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Hawaii Five-0 - Ka Laina Ma Ke One - Review:"Line in the Sand"

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So – it looks like we’re still waiting on the payoff for that stolen uranium.

I love Hawaii Five-0, but this just seems like such a strange plot to keep on the backburner. In a show where a Mexican kidnapping was settled in five minutes, it seems weird that there’s uranium floating around the island and no team member seems particularly concerned. Instead, Steve is tackling his toughest challenge yet – passing his driver’s test.

It’s not much of a surprise to find out that Steve has been driving illegally for seven years without a valid license. It’s more unclear whether Danny’s been sitting on this for a while, or just found out and immediately marched Steve down to the DMV to renew. All he can tell the poor driving evaluator is “Vamanos Hibiscus”, which I think is Danny-speak for Vaya Con Dios. His Spanish was better back in Juarez.

Danny vents to a poor teen about Steve’s insane driving habits and the terrifying prospect that Grace will one day share the road with her stunt-happy uncle. Danny doesn’t seem to understand just who would have to drive Steve everywhere if he lost his license. Luckily for both of them, they snag a case and the test is marked as “incomplete” (although the queasy look on the examiner’s face tells us how it went).

The case focuses on a fugitive who found a fairly clever loophole to hide from HPD. Sure, ex-con Kanuha Noe is a native Hawaiian, but Chin immediately points out the hypocrisy of his hiding place. When questioned about the death of his ex-partner, Kanuha immediately fled to the Nation State of Hawai’i. Chin tells Bumpy, the community leader, that he owes Kanuha nothing. Kanuha wasn’t there at the protests or community meetings. He’s reaping the bounty of Bumpy’s work without doing any of the labor. Bumpy doesn’t care. The Nation is a “City of Refuge.”

Steve and Danny explain the situation to a confused Lou. The Nation made a deal with the government of the state of Hawaii. Any trespassers can be considered invaders and they can choose to protect who they want. Steve brokers a deal with Bumpy. If the team can find hard evidence that Kanuha is guilty of the crime, they’ll turn them over. Too bad an aggressive U.S. marshal doesn’t intend to keep the bargain.

U.S. Marshal Wes Lincoln (guest star Lou Diamond Phillips) rolls up with a cadre of soldiers, ready to breach the border and take Kanuha back by force. Chin and Steve are outraged, but the Governor tells them it’s out of her hands. Steve manages to get Lincoln to agree to a deadline. If they can’t solve the case by sundown, the marshals will go in. Lincoln soon proves that he intends to keep his word, but has a very narrow view of his agreement. He isn’t afraid to block cell-phone signals into the Nation, cut water and power, and prevent people from entering. He’s already ready for the siege and despite Chin’s protestations, it doesn’t look like it will end peacefully.

The actual case isn’t looking good for Kanuha. He was arrested with his burglary partner, Lance Akemoto, seven years before. Kanuha got seven years in jail while Akemoto got off on a technicality. Then, six weeks after a vengeful Kanuha is released, Akemoto dies. Kanuha’s parole officer assures the team that he’s trying to go straight, but Steve and Danny tie both Kanuha and Akemoto to a series of home invasions on the island.

When Chin confronts him, Kanuha admits that he’s part of the burglary ring, but not responsible for the murder. Bumpy believes him. Chin is furious. Lincoln will use any excuse to escalate the situation and Kanuha has lied at every opportunity. Bumpy agrees, but also tells Chin that he needs to keep his word and protect Kanuha until the team gets proof he is a murderer.

Kono finds evidence linking Kanuha’s parole officer to the murder. The officer, John Berris, got Kanuha a job at his brother’s hardware store. His brother, Devon, forced him back into a life of crime. When Kanuha told Akemoto about the crimes, Akemoto threatened to go to the police and Devon killed him to keep him quiet.

Devon then shows up at the compound, just as Lincoln sends in the drones. Chin has lost touch with the team, due to the interference with his phone signal. He doesn’t know that Devon is the true murderer and allows him into the Nation to talk to Kanuha.

When Steve finds out, he definitely violates the speed limit. His driving instructor would not be proud. Devon and Kanuha get into a fight, but Chin stops them just in time. Devon is arrested without any need to storm the Nation. Lincoln has the good sense not to look too disappointed. He even gives Chin a nod of approval. Bumpy thanks Steve for keeping his word and the team celebrates. We never find out if Steve gets his license renewed. I’m thinking “No”.

Max’s absence is already felt in this episode. We get a couple of strange Jerry scenes where he interviews potential roommates and gives Lou and Kono a visual demonstration of the home invasions (racking up $750 in expenses in the process). It just doesn’t feel the same, however, without Max giving his presentation on the corpse of the week. We didn’t see her this episode, but let’s hope that Noelani is up to the task of being our quirky new ME.

What did you think of tonight’s episode? Let me know in the comments!

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