Copyright ©2017 by Mike Quigley. No reproduction of any kind without permission.
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This eighth season opener contained lots of the usual annoyances and stupidities people have come to expect from the show or, if you are a psycho-fan, things you have come to ignore and/or love. No one who followed news about Five-Zero during the summer can be unaware that both Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park (Chin Ho and Kono) left the show because of pay issues. The fate of both of their characters was explained.
The episode began with an "out of nowhere" moment with McGarrett and Danno showing up at the Hilton Hawaiian Village where the racially-ambiguous (for Hawaii) Tani Rey (Meaghan Rath) is working as a lifeguard at the Paradise Pool. They try to convince her to join Five-Zero to replace the departed Kono, who we saw heading to the mainland in S07E25 and is now part of a task force there investigating sex trafficking.
Because Rey, who was considered an outstanding prospect for HPD, punched out her training officer at the police academy and also cheated on her written exam, she interests Five-Zero, because they "need a cop who doesn't think like a cop and ... who isn't afraid to break the rules a little bit." McGarrett tells her that Chin now heads up his own Five-Zero-style task force in San Francisco (something foreseen in S07E25), as if her joining Five-Zero could be the road to bigger and better things.
Probably because Rey (and Rath, like another Canadian actor, Michael J. Fox many years ago) is young and could pass for being in her late teens, McGarrett and Danno tell her they want her to investigate the recent murder of a computer engineering student named Benny Lung on the Aloha State campus which has been connected to a hacker named MiZchief, a name which Danno suggests is that of "a moron." She tells them thanks, but no thanks.
A restaurant-gument between McGarrett and Danno follows where the two quibble over details about a prospective Italian eatery which Danno wants to open using the name "Steve's" in Honolulu's Chinatown. This was hinted at in last season's finale. On location at the place, McGarrett says to Danno, "I thought you said you were gonna wait until you retire," to which Danno replies, "I am, but this is now, we start now, we get it going, and if we need help running it, somebody helps us." "We" includes McGarrett, who figures this has something to do with his radiation poisoning, also mentioned in S07E25.
The usual "let's get serious" phone call takes McGarrett and Danno back to headquarters where the news is that serial arsonist Jason Duclair (Randy Couture) has been sprung from Halawa. This is the work of MiZchief, who, facially recognized while using a wi-fi hotspot on the campus, is determined to be Aaron Wright, related to Ian Wright, who kidnapped Grover's daughter and was knocked off by Wo Fat in S04E22. (Grover does not like this connection.)
The way Duclair gets out of jail is ridiculous, reminiscent of Wo Fat's escapes from jail. His door having opened automatically, he walks out of the place into blazing sunshine as the guards are locked in their room, both thanks to MiZchief. Is the door where Duclair seemingly exits from Halawa really on the outside of the building and there are no other guards between the place he is confined and the entrance gate where we have seen people leaving the place in the past?
We figure out later that Wright, who hacks into the Supercomputer and starts conversing in a jerky manner with Five-Zero, was contracted to spring Duclair by a drug trafficker named Randy Tao (Earnest F. Kong), who lost a lot of product and one of his lieutenants in a fire the week before. Duclair accompanies Tao to the location of this fire and provides his expertise -- "like an arson investigator" -- to determine who burned the place down and what means was used to do this. As part of his "services," Duclair then somehow tracks down Anthony Brent, a two-time convicted arsonist who he determines was the responsible party, and roasts him alive in a controlled fire (we do not see Duclair doing this, only the results).
Now that he is free, Duclair isn't happy to just knock off Brent. He goes back to Tao and gives him and his two sons the same gross treatment, and then goes after MizChief, the guy who got him out of jail. Just as he has drenched Wright with gasoline, Rey shows up at Wright's place, having decided Five-Zero's offer is worth considering. Somehow she figured out how to track down the hacker. Rey, who looks like she weighs maybe 120 pounds soaking wet, then attacks Duclair with various martial arts skills which she no doubt picked up at the police academy. Although we shouldn't confuse the show with real life, I had a good laugh about this scene, screaming at the TV, "Randy Couture is a goddamn mixed martial arts champion!" (I said the same thing later when McGarrett clashed with Duclair, even though the top cop took part in an MMA fight in S02E06, and O'Loughlin is kind of a beefy guy.)
Duclair prevails in the fight with Rey, and Five-Zero makes an appearance just as she is about to meet her end. Duclair escapes, hijacks a car and flees to a dead-end road where he enters the Ewa Forest Reserve and starts setting fires as a cover for his escape. Of course the team (now including Rey, despite Grover's objections) has to follow him into the conflagration. The special effects for this fire including tons of smoke above Honolulu and related scenes with lots of firemen were actually very good.
Five-Zero takes shelter in a cabin in the middle of the fire, which is kind of ridiculous, but not as much as what follows, where McGarrett manages to get out of the forest, commandeer a helicopter and fly back above the cabin. Then Danno, Grover and Rey hook cables dangling from the copter under the cabin which McGarrett then lifts up with the three of them inside and takes them to safety (seriously). Duclair fled into the burning forest some time before this, and he is the only casualty of the blaze, according to news reports.
At this point, there are still about seven minutes of the show left. Danno goes to visit Rey, who is still mulling over whether she wants to be part of Five-Zero. Danno lays on a lot of baloney about how, despite the fact that McGarrett can seem like a wild and crazy guy, "there is nobody out there you'd rather have having your back than him." Danno seems to be acting very chummy with Rey, almost as if there is a hint of a future relationship between the two of them, especially when he starts comparing her to Kono. One can hardly criticize Danno for being this way with her, since she is gorgeous-looking.
Back at the Five-Zero office, Grover is still pissed about MiZchief Wright's connection, via his deceased hacker brother, to his daughter's kidnapping and confinement. He brings Samantha to the blue-lit room "to see the brother of the man who kidnapped her three years ago [who he describes as a "monster"] and made her life a living hell." I was worried for a moment that Grover was going to pull a totally apeshit number on Wright, like he did with his former partner in S06E13, but his daughter gives him a big hug, which brings him back to his senses.
The show closes with yet more lame dialogue between McGarrett and Danno at the restaurant's planned location.
- Executive Producer Peter Lenkov posted a picture on Twitter suggesting that it is possible for a helicopter to lift a cabin, but he is cheating with this picture. It doesn't take much effort to track down the particular helicopter in his picture, a Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane. This is not the helicopter used on the show (and the cabin is different too) -- see also this shot. (The identification number for the helicopter in the last picture, N4037S, leads to Stiller Brothers, a company in Yuba City, California, and actually is for a Skycrane.) According to Wikipedia, the maximum weight a Skycrane can lift is 20,000 pounds, which is 10 tons. Whether the cabin in the show is that weight or less is debatable. The cabin shown in Lenkov's picture seems to be newly pre-fabricated and is being moved to some location. The one on the show is fully-functional with lots of stuff inside, not to mention the five people, though I doubt if their combined weight would exceed 1,000 pounds, or half a ton.
- The actor who plays MiZchief, Joey Lawrence, is the brother of Andrew Lawrence, who is Danno's forensics-lab nephew Eric on the show.
- What does the murder of the computer engineering student which kick-starts the show have to do with anything else?
- One of the aliases that MiZchief used when he arrived in Hawaii was Mick St. John, which anyone who knows anything about Alex O'Loughlin recognizes as the name of his vampire private investigator character in the series Moonlight, duh! Grover says "that name's about as real as a three-dollar bill," an expression which was also used many years ago in a Kojak episode where it referred to homosexuals (the top definition for this term at Urban Dictionary).
- When McGarrett and Danno bust into MiZchief's apartment in the Hawaii Sunshine Suites, the hacker is not there, but he addresses them via a laptop as "Crocker" and "White Tubbs."
This episode was a lot better than I expected, especially considering one of the featured players was A DOG. This particular canine named Eddy was employed by the Drug Enforcement Agency to sniff drugs and was said to have been with the organization for three years. Prior to that he was a war dog stationed in Afghanistan. During an investigation into containers on the docks, his handler, Paul Lazio (Stephen Oyoung) gets knocked off by one of the bad guys. When Eddie attempts to exact retaliation for this by going after the killer, he is wounded.
This episode was supposed to be the third of the season, but it was changed to the second. There are guesses as to why this is so. One is that it was more of a "feel-good" show compared to the one originally announced, considering the recent shootings in Las Vegas and perhaps considering the replaced (until next week) show's plot: "The boss of a major crime family is murdered, triggering revenge killings across the island."
It may also have been attempt to take advantage of momentum for the new season with the introduction of the previously-announced other new member of the Five-Zero team, Junior Reigns (Beulah Koale), a former Navy SEAL who just returned from serving his country. Reigns shows up on McGarrett's doorstep asking for a job with a recommendation from a mutual acquaintance, but McGarrett says that he is not hiring. Later on in the show, Junior is seen washing McGarrett's car in front of the Five-Zero offices, so McGarrett introduces him to Duke, saying that if he completes the training at the HPD academy, then he will hire him. Only problem is, according to the academy's real-life WWW site, the training takes 5 and a half months. Will we see Junior join Five-Zero in the middle of next March, or will McGarrett somehow be able to "borrow" him for some particular skills that he has in the interim?
The investigation which got Eddie shot concerned a large shipment of cocaine. Five-Zero tracks down Lazio's informant Kiana Solice (Alisa Allapach), who points them in the direction of a pusher named Manny Delarosa, a dishwasher who has not shown up for work that day at a restaurant managed by Roger Niles (Casper Van Dien). Niles gives McGarrett some advice about the previously discussed opening up such a venture with Danno: "Why on earth would you do that? Isn't there enough risk in your life already? I don't want to dissuade you, but it can be a brutal business."
McGarrett and Grover go to Manny's place, where he is dying from a massive heroin overdose (not self-administered), as well as a head contusion at the base of his skull, according to Noelani later. Soon after this, Jerry reports that Eddie the dog is out of surgery and is recovering nicely. As well, the vet pulled "foreign blood" from Eddie's mouth which has been traced to Jesse Berman (Shawn McBride) who is in the system for multiple drug offenses. (This procedure, presumably involving a DNA trace, seems very far-fetched). A mug shot of Berman is recognized by new Five-Zero recruit Tani as being a trucker who just left the docks with some cargo. A helicopter tracks down this truck which is then involved in a relatively exciting chase with Tani blasting it with some high-powered artillery. Berman manages to escape from the truck after it is run off the road, but he is shot dead by DEA Agent Chris Reid (Bob McCracken)
This truck contains several boxes of Van Essen Cabernet Sauvignon 1996, which Tani suggests could be liquid cocaine. It was destined for the restaurant managed by Niles and where Delarosa worked. (No idea if Manny's working there had some connection to all this.) The wine is duly analyzed by the crime lab and determined it could produce 264 pounds of cocaine worth $24 million, the "biggest drug bust in Hawaiian history," according to Jerry.
Five-Zero starts asking questions about DEA Agent Reid, who has been connected with the drug investigation since the beginning of the show and was Lazio's boss. Berman's autopsy by Noelani shows that Reid shot him from only a couple of feet away, which is very suspicious. Shortly after this, at the DEA evidence compound, we see Reid shoot two of his own men and then hijack the impounded truck full of wine.
Reid and the wine promptly disappear, but Jerry looks through Niles' financials and sees he owns commercial property through one of his holding companies where it is quite likely a drug processing lab could be located. This is a huge property taking up "five city blocks, maybe a couple hundred thousand square feet." To help with their investigation, Five-Zero gets Eddie the dog released from the veterinary hospital. He obviously is well-suited to work with them, because like other members of the team (McGarrett, for example), he can spring back from the most horrible injuries and return to the job within hours. Not only does Eddie figure out where the lab is, and it is taken down big time, but he is so pissed off at Reid that he gives his former handler's boss a good chewing. Grover, who has been kind of leery about dealing with Eddie because he is not a dog kind of person, becomes Eddie's best friend after this, though qualifying this by saying "I'm a 'this dog' person."
Amidst the cutesy-poo aspects of the show designed to appeal to fans of Facebook postings about animals were unfortunately the usual tedious whatever-guments between McGarrett and Danno. The first of these was some idiotic discussion about how Danno's Uncle Vito [sic] has agreed to bottle tap water for their restaurant, "Jersey tap water that has been pumped through aged pipes that give you a mineral count that is perfectly bred to make a good piece of pizza." Danno's uncle is going to ship this water to Hawaii, which McGarrett says is ridiculous because "Why do we need more water when we live on an island?" Near the end of the show, there is a dog-gument over what McGarrett is feeding Eddie (who will soon leave him for somewhere else). This changes into a cat-gument with McGarrett, like in episode S05E17 insisting that cats are "far superior" animals to dogs because "they're more sophisticated ... cunning ... agile ... [and] self-sufficient."
The show ends with Eddie wandering from McGarrett's place to the grave of Lazio where he already took part in a funeral earlier. Although I have no idea how close the cemetery is to McGarrett's, this reminded me of the Canadian kids' movie "The Incredible Journey."
- We get updates on Kono and Chin Ho during the show from McGarrett: "Every time [Kono] locks up a perp, they get new Intel that leads to another arrest. [Her] case has gone federal [and] the FBI want her to stick around, see it through to the end." (Adam is " flying out tomorrow to be with her." Has he finished with his parole?) McGarrett continues: "She's even brought in Chin's San Fran task force to handle the West Coast operations."
- After the end of the chase with Danno/Tani, HPD and the DEA following the truck containing the wine where the bad guys in the back of the truck are showered with rifle fire and one them actually falls out on the road, in the truck we can see three boxes of the wine with bottles nicely displayed in packaging called "wood wool" at the back of it. None of these boxes or bottles seem to be damaged. The presence of these boxes is different than during the chase where there were large wooden cases containing wine at the back of the truck, and, in fact, at the end of its journey after its driver is killed, the truck seems to go up a small hill at the side of the road, and these cases would likely have fallen out. Following this, when Tani wants to show Danno and Reid what's in the truck, it seems to be just at the side of the road, not up the hill.
- Can't McGarrett afford a necktie for Lazio's funeral?
- Why is Five-Zero appearing on TV near the end of the show celebrating their participation in the huge drug bust? This is a VERY bad idea, though I don't think the members of the task force are a total secret to many people in Hawaii.
- Danno talks on the phone with his cousin Leo in New Jersey, mentioning his "Aunt Lorraine" (i.e., Danno's sister). Hopefully this does not presage visits from these people during the current season.
- We find out that McGarrett is 41 years old during the show -- as if fans of the show don't know this already.
- Poor Eddie is sent into the drug lab with a video camera on his back. The feed from this video seems pretty stable, whereas the camera on Eddie swings back and forth.
- As I expected, there was a typical disclaimer at the end of the show that "American Humane monitored the animal action. No animals were harmed." This is a registered trademark, by the way.
- While I was watching this on Global TV in Canada, there were commercials for both dog food and wine!
This show featured MI6 operative Harry Langford (Chris Vance) who appeared in S07E02 (a very bad show). Harry had returned to Hawaii, having retired, in a manner of speaking. Harry's "British" presence and his interaction with the locals was good for a few laughs, but the crime of the week was stupid. Here is what happened in chronological order (spoilers, but you already know that).
Three years before (maybe -- see below), Aiden, the 8-year-old son of mild-mannered piano teacher John Walcott (Steven Brand) was killed in a hit and run. The car involved was driven by crime boss Jimmy ("Mr. Untouchable") Okada (Eric H. Mita) (maybe -- also see below). Ever since that time, Walcott has been steaming over his loss and amassing a large collection of guns and other paraphernalia and training himself how to use all these resources.
Walcott joined a bereavement support group where he met Annie Hughes (uncredited actress), whose brother was killed in a convenience store robbery back in 2014. She just happened to be a waitress at a bar where Okada and his gang hung out gambling in a back room and Walcott developed a "romantic relationship" with her.
Walcott got Annie to help him with a plan to invade Okada's hangout and knock off everyone, including the big boss himself. When McGarrett and Five-O find out about this, they are worried that a gang war is imminent. They get Harry to help them talk to a local gunrunner named Loto Manui (Peter Jai) and then to help take down Viktor (Joe Seo), connected with another gang who says that there is no way they would have tried to take over Okada's operation, since the FBI was surveilling him heavily (as they were at the beginning of the show). Five-Zero is also surprised to find that only one person was responsible for the massacre and used only one gun, a Browning Buck Mark .22 LR.
Knowing that Walcott reported a gun like this missing a few days ago, Grover and Tani go to talk to him just as some of Okada's men, who have tracked down and murdered Annie, show up at the piano teacher's house. A firefight ensues, but Walcott runs away while Grover and Tani are preoccupied with killing 5 of Okada's 6 thugs. Walcott then goes to the penthouse apartment where Derek Okada (Derek Mio), Jimmy's son, lives, managing to get to Junior's apartment after knocking off all of his bodyguards.
Five-Zero shows up as Walcott has a gun to Derek's head, but despite pleas from McGarrett and Harry, Walcott kills Derek and is arrested.
There are a lot of questions about this rather wacky plot. Probably the biggest one is: considering Walcott ran way from the house where he had a room in the basement described by Grover "like John Wick's man cave," full of (according to Tani) "dozens of books and DVDs on combat training, tactical firearm techniques, body armor, weapons, maps, [and] surveillance pics," where did Walcott get all of the hardware -- guns, smoke grenades, night vision glasses, and so forth -- which he used in his assault on Derek's penthouse?
Aside from this seeming goof, I found the whole business of Walcott getting to Derek's apartment utterly ridiculous, more so than the idea of Walcott building up a huge arsenal of weapons and becoming proficient in using them, even considering parallels to certain recent events which may have been a reason that this show was moved from its original position in the season lineup from second to third.
There are more questions:
- Who was driving the car that killed Walcott's son is difficult to understand, given the vagaries of the script. At the end, as Walcott has a gun to Derek's head, he says "He [presumably Derek] has to pay, and not just for Annie [whom Derek presumably arranged to have killed]. He [Derek?] was in the car, the car that killed Aiden. When they saw what they had done, Derek here tried to buy my silence. [Was Derek driving the car?] But his father wouldn't have it. Said he'd already taken my son, and if I went to the cops, he would kill the rest of my family, too."
- Why would Walcott have reported his gun as stolen? Although Five-Zero is investigating the fact that it was stolen, not anything related to its registration (nothing is said as to whether there are only a few of these guns on the island, for example), this would just tend to make the cops' job a lot easier. When Grover and Tani show up at Walcott's and start asking questions, it is very suspicious that Walcott says his camera was stolen, whereas he has an expensive-looking camera on a table nearby and an antique silver tea set was untouched.
- Derek figured out Annie was involved in the hit on his father, but how? Just because she was working at the bar? Annie flees to the Hawaii Blue Waves Hotel on the north side of the island, where she takes a room which costs $426 a day. How do Derek or his men track her down to this location where Harry suggests they tortured her to reveal information about Walcott?
- When he is on his way to Derek's apartment, Walcott phones Derek on his cel phone to say "You're next." How does he know this phone number?
There was quite a lot of mention in this episode of restaurants, especially the one that McGarrett and Danno are supposed to be opening. I seriously hope that we are not going to have to listen to this crap in every show, which is getting to the point of being nauseating after only three episodes. I counted at least eight times restaurants were visited or mentioned in some way:
- At the beginning of the show, McGarrett pauses while sanding in his and Danno's restaurant so that he and Danno can argue about fabrics for the booths. McGarrett wants black, Danno wants red because "it's an Italian restaurant." But Danno has numerous different kinds of red to choose from. Kamekona, who is also present, says they need a "brand," and shows them a T-shirt he has had made up, which shows a cartoon version of the duo with the restaurant name McDanno's Bar & Grill. In this cartoon, McGarrett has his arm around Danno, and the two of them are looking at each other with goo-goo eyes and sharing a piece of spaghetti like the two dogs in the Disney film Lady and the Tramp, which end up kissing after they slurp down the pasta. (If we compare this cartoon to the movie, Danno is The Lady and McGarrett is The Tramp.) Danno abuses Kamekona, saying that he hates the shirt (Kamekona has ordered 400 of them), adding further "we're gonna have a kitchen that can pass a health-code inspection." A phone call takes the two boys away to the beach to meet Harry. When CBS posted a picture of this T-shirt design via their Twitter account, the number of people who said they wanted one of these shirts was very disturbing.
- Harry meets Danno and McGarrett on the beach. McGarrett tells him, "Danny and I have got this sure-fire business venture for when we retire." Harry replies, "Well, so long as it's not a restaurant, you should be fine." They are introduced to Harry's girl friend Véronique (Jessica Heller, who is a harsh babe).
- In the hallway at Five-Zero headquarters, McGarrett and Danno continue to argue over the red color. McGarrett: "All I'm saying is that is that red, it's a little cliché." Danno: "You're a little cliché." McGarrett: "Sick burn, buddy."
- McGarrett, Danno and Harry are driving and Harry finds the book of color swatches. He recommends that they should choose a neutral color, "Plain as possible, so, when the restaurant goes under, [the booths will] be easier to liquidate at auction."
- At Kamekona's, Harry eats some shrimp, telling Kamekona how good it is. Harry tells them "I can get away with saying 'yummy,' because I'm British." The big guy is still a fountain of knowledge about criminal activity in town, specifically where gangs can get guns.
- After he shoots Viktor as he tries to escape from his gang's hideout, McGarrett asks if the red color of his wound is "the color of the booths." Danno replies, "Nah, that's 'Blood'."
- When McGarrett, Danno and Harry are driving to Annie's place, Danno tells Harry "I can't wait to retire. Okay? And I don't care if it's running a restaurant or spending time with my kids." Harry tells him, "I used to think the same thing, but you don't appreciate how much you need the buzz of the job until it's gone. Besides, you blokes don't have it so bad. Driving around from witness to witness, collecting evidence, getting into some fisticuffs, little bit of argy bargy along the way. It's all quite quaint, really." Danno: "Argy bargy?" Harry: "You know, an argument. The constant bickering you two engage in. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's clearly coming from a place of love. That's why you're going into the restaurant trade together. Can't bear to be apart, right?"
- At the end of the show, McGarrett and Danno attempt to make dinner for Harry and Véronique at McGarrett's place, but the appetizers are a total flop, and the two of them are arguing like idiots. Harry takes his girl friend and goes to Kamekona's. As Danno and McGarrett gaze upon the two of them eating, Kamekona tells them, "Take a good look, my friends. That's called customer satisfaction. May be a while before you guys see that again."
- The young piano student at Walcott's house was playing Chopin's Nocturne in E flat major, Opus 9, Number 2 in the background as Tani and Grover were talking to Walcott. This seemed like more than might be expected of her. During the gun battle the music (not played by the girl) was based on the Prelude from Bach's English Suite Number 3 in G Minor. These two pieces are probably the first time classical music has been heard on the show. (I found this whole scene with the young girl ending up in danger to be extremely gratuitous.) There were three pop songs also heard on the soundtrack: Jason Isbell's Now That Your Dollar Bills Have Sprouted Wings at the beginning, Hank Snow's Everybody Does It In Hawaii when the "big mama" was flirting with Harry, and Someone To Watch Over Me sung by Frank Sinatra near the end.
- On Walcott's son's tombstone, his birth and death dates are April 12, 2007 and September 4, 2015. But the date on a newspaper story about the hit-and-run is July 11, 2014.
- Harry suggests that Okada Senior convinced Walcott not to report the death of his son to the police, probably threatening him and his wife, but there is no mention of a wife anywhere in the show.
- Harry meets McGarrett and Danno at the beach, coming out of the surf. Danno says Harry's swimming trunks look like "Daisy Dukes," referring to the very short shorts which the character of that name wore on The Dukes of Hazzard.
- Harry says that he is 45 years old. According to information from S07E02, Harry's birth date is 6-3-1971. It doesn't matter which way you cut it, either June 3 or March 6, assuming the show is happening "now," he would be 46.
- Bad words department: "Son of a bitch." (Grover); "Nobody's had the muscle or the pelotas [balls] to make it happen." (Grover again); "If I had known I'd be sitting in the back of a van for two months listening to mob guys discussing their nails, eating takeout and inhaling your farts, I wouldn't have been so quick to volunteer." (FBI Agent Patrick (Daryl Emanuel Frederick), at beginning of the show)
This episode was Danno-free, but it hearkened back to a time when we were forced to contend with issues of the characters in the reboot, in this case both new and old.
At the beginning of the show, Adam "Toast" Charles, Five-Zero's on-call geek, is brutally murdered. (I don't think it is Martin Starr, the actual actor who played this character, seen in a gory close-up.) Five-Zero's computers were hacked into the night before, obtaining, among other things, a list of informants including Toast, Sang Min, Gerard Hirsch, Kamekona and several others. It is suspected this list falling into the wrong hands is the reason for Toast's death, because it revealed his co-operation with the cops tracking down criminals.*
To investigate the breach, McGarrett enlists the help of Aaron Wright (Joey Lawrence), who he just busted a couple of episodes back. Wright does not come cheap. He demands a transfer out of Halawa to another prison, plus while working for Five-Zero he wants to stay in "a fancy hotel suite that's got a little Japanese toilet that sings to you" and "has 24-hour room service, in-room spa treatments, chocolate truffles on the nightstand, the whole nine." Most of these things are granted.
Around this time, another informant from the list, Kamekona, is put in peril. McGarrett arrives at a shrimp truck on the North Shore where he hears Kamekona has gone. The truck is on fire with Nahele inside. McGarrett rescues Nahele, and the truck explodes in a huge fireball. Nahele tells McGarrett that Kamekona has been kidnapped by the same guys who set the truck on fire and left him inside it to die.
In his hotel room, Wright goes to work, and says that a legendary hacker named Mogera (real name: Harley Taylor, played by Leonardo Nam) was responsible for breaking into Five-Zero's computers. But all this is a setup, and Wright has actually been spending time contacting a criminal named Kahili Marks (Jesse Lewis) who breaks into the hotel room and frees him. Tani, who was assigned to watch over Wright, is almost killed, partly because she has been distracted texting to her troubled brother who we met in the season opener, and who has disappeared.
Mogera is the fall guy for all the hacking, blackmailed by Wright who found out Mogera had logged into some government computers. Taylor was told by Wright that if he was busted by Five-Zero and kept his mouth shut, he would eventually be let go because of a lack of evidence. However, Taylor, who is blind, ends up in the blue-lit room where Grover threatens to give him a good working over. McGarrett then convinces Taylor to co-operate with them, which he does, hacking into Wright's cloud where he takes the names of everyone that Wright has contacted and cross-references this with the list of all the people Kamekona helped put away.
The result is one Joey Kang (Reggie Lee), who knew Kamekona years before when they were both on the wrong side of the law. In some out-of-the-way warehouse, a thug in Kang's employ beats Kamekona severely, because Kang, his boss, says the big guy owes him half a million bucks from when the two of them were pals. Kamekona does not volunteer any information and, in fact, insists that he has not been working for Five-Zero (???). The result is Kamekona is slated to be executed.
Venturing into methods of convincing people to co-operate that we haven't seen for a while, McGarrett goes to Kang's father's auto repair shop, drenches it with gasoline, then pulls out a lighter. The father (Donald Li) quickly calls his son and, for some reason which is not explained, Kamekona is set free.
The show ends with a "celebration of life" of sorts for Kamekona, with Jerry singing Merci Buckets by the Drive-By Truckers. Tani is not at the party, and McGarrett and his dog Eddie go to visit her. She is having doubts about whether she is the right person for the team in light of her failure guarding Wright earlier. McGarrett tells her "If you weren't, you and I wouldn't be having this conversation right now."
Junior Reigns, the other new member of the team, is also having problems. While he is showing himself to be an expert marksman on the Honolulu Police Academy Shooting Range, he is living in a shelter for homeless people and doesn't even have a cellular phone. McGarrett suspects that Junior is having trouble readjusting to life in the real world after returning from serving his country, and tells him "It's okay if everything's not okay all the time." McGarrett tells Junior to pack up his things and move in with him at his house. (Hopefully Junior is not going to have an attack of PTSD or something and go psycho.)
Taylor Wily as Kamekona got lots of screen time, which was a good thing, but the beating his character took was pretty tasteless. He had some serious speechifying, telling Kang why he had changed his life around since he reformed, in a manner of speaking. Speaking of tasteless, Grover actually threatened to hit the blind Mogera when he was being grilled! What will Grover do next, push someone in a wheelchair down a flight of stairs like Richard Widmark in Kiss of Death? Later in the show, when Taylor was hacking his way into Wright's cloud in the Five-Zero office, Grover, in response to Jerry, who described this as being like "watching Mozart live in concert," said, "Don't you mean Stevie Wonder?"
- * Spoiler, you may have to read stuff above to understand this: Wright was in jail up until the time he was escorted to the hotel to begin working for Five-Zero. Prior to this, unlike typical Five-Zero criminals, he didn't have any access to the Internet or even the outside world. So how did people like those who murdered Toast and kidnapped Kamekona have such fast access to the list of criminal informants which Mogera supposedly released as part of his hack the previous evening -- which was actually engineered by Wright? McGarrett has a brainstorm regarding all this: "What if Wright stole that CI list the first time he breached our system [in episode S08E01]? [L]ike an insurance policy. Now we find ourselves with no other option but to go to Wright for help. Because there's no more Toast."
- The time frame for this show is kind of screwy. Five-Zero captured Wright in S08E01, and he is already in Halawa in this show (3 episodes later). Doesn't it take time for a trial, appeals and so forth? The end of the show is "days later" when Kamekona has almost totally recovered from his nasty injuries and pays a visit to the Waianae Community Gym where we see that is the place he created for the neighborhood kids with the $500,000 that he "stole" from Kang. Assuming the show is happening in real time, hopefully "days later" will not conflict with the Hallowe'en-related episode which is coming up real soon.
- The writers could not avoid dragging the "McDanno's" restaurant business into the show. McGarrett is seen with Grover at a store checking out a used oven which he hopes to buy at a quarter of the price of a new one while Danno is away in New Jersey at his niece's confirmation. The time in New Jersey is said to be 1 p.m. in the afternoon, which means that the time they are in this store in Honolulu is 7 a.m. – pretty unlikely, I think.
- The show began with a "previously on Five-0" segment, but it flashed back to S01E02 when Toast was first introduced, then jumped forward seven years to S08E01 to scenes with Wright … perhaps confusing to those who do not follow the show religiously.
- The speed with which Grover finds Mogera (who just happens to live locally) and brings his laptop to Wright for investigation is pretty incredible.
- Wright describes his late brother Ian to Tani as being "a real pain in the balls."
As the show opens, Junior, who is now living at McGarrett's, is cleaning up some mess which Eddie made on the carpet. Danno, wearing a grotesque Hallowe'en mask, shows up at the door, and is disappointed that McGarrett isn't there, because he spent $75 on the mask to scare him. Accompanied by the usual "comedic" pizzicato music, Danno is trying to act like a nice guy; he is wearing a sling on his left arm. (Did Scott Caan really injure himself?) Danno reportedly fell off a ladder in the restaurant, saying that it is a cheap ladder which McGarrett bought.
McGarrett is at Alicia Brown's house on the North Shore. Although hacker MiZchief was caught, tried and sent to jail in only three episodes, we are just getting around to the court case dealing with Alicia's killing of serial killer Madison Gray in S07E17 (broadcast last February). Alicia is conflicted because she doesn't want to tell the truth, that she killed Gray who was not threatening her with a knife as Alicia said in her statement at the time. McGarrett, continuing the "immunity and means" attitude seen in the previous show where he dumped gasoline over a suspect's father's garage to get co-operation, tells Alicia he doesn't want to hear about this and tells her to keep her trap shut when she goes to court.
Believe it or not, this was the pre-opening-credits cliffhanger, probably the least suspenseful in the series so far!
The crime of the week was so-so. I'm going to talk about it in a manner which is not the way that it appeared in the show, so don't be bitchin'.
Twenty years ago, a 12-year-old girl named Marissa Walker was abducted on her way home from school, dragged into the forest, raped and tied to a tree. She was attacked by wild boars and her face was chewed up, leaving her horribly disfigured. After she was found, she was called the "Half-Face Girl," and she was treated like a freak.
According to Hannah Bell (Vivan Durge), her sister, Marissa left the house one morning when she was a teenager, went into the woods near their house and never came out.
Aside from questions like how has Marissa (now played by Michele Carro) survived for so many years -- what did she eat and so forth -- she is now taking revenge on Hannah who was responsible for Marissa's misfortunes because on the day she was abducted, Hannah was supposed to walk home with Marissa, but let her walk home alone.
In addition to abducting her niece Lacey Bell (Hannah's daughter, played by Rylee Brooke Kamahele) and tieing the kid to a tree like happened to herself, Marissa has also committed two murders of innocent people -- one of a guy who was transporting pigs on the Pali Highway, the other who fell into a concrete mixing tub and became like a stone idol. All of these events have some connection to Hawaiian folklore.
I have to wonder why Marissa committed the two murders and then the abduction. Is she trying to create a distraction for the cops, who won't figure out that they are all connected to her? But they are, and Tani, McGarrett and Noelani figure this out very quickly.
As Five-Zero and HPD attempt to track down Lacey (who is eventually found), Marissa is seen evading them, climbing trees and running through the forest with all the skill of Pierre Shaw, the parkour dude seen in S07E01. (This suggests to me that Marissa isn't living on nuts and berries.)
Alicia is dragged away from her trial to help Five-Zero, and while she is trying to make FBI profiler sense of what is going on, she gets news from the P.A. (Prosecuting Attorney?) that he is willing to make a deal and let her off with 18 months probation if she makes herself available to help Five-Zero with cases, thus guaranteeing Claire Forlani employment for a while.
Meanwhile, Marissa gets away. At the very end of the show she comes snooping around Hannah's house but rushes back into the forest, suggesting that she will also be back on the show as a "recurring character" in the future.
The secondary plot thread of the week involved Grover, who went to the Florida State Prison where a convicted hitman named Sebastian Wake (James Frain) is scheduled to be executed. Wake spends a lot of time jerking around Grover, who is annoyed that he wasted 11 hours coming there to listen to what he expected would be some eleventh-hour confession.
Wake does tell Grover that Clay Maxwell, Grover's former partner offered him $250,000 to knock Grover off, but it isn't until Grover leaves the prison that one of the personnel there gives him a map which Wake made for him. Grover uses this map to go to a location in the Florida Everglades where he finds some mini-cassette tapes. They provide proof that Maxwell killed his wife in Hawaii in S05E20, which motivated Grover's quest to Chicago in S06E13, as well as the fact Maxwell put out a contract on Grover.
Grover calls McGarrett to tearfully say what is on these tapes will provide him with closure to the events surrounding Maxwell. But will they? Can these tapes really be used in a court of law as evidence?
- As Wake is being prepared for his execution in the electric chair, he is reciting lines from Carl Sandburg's 1914 poem "Chicago." Predictably, we see the execution with blood running down Wake's face from behind the default leather mask used with this kind of capital punishment, which was pretty tasteless, as was the whole business with Lacey being captured by Marissa.
- We find out that Grover's full name is Louis Purnell Grover. Wake asks Grover if he likes fried chicken (which Wake is getting for his last meal), adding "No cultural significance is implied." During the conversation with Wake, Grover suggests that Wake's father was "crazy as cat poop."
- Tani has a good line for Danno, who is being very irritating as she relates a story connected to the murder of the guy transporting the pigs: "I'm genuinely surprised that McGarrett hasn't shot you yet." Tani is also chummy with Junior, who she has not met yet because she didn't come to Kamekona's "celebration of life" after his recent kidnapping.
- Jerry promised Max, the former medical examiner, he would continue Max's Hallowe'en tradition of wearing a costume worn by Keanu Reeves in a movie, specifically that of Chevalier Raphael Danceny from Dangerous Liaisons this year. Danno ridicules Jerry, saying he looks like Marie Antoinette. Danno also says that Max wore that costume three years ago, but it was actually in S06E06, broadcast on October 30, 2015.
- If Bryan Hansen, the guy who fell into the concrete, was there until the concrete dried, then he would not look like a ghostly statue, but would be entombed in a large block of the stuff, and they would have to chip it away to reveal his body.
- Tani says the two murders committed by Marissa are "serial." Some sources say that a serial killer has to commit at least three killings, though the FBI itself defines serial killing as "a series of two or more murders, committed as separate events, usually, but not always, by one offender acting alone."
- While Five-Zero is searching for Marissa in the forest, they come across this house-like structure containing a bunch of mannequins which prompts Alicia to say: "She's recreated her family." Nothing comes of this.
- According to her police file accessed by the Supercomputer, Marissa Walker's Social Security number is 912-986441. Her address used to be 51-022 Hitchcock Avenue, Wahiawa, HI 96786.
The crime of the week part of this show was not bad.
Oliver Matthus (Michael Weston), son of Patrick, an over-zealous cop who was kicked out of HPD in 2010, then spent 18 months in Halawa as a result, and died from heart disease in 2014, is suffering from DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder -- an actual mental condition). One of Oliver's 7 personalities is that of his father, who murders two tourist surfers at the beginning of the show.
Oliver then invades a house where he and his parents used to live and beats up the current occupant, Hali Mitchell (Dollar Tan). After extracting justice by shooting some guy dead on the street, he goes to HPD headquarters. Duke, using a ruse, locks him in a room, but Oliver escapes through the ceiling, goes to where the cop cars are parked and steals one, leading Five-Zero and other police on a chase back to his home where McGarrett earlier had discovered Oliver's mother Claudia dead in bed of natural causes.
Alicia Brown (Claire Forlani), quick to offer assistance to Five-Zero after last week's episode, figured out Oliver's condition early in the show, and she enters his house, acting like his late mother. In a nerve-racking sequence with SWAT team members poised outside ready to knock off Oliver, she manages to overcome his abusive father's persona which he has assumed and comfort him, so that he can be taken away and given proper treatment.
That is the good news.
The rest of the show, almost 45% of it, was taken up with an idiotic story where Danno hires a stress counsellor to diagnose what is wrong with McGarrett and to offer suggestions on how his life can be improved.
Several members of the Five-Zero "ohana," including the repugnant Dog the Bounty Hunter, gather at McGarrett's house at the beginning of the show to mostly tell him why this is a good idea, before the counsellor, Chloe Gordon (Jolene Purdy) is introduced. Despite her saying that "stress management isn't some New Age nonsense," Chloe is the epitome of a chirpy, well-intentioned and politically correct New Age professional.
As this opening sequence dragged on and on, making me anxious for the usual phone call that ends the comedic opening stuff, I started talking more and more to the TV, and not with nice words, as well as other expressions like "Leonard and Rose Freeman must be rolling over in their graves."
I had a good laugh when some of Chloe's "anal-ysis" later came back to bite Danno in the ass, like when she told him "some of your behavior can be causing Commander McGarrett some undue stress. If you could be a little less negative, a little more agreeable in your dealings with Steve, I think that would really help." McGarrett totally picked up on Danno's efforts to tone things down, wondering why Danno wasn't saying things while they were driving like "Steve, it's not the DeLorean time machine. You know, we don't have to get it up to 88" and "Hey, can you turn up the radio 'cause I'm pretty sure I just heard the GPS lady say she wants to get out."
But some of the other dialogue was stupid. While driving with Danno and McGarrett, Chloe asked McGarrett about his sex life. He replied that he had been seeing Lynn "on and off for a while now." (WHAT? This is a woman that has been seen in FOUR episodes since her introduction in S06E07 -- November 6, 2015.) Not only that, he said they were doing it "five times a week, I guess." Danno ridiculed this, because he said his girlfriend Melissa had heard from Lynn that it was more like two or three times.
This scene was also notable for the usual queer-baiting, because even though Chloe was referring to McGarrett and Lynn when she said "I'm assuming you guys are (chuckles) intimate?", it sounded like she was referring to McGarrett and Danno in the front seats, who looked nervously at each other.
At least Weston and Purdy played their parts very well, especially the latter, who made me totally dislike her character, especially at the end where she gave a preview of her report for McGarrett which would include recommendations for "stress-reducing techniques, holistic modalities [and] dietary guidelines."
- When McGarrett looks at the cell phone the two tourists were using to record their interaction with the cop (Oliver pretending to be his father) at the beginning of the show, the spoken phrase "We've got rights" appears at the 16 second mark of the video. But from the time the phone was turned on to the time these words were actually said was approximately 41 seconds.
- When McGarrett, Danno and Chloe go to Oliver's place early in the show, they find a tray of medications which includes the anti-psychotic drug Quetiapine.
- Oliver's old house, currently occupied by Mitchell, is at 2907 Fornander Street, ZIP code 96813. Its 2017 assessed value is $578,383.
- The Crown Victoria car used by Oliver's father before he passed away was an "unmarked HPD vehicle," and when the registration lapsed, the title was transferred to Claudia, Oliver's mother at their current address, 2924 Umealu Road, ZIP 96822. (I don't understand this at all.) This is presumably the car Oliver used at the beginning of the show when he pulled over the two tourists. But why would the car still have its flashing lights?
- Duke locks Oliver in "Captain Tanaka's" room (there is a sign with the captain's name on the door). Tanaka would have been the superior officer when Oliver's father was on the force, as he was when Danno was starting out with HPD. But when Tanaka appeared in S07E23 (last season), he was retired.
- Alicia can act very quickly. She is seen examining a video transcript of Oliver's psychiatric session with a Dr. Caldwell, then she goes to the medical examiner's officer to get the dress worn by Oliver's mother when they found her dead, and then she goes to Oliver's house for the confrontation at the end of the show. And how does she make the tuna sandwich (one of Oliver's favorites from when he was a kid) so fast?
- McGarrett is seen wearing a T-shirt with HNL (Honolulu International Airport) on it. At the end of the show, Kamekona refers to Grover as "OG," meaning "Original Gangster."
Junior is jogging downtown, listening to Here Comes The Hotstepper by Ini Kamoze when he literally runs into Layla (Anna Enger -- a very hot looker), a woman who we later learn was his pre-Iraq-service girl friend. She is now married and pregnant to boot. Continuing his jog, Junior notices four suspicious-looking guys with duffel bags outside a savings and loan getting out of a car with no license plate.
He alerts McGarrett, who was at the airport welcoming Adam home. There, Adam told him that Kono was just about ready to return to Hawaii, but then "a lead panned out in Boulder City" relating to her sex trafficking project. Adam told McGarrett, "I figured it was time to come back home and try to have some semblance of a life."
Meanwhile, at Five-Zero headquarters, Tani is troubled because earlier that day she rescued her brother Koa (Kunal Sharma) from some disreputable looking place in a disreputable neighborhood identified only as "Honolulu," to avoid offending anyone, I guess. This place was going to be raided by vice cops any second, and Tani flees with her brother on a motor scooter. A surveillance video of the two was made of them leaving, and she is worried that if McGarrett sees this she will get the axe from her new job. Grover solves the problem by deleting the video.
McGarrett and Adam soon arrive outside the bank where Junior is waiting for them. After some debate, McGarrett enters the place, where customers and employees are tied up on the floor. Adam and Junior cannot sit still, and join him inside, with weaponry provided by McGarrett. They go down to the vault with the bank manager (Nolan Hong). There is an explosion, which knocks them all on their asses for a minute or so. Upon opening the vault, they find a tunnel inside where the bad guys have made their escape.
McGarrett pursues the robbers into the tunnel and shoots what he thinks is one of them, but it turns out to be an HPD cop. McGarrett picks this guy up and runs with him through the tunnel. Adam and Junior, who have gone back to the street, drive McGarrett's truck frantically through downtown. They meet him where the tunnel ends and rush the cop to the hospital where he dies. McGarrett is very sad.
Jerry determines that Bobby Akamu (Saint Thompson), one of the bank employees, was connected to the robbers, because his prints were all over the inside of the bank vault. Akamu is dragged into the blue-lit room where Grover gets very heavy with him, saying "somebody's gonna walk right up to you and Jack Ruby that ass."
Shortly after this, McGarrett is relieved to find out the "cop" he shot dead is not a cop, but one of the bank robbers. But another one of these robbers named Dave Lockhart (Kila Packett), also dressed as a cop whose name is R. Osmond, comes to Five-Zero headquarters where he manages to get to the blue-lit room and shoot Akamu in the head! Lockhart escapes out of the building, followed by McGarrett and Grover, to a car containing the other two robbers. Following a brief shootout, the bad guys attempt to flee, resulting in a mind-boggling stunt with a car flying up and flipping over.
Later that evening, Tani is still in the Five-Zero office, stressing about helping out her brother earlier. Grover tells her not to worry. As he leaves, she says she has "one more thing to do." Is she up to something no good? At McGarrett's place, Junior looks up a video taken of him and Layla before he went off for his tour of duty, which suggests the two of them were going to get married. Adam goes to his house with McGarrett, where he is sad because Kono is not with him.
This Danno-free (YAY!) episode was better than average (that's why it gets 2½ stars, rather than 2 or less), but there were still questions and problems. We now switch you over to the trivia section:
- If the robbers, prior to the robbery, dug a tunnel into or very close to the vault with jackhammers and so forth, this would take time and the people in the bank could quite likely hear this. If the tunnel actually opened into the vault and someone went into the vault in the day or two prior to the robbery, wouldn't they see the hole? On the other hand, if the robbers waited until the robbery to blow an entrance into an incomplete tunnel from inside the vault or perhaps the other way via the tunnel on the other side of the vault wall with some kind of controlled charges, it would probably kill them given the severity of the explosion! I don't understand how the shock wave -- presumably from one of these scenarios in the previous sentence -- which knocks McGarrett, Adam, Junior and the bank manager over could be so strong if the vault door is intact and can be opened without any problem by the manager a few seconds later.
- If the $10 million the robbers were after was deposited in cash, this exceeds normal deposit amounts and would cause suspicion in the bank, even with the co-operation of Akamu, the employee, and would be kind of obvious because of the physically large amount of money. If the money was just put into a safety deposit box, how would Akamu know this? It would be placed in the box in private by someone and he would not know what the box contained.
- The scene with Adam and Junior driving at crazy speeds through Honolulu streets to meet McGarrett was ridiculous. If they are going 60 miles an hour for almost 3 minutes, that means they would have driven 3 miles, assuming that the sequences of them driving are in real time. But McGarrett is moving on foot, which means that, at most, he would probably be a few blocks away from the bank at the end of his journey. The place where he comes out of the tunnel looks like it is far from downtown.
- When Grover deletes the video of Tani rescuing her brother, does Five-Zero have the ability to totally remove a video which is probably on some server at HPD headquarters? Also, when Tani leaves with her brother just as the cops are arriving to bust people, if the cops saw someone who they thought was "escaping" (like Tani and her brother seem to be), wouldn't they pursue them?
- McGarrett says to Junior and Adam he doesn't want to wait until the robbers come out of the bank because then "you got open warfare in the street." This is pretty funny. Since when has that stopped them from dealing with a crime?
- McGarrett uses his truck to pull off the door in the parking garage for the area where the bank's garbage bins are located and thus sneak into the bank from the rear. Couldn't the robbers hear this noise from inside?
- As Adam and Junior are racing along the streets, Hang 'Em High is showing at the Hawaii movie theatre, which is located at 1130 Bethel Street. This film starred James MacArthur, the original Danno, and was co-written by Leonard Freeman, who created the original Five-O.
- The date fingerprints are left can be determined ... this is based in fact!
- Grover threatens Akamu that because the guy they thought was a cop was killed by McGarrett, this could lead to serious problems for Akamu. I don't think so! This is before Grover knows the guy was not a cop. This was a nice touch by the writers to save McGarrett's ass.
- The bald-headed crook/cop named R. Osmond who invades Five-Zero headquarters and kills Akamu was busted by Five-Zero in 2011. Because of this, he supposedly knows exactly how to get to the blue-lit room (don't ask me if this makes sense). But there are other questions about how he could get access to this area, even if he was a real cop. When he leaves the building, which is identified as "the palace," by the way (not Iolani!), he walks through the metal detector at the entrance, but nothing happens. There is an alarm a few seconds later as the building is locked down.
- How can Junior look up the video of himself and Layla at the end of the show? When we met him a while ago, he had virtually no material possessions, not even a cell phone.
- How can Jerry track McGarrett's phone if he is underground?
- The Five-O theme is heard near the end of the show.
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