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Hawaii 5-0 - Huikau Na Makau a Ka Lawai’a - Review: The Fishhooks of the Fishers Become Entangled"

It feels like forever since Hawaii 5-0 was on, doesn’t it? I was excited to reunite with the team, but didn’t have high hopes for the episode after almost all of the “previously on,” dealt with Danny’s family. Unlike the private lives of Chin or Kono, Danny’s relationships just aren’t inherently very interesting. I honestly don’t care about Rachel or her problems. The show could never decide if Rachel was supposed to be Danny’s harridan ex-wife or the one-who-got-away. It tried to make her both and just ended up being confusing.

It’s a pity, because the episode delivers another striking opening sequence. We follow an average Joe shopping at the grocery store (and picking up a Hurley-approved Lost Apollo bar). The twist comes when he deposits his haul, including a couple of trashy tabloids, in the trunk of his car, next to a bound and gagged woman.

Before we can find out who this girl is and what this guy wants, we’re back in boring Williams-land. I really like Danny as a character when he’s free to interact with the rest of his team, but watching him and Rachel stumble through a scene about her divorce isn’t why I tune in to the show.

While Danny is processing Rachel’s change of marital status, Lou is very upset about some very good news. His daughter has been accepted to Northwestern and, has he tells Steve, that means all “Williams-style” retirement talk is off the table. Danny still may see his Italian restaurant dream reach fruition, but it’s no boat for Lou. He’s even angrier at the prospect that Samantha could go on to have a whole line of brilliant Northwestern alumni who extend the tuition nightmare into future generations.

Lou isn’t the only one who may not have a happy retirement. Steve is called down when security sees a guy with a gun in the building. It isn’t yet another person with a vendetta against the team, but Harry Brown (William Forsythe returning to the show).

Harry’s made some bad investments and went back into the PI business. Celine, the woman he was following is kidnapped right in front of him. Surprisingly, no one saw anything but Harry. The bad guys tell the distraught husband Tom to keep the cops out of it, but Harry still goes to the team.

Harry has pictures of a woman who argued with Celine, but he actually needs somewhere to develop the photos. He meets a kindred spirit in Jerry, who prefers analogue photos himself. The husband identifies the woman as an old friend of Celine’s named Natasha.

As they drive to Natasha’s, Steve makes Danny open up about Rachel. Danny isn’t upset because he’s thinking about getting back together with Rachel. He’s happy with his girlfriend (who put up with him when he started a blood feud with a little kid over a pair of sunglasses). He’s upset because he thinks Stan’s a good second father to his children and he doesn’t want Grace and Charlie to have their worlds rocked by the divorce. Harry tells him that it doesn’t matter what he does. Life will go on. It’s a little more philosophic than most car talks end up going.

Before the guys can reach Natasha, she’s kidnapped by the same bad guys. Maybe they shouldn’t have spent so much time talking about ex-wives. Kono susses out that the husband was having an affair with Natasha. Tom refused to pay the ransom for Celine, so they kidnapped his mistress instead. The team all get their chance to yell at the husband for being a dirtbag, and then decide to go rescue both women.

In addition to excellent openings, Hawaii 5-0 is also good at building tension by humanizing the victims. Like the episode about pick-up artists, the show takes the time to get to know the kidnapped victims. Both actresses play it well when Celine reveals that she knows Tom didn’t pay her ransom and Natasha also realizes what a jerk her lover is.

Our villain’s supermarket shopping comes back to haunt him when Chin examines the proof of life photo he sent Tom. They track down the supermarket, but first it’s more Danny drama. Stan’s leaving because he thinks Rachel’s still in love with Danny.

I actually could handle more drama if it meant Steve recounting seven seasons worth of plot points and twists to a very confused Harry. Before the two can advise Danny on how to proceed with Rachel, the team finds the hostages. Too bad Celine’s been strapped to a bomb vest.

After the tense cut to the commercial break, the hostage takers come out with a gun to Natasha’s head and a dead-man’s switch connected to Celine. They get away and it’s a genuinely tense moment when Steve tries to get Celine to calm down while they wait for the bomb squad.

Celine’s a champ. She not only takes the bomb-vest thing pretty well, she manages to stay calm and give the team useful information about the hostage-takers (maybe her calmness should have been a clue about the big twist). Celine is wracked with guilt because she told them about Natasha. She’s also mad as hell about Tom. She goes to bat for her husband’s mistress and forces him to pay the ransom.

The team tracks Tom to the ransom drop. The same citizens that ignored the violent kidnapping of a woman in broad daylight are the same ones ignoring two guys dressed all in black holding a gun to a woman’s head on a condo balcony. They sneakily pick up the suitcase full of money from Tom and still threaten to kill Natasha. Steve manages to fly the team’s helicopter close enough to get Kono a clean shot of one of the kidnappers. The other one is confronted by Chin and Danny in the building. With deep resignation, Danny slides down the laundry shoot after the kidnapper, but is knocked out.

When he comes to and Chin identifies the two kidnappers, Harry puts it together. When Celine was kidnapped, she just played along. Natasha was the one who fought and screamed and tried to get away. When the bomb squad tells Steve that the bomb vest wasn’t activated, he starts to believe Harry’s crazy theory. It’s confirmed when one of the kidnappers ends up being Celine’s secret boyfriend. The two had conspired to kidnap Natasha and get the money before Tom divorced Celine.

Celine is left in the interrogation room contemplating the consequences of her actions and Harry invites Steve to a poker game full of his father’s old friends. Both men know what a precious gift this is. Steve gets to hear new stories about his beloved father.

Ultimately, this episode gets bogged down too much in Danny drama. It also doesn’t fare well in comparison to the amazing last episode, which had the perfect mix of action, character development, and larger messages about human trafficking. Not every episode could be like Kono’s badass blaze through sleazy villains, but when the writers show that they can knock it out of the park, it’s easy to be disappointed by their less impressive work.

Oh, and Danny and Rachel are maybe getting back together. Danny, how dare you spurn your poor girlfriend whose name I can’t remember?!

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