Hawaii Five-0 s9 ep 25

Season finale time, and it’s a cleverly-constructed episode which draws together quite a few of the show’s ongoing plots. H50 isn’t always the best at multi-episode arcs, but I think it gets it just about right here. 

Anyway, star attraction is still psycho-nerd Aaron Wright, now at large and with NSA cyber-weapons for sale. Junior’s father has gone missing after his daughter’s killer was released on parole, following Joons’s intervention at the hearing last week. Adam is sleeping over – platonically, everyone, platonically – at the house of old friend Tamiko, who was left at the altar a few weeks ago by her undercover FBI agent boyfriend. And the wife of Omar Hassan, the man responsible for the death of Joe White, wants to visit Steve, with her young son, in order to sort out their differences and apologise. This doesn’t raise any red flags. Not a one.

It all shakes out pretty well, and – given that H50 is generally all about the action – with a few possible romances as well. Wright, finally cornered, engineers a false alert of a missile attack – not the first time that’s happened on Oahu – in order to sow confusion, but is eventually captured. His parting shot is a boast that he’ll probably be freed again because the CIA needs his skills. I wouldn’t put that past the writers. Adam visits Tamiko, having told her that he’s ready to “move on”.  Whether he “moves on” Tamiko we don’t yet know, because the door closes on the viewers, leaving ex-Yakuza Adam in the company of his possible new love interest, the daughter of a Yakuza oyabun. Way to leave that old life behind, Adam. Junior, disowned by his father and a little bit emotional, drops in on Tami. The door closes on that one as well. Even Danny seems to be getting closer to Rachel again, which Steve seems to be a bit sniffy about. Wonder why? 

And in the final scene, at Five-0 HQ, the Widow Hassan pulls out a gun and shoots… someone. Not Danny. Maybe Steve. Possibly her son. But probably Jerry. I’m slightly concerned that, as far as I can tell, there’s no word on whether Jorge Garcia is returning for season 10. Because at the moment this show, I’d say, is working very well. It now seems odd that it was on the bubble a few seasons ago: with ratings holding up nicely, and the new cast members all properly integrated, H50 now feels kind of indestructible; assuming, that is, Alex O’Loughlin stays interested, and it doesn’t get too expensive to make.




Hawaii Five-0 s9 ep 24

Tani’s at home, minding her own business – all right, offering moral support via the phone to Junior, for reasons to which we’ll come back – when all of a sudden there’s a man pointing a gun at her. And the man is our old friend Aaron Wright, last seen killing H50’s go-to hacker friend Toast and disappearing into the wind. This time, though, Aaron wants the Five-0’s help: in return for immunity, he’s been working for the NSA in a covert black ops site on Oahu, from which he’s been waging cyber warfare on America’s enemies. Unfortunately some baddies came in that morning and killed four of his colleagues; he and the branch chief (Senator Morejon from Madam Secretary) are the only survivors, and the chief might well be up to no good himself. So can they protect him, please?

Well. The Five-0 is, of course, enormously sanctimonious about this… this criminal helping the forces of law and order. (Double killer and “former” Yakuza member Adam is actually in the room, but that doesn’t stop anyone, of course. Yes, I realise I’m the only person who cares.) But Aaron’s story all checks out, so what are you going to do? Jerry punches him for killing his friend, but the rest of the Five-0 decides that pragmatism is in order, and work with him. It turns out that a gang of Euro-assassins is behind the hit, and that it has to do with blackmail and killer anaesthesia machines rather than national security. With Aaron still a target, Steve decides to use Junior and Tani as bait for the shooters (“Like gazelles at a watering-hole…”, muses Tani poetically) while Jerry and Aaron team up to bring down Big Anaesthesia. This story, however, isn’t over.

Meantime, and against my expectations, both of the subplots land. Lou’s outstandingly annoying brother Percy, who really shouldn’t have escaped with his life from his first appearance, is whining because someone seems to have stolen his kouign-amann recipe. Is this really a matter for the Five-0? Well, Lou intervenes, and much to everyone’s surprise – including mine – the trail leads to an act of industrial espionage carried out by a generously-built Hawaiian gentleman already familiar to the viewers. It seemed to me at least that Lou and Percy were very ready to accept his explanation, perhaps unreasonably so. 

And Tani accompanies Junior to the parole hearing of the man who knocked down and killed his sister. H50’s approach to issues of crime and punishment is generally somewhat Old Testamentary, so I really wasn’t prepared for Junior deciding that, rather than demanding that the parole application be refused, a bit of forgiveness might be in order. Outstanding.

Hawaii Five-0 s9 ep 23

A cleverly-structured episode, written – as the best ones often are – by Zoe Robyn, starts with some #bantz about Junior accompanying Tani to a wedding as her plus-one, an arrangement which they both maintain is strictly platonic. Interestingly, as in later episodes of The Mentalist, it seems that the other characters are shipping them, which might at least mean that we’ll be spared a tiresome don’t-let-the-Job-find-out storyline if and when they get together.

More of that later, including The Wedding itself. For now, though, we have a homicide. Ride-share driver Sam Pukahi is abducted at knifepoint by passenger Carter Hill. So when Pukahi’s vehicle turns up with his corpse in it, we immediately assume Hill to be the perp. Not so; Hill is in the boot, also dead, and a quick investigation reveals him to be a boring marketing executive from New Jersey in town for a convention. So who killed them both, and why? The answer will lead to poor Junior having to scramble down a cliff to rescue someone, watched by Tani, who might just about be starting to realise that she likes him.

And, answering the request of no-one anywhere, Steve’s dumbo sister Mary is back, staying in an Airbnb (it’s a good week for the gig economy on H50), and highly suspicious of her neighbour Ben Miller, who she believes, on fairly scant evidence, to be running a meth lab. Since Mary is an idiot, no-one takes her seriously, until… she’s proved right. Her neighbour is, indeed, running a meth lab. I for one am in no way surprised that Mary would know exactly what to look for.

Finally, then, to The Wedding itself! They both look hot, of course, but The Moment arrives when one of Tani’s girlfriends enquires about whether Junior is single, and Tani is strangely reluctant to answer. To the sound of pennies dropping they slow-dance to an acoustic cover of Only You – a song which is a signifier of workplace hookups ever since the closing scenes of The Office (UK version) – and come about as close to kissing as you can without actually kissing. Next week, presumably, or maybe the season finale. Best episode for weeks.

Hawaii Five-0 s9 ep 22

Another slightly odd one, with members of the ensemble cast given quite a lot of prominence. I’m guessing that Alex and Scott were having some downtime. Noelani gets the A-plot this week. Her mentor, Dr Chu, has been kidnapped, and is being required to carry out heart surgery on a baddie. Noelani’s role is to procure a heart valve from the morgue, then assist with the surgery. Unfortunately the valve she obtains is no good. Not a problem, says Baddie #1, shooting Baddie #2: “there’s your fresh valve”. The resourceful Noelani manages to disarm her captors and makes a run for it, only to discover that Dr Chu is… well, let’s just say that her position is more nuanced than it originally appeared to be.

Meantime, Adam is visited by a woman in a wedding dress. It’s his old friend Tamiko, whose fiancé appears to have left her at the altar. The matter is somewhat complicated by the fact that the missing man was an undercover FBI agent, who was investigating Tamiko’s father’s “business”: that being, of course, Yakuza business. Well, this sort of thing is meat and drink to Adam, of course, given what I suppose I must still call his “past”. But Mr Yakuza isn’t fooled: “One day”, he tells Adam, “you will accept who you are”. Adam doesn’t demur. Will the writers go there in season 10? I hope they do.

Hawaii Five-0 s9 ep 21

An odd little episode starts with someone being cremated alive – EW EW EW – but then immediately takes its time with a couple of diversions, neither of which are all that interesting. Steve and Danny end up as custodians of a cat, left in the will of the woman whose flat they used for a stakeout in a season 5 episode. And Lou and Adam go for breakfast, during which Lou lets Adam know that he, Adam, will always be able to look to him, Lou, for emotional support…? I mean, it might have been Mental Health Day in the States when this was shown, or something? I dunno. I feel as if I missed something important.

And the really weird thing is that, when the show finally returns to the A-plot, it’s potentially a good one: the deceased was a sort-of PI who was investigating the disappearance, 24 years ago, of a toddler, all of which suggests that he was getting uncomfortably close to solving the case. Unfortunately the main plot beats are covered in about two minutes at the iTable, which means that the big emotional climax didn’t feel earned. At least Tani has asked Junior to be her escort at a wedding – just as friends, it’s not a date – which means that in a couple of weeks we’re going to see their faces when each realises that the other scrubs up rather well, and maybe they’ll make out.

Hawaii Five-0 s9 ep 20

A teenage girl, maybe 15 or so, buys a .38 handgun from a junkie. Also present at the sale is an old friend of Junior’s, who clearly feels uncomfortable – you’d think, wouldn’t you? – and tells the Five-0, who are immediately on alert for someone to be killed. And, sure enough, the next day one Michael Carrigan is found dead, having been shot with a .38.

As the Five-0 try to find the girl, then the motive, then solve the case, the present-day action is interspersed with flashbacks to other crimes: Steve’s father and Duke being shot in 1983; a holdup in a convenience store in 2010, the day before Danny started with the Five-0; and an incident in 2015 which finally persuaded Tani that she needed to disentangle herself from her criminal associates. The same gun, of course, was involved in all of these incidents – and quite a few others, it’s a “community gun”, a phrase which is new to me – and once the Five-0 finally have their hands on it they can start to solve quite a few cold cases.

It’s a smart, fast-moving episode. It would be easy to think that the Five-0 writers’ room can turn out episodes like this between slices of pizza, but I rather suspect that would understate the craft and industry involved.

Hawaii Five-0 s9 ep 19

The Five-0 is called out to investigate the murder of a window cleaner, found with his harness cut at the foot of a building. His uniform, though, carries the name of a non-existent company, raising the question of whether he’s just pretending to be a window cleaner… which he is. Sometimes you just don’t connect with an hour of TV, even an episode of a show you like, and I’m afraid the tangled tale of the window cleaner/street artist/political activist left me a little cold. I did, though, like Jerry’s crime scene modelling drone, because I’m always here for a drone.

There’s also an undercooked B-plot, in which Lou and Adam pick up the case of a murder victim who was also robbed, post mortem, of his valuable vintage Aloha shirt. (Brought to you by Bailey’s Antiques and Aloha Shirts, Honolulu.) And… oh, I don’t know, something about Junior’s dead sister. Not feeling it, I’m afraid. Still – and I’m genuinely pleased about this, even if it might not look that way from this review – the show has been renewed for a tenth season, which is good news.