We start with a couple who wake up to find their house has been set on fire. They try to get out, but what they don’t know is that their front door has a plank nailed across it on the outside, so they’re not going anywhere. Why, I thought, don’t they try the back door? More fool me; when the Five-0 arrives to root through the ashes, it turns out that it was nailed shut as well.
But who’s this, already present and snarking at the crime scene? It’s ATF Special Agent Kathy Millwood (Melina Kanakaredes from CSI: NY), who has been following the arsonist – generally referred to throughout as “the torch” – across the country, noting that his behaviour has been escalating. This time he put a webcam, presumably made of asbestos, in the house and watched the deaths on a live feed. (He’ll up the stakes next time as well). Millwood has both a Secret and a Secret Pain, of course, which are driving her towards confrontation with “the torch”. Spoiler alert: Steve saves the day. Together with a C-plot featuring professional golfer Michelle Wie, which is very evidently another of Hawaii Five-0’s cross-promotional escapades, this part of the episode is nothing exceptional at all. (Although, in defiance of the no smoking policy across just about all of primetime network drama, golfing Grover is allowed a cigar. Unlit, I think? Or maybe not.)
The B-plot is rather better. Amber’s back, and Danny apologises to her for being distant. Yes, Danny, from the whole freaking show. You owe all of us, not just Amber. Anyway, the two of them go away for a romantic weekend to one of those places which TV shows are fond of, where they’re difficult to contact and therefore protect from impending danger. They have what I thought at the time was an odd and apparently irrelevant conversation, when Danny talks about the death of his brother; this in turn reminds us of what Danny did to avenge that.
Anyway, inevitably danger turns up. When Amber first appeared I half-wondered what she was doing on Oahu, and now we get our answer: she was running away from her abusive husband, who has now tracked her down. And Amber isn’t her real name. This storyline is tougher and nastier than the one about The Torch, despite involving many fewer deaths: Danny gets stabbed, and the conversation about his brother turns out to be entirely on point, assuming – as I think we’re supposed to – that REDACTED was REDACTED by REDACTED. It didn’t entirely compensate for the rest of the episode, which was average at best, but this part at least was pretty good.
(This episode was brought to you by: Nike and the LPGA.)