It’s another in medias res opening, with Kono in the middle of the storm-tossed ocean, desperately trying to climb back onto a paddle board. When we go back 36 hours I assumed that we were going to be told the story of how (in some way I hadn’t figured out, because I don’t write procedurals) she was in the process of pursuing a surfing baddie, or something.
Instead, though, it turns out that she’s planning to circumnavigate the islands in a wa’a, a traditional Hawaiian outrigger canoe; and, in a scene which takes forever, everyone lines up to say goodbye. Even if we hadn’t seen the start of the episode we’d know what was coming as soon as someone says that there’s “weather coming in”; notwithstanding Kono’s plans to sail round the incoming storm, we’ve seen enough TV to know how this plays out. And sure enough the storm changes course, and Kono’s in the middle of it.
For everyone else, there’s a case to be solved: a pharmacist is killed during a raid on his premises by masked gunmen, the latest in a series of robberies in which the materials for making crystal meth are stolen. One of the robbers is an all-star meth cooker, just released from prison, although when he’s found brewing up some delicious meth he claims he’s only doing it because his son is being threatened.
The case is wrapped up well before the end, because as it turns out Kono’s solo voyage is the A-plot. At first I thought this a little odd, with only two more episodes to go in the season – and perhaps ever, or at any rate until the next re-boot – but I suppose you could regard it as the show paying tribute to Hawaii itself. There are a few nods to tradition – conch shells and the like – and every now and again there are title cards with Hawaiian sayings.
On top of that, as Kono struggles to stay alive, and the Five-0 try to rescue her, we get a series of flashbacks in which Kono is instructed in folk wisdom and survival techniques by her mother; the voyage itself, in fact, is undertaken by Kono as a way of honouring her mother, who was rendered disabled by an aneurysm shortly before embarking on a solo trip herself. And it all kind of worked for me: to start with I was baffled and a little bored, but by the end I was engaged and moved.