Hawaii Five-0 s10 ep 21

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.

Hawaii Five-0 s10 ep 20

We’re very definitely on the home stretch now: the episode opens with Steve brooding about lost loved ones – his father, his mother, and his Joe – and closes with him receiving a mysterious phone call from a barrister in London who is about to fly out to Hawaii to hand over a package from Doris.

In between, though, there’s plenty of entertainment in a thoroughly enjoyable episode. The first case relates to an ongoing scam in which tourists pick up a hire car which has a punctured tyre, and when they’re in the middle of nowhere they’re robbed. On this occasion, though, the tourist has been shot and killed, and his wife, Cynthia, is missing. She’s found near to death in the jungle, and taken to hospital. When the Five-0 finds her property, though, her case has a tracker and a lead-lined compartment; and when they look into Cynthia’s travelling history they find a lot of international flights and frequent travel to Antwerp, a well-known hub for the diamond trade. As a result of that they conclude that Cynthia and her husband are, perhaps, no ordinary tourists, which is confirmed when Cynthia disappears from hospital.

It’s all good stuff. Inevitably, though, it’s overshadowed by the return of Gerard Hirsch (Willie Garson, by which I of course mean Mozzie), who has a little problem: his elderly Uncle Oscar has moved in with him, and he’s found what looks like a valuable snuffbox in his belongings. As Oscar was a bit of a rogue in his day, could the Five-0 perhaps make discreet enquiries to find out if it’s stolen property? Tani does a little digging and discovers that it was stolen in 1978 from a woman named Tabitha May – who is still alive – during a robbery which turned into a homicide when Tabitha’s housekeeper was shot. And at almost exactly the same time Oscar – who was Tabitha’s fiancé under an alias – left Oahu for Seattle. As the evidence against Oscar piles up, Hirsch remains firm in his believe that, sure, Oscar might have had his shady side, but a killer he was not. 

Weirdly, Hirsch gets to help Tani with the investigation, but let’s not worry about that: by the end a senescent killer has been brought to book, and there’s an unlikely reunion for an estranged couple who never fell out of love. It’s actually quite sweet, and it offers Tani a distraction from the faltering first steps she’s taking in her relationship with Junior, although given that we’ve waited years for what Hirsch calls Rei-Rey, and that there are only a couple of episodes to go, the writers aren’t going to blow it up now. The episode as a whole also, incidentally, offers further evidence of what a good addition to the team Meaghan Rath has been.

Hawaii Five-0 s10 ep 19

In the Case of the Week, four masked torch-carrying horsemen ride onto a ranch, seize the rancher, drag him behind one of their horses, then shoot him. That’s pretty comprehensive, but Noelani is on the scene anyway. Interestingly, instead of greeting her with the usual barked “What do you got?”, Steve instead politely enquires “Morning, Noelani. What can you tell us about the vic?” Has he been on a training course about workplace interactions?

What Noelani can’t tell them about the vic, but Grover can, is that he was broke until shortly before his death, when he started flashing the cash around a local ranchers’ bar named the Cattle Prod. Tani, much to Junior’s discomfiture, and her consequent amusement, is very familiar with the Cattle Prod. Anyway, the trail leads back to the ranch, where the century-old buried remains of the original owner and his wife are found, and there are suggestions of millions of dollars’ worth of Civil War-era coinage somewhere on the premises. And, in due course, to a monumental Butch-and-Sundance style shootout, except Butch and Sundance are Steve and Danny, and therefore survive. Can any of the baddies be interrogated about what the motive was or where the coins might be? “Steve killed everybody”, sniffs Danny. “There’s no-one to ask.”

In the B-plot Quinn breaks off from offering support to Adam regarding his ongoing exclusion by Steve from “the team” – might want to look into Adam’s history there, Quinn, before second-guessing the Big Kahuna on employment issues – to provide help to Olivia, the daughter of her gambling-addicted loser ex-husband that we didn’t know about until now. 

It’s all passable, although I can’t help but think I should have been more entertained by an episode in which a cowboy-hatted accountant, a descendent of the original owner of the ranch, pops up halfway through to offer some assistance to the Five-0. What’s more intriguing are the unmistakeable allusions to mortality, and to something coming to an end: for example Steve and Danny, riding back from the shootout, pausing to look at and discuss the sunset as one of the things they’re going to miss. The news that Hawaii Five-0 wouldn’t be renewed broke about a week before this episode was screened in the USA, although one assumes that the cast would have been aware of it for some time before that.

Hawaii Five-0 s10 ep 18

Adam’s multi-episode Yakuza arc is resolved in minutes. Or, at least, let’s hope it’s resolved, because I’m really done with it and with him. The Five-0 responds to a report of shots being fired chez Nosh, and turns up to find dead gangsters all over the place, and a wild-eyed, blood-covered Adam brandishing evidence with which, he says, Kenji’s gang can be taken down. Yes, he was playing them all along. Even after Kenji is arrested, Steve makes his displeasure clear – he didn’t know what Adam was up to, and is less than impressed. (And yet more impressed than I am.)

Enough. On to the Cases of the Week. First up is Noelani, getting a storyline of her own, in which she attends her uncle’s funeral with her strikingly unlikeable parents. Although her uncle – a pastor, with a history of ministering to gang members – is supposed to have died of a heart attack, she immediately notices the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. Why didn’t the medical examiner spot that? Well, he did, but he was threatened, so he didn’t draw attention to it. Noelani and Quinn pursue the case, which at first looks like a suicide, but then becomes a murder.

Meantime, a boat skinned to look like a Coast Guard vessel attacks a freighter. There be pirates in these waters. Although some cash is taken from the freighter’s safe, other property is left untouched, leading the Five-0 to suspect that there was something else on board, something which perhaps hadn’t been declared. They’re right, of course. Tani is told to reach out to someone who might know about boat-skinning, and does this through Rick, one of Magnum’s “boys”. This allows him, as if in high school, to ask Tani if her friend, Quinn, might like him. (She might.) Incidentally, everyone seems to know that Junior and Tani are an item, and is encouraging it: no tedious “we need to hide it” nonsense if you work for the Five-0, it seems. Plenty going on in this episode, but it didn’t quite work for me.

Hawaii Five-0 s10 ep 17

We start this enjoyable episode with a flashback to a Hawaiian hotel in 1920, and a bellboy bonking celebrated crime fiction author Maureen Townsend. He then rescues an unpublished manuscript of hers from the bin. Back in the present day, there’s a literary festival on Oahu, and the real-life, if anachronistically murdered, corpses are piling up: a teacher has been strangled with a ukulele string, and a bookshop author stabbed with a letter opener. Both had also been put under the influence of ether, which is a bit old-timey as well, and had a page from the manuscript pinned to them.

By great good fortune, the universe’s greatest living Townsend expert is in town for the literary festival, and she’s excited to be a person of interest in a real life murder investigation. She knows about the unpublished story as well: in it there are four murders in total, finishing with the killing of a writer. Which means that when a third body appears, she’s the obvious final target for the killer, whoever it might be. (As it happens I guessed that REDACTED was involved as soon as they appeared, but not that REDACTED was as well. So fair enough.)

And, just as excitingly, Harry Langford, H50’s very own Poundstretcher James Bond, is there as well, having written a bestseller about his life as a secret agent. Thing is, though, he can’t reveal his true identity, so he’s hired an actor to play him for festival meet-and-greet purposes. It’s a flawless idea which only falls apart when faux-Harry is abducted by a bearded man-mountain wielding a syringe: news of Harry’s gigantic advance has got out, and his stand-in’s captors want the money transferred to their Cayman Islands bank account. On the face of it, it does seem remarkably easy to steal several million dollars.

And that’s not all: Adam is doing something boring in relation to the Yakuza, and – even more boringly – it does now look as if he’s trying to bring them down, rather than run them. And Junior is back from his secret mission. He’s met at the airport by Tani, and within a few minutes they’re going at it con brio in her car. Good. We’ve been waiting for long enough for that. 

Hawaii Five-0 s10 ep 16

There’s a dead man lying on the floor of an upmarket house, with a pool of blood around his head. There’s a bloodstained hammer sitting on a worktop in the kitchen. And there’s a woman walking out of the house, also with blood on her hands, which she raises when requested. “I just killed my husband”, she advises the police. It’s Valentine’s Day, so this is all soundtracked by John Paul Young’s ‘Love Is In The Air’, which sensible people will agree is pretty much the best record ever made.

And the woman, named Lorena Massey, is taken into police custody. However, the State Department brings the Five-0 in: Lorena’s victim, her husband, was a high-ranking Thai diplomat, and everyone’s keen to avoid an international incident. The problem is that Danny – who claims expertise in domestic abuse cases from his Jersey days – immediately discerns that Lorena is an abused wife. Moreover, despite her confession and the evidence, he’s certain she didn’t kill her husband. Why, then, did she admit to it? Obviously she’s protecting someone, and when a bit of interrogation of her phone turns up vast numbers of messages exchanged with a local ER doctor, who has seen her injuries and vowed to protect her, it’s obvious that he’s the killer and she’s taking the rap. Except… he isn’t the killer, much to Lorena’s surprise. Yes, all along she’s been inadvertently protecting someone she doesn’t even know.

Meantime, though, the geopolitical temperature is rising. It seems that Lorena’s husband forged a Thai citizenship application in her name, renouncing her American citizenship at the same time, and now the Thai government wants her extradited to be prosecuted there. Well, anyone who’s ever tangled with the Five-0 knows that they’re not going to hand an innocent person over just like that, so while Steve’s arguing with the State Department woman, Danny’s smuggling Lorena out of the Five-0 back door, and on to a safe house in the middle of nowhere, to which she’s welcomed by Kamekona, who is sitting on – and, let’s be honest, overflowing – a large sofa. Lorena looks somewhat startled by this development, as well she might. But it buys the Five-0 just enough time to find the real killer.

In an uninspired B-plot, Tani and Noelani are in a convenience store when – my God, the shock! – armed robbers take them, and the other customers, hostage. Honestly, if I ever saw a TV cop in a store I’d go elsewhere. They’re like magnets for armed robbers. And Steve is going on a second date with Brooke, who we last saw in the season opener. I’m not sensing that they’re soulmates. Overall, though, I really enjoyed this episode.

Hawaii Five-0 s10 ep 15

I did wonder whether the events of last week’s weird little episode would ever be spoken of again, or whether it would be implicitly conceded that it was something of a fever dream. I mean – Danny and his mystery woman who he met, banged in a bar restroom, and watched dying, all in the space of a couple of hours! The return of Adam, who stormed out of Five-0 HQ after his watch had been found at a murder scene, then went to Japan to cosy up with his Yakuza brethren! Eddie the Dog has PTSD! Well, at least the first is definitely canon, as Danny meets his mystery woman’s… sister, I think? Then he’s given the rest of the episode off to grieve.

Meantime, Tani is at the police academy to teach a class which includes Lou’s niece Siobhan and her new boyfriend Tanaka. Tani hasn’t seen Tanaka before. But we have, because he and Adam were in the cold open, digging shallow graves in which to bury Yakuza victims. Yes, Tanaka – real name Endo – is also a gangster. Siobhan rather sweetly ascribes his odd behaviour to maybe having another woman on the side, but when she does a little snooping she ends up tied to a chair in a lodge in the middle of nowhere, while Endo and his Yakuza overlords discuss exactly how to kill her.

Having noticed that she’s gone missing, the Five-0 wastes little time in finding her boyfriend and sweating him in the Blue Room. Adam, of course, is part of the investigations, having been re-admitted to the Task Force despite… well, despite everything. This beggars belief, and Steve’s weak justification when pressed by Danny – he wants to keep an eye on him – really doesn’t wash. Still, as soon as Adam sees Endo, he realises that Siobhan’s abduction must be Yakuza-related. To that end he waits until everyone’s backs are turned, kidnaps Endo from Five-0 HQ, and throws him into the boot of his car. Happily, this is all captured on a security camera. “What the hell made him do this?” wonders Tani. His… connections to the Yakuza, maybe, Tani? Still, let’s keep on giving good old Adam the benefit of the doubt, eh?

Adam then calls his rival Kenji – Endo’s godfather – and offers a straight swap, presumably while half of his brain at least is wondering how to spin this for Steve and Danny. It all plays out as you might expect, and it’s not quite classic Five-0; but decent enough, and much better than last week. Adam directs and Lou co-writes, incidentally, which might help to explain why both get lots of Acting to do.