We start with Jerry getting picked out of a police line-up. This, it transpires, is as part of an investigation into a spate of home invasions, although we’re told Jerry was just at the line-up as a stand-in. Except he then has to provide an alibi. Which if you think about it is kinda weird: is this a thing in America? In which case, presumably, no-one would ever volunteer, paid or not, to be a stand-in, in case you mistakenly get picked out and find yourself doing 25-to-life.
This storyline will recur over the course of the episode, but – unless I’m missing something – it’s dumb. So let’s focus on the A-plot instead, which is very, very much better. Steve is in getting a haircut from Odell Martin (Michael Imperioli from The Sopranos, paying his second visit to the show). This scene goes on for a surprisingly long time, but it might just be that the writers are excited about having Imperioli shooting the shit with McGarrett, and who can blame them?
They’re interrupted, though, when a terrified teenager comes running in; he has a bullet wound in his leg, and he claims that some people are trying to kill him because he witnessed a crime. He’s right: very soon there’s a gang of Armenians outside, loaded for bear, and firing round after round into poor Odell’s premises. For various plot-devicey reasons there’s no-one on the streets outside, and neither Steve, Odell, nor the teenager has a phone. Given how much this show does for the Hawaiian tourist industry, though, it’s slightly alarming that after someone eventually overhears this prolonged full-on assault, the consequence is that one cop gets sent for a look-see. If I were planning a visit to Oahu, I’d like to think that something like this would… attract more attention? Anyway, the cop’s swatted aside like an annoying fly.
Which leaves the three people in Odell’s very much on their own; no way out, no way of getting help, and someone’s bleeding out. Which is all very reminiscent of Burn Notice; in fact, one sequence where Steve and Odell improvise a Molotov cocktail with stuff lying around the salon is straight out of Michael Westin’s spy school.
Steve will prevail, of course, because Steve prevails, and on learning that this was all the idea of Garig Dobrian, the head of the Armenian mob, Steve goes barrelling off in search of him. At this point, though, the story takes an abrupt left-turn and heads off in an unexpected direction, leading to a conclusion which has an emotional punch to it and, the more I think about it, a real moral ambiguity. It’s another excellent episode.