Hawaii Five-0 s7 ep 1

Skipping over the in medias res opening to the episode – which we can and should – the first scene of this seventh season is remarkably weird. Steve is still in hospital recovering, as might be recalled, from having a large organ inserted into him, and he drops in on the chapel for a moment of quiet contemplation. There is, however, a stranger already there, who engages him in conversation; a stranger who claims to have worked for the police himself, and who advises Steve on how to leave a worthwhile legacy. I’ll freely admit that, until the end credits, I didn’t appreciate that the stranger was supposed be a CGI’d Jack Lord – the original Steve McGarrett, of course, in the first iteration of H50 – with other actors providing the physical and vocal likeness. Thing is, the way in which “Jack Lord” spoke, and moved, and was lit, made the whole scene very creepy and unsettling, and I’m not sure if it was meant to be.

Anyway, to the action. Steve and Danny are having wheelchair races through the hospital – really, guys? – which we can take as a sign that they’re keen to get back out there and solve a crime. Fortunately, one comes up: a dead body is dumped at Five-0 HQ, with a strange item in his mouth, then another body is found in Grover’s car. This turns out to be vigilanteism: both deceased were serial killers themselves, and at least one of them targeted tourists in tony resort hotels. For obvious reasons this piques the interest of the new Governor, Keiko Mahoe (Rosalind Chao), who correctly identifies the potential harm to be done to the state’s economy if tourists half-expect to be murdered while on Oahu.

The objects in the mouths of the corpses are identified as ancient ivory chess pieces stolen in a housebreaking a few years back, which enables the Five-0 to home in on a suspect, one Pierre Shaw (Jesse La Flair). When they track Shaw to his apartment, though, he runs off. And he doesn’t just run; he turns out to be an exponent of parkour. Of course, a little thing like a liver transplant isn’t going to stop Steve from giving chase, and Shaw is eventually holed up in a hotel after a lengthy rooftop-and-everything-else pursuit which is thrilling to say the least. Kono calls for a “perimeter set” – which is a new phrase on me, although I’m guessing that the writers of the forthcoming 24 reboot will have been paying attention, given that 24 was the home of the hard perimeter – and Shaw is, uh, neutralized. The final scene, though, is properly and deliberately unsettling, suggesting that whatever’s going on involves more than just Shaw, and is connected to Steve in some way. A very good episode.

This episode was brought to you by: well, I’m guessing this is how it went.

H50 PRODUCERS: “Would you like us to use your resort as a set for an episode? We’ll put the name in a chyron and everything. It’ll be great publicity.”

PALEKAIKO RESORT AND SPA: “Fantastic! Where do we sign?”

H50 PRODUCERS: “Great, thanks! Right – bring in the mutilated corpses and set them up just here, facing that terrific sea view!”

PALEKAIKO RESORT AND SPA: “The what now?”

H50 PRODUCERS: “No backsies. Now, could someone get hold of the Pua Lei Hotel…?”

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