A mother and son, Sylvia and Manu, are kidnapped at a diner and are being held at gunpoint in their house by two armed men who have just carried out a bank robbery, one one sustaining a bullet wound which needs treated in the process. A waiter from the diner turns up at the door, ostensibly to hand in something the boy left behind, but he rescues the woman and her son, killing one of the baddies with remarkable and brutal efficiency, and taking a bullet in the shoulder himself, before disappearing.
The Five-0 gets the call, and Danny tracks Steve down at his father’s grave to tell him that they have a case. “We always got a case”, Steve sighs wearily, who has been handed the package he was promised at the end of last week’s episode: a sheet of paper, from Ma McGarrett, with a coded message. What does it mean, wonders Danny? “To be honest with you, I don’t think I really care”, mutters Steve. It’s impossible to miss the signs of impending burn-out, and Danny doesn’t.
The Good Samaritan is identified as Sgt Lincoln Cole (Lance Gross), formerly of an elite Marine counter-terrorist unit, but who went AWOL just after being awarded a Purple Heart. So what the hell is he doing working under an assumed name as a waiter on Oahu? And he needs to be found and protected: Hector, the brother of the man he shot, is looking to avenge his death.
So when the Five-0 tracks Cole down, they stash him in the Blue Room in order to keep an eye on him. But then Sylvia and Manu are kidnapped again, this time by Hector, who offers to trade them for Cole. Steve has a plan to get them back, using Cole, which is threatened when some military police turn up looking to arrest Cole. In normal circumstances you’d expect Steve to chase them the hell out of his Five-0. Not this time: eh, he effectively shrugs, what are you going to do? as the MPs take Cole away. And by now there’s something close to panic in the ranks of the Five-0, with Steve’s decision-making openly being questioned.
Steve pulls himself together for long enough to sort everything out: Sylvia and Manu are rescued, the MPs are squared, and Cole even offers to put Steve in touch with a guy who knows ciphers. Which is just as well, because it’s clearly of interest to some bad people: just after Steve and Danny share a tender moment outside the McGarrett house – “This is how I thought it would end for us; a couple of old guys sitting on a beach, watching sunsets” – Danny goes to fetch some more beers and is beaten up by someone in Steve’s kitchen looking for the letter from Steve’s mom, which happily Steve still has in his pocket.
It’s an excellent episode, and sets up next week’s series finale nicely. It also affords a tantalising glimpse of what might have been had the show gone on: apparently Lance Gross had been offered a regular slot in the Five-0, and one can see that Steve would take the view that his combination of lethal skills and spectacular recklessness would be an ideal fit with the rest of the team.