to the bushes to pee, he saw a man he believed to be Bradley digging a hole and burying someone/something, and this man chased Jerry when he caught him witnessing it.  Ever since then, Jerry and his camp friends have been visiting the site each year as adults, camping out, drinking, and digging for bodies.  However, until this year, none of Jerrys now-adult friends took the expedition seriously, and thought that the digging was more ceremonial than anything else.

In the present, during yet another one of these digging expeditions, Jerry revealed that he was really serious about believing a body would actually be found at some point, somewhat causing tension with his friends who still didn't believe it.  Eric (Danno's nephew) was along on this expedition for some reason.  We hadn't seen Eric in awhile, and I had figured they did away with that (annoying) character.  I guess they decided to bring him back, and gave him something to do (though it didn't make sense why Eric was there, especially since he and Jerry were never previously portrayed as being close.)

Eventually Noelani joined them, as well, with a piece of equipment to better identify possible bones underground.  At one point they believed they found bones, but Noelani spoiled the excitement by revealing them to be dog bones.  Jerry insisted that he felt the dog bone was there to throw off anyone using equipment like Noelani's, and that the human body was buried underneath.  He dug in the pouring rain, and indeed found old human remains.  In the meantime, the rest of the party was back at the cabin, and all of them found their phones and car keys missing.  Finally a man banged on the door and appeared in a threatening manner, scaring everyone immensely, only to pull off his mask and reveal himself to be one of Jerry's other camp buddies who previously said he couldn't make it.  He also revealed that he took the keys and phones as a prank.  Jerry arrived back at that point.  The friend who went out for the car keys returned with a slashed throat, making it clear that a killer really was somewhere outside, presumably Bo Bradley who caught them digging up the body.

After the group barricaded the doorway, the killer lit the outside on fire, in order to either smoke them out of the cabin, or burn them alive.  Jerry volunteered to create a distraction by leaving the cabin while the rest escape.  Indeed, the killer approached Jerry with a knife, only to be shot by....

Bo Bradley.

Yes, Bo Bradley was a good guy after all.  Now quite old, Bradley revealed that he was intentionally scary in the ‘80s in order to keep kids away from his property.  It is not clear why Bo Bradley did not interrupt anyone doing all the digging right outside his property each year, yet showed up with a gun during the fracas outside the cabin (which was far enough from his property to where he couldn't see what was happening.)

So who was the killer?  Turned out it was a then-young camp counselor, who helped convince everyone back in 1982 that Jerry was just imagining things.  The victim was a teenage girl who had been abducted at the time – the same girl Jerry had assumed all along was the one being buried back then.  No one was killed in the present.  The guy with his throat cut managed to survive, and even the killer, despite being shot at fairly close range in the back, survived and "confessed to everything" from back in 1982 (why would he?)

The crime of the week featured a twist where details of a murder were drawn by a shy 5-year-old girl name Katie.  It was unclear if the little girl had witnessed the murder, or if she was psychic in some way.  Other pictures Katie drew were also found, which depicted similar actual murders, all of young redheaded women.  She claimed that the pictures were drawn by "Molly", presumed to be her imaginary friend.  It was later revealed that Molly was actually a real (but mute) little girl, who was sneaking into Katie's room, playing with her, and then drawing those pictures.  There was a scene where Katie's parents catch Molly in her room, and attempt to grab Molly, but somehow Molly bites Katie's mom, runs away, and vanishes.  I found it far-fetched that a little girl could successfully flee a long distance from two adults, in what appears to be a somewhat isolated area.

The case was solved by checking DNA found on a crucifix placed on one of the victims.  The DNA came back to a woman who had a similar look to the murder victims, and had a daughter named Molly.  The woman was divorced and in rehab, and Molly was living with her father, who was now seen as the prime suspect, presumably killing women who looked like his ex-wife.  They tracked him down, arrested him, and Tani found Molly hiding in a closet, comforting her in a somewhat touching scene.  (I did wonder why Molly bit Katie's mother, but was so warm with Tani, who was just as much of a stranger.)  Molly's mom got out of rehab and was reunited with her.

We did get a small bit at the end about the Adam's gun thing, where Tani's former police academy instructor verified to her that it was indeed the murder weapon used against Adam's sister Noriko.

Danno was absent in this episode.  Many hate Danno and cheer his absence.  I don't hate the character, but we do get a break from the restaurant while he's gone, which is great.

Despite a few of the aforementioned minor holes in the plots, I enjoyed both stories, especially the Jerry portion.  This was definitely the best Halloween episode, and it was a good episode overall.

Sadly, I'm expecting we will return to drama involving Danno's restaurant, along with other "Ohana" nonsense eating up 25% of next week's episode.


6. (S09E06) Aia i Hi‘ikua; i Hi‘ialo (Is Borne on the Back; Is Borne in the Arms) ★★½
Original air date: 11/2/18

From the perspective of "don't think about it too hard," this episode was appealing, but there were some issues.

It began with an exciting sequence where a Cessna plane landed on the deck of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Nimitz, despite the controller's exhortation not to because of security issues. When the door of the plane is opened by well-armed types, they find the pilot dead. The only other passenger is a baby boy, who is very much alive.

McGarrett soon gets a visit from NCIS investigator Emma Warden (Nazneen Contractor) who tells him that the pilot, Carson Rodes (Eddie Cahill), was an old pal of his. In fact, McGarrett and Rodes, who McGarrett had not seen for 6 years, were having drinks at a local bar only a few days before. McGarrett is pissed by Warden's leave-no-stone-unturned approach to solving this case because he knows that while his pal may have taken jobs which were not exactly above board, the suggestion that he was involved in something fishy goes against Rodes' training as a SEAL.

Soon enough, we find out that the baby boy belongs to Julia Berg (Sarah Dumont), who came to Hawaii from Minneapolis to escape her abusive husband Lee (Gabriel Mann), a rich philanthropic type. Once on Oahu, she hooked up with Kalino Hale, an old boyfriend from years before when she was working for Teach for America, a real-life organization where teachers spend at least two years in an under-resourced public school. Kalino and Julia returned to his home on Lanai, where they awaited new passports so the two of them could flee the country together.

Rodes was hired by Julia's husband to track her down, but he also hired a bunch of thugs from a private security firm in Hawaii named Kent International, figuring that even if Rodes located her, she would try and talk him out of returning her and the kid.

McGarrett cannot sit still while his pal is under suspicion, and snoops around Rodes' hotel room, where he finds a license number for Rodes' rental car (MT7 051) which kick-starts Five-Zero's investigation. Warden, however, is further annoyed with McGarrett's constant interference with her work, and eventually has him arrested until Danno shows up with an "immunity and means" letter from the Governor. After this, McGarrett suggests he and Warden bury their differences, and they become friends.

McGarrett has some questions for Phil Kent, the guy who runs the private security firm, which he says consists of "a bunch of glorified bouncers." When the Five-Zero team shows up at Kent's place, there is a firefight with this guy and his goons, all of whom wind up dead. Julia was grabbed after a confrontation between Rodes and Kent's men on Lanai which resulted in several deaths including Kalino as well as Rodes' fatal wound. Having been brought back to Kent's place, she is found by Five-Zero, tied up in a back room.

Julia is freed but freaks out upon learning that her husband Lee has come to Hawaii and is staying at King's Hospital where his son is under observation. Almost at the same time, Lee has taken the kid from the hospital after shooting someone who looks like a doctor and is heading to a local airport to return to the mainland on his private plane. Five-Zero arrives with superhuman speed and this plan is totally derailed.

The above took up most of the episode's time. The remainder had to do with Adam, who is enacting his own version of The Lost Weekend, getting totally pickled because Kono has finally given him the boot. Tani shows up to return the gun she found at his place which her friend at HPD had analyzed and puts it back in the drawer. Soon after this, Duke and several cops show up with a search warrant and they find this gun which upsets Adam big time, suspecting that Tani is behind what looks like a setup. But there are still questions about who called the cops and why the gun was there in the first place (Adam claims he never put it there), to be resolved soon.

Later, Danno throws water (literally) on Adam, who has passed out on his couch, and then relates his own tales of misery from when he got divorced from Rachel. Danno then offers Adam the "full meal deal" to join Five-Zero, an upgrade from the level where he was just "helping" the team.

Some of the "military buddies getting together for drinks" dialog between McGarrett and Rodes near the beginning of the show was pretty banal. Although Danno helped to spring McGarrett from the NCIS "conference room," his few words were also pretty inconsequential, consisting mostly of the usual smart mouth.

You seriously have to wonder why Rodes took Julia's kid at her insistence after the firefight on Lanai and attempted to flee the island with the plane that he had chartered. Even if he expected to get to Oahu (the Nimitz was about 60 miles southeast of that island when he landed on it), what would he do then?

MORE TRIVIA:

  • When Warren first meets with McGarrett, she tells him that Rodes' recent contacts for jobs were in Venezuela, Bosnia and Somalia, all default locations for "bad dudes" on the show.
  • Adam is seen drinking J. Darby scotch whiskey, aged 12 years, a bogus product made especially for consumption on TV shows.
  • Lee Berg's plane is at a "small private airfield in Makiki" (an unlikely location). When McGarrett finds out about this, he has six minutes to get there, but when he arrives and Berg is just about ready to leave, Junior is already hiding inside the plane!
  • The house where Phil Kent lives looks far too ordinary, or else his security company is kind of low-budget. You would figure they would have barbed-wire fences around the place along with security cameras and other things to prevent an invasion of cops like Five-Zero pulls off.
  • The scene where Jerry and Grover team up to try and figure out the number of the plane that Rodes rented, which NCIS has under wraps, is pretty funny. The number is N727EM, which we saw in the opening scenes on the aircraft carrier. I would like to know how they did that sequence without seriously damaging the plane! Aircraft registration data says this is a 1977 Cessna 172N fixed wing single engine plane owned by Georges Aviation Services Inc. of Honolulu.

(Review above written Dec. 25, 2018)


7. (S09E07) Pua a‘e la ka uwahi o ka moe (The Smoke Seen in the Dream Now Rises) ★★★
Original air date: 11/9/18

This was the reboot's 200th episode.

Classic Five-O's 200th show, according to the listings system in Karen Rhodes' Booking Hawaii Five-O, was "Double Exposure." This episode was not the normal fare. Seth Sakai, one of the stars, told me that its director, Sutton Roley, decided its plot was clichéd and ridiculous, so they made the two villains (one of whom was played by Seth) as wacky as possible to compensate.

Number 200 of Five-Zero was also something different.

During a "soft opening" of McGarrett and Danno's restaurant where cops from HPD and other people are feasting on free food, retired detective Milton Cooper (Richard Herd) passes along a leather portfolio once owned by McGarrett's grandfather Steven which contains information about the last case of legendary HPD detective Chang Apana. Apana served as the model for the Charlie Chan mysteries popular in books, movies and radio shows from the 1920s to 1940s. The young Cooper and McGarrett's grandfather were obsessed with this case, hoping to become cops someday, all of which changed when McGarrett's grandfather was killed on the USS Arizona on Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, 1941.

McGarrett takes this folder home and studies the material inside. He falls asleep and has this detailed dream where he takes on his grandfather's persona, as if his grandfather had become a cop, and Danno becomes Cooper. Other characters from the current show are seen playing subsidiary roles in the dream.

Apana's case is about the disappearance of a young girl, Lyla Kekoa, in April 1932. Considering that in real life Apana retired from the police force in May of 1932 to briefly work as a watchman for the Hawaiian Trust building (he died in December, 1933), there is a lot of material in the folder.

As the dream begins just before Pearl Harbor, Cooper shows McGarrett, both detectives at HPD, a photo of Lyla taken the month she disappeared which he got from sources that he cannot name. She is wearing an expensive-looking necklace, which might be worth "$500."

From Lyla's brother Evan Kekoa (played by Junior), who gives surfing lessons at the beach and is giving some babe a massage on a table there, they find out she possibly got this jewelry from William Pettifer (Chris Mulkey), a rich guy who used to employ Lyla's father and brother working in his sugar cane fields.

Pettifer's place is guarded by some guy who Danno says looks like "a walking pool table." McGarrett quickly gets him out of the way, using means like those seen on the current show (this is not the first time he will use these methods in the dream). It sounds like Lyla might have been Pettifer's mistress; he says he "loved her like a daughter," which is creepy. Lyla came to see Pettifer before she disappeared to give him $300, the first installment of paying off a debt her father had owed him, and the first step to getting her family off his plantation, none of which is explained. Pettifer says he doesn't know anything about her necklace.

While he is at Pettifer's, McGarrett gets a tip from Officer Mike Flanagan (Jerry) about the location of a Chevrolet Fleetmaster, the occupants of which had taken some shots at McGarrett and Cross earlier on in the show. They find this car downtown outside the Wo Fat restaurant and a chase ensues into the middle of nowhere. This car eventually runs into another vehicle, catches fire and explodes. McGarrett is unsuccessful at recovering the driver's wallet, burning his arm. In the hospital, he is treated by a doctor played by Noelani.

McGarrett and Cooper track down a girl friend of Lyla's, Alexa Alani, a torch singer in a Honolulu nightclub where the emcee, "Biggie" Tupa, is Kamekona. Alexa is played by Tani, who belts out the song "Someone Like You" with quite a lot of emoting. While in this club, McGarrett hassles Earl Blackstone (Adam), a gangster who runs illegal gambling dens and pushes dope.

When they finally get to talk to Alexa out behind the club, she tells them on the night the photo of Lyla was taken, her friend got into the "fancy new car" of the guy who gave her the necklace. Before Alexa can cough up any more information, though, she is shot by someone in a passing car and utters the name "John" before she expires. McGarrett and Danno's superior officer, Capt. Charles Sumner (Grover) shows up. He is pissed, because he told the two of them to get off Lyla's case, and now Alexa is dead because of their refusal to follow orders. He relieves them of their guns and badges.

This doesn't stop the two of them from carrying on their investigation, however. With the help of Flanagan, they determine that the guy with the "fancy car" (a Rolls-Royce Phantom II) was James Whitmour, son of casino magnate Clarence Whitmour, a local mobster. James was engaged to Ellen DeBecker, of the DeBecker diamond fortune at the time.

Unfortunately, James Whitmour is dead, having been knocked off by guys with machine guns on April 18, 1932, only a few days after the picture of Lyla was taken. McGarrett then has a brainstorm, because there is something fishy about the picture of James' dead body in the Star-Bulletin way back when because there is almost no blood on the street around it, rather odd considering the method of execution.

He and Cooper go to visit Clarence Whitmour and use typical 2018 Five-Zero techniques on the old man including Russian Roulette with a pistol to get him to admit that "losing a son is one thing, but covering up a scandal that comes from an engaged man being found dead next to his hula girl sweetheart" was a secret that the old man wanted to die with his son. Just around this time, there are air raid sirens heard outside, and coming out on to the patio at Whitmour's place, Japanese planes heading towards Pearl Harbor are seen.

We suddenly come back to 2018 when McGarrett, woken up by Danno, says "I think I just solved this case. I think I know what happened to Lyla Kekoa." He realizes that not only Lyla disappeared, but so did the Rolls-Royce. Continuing in the present with his brainstorm, McGarrett finds that in the log books for one of Whitmour Senior's companies, a haulage firm, there is a record of something –- likely a car –- being towed to Whitmour's property where it was likely buried in a location slated for a swimming pool which was never built. (Diagrams for the property are also on the Supercomputer.)

All this is even more fantastic than the dream itself and highly reminiscent of the previous episode where quick solutions to ending the show were thrown at the viewer as it came to a close.

McGarrett has the area of the pool on Whitmour's property excavated soon after, and not only is the rusted-out Rolls-Royce discovered, but so is Lyla's body. Apana's case is finally solved.

The show ends with yet more quick decisions. McGarrett is having a mini-life crisis, saying of his grandfather, "He would have given anything to be a cop, that guy. You know what he gave? He gave his life fighting for this country. And then here I am, I got the badge. I got this great job. What am I doing running a restaurant, Danny? What am I doing? Uh, is that a joke, or … No, it's not a joke."

Shockingly, Danno tells him, "If you're out, I'm out," adding, "I'd rather die from a bullet [on the job as a cop] than die from the stress of running this place." The two of them toast to the dissolution of their restaurant, and hopefully we will never have to hear about it again!

For the most part, this show was actually a lot of fun. The iconic Morton Stevens main theme under the opening credits was even arranged in a big band style, which followed the teaser, a preview of the car chase, a minute and a half that could have been eliminated to help open up the plot a bit near the end. The music under the end credits was just the normal music, though –- too bad the joke couldn't have been continued there.

I really didn't understand why McGarrett and Cooper (Danno) had these horrible inconsistent accents, trying to imitate gangster/cop movies of the era, particularly Scott Caan, who also talked like the pitch of his voice was changed. The 1940s clothes the characters were wearing also seemed kind of "new" and ill-fitting, like they had just been taken off racks from the wardrobe department, rather than "lived in."

One thing that really bugged me, and this is something I usually experience in TV shows or movies where "vintage" cars are seen, is that almost all the cars were sparkling new and polished, likely because they had all been borrowed from collectors for the show. I would certainly like to know whether they really managed to wreck the Fleetmaster, though.

Speaking of this car, this was one of a few goofs in the episode, though because we are dealing with a dream, logic can likely be thrown out the window. The Chevrolet Fleetmaster dates from 1947 or 1948 and McGarrett and Cooper's cop car is a 1947 or 1948 Ford Deluxe. The song Tani is singing, "Someone Like You," was first recorded on December 31, 1947 by Doris Day and heard in the film My Dream is Yours.

MORE TRIVIA:

  • Given the fact that McGarrett's grandfather died on Pearl Harbor Day, he was probably in his early 20's, and if he and Cooper were friends, this suggests to me that Cooper must be almost 100 years old now. McGarrett's father was born after Pearl Harbor, on March 5, 1942; there is no date when the grandfather was born established in the show as far as I know.
  • McGarrett (in 1941) is seen smoking and so is Tani's character.
  • The Fleetmaster is first identified as maroon. When it is involved in the chase, it looks like it turns black when it goes around a corner and later looks almost brown, but that may be just from the dust on the road. I wonder if the owners of this car and the cop car were freaking out the way the two cars were being treated during the chase.
  • Pettifer threatens to contact Governor Poindexter to pull McGarrett and Cooper's badges. Joseph Boyd Poindexter was the eighth Territorial Governor of Hawaii and served from 1934 to 1942.
  • The subtitles in a couple of places are inconsistent with what is heard. When the Fleetmaster is seen outside the Wo Fat restaurant and the two goons get into the car, Danno says they look like "A couple of fatheads who look like they enjoy shooting at cops," but the subtitles say "dopes" instead of "fatheads." Later, when McGarrett tries to grab the guy's wallet as the car is on fire, Danno yells at him, "Then get the hell out of there," but the subtitles merely say "Then get out of there."
  • When McGarrett, Cooper and Flanagan show up at the "Whitmour Compound," you can see tracks on the street and grass where the truck they are driving drove during a rehearsal of the scene. The way the three of them deal with the guards around this house is very reminiscent of the previous show where Five-Zero knocked off similar guards at the house of Phil Kent.
  • An article on the Star Bulletin's "society page" about how James Whitmour got his new Rolls-Royce appears in the edition of Thursday, April 10, 1932, but April 10 was actually a Sunday.
  • Near the end of the show, Danno is reading House Without A Key, a Charlie Chan mystery.
  • Whitmour's property was at 15 Pahola Road.

(Review above written Dec. 26, 2018)


8. (S09E08) Lele pū nā manu like (Birds of a Feather…) ★½
Original air date: 11/16/18

This was yet another "ohana celebrates a holiday" exercise and the first Thanksgiving-related episode since season four (S04E09), when Carol Burnett guest-starred as McGarrett's Aunt Deb. The script for this show was by Chi McBride and it was directed by Carlos Bernard (Tony Almeida on "24," which had a Lenkov connection in its fourth season).

Like the earlier episode, this one had a touch football game at the beginning featuring most of the show's recurring cast. Over half of the episode was taken up by a Thanksgiving get-together with Grover's family, including his father Percy Senior (Louis Gossett Jr.), mother Ella (Gladys Knight) and older brother Percy Junior (Clifton Powell). This was a typical Thanksgiving drama with lots of family dysfunction, sibling rivalry and tear-jerking moments. And once again (how many times have I said this), it had little or nothing to do with Five-Zero.

The crime of the week was about a thief who got crushed by a heavy safe which he was trying to manipulate down the stairs in a house he had broken into. But it turns out there was another robber who actually opened the safe after this guy got squished. The only thing stolen from it was a Stan Musial 1948 Leaf rookie card worth thousands of dollars.

Turns out the guy who took the card, Patrick Hale (John Lavelle), worked at a homeless shelter and was annoyed because John Henman (Eli K.M. Foster), the rich guy who owned the card, didn't want to make a donation to the shelter's Thanksgiving dinner this year. Hale took the card to a collectibles store, where he sold it for $10,000 cash. This money was used to fund dinner for down-and-out types back at the shelter (were these really homeless people seen eating on the show?). Junior and Tani tracked Hale down, and they were going to arrest him because he actually did break the law, but only after the dinner was finished. Junior and Tani even volunteered to help out. Awww…

Jerry and Adam (now a member of the Five-Zero team) had some amusing repartee when they went to the card shop, and Adam pursued the owner in a McGarrett-like fashion, climbing to the top of the building and then leaping on him as he tried to escape.

The script also had some good comedic moments featuring Grover, similar to S09E03, the "heat wave" show. In an TV Guide interview, McBride said the character of Grover's brother Percy Jr. was inspired by a cousin who "would protect me from any and everything ... part of this episode is my love letter to him."

Overall, the show was not as bad as I expected it would be based on my viewing of a preview, but it was kind of an ordeal to get through. The scene where Grover and his brother had a "food fight" with ingredients in the kitchen would not make my list of "most memorable moments" of the reboot.

MORE TRIVIA:

  • The breakdown of the show was as follows: Grover Family Thanksgiving – 50.53%; Crime of the Week – 30.79%; Beginning & End (Football/Dinner at Restaurant [latter is Grover-related]) – 16.08%; Miscellaneous (Credits, etc.) – 2.59%.
  • The teaser for the show was only 28 seconds long. Is this the shortest one ever?
  • Noelani had a good line during the football game: "I'll be all over him like actinic keratosis" (a nasty skin condition).
  • Although Danno was off in New Jersey, McGarrett signed some paper, saying "Danny and I have now officially signed this restaurant in its entirety over to Kamekona." As a result of McGarrett putting his "John Hancock" on the paper, the big guy said the place "will be the sole proprietorship of yours truly." This concludes what was mentioned in the previous episode, where Danno said, "Kamekona calls me, like, twice a day. He wants to buy us out of our share." Kamekona offers Grover's brother Percy a job because of his expertise as a baker, particularly making a kouign-amann.
  • Grover's son and father are seen watching a football game on TV. The abbreviations for the teams do not correspond to anything in real life. This is because, as my pal Kurt tells me, "The NFL has very strict rules and high fees for you to use actual NFL footage. That's why commercials and TV shows often re-create generic football scenes."
  • Among the songs heard during the show were Work To Do by the Isley Brothers and The Thanksgiving Song by Adam Sandler.

(Review above written Dec. 28, 2018)


9. (S09E09) Mai ka po mai ka ‘oia‘i‘o (Truth Comes from the Night) ★★  BOOK 'EM, DANNO 
Original air date: 11/30/18

The press release for this show said "Adam finally gets closer to finding out who killed his sister." Well, gosh darn it, it was more than that -- Adam finally did find out who killed his sister! It was Mr. Kimura (Dana Lee), tender of the private yakuza bank where Adam withdrew Michelle Shioma's $20 million in S08E19. Kimura knocked off Adam's secret sister Noriko in an attempt to frame Adam.

The old man is summoned before a group of tough-looking guys who tell him that he is being "relieved of his duties" as banker because his "rash actions have drawn unwelcome attention to us all." They offer Kimura a choice between "yakuza justice or Five-0 justice," and Adam is right there to take the old man away to experience the latter.

This did not make a lot of sense. What would Kimura be charged with, based on what evidence, and could the old man be trusted to keep his mouth shut about all the behind-the-scenes goings-on which might have seriously affected Adam's new job working for Five-Zero? I also wonder why the bank's "board of directors" weren't speaking Japanese and why they pronounced yakuza as "yakuza," which is a way that people who can't speak Japanese say it.

Anyway, hopefully this will be the end of this tiresome plot thread concerning Adam, which has gone on far too long!

The crime of the week centered around urban vigilante Gene Wahele (Kalae Chung), also known as The Night Sentinel, who exposes shady activities and uploads videos of himself busting people to his YouTube channel. At night at Wai'alae Beach Community Park (is this a bad place in real life?), he exposes a drug deal involving "a dozen bags of methamphetamine." The bad guy involved in this transaction pulls a gun and then runs away after a brief skirmish, but soon after this, Wahale is run over by a car and shot dead.

After Five-Zero gets involved with the case, they find that Wahale made over 100 videos in the last three years which resulted in 37 citizens' arrests, mostly involving the drug trade. The people in the neighborhoods where The Night Sentinel did his routine loved him because of the positive effect he had by fighting crime.

When Five-Zero goes to Wahale's apartment, they find the place has been tossed. There are pictures of Gene with his parents who were killed in a home invasion robbery when he was ten years old, and superhero-type comic books and similar publications, some of which are worth a pretty penny.

Although Wahale's computer is missing, the cloud service where he kept all of his data (three terabytes worth) is located. Among other things, it reveals several videos by a competing vigilante named Guardian (Wyatt Nash). (Jerry can find Guardian's material very quickly in this 3 terabytes of stuff.) There is speculation that this "young upstart" was muscling in on the crimestopper business because of the amounts of money to be made from monetizing videos on YouTube.

(There is a goof here, by the way. Tani says, "both these guys were selling ad space on their YouTube channels, and that's a solid stream of revenue, one that's based on clicks and subscribers." Generally speaking, if you are showing videos on YouTube of you driving around town, or of your cute puppy dog, or you busting criminals, YouTube, not you, are the ones that place the ads at the beginning of your film clips which can make you money. You can only control what kind of ads are seen (or not); for example, if the ads are objectionable in some way.)

This repository of stored data also reveals a threatening voice mail: "Drop your investigation or pay the price." Danno says, "It sounds like my ex-mother-in-law." When Five-Zero confronts the Guardian, they have a good laugh, because weapons featured in his videos are not real, and he is using the same actor (Moku Durant) to commit crimes in multiple videos. In other words, this guy is really small potatoes in the urban vigilante business. Guardian also denies being the guy who left the threatening message.

When they accuse Guardian of competing with Wahele only for the money, he says that he has a real job as a personal trainer, and can always go back to that. On the other hand, he heard rumours that Wahele was getting short on cash and recently liquidated his comic book collection, worth in the neighborhood of $30,000. Lightbulbs go on with Five-Zero and they hasten to the biggest comic book store in town, which is managed by a babe named Sharon (Phoebe Neidhardt).

Sharon tells them (Jerry, a comics-loving geek who is no stranger to the joint, and Grover, who patronizes the store a LOT, because of his comics-addicted son) that Wahale needed the bread to publish his own comic, The Mysterious Night Sentinel. Taking the first issue back to the office, Jerry discovers that a lot of things in its story echo real life. For example, the Sentinel's parents were killed in a home invasion which may be connected with something conspiratorial that the character's father, a muckracking reporter for a local TV station (paralleling his real-life father (Ryan Kalei Tsuji), who worked for TV station KAHU) was digging up.

The fictional Sentinel has a secret room in his house behind a bookcase containing a copy of Homer's Iliad, which Jerry noticed when they were at Kahale's place earlier. Returning to the apartment, they find a room hidden behind the case, containing VHS tapes of his father's investigations, freedom of information requests and HPD reports.

In the father's notes, there is suggestion of monkey business involving now-retired HPD Captain Ito Ishikawa (Stan Egi) and forensics analyst Frank Willoughby, that the two men were falsifying forensic evidence in a number of criminal cases which put a lot of innocent people in prison. Willoughly is now dead, but Ishikawa is still around. McGarrett says Ishikawa is a man with a "rock-solid reputation."

Ishikawa comes to the office with his lawyer, Michael Pope (Matthew Arkin) and is grilled, but when McGarrett starts tiptoeing around the issues of corruption, Pope pulls the plug on the conversation. Meanwhile, the car used by the guy who ran over Wahele is located, the guy who drove it is identified as Darrel Wentz (uncredited actor) and Five-Zero goes to where he lives at the Kapuloa Apartments. Eddie the dog sniffs the headrest from the car Wentz used and abandoned (which was a stolen car later located in the middle of nowhere) and the suspect's door is busted down. Unfortunately, in an all-too-familiar trope, Wentz is shot dead after he directs a blast of automatic weapons fire at Five-Zero, thus eliminating a route to solving the crime.

However, a quick check of Wentz's record reveals that despite a lengthy criminal history involving multiple felony charges (possession of an illegal substance, conspiracy to commit murder, assault), he was recently released from jail, and his lawyer was none other than Pope.

At this point, the writers really start pulling stuff out of their asses, because with less than five minutes to go before the end of the show (including final credits), we find out that way back when, Pope was the prosecuting attorney on all the cases used to pad the conviction rate, and then when he found out that reporter Kahale's son was following up on his father's investigation, he hired Wentz to knock him off. McGarrett's expository rant to Pope suggesting all this is yet another example of how people in this episode are far too clever!

Comparing Pope's voice from his web site where he is talking about what a genius he is, and how impressive his record is to the muffled threatening message that Gene received is the clincher which should hopefully result in Pope getting locked up for a long time.

Aside from some Danno-related nonsense, the show ends with Captain Ishikawa promising to work in conjunction with Duke to re-open the cases of all those who were unjustly convicted ... even though some of them have been in jail for a LONG time! Should be a lot of nice lawsuits flying.

MORE TRIVIA:

  • When H50 first goes to Kalhale's apartment, there are several books in the bookcase, presumably things which Gene wanted to keep, including:
    The Iliad, previously mentioned
    Red Sonja Art Edition by Frank Thorne
    Minding the Body, Mending the Mind by Joan Borysenko
    Theology by Alister E. McGrath
    Volume 2: The Dogs of War by Duane Swierczynski and Eric Nguyen
    The Occultist (?) by Tim Seeley and Victor Drujiniu
    R.I.P.D. Volume 1 (2nd Edition) (?) by Peter Lenkov, Lucas Marangon and Randy Emberlin (seriously!)
    X Volume 5 Flesh and Blood by Duane Swierczynski and Eric Nguyen
    Catalyst Comix by Joe Casey, Dan McDaid, Ulises Farinas and Paul Maybury
    The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury (if a first edition, copies are worth in the thousands of dollars, but the dust jacket for this book seems in very poor shape)
    The Games Do Count by Brian Kilmeade
  • The best line from the stupid cargument that McGarrett and Danno have over superheroes is McGarrett telling Danno he finally figured out what Danno's superpower is: "You can irritate people to death."

(Review above written Dec. 29-30, 2018)


10. (S09E10) Pio ke kukui, pō‘ele ka hale (When the Light Goes Out, the House Is Dark) ★★¾
Original air date: 12/7/18

This show, which I had heard good things about, was OK, with one big exception.

The beginning was not bad, with members of a former SEAL team including McGarrett being targeted for death. McGarrett himself is at home on the phone with Joe White warning him to be wary when Kasper Bauer (David Agranov), a mercenary type, appears at the kitchen door and starts shooting. An obligatory kick-ass fight involving knives follows, with both Bauer and McGarrett getting stabbed.

The Five-Zero team, which shows up shortly after, is shocked at the level of violence based on the amount of blood all over the place. McGarrett tells them that what has happened relates to a top-secret operation in Morocco to take out Kamal Hassan, the head of a terrorist network, 16 years ago, and that an investigation has to be "quiet ... off the books." When Adam wants to call Danno, McGarrett says no. Danno is "on the mainland ... touring colleges with Grace." Junior also wants to help, but McGarrett tells him "It's just me and Joe on this one."

Thinking the only way the names of the SEALS involved in the Morocco mission could have been divulged was by someone with a high-level clearance, McGarrett figures that CIA agent Greer (see this season's premiere episode), who gave the order for the mission, is involved, so he flies off to Victorville, California where Greer is being held in a penitentiary. (This is a high-security federal penitentiary for men, by the way. There is a minimum-security satellite prison camp for women there, where it is unlikely Greer would be held, though it is claimed she is in a "special wing.") Greer tells McGarrett "Someone with money who doesn't like you" is behind the operation. McGarrett puts a bug in Greer's ear telling him that Joe White -- who she thinks was killed in a air strike -- is still around.

Here we have a stupid tangent which influences the plot in a big way. Despite McGarrett telling his team to keep things under the radar, Adam has accompanied him to Victorville and wants to talk to Gakuto Kojima (Alvin Ing), an old acquaintance of his father, who just happens to have been an inmate there for 29 years and who owed his father "a favor." In yet another tiresome Five-Zero trope where prisons ranging from Halawa on Oahu to the Supermax in Colorado are cesspools of corruption and the inmates are in charge and know everything that is going on, the old man tells Adam that a guard named Kyle Cooper was Greer's "back channel" to the outside world. As Adam leaves the prison, he finds out that Cooper has just taken Greer "off-site for emergency medical care." Quelle coïncidence!

McGarrett meets Joe outside the prison and the two of them head to the nearest airport to take a plane back to Joe's ranch in Montana's Bitterroot Valley. (Joe says, "It pays to have friends in the Agency.")

Meanwhile, back in Hawaii, Five-Zero has located Kaspar, who is wanted by Interpol as well as them, in a gas station washroom where Grover takes him into custody in a scene which is like walking on eggshells, considering how psychotic Kaspar's attack on McGarrett was. Investigation of prison guard Cooper's financials shows he recently got $100,000 deposited in his bank account from a shell corporation in Denmark. Kaspar received similar funds which Tani was able to trace via Kaspar's "social security number" (presumably this means Kaspar's German social security number, also known as Sozialversicherungsnummer). Kaspar has a joint bank account with some woman who has "a private social media page with a very public profile picture," showing what appears to be Kaspar's son.

Using this Facebook-like picture, Grover pulls a heavy on Kaspar, offering to put in a good word for him so he can serve his time in a German prison where will be close to his kid, and Kaspar finally cracks, giving the name of Gregers Thomsen, a lawyer in Copenhagen who set up the payments for his very rich client, Omar Hassan, who runs a successful shipping company and just happens to be the son of the terrorist who the SEALS knocked off 16 years before.

Obviously Thomsen didn't do a good job hiring Bauer from some mercenary job search site if he could be so easily swayed. Killers who are a bit more determined soon appear outside Joe's place in Montana after McGarrett and he return there, finding Cole, the only other SEAL from the mission who is still alive and has come to help them. Unfortunately, Cole is not alive for very long, despite the impressive cache of weapons that Joe has accumulated which must have really tasked prop houses and armories which supply the show.

While McGarrett and Joe seem to have the upper hand, knocking off the bad guys in spectacular fashion, Joe gets a bullet in his liver and the two of them grab a couple of horses to ride to the nearest doctor who is supposedly only a couple of miles away. Alas, Joe is not going to make it, and tells McGarrett that he knows his time is up. They stop near a tree growing in the middle of nowhere with a spectacular sunset in the distance, and the show ends with a sad scene where the acting from O'Loughlin and Terry O'Quinn is excellent. McGarrett recounts a story of when his father sent him to the mainland years ago and Joe helped him out of a jam, with the result changing the course of his life: "If I hadn't have gotten off with that warning, I never would have gone on to the SEALs. To Five-0."

(Despite this finale, I really thought the CGI, which was OK for depicting Montana mountains earlier in the show, was pretty cheesy as far as the tree and the sunset was concerned.)

MORE TRIVIA:

  • When McGarrett and Joe arrive at Joe's place in Montana, they are driving in a Nissan Titan.
  • One of the books on the shelves at Joe's is A Nation Challenged, which is about 9/11.
  • Kaspar is 35 years old, 1.67m tall, and weighs 80kg.

(Review above written Jan. 1, 2019)


GUEST REVIEW BY TODD: (Rating: ★★★)

This was the first decent episode after a number of duds followed by a mediocre one last week.

However, this episode was more "Montana Five-0" than "Hawaii Five-0", as most of it took place in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana.

(Spoiler alert, don't read on if you are going to watch it.)

In short, McGarrett and 5 other men are targeted by an unknown person out of revenge for a 2002 mission where they killed a terrorist.

Joe White was one of those five. Two are killed off camera before the episode begins, one is killed in the opening minute, and that leaves Joe, McGarrett, and one other.

By the end, only McGarrett is left standing, and Joe dies in his arms.

Even though Joe was only a recurring character, I have to admit that I was somewhat touched by the ending and a little bit saddened that the character was dead.

Joe's departure from the show was well done, unlike the embarrassingly bad departure of Max, which included a long, boring retrospective of a character nobody cared about in the first place.

This episode did not feature any time wasting or any other stories. It was entirely about this one topic, which already made it a lot more interesting.

The winter scenery in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana (a real place) was breathtakingly beautiful, but sadly not real. I believe that it was actually filmed in Hawaii, with the beautiful backgrounds (impressively) inserted with CGI.

This is not the first impressive use of CGI by the show. In other episodes, they also simulated a fire raging in the hills above Honolulu, as well as created an entire building which had blown up by a bomb.

The man behind the hiring of the hitmen was revealed near the end of the episode (the son of the terrorist they killed in 2002), so I'm sure that plot point will continue going forward.


11. (S09E11) Hala i ka ala ho‘i ‘ole mai (Gone on the Road from which There Is No Returning) ★★
Original air date: 1/4/19

I was looking forward to watching this episode because of the presence of Michelle Borth (Catherine) and came out of "retirement" to view and review it (not to mention catching up with some recent shows which I ignored because I swore I would "never review the show again"), but it turned out to be mostly another A-Team adventure reminiscent of previous episodes which went to North Korea, Colombia, Mexico and Morocco, all of which I thoroughly disliked.

A major part of the problem with this show was the totally unnecessary "crime of the week" in Hawaii, which took on secondary status. It used up about 25% of the running time and was finished about 31 minutes into the show's 43-plus, as opposed to the main story line, which kept us preoccupied for around 70% of the total being confused and filling in story gaps. 25% doesn't seem like a lot, but it should have really been 0%, with the whole show devoted to closure for the murder of Joe White.

The minor story began with a scene out of Storage Wars, where two brothers, Bryan and Ben Lee (Junot Lee and Kevin Young respectively) purchased the contents of a locker in Honolulu. Most of the stuff in there is junk, but one bag contains human bones. Bryan calls Noelani, having obtained her number from his cousin (like the trope "Oahu is not such a big place," from Classic Five-O). Noelani soon arrives at the locker, but both brothers are dead. I thought it very odd that she wouldn't call the cops to meet her there. After all, if someone knocked off the brothers, maybe he was waiting for their "friends" to show up, especially if he overheard the phone conversation.

There are virtually no clues regarding the bones which, of course, are now missing, to help the "holding the fort" members of the team (Adam, Grover and Tani) solve this case. Grover and Tani engage in a total "duh" conversation before Adam tells them "I ran the name on the [locker's] contract, and it's an alias. Rent was prepaid with cash for a year before the money ran out." However, there are some 20-year-old high school love letters which were "sealed with a kiss" in the locker and DNA from the lipstick reveals a connection to a woman who is now deceased, but she was from Canton, Ohio. This gives Tani a chance to flirt with Adam over this ancient form of communication after he admits getting letters like that in high school, saying "Look at you, that face, those dimples. I'd have been all over that in ninth grade." (Blech!)

The name "Woody" mentioned in the letters, as well as a bowling ball and a bowling trophy from a league in Canton also found in the locker is connected to a guy named Alexander ("Woody") Woods, formerly from that city, who was living in Hawaii since July, 2017, after which he seemingly disappeared.

There is a big gap in the story here, following which Woods' former partner Tyler Sayles (Nicholas B. Gianforti) from a failing North Shore bait and tackle shop is being grilled in the blue-lit room about a recent stint in Halawa with suggestions that he knocked off Woods and took money from his share of the business. When Sayles asks Grover and Tani, who are both rattling off expository dialogue in an annoying "smarty-pants" way, where is the evidence (Woods' bones), they tell him that credit card information about a boat rental, GPS data from the boat, the results of a search by HPD which found the bag of bones at the bottom of the ocean, plus "inside that bag … a fragment of the bullet that killed Woods" have cooked his goose. Seriously!

Why did we have to waste time with this garbage, time which could have been put to use to explaining some of the inconsistencies in the main story which continued from the previous episode where a band of mercenaries was after the SEAL team under Joe White which knocked off a terrorist leader in 2002 and all are now deceased, except McGarrett? In the last episode, I said that the Five-Zero writers were pulling stuff out of their asses. This episode instead had them with a stick of dynamite in their asses as they tried to compress an absurd amount of information into the 43 minutes.

The main story began a month after the previous episode at Joe's ranch in Montana. Danno shows up, which is odd, because this location was kind of hush-hush and McGarrett specifically told people not to tell Danno where he was. Of course Danno immediately launches into his usual whining. Catherine is also there as is Gregers Thomsen (Andrew Grant), the lawyer from Copenhagen who arranged payment from Omar Hassan, the now-sort-of-respectable son of the terrorist leader, to hire mercenaries who would avenge his father's death. With no explanation of how he got there or was brought there, Thomsen is all tied up and is being interrogated in a gruesome manner by McGarrett to reveal Omar's whereabouts. (One review site suggested, without any evidence that I can find, that Catherine was the one who brought Thomsen there, which I find hard to believe.)

After more off-screen torture, possibly so horrible that Thomsen is now dead, Omar's location is duly obtained, and McGarrett, Catherine and Danno are joined by Junior and Commander Wade Gutches at a nearby U.S. military base in Montana where a very large plane is waiting to take them to Vientiane, Laos where Omar has relocated. McGarrett has shaved off the beard he has been growing for the last month which made him look like someone playing Abraham Lincoln in a high school play, and he has immediately returned to the usual McGarrett stubble after what seem like mere hours. This large plane is a Coast Guard plane (number 1701), which seems odd to me, because Montana is not particularly close to any coast and there are no Coast Guard bases in Montana. There are questions about not only who is going to foot the bill for this trip to Asia, but also regarding the fact that the plane's pilot is Lucia (Kristen Dalton), the daughter of Frank Bama, the character played by Jimmy Buffett, who usually pilots people on Five-Zero A-Team adventures using some contraption that is one step short of being put into mothballs.

In due course, everyone arrives in Vientiane, where they meet the final member of the team, Former MI5/MI6 operative Harry Langford, not one of my favorite characters from the show. He has located a safe house for them and identified Hassan's runner named Dimitri who spends a lot of time at the local Mandarin Club laundering Hassan's money, $8 million of which was wired to the place recently. In order to track Dimitri back to Hassan's place, they will place some radioactive material into a drink for him which will be tracked like a GPS device placed on his car. (I don't think this can be done in real life.)

McGarrett, wearing Langford's tux (though Langford is about 2" shorter) and Catherine, wearing a slinky dress, go to the casino and join Dimitri at the baccarat table. The unsmiling Dimitri does ingest the drink, and the two of them run out of the casino and tail him in a manner which seems much easier than Langford described. Langford and Danno have access to security cameras following them all over the place, though I don't recall that Langford (or Danno for that matter) ever qualified as an expert in this kind of surveillance. McGarrett and Catherine pull up in a really obvious way behind Dimitri as he arrives at Hassan's building. Using CCTV, Langford can follow Dimitri into the building and even tell what floor he is going to, which is likely where Hassan is … though you have to wonder why didn't his security detail see McGarrett outside – or at the casino – or anywhere since he arrived in Vientiane? Langford considers that the duo have done a "bang-up job" but Hassan's place "is gonna be one hell of a nut to crack."

Back at their safe house location, the preparation for the raid on Hassan's hideout even includes floor plans. Meanwhile, McGarrett tells Catherine that Joe's death is his fault because he had a "blind spot" for Greer. He starts to confess about how "Before you and I started dating, Greer and I (dot dot dot)," (and, in fact, they "did it" in Morocco in 2002 which we have seen earlier in the show), but Catherine cuts him off, saying "I know."

The raid on Hassan's building goes much easier than anyone could expect, with Catherine hacking the building security system and substituting footage for the cameras to see and other geekiness. Gutches pretends to be a driver on a motor scooter with a delivery for the building, far too uncomplicated. McGarrett's heavily-armed team storm the place and soon Omar (Ben Youcef) is cornered, but in the building lobby Danno and Catherine are soon surrounded by Omar's guards. Langford makes a quick call to the local cops, specifically a policewoman named Vatsana (Christine Umipeg-Apilado), who he previously described to McGarrett as "lovely," and the Vientiane fuzz under her direction show up, though I'm surprised that Omar's men just don't start a firefight – after all, what do they have to lose?

Jumping all over the place like episode S07E02, where Langford and McGarrett went from Hawaii to Prague, Pakistan and England, we next go to Fujian province in China, where Greer is living secretly. Dropping in at her place, McGarrett asks her why she betrayed people -- was it for the money? She says "There were other factors," and Catherine shoots her dead! This whole scene reminded me of the cut-the-crap scene in the first Indiana Jones movie where the hero is confronted by a nasty swordsman and just shoots him rather than waste time.

The episode ends back in Montana at the military base the team departed from, judging by the fact the Lincoln Navigator used by McGarrett and Catherine to get there is still on the tarmac where they left it. Like Joe White, Gutches gives McGarrett some advice: "Find yourself a good woman, a boring hobby, and, first chance you get, retire." He doesn't expect McGarrett to do this.

The show ends with Joe and McGarrett in Afghanistan in 2002 when Joe gives McGarrett more "old guy" advice. Joe makes McGarrett promise if he gets McGarrett out of the jam they are in (which of course happens), that McGarrett will contact Catherine and ask her out.

Back in the present, there is a tear-jerking scene (how many shows in a row is this now?) and Catherine leaves McGarrett, telling him "Till next time," giving hope to Catherine fans like myself and poisonous food for thought to Catherine haters.

MORE TRIVIA:

  • The statistically-curious will be interested to know that Catherine was in the show just under half of the running length, either on screen, or very close by.
  • The Coast Guard plane the team takes to Laos is a Lockheed HC-130H L-384 Hercules which was based in Kodiak, Alaska in March, 2018. On the front of the plane, though, it says it is based in Barbers Point, which, according to Wikipedia, was a former United States Navy airfield on Oahu which closed in 1999, and renamed Kalaeloa Airport. Other pictures of this plane on the Internet suggest that it has been also based in Sacramento, CA.
  • More plane-related info, using facts compiled from various web sites. I don't know if they are all currently correct or all can relate to each other. Distance from Missoula, MT (which I am using for the departure location, since there are no Coast Guard military bases in Montana) to Vientiane is 7,418 miles. At its maximum speed of 366 mph, the Hercules plane would take 20.2 hours of travel time. The range of this plane is 2,360 miles, so it would have to be refuelled while in flight, which can be done. The fuel consumption is 1,300 gallons per hour, which is 26,260 gallons of fuel, so the plane would have be fuelled at least 3, perhaps 4 times. The cost of JetA fuel, which the plane uses, was $1.76 per gallon on January 4, 2019, so the cost of the fuel would be $46,217.60 and that is one way. I don't know about Frank Bama's daughter piloting the plane, typical crew includes three officers (pilot, co-pilot, navigator) and four enlisted (flight engineer, airborne communications specialist, two loadmasters).
  • The distance from Vientiane to Fujian Province in China is around 1,900 miles, if you want to figure out the additional cost, assuming they are using the same plane.
  • Some people are getting their shirts in a knot over the fact that McGarrett calls Catherine "kid" at the end of the show. Don't these people remember the famous line from Casablanca where Humphrey Bogart uses this expression to Ingrid Bergman (who was 14 years younger than him, though hardly a "kid").
  • Among the books in a box in the storage locker are three by Joanne Fluke.
  • Songs on the soundtrack include "Frankenstein" by Edgar Winter and "Like Sugar" by Shaka Khan. Some of the music in the casino is typical casino Muzak rather than the usual dronings.
  • The car Noelani drives is a Nissan.
  • Danno refers to Gutches as "the AARP poster boy," meaning the American Association of Retired People. Gutches does look a lot older than the last time we saw him.

GUEST REVIEW BY TODD: (Rating: ★★)

While Mike and I often disagree regarding the so-called "A-Team" action Five-Zero episodes, I found myself in full agreement with him, regarding Season 9/Episode 11.

There was no time for a crime of the week. As Mike stated, the entire 43 minutes should have been dedicated to this international adventure, as they were cramming a lot of action and a lot of plot into a short time.

The crime of the week was also very flawed, as the remaining Five-Zero team (Tani, Grover, and Adam, with Jerry curiously absent) mostly spun their wheels in their investigating. Suddenly a deus ex machina development came out of nowhere, to result in an arrest and a mountain of evidence against the perp. The "interrogation" by Tani and Grover was pointless, as the two of them were speaking and didn't seem to be making any effort to get a confession. It just seemed like pointless grandstanding.

The international adventure team consisted of McGarrett, Danno, Junior, Catherine, Bond-clone Langford, and two other characters you'd never have expected. Commander Wade Gutches, who hadn't been seen in 6 years, suddenly came out of retirement for the mission, because he was a "friend of Joe's". The other was Frank Bama's daughter, Lucia, who would pilot the plane both ways to Laos. Bama was played in the past by Jimmy Buffett on similar adventures, and presumably Jimmy wasn't available this time. However, Lucia, while talked up to be a bad-ass, has no real role in the episode. Gutches looks like he aged 15 years, even though it's only been about 6 since we last saw him. Actor David Keith is 64 years old, but looks older. He actually looked a bit young for his age in 2013, hence the appearance of rapid aging!

The Coast Guard plane doesn't make a lot of sense for the mission. I immediately thought it couldn't cover the distance to Laos, which I estimated at over 7000 miles (Mike came up with a more precise distance, which is 7,418 miles). Indeed, Mike found that the plane had a maximum range of 2600 miles!

That brings me to my next point. Why did they fly Danno, Junior, and Gutches all the way from Hawaii to Montana, just to immediately send them back the other way towards Laos, on a plane which had to stop to refuel anyway? (The answer? Because they wanted a "team being assembled for the audience" scene near the beginning of the show!) [Gutches wasn't from Hawaii, he drove up to the plane on his motorcycle - MQ]

There was a brief love scene (in a flashback) between McGarrett and Greer which looked awkward.

Speaking of flashbacks, there is no attempt to make McGarrett appear younger in these 2002 flashbacks. That bothered me in recent episodes, and it bothered me again. Alex O'Loughlin is a good looking guy, but he can't come to close to passing as late 20s. With the big budget given to this show, they weren't able to at least TRY to make him appear more youthful? (They made the same mistake with Joe, who looked like an old man in the 2002 scenes, when actor Terry O'Quinn would have just been 50!)

The casino scene in Laos was mildly interesting, though their slick plan turned into bull-in-a-China-shop obvious when McGarrett and Catherine sprinted out of the casino in order to "secretly" follow their person of interest!

It is unclear at the end of the episode if they ended up killing Omar Hassan, the man responsible for taking the contract out on Joe and four other of McGarrett's former colleagues. Hassan actually wanted to be killed once captured, but McGarrett wanted to "break the cycle" of sons avenging their fathers, as Hassan himsef had a wife and toddler boy hiding with him. Still, Hassan told McGarrett that he would kill him eventually if let go, so what was McGarrett to do? We never got an answer. All we found out was that Hassan gave up Greer's location (why?)

Greer was finally killed by Catherine, but only as she was about to reveal the real reason she betrayed her country and former colleagues. She was shot dead because she was in the process of pulling a gun while starting to explain. It is possible she was pulling the gun as a suicide move against McGarrett, possibly about to reveal that she turned bad because McGarrett broke her heart many years ago. Will we ever find out? Probably not.

I had a feeling from the beginning of the show that Catherine would kill Greer, as Five-Zero (and other mainstream shows) don't like to show men killing women, even if women are the "bad guys" in the story.

The "dating now versus dating in the 1980s" debate between Tani, Grover, and Adam was actually kind of amusing. I'm actually right between Adam and Grover's age, and I can actually relate to how drastically the world of dating has changed, even though I was somewhat ahead of my time and met girls online as much as 30 years ago! The days of love letters and long phone calls are mostly over, replaced by "swipe left/right" apps and brief text conversations. As Grover said, "Just because something is newer doesn't mean it's better." I agree!

Mike mentioned that Langford is "2 inches shorter than McGarrett", yet fit into his tux. It's true that the two actors are listed just 2 inches apart, but I don't believe it. Often men under 6' lie about their height, especially in the world of acting. 5'11" usually means more like 5'8-5'9". Men over 6' tend to tell the truth about their height, as they are already "tall enough" and don't feel the need to embellish. I think it's likely that McGarrett is about 4 inches taller. Mike, I bet both of us would tower over Langford if we stood next to him (you're a bit taller than me, but we are pretty close)!


12. (S09E12) Ka hauli o ka mea hewa ‘ole, he nalowale koke (A Bruise Inflicted on an Innocent Person Vanishes Quickly) ★★★
Original air date: 1/11/19

This episode echoed back to some in the distant past where the writers were actually interested in giving Scott Caan's character something to do other than be a whiny jerk. In this show, Danno is put through the wringer because his daughter Gracie is seriously injured in a car accident. Sharing the anguish is his ex-wife Rachel who, along with Gracie, hasn't been seen since S07E20 (March 31, 2017). Rachel is now using her maiden name of Hollander, according to the show's press release. In the previous episode, she was talking about divorcing Stan, then dithering over the whole business, and in this episode, she says, "I didn't want to put Grace through another divorce, so we [??] moved to Hawaii, and now here we are."

Danno really didn't have too much scenery-chewing in this show, confining himself largely to sentimental reminiscing about his daughter with Rachel as well as his and Rachel's lives. Other members of the Five-Zero team did most of the work solving what really happened to Gracie, who ends up in the hospital in critical condition along with another girl named Katie, who she was driving home after a party.

HPD investigates the accident and it is determined that Gracie, whose car flew off a corner at 80 miles an hour, was not drunk driving. Examination of the scene shows that another car was likely following her. Gracie received a text message -- "Bitch, you'll pay for what you did" -- which was sent by a girl named Cameron Ross (Kailee Regan Brandt) earlier in the evening after the two of them had a fight at the party. Seems that an old boyfriend of Katie's shared an intimate photo of her some time ago which Cameron went and dug up and showed to people at the party after she noticed that Katie was there. Gracie took Cameron's phone and dropped it in someone's beer, prompting Cameron to send Gracie the abusive message using someone else's phone.

Junior reports that CSU (Crime Scene Unit) analyzed some oil droppings likely left by the other car at the accident scene, and they are high-zinc oil usually used by classic cars, a wacky clue which you would only find on Five-Zero.

Considering the accident happened about 2 a.m. and the party was over about midnight, late-night food joints close to the party location are checked out, and Gracie and Katie are seen dining at one of them. Some guy starts hassling them, and when they leave, he follows them ... in a classic Mustang.

This guy named Keith (Markus Silbiger) is tracked down and he has his car for sale. McGarrett and he take a test drive, with McGarrett reverting to a typical heavy-handed method of extracting a confession by driving at very high speeds and swerving all over the roads. Quite frankly, this is stupid, because while McGarrett obviously expects Keith to crack, would he endanger his own life to do this?

At the end of the show, Gracie, who had a depressed skull fracture which required an operation in addition to her other injuries, is released from the hospital in what seems like a very quick manner, and is given a welcome-home party. Danno and Rachel seem kind of chummy at this party, remembering their first date, among other things, something which will just enflame those who didn't recover from McGarrett hanging out with Catherine in the previous two episodes.

There was one serious problem with this part of the show. At the beginning, Katie's father Elliott (Regi Davis) shows up at the hospital and starts freaking out because he feels Gracie was responsible for his daughter's injuries which include a collapsed lung, broken ribs and a shattered leg. (He assumes that Gracie was drunk.) Danno does not take this well, and McGarrett separates the two men. Eventually, some HPD cops show up and they take Katie's father to another floor to "cool out."

But we never see or hear from Katie's father (or Katie herself, who is never seen at all, despite a credit at the end of the show) again! If we hadn't had the secondary story in this episode, the writers could have developed the topically-relevant story line of "cops taking care of their own by manipulating the system." Katie's dad already hinted at something like this when he said "Cop Dad just bail her out every time she drives home drunk from a party?"

Alas, this was not be. Instead, we got the usual secondary story, which had "currently in the news" subject matter -- the opioid crisis and doctors who write prescriptions for cash -- which should have been expanded to an entire show on its own.

Tani helps out her brother Koa, who is concerned that a woman named Alana he was counselling for drug addiction has gone missing. Tani confronts Alana's "douchebag ex," Dillon (Brandon Finn), in a restaurant. Although she tells Koa that she will be "professional" in dealing with Dillon, Tani yells at him and punches the guy out, even removing her badge as if that would somehow absolve her of any responsibility acting as a cop. Tani's manner is highly reminscent of McGarrett in the old days (or driving the Mustang in this show, for that matter).

Alana is found dead at her friend Kelsey's house, with both women having needles stuck in their arms. But Koa says Alana hated needles. In the bathroom, seven pill bottles of "oxy" (oxycodone) are found. The doctor who prescribed all these meds was the same, for patients with different names. Tani says it sounds like the guy is running a "pill mill." Koa suggests that Alana was murdered.

Tani goes to the doctor's (Dr. Alvin Zhang, played by comedian Dat Phan) and attempts to buy some pills but her cover is blown by someone in the office that tips off an armed (!) security guard (Marcus Young) who confronts her. Adam, who was waiting outside with some cops, arrives just after Tani uses some martial arts moves on the guard.

Back at Five-Zero headquarters in the blue-lit room, Zhang is grilled by Tani and Adam. After the usual smart-mouth exposition from these two, the doctor tells them, "The clinic was set up by the same cartel out of Morelos that moved the majority of the black tar heroin in Hawaii. Oxy's just another drug to them. And I'm just the medical license they need to write scrips. Kelsey called me in a panic. Said that Alana's out of rehab, and she was thinking about going to the cops to shut down the clinic that put her in there. Kelsey was afraid of losing her supply."

Adam tells the doctor, "So you called your handlers, who you knew would kill them both." The doctor tries to weasel out of all this, saying, "Look, I'm a victim here, too. You think I want to be doing this? They said they'd kill me if I didn't." But Adam points out, "When you were a GP, your little family practice was prescribing oxy to every other patient. You've been doing this for years, Doc. What's a couple more overdoses if it means protecting your revenue stream?"

I'm sure that the writers could have expanded this secondary story, hopefully including a scene where Tani renews her Ritalin prescription!

MORE TRIVIA:

  • When they are trying to track Gracie's car at the beginning of the show, Rachel tells Danno, "Stan bought Grace a car two weeks ago. It doesn't have plates yet." This is because in some US states, paper license plates are issued when you buy a new car by the dealer and real license plates are sent from the Department of Motor Vehicles later. In BC, Canada, where I live, when you buy a new car, you have to insure it immediately and you are given new plates by the insurance office.


13. (S09E13) Ke iho mai nei ko luna (Those Above Are Descending) ★½
Original air date: 1/18/19

The show began with a teaser which was probably the most boring ever. McGarrett shows up at Danno's where Gracie is being waited on hand and foot as she recovers from her horrific car accident in the previous show. Danno gets his knickers in a knot when McGarrett tries to mooch one of the pancakes that Danno has made for his daughter. When Gracie sends Danno out of the room for a few seconds, she whispers to McGarrett that her father is driving her crazy with his attentions. A few seconds after this, we get the "serious business" phone call.

Arriving soon at a beach crime scene, McGarrett wonders if the return of Danno's ex-wife Rachel connected with recent events concerning their daughter has some hidden significance. A body on the beach is all bloated. McGarrett speculates "The internal bleeding and marbling of the skin are signs of sudden and massive decompression." He says the guy had been at least 150 feet down "and he had to have stayed there for a prolonged period of time."

The main credits play. BORING!

It doesn't take long to identify the body on the beach. It is Jason Kamaka (Ken DuBois), a former professor of oceanography at Oahu State who took a leave of absence to work on the Neptune One, a deep-sea research lab which is six weeks into a two-month mission supposedly studying the effects that Kilauea's lava flow has on marine ecosystems. (Kilauea is on the Big Island, you realize.) The guy on the surface in charge of this project is Claude Nostromo (Reed Diamond), an Elon Musk/Jeff Bezos-type rich dude who made his fortune in database software and cloud engineering systems and whose company has interests in everything from rockets to hydrogen fuel to the Neptune One.

McGarrett speculates that the four people on the Neptune One may have been suffering from high-pressure nervous syndrome which may have increased tensions and affected their judgement. When he and Grover go to visit Nostromo, they find out there has been no communication with the vessel for 12 hours, which is very fishy (no pun intended). Nostromo tries to brush them off, but McGarrett tells him "Your lab is a crime scene, and everybody down there is a suspect."

(According to Wikipedia, high-pressure nervous syndrome is a neurological and physiological diving disorder that results when a diver descends below about 500 feet (150 m) using a breathing gas containing helium. But the deepest depth mentioned in the show is 127m (416 feet)! There is another "unusual ailment" mentioned in the show: Gaucher disease. Kamaka's son suffers from this, which is one of the reasons Kamaka took a job with Nostromo's project, because he would make big bucks that could help him deal with the medical bills for his son's condition. Don't ask me to discuss this disease, the Wikipedia entry is almost totally incomprehensibile.)

Tani, Junior and Adam are delegated to deal with what's happening underwater. Using a submersible, they arrive at the Neptune One and discover one of the four oceanographers, Jim Walker (Jeff Galfer), was attacked by the other man on the team, Marcus Nash (Moronai Kanekoa). A bunch of "samples" that were being collected found in a "hidden room" is revealed to be the chemical yttrium, a valuable commodity which is "worth more than gold." Harvesting this material in waters off Hawaii is an illegal activity. After a lot of confusion, it turns out that one of the two women in the team, Nina Kane (Katie O'Donovan), was an "inside man" planted by Nostromo to keep an eye on the others. When Kamaka found out about the yttrium harvesting, she killed him. After this is discovered, she flees in the submersible that the Five-Zero threesome used to get there, leaving everyone else stuck underwater with a rapidly depleting oxygen supply.

When McGarrett finds out about this situation, he and Danno head out into the ocean on a boat called the Maui Kai, along with a separate ship from the Coast Guard (who are hopefully getting paid despite the current U.S. government shutdown). Being the first to arrive above the Neptune One, McGarrett free-dives with a couple of tanks containing oxygen to keep the people below alive.

I found much of the scientific clap-trap behind the show, especially from this point on, to be confusing and distracting. One of the writers of the episode, Rob Hanning, posted a lengthy comment on Twitter trying to explain some of the faux-science behind the episode, admitting that the Five-Zero writers "often take liberties with the law of nature," and saying "by the time [the show] got edited down, a lot [of the science behind the show] got edited out." I am very skeptical that this explanation falls into the usual "they're making this up as they go along" excuse for writing on the show which was very much in evidence with the whole business connected with the Coast Guard plane which flew from Montana to Laos two episodes ago.

Although I am no expert on underwater exploration and similar issues, here are some things that bothered me:

  • It is never established if the people on the Neptune One are there for the total duration of the expedition (two months), or are they allowed to return back to land during this period. If they are there for the full term, you would expect that considering Nostromo is Mr. Mega-Bucks, he would have some kind of system set up which would provide them with a constant supply of oxygen, instead of relying on canisters of same which are supposedly brought to the lab on a regular basis. (There is a system like this in place on the International Space Station.)
  • Is this submersible that the Five-Zero team use to get to the Neptune One provided by Nostromo's company? If so, you have to wonder why there is only ONE submersible. This suggests poor planning on Nostromo's part if one of these was to be left at or near the lab in case of an emergency. Five-Zero also didn't think things through too carefully, never considering the possibility that their people could also be stuck at the bottom of the ocean floor!
  • I don't understand why, when the Five-Zero team arrive at the Neptune One, they are wearing scuba diving outfits. Surely the submersible would somehow dock to the lab which means that they would not have to leave it and approach it from underwater. This is typically done through an entrance on the bottom of the vessel known as the "moon pool."
  • McGarrett's descent with the two tanks struck me as ridiculous. The Neptune One is 127m (416 feet) underwater. Considering McGarrett is using the weight of the tanks to pull him down, how long would it take him to reach this depth? It is possible to hold your breath underwater for a VERY long time (11:35 without inhaling oxygen ahead of time, though that record may have been superceded), but it has never been established anywhere on the show, as far as I am aware, that McGarrett is a specialist in these techniques. Ditto for when McGarrett returns from the Neptune One to the surface. How long would it take for him to float up? One attempt to free-dive in a "constant weight without fins" event took 3 minutes and 38 seconds (218 seconds) to get to a depth of 72 meters. In McGarrett's case, to get to 127 meters, it would take 384 seconds (6 minutes, 24 seconds). The guy mentioned two sentences back died during his attempt.
  • When the Five-Zero team first arrive at the Neptune One, Junior checks the contents of the air using a Divesoft analyzer (an actual piece of equipment). It says the air contains 3% oxygen, 80% helium and 17% nitrogen. This struck me as odd, because at least one WWW page says that in order to stay alive, you need at least 6% oxygen content in the air. Less than this means you will lapse into a coma and die. However, other WWW sites suggest that the content of oxygen being consumed in a confined environment like this show's lab along with other gases can be less than 6%. Later on in the show, the Divesoft device shows the helium content is still 80% and nitrogen is 17%, but oxygen has dropped to only 1%.
  • There are constant reminders of the depleting content of oxygen in the Neptune One's air flashed on the screen throughout the show: at 29:47 (times are taken from the Global TV stream of the show) - 0.74% oxygen (it is estimated this means they have 40-60 minutes of oxygen left); 30:52 - 0.52%; 31:32 - .22%; 33:41 - .14%, 38:41 - .05%!!
  • A nail-biting scenario is added to this, because, as mentioned above, McGarrett and Danno arrive in the boat above the Neptune One with only 6 minutes before the air below runs out completely. Whether they could arrive at this location quickly from the Five-Zero offices is a good question. McGarrett has time to try and calculate how much extra time the air in the tanks will give people. As well, Danno has time to act even more like a prick than normal, because he spends several more seconds berating McGarrett for his efforts to save the people below, practically suggesting that McGarrett is wasting his time.
  • When McGarrett gets down below, he only gives Tani and Junior extra air from the tanks (not Adam or the other three people who are presumably in another room!). There were 6 minutes of air left in the Neptune One when McGarrett started his descent, and just before this, he said there were 18 minutes for the Coast Guard to arrive. When he is about to leave the team from the Neptune One and return to the surface, he says rescue will be there in 15 minutes, suggesting it took him 3 minutes to get to the bottom. When he returns to the surface, the Coast Guard are 10 minutes away, meaning it took him about 5 minutes to get back up.

The explanation for some of this provided by Hanning is all very nice, but in the absence of yet further details, I don't know why I should have to spend hours searching through Wikipedia to try and come up with answers which are not provided during the show. If they needed more time to explain the story, the nonsense with Gracie before the teaser could have been eliminated, as could have Junior's confrontation with his father (Eric Scanlan) at the beginning and end of the episode (even though the scenes with Junior and his father were only about 2 minutes long in total).

If I can get further explanations to some of the coments above, those sections of the review will be revised.

MORE TRIVIA:

  • At the end of the show, Junior's father has a nasty-looking scar on the right side of his face. This is not particularly visible when we see him earlier in the show.
  • When they first discuss the case in the Five-Zero offices, McGarrett says that Kamaka "had to be killed by one of four people." But how does he know this? The four scientists are not IDd in the show until after the meeting with Nostromo, which happens later.
  • At the end of the show, Tani says that she spent time in a hyperbaric (or "hyper-barbaric") chamber for 16 hours. Typical treatment in one of these chambers usually takes about an hour and 40 minutes, or 12 hours tops.
  • There were a couple of scenes in this show which gave me a good laugh where the Five-Zero team in the close confines of the underwater lab with the oceanographers only a few feet away got together to "whisper" about something critical to their mission.
  • At the end of the show, after Danno hauls McGarrett back on the boat and there is a shot of downtown Honolulu in the early morning, the soundtrack for a few seconds seems to be playing a bit of the show's famous theme song.


14. (S09E14) Ikiiki i ka lā o Keawalua (Depressed with the Heat of Kealwalua) ★★★★
Original air date: 2/1/19

This was an outstanding, fast-paced episode, almost too much so in the usual manner as Five-Zero solves the crime, especially with the Supercomputer. Danno-free (yay!), it had just one crime of the week which dealt with two "torn from today's headlines" issues. This was the twelfth show directed by Peter Weller.

The show opened with Flippa and his group about to perform at the Hawaiian Cultural Festival, but their drummer Luka Palakiko (Hale Mawae) is running late. Just outside the place after he arrives, Luka, whose real job is a family therapist at a clinic in Kailua, is brutally stabbed nine times and his truck stolen.

Soon after, investigation of Luka's financial records shows in the last three months he paid over $5,000 to a Venmo money-transferring account owned by Annie Kehr (Maddie Nichols), a 15-year-old girl.

Tani suggests this has something to do with "an inappropriate relationship." According to airport flight records, Annie went to Maui shortly after Luka was killed. McGarrett doubts that Annie could have killed Luka in such a horrible manner. Tani says "Maybe she had help. Maybe someone found out about the relationship and strongly disapproved; I know I do." (This comment, with Tani jumping to conclusions, also seems kind of "inappropriate.")

When Annie is brought back from Maui to Five-Zero headquarters, however, there is quite a different story. Luka drove Annie to the airport before his gig. When Tani asks if Annie and Luka were in a relationship, Annie says no, that Luka was gay. Luka, who counselled LGBTQ youth, was Annie's therapist. Annie was also gay, which caused her parents to "flip out" and arrange to send her to conversion therapy in Idaho. Luka gave her the money to send her to a sanctuary home on Maui. Annie's attempts to become independent from her parents have been unsuccessful so far. The only option is both her parents can sign a paper which will allow her to make her own decisions, according to Annie's lawyer, Jill Yamada (Monique Blanchard).

When Annie's parents (Tonja Kahlens and Cory Blevins) show up, McGarrett assures her "You're not going anywhere." In another room, McGarrett, Grover and Tani talk to the parents, who are not portrayed sympathetically. The mother says, "We love our daughter very much. We just hate the sin." Grover is appalled by Annie's potential fate: "What kind of parents would send their child off to someplace to be tortured..." to which her mother says, "It's not torture, it's healing. Whether you understand this or not, this is spiritual warfare and we are battling for the soul of our little girl." The father chimes in: "All she needs is guidance onto a better path to make the right choice ... It's not Annie's fault she entered life with her wires crossed." The restrained manner in which McGarrett deals with these two is incredible!

Meanwhile, Jerry has found the killer who stole Luka's car, 23-year-old ex-con Connor Russell (Riley Baron). The discussion around the Supercomputer goes off on an incorrect tangent, like whether the Kehrs hired Russell to kill Luka after a private investigator they employed to check him out failed to produce any results.

When Jerry and Junior go to Russell's place, Jerry is injured when he attempts to take away Russell's computer which has been wired with explosives. The bomb squad finds traces of ammonium nitrate, often used to make large-scale do-it-yourself bombs, in Russell's clothes that are there. McGarrett says "Now we got our own [Timothy] McVeigh right here on the island."

Figuring that Russell picked up some ideas in prison, McGarrett and Grover go to Halawa to talk to his former roommate, Roger Barton (Graham Beckel, giving a twitchy performance), an older man who is in jail for murdering his wife and a U.S. marshal. He assures the two cops, "I've changed my life around." When McGarrett suggests that Connor is planning "some kind of mass-casualty attack," Barton says, "That's not the Connor I know," and throws some psychiatric mumbo-jumbo at them about how Connor, whose childhood was traumatic, may be heading for a psychotic breakdown.

Back at the office, Jerry has found a WWW site on the Dark Web, United Aryan Division, which Grover says is full of "racism, sexism and anti-Semitism," and Jerry says contains "alt-right crap, online Klansmen [and] neo-Nazis." A masked Russell is seen there saying in a distorted voice: "The blood of the impure will run in the streets. Blood from sea to shining sea." Jerry uses some special software with a high-speed text analysis algorithm to match the language from Russell's rants to that used by Barton years before in Scottsdale, Arizona newspaper op-eds.

McGarrett and Grover hasten back to the prison. McGarrett throws Barton over a table and Barton addresses Grover as "dawg," Grover wants to kill him. Barton tells the two, "You're the real disappointment. Instead of aligning yourself with your people, you've allowed yourself to become a stooge for the politically-correct neo-Marxists who are trying to turn this country into a place where the worst possible crime is a white man speaking his mind." McGarrett lets him have it right back: "Let's get one thing straight. You are not my people. My grandfather, he died defending this country from pricks just like you [!!!]." While Grover really wants to kill Barton now, things are interrupted by the finding of an illicit cel phone from Barton's cell which reveals the location of Luka's stolen van. But when Adam, Tani and the bomb squad track the truck down, they discover that Russell has switched trucks again.

Russell is tracked to the Wailele Community Center, where he is about to detonate the explosives with a grip detonator when he is disarmed by McGarrett, suddenly appearing out of nowhere, in yet another nail-biting finale.

The show continues with a five-minute segment that begins a little too obviously with the song "We shall overcome" on a juke box as Grover and McGarrett have a beer in a bar. McGarrett wants to know why Grover is so up tight about what has happened the last few days, and Grover relates a tale of a racist incident he experienced in June of 1988 where both he and a black couple were beaten up by "two redneck sons of bitches" in and around a "divey cafe" in Elkhart, Illinois. O'Loughlin excelled in this scene by saying almost nothing, just reacting to Grover.

The episode ends with a meeting of several hundred people in a park where a memorial is being held for Luka. Annie tells McGarrett that her parents have finally signed the paperwork which will allow her to live on her own.

There were more than a few parallels with this show, because of its topicality, and S07E05, a show about guns which drew a lot of heat from viewers who felt it was just an "agenda" from the writers, rather than "entertainment." An emotional interview with actress Ellen Page on the Stephen Colbert Show the night before this episode where she talked about US Vice-President Mike Pence who "believes in conversion therapy [and] has hurt LGBTQ people so badly as the governor of Indiana" may have given the secondary issue in the show additional exposure, as well.

There were a few unanswered questions like:

  • what happened to Annie's parents who McGarrett wanted to "keep on ice" in the offices until they signed the papers;
  • what happened with the other four cities were bombs were supposed to go off; and
  • how did Russell transfer the bombs from Luka's truck to the second one which he stole, considering both trucks were just parked on a street in public view and we previously saw him having to use a ramp and box dolly to load the explosives?

(Ask me about these in 20 years when I review this episode again ... when I will be 90 years old.)

That aside, everything about this episode was top-notch: the script, the direction, the acting and the photography. It's going to be difficult to recover from this if in the next weeks we are back to the usual soap opera.

MORE TRIVIA:

  • The urban terrorists are setting off bombs in five cities: Seattle, WA - Vellonello Shopping Center; Denver, CO - Manditski Park and Public Gardens; Chicago, IL - Janderman Park Community Center; Virginia Beach, VA - Ray and Joan Borimendi Art and Community Center; Honolulu, HI - Wailele Community Center.
  • One of Jerry's hands is badly injured in the bomb blast, so much so that he asks Junior to come back to the office with him to be "my wingman" for "a pair of working hands." But as efforts to find Russell become more intense, everyone leaves the office with Jerry staying there to "dig into the security system."
  • Idaho gets knocked in this show for being a state where gay conversion therapy is legal. It also is notorious for right-wing groups, so I'm surprised there is not some connection made with the Dark Web site. As one WWW site says in particular, "If you are looking for diversity, Northern Idaho is not the place to find it."


15. (S09E15) Ho‘opio ‘ia e ka noho ali‘i a ka ua (Made prisoner by the reign of the rain) ★★
Original air date: 2/15/19

Considering the H50 writers toiled mightily for the previous episode, an excellent show which was almost about one topic (actually two, LGBT[etc.] issues and a right-wing crackpot detonating a bomb), it was to be expected that for S09E15, they would be back to the usual multi-part format and they were with a vengeance. Instead of the usual two parts, this one was at least four. In fact, you could subdivide this up so it was even more parts. But the writers must have been kind of giddy, patting themselves on the back because of E14, because there was a huge blunder in E15's script!

A hurricane named Kim with winds up to 155 miles an hour (approximately 250 kilometers per hour for metric types) is menacing the islands. At the beginning of the show McGarrett says that the state officially designated Iolani Palace as "an emergency evacuation shelter." He means the main floor of their headquarters, which is confusing, because their offices are not located in the Iolani Palace (home of Classic Five-O), but in the Ali`iolani Hale, which is across the street. The Iolani Palace is a place of extreme historical and cultural significance where it is unlikely that mobs of people could be housed, since people taking tours of the place have to be very careful about what they do, including wearing bags on their shoes!

Because of the storm and the fact that all planes are grounded, Five-Zero is going to have a special guest in the form of Alejandro Vega (Raoul Trujillo), an El Chapo-like drug kingpin (El Chapo currently being in the news big time) who the FBI has arrested and wants to hold somewhere until the weather subsides. Also known as "El Diablo," Vega is "one of the most dangerous fugitives in the world" whose prison escapes are legendary as is his ability to put a hex on people who pursue and imprison him, not to mention his enemies.

There seems to be some confusion about what this guy Vega really does, by the way. The press release for the show suggests he is a "serial killer," which is not mentioned anywhere in the show. According to an FBI "most wanted" poster seen in the show, his crimes include accessory to bombing of aircraft, accessory to carrying weapons or explosives aboard an aircraft, violent crimes in aid of racketeering, conspiracy to commit violent crimes in aid of racketeering, kidnapping of a federal agent, felony murder of a federal agent, aiding and abetting and accessory after the fact. Although Vega is connected with Venezuela, this poster says his "race" is "Mexican," which is interesting, because "Mexican" is not a "race."

Because Vega cannot be transported back to the mainland to a Supermax prison (likely the one in Colorado which Wo Fat escaped from), as per a phone call from FBI agent Collins (Ted McGinley), the Justice Department has ordered Vega to be housed in Five-Zero's blue-lit room, which is the on the "rendition floor" of headquarters. It is interesting that the blue-lit room seems to be well-known among other law-enforcement professionals.

Having never heard the term "rendition" associated with the blue-lit room before, I looked up this term in various places. According to m-w.com, "rendition" means "extradition of a fugitive who has fled to another state," but the default dictionary on Google says it also means "the practice of sending a foreign criminal or terrorist suspect covertly to be interrogated in a country with less rigorous regulations for the humane treatment of prisoners," which is right up H50's alley. I had this term confused with "rendering" which also means "covertly send [a foreign criminal or terrorist suspect] for interrogation abroad; subject to extraordinary rendition" but also means "melt down" or "process [the carcass of an animal] in order to extract proteins, fats, and other usable parts," which also could be applied in a way to H50's treatment of people who visit this room.

Although we have never been given too much information about where the blue-lit room is at headquarters, in this episode it is suggested is not on the lowest level of the building. There seems to be a parking garage below this which is where Vega is delivered. A large sign on the wall says "Iolani Palace Loading Dock," thus compounding the earlier location blunder.

As Vega is chained to the blue-lit room chair, McGarrett looks very pissed because a friend of his was knocked off in a bomb blast that Vega was responsible for and gives him a piece of his mind, telling Vega he doesn't see him as a "boogeyman," but "a sad and pathetic old man who's gonna spent the rest of his life rotting in a cell." I quite enjoyed the "cool" way in which McGarrett spoke to Vega, which was well-acted by Alex O'Loughlin.

There is trouble brewing, because some Spanish-speaking guy comes into Ali`iolani Hale and joins the others sheltering from the storm. (Aside from a few lines of Spanish, though, he has no accent whatsoever.) This guy has a ceramic knife in his possession which bypasses the metal detectors. Jerry sees a tattoo on this guy's arm when he talks to Jerry briefly. The guy appears to leave the room where all the people are congregated despite the fact that as he said to Jerry, "There seems to be a lot of security people around."

Meanwhile, McGarrett has assigned Tani and Junior to drive around looking for stragglers from the storm and those who have not left evacuation zones. Tani finds a house with people in it, a couple named Jameson (Greg Serano) and Shona (Lili Bordan) with their young daughter Emmy (Hannah Raizelle Schwartz), but when Tani tries to get them to leave for the kid's benefit, the guy pulls a gun on her and she is tied to a chair in one of the rooms.

Back at headquarters, the power goes out briefly, and all the building's surveillance cameras stop working. When Jerry investigates, he finds the cables to the cameras have been cut and a sheriff's deputy who was guarding the area has been stabbed. Grover and Jerry try to stabilize this guy, whose name is Haku (Bernard Aderhold-Lindsey). Jerry stuffs some gauze into Haku's wound, which is gross. Haku IDs the Spanish-speaking (sort of) "Mystery Man," as he is identified in the CBS press release, as his stabber, and Jerry connects him to the guy with the tattoo he talked to in the lobby.

Mr. Mystery (or perhaps Señor Misterio) makes his way to a lower floor of the building where he gathers together stuff, including a garden hose (seriously -- maybe it is used for washing McGarrett's truck) and some duct tape.

This is pretty stupid, but what is going on with Tani is equally dumb. Her hands and legs are both tied to a chair in the house which is being ravaged by the storm. She befriends Emmy, the daughter, in a "cute" way, and although Emmy does not know how to tie her own shoe laces, Tani manages to convince the kid to untie her from the chair, which is probably done in a relatively tight adult manner.

Jerry finally figures out who Mr. Mystery is. Recognizing the guy's tattoo as Day of the Dead-related, even thought he only saw it for a few seconds, Jerry uses the Supercomputer for "crossing the FBI tattoo database with CIU's [Customs and Immigration ... ?] organized crime record," revealing him to be Sergio Diaz (played by Craig Henningsen -- not identified in the CBS press release as "Diaz," just "Mystery Man"). Diaz is from the Cervantes cartel, a rival to Vega's.

McGarrett surmises, confirmed by the FBI's Collins, that Diaz wants to knock off Vega, who is going to spill his guts to the Feds and name lots of names if he ever gets back to the mainland.

In the parking garage, Diaz kills one of the FBI agents, and, using the garden hose and tape, hooks up a car's exhaust to a pipe which is connected to the drain in the blue-lit room. Really! Diaz even has a schematic of the building!

Soon after this, McGarrett and Collins, just acting on a hunch, go to the blue-lit room and extract Vega, who has passed out from the carbon monoxide fumes. When McGarrett does CPR on Vega, it takes only a few punches on his chest to bring him back to life. As they take him upstairs in the elevator to McGarrett's office, to be his new "hideout," questions are raised about how did Diaz know that Vega was being brought to the "Iolani Palace" (again), the answer to which is there is a mole in the FBI's team. When they get up to the office level, Diaz is already there and a gun battle results in several FBI agents including Collins being put out of action. Of course, there is an opportunity for the obligatory kick-ass fight between Diaz and McGarrett which is actually pretty cool and we all know who wins that one.

More ass-kicking is taking place at the house where Tani has gotten untied by Emmy. Tani disarms Jameson and reads him and Shona the riot act about going to an evacuation centre, but Jameson tells her that his place is a "stash house for some local dealers" who are outside right now! As three thugs break into the place, more gunplay and ass-kicking follows, and while Tani manages to control everything, Junior, who has been concerned about her whereabouts, suddenly shows up to assist.

To find Tani, Junior must have the same app on his phone that can magically triangulate the location of any cel phone. Adam uses this app to locate the FBI mole, who is Agent Harris (Liam McNeill). Harris is just about to knock off Vega in the garage of the "palace" where Vega, who escaped down in the elevator during the gun battle, is attempting to jump-start a car. McGarrett takes care of Harris, shooting him dead.

This show's rating would likely be higher if not for the blunder regarding Five-Zero's location. Considering how the show bends over backwards to be very "Hawaiian" (like the titles for the episodes), this mistake seems almost disrespectful, considering the palace is one of the most iconic and culturally significant buildings in Hawaii. Can we expect McGarrett to misidentify Diamond Head as Mauna Loa in a future episode?

Oh yeah -- I forgot to mention there was another "part" of the show. The CBS press release described it as follows: "Rachel and Charlie evacuate to Danny's house, where the ex-spouses reminisce." This consisted of a lot of "wink wink nudge nudge" dialogue about things like the kind of deodorant Danno wore when he and Rachel were first dating.

I found this part of the show obnoxious. I didn't listen to it too hard during the original broadcast and fast-forwarded through it when watching the streaming version of the show, though I figure if this attempt to get Danno to reconcile with his ex-wife pisses off the McDanno types because of the threat to the boys' "bromance," then it is a good thing.

MORE TRIVIA:

  • Here is mega-anal-ysis of the parts of this show: Crime of the Week (Vega): 47.7%; Danno/Rachel/McG: 16.6% (ugh); Tani at stash house: 15.4%; Grover & Jerry attend to Haku: 11.0%; Misc. (titles, credits, etc.): 5.9%; Tani & Junior: 2.7%. Total a bit short of 100% because of rounding.
  • I did a bit of digging and anal-yzed all the subtitles for all the shows so far (this took a while). There have been 34 mentions of the word "palace" since the beginning of the show. I didn't go and cross-check each of these with when they happened in the specific show, but I am sure some of them were referring to the real palace. Possibly some of the recent ones meant the headquarters of Five-Zero. On the other hand, demonstrating that the writers really don't know their palace from a hole in the ground, in S07E18, some terrorists were preparing a bomb which was going to be delivered by truck to across the street from the Iolani Palace. In other words, the headquarters of Five-Zero, so at least for that show, they did know the difference between the two buildings. This was confirmed by McGarrett in that show, who, after finding this out, said "We were the target."
  • In addition to Diaz, the other guys who have a Day of the Dead tattoo, as identified by cross-referencing multiple databases with the Supercomputer, are Brock Traventin, Glenn Rifflecroft, Carlos Levakiba, Tiger Lipsberg, and Saul DeNovera, (there are others, a list of these is pending being able to read the small print).
  • Vega is seen at the beginning of the show at local landmark the Liliha Bakery where the waitress Kalani (Jacqui Lynn Phung) notices he has a bleeding wound on his right side. There is no explanation as to how he got this wound, whether he escaped from the FBI prior to this and how he was tracked down to the bakery. The FBI arrives very quickly to pick him up and Vega surrenders peacefully.
  • When Jerry brings his memorabilia and other junk from the basement upstairs because of the danger of flooding during the storm, he has a large model of the Russian space shuttle in his possessions, which has "Buran" in Cyrillic written on its side.
  • My mind wandered a bit during the show, so I decided to write down all the companies advertising during the commercial breaks. You will find this fascinating, I am sure!
  • Tani is very obviously wearing lipstick in this show. I thought it kind of odd that she would be out running around in a storm helping people and looking like this (whereas I don't think she has ever worn lipstick on the show before), but I'm not going to make a big deal about this (others have already discussed this on social media).
  • Whatever happened to poor Haku, the sheriff's deputy who got stabbed? His fate is unknown!


16. (S09E16) Hapai ke kuko, hanau ka hew (When covetousness is conceived, sin is born) ★½
Original air date: 2/22/19

The main thing that I have to ask the powers-that-be in retrospect about this episode, which was the first of two, one after the other on the same evening, was "Why didn't you guys take this time period to make a two-hour show?" Maybe they should have delayed this season's premiere "Cocoon," a tribute to the original show's pilot (a two-hour episode) until then, though I thought their one-hour "Cocoon" was very good. Alas, the world is not perfect.

At the beginning of this show, women are taking part in a "mermaid experience" called Sirens of the Seven Seas where they get to live their childhood fantasies of being a mermaid like in the famous Disney movie. This involves wearing a custom silicone mermaid tail which costs up to $10,000 and synchronized swimming. Suddenly, one of these women, 33-year-old Gwendoline Baker (Chelsea Gilson), starts bleeding heavily from her nose, mouth, eyes and ears.

Soon enough, Noelani is on the scene and guesses, pursuant to a full autopsy, that Baker died from rat poison. Baker worked for an Amway-like multi-level marketing company (i.e., pyramid scheme) called Plum & Rose Beauty and had booked this mermaid experience for her top sales team. A commercial for the company featuring Baker says it is "for anyone who's motivated, coachable and looking to live their best life."

Noelani determines that Baker died from ingesting foxglove, the effects of which are somewhat different than those from rat poison, which typically contains warfarin. There is no reference to foxglove in the Wikipedia entry for warfarin or vice versa.

Jerry finds some pictures on Baker's phone which show her car vandalized with spray-painted messages like "#womenwhobleeddie." (This struck me as having what was likely an unintended connection with what Trump said about Megyn Kelly after the Republican debate in August 2015.) On Instagram, Junior finds a series of abusive comments about Baker in her account like "Your whole life is a con. You profit off of other people's misery."

Grover and Danno go and talk to Jocelyn Greene (Ginifer King), the boss of Plum and Beauty, which is putting on a sales pitch outdoors near the Hilton Hawaiian Village. When Greene says that Baker was "a dear friend," Grover wonders why this get-together was not put off. Grover is pretty blunt, telling Greene that people who she recruits will get "royally screwed," and "you sell these people on getting rich quick and getting fast money, and then, you just leave 'em broke with a hundred boxes of lotion and shampoo." Greene tells him, "Look, selling is hard, but so is life. Big opportunities call for big risks. We offer people the tools to change their lives. Whether or not they succeed, that's that's up to them." The two guys from Five-Zero leave, getting a promise from Greene that lists of investigations concerning threats to people like Baker and other lists of her company's sellers will be forthcoming.

The person who trolled Baker on Instagram (where the #womenwhobleeddie hashtag is identified as a wordplay on Baker's #womenwholead) is a woman named Makani Pule (Kristina Emerson), whose last name, "Pule" in the subtitles, is spelled "Pula" in a screenshot. She is busted by Grover and Danno who find red spray paint in her car, but she tells them that she invested her life savings in Plum and Beauty products which she could not sell, and now she is living out of the car. She also has an iron-clad alibi for the last 48 hours, which she spent in a detox center. So she is red herring number one and released.

At Baker's place, Jerry gets a call from Noelani, who says that in Baker's stomach she found collagen. Shortly after this in the garbage, Jerry finds a package of Plum and Beauty collagen powder, which was tampered with.

Appearing to be the number one suspect in Gwendoline's death, her husband Josh (Matthew Lawrence) is hauled into the blue-lit room and grilled by McGarrett and Danno. He nervously insists that he did not kill his wife and that information suggesting she wanted a divorce taken from her computer was because his wife was a "hothead" and they always kissed and made up. This blue-lit room discussion goes on in the typical manner, but Josh becomes red herring number two when he tells McGarrett and Danno that his wife wanted to leave the company where "something shady" was going on and they should try and figure out what this is.

There is something screwy with the script during this last sequence. At the crime scene, Noelani speculated that Baker was killed by rat poison (warfarin or some other anti-coagulant, which prevents clots from forming in the blood) because of the bleeding from her nose, mouth, etc. But later Noelani examined stomach contents and found there was foxglove (used to treat congestive heart failure and heart rhythm problems). On the phone to Jerry, Noelani speculates that collagen was used to cover the taste of foxglove which is very bitter, like kale. But then when Josh is being grilled in the blue-lit room, there is mention of the wife having a prescription for warfarin for a heart condition (this is the first time we hear about this), and McGarrett says "That drug [warfarin], combined with the poison [foxglove], causes massive hemorrhaging." I had to do some searching to find that "Foxglove may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with other drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include ... anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin...." (My point here is, it would have been much better if the connection between these two things had been made by Noelani instead of suddenly being pulled out of thin air by McGarrett.)

In response to what Baker's husband said, Jerry does snooping comparing the sales chart from Baker with the one he got from her boss Greene, and there are 79 names in Greene's chart which are not in Baker's. We are launched into a big tangent because McGarrett, having Brainstorm Number One, says this indicates "a money laundering scheme. Jocelyn's using dummy accounts to filter this cash through the company." As part of this, Jocelyn and her husband own titles to several shell corporations, all of which have received money that has been linked to the Mack Avenue Crew, a crime syndicate out of Detroit which is involved in everything from drugs to human trafficking. Whoa!

At Greene's place, the Five-Zero team find no one at home with signs that the occupants were getting ready to split town, evidence on Jocelyn's computer that she was investigating the effects of foxglove, and Jocelyn's husband Trent (Todd James Jackson) dead. McGarrett starts to have Brainstorm Number Two, figuring out that the goons from Detroit have kidnapped Jocelyn's children and are holding them until she gives them the money that got laundered. When Danno and Tani arrive at one of the Greenes' four Oahu properties, one of the guys from Detroit is just about to take possession of the cash, and he is shot dead. This is not good, because is the only one around who knows where Jocelyn's two kids are being held captive. Duh!

Within seconds, Jerry has IDd the dead guy, Samuel Wade (Robert L. Barney Jr.), and tracked down another car which Wade rented under his real name (not too bright, that guy) when he arrived on the island the day before.

Danno and Tani go with Jocelyn to the ransom drop-off place which is presumably within 25 minutes of their location, which is the deadline to deliver it. When they get there, Jocelyn tells the three thugs she was a bit late because "it's kind of hard to drive with a gun in your ribs." Wade's dead body is in the passenger seat. Tani is also in the car, and knocks off one of the bad guys, and the rest of the Five-Zero team (minus McGarrett, who went to "the docks") has sneaked up behind the truck and the guys from Detroit are quickly dispatched. (It is kind of hard to understand how they did this.)

This crime of the week was sort of OK, despite the frantic pace combined with the usual geekiness from Jerry and two, count 'em, two red herrings.

The show's secondary story began with Adam unpacking his belongings in what is presumably a new place to live, having abandoned his and Kono's bungalow. He was seen putting a picture of himself and Kono back in a box in favor of one with him, Jerry and Grover up on the wall.

Adam spent most of his time in the show helping out some homeless-looking guy named Hal (Bob Hiltermann) who is down on his luck as well as hard of hearing. Adam is learning sign language to communicate with Hal, who speaks pretty normally and can read Adam's lips. Alexis (Evangeline Mollison), Hal's granddaughter on the mainland, is turning six next week, and Hal wants to send something back home to her. Despite Hal's protests, Adam buys presents and even pays for Hal's airplane fare home. All of this makes Hal conflicted, because he thinks his family will not want to see him. Adam convinces him to return, and the end of the episode has a happy family reunion for Hal seen via Adam's cel phone.

But where did Adam first meet this guy? This part of the show made little sense to me, other than as a preface to a speech during an "ohana" get-together near the end of the show where Adam expressed his near-tearful thanks to everyone for supporting him recently, like during the rough period after his separation and divorce from Kono. In fact, I just found this digression to be stupid.

The only good thing about the part of the show, which had even less to do with Five-Zero than my usual complaint, was that every time it switched to this secondary plot, I just got more and more angry that I could not forward through it, since I was watching it in real time. This had the effect of keeping me awake until the second show of the evening (see the next review).

You have to wonder how long Adam will stay on the show if his storyline is going to carry on similar to what was seen in this episode. Since Adam has become an official member of the Five-Zero team, his role seems to be primarily an "expert in international criminal activities," not surprising considering Adam's background.

In keeping Adam around, I think executive producer Peter Lenkov felt bad because Ian Anthony Dale was left in the lurch after Grace Park left. Not only that, Dale was a star on Salvation, another show which Lenkov executive produced and was cancelled because its ratings were mediocre.

The show was bookended by Junior taking Tani to the "Fantastic Mermaid Adventure" where she could realize her dream of being a mermaid, albeit with a bunch of little kids, which I also found kind of cloying, including a big kiss for Junior from Tani.

MORE TRIVIA:

  • Samuel Wade's Michigan driver's license shows his address is 77 Trapper Ave., Detroit 48206, he is 6'1", date of birth is 10-21-1984. License number is 944A7B230, it expires 10-21-2021. He is an organ donor (how nice).
  • Aside from their primary home, the Greenes own four properties on the island: a beachfront estate in Kailua, a luxury condo on Halekauwila Place, a yacht that's docked in Ala Wai Harbor and a ranch-style two-bedroom on Nahua Street.
  • Tani has a good line, when Junior tells her "a little birdie [meaning Danno] did tell me this morning that you were pretty jealous of the mermaid camp," and she says, "Did this birdie have a blonde pompadour and talk with his hands?"


17. (S09E17) E‘ao lu‘au a kualima (Offer young taro leaves to the gods five times) ★★★½
Original air date: 2/22/19

The beginning of this show owed a lot to the classic Michael Mann cops-and-robbers movie Heat, with a well-planned bank robbery which has to be completed within a specific time frame and a loose cannon among the robbers who exceeds his assigned role.

In this episode, Junior has a big dilemma, because Jenny Lee (Taiana Tully), a woman who works in the bank that he knows, recognizes one of the masked robbers' voices as that of Tory (J.J. Soria), the husband of Junior's former girl friend Layla (Anna Enger) who we have not seen since S08E07. When he goes to visit Layla, who gave up on him after Junior decided to accept another tour of duty as a SEAL in Iraq years before, she is not happy when he starts asking questions about whether Tory is connected with the robbery, and even less so when he shoots Tory dead near the end of the episode.

The robbery was well-paced and the structure of the show, jumping back and forth in time, was interesting. Junior's big soliloquy at the end of the show where he realizes his life is a mess because of the decisions he has made was well acted by Beulah Koale. The episode was directed by Alex O'Loughlin. It was similar in quality to the equally well directed (by Peter Weller) S09E14 in which AO'L was featured more prominently (the show dealing with LGBT rights and the right-wing crackpot going to detonate a bomb in Honolulu).

Guest star Michael Ironside gave a convincingly menacing performance as Robert Castor, the big brains behind the heist. But when did Castor "make a deal" as Junior tells Tory, since the last time we see Castor in the blue-lit room, he is thumbing his nose at McGarrett and Danno?

About the only thing I really disliked about the show was the usual firefight with the bad guys totally unable to hit the side of a barn door, i.e., the members of Team Five-Zero during the final shootout which took place in a public park.

MORE TRIVIA:

  • Thanks to Wendie for finishing the episode title which the CBS Press release didn't complete!


18. (S09E17) Ai no i ka ‘ape he mane‘o no ko ka nuku (He who eats ‘ape is bound to have his mouth itch) ★★
Original air date: 3/8/19

This was a seriously "meh" episode. What I thought would be the major part of this bipartite exercise was actually the secondary story.

Danno's ex-mother-in-law, romance novelist Amanda Savage (Joan Collins) arrives in Hawaii for a book signing. McGarrett and Danno are requested (via Danno) to do security for her.

Predictably, Danno uses this as an excuse to get seriously hysterical for nothing. He tells McGarrett that Amanda "tortured me my entire marriage" without elaborating, other than "she's very snobby, she does not, uh, have a good sense of humor." He explains that when he was going to propose to Rachel, he flew all the way to England "which [he] could not afford at the time [note the usual Danno trope relating to money here]" and Amanda basically blew him off, telling her daughter "Never take the first offer." He later says, "I think she just doesn't like me. You know, never has."

Amanda is not particularly nice when she says that she had "high hopes" for Rachel, who had "dated a minor member of the royal family." Amanda's experience with the subsequent wedding in New Jersey sounds hideous: "I found myself in a place called 'Hackensack,' driving in a white limousine with a fish tank in it."

McGarrett spends time reassuring Danno that he should overcome his "self-pity" and that he is "more than adequate." When they go to Kamekona's shrimp shack to satisfy "a woman hungry to explore the local flavors," McGarrett tells Amanda that Danno is "the best of the best." For some reason, Kamekona is not there, but Flippa is in charge. Incongruously, he tells Danno that he is a big fan of Amanda's books, which are like "dope" to him.

At the end of the show, we find out Amanda's real reason for coming to Hawaii -- to have a heart-to-heart with Danno, who just walked away from their lunch at Kamekona's, saying "I can't win with you." She tells him that she really doesn't hate him, that when Rachel found (i.e., fell in love with) him, Amanda thinks she was "jealous," because Danno, who she describes as "good," reminded her of her own father, who was like a saint. But considering what a hyperactive individual Danno is and was, how could she make this "good" evaluation? Did she have a background check run on him or something?

Amanda knows that her daughter and Danno "have been seeing each other a lot, and I know that she is talking about you all the time. So I don't want to see her hurt again, okay? I want you to do right by her." In other words, Rachel has been talking to her mother and the two of them are best buds. Considering this, I really have to wonder why are Rachel and the two children not seen in the show at all?

The final meeting between Danno and Amanda in the bar at least had a good laugh because she had borrowed McGarrett's phone to trick Danno to get him to show up there. She tells him that the phone "was on the nightstand next to the bed he was sleeping in with me," no doubt producing a huge collective scream of terror from all the McDanno types.

The crime of the week was drug-related. A promising young baseball prospect named Mark Chen (Alexander Rogers) who returned to Hawaii for rehabilitation after being injured in the minor leagues on the mainland is run over by a truck on the freeway after he is acting delusional, like he was on some drug like PCP. It isn't PCP, but something else called pyrovalerone, a psychoactive drug with stimulant effects, according to a rather brief entry at Wikipedia. I actually suspect it was more likely a related drug called methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), which is more difficult to say. Chen's autopsy shows he had pyrovalerone in his system plus HGH (human growth hormone) and testosterone as well as steroids.

Considering Chen spent most of his time working out at the Island Club and Spa gym where steroid use would likely be rampant, Junior and Tani are sent there to investigate. Because the show is only 42 minutes long and we don't want to wait for a couple of days for results, Junior immediately starts making queries about where he can buy steroids, which makes trouble with several beefy guys who aim to punch him out because he will "ruin the sweet situation we got going here." Junior takes care of them with some serious ass-kicking, but since when has Junior been a martial arts expert? Tani as "Ashleigh," on the other hand, engages in some serious ass-shaking when she leads a women's aerobics class called Booty Boost 101.

Junior finds out that steroid sales among users at the club were handled by Moses Pacheo (is this the actor Knives Vannic Wolfram credited as "Guy"?). Just around this time, the cops go to Pacheo's house where they find him in a drug-induced rage tearing the place apart and throwing around HPD officers sent to deal with the situation. After Pacheo is shot dead, bottles at his place match some found at Chen's which contain pyrovalerone. Both of their places contain bags of blood in the refrigerators.

As far as the blood is concerned, it turns out there is a connection with a local quack doctor named Niles Werner (Juan Monsalvez) who injects the blood of young people into old folks for a large fee. (This is not a joke, see Young Blood Transfusion on Wikipedia.) Pacheo was trading blood from members at the gym for HGH and/or illegal steroids as well as cash from the doctor. When Pacheo wanted more money than the doctor was willing to pay, he gave Pacheo bottles with pyrovalerone in them, designed to knock him off. Chen's blood had previously been rejected by the doctor for not being "the right stuff," having a platelet count that was too low. As a result, Chen stole a master key for lockers in the changing room at the gym (uh, okay…) and broke into Pacheo's locker where he kept bottles of steroids to sell (and some of the drug from his personal supply with pyrovalerone that killed Chen). Hopefully you can follow this!

The Five-Zero team raid Werner's office where there are multiple security guards in the front office for some reason. Seeing the fuzz, Werner starts running around the office in an almost comical way like the Keystone Cops. When confronted by Tani, Werner jabs a needle of some unknown substance into her, and she falls to the floor, twitching. Without any indication as to what Tani was injected with, Adam runs into a storage room full of stuff and frantically searches through all the shelves, returns with a defibrillator, a vial of epinephrine (adrenalin) and a needle which he uses to shoot the drug into Tani. She recovers, duh! Talk about stupid…

Grover, who has been doing an excellent job running the show at Five-Zero headquarters in McGarrett's absence, shoots Werner in the leg, saying, "Prison doctor will fix that right up."

This show was not a total waste of time. It gave yet another "older" actor (the "legendary" Collins, currently 85) an opportunity to show her stuff, though a look at her résumé shows she has hardly been inactive recently. She did a good job and her flirty interaction with McGarrett was delightful. Tim Lounibos as Mark Chen's father played his brief part very well. And in comparison to Danno's frothing at the mouth, McGarrett showed he totally knew how to take care of Amanda.

More importantly, what happened with Danno in relation to Rachel and her mother in this story is yet another hint that Danno may be on his way out at the end of this season. May it be so!

MORE TRIVIA:

  • This episode was pretty easy to break down in terms of time: Crime of the Week - 57.6%; Danno and McGarrett provide security - 40%; Misc (titles/credits) - 2.3%.
  • How the heck are the gym members supposed to extract their own blood and put it in sterile bags? Surely this is something "you shouldn't try at home"!
  • The teaser was very short, only 46 seconds long, not the shortest one, though.
  • Is it really too much effort for McGarrett and Danno to shave for their bodyguard job?
  • Werner's Namkha Clinic is located at 810 Palafox Street, Honolulu 98813.
  • Amanda's books include Five Nights in Cairo, Castle of Secrets, Mallory's Lament, and The Queen's Chamber. In real life, Collins has written half a dozen novels as well as various non-fiction books focusing on health and beauty as well as four autobiographies. Her late sister Jackie (1937-2015) wrote 32 novels including romances, many of which were best-sellers.


19. (S09E19) Pupuhi ka he‘e o kai uli (The octopus of the deep spews its ink) ★★
Original air date: 3/15/19

After a guy named James Cooper, seemingly a window washer working for Fabrique Window Washing Hawaii, plunges to his death, it is discovered that this company doesn't exist and he is not a window washer at all, but a consultant from Florida who has been in the islands for a couple of months.

Using 3D crime scene modelling drone technology, Jerry and Tani determine that in addition to Cooper's footprints on the roof of the building he was going to descend from, there are two sets of footprints (as well as shell casings) from men who were shooting at him and one from a woman, in addition to those of the place's maintenance man. The woman is likely a witness to Cooper's murder after the men cut the rope he was using to escape from them over the edge of the building.

A van connected to Cooper via keys he had in his pocket is located and Jerry is able to isolate an area of Honolulu where he might have been living, thanks to cups from the Kopé Kahuna Cafe (I think a mash-up of real-life Kopé Coffee Catering and the Kahuna Cafe) and gas station receipts found in the van. Also found in the van is a door opener, which Jerry has cloned, that will be able to help them track down where Cooper or the mystery woman have been staying.

This investigation is interrupted by the discovery of a strangled shirtless man in Chinatown. A button which seems to have come off his missing shirt is examined by Grover, who realizes, because it is made of bamboo, is not of recent manufacture. He queries Lono (Pomaika‘i Brown) from Bailey's Antiques and Aloha Shirts (a real business) who, by also examining the button and its thread, immediately realizes it came off a "vintage 1950s Royal Hawaiian" shirt, worth at least $2,000.

The building connected to the door opener is located, and inside is an artist's studio. Annoying "art expert" Gerard Hirsch (Willie Garson), who just happens to be back in town, is asked to help identify who Cooper really was, and, after checking out some of the abstract paintings in this warehouse, many of which have been splattered with booby-trap paint which almost nailed Tani and Junior, says that Cooper is Brikz, a Banksy- and David Choe-like "street artist" known for graffiti painting as well as art which is displayed on publicly visible surfaces like buildings. When Hirsch overdoes his "anal-ysis" of the art works, saying that they "speak to our mystery artist's famously obsessive need for secrecy," Tani tells him to cut the crap: "This is a murder investigation, not an art seminar."

Back at Five-Zero headquarters, Hirsch, who suddenly knows how to use the Supercomputer, says that numerous works by Brikz have started appearing in Honolulu, but as soon as they appeared, they were defaced, which is "basically a death threat." Hirsch later creates a Brikz-style graffiti on a wall in some part of town, and then publicizes it on Instagram through his artguygerard account, after which he and Tani do surveillance. When a couple of punks show up and spray-paint over this image, they are busted, and spill the beans that Brikz' agent, Sterling Jacobs, who Junior earlier was supposed to speak to in New York, was the one who hired them.

Grover, who has hung around the antique shirt shop, does an "appraisal" for a guy who shows up there with the shirt from Mr. Shirtless. Confronted by him and Adam, who has also stayed at the store, this character says that the "dude" he stole the shirt from was already dead when he took it. Grover tells him "You have the right to start running your mouth." The shift thief says that he was at a pai gow poker game where the "dude," named Earl, was also present and on a hot streak, winning over $20,000. When the guy stole the dead Earl's shirt, the $20,000 was missing.

Back in the Five-Zero offices, Junior, Tani, McGarrett and Hirsch speculate that the reason Jacobs wanted Brikz' art to be defaced was to increase its value because, as Noelani mentioned earlier in the show, Brikz' autopsy revealed he was suffering from advanced bladder cancer, probably because of toluene in the spray paint he was using, and didn't have long to live. But when Five-Zero goes to Jacobs' rented house in Makaha, he is very dead, having been tortured in a gross and gruesome manner. He has been dead for 24-36 hours, which exempts him from being his client's killer.

At headquarters, Junior does enhancement on a photo of the woman thought to be Brikz' female associate. She is Teresa Estrada (Patricia Velasquez), born September 22, 1974 and wanted by Interpol for terrorism. Jerry, who is working hard for the money, has managed to lift a fingerprint from the keyboard of a computer recovered from Brikz' warehouse studio and has gotten into it using this fingerprint. This computer contains some video which reveals Teresa is not a "terrorist" but a dissident street artist from Nicaragua who protests government corruption, using the name of "Fenix" (Phoenix?). She describes how her son was kidnapped and murdered. Jerry figures that Brikz was making a documentary to set the record straight on Teresa's story.

Teresa made some powerful enemies, including Arturo Granera (Marlon Martell), a top official in Nicaragua's Directorate of Intelligence Affairs who has had his eyes on the presidency of the country. McGarrett says that the two men who were after Brikz were also after Teresa, to capture her and take her back to Nicaragua for a show trial focusing on how she had embarrassed the government.

With information obtained from the guy who wanted to sell the shirt, Grover and Adam raid the illegal poker game and talk to boss of the place, who identifies the big winner, the shirtless guy, as Earl Whitaker, someone who cheated on his taxes and cheated on his ex-wife and girl friend.

McGarrett has been busy getting in touch with someone from the CIA in Managua, an old friend of Joe White's, who intercepts a video transmission of Teresa which is being sent back to Granera right now and forwards it to Five-Zero headquarters. The house where Teresa is being held prisoner and videoed has a painting in the background which Hirsch manages to identify (augh), and the creator of this painting is quickly identified as being local artist Mahealani Chang (double augh, though possibly a real person). The address of the patron of the arts who purchased this painting is figured out by Jerry (triple augh), and McGarrett and Tani rush to this house and rescue Teresa after shooting her captors dead. McGarrett sticks his head into the video feed, saying "Case dismissed."

After applying some persuasion to the boss of the poker game, Adam and Grover go to the house of Whitaker's ex-wife Victoria (Nicole Balick) to speak to her boyfriend who is suspected of being the one who murdered her ex-husband. He is busted after Adam catches him trying to leave by a window.

The show is almost over with Hirsch and Tani having a meal at Kamekona's. Tani gives some information to Hirsch about contacting the lawyer for Brikz' estate about a foundation for dissident artists that Brikz left a large amount of money to set up in his will. She is recommending that Hirsch be the one to administer this foundation. Hirsch, in the absence of Kono, tries to put the mash on Tani, but she tells him, "Please don't ruin this beautiful moment."

While the show was well-directed, produced and acted (and there was NO DANNO - yay!), the crime of the week raised typical Five-Zero levels of script convolution to new heights, well beyond the usual "you need a scorecard to keep track of what's going on."

Some particular things that bothered me, other than the annoying Mr. Hirsch:

  • Cooper's "rig" being used for his window washing was "cut," but just one rope (with a core looking like it was made of plastic fiber) which was cut is shown. It was connected to the inside of a wall around the roof of the building by a large threaded eye hook. It does not look like the "rig" consisted of a typical suspended platform or cradle used by window washers.
  • The 3D crime scene technology Jerry employs does exist, but using it to analyze footprints which are displayed with software on a computer in a fluorescent-like fashion, seems very far-fetched. (I await to be corrected on this.) It seems very convenient that "silt impressions" of the footprints have all been preserved in the roof's white rubber membrane which the drone software is able to break down as to who is who.
  • When Grover finds the button missing from Whitaker's shirt, he knows immediately that the shirt has value because the button is made of bamboo. Since when is Grover an expert in this?
  • The way Jerry isolates the part of town where Brikz' place connected to the keys from his pocket is located is far-fetched. So is the way he takes a fingerprint from the computer and uses it to break into it via its fingerprint reader, though there are numerous web pages with geeky methods as how this could be done.
  • Grover and Adam stay at the antique shirt store waiting for the guy who stole the one from Whitaker to show up, which, of course, he does. What if the guy decided to show up in a day or two? Are Grover and Adam going to stay there? Don't they have other Five-Zero things to attend to?
  • The whole business about how McGarrett gets information with "I want it yesterday" speed via a friend of Joe White in the CIA in Nicaragua relating to Teresa had me yelling "Please, Please!" at the screen, as well as how this friend was able to intercept the live video signal. (Nicaraguans are now a new variety of "bad guys" on the show, I guess.)
  • Considering Brikz' obsession with secrecy, you have to wonder why he would smuggle Teresa out of her home country and bring her with him to Hawaii via Costa Rica. Wouldn't it have been better to make sure she is as far away from him as possible?

The whole business of Whitaker's shirt and his murder was confusing, not to mention kind of insignificant, and only later did I realize this was the secondary story with nothing to do to the crime of the week, duh! The whole business about how the guy running the poker game where Whitaker was making a killing was in cahoots with Whitaker's ex-wife made no sense. What was in it for the poker guy, who sent her a text after Whitaker left the game? (Maybe as a reward, he was going to get to "poker," LOL.) The guy who stole the shirt was the episode's red herring, a tiresome trope! The ex-wife got her boyfriend to knock off Whitaker (I guess), even though this was never specifically spelled out in the show.

What was really funny was the way Adam pulled the escaping boyfriend back into the house from an open window literally by the seat of his pants, especially considering the boyfriend was a big beefy tattooed guy who probably could have picked Adam up and thrown him out the window, since Adam didn't even have his gun drawn!

And then there was the soap-opera beginning and ending to the show with Junior and his father repairing the porch to the father's house. After the dad found a bracelet under the steps belonging to Junior's sister Maya (Auriya Villeza) who died some time before from a still-unspecified cause, there was major emoting, but unlike Junior's dilemma in the bank robbery show which was connected to Junior's ability to do his job properly, this episode's situation had nothing to do with Junior's job, other than giving Tani an opportunity to comment on Junior's inability to express his feelings, like his father.

MORE TRIVIA:

  • (This section contains serious sarcasm, just so there is no misunderstanding.) At the beginning of the show, Junior's father is seen singing along to a tape cassette of a song which has these lyrics: Have you thought of Honolulu/Where your boredom would be banned.... If you do a Google search, you will find a couple of references to this; they are from the 1937 musical The Cradle Will Rock by Marc Blitzstein. If you then look this up on Wikipedia, you will see that this song is called "Honolulu" and this show is a "play in music" which is "a Brechtian allegory of corruption and corporate greed and includes a panoply of societal figures"! I seriously doubt if this left-wing, pro-union show would have been produced in high school in Honolulu maybe 25 or 30 years ago. Junior's father was in this play, but he only took part in it so he could meet Junior's mother. Blitzstein was a Commie (and gay to boot), so no doubt this is a subtle attempt by the pinko Five-Zero writers in Hollywood of today to again assert their typical agenda, just like their other recent episode which dealt with a right-wing crackpot detonating a bomb in Honolulu and LGBTQ[etc] issues in the same show. The previous episode produced an extremely negative reaction on IMDB with a score around 6.6 out of 10, as opposed to the usual 8 plus because, according to reviews there, it contained "anti-Christian bias," "shows preaching [the writers'] left wing agenda," was "straight out of the WaPo, NYT, or Mother Jones editorial boards," and was "by far the worst episode [ever]", etc., etc.
  • After Hirsch posts the picture of his Brikz graffiti on Instagram, he is looking at his phone as he and Tani wait for people to show up and deface it (seemingly only minutes after he spray-painted it). Hirsch has 2,387 likes according to his posting on the phone's screen. He says he has "almost 2,500 likes," and Tani says, "You fooled over 2,400 people so far," both not completely accurate.
  • The driver's license for Cooper (Brikz) shows his Florida address to be 7715 Sanderson Lane, Miami 33242. His birth date is 05/26/74.
  • At Brikz' warehouse, a Homer's All-Purpose Bucket from Home Depot is seen in the background.
  • Junior's father has what looks like a cut on the right side of his face in this and in episode 13, the previous one in which he appeared. But this cut was also present in this show in the flashback between the father and Junior's late sister Maya.


20. (S09E20) Ke ala o ka pū (Way of the Gun) ★★
Original air date: 4/5/19

This episode harkened back to Classic Five-O in that it dealt with the journey of a gun through multiple owners and involvement with multiple crimes. There were two episodes in the original series along these lines:

  • Diary of a Gun (S07E23, 3/18/1975) - A teenage punk uses a Saturday Night Special to kill some guy who is out with his family, then dumps the gun in a mailbox where it is found by a postal worker who takes it and murders his unfaithful wife and her boyfriend. After doing this, he throws the gun on the street, where it is found by a little boy who accidentally shoots himself. The janitor from the building where this kid lives finds the gun and sells it to a thug who uses it in robbery spree, after which he is nabbed by Five-O. In an IMDb poll, this was rated one of the very worst shows of the old series (I do not agree with this).
  • Use A Gun, Go To Hell (S12E07, 11/29/1979) - A U.S. Senator is assassinated with the gun from the collection of his neighbor Roger Bancroft; the two men have extreme political differences. The gun ends up in the possession of a blonde surfer, whose friend, a moronic punk, uses it to shoot a bakery owner during a robbery. The gun is later thrown on to a beach where a little boy picks it up, and playing with it, wounds his sister, though not fatally. The surfer later recovers the gun from the beach and tries to extort money from Bancroft when he finds out the circumstances behind the Senator's murder. It turns out that Bancroft's son was the one who killed the Senator because he wanted to please his father. This show is notable for an incredible anti-gun rant by Jack Lord at its finale.

The current show was somewhat different, because while it was the story of a gun over a period of almost 50 years, it touched on the lives of some members of the current Five-Zero team as well as Duke. It was also a flashback to the old series, because near-incredible coincidences in this episode reminded me of the trope in Classic Five-O that "Honolulu is really not such a big town."

The show begins with a young girl named Bonnie Pearsen (Makenna James) buying a gun -- a .38 Long Colt -- for $500 from a grubby-looking junkie named Ioane (Joseph Slaughter). Another doper with him named Hilo (John Clarence Stewart) knows (or maybe he is guessing) that Bonnie is 15 years old, therefore they should not do "business" with her. But Ioane takes her cash anyway.

Turns out that Hilo is a friend of Junior's. They used to be pals at the shelter where Junior lived before he joined Five-Zero. Hilo visits Junior at headquarters, where he tells them he did "something really stupid" in letting the girl buy the gun. He provides them with a description of her. Ioane set up the deal via a computer at a public library, so Adam and Jerry are delegated by McGarrett to go there to "pull all the files from the computers."

The rest of the team soon goes to a beach where a guy named Michael Carrigan is found dead, shot with a .38, likely the one under investigation because, as Grover says, there are "not too many .38s on the street these days." The slug from the gun is very badly mangled, however, and despite some blood and skin tissue with female DNA under Carrigan's fingernails, there is no immediate connection to Bonnie.

We suddenly leap back in time to 2010 when Danno has just arrived in Hawaii. Wearing a baseball cap which covers the hairdo of 2019 Danno, he is in a convenience store when the place is robbed by a guy who has the present-day .38. He shoots the owner of the store (Al Waterson) dead.

This is when the show starts to get kind of dumb. Danno grabs a shotgun that the store owner pulled from under the counter to unsuccessfully defend himself with and pursues the robber. Despite the .38 only having six rounds, the robber fires it at least 14 times in the store and during the altercation with Danno on the street that follows. And how does Danno know which way this guy went, considering when the robber left the place, Danno was on the floor? Danno comes barreling out of the store after getting a woman customer (Brooke Lynne Alcuran) to put pressure on the owner's chest which is bleeding badly. Before he left, Danno told her that the ambulance will be arriving soon, but he never called the ambulance. As well, when Danno calls HPD Dispatch later to report that he lost the robber, he says "Failed pursuit of the gunman from the robbery on Colburn," as if they would already know what happened there. But like the ambulance, Danno didn't previously call the robbery in either. Danno fires the shotgun at least 5 times, though it is possible it contains multiple shells.

Jerry and Adam return to headquarters with lots of information from the library about the person who made the deal with Ioane. These facts, combined with a police artist sketch made with the help of Hilo, strongly suggest that it is Bonnie, who, with rapid speed, is interviewed at Wilkinson High School, where she used computers from their lab to negotiate the purchase of the gun from "a wannabe Armslist." At the school with Bonnie is her father Owen (Jason Brooks), who quickly terminates Five-Zero's interrogation, saying it is baloney.

The resourceful Five-Zero team do more digging, scouring Bonnie's e-mail and social media accounts, and find out that her mother Kiana (Mia Adams), who is going through an acrimonious divorce from her father, was dating the late Mr. Carrigan and Bonnie is seen in a Facebook picture with the two of them.

While Five-Zero is on their way to get Bonnie and her father for further questioning, we have another flashback, this time featuring Tani in 2015. She shows up at a party where hip-hop music blares in the background. She is meeting her live-in boyfriend Damien Bautista (Jon Chaffin). Tani's brother Koa is playing around there with a gun that Damien's friend Maleko Pane (Ty Quiamboa) has, which is the same .38 that has caused trouble in the show already. With the sisterly protectiveness that we have seen in shows previously, Tani drags her brother away from the party. The next day Damien gets a visit from the cops after Maleko is suspected of killing a gang member who has been "beefing" with Damien's "crew."

Back in the present, Bonnie at headquarters denies that she had anything to do with Carrigan's demise. She admits she bought the gun and brought it home, intending to use it against Carrigan if he messed around with her mother, having recently beaten her very badly, including unconscious. Despite the fact Bonnie hid the gun in the "stash spot" in her room, Carrigan found it there. Tani says, "Parents always know where their kids' stash spot is. My dad knew where mine was." This is a pretty lame way to make the plot go in a certain direction, much like the Five-Zero team's reaction to Bonnie's explanation which seems to totally ignore the fact that she did something wrong.

When Bonnie's father shows up at HQ, he is arrested for Carrigan's murder. This is based on an exchange of cel phone calls with his estranged wife on the morning Carrigan was found dead, which seemed odd because the two parents hadn't talked to each other in over a year and the father didn't even know his wife had a boyfriend. Five-Zero puts words in the father's mouth as he is grilled in the blue-lit room, but, of course, they are all wrong. The father tells them he got a call from Kiana about the abuse she was suffering, and tracked Carrigan down to the beach where the two of them fought and the gun, which Carrigan had with him, went off accidentally. This sort of closes the case with Bonnie and her father, though, as previously mentioned, some of the things they did were "bad." Her mother, who shows signs of being horribly beaten, is located by Tani and Adam and taken away to a place where she can get help.

OK, at this point, we are only 26 minutes into the show, so obviously something else is going to happen!

First, Jerry amazes everyone by bringing up numerous cases relating to the gun on the Supercomputer; there are 14 incidents in total, including the ones with Danno and Tani. This is based on HPD Ballistics exceeding themselves in matching the mashed-up slug which killed Carrigan to them. But there is yet another case dating back to 1983 involving ... McGarrett's father.

We jump to another flashback, which actually started the show, involving Steve McG's father John McGarrett (Ryan Bittle) and Scott Hester (Colin Cunningham). Hester had used the gun to kill his business partner. After this, he stashed the gun away until he got out of prison, where he was sent for 10 years for manslaughter after court testimony from McGarrett Senior convinced a jury that this was more than self-defense (see paperwork connected with this case by clicking here).

Now out of jail, Hester makes a 9-1-1 call on a road in the middle of nowhere in the Makua Kea‘au Forest and two HPD cops show up. Hester kills one of these cops immediately, and he gets the second of them to call John McGarrett at home (Hester knows this number) and tell him to come to the forest. When McGarrett arrives, the two of them have words, and the other cop and John are both shot. The latter is not seriously injured, because he is wearing a bulletproof vest.

In the continuation of this flashback at around 33 minutes into the show, there is a big surprise, because the seriously wounded HPD cop is identified as none other than Duke Lukela (played as a young man by Eric Elizaga). However, if you have been using the subtitles for the show, there was a huge spoiler where Duke was identified as LUKELA in the subtitles as the one making the call to the current McGarrett's old man at around 5:30 after the main titles at the beginning of the show, duh!

Following this, current-day McGarrett and Duke get together for some solemn conversation about what happened in 1983 and subsequently. Duke says, "It's been 36 years since I talked about that night. Your father and I certainly never discussed it. He saved my life. Despite that, it still felt like a defeat." McGarrett replies, "That night, that was the first time I really understood what my old man did every day. What he risked. I understood, at that point that there was something more important than himself." Normally this would qualify as "serious acting," but it is overshadowed by what follows, which is totally stupid.

But before we get to that … Tani and Danno go to Halawa and talk to Maleko, who, unknown to him, Tani ratted out to the cops after the incident with her brother. They want to figure out what happened with the gun between 2010 (the incident with Danno) and 2015 (her brother using the gun at the party for target practice). According to Maleko's rap sheet, Tani was the "Witness to crime," but he was busted for possession of meth and pot, not the gun. Tani was really not a witness to anything. Back in 2015, HPD detective Belden (Kimberly Estrada) told Tani they didn't find the gun at Maleko's place but he was arrested for murder based on "other evidence." Belden also told Tani to make some serious changes to her lifestyle, which she did, aside from dumping Damien.

Maleko tells Tani and Danno, not seen by us, that he bought the gun from the guy who robbed the convenience store. How they manage to figure out where this guy currently is located is not shown, but the two of them go to a church where he is doing volunteer work. He tells them, "I did unforgiveable things. But that night changed me. You know, two months later I found God. I started sweeping the floors at this place. Worked my way up to head usher." Danno recognizes this guy from a star tattoo on his wrist which Danno saw back in 2010, so he is finally busted.

But there are just a few problems here, because despite the fact that Danno said he had no luck finding this robber ("I worked the case for a long time, came up with nothing"), when Jerry is showing the cases connected with the gun on the Supercomputer, there is a rap sheet for a guy named Archie Pukagawa, presumably the robber, who was apprehended and charged with first degree murder. Assuming he went to jail for this, why would he be released on parole to do community service at the church less than 10 years later? There is also no indication how the gun, which he sold to Maleko, who owned it in 2015, ended up with Ioane in 2019. Things get even more confusing, because if you track down the actor who played the robber at IMDb, his name is Christopher Amitrano and his character's name is Bo Akoni. WHAT?!?

Anyway (this review will really end soon), from the original owner of the gun (a woman "still alive and well on the North Shore" who bought it in 1971 and sold it to Hester in 1972 and kept the receipt), Five-Zero finds out that when he bought it, Hester was using an alias which is "not in the file," but has "popped up a few times since, most recently two years ago on a lease agreement in California." Note that we don't find out what happened to the gun between 1983 (McGarrett and Duke are shot by Hester) and 2010 (the incident with Danno).

Because Duke wants revenge on Hester for shooting him and killing his partner and McGarrett wants to tie up loose ends, the two of them go to Cambria, California where Hester now lives.

Once again we have this ridiculous interjurisdictional B.S. where Five-Zero goes somewhere other than Hawaii and uses their "immunity and means" where they have no business doing this. I don't know why the writer(s) just didn't have Hester living in some obscure place in Hawaii instead of far away on the mainland. It's not like the Governor of California is going to issue McGarrett and Duke a one-day "immunity and means" pass.

Overall, this was an episode with an interesting premise and showed promise at its beginning, but one which was seriously sabotaged by goofs and plot holes. At least one positive aspect was the fact that Danno was relatively restrained throughout.

MORE TRIVIA:

  • Where Bonnie got the $500 to buy the gun is a good question. There is sort of a suggestion that it might be her "allowance money."
  • Bonnie used the e-mail address of gunlover89369@wordlitter.com when arranging the purchase of the gun with Ioane. She created this account on the gun sales site on April 1, 2019. This is a real domain used for a WWW site "where you can find real people's thoughts, stories, and ideas" where the people running the place might not appreciate being connected with the show.
  • The IP address of the school where Bonnie was using the computer is 289.416.867.108. This is totally bogus, because numbers in this kind of IP address cannot be higher than 255. The address of the school, which is located in Wahiawa, is 1005 Schneider Avenue, Honolulu 96815.
  • At Halawa, Tani tells Maleko that "this very gun [the .38] was used in a homicide this morning." First, it is amazing that so much police work could have been done in so few hours, and secondly, it has not been completely established that Bonnie's father shot Carrigan: "We fought over it [the gun] for a bit, and it accidentally went off." But this talk of Tani's is likely just standard cop (especially Five-Zero) procedure...
  • In the scenes in 1983 where Hester is driving, he is listening to One Things Leads to Another by The Fixx. At the end, as Duke struggles as to whether he is going to shoot Hester or not, the music is The Weight by The Band.
  • When Hester phones McGarrett's father at home, the current day McGarrett (6 years old, played by Revel Kolohe Sloboda) is watching Inspector Gadget on TV.
  • The convenience store clerk is reading a paperback book called Murder in the Lemon Grove. This is a bogus book, because a search at bookfinder.com and Amazon.com reveals no such title, even though the design of the cover seems to be based on publications from some real company that I have seen. Behind the clerk on a Post-It note is an emergency contact number for "Sue": 555-1801 and there is a 2013 calendar hanging on the wall.
  • When Duke calls McGarrett's father, he pushes 10 buttons on the touch-tone pay phone, the last of which that we see are 50188, suggesting it might have been 555-0188. But were the first three numbers the 808 area code? Did you have to dial the code considering there was (and still is) only one area code in Hawaii?


21. (S09E21) He kama na ka pueo (Offspring of an Owl) ★★★
Original air date: 4/12/19

This show was OK in that it had some good laughs, which fortunately detracted from the fact that it hearkened back to S05E17, "Stakeout," which was one of the worst Five-Zero episodes ever, aside from the presence of a very attractive woman.

Agnes Miller, the cat-owning woman in the earlier show, having passed away, left various things in her will, other than $842,671 to the Humane Society of Oahu. At a meeting in her lawyer's office, McGarrett and Danno find out this includes a box of porcelain cat figures bequeathed to them and her Turkish Angora cat Mr. Pickles to her geeky neighbor Ricky Schiff (Charlie Saxton, appearing again). Unfortunately, because Ricky is on parole and living in a halfway house, he cannot look after Mr. P, with the result that the pussy is up for grabs, because McGarrett has a dog, for a start.

The other members of the team all have excuses as to why they don't want the beast. Adam has "allergies," Junior says "me and Eddie [McGarrett's dog] are in a monogamous relationship," Jerry is worried about "the risk of cat scratch fever and the whole toxoplasma gondii thing, a fatal brain parasite contracted from cat poop." Tani doesn't want Mr. Pickles because she is worried about turning into a cat lady, and Danno, who claims to dislike cats (though both McGarrett and Ricky say that Danno has cat-like qualities) uses anything to do with cats to whine and complain incessantly throughout the show, though not without some humor. (I wonder why they didn't offer the cat to Noelani?)

The crime of the week dealt with unofficial private investigator Dale Samson (Victor Quintero), formerly of HPD where he was kicked out after tampering with evidence and taking bribes, being knocked out and then burned alive in a crematorium.

This is hardly a "purr-fect" crime, however, since what's left of Samson's Pacemaker is tracked down by Jerry and IDd by its serial number and information in a cloud connected with Samson's laptop computer reveals a lot about him.

It turns out that Samson is on the trail of Jennifer Nettles, a girl kidnapped in Texas over 20 years before, when she was 18 months old. Her father, Daniel (David Shatraw), has never given up searching for his daughter.

There is a potential suspect quickly identified as Michael Manoa (Thomas Blake Jr). He hired Samson to check on his wife who was fooling around with some other guy, but Samson just started jerking Manoa around financially, so Manoa tossed Samson's house and stole some things around the same time as Samson was being fried.

Danno and McGarrett have a good laugh at Manoa's expense in the blue-lit room when he tells them about his unfaithful wife, considering that Manoa's alibi (later verified as true) is that he spent the evening when he was suspected of killing Samson at his girlfriend's place. Cross off one red herring, though Manoa did kidnap his wife's boyfriend (Bobby Cabino) off the street, tied him up and beat him very severely.

McGarrett has a brainstorm which changes the focus of the case from looking for the kidnapper of Nettles' daughter, presumably living somewhere in Hawaii, to the daughter herself. When the others are skeptical, McGarrett says, "I got nothing else, but we can't rule it out." Jerry brings up a computer-aged picture of the kid, and compares it to Hawaii drivers' licenses. This reveals a location where the daughter likely lives and maybe her kidnapper too.

The guy who killed Samson, Wade Henderson (David Lee Smith), sends an e-mail to Nettles pretending to be the now-dead PI, saying "I've made a breakthrough in your case." Nettles arrives in Hawaii and is met at the airport by Henderson, real name Jesse Stoltz, also from Texas, a man with a criminal past. Henderson takes Nettles to his out-of-the-way house, supposedly to meet Samson, where Nettles quickly figures out he is being conned. Nettles puts up a good fight, but is tied up.

When HPD cops, alerted to this address because that's where Nettles' daughter, now under the name of Emily Henderson (Rachel Chambers), lives with her "father" (once again, Jerry has made the connections), there is a confrontation which ends with Henderson committing suicide. It turns out that Henderson lost his wife and daughter in a car accident years ago, that's why he kidnapped the former Jennifer.

There is a tear-jerking moment at the end of the show when Jennifer is reunited with her real father. Even I was sad!

Of course, there were some parts of the show that I could have done without:

There is a scene between Grover and Adam at Kamekona's shrimp shack, where Adam gives Grover a hard time because he is eating a shrimp burrito. Adam saw a documentary about shrimps which said they are "the vacuum cleaners of the ocean, sucking up all that nasty stuff from the bottom." He goes on to say that "during cleaning, they're disemboweled and essentially left to soak in their own excrement." I imagine the producers of the show will be hearing soon from organizations like the American Shrimp Producers Association.

The tone quickly switches when Adam, in a sad mood, starts to say things like how he was at the end of his rope because of his troubles since Kono left and worse things happened, though he says "I'm getting through it." Grover assures Adam that he will always be there for him.

There were other unnecessary "ohana" scenes between that will-they/won't-they couple Junior and Tani with Tani wondering if Junior could be her "date" to take her to this upcoming wedding of a friend. When they started to get talking nudge-nudge nonsense like "Were you offended when I asked you to be my date for the wedding?" and getting into minutiae about whether or not it was OK if Junior danced with her at this gathering, I started yelling at the TV, saying things like "Why is this such a big deal?"

Over and above that, there were a few other things:

  • When Henderson, pretending to be Samson, sends Nettles the e-mail from Samson's computer saying that he is close to solving the case about the missing daughter (Jerry just happens to find a message in the computer's "deleted" e-mail folder) is Henderson some computer whiz who probably would have to crack the password to get into the computer in the first place, and then figure out where everything was in terms of e-mails to and from Nettles?
  • Henderson meets Nettles at the airport, and Five-Zero know that Nettles has arrived. So why don't they pull up camera footage from the airport (they have done this in previous shows) to see Nettles in the terminal and whoever was meeting him, who they could possibly run through facial recognition?
  • After Henderson punches out Nettles and ties him up (or even before this, when Nettles is knocked out on the ground outside the house), why doesn't Henderson just shoot him? After all, this is a guy who burned someone alive in a crematorium.
  • Speaking of the crematorium, how did Henderson get into the place? There are no cameras there because, as Adam says, there is no need for this "because who worries about a crematorium being robbed." But, on the other hand, why doesn't Five-Zero run a check on employees who work for the place or someone else who had a connection with it? Did Henderson have such a connection?
  • Considering Jennifer was 18 months old when she was kidnapped, it seems very far-fetched that the FBI could have created an image of the kid when she was close in age to the woman in the show in her 20s, though probably not impossible.
  • It also seems far-fetched that Henderson, who has been in Hawaii for 16 years, could have kidnapped an 18-month-old kid and cared for her for even longer than that. Looking after a young kid is kind of labor-intensive, and there is no mention of Henderson having a wife at any time during the last 20+ years. Minus a wife, there are also other issues for a single father of a very young child (especially a girl) having to do with appearances when he would take the kid to a doctor or hospital or to get her vaccinations and so forth.

MORE TRIVIA:

  • The address of Agnes, the cat lady from the previous episode, was 2120 Nanamaoa Street, Apartment 5B. Her lawyer Basil Inouye works for the legal firm of Inouye, Bello, Rocha and Associates.
  • Ricky refers to Danno as "Robin" as in "Batman and …"
  • Dale Samson's address was 4476 Kikanaio Lane, Honolulu 96816. His driver's license number was HT4265197G DL, he was born 01/18/73, and he was 5'11".
  • As Manoa is being grilled by McGarrett and Danno in the blue-lit room, he tells them, "Whoa, slow your roll, bro!"
  • When Ricky is in H50 headquarters trying to find a home for Mr. Pickles by placing social media ads, Danno interrupts one of his phone calls, telling the prospective cat owner to come to the "Iolani Palace" to pick it up. Duh, not right, dude!
  • Nettles' Texas drivers' license number is 887455BL, he was born 01/16/1964 and is 5'11".
  • In addition to "Emily Henderson" (Jennifer), other women who Jerry pulls up of a similar age who might be driving a car in Hawaii (a totally favorable coincidence as far as the plot is concerned) are Janet Levanfoth, Kelly Fensterglas and Tara Kettledun. Emily's address where she lives with her "father" is 1018 Umealo, Honolulu 96821.
  • When he was living in Texas under his real name of Jesse Stoltz, Henderson's address was 5459 Haven Rd., Laredo. He was born 4/12/1963, his Social Security number was 941-61-1414, he was 6'1" and weighed 200 pounds.
  • McGarrett says the previous episode, "Stakeout," which also starred Mr. Pickles, was "five years ago," but it was actually about four (February 29, 2015).


22. (S09E22) O ke kumu, o ka māna, ho‘opuka ‘ia (The Teacher, the Pupil – Let it come forth) ★★
Original air date: 4/26/19

Much as I hate to admit it, Season nine of Five-Zero has been a step up from most of the previous ones, with my average rating of its first 21 episodes being the highest compared to the show's complete first two seasons. Classic Five-O's ninth season, containing my favorite episode of that series and the last logical episode starring Wo Fat, Nine Dragons, was also not bad before the final three seasons' (10 to 12) slide into mediocrity. But things may be changing.

This episode of the reboot had vague similarities to the season three opener of the original show. In that episode, a CIA-like operative returning to Hawaii with lots of intel in his head about things in China barely survives an assassination attempt by one of Wo Fat's men. The agent's condition is a matter of life and death, and Wo kidnaps the daughter of Honolulu's top neurosurgeon to force the doctor to let the agent die while on the operating table.

In the current show, Noelani is kidnapped by some nasty guys whose boss, Aleki (Alexander Wraith) sounds vaguely Eastern European or Russian. Aleki's father is suffering from serious heart problems, and Noelani has to bring along some aortic valves which she has obtained from cadavers in the morgue to be used in an operating room set up in a warehouse-like building, containing everything needed to perform the operation to restore the old man to the peak of health including instruments and a vital signs monitor.

After she arrives blindfolded at this place, Noelani is shocked to find her mentor, Dr. Chu (Page Leong), who will be performing the surgery with Noelani as her assistant.

The other major component to S09E22 concerned more adventures in the Wonderful World of the Hawaiian yakuza, something in which Adam is Five-Zero's resident expert. Tamiko Masuda (Brittany Ishibashi), a woman from Adam's past (she is listed in the press release as part of the "recurring cast," though she has never been seen on the show before) shows up at headquarters in a wedding dress, tearful because her husband-to-be failed to appear at their marriage ceremony earlier that day. Turns out that her fiancé, Kevin Okada, is actually an undercover FBI agent who was infiltrating the organization of her father Hajime (Sonny Saito), who is the big yakuza boss in Hawaii. We have seen him once before in episode 9 of this season, where he was the spokesman for the local yakuza in a scene where their "banker" Mr. Kimura was relieved of his duties after he tried to frame Adam which drew "unwelcome attention" to all of them.

Adam goes to see Tamiko's old man, who is not particularly "old." In fact, he looks about the same age as Adam! (Saito's IMDb page says nothing about his birth date.) He denies knocking off Okada, despite the fact that, like his daughter, he knew about Okada's "real job." The father says that he was concerned about the happiness of his daughter, who was married before (which didn't work out) and summoned Okada to tell him to stop working for the FBI and disappear with his daughter and a wedding present of five million dollars. Awww, how nice … a yakuza with a heart!

Okada is soon found dead, garrotted in his car with a rat in his mouth, not a typical yakuza trademark like a chopped-off little finger as far as I am aware. While Adam, after his meeting with the father, speculates that Masuda has nothing to do with the disappearance of his future son-in-law, Okada's FBI case file is analyzed, revealing he was connected a few years ago to a Maui meth dealer named Ron Craft, who is the most likely suspect in Okada's killing, for reasons which are too stupid to discuss. (The following are not the reasons, by the way.) Okada's undercover work had sent Craft to jail years before, but while Craft was in jail, Okada was sending Craft's wife $200 a month, though there is no suggestion that there was anything romantic between the two of them. (Tani describes Okada as "the FBI agent with a heart of gold.") McGarrett figures there is some connection between Okada's death and Masuda, or someone working for Masuda, in the first of several "WHAT?!?!" moments in the show.

While this is going on, no one has noticed that Noelani has not shown up for work yet. In fact, she was at her office getting the aortic valves for the operation at 4:00 in the morning, which is odd, because she has never been established as one who might have unusual working hours like her quirky predecessor, Max. The valves which she brings along with her are determined by Dr. Chu to not be up to scratch, so Aleki, whose name should probably be Alexis, kills one of his associates right in front of the two doctors so they can get a fresh one. The operation proceeds, but Noelani is resourceful and attacks one of the guards with a scalpel and a fire extinguisher when he is accompanying her to go to the bathroom.

Grabbing this guy's gun, Noelani forces Aleki to lie down and then she and Dr. Chu attempt to escape from the building, but are frustrated because the entire place has been locked down from the inside. Even using a fire axe, Noelani cannot make it through some chains which are on the door to one of the exits. But then there is another "WHAT?!?" twist as Dr. Chu pulls a gun on Noelani, revealing that she is a doctor-for-hire among criminal types since she lost her medical license because of a malpractice suit.

So it's back to the operating room for the two of them, except Aleki, who is kind of dumb, shoots Dr. Chu after she threatens his father when everything is finished because Noelani is obviously going to get knocked off very soon. There are suddenly complications with the father's condition, leaving Noelani to continue the operation as Chu, bleeding to death on the floor, whispers instructions to her on what to do.

Meanwhile, back at Five-Zero headquarters, the Supercomputer shows Noelani on closed circuit TV in the morgue getting the valves in the early morning, and further questions are raised by her signing in to work using Dr. Chu's name. Jerry quickly figures out Chu's (cel?) phone number and it is tracked down to the warehouse where Noelani manages to complete the operation. Suddenly, McGarrett and Junior show up at this place and kill all the bad guys, and once again I am screaming "WHAT?!?!" at the TV, because how could the two boys from Five-Zero get into this place if Noelani and Chu could not get out? DUH!!

After Okada's body was discovered earlier, Adam went to visit Tamiko. Because of her yakuza connections and Adam's (remember -- his late father was a big shot in the local underworld) the two of them were once seen by their respective parents as a potential couple. Tamiko is initially tearful when told about her fiancé's death, but she suddenly seems incongruously cheerful when she and Adam start to reminisce about "the old days."

Near the end of the show, Adam goes to confront her father about his possible connection to Okada's death, though the gun that killed Okada cannot be traced to him. Adam tells Masuda, "We will track down your source inside the FBI." (Someone from the FBI is suspected of giving Masuda information, another plot bread crumb which makes little sense – is this connected with the father's desire to make his daughter "happy"?) Adam continues, "And when they [the FBI people] start naming names in an effort to save themselves, we'll be back here to arrest you." Masuda replies, "I have no doubt you'll be back. But not to arrest me. You see, I know you, Mr. Noshimuri. Where you come from. What you've done. You can fool others by carrying that badge, but you can only fool yourself for so long. One day you will accept who you are, and who you'll always be." Huge drawing of breath here! Is this setting Adam up for his demise on the show? Or yet another mindless yakuza-related tangent?

McGarrett, meanwhile, consoles Noelani at the M.E.'s office after Chu does not survive being shot. Chu was the person who wrote the letter of recommendation that got Noelani into the forensic pathology fellowship. Noelani tells McGarrett, "Regardless of whatever mistakes she made, she was the one person that supported me when I needed it the most." Noelani is very sad. The final scene between the two of them, this episode's brief foray into "serious acting," was quite touching. But even it had a minor "WHAT?!?!" moment when McGarrett told her he was also sad about "losing someone incredibly important to me." I started thinking, "Hmmm, who can that be? McGarrett's father? Maybe CATHERINE???" No, it was JOE WHITE, augh!

Oh yeah, there was another section of the plot. Tani is using some Photoshop-like program to fix a family picture from Junior, who she addresses as "James," presumably his real name. Junior wants to give this picture to his father, who is finally grieving the death of Junior's sister Maya who was killed by a drunk driver. (This will be dealt with soon in one of the three episodes of the show still remaining.) Unlike the section with Noelani, which was better written and well-acted, this was fill of drivellous (no such word, I know) dialogue like "It's not at all weird to hear you crushing on my dad," and "I'm just wondering how you could possibly share DNA with this man." Terrible!

MORE TRIVIA:

  • Although Masuda is "one of the most powerful men on the Island," specifically identified by McGarrett as "head of the yakuza," there is a noticeable lack of security at his house such as we have seen with other criminal types on the show. In fact, as Adam and Tamiko are chit-chatting at the ocean end of the property, there are people in the background on what looks like a public beach!
  • Ron Craft's address on Maui was 1343 Kuikahi Drive, Kahului, HI 96732. He was busted for Class A Drug Trafficking on November 20, 2014 and got out of jail after doing four years of a 15-year sentence. He was released "a few months ago" after his conviction was vacated on appeal because of chain of evidence improprieties, according to Jerry. Craft's wife Abby (Teri Reeves) tells Junior and Tani that her husband got out of jail "last month."
  • In case you want to know what is kind of dumb about how Junior and Tani speculate that Craft was been involved with Okuda's killing: When Craft went to jail, his business shut down and Okuda, who was using the name of Aaron Shibita, took a job in another city. It doesn't specifically say this is on the mainland, by the way. Okuda sent $200 a month to Craft's wife Abby. He would "wire a money order to the post office [???]." This hardly seems enough to sustain her, unless she had other funds, despite what she says: "It may not seem like a lot, but it has made a huge difference." When her husband got out of jail, Abby told Craft about these payments, and he didn't seem upset. She tells Junior and Tani, "He actually seemed pleased about it." When the two of them finish talking to her, Tani says outside, "Craft gets out of jail, he hears that his old buddy Aaron skipped town around the time of his arrest. He puts together that Aaron was the undercover that built the case against him and normally, he wouldn't have a way of tracking him down..." Junior jumps in to the conversation: "But thanks to Aaron's generosity, you know, he gets this massive lead: all the payments he was making to Craft's wife." Tani continues: "And then, so he traces the money orders back to Oahu, he finds out that Aaron is undercover, building a case against the yakuza." And Junior concludes: "And then Craft kills him and makes it look like a yakuza hit." This is strictly the writers pulling stuff out of their asses. How did Craft figure out Okuda was with the FBI and also infiltrating Masuda's organization, just on the basis of the money orders, assuming Craft could even trace them back to where they were sent from? Surely they were not sent from Okuda's FBI office! By the way, during this conversation, both Junior and Tani pronounce "yakuza" incorrectly as "ya-KU-za." Puh-leeze!
  • The Japanese word found on a piece of paper on Okada's body is "hangyakusha," which is more of a literary expression for "traitor." There are actually a lot of references to this word translating as "rebel" on the Web. It would be more likely that the word "uragirimono," which is heard in everyday conversation, would be used for "traitor."
  • Adam is driving kind of a fancy car which my spies tell me is a Corvette Stingray, though the Corvette logo is not on the rear of it. Is this his personal car or a "company car"?
  • Danno was not present for this episode.
  • The teaser for this show was very short, just over a minute.


23. (S09E23) Ho‘okāhi no lā o ka malihini (A Stranger Only for a Day) ★★
Original air date: 5/3/19

This show contained a lot of soap opera, and some aspects of the crimes were not particularly well thought out.

McGarrett's sister Mary returned for this episode. We have not seen her since S04E09 (November 22, 2013) and S06E12 (January 15, 2016), both shows connected with her (and Steve's) Aunt Deb, who was played by Carol Burnett. Ostensibly, Mary has come back to see her brother, but later she confesses that she really wanted "to hang out with my ex-boyfriend from middle school that I reconnected with on the Internet," who subsequently "ghosted" her (stood her up) because he broke his leg!

Because she is allergic to cats, to the point where she would be fighting off anaphylactic shock from the presence of the temporarily-housed Mr. Pickles at her brother's place, Mary takes an Airbnb. But the next morning, Ben Miller (John Patrick Jordan) who lives next to this place and who seemed "sweet" when he told Mary about a Thai restaurant the night before, is seen talking to the owner of the property (David Cunningham), who, following this conversation, orders Mary out of the place by 6:00 p.m.

McGarrett figures that maybe Ben was annoyed about the first-time use for this property as an Airbnb, considering this kind of business is not well-regarded (read "illegal") in Honolulu, which is actually true. When McGarrett comes to Mary's, the two of them go to see Ben, and she persuades him, using the "single mom" sympathy card as well as dropping the fact that Steve is the boss of Five-Zero, to consider withdrawing his complaint. But there is no indication that Ben talks to the property owner, and, anyway, wouldn't it have more sense to talk to the owner rather than Ben?

After they leave Ben's place, they get a request printed in a childish manner affixed with an elastic band to a rock tossed at them, saying to meet "behind the banyan tree [in] one hour" and talk about Miller. In the next scene, they are seen waiting outside the War Memorial Natatorium, a location familiar to fans of Classic Five-O. While there are banyan trees near this location, I don't think they are particularly famous as a local landmark like the one at the Moana Surfrider Hotel, which is about a mile away from the Natatorium.

The author of the message turns out to be a young kid named Blake (Miles Emmons). He tells them that something fishy is going on at Ben's house, which he saw via his drone that Ben confiscated after it crashed in Ben's backyard. The kid shows them pictures that the drone took that are "obviously really sensitive and could get us all murdered," showing Ben "up all night doing super-secret stuff" like bringing boxes into the house and smoking outside. McGarrett's reaction of "WHAT?!?" is actually pretty funny.

Later, Mary, who found the kid's theory much more believable than Steve, lets her curiosity get the best of her and goes into Ben's house through the unlocked back door while Ben is away. McGarrett is horrified by this, and when he goes to the place, he finds his sister in the basement, thinking that she totally misjudged Ben, suspecting him of having a meth lab. Among the clues were a pair of rain boots, some cat litter to absorb spilled chemicals (which they saw during their earlier visit to Ben's and which was also visible in one of Blake's drone pictures) and smoking outside. But Mary cannot find anything to suggest something illegal is going on.

Mary has a major surge of self-doubt, saying she was "wrong about Ben, wrong about what I thought was going on in this house, wrong about my last three boyfriends, wrong about what I did to you." McGarrett, after giving her a confidence-building speech saying he is "proud" of her, has a brainstorm, noticing that there is a wall in the basement (a "CMU [concrete masonry unit] wall") which does not correspond to the wall upstairs. Opening a closet, McGarrett finds a door to a secret room behind this wall which leads to ... DUH! ... a meth lab! He tells his sister, "Mary, tell me again how you're a bad judge of character."

Despite the sudden presence of Ben and his wife Aubrey (Amy K. Sullivan) upstairs who grab some heavy artillery, Steve and Mary have enough time to don Breaking Bad-like hazmat uniforms hanging on the wall and Mary can cook up some concoction which she suddenly figured out from "the Internet" via her phone (and she knows exactly where all these ingredients are in the room) which will flood the room with noxious gas. After they enter the room, Ben and Aubrey are busted. Fortunately, the large tanks of anhydrous ammonia nearby were not ruptured, which would have turned the whole house into a fireball.

This secondary crime and the way it was dealt with was not that bad, except for the finale, but the hastily carried out and solved "crime of the week" was something else. I'll run through the details, most of which were arrived at by the McGarrett-less Five-Zero team speculating around the Supercomputer, and, of course, that's what really happened!

Carter Hill (Scott Nordquist), a mid-level marketing executive from Jersey City, is in town for a conference on digital analytics and consumer research statistics. He withdraws a lot of money from an ATM and uses this to buy some cocaine and ecstasy. He goes into a locals-only bar in Kailua and buys drinks for everyone, and then befriends a woman who works there named Kira Pang (Amber Lamarca). After the two of them shut the place down, Hill takes her to a motel where there is trouble of some kind (not specified), which results in a bloody mess. Thinking that Kira is dead, Hill, using a knife, commandeers a Coast Ridesharing car driven by Sam Pukahi (Andrew Tinpo Lee), who is just about to go off shift. Presumably with the help of Pukahi, he puts Kira's body in the trunk of the car which is then driven out into the middle of nowhere where Hill intends to dispose of her body. But Kira is still alive, and she has a gun in her purse (this according to Kira's friend Bailey Tyler (Nikki McKenzie) earlier), so when the trunk is opened, Kira shoots both Pukahi dead and Hill as well.

The purse is not found at the motel or in the trunk of the car, and it's not found at the crime scene with the two dead bodies. Adam suggests that "Hill tossed the purse in the trunk along with Kira" (obviously not realizing that it contained the gun) and Danno adds, "[Hill] goes to open the trunk. She's there. She has the gun. Bang -- shoots the first person she sees." Junior continues, "Which I'm guessing would be the driver, which would explain why he was found dead a few feet away from the car. That would also explain why Hill was found in the trunk. Let's say he goes for the gun. She shoots him a couple of times. He falls in the trunk." Uh, okay... Obviously the clock is running, we don't have time to follow the maxim "Show, don't tell"!

Tani says, "Well, by that logic, that means that she could still be out there in the woods where they found the bodies," even though it has been over 12 hours, and Kira has probably already lost a lot of blood. It is confirmed by the lab that Kira's blood was found in the trunk along with Hill's, and hers matched the blood at the motel.

Cut to the forest which gives a good excuse to employ Eddie following Kira's trail, though Junior would have to go back to McGarrett's place to get the dog. Kira, who is heading seemingly deeper and deeper into the forest, is finally located hanging on to a tree down the side of a very steep cliff. She looks like she cannot hold on much longer, so Junior volunteers to go down the cliff and grab her while they are waiting for a rescue team to arrive. This gives another good excuse, this time for Junior (or his stunt man) to narrowly avoid plunging to his death down the cliff in a scene which Grover cannot watch. You have to wonder why Kira would have fallen down the cliff in the first place. Was she delirious because of her condition? After it's all over, nothing is said about the fact that Kira shot two people dead, though she could probably get off the hook from killing Hill because of what he did to her.

The episode was bookended by date-related nonsense. The opening has Danno and Grover engaging in a stupid discussion about Grover's son taking Danno's daughter to a prom. This segues into talk about the wedding that Junior is taking Tani to tomorrow as mentioned in S09E21 as her "platonic plus-one." Later, at the Five-Zero office, Grover tells Tani that it is pretty obvious that Junior has hot pants for her, adding "it might seem like Junior's a great, big, tough Navy SEAL, and he is, but inside that man's chest beats the heart of a puppy dog." Tani replies, "I would hope that gender politics have evolved at least to the point where men and women can just be friends." When they are working together later, prior to the wedding, Tani actually tells Junior, "There are gonna be quite a few eligible young females there, and I was thinking that, you know, maybe we should come up with some kind of code, a signal for you to utilize, um, when you want me to be a wingwoman." The last four minutes take place with Junior and Tani as a "number" at the wedding. I just fast-forwarded through this section.

MORE TRIVIA:

  • From an April, 2019 Associated Press story: "Many Hawaii vacation rentals are operated illegally, making tax collection more challenging. The transient accommodations and general excise taxes the short-term rental operators must pay are levied by the state. The necessary permits for short-term rentals are issued by counties, which have varying regulations that are often poorly enforced. Honolulu, the most populous county, has not issued new permits since 1989. It’s estimated to have 800 legal vacation rental and bed-and-breakfast units and about 10 times as many illegal ones."
  • The character of Blake (the young kid) and the way he talks to McGarrett and Mary about things like "CIA black sites" is highly reminiscent of child actor Remi Abellira, who appeared in several roles on Classic Five-O. In S03E02 of that show, at age 13, he played a young heroin addict who tried to sell another character some dope. When this other guy berated Abellira's character for his habit, the kid told him he is talking "fuzz jive." Abellira had a brief role in S07E09 of the new show.


24. (S09E24) Hewa ka limai (The hand is at fault) ★★
Original air date: 5/10/19

Five-Zero gets involved with a whole mess of trouble in this and the next -- finale -- episode with the return of superhacker Aaron Wright, a.k.a. MiZchief (Joey Lawrence), who we have not seen since S08E01 (September 29, 2017) and S08E04 (October 20, 2017).

Wright fled the country after those shows, only to be captured by the Feds in Singapore and, because of his skill set and the promise of full immunity, was convinced to return to the USA, specifically Oahu, working with a covert team of National Security Agency operatives where his duties included "committing acts of war, using cyber weapons to attack hostile countries, sabotaging missile programs, disrupting power grids [and] conducting covert black-op campaigns against our enemies every single day."

In a scene vaguely reminiscent of the beginning of the 1975 American film Day of the Condor where Robert Redford, a CIA research analyst working in a clandestine New York City office, returns from lunch to find all his fellow staff members murdered, Wright returns to his Honolulu office with coffee for everyone, inadvertently letting a trio of assassins into the building who enter his office and wipe everyone except Wright out.

Wright escapes, maybe by hiding in the ceiling, and after the killers leave, works his way to Tani's place, where he convinces her to give him protection. She is not happy to see him, because in S08E04 she was almost killed when a bunch of Wright's pals sprung him from a hotel room where she was watching over him. When Wright is brought to Five-Zero headquarters, Jerry is also not a big fan of his, punching him in the face because Wright was responsible for the murder of Five-Zero's previous resident hacker, Toast. I don't know if Jerry and Toast were pals; perhaps this is because Toast was one of the Oahu Brotherhood of Geeks.

After one of the three assassins is murdered when he goes to Wright's house (no idea how he knows where this is; you would expect the place to be secret, much like Wright's occupation), McGarrett comes up with a clever idea that Junior and Tani should drive around with Wright's phone which the remaining two killers can locate (no idea how they would do this, are they also computer whizzes?). Tani and Junior are both nervous about this plan, that they are like "gazelles at the watering hole," but they get results. The bad guys find them and chase them at high speeds, which results in a spectacular stunt with their SUV flipping over and a nasty shootout before McGarrett shows up and kills both of the baddies … which, as usual, means there are no leads available through now-dead suspects.

Jerry has been snooping and discovers that Wright's now-dead co-worker Tim Aquino was "running a side hustle, using his NSA resources to blackmail everyday citizens" by "pulling texts and e-mails off of people's devices, threatening to reveal compromising photos, details of affairs, other illegal activities." Aquino recently pocketed $325,000 in a Swiss bank account from the CEO of an Oahu medical device manufacturer named Cryolaris.

Jerry runs into a dead end, though, because further information is behind a firewall at the company's offices. In order to find out about this transaction, Jerry is forced to work with Wright to physically enter Cryolaris's premises posing as an HVAC repairman and siphon the information he needs from the server room. This is accomplished with high-speed nail-biting computer skills from Wright in a nearby van and Jerry knows exactly what to do. During all this, Wright keeps up a sarcastic commentary; McGarrett wants to punch him in the mouth.

Turns out that Cryolaris was developing an anesthesia machine that killed three people during its research and development phase. It was still approved for use and made the company over half a billion dollars in profit. When its boss, Alan Kinross (Howard W. Bishop), is dragged into the blue-lit room, he plays dumb. The theory is the payment was to the three killers to wipe out the NSA office.

Wright's helping Five-Zero is finished, but he makes a big mistake as he leaves the Five-Zero offices with his handler Michael Flores (José Zúñiga), referring to the $325K that Aquino profited. There is no way that Wright would have known about this amount, because when it was being discussed earlier around the Supercomputer, Wright was isolated in the blue-lit room.

Realizing this flub, Jerry, who seems to be slipping up, further investigates the transaction from Cryolaris and finds that the payment "originated overseas and then was rerouted through dozens of anonymous IP addresses to make it look like it came from Cryolaris, when it actually came from Aaron Wright … Wright knows the tech in that NSA station is worth millions, so he hires a team to pull it off the drives, wipe them, then takes out the entire office for good measure. [H]e gets away with it by pinning it all on Cryolaris and making himself look like a victim."

Five-Zero attempts to contact Flores, but it is too late. Flores is killed with his own gun by Wright and the episode ends … to be continued in the season finale.

Once again, the crime of the week was "sort of OK," but it was counter-balanced by a stupid secondary plot with Grover helping his brother Percy (Clifton Powell), who is freaking out because Nanding's Bakery on the North Shore is selling Percy's kouign-amann pastry, not just an imitation of the one which Percy makes, but the real McCoy (see S09E08). Turns out that Flippa took some of the pastries which were being peddled from Kamekona's shrimp shack as "the toast of the restaurant" (do they mean "toast" like "bread"?) and was test-marketing them at this bakery with the intention of starting a wholesale business with Grover's brother. All this took about 20% of the show's total running time, and was a big waste of time, even less interesting than having to listen to Grover's usual clever quips at crime scenes and around the Supercomputer table.

Another secondary story, yet more soap opera but better than the Grover/Percy nonsense, had Junior attending the parole hearing at Halewa for Palani Kuewa (Jeffrey Omura), the drunk driver who killed Junior's sister Maya on August 5, 2012. Junior had a speech prepared, but he threw it away, saying instead, "I came here thinking that he needed to pay for what he did, for what he took. But honestly, I wouldn't even know what that price would look like. What I do know is that the hate that I've carried towards this man has cost me way too much. It's blocked out my good memories of Maya. And I'm afraid that some of them are gone for good. I don't want to give hate that power anymore. I want to remember my sister for the joy that she brought to this world, and not for what happened that one day. I owe her that much. And I know what Maya would want me to do today." This will lead to complications next week. It gave Tani an excuse to accompany Junior to the hearing and look sad.

MORE TRIVIA:

  • When Five-Zero shows up at the NSA offices, Flores tells them that his people have everything under control. Amazingly, McGarrett goes along with this without question. Flores says that the office was "a standard listening station focused on gathering North Korea SIGINT." "SIGINT" stands for Signals Intelligence and, according to NSA's own web page, "SIGINT is intelligence derived from electronic signals and systems used by foreign targets, such as communications systems, radars, and weapons systems. SIGINT provides a vital window for our nation into foreign adversaries' capabilities, actions, and intentions. NSA's SIGINT mission is specifically limited to gathering information about international terrorists and foreign powers, organizations, or persons. NSA produces intelligence in response to formal requirements levied by those who have an official need for intelligence, including all departments of the Executive Branch of the United States Government."
  • After Junior and Tani's SUV flips over (and both of them are relatively unscathed), the bad guys start peppering the vehicle with automatic weapon fire. Tani crawls out of the driver's side door, but there is a large gap under the door which is covered with bullet holes. Why don't any of the bullets go under the door and hit Tani?
  • The three assassins who hit the NSA office are Adlan Rugova, "an international gun for hire," along with Petra Salamov and Andre Malaj, Albanian nationals.
  • Tani did such a good job as a fitness instructor in S09E17 that Troy from the place wants her to come back. She tells him she was a cop on an undercover assignment, to which he replies, "If you ever want to make a little extra cash, hit me up."
  • Red herrings: 1) In an attempt to discredit Flores, McGarrett goes to all the trouble of getting a picture from a "buddy … at Langley" showing Flores with a member of Iran's Revolutionary Guard but Flores tells him that Colonel Farzin Shogredhi is "one of our most trusted double agents. He's been working the American side for years now." 2) While the business with Cryolaris about them paying off someone like the FDA to approve their machine is quite likely serious, Kinross's request for a lawyer is probably going to result in some very serious litigation if he really is totally unaware of the blackmail attempt, which was engineered by Wright.


25. (S09E25) Hana Mao ‘ole ka ua o Waianae (Endlessly Pours the Rain of Waianae) ★★
Original air date: 5/17/19

I took great pains to avoid spoilers, previews and interviews concerning this season finale, which came across as an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink mishmash with the usual plot annoyances, though an Excel spreadsheet anal-ysis revealed the Crime of the Week surprisingly took up almost 60% of its total length. It began with a "previously on" which referred back to four earlier shows, including last week's.

What followed this intro in the present was distasteful, with Danno whining to McGarrett "You know, there's a lot of things I don't like about you, you know this. Over the years I've told you what those things are, but I got a new one." This was not as bad as it seemed, because it segued into "The angrier you are, the faster you walk," sort of cute if you are a Danno fan, but to me, it was another Dannoying moment.

Two and a half further minutes of the show were then wasted with a visit to the Five-Zero offices by Frank Bama (Jimmy Buffett) who reminisced with McGarrett over canned Longboard beers about their mutual friend Joe White. McGarrett gave Bama an urn of Joe's ashes to be spread at Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, which Joe considered "the most beautiful place he'd ever seen."

Following this, superhacker Aaron Wright, a.k.a. MiZchief (Joey Lawrence), now on the run, meets with fellow geek Bryson Kahele (Taylor Gray) at the latter's loft. Kahele got the data stolen from the undercover NSA operation where Wright had been working that the trio of assassins had siphoned from the drives while they were knocking off Wright's fellow employees. (WHAT?!? There was no suggestion as to how Kahele did this, or how he is even connected previously with the show, though he is listed in E25's CBS press release as a "recurring" character. Kahele is listed as being in E24 at IMDb, but he is not in the press release for that show, and does not appear in the opening or ending credits of that show. Watch for an explanation in the deleted scenes on the season 9 DVDs, I guess.)

After he handed over the drive, Kahele collapsed on the floor twitching because the gloved Wright had shaken his hand and the glove was saturated with VX nerve agent. (WHAT?!? Preparing VX according to various WWW pages is not as difficult as it might seem, but the general consensus seems to be if you are going to prepare it in liquid form, you will probably be dead from the fumes before you get a chance to use it. Wright removes his gloves in front of the dying Kahele without much consideration as to whether he is touching the substance or not.)

This was interrupted by more unnecessary non-COTW nonsense as we were updated with Adam's ongoing soap opera. He seems to have spent the night at the place of Tamiko Masuda (Brittany Ishibashi), his childhood friend whose father superceded Adam's own dad as boss of the local yakuza. Unlike the surprising first peek at the Adam/Kono relationship in S02E22, both of them had their clothes on.

Tamiko asks Adam questions skirting the issue of whether Kono is really gone and he replies, "I've finally accepted that chapter of my life is over, and I'm ready for whatever's next." Very chummy! It looks like Adam is going from being the son of a gangster marrying a cop in a high-profile task force to a member of that same task force now going to get involved with the daughter of another gangster.

Then we jump to a scene with Tani and Junior where Tani carries on like she forgot to take her Ritalin. Tani is nattering on machine-gun style about Junior's old girl friend Leah, who found the man of her dreams and got married but then "carpet-bomb[ed] Instagram with pictures of [her] honeymoon." (WHAT?!? What the heck is that all about?) Remember, in S09E17, Junior was the one who knocked off Leah's recent husband who got involved with a gang of bank robbers.

Junior is saying little, because he is worried about his father who disappeared after the parole hearing where Junior forgave Palani Kuewa (Jeffrey Omura), the drunk driver who killed his sister Maya. (The dialogue in this scene in the previous week's show so was lame I thought that Junior had not forgiven this guy.)

Anyway, all this takes us up to about 12:40 in the show, and finally we can get down to business.

Duke calls Five-Zero to Kahele's place and Jerry starts to work on where Wright can be found. Soon after this, back at the office, the team gathers around the Supercomputer and rattles off a lot of expository dialogue. In only a couple of hours, Wright is supposed to sell the stolen intel which "can take down an entire country's defense system." Jerry comes up with a "lead on a lead," figuring out the number Wright was dialling in the loft from enhancing the audio to figure out the keypad tones, but the phone he is calling is encrypted, leaving Jerry to tell the assembled "This is a little above my pay grade." (Not all phones can make these sounds.)

The local NSA office helps to decrypt the phone, and Five-Zero shows up at a warehouse where Wright is delivering a package to Monica Felix, who has made the FBI and Interpol's Most Wanted list with crimes including gunrunning and human trafficking. But it isn't Wright at all, but some guy he paid $5,000 to deliver the goods, and the package blows up in spectacular fashion, though no one seems to be seriously injured. This is all described by Grover as "a stunt to distract us while he's making his escape from the island right now."

Jerry is not having a good day, because back at the office, he discovers that "when Wright was here, he implanted spyware on my computer. He installed a keystroke logger and advanced system monitoring.He basically turned my laptop into a listening device ... Sorry about that." (WHAT?!? Why has it taken Jerry so long to find out about this? Wright escaped more than two days ago.)

Wright sells his "merchandise" to a couple of sinister-looking Asian dudes presumably connected with North Korea. The password for the drive containing this information is 42 characters long. The geekier of the two dudes types this in from a piece of paper that Wright supplies without a single mistake.

Back at the office, Jerry, who is flip-flopping big time as to his usefulness, figures out Wright had seven burner phones from Kelepono Mobile, and on one of those is a connection to Lindsay Acosta (Natalee Linez). She was Wright's girl friend who knew him as "Drew." Hauled into the station at lightning speed, she says that she was pals with Wright up until a couple of weeks ago when she broke off things because he was too "secretive." She left her phone in his car to track him, which led to a "storage place in the middle of nowhere." The team are there in a fraction of a second, and they find the place has security cameras which reveal the license plate on Wright's stolen motorbike. An APB is put out for this bike, which is quickly located by HPD. (WHAT?!? You would think that the ever-resourceful Wright would have some kind of detection device in this storage locker to alert him if anyone broke into it.)

Wright leads the cops on a high-speed chase. Eventually wiping out on his bike, Wright rushes into a nearby mall and strips off his leather jacket. He goes into the washroom and starts creating a bogus incoming missile alert (shades of real life on January 13, 2018) to create crowd and traffic havoc everywhere in Honolulu and allow him to escape. (WHAT?!? Where did he get the small computer he uses in the washroom to set this up?)

Now at the storage room, Jerry figures out that Wright was using flight simulation software to study how to fly a Gulfstream G5 jet, and is headed in the direction of where one of these planes is located, at Kipapa Airfield (WHAT?!? Kipapa Airfield no longer exists, it was closed shortly after the end of World War II. The property has become a Mililani Town housing development.) Wright takes off in this jet, but Jerry, redeeming himself, remotely dumps the fuel from the plane, forcing Wright to return to the airport, where Five-Zero had attempted to stop the plane from taking off by playing "chicken" with it on the runway. Strangely, after Wright leaves the plane, Jerry, who was at the storage location mere seconds before, is at the airport to slap the cuffs on the hacker. (I think this qualifies as a WHAT?!? moment.)

Junior has abandoned the Five-Zero team some time before to try and track down his father. When he manages to find his dad after looking in places like the Honolulu Tavern, he finds him in his truck with a gun beside him. His father says that he wanted to kill Kuewa, but when he saw him walk out of his apartment, he reached for the gun and "just got scared." He tells Junior, "You are not my son." This is very bad. But it has nothing to do with Five-Zero, really!

As "Damn" by LIVVIA plays, Junior goes to Tani’s place, leading to romantic speculation. Ditto as Adam goes to Tamiko’s place, the music continuing. The show’s default "cute" pizzicato plunk-plunk score is heard as Danno tells McGarrett in his office that he lied about going to Jersey recently, instead taking Rachel to Kauai. More soap opera!

One thing that I have to grant this show, the cliffhanger finale was very effective. Previously during this episode, the wife of Omar Hassan, the mastermind behind the killing of Joe White and the rest of the SEAL team who hunted her husband down, contacted Five-Zero (Jerry took the call for some weird reason), wanting to come to the office to ask McGarrett’s "forgiveness on behalf of her family." This seems to me like a VERY BAD IDEA, but McGarrett goes along with this. At the end of the show, Mrs. Hassan shows up with her young son, "to show him the power of forgiveness." At the last second, she pulls what looks like a plastic 3D printed gun from her son's backpack and, before the screen goes black, acts like she is going to shoot someone, to be determined next season.

MORE TRIVIA:

  • Speculation as to who gets shot (if anyone) at the end of the show, aside from McGarrett, includes Jerry, who was walking in the general area, or maybe even Hassan's wife herself, if the gun blew up. There is a question as to how the gun was smuggled into the building past the metal detector at the entrance. Even if the gun is plastic, the bullets should still have caused the detector to go off, unless they are also plastic, which would probably not be as harmful as metal bullets when fired.
  • A couple of suggestions I made on Twitter regarding the finale: 1) Danno says "Oh my God" because Mrs. Hassan's shot went wild and shattered a picture on a nearby desk of himself with McGarrett, thus foreshadowing something sinister with their bromance; 2) Catherine's been trailing Mrs. Hassan internationally. Just as Mrs. H is about to plug McGarrett, the well-armed Cath (who somehow got past the metal detector) shows up at the #H50 office door and with no time to spare takes out the Muslim momma. (The second suggestion seems to be most popular.) If the mother is killed, there are suggestions that McGarrett should adopt her young son ... please NO!!!
  • Lindsay Acosta’s driver’s license number is HJ253415P, she lives at 78-1982 Lorrin Road, Honolulu 96822, was born on 1/28/94, is 5’7” and weighs 138 pounds.
  • At Kahele’s place, the drive for Wright is hidden in a box of Healthy Wheat-O’s.
  • At Tamiko’s, Adam and her are eating tamigoyaki, a type of Japanese omelette.


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