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Hawaii Five-0 - Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka Aina I Ka Pono - Review:"Season Finale"

The Life of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness

Well – we’ve come a long way from cgi Jack Lord.

This season of Hawaii 5-0 has been a roller coaster. While the writers have had some problems working in larger season and series arcs (like Chin’s anticlimactic rescue in Mexico and Steve’s reunion with his mother), they’ve been great when focusing on what makes these characters tick. The best episodes of the season have focused on Kono’s compassion, Danny’s loyalty, and Steve’s bravery. Max got a great, heartfelt send-off and Lou realized that his true home is in Hawaii.

There were big changes for some. Chin officially adopted Sara and contemplated a move out of Hawaii. Adam adjusted to life out of prison. Danny considered retiring. Steve took on a radioactive bomb with a car battery strapped to his chest.

Yeah – that last one ends up being a main point in the season finale. First, however, the team ends up once again tracking down the sex trafficking ring that has been preying on girls on the island.

Kono was the one most connected with the story and it’s heartbreaking to see her interrupt her adorable shopping trip with Sara to comfort a girl who should still have that same joy and naivety.

Moani, the victim Kono helped, hasn’t been broken by her experience, but her trauma has definitely weighed on her. Moani has come through her ordeal determined to help the girls still out there and she doesn’t understand why Kono can’t get Emilio (the scumbag the team arrested) to talk. Moani gives Kono a fresh lead with a sketch of Deon, the man transporting the girls around.

The team storms his house, but he’s already moved the girls again. Kono is furious. She’s also coping with the fact that she may be pregnant. She turns to Lou for advice and he confesses that he’s terrified of sending his daughter to college in Chicago (a nice call-back to Lou’s emotional episode back in his hometown).

The team gets a lock on Deon’s truck and Steve coordinates with Abby to set up a roadblock. Hearing the sirens and seeing Abby’s badge just push Deon over the edge. The truck smashes through the barricade, barely missing Abby, and speeds off.

To his credit, Chin doesn’t tell Abby to stay off the case or leave it to the team. He understands her and knows that she needs to get this guy just as badly as everyone else. The problem is that the team can’t disable the truck without putting the hostages in danger. They have to get the hostages out without Deon noticing.

Steve forms a plan that was clearly inspired by multiple viewings of Speed and the original Teen Wolf. He will jump on to the truck and rescue the hostages with Deon none the wiser. Everyone on the team, especially Danny, voices how crazy that plan sounds, but no one can come up with anything better. When Danny tries to talk Steve out of the stunt, Steve tells him that “we don’t have time.” That, plus the pills he’s started popping, should be telling you something.

Steve prepares on top of the bridge and, in a visually impressive scene, jumps on to the top of the truck. He blowtorches a hole in the roof, but didn’t count on there being a guard in the trailer.

As Steve takes care of the trafficker, the rest of the team rides to the rescue under the cover of the SWAT van.

Steve manages to get half of the girls out before Deon catches on (watching the news coverage while driving is just another in his long list of offenses.) The truck has to pull back and Steve realizes that he’s going to have to come up with another plan.

Steve one-ups his insane bridge-jumping plan by climbing on the outside of the truck and unhooking the trailer. Deon takes that surprisingly well, looking more like a befuddled motorist wondering why he just got a flat tire than a crazy kidnapper about to start a fight to the death.

It isn’t much of a fight to the death. Steve gets the jump on Deon and rescues all the girls.

Normally, that would be the end of the episode. The wrapping-up party (to celebrate Jerry’s badge) would serve to bring all the characters together, we would maybe get to hear a speech about o’hana, and that would be the end. Not this episode. The show springs two surprises in the big ending scenes.

The first involves Steve. Along with the heart-pounding central mystery of the episode, the subplot had Steve giving Danny a strange gift. Danny is sure that it’s either a prank or some kind of commentary on Mother’s Day. The two settle into their normal bickering even in the middle of a highspeed chase. Danny takes umbrage to Steve’s hostage negotiation methods and Steve gives him some hard truths about his unhealthy friendship with Rachel. Steve isn’t actually disapproving of Danny getting back together with his ex-wife, but encourages him to go for it and stop pretending that he’s heartbroken about the divorce.

Steve encouraging Danny to take advantage of every moment ends up making more sense when we find out what his gift means. Several episodes ago, Danny went with Steve to his doctor’s office and told the doctor to check for radiation poisoning. Steve may be trying to shrug off the time he had to disable a radioactive bomb, but Danny wanted to make sure half of his liver remains in a healthy host.

It turns out that Danny was right and Steve is in the early stages of radiation poisoning. He only confesses when Danny sees him having a bad episode at the party, but it puts his previous actions into perspective. Despite Steve trying to play it off (“I may have a little bit of radiation poisoning”), it’s obviously causing him to look at the world in a different way. He tries to show Danny how much he cares and he doesn’t think twice about risking his life for the hostages. Steve, without the diagnosis, probably would have still jumped on to that truck, but it will be interesting to see if Steve’s devil-may-care attitude ends up getting him in trouble next season.

The other twist comes from Kono. The episode, and the entire season, have done a great job of showing how happy Kono is with her life. She’s with her amazing husband and may even be expecting a baby. That makes it all the more meaningful when she catches a flight to Carson City, determined to hunt down Deon’s partners and break up the sex trafficking ring. She’s giving up a lot to help others.

This episode delivered an amazing season finale that pushed the characters into new places for the next season. The stunts were a highlight in what has been an entire season of well-choreographed and well-shot action sequences. While the episode didn’t have the same emotional poignancy as Danny’s flashback episode or the sheer ferocity of Kono’s rampage after the sex traffickers, it was a great ending to a great season.

What did you think of the season? Which episodes were your favorite? What do you think is going to happen in the fall? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you so much for joining me this season! Hope you’ll keep watching in the fall and meet up back here!