Hawaii Five-0 s7 ep 25

It’s the season finale, for which Hawaii Five-0 likes to raise its game. Apart from some nonsense about the restaurant – to which we’ll come back – the action starts with a mysterious black shape looming into view just off the Honolulu beach. It’s quickly revealed to be a rogue Russian nuclear-powered submarine. Fantastic! In every sense of the word.

But what do they want? Steve, for one, is not willing to welcome his new Russian overlords, and after an (inadvertently comic?) interlude when he tries to communicate with the crew using semaphore, he commandeers a small boat and sails out to the submarine, demanding to speak to the Captain. As American warships surround the sub, and helicopters fly overhead, world peace rests on the appealingly broad shoulders of Commander McGarrett of the Five-0 Task Force.

Once on board, the officer in charge takes Steve to the captain; or, at any rate, the corpse of the Captain. There was, he is told, a mutiny on board, at the behest of submariners who wanted to defect to America. Although the uprising has been suppressed its leader, Petrov, waited until the submarine was close to Hawaii then escaped through a torpedo port and is now on Oahu. Grover’s response to being told this – “What?!” – is the only sensible one. But after the Russian consul is leveraged by Steve and Danny into providing a bit of information, the Petrov chase is on: he seems to be after a regular all-American couple who live on the island.

And at this point the show turns into The Americans, because the couple, who live as Lee and Nancy – someone’s research took them no further than well-known singing duos – are, in fact, GRU sleeper agents in deep cover. Or were GRU sleeper etc., because by the time the Five-0 gets to their house “Lee” and “Nancy” are very dead, having been tortured first; which presumably means that Petrov was after information on someone else. Where will this end? With a spectacular season-ender of a knockdown fight between Petrov and Steve, that’s where: they kick seven shades out of each other, occasionally making use of office equipment; then fall through a second-floor window onto a table and do it all over again. Wonderful.

Meantime, in return for $250,000 cash money stuffed into suitcases, Steve and Danny have taken on Kamekona and Flippa as partners in their restaurant. “I’m gonna go kill myself”, mutters Danny. Unsurprisingly, though, Kame knows more about the restaurant business than the two of them. Could they turn this money pit into a viable enterprise? Next season for that, presumably; and for further developments in respect of Adam, given that Tami has found the gun which killed his sister in his house. Assuming he’ll return. Hell, assuming any of them return: there’s no official word yet on contract renewals, but one would guess that certain undertakings were given before CBS decided to greenlight a ninth year. I thought this season was generally fine, if a little below the standard set by the unexpectedly excellent seventh. But the show coped well with the loss of two major characters and the integration of their replacements.

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Hawaii Five-0 s8 ep 24

Steve and Junior are hanging at home, when the doorbell goes. Junior answers it, then disappears. Kidnapped? From his own doorstep?! Actually, and even less plausibly, he’s been recalled by the Navy SEALs for a mission which is so incredibly urgent he couldn’t be spared ten seconds or so to say goodbye. 

But there’s no time to ponder that, because Junior is being deployed to Nigeria to capture or kill a high value target. Who might or might not be holding Joe White as a hostage. Well, as soon as Steve hears that he insists on tagging along, which allows the show to fully indulge its military fetish, with everything from camouflage face paint to arcane jargon (“Center peel!”) and hand signals. It’s a complete suicide mission, of course, for anyone except the Big Kahuna, who fills in any available spare time by flashing back to a time when Joe rescued him from certain death.

And the other plot is just as good, in its own way. Gerard Hirsch (Willie Garson, forever Mozzie from White Collar) is cleaning a house after a murder, when he spots two artworks on the wall which he thinks were looted by Nazis during World War Two; and, as the victim’s husband’s grandfather was a German émigré, it all kind of fits. A magnificently grumpy Grover tries to keep Hirsch and Kamekona away from the case, sarcastically proposing to them that they should become police officers, while he and Tani serve prawns and clean crime scenes. (Cue quick dream sequence, in which Kame and Hirsch are in uniform taking part in a shootout.)

But Hirsch is determined to help. Could, he is asked, the paintings be fakes? “I was a master forger in a previous life”, he replies drolly, stopping just short of winking at the camera. (But provoking a squeal of glee in at least one viewer, who loves his meta and his White Collar.) He will in due course answer that question and solve the murder, just about walking off with the episode in doing so. I loved every single moment of this, so credit where due: the story was by Alex O’Loughlin; and the teleplay, of course, was by Zoe Robyn, who never lets the Five-0 viewers down.

Hawaii Five-0 s8 ep 23

Boston wiseguy Tommy Boyle is murdered in his house, which is witnessed by his acupuncturist – who is then killed herself – and her daughter Cammy, who escapes and goes on the run. When Steve and Danny head over to Cammy’s apartment they’re met, to their considerable surprise, by Junior; he is, he says, an old friend, although at least to start with he’s curiously reluctant to discuss that friendship in front of Tani. The suspect pool includes Boyle’s son and a retired German banker, caught on camera having a meeting on the day of Daddy Boyle’s funeral. It’s thinly plotted, but some of Danny’s dialogue is quite funny. As is the scene in which Danny and Steve try to get information out of elderly mobster Jin Leung, as a result of which Danny is required to throw a kung fu fight against Leung’s son, but incredibly resistant to the idea.

Hawaii Five-0 s8 ep 22

A long-term resident of a psychiatric hospital is found murdered, and staff are being reticent. So Jerry goes undercover at the hospital as an orderly – it was presumably a judgment call to soundtrack the cold open with Patsy Cline’s version of ‘Crazy’ – in order to make discreet enquiries with both staff and patients. 

Meantime Duke – the straightest straight arrow in the HPD – suddenly breaks bad, Tasing a fellow cop and stealing a key from the evidence vault. Say it ain’t so, Dook? Well, of course there’s a reason: his granddaughter has been abducted by masked men, and they’ve promised to kill her unless etc. etc. He uses the key to open a locker, which has a bag containing around $1m in cash money, but before he can pass it to the abductors he’s robbed by someone else.

Two potentially good plots; unfortunately, neither rises above the stolid. Meantime Tani’s idiot brother Koa has completed rehab and decided to work as a counsellor; and Adam is, presumably, still in the wind.

Hawaii Five-0 s8 ep 21

The previouslies – including a flashback to the unforgettable moment when Steve and Danny were presented with the George Cross by Brenda suggest that Harry Langford (Chris Vance), one of the show’s more engaging recurring guest characters, is going to make an appearance. And indeed he does: he’s providing security for minor Royals Lady Helen Mortimer (Danny: “How many people have to die before you become the Queen?”) and her headstrong teenage daughter Lady Sophie.

Sophie goes missing during a shopping trip, at first voluntarily – she’s met a boy, and she leaves Harry a lipstick-scrawled “Don’t wait up for me” on a tissue – then not so much. It’s good fun, with nicely-balanced humour and action, and the usual English caricatures: a spoiled socialite here, a ratlike paparazzo there. And a little poignancy as well; it seemed to me that Harry was unusually invested throughout in the safety of the daughter of one of his employers, but I wondered whether I was imagining it. I wasn’t.

Meantime, an old Betamax videotape is delivered to Five-0 HQ. When Tani and Junior watch it, it looks as if a voyeur, hiding in an attic, was intending to record a sex scene in a motel room, but it then unexpectedly became a murder. Tracing motel, peeping Tom, victim and perp 25 years after the fact looks impossible to the youngsters; Lou tells them, with more than a hint of glee, that it’ll take some old-fashioned hard detective work to solve the crime, and he mentors them through it. It’s an unexpected delight of an episode.

Adam, incidentally, has skipped town.

Hawaii Five-0 s8 ep 20

In a black ops site in Kenya, a suspect is, uh, enhanced-interrogation-techniqued to death, then found to be in possession of a Hawaiian trinket. This immediately pings on the radar of one of the American operatives there, Lt. Catherine Rollins, who takes it as an excuse to return to Oahu and enlist the help of the Big Kahuna. What ensues is a slightly muddled tale of terrorists, uninhabited islands, depleted uranium, dirty bombs, and so on, in which Jerry plays the role of Indiana Jones. I didn’t get the feeling that any of the characters really cared about the outcome. I didn’t much either. And Junior avoids his father’s birthday, and his Secret Pain, by falling down a ravine in one of the many parts of Hawaii with no cellphone coverage.

Adam, meantime, has decided that it’s time to leave the Five-0 and head back to the mainland. Might it have been better, Adam, to take that view before getting a civilian killed and losing $20 million? We could yet get to ask that question, because Adam makes a return visit to the Yakuza Bank, which is clearly a full-service financial institution, requesting an alibi. And why might convicted killer Adam need an alibi? Well, at the end of the episode the body of Noriko, his psychotic half-sister, washes up on a beach. Cui bono, eh? Unusually, Steve actually suspects Adam, although not as much as I do.

Hawaii Five-0 s8 ep 19

An elderly hitman, Leroy Davis (nicely played by The Wire’s Frankie Faison), decides that it’s time for him to confess his sins to Steve, chosen because back in the day John McGarrett led the investigation into Leroy, but was never able to pin anything on him. Hawaii Five-0 normally handles its flashback stories pretty well, and this is no exception: it’s downbeat but touching. Curiously, at the end the families of the (eighteen) victims line up to offer thanks to Steve, who seems to accept it as his due, even though all he did was follow Leroy around.

It’s particularly out-of-place this week, because one of Steve’s worst decisions – putting Adam in charge of an undercover operation – is now unravelling, largely because Adam’s a colossal effing idiot. He’s abducted by McNeal and taken to meet his half-sister, who we now understand to be Ms Big. Which means that it’s her turn to demand the $20 million Adam knows nothing about, this time threatening Kono and Chin if he doesn’t pay up, and shooting McNeal in the head as a sort of demonstration of her bona fides as a ruthless yet capricious killer.

So Adam runs to Jessie, and tells her that with people he cares about under threat he’d better get the money. She’s dumbstruck: you… know where the money is? The money you denied knowing anything about? The money I tried to beat out of you? Oh yeah Adam knows where the money is: he’s deposited it with a Yakuza banker. Adam and Jessie withdraw $20 million in cash money at a moment’s notice – the Yakuza Bank clearly keeps a lot of cash on hand – and put it in his car. Obviously Adam turns his back for a minute, giving Jessie the opportunity to drive off with his car and his money. He ropes Tani in to help trace Jessie, but when they find the car the money’s gone and Jessie’s dead. Oh, Adam. Remember when you promised to protect her? Me too.