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: 11/23/18

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 Wahale (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 Kahele 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 Kahele 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 Kahele 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, 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.
  • 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).

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