Hawaii Five-0 s6 ep 12

Some unlucky teenage boys have been taken to an jungle for a kind of rite of passage thing, in order to learn more about their Hawaiian culture. They’re not even allowed to keep their phones, for God’s sake. But while the kids are scouring the island looking for a big stick which they can carve with a big knife (I may not have got the terminology quite right), one of them is shot.

Cue the Five-0. Including Chin and Abby, who are, per Grover, now “knockin’ ‘em”. The investigation leads them to a secret bunker, with a flag of the Imperial Japanese Army, a skeleton, and various bits and pieces lying around. The skeleton (when it was a live human) and the injured boy were both shot, 75 years apart, with the same Japanese pistol, dating from around the time of the Second World War; and once the deceased is identified the Five-0 concludes that the bunker and its contents had something to do with Operation Fu-Go, in which Japan, during wartime, planned to float balloons with explosives across the Pacific to mainland America. (As it happens, I heard the Fu-Go story a year or so ago on an episode of the excellent Radiolab podcast, and for anyone interested in the story I wholeheartedly recommend it.)

But the explosives have gone missing from the bunker, and since given their age they’re likely to be unstable, it looks as if half the island is about to be blown up, whether deliberately or otherwise. It’s a good story well told, although I had some sympathy with Grover when, about two-thirds of the way in, he tried to keep track of the dramatis personae: several Japanese gentlemen, each with a birth name and a cover name. I appreciated the exposition, let’s put it that way. The episode does no more than hint at the issues raised by the treatment of Japanese-Americans at the time of the war, but I’m quite happy to forgive the show for that because it’s delved into the subject in detail before.

In B-plot news Danny’s doing something offscreen – can’t remember it being specified, suppose it doesn’t matter – so Steve’s Aunt Deb (Carol Burnett) is called up from the H50 bench, complete with the ashes of her husband Leonard. (Did we ever, incidentally, return to the topic of the package Leonard handed to Steve at the time of his wedding to Deb?) Deb is terminally ill herself, and working her way through her bucket list; unfortunately Steve’s dumbo sister Mary is along for the ride, although she’s mostly confined to trying on a few dresses. H50 is actually quite good at this sort of storyline, and this week negotiates it with humour and dignity.

This episode was brought to you by: JJ Dolans

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