We open in the middle of a car chase, with Kono being driven away from a posse of pursuing Hawaii cops by Steve and Danny in their silver Camaro. (New Chevrolet sales pitch: “The Camaro is just the car you want when you’re trying to outrun the po-po.”) Kono has, of course, been framed by Michael for a Yakuza shooting, so she hides away while the guys try to prove that it wasn’t her.
But while they’re trying to do that, a new case demands their attention: a plane lands with five dead bodies on it. Turns out it was a rendition flight, and that Rafael Salgado, a Latin American terrorist who was being, um, rendered (?) has escaped and is on the run. According to the CIA Salgado knows about an upcoming attack on US soil, and he needs to be taken alive so that the location can be Bauered out of him.
In an effort to find Salgado Jack visits Wo Fat in his fabulous prison cell – just how much stainless steel does one prisoner need? – and the Five-0 discover that Salgado has a babymama on Oahu, but before they or Salgado can do anything about it Salgado’s infant son is abducted by his erstwhile terrorist chums, offering to trade Salgado’s life for his son’s.
Meantime, Kono asks Fong to examine a pair of gloves used by Michael, in the hope of getting herself off the hook. And just as I was thinking that Fong had been a successful addition to the cast, arguably a better one than Masi Oka, that he clearly wants to tap Kono if she’s ever looking for a non-gangsta boyfriend, and that I wouldn’t object to a bit more Fong-time next season… ouch. (Incidentally, just how did Michael know Fong had the gloves? Had to be Adam, no? Or not?)
And that’s about half of it; breathless and action-packed barely begins to cover this episode. In fact, if anything you could reasonably argue that there was a little too much going on for a season-ender: yes, there need to be cliffhangers (will Kono return? will Fong live? who’s trying to kill Wo Fat?) but there also needs to be some resolution, and the way in which the connection between Wo Fat and Doris was dealt with verged on the insulting. So Doris is about to tell Steve what’s going on, they’re interrupted, and never quite find time to return to the issue of exactly why Steve’s mother is apparently in cahoots with the man who killed her husband? Ridiculous, even by the standards of the Five-0.
Also: bringing romance back into the solitary lives of Danny and Chin seemed a bit abrupt. (Given this show’s history, I’m guessing that the life expectancy one or other of Gabi and Leilani can now be measured in months.) And the introduction of that ex-boyfriend of Catherine must be to set him up for something in the next season, otherwise why bother; it’s not as if he had anything like a storyline. Why not just let him make his debut in the first episode of season 4?
Still, by the standards of a patchy season this stood out comfortably as one of the better episodes. When previewing season 3 I called this show “remarkably consistent”, but for quite a while it looked as if the writers were trying to prove me wrong. Some of the episodes felt as if nothing like enough time had been spent on them, and there were one or two real stinkers – the Victoria’s Secret one, in particular, representing a nadir for television drama in general, not just Hawaii Five-0. And where did Tony Almeida go? On the other hand the closing stretch of episodes was strong, and even in its off-weeks the show remained good watchable fun.
If I had one request, though, it would be that the writers remind themselves that the Steve/Danny dynamic is what distinguishes this show from other procedurals. In short: MOAR bromance in season 4. Which leads into our farewell Bromance Watch: “He’s gonna get himself shot. I gotta stick around for that.” As will I, Danny, as will I. Aloha.
(If you would like a full season review, head on over to our friend Tim at Slouching Towards TV.)