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 Moana, 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.

Hawaii Five-0 s7 ep 18

Steve comes home after a hard day’s bickering with Danny to find Sang Min in his kitchen, hardly a pleasant prospect in ideal circumstances, even less so when Sang is bleeding all over the place having been shot. But Sang has some information about the man who shot him, which leads the Five-0 to a shipping container which is covered in the fingerprints of one Desmond Abati, one of the world’s most wanted terrorists, played against type by Darius Rucker of Hootie and the Blowfish, reputedly one of the nicest guys in showbiz. (Who, in fairness, holds his own. I’d like to see him get a little more screentime in something else.)

Abati is, among other things, an experienced bombmaker, who has been brought onto Oahu by Nadim Tahan, a radical who owns a safe house in the middle of nowhere. Put two and two together, and all of a sudden that missing uranium from a few weeks ago has found a home. There are no roads in or out, apparently, so Steve straps himself to Danny’s back and parachutes down to the safe house, where they find Abati, some redshirts, and a dirty bomb, which one of the redshirts activates.

The inevitable countdown clock shows that they have 60 minutes to render it safe, and if you thought that they would manage that in the first five, leaving plenty of time to discuss Danny’s retirement plan to open an Italian restaurant, you’d be wrong. It takes, ooh, very nearly 60 minutes, including a drive across complicated terrain – thought there were no roads in and out? – the best bit of which is when Steve cannibalises their van to make a bridge. It’s standard, modestly entertaining Five-0 fare, with the tension dialled down a little because we know that there isn’t any way a dirty bomb is actually going to go off. And the Steve/Danny carguments need to be a little funnier as well.

Hawaii Five-0 s7 ep 17

Dr Madison Gray, the serial killing Knight Stalker from the first four episodes of this season, who we last saw on the run in California, is back. She walks into HPD claiming to be Lauren Parker, a tourist from Wisconsin, with blood on her hands but no memory of the last 24 hours. There’s evidence to back up her claim that she’s been living under that name, and she manages to convince a psychiatrist that she has a personality disorder, even though she obviously doesn’t.

Then the blood on her hands is analysed, and appears to be a DNA match for that of retired profiler Alicia Brown, her adversary last time round. But Alicia seems to be fine; in fact, Gray accuses Alicia of attacking her, and is able to back that up that with details of an injury on Alicia’s arm. So what’s going on? What’s Gray’s game? Why voluntarily walk back into custody? Is she maybe just… bored?

Meantime, in one of the episode’s dafter interludes, Steve discovers that Edward Sears, the prime suspect in the disappearance of Alicia’s daughter – another serial killer – is in prison in Wisconsin, where Gray has been visiting him. So Steve goes to see Sears in his Silence of the Lambs-esque prison accommodation, but totally forgets the rules of that film. Thus when Sears asks for a pen and paper to write down the name of the person responsible for killing Alicia’s daughter, Steve totally puts both into the drawer thingy. It doesn’t end well, needless to say, as Sears sticks the pen into his own neck and bleeds to death. Oh, Steve. Strangely, he seems to walk away from Wisconsin without a word of criticism for giving a high-profile lifer the means to kill himself.

But Gray does indeed have a plan, and it involves successfully manipulating the hapless Alicia, whose skills as a profiler don’t seem to extend to knowing when a sociopath is toying with her. It’s a reasonably good episode, and I have to admit that Gray gets under my skin, so I’d quite like her to have survived the REDACTED we heard at the end of the episode. Mind you, in an ideal world Alicia would survive as well, as there still seems to be just a little unresolved sexual tension between her and Steve.

“Oh, FFS!” Watch: Max Weinberg opening Flippa’s shrimp truck. A plot development which reads like a random collection of words.

Hawaii Five-0 s7 ep 16

We start at a nightclub, where a thirtysomething dude’s appalling chat-up lines are getting much more attention than they deserve from a blonde babe in a revealing dress. They adjourn outside to make out, and next morning dude – Jeremy, a Palo Alto software developer – is found murdered, and the blonde is nowhere to be seen. Jeremy was on Oahu to attend a conference on The Method, a technique which is being pushed as a foolproof way of picking up women by its creepy originator Blake Stone.

The investigation is left to Kono, Chin, and Lou this week, because it’s Valentine’s Day and Steve has taken Lynn on a romantic break… to Hawaii. Yes, he’s gone a mile or so down the road and booked a suite at a well-known Honolulu resort hotel. And who should be in the next room? Danny, of course, with Melissa, so that the four of them can hang out. In fairness to the women, it’s courageous of them to attempt to compete with Steve and Danny’s true loves (each other); a task which becomes even more difficult when Danny becomes rather disturbingly fixated on a teenage boy at the resort, who might or might not have stolen his $20 sunglasses.

Meantime, in the Case of the Week, it turns out that Stone has been paying escorts to flirt with his students so that they will think his asinine methods are actually working, which means that the blonde in the revealing dress is now the main suspect in the murder of Jeremy. But is she the culprit? It’s about as traditional an episode of H50 as it’s possible to imagine, and it’s diverting, but no more than that.

This episode was brought to you by: well, the Hilton Hawaiian Village, of course, which gets more screen time than any of the characters.

Hawaii Five-0 s7 ep 15

The body of a woman in her thirties, Leia Rosen, is found floating offshore, with a number tattooed on her arm, akin to those inflicted on Nazi concentration camp prisoners. This enables the Five-0 to identify her as Leia Rosen, the granddaughter of a recently deceased Holocaust survivor. Leia had been working as a volunteer in Kalaupapa, a peninsula on the island of Molokai, which hosted what used to be called a leper colony until the end of the 1960s. For the second week in a row, a quick check on Wikipedia revealed to me that this wasn’t an invention by the writers: although it is now a national park, there are still a few elderly survivors of Hansen’s disease, ill at ease with outside life, living in Kalaupapa as part of the community. And, once again, Hawaii Five-0 deserves considerable credit for illuminating a hidden corner of the history of the islands.

Anyway, Leia’s journey to Molokai turns out to have been linked to her grandfather’s past, and specifically to an elderly Nazi who escaped Germany after the war and set up home there. I thought it to be a little better plotted than last week’s equally-worthwhile episode – perhaps every other viewer worked out who the killer was, but I certainly didn’t – and, once again, an excellent example of H50 providing education and entertainment at the same time.

There’s some filler elsewhere: a B-plot in which a reviled hunter of exotic animals is found hanging upside down having apparently been eviscerated by a shark. There isn’t much to it, but it introduced me to the practice of “finning”, which sounds ruder than it is. And there’s a flimsy C-plot in which Kamekona tries to get the Five-0 to intervene when his employees go on strike. Putting that aside, a strong episode.

Hawaii Five-0 s7 ep 14

A man is being chased through the jungle by the HPD, but just as they’re about to grab him he burrows under a wire mesh fence and into a compound. When the cops point guns at the people on the other side of the fence and demand that the suspect be handed over, guns are pointed back at them. The suspect is one Kanuha Noe (Kalani Queypo, a native Hawaiian) wanted for murder; and the compound is the property of – indeed, the territory of – the Nation of Hawai’i, which regards itself as a sovereign state, and entitled under international law to provide sanctuary to kanaka maoli.

Now, what I didn’t know – until I paused the episode at this point and did a bit of poking around the internet – is that the Nation of Hawai’i is a thing, and Bumpy Kanahele, the Nation’s spokesperson and negotiator, is a real life activist. And so, not for the first time by any means, H50 illuminates a corner of Hawaiian history and politics of which I was unaware, and does so – if I may say so – respectfully and sympathetically as well, with particular reference to the treatment of the indigenous population.

Bumpy has no particular problem with turning Noe over to the Five-0; provided, that is, that it can be proved he’s responsible for the murder they want to pin on him. Steve and Chin, in turn, are fine with that. However, the US Marshals – led by a narrow-eyed Lou Diamond Phillips – have other ideas: it’s a murder; he’s a fugitive; it’s a Federal matter; and the Five-0 has until sundown before they go in and take Noe by force. It’s not the best H50 ever, but it’s another one for the list of episodes in which the show, commendably, gives something back to the islands which host it, and teaches me something in the process.

This episode was brought to you by: Dillingham Blvd. Self Storage.