Although we occasionally rag on procedural dramas, in truth I’m full of admiration for them: week after week they need to come up with new crimes to be solved, new angles to take, and not frighten the core audience away while doing so. This episode is a very good example. Reese, a troubled teenage boy, is hypnotised by his therapist, and appears to have a hidden memory of witnessing a terrible crime. Sure enough, on investigation a skeleton is found; the remains of Maggie Reed, who disappeared ten years before, and now looks to have been murdered. Yang, the detective who originally handled the case, has always been convinced that the culprit was Maggie’s bad-boy boyfriend, and when he confesses it looks as if Yang’s been vindicated. It comes way too early in the episode for it to be convincing, though, and for experienced Five-0 viewers it’s no surprise that it’s one of Reese’s parents who actually did it. I thought it was REDACTED pretty much from the outset, and I was right, but I got motive and means completely wrong. It’s smartly plotted, mind you, and very satisfyingly put together.
It’s in the B-plot, though, that this episode really hits home. Danny’s sister Bridget (Missy Peregrym) is on Oahu for some sort of business jolly. Steve observes that she’s “cute” (accurately); and that one of her co-workers, Spencer, seems to have formed the same view. Danny is perturbed by this, as Bridget is married; particularly so when he sees Bridget and Spencer together, and notes that their affection appears to be mutual, so he confronts Bridget about it. Which obliges her to explain – because, frankly, Danny hasn’t begun to notice – that she’s overwhelmed with work and with caring responsibilities for her children and for her parents, and having to cope with almost no help from her husband. Or from Danny. So, frankly, when someone she likes notices her as a person, it’s hard for her not to reciprocate.
The storyline gives rise, in particular, to two exceptional pieces of writing: Bridget explaining to Danny how she has essentially become invisible at home; and Danny, in turn, telling Steve that on reflection he knows where Bridget is coming from, because there was a time that his marriage was in trouble and he started to look at his New Jersey cop partner “a little differently”. It’s poignant, perceptive, well-written, and way, way, way better than it needs to be. Significantly, I think, given the way in which Bridget’s feelings are so expertly unpacked, and her frustration so persuasively articulated, this episode was written by two women (Helen Shang and Zoe Robyn), getting their first H50 credits as lead writers. I hope they do more. This was excellent. (And a nod to 24’s Tony Almeida, who directed.)
Bromance Watch: “…I can come back.”