Hawaii Five-0 s7 ep 25

A quick sidebar before we get started: as I hoped, I was able to catch up with the MacGyver/Hawaii Five-0 crossover episode, which was… fine. As it’s the only episode (of either iteration of MacGyver) I’ve ever seen, my observations are few in number and probably inaccurate: like everything else just now, it has a hot female hacker; there’s an unconvincing ship; and George Eads is doing a lot of the heavy lifting.

Anyway, to business. Moani, the girl rescued from sex traffickers a few episodes ago, gets in touch with Kono and provides her with a sketch of someone else who was involved in the trafficking ring. He’s identified as Deon Miller, and he’s still very much a part of the business; in fact, he’s found to be driving a truck with a trailer full of terrified girls.

What to do? Well, to start with the HPD (led by the returning Abby) uses some cars and barriers to set up what it thinks is a perimeter, in the hope that Miller will stop, but Miller just crashes through it. And then things get kind of weird. Miller’s being followed; everyone knows where he is – it’s even on TV; no-one knows where he’s going; yes, he’s probably got plenty of fuel, so he can keep moving for a while, but it’s an island, and there’s a limit to where he can go. Rather than just wait him out, though, maybe until he really needs to go to the john, Steve decides that immediate action is called for: the truck, he explains, is to be guided towards a tunnel, and when it emerges he’s going to jump on top of it, enter the trailer, free the girls, smack Miller around, etc. “Are you”, demands Danny, “completely whacked out of your head?” Probably; but he’s going to do it, and everyone – including Steve – keeps talking as if it’s more or less a suicide mission, without exploring the possibility that hanging around and doing nothing might work just at least as well.

Steve successfully jumps onto the truck, though and uses some sort of portable welding device to open the roof of the trailer and free the girls, although not without the usual violence, and some daring stuntwork. It’s all pretty intense, and it’s worth remembering that this is the 25th episode of the season; Alex O’Loughlin undoubtedly needs a rest.

And as this is the finale, a few threads need to be left dangling. Kono, earlier seen buying a pregnancy test, and despairing about how the Five-0’s successful operation will barely make a dent on child sex trafficking, hops on a plane to Carson City, Nevada, which was where Miller intended to take the girls. It still isn’t clear if Grace Park will be back for the eighth season, and it would be a shame if she weren’t, although I daresay the show could survive.

Meantime Steve isn’t feeling well, and it isn’t anything to do with Danny’s organ being inside him; it’s because he has radiation poisoning (!) from handling the dirty bomb earlier in the year. As Alex O’Loughlin has said before that he wouldn’t want to do more than eight seasons (although he seems to be relaxing his stance on that), it’s possible this is the start of that particular trail of breadcrumbs. I will be very much back next time, though: I thought this was the best season of H50 for years.

Hawaii Five-0 s7 ep 24

Steve makes a special trip to Guantanamo Bay, where a prisoner, Naser Salaam, warns him that there’s about to be a terrorist attack on Oahu, and that he should get everyone he cares about off the island. Understandably, Steve has some difficulty selling this to the rest of the Five-0, who wonder why someone detained at Gitmo should be giving Steve a heads-up. The reason – as we see in flashbacks – is that ten years ago, when Salaam was first imprisoned, Steve was one of his interrogators, but treated him with dignity and kindness when no-one else would. Still doesn’t quite explain it… but it’s hardly the first time H50 has been implausible, so let’s move on.

Salaam isn’t able to give Steve very much intel, but it’s enough for the Five-0 to identify the likely attacker as a radicalised Muslim academic, and in due course for them to work out that the plan is to shoot down a plane as revenge for a SEAL raid in Kabul which killed an al-Qaida operative. It’s an involving plot, and it treats this difficult geopolitical topic with marginally more sophistication than normal, although previous episodes on a similar theme really haven’t set that bar too far off the ground.

In the B-plot, Adam helps Mozzie with a business plan to expand his crime scene cleaning enterprise. According to Kono, Adam is ideally placed to help as he “ran a multinational corporation”. Well, that’s one way of putting it, I suppose. Eventually, as none of Oahu’s banks are wiling to lend Mozzie money, Kamekona steps in with some hard cash and an offer of partnership. It’s nice to see the ex-cons networking. I hope their parole officers are OK with it. And Coughlin, who once tried to bring the Five-0 down, is trying to tempt Chin with a job running an anti-Yakuza task force in San Francisco. I wonder whether this is an insurance policy for the producers, in case Alex O’Loughlin makes good on his plan to leave after eight seasons? Move to the mainland, reboot, keep Scott Caan happy…? Anyway, another good episode; H50 is very much on form at the moment.

Hawaii Five-o s7 ep 23

Steve and Danny are decorating Danny’s son’s bedroom, bickering all the while, when Danny gets called away. Seven years ago his last case as an HPD detective, the shooting of a drug dealer, hit a wall when his star witness Aheahe Makino disappeared, presumed dead. However, Makino has turned up alive, as a comatose John Doe in a care facility, starting to show signs that he might regain consciousness.

Danny heads over to the facility. But the news of the recovering John Doe is broadcast on TV, which means that the Ochoa drug cartel – involved in the original case – tries again to kill Makino. Accompanied by his old boss and a nurse (OITNB’s Lori Petty, an engaging and idiosyncratic screen presence), Danny manages to get Makino out of the hospital. They then hole up in a nearby house, while the cartel circles. It should be said that, while they may be great at selling drugs, the cartel members are pretty rubbish at shooting: they fire hundreds, if not thousands, of bullets at the ambulance Danny uses to take Makino away, then at the house to which Danny takes him, and don’t hit Makino once.

Meantime, in flashback, we get to see Danny’s investigation of the original case. We’ve always known that he is ambivalent about living in Hawaii, and it turns out that, while in HPD, he was being subjected to what you might, if you were being generous, describe as hazing, regarded as the out-of-town haole who jumped the queue to get promoted. Eventually he’s taken off the case entirely and allocated the investigation of a dead ex-cop, name McGarrett. Which brings us full circle to the start of season 1. (By coincidence The Blacklist used a very similar device recently.)

It’s a terrific episode; thrilling, muscular, surprisingly poignant in places, and easily one of the season’s best. It therefore came as no surprise when, after watching, I discovered that it was written by Helen Shang & Zoe Robyn, who were responsible for the season’s outstanding episode so far.

Hawaii Five-0 s7 ep 22

A getaway vehicle being driven by a gang of bank robbers, all of whom used to be part of the same private security unit in Afghanistan, crashes into a car killing its elderly passenger. As a plot it’s reasonably standard Five-0 – identify the robbers, stop the next heist, get justice for the deceased – but it’s given a few twists which make it a little less quotidian: the motive for the thefts, and a Heat-esque sit-down halfway through between Steve and one of the baddies. Most importantly of all, the dead man was one of the last survivors of the attack on the USS Arizona. This gives Steve a personal interest, as his own grandfather was one of those who died that day. There’s a terrific on-the-streets shootout, followed by a brutal fight between Steve and a perp. And, as ever when H50 intersects with an aspect of Hawaiian history, it does so with tact and respect.

So for absurdity we need to turn to the B-plot, which finds our old friend Adam Noshimuri working on a building site. Fair play to him, I suppose; convicts often find it difficult to hold down a job after being released from prison. Unfortunately, while excavating the site, Adam finds what looks like a human bone. His boss tells him not to report it, as that might lead to the site being shut down. But he ropes Jerry in to investigate and, inevitably, the Nosh gets the sack. The bone does lead to someone being arrested for a murder he thought he’d got away with, but I didn’t really care that much. I hope this isn’t the start of a process which ends with Adam getting a Five-0 badge.

Hawaii Five-0 s7 ep 21

A couple of sailors on a vessel in distress in a storm manage to board a ship, but discover that the crew are all dead. Five-0 investigates, and – one or two evidential leaps later – discovers that our old Yakuza friend Michelle Shioma was the likely perpetrator, and that she’s most likely on the island of Lanai. So Steve, Danny, Kono, and Chin head over to Lanai, where they’re captured within a matter of minutes. Obviously Steve knows more about stealth raids than I do, but if I were going to try and sneak onto an underpopulated island I’d probably not do it in a low-flying helicopter, no matter how many, uh, “klicks” away from the baddies I was on landing.

Anyway, Steve’s captors – drug dealers or something, it doesn’t really matter – tell him that Shioma is dead, and throw the Five-0 in a cage. Cue escape attempts. And Jerry, back on Oahu, is worried because he’s lost touch with the team, but has been told not to tell anyone about the mission, as Steve suspects that there’s a Yakuza mole somewhere in HPD.

Meantime, Grover and his son are back home in Chicago, so that he can give evidence. However, he discovers that the rank and file cops haven’t forgiven him for the way in which he treated Clay Maxwell, and Lou’s protestations that Clay definitely stole drug money, might well have killed his wife, and probably sent people to kill Lou and his family, all fall on deaf ears. Chi McBride, as I’ve said before, is good at nailing these more emotional storylines.

Anyway, Michelle Shioma isn’t dead, Steve fashions an escape, and Jerry sends Duke and the HPD in to save the day, in return for which Steve gives him a Five-0 badge. Shioma ends up in custody, whence I suspect someone will try to spring her before the end of the season. A good episode.

This episode was brought to you by: the Hilton Chicago, giving the Hawaiian Village a bit of a break.

Hawaii Five-0 s7 ep 20

In the Case of the Week, returning veteran PI Harry Brown is carrying out surveillance on a woman named Celine, on the instructions of her husband Tom, a wealthy older man, who suspects his wife of infidelity. While Harry is watching, though, Celine is abducted and bundled into a car. The usual demands ensue – money, don’t tell the cops, etc. – but Harry involves the Five-0. Unfortunately Tom declines to pay the ransom, so the same gang abduct Tom’s mistress Natasha, then when they’re all tracked down to a nearby house the kidnappers push Celine out of the front door wearing a remotely-detonatable bomb vest, thus ensuring that they can escape with Natasha. Which means that Celine is dispensable both to her husband and her abductors, which is kind of a kick in the teeth if you think about it.

Anyway, this time Tom is prepared to pony up, and the kidnappers – credit where due – come up with a pretty cool mechanism for delivering the ransom money. That having been said I’d surmise that the majority of kidnappings in TV procedurals are inside jobs, so it’s really just a matter of guessing who – husband, wife, mistress – has been behind it all along. Harry works it out before the Five-0, with the benefit of just a little retconning.

Danny’s present this week, but distracted throughout: his ex-wife is divorcing Stan, who thinks that she’s still in love with Danny. And Danny, on the face of it, has feelings for her. But he also has a girlfriend, of course. Ruh-roh. A thoroughly enjoyable episode, with Harry kibitzing during the Steve/Danny exchanges, and adding a bit of spice while doing so.

This episode was brought to you by: Kona Big Wave Ale, the choice of kidnappers.

Hawaii Five-0 s7 ep 19

A terrified teenage girl with visible signs of physical abuse is brought into hospital by her “uncle”, but before the nurse treating her can alert Family Services the girl and the man disappear. So the nurse calls in the Five-0 instead, and Steve and Kono set to work. The girl is identified as Moani, missing for six weeks from her home, and lured into running away, then coerced into sex work, by someone she met online. It turns out that this isn’t an isolated case; there’s a sex trafficking ring on the island. Kono takes the case personally, and her righteous anger is something to behold, even if the guy whose car window Kono smashed in might reasonably think that all he was doing was sitting there minding his own business.

The trafficked girls are found by the end of the episode and taken to Pearl Haven, a specialised (and genuine) treatment facility, run by an organisation named Ho‘ōla Nā Pua. This might explain why the episode had an underlying hint of PSA, although not off-puttingly so; anyway, on any view it’s a worthy cause, and anything which can be done to educate young people and their parents is worthwhile.

There’s also a B-plot in which two recovering addicts are found murdered in their sober living home, together with their counsellor. Chin and Lou are on this one, although it’s no more than filler. And there are one or two references to something which happened with “Jack”, which confused me at first, but I’d forgotten about the MacGyver/H50 crossover episode. I’m not watching MacGyver, but I don’t think the crossover has been shown in the UK yet, so I might keep an eye out for it.