Previous season finales have treated us to exhaustive variations on the Wo Fat/Steve’s mom themes. But with Wo out of the picture, and Steve’s mom taking a back seat this season, is there anything which could replace them? Well, the destruction of all human life on O’ahu might suffice.
We start in North Dakota with a Jeffrey Nordling-led gang hijacking a convoy, stealing a nuclear warhead – with the benefit of hindsight, I’m sure that the US Government will agree that security could perhaps have been tighter – and flying it to Hawaii. There’s a delightful scene when a plane is surrounded by the Five-0 and half of HPD, all of whom are suddenly instructed to back off in case there’s a nuclear bomb on board, because in those circumstances a few yards really could make a difference between life and death.
But the bomb isn’t on the plane. And there isn’t anything much about Nordling’s character, Josh Bennett, to suggest that he’d want to have much to do with nuclear devices – ex-army, probs a bit mad, but no more than that. However, Catherine – yes, that Catherine – finds a “high ranking lieutenant in al-Qaeda” on the island, who’s previously tried to buy a nuclear bomb, and suggests that Bennett wants to make a sale. Lieutenant al-Qaeda then disappears, apparently having left the island with the bomb in his possession, while Bennett is captured.
But then the Lieutenant turns up dead, and it becomes clear that he was a decoy, that the bomb’s still on O’ahu, that Bennett had something else in mind, and that he therefore needs to be subjected to some Bauer-esque enhanced interrogation techniques. Which is ironic, because when Jeffrey Nordling was playing Agent Pantywaist on 24, he was very much agin the whole “WHERE IS THE BOMB?!” technique of establishing empathy with your prisoner.
Oh yeah, Catherine. She’s back from single-handedly improving life in Afghanistan. I should probably be careful what I say here, so I’ll confine myself to observing that she looks different, and leave it at that. And she’s totally going to be Steve’s date to Kono’s wedding, although her future plans are very much up in the air. Danny pretends to be pleased: “I like her very much”, he says to Steve through gritted teeth, “I’m just not happy about the way she left things”.
If there is a wedding, that is, because Chin’s confronting Adam with the evidence of his meetings with Yakuza oyabun Goro Shioma. Not a problem, says Adam: he lent my father money and I’ve been trying to buy him out of my still poorly-defined “business”. And rather than asking for the merest speck of evidence Chin is all, that’s fine, then; good luck with your wedding to my cousin. I’m not sure how often the writers can go to this particular well, but I remain firmly of the view that Adam, and his “business”, are dirty; so there.
Anyway. The Bomb has a dial-a-yield setting (?) and is on a Waikiki Trolley. This is a problem, asserts Kono, because the trolley goes “straight down Kalakaua Avenue, right into the heart of Waikiki”. A few seconds elapse. Then Chin, with the air of a man making an original observation: “That line runs straight down Kalakaua, right into the heart of Waikiki”. Are these people listening to each other? The bomb isn’t really hidden either; it’s in a wooden crate which might as well be marked with the words “Nuclear Bomb”, and when it’s opened up it has the largest LED countdown I’ve ever seen on a TV bomb. It also has a plot device in place to prevent it being disarmed – no “is it the red wire or the blue wire?” for the Five-0 – so Steve and Danny need to get it off the island and drop it in the ocean two minutes before it detonates. Anything handy to help facilitate that? Of course! The Kamecopter!
This plays out much as you would expect, although there’s an odd little coda with Chin and his brother-in-law Gabriel, who the show seems determined to turn into a major villain in season 6, which in my case at least will mean getting me to care about him a lot more than I do at the moment. Still, it’s a good episode rounding off a decent season. H50 almost never pushes the envelope, but it’s a reliable source of TV pleasure. I’d like a bit more Scott Caan next time round, though, please.