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Hawaii Five-0 - Make Me Kai - Review: "Death at Sea"



You really have to give it up to the production’s crew. The cold open for tonight’s creepy Hawaii 5-0 episode isn’t very long, but immediately makes for a striking scene. A lone woman lies dying in a yellow life-raft on a tranquil blue sea. The scene is the perfect length. It lingers just long enough to give viewers a sense of unease without overstaying its welcome. The scene that the team finds when they track down the life-raft’s point of origin is just as unsettling.


Aside from a little bit of squabbling between Steve and Danny about the restaurant, the script dives right into the case of the week. Most of the team has already been briefed about Monique Simms, the PR person found floating in the life-raft. She’s in critical condition, and the boat she was on, The Serenity, isn’t answering any radio messages. Satellite positioning shows a gruesome display of dead bodies on the yacht’s upper deck.

Steve, Danny, Tani, Junior (who’s shadowing the team for the week), and Noelani all head out to the now active crime scene. Often, the show will begin its cold open with the crime in progress, but it was a smart decision to let the audience discover it with the team. The horrifying tableaus the team stumble across all tell their own story. There’s the couple lying together on a bed in one of the cabins. There’s the dead crew member inches away from a fired flare gun (which is going to be important later). Each new room gives a visceral sense of the panic and confusion these people must have felt in their final moments.


It's a feeling the team definitely doesn’t want to experience. Unfortunately, as soon as Steve realizes that the eleven victims were killed with some kind of biological agent, he quarantines the ship. The caption reading "Seven minutes since exposure" shows what they're up against. Noelani (who never stepped on board) goes back in the helicopter with all the evidence the team could scrounge up in eight minutes. Steve and Danny have done their best to welcome the newcomers on to the team, but it isn’t until the four are stuck on a boat together that their true colors come out.

Luckily, Junior and Tani rise to the occasion. While Tani initially freaks out a bit, Junior manages to calm her down. It’s good for the team but not so great for the audience. Meaghan Rath has done a great job of showing the many different sides of Tani. She’s impulsive, loves her brother, and can mouth off to authority while still contributing to the team. Junior, on the other hand, is just nice. He’s nice, patient, stable, and loyal. Even when he’s literally dying, the guy is unflappable. Those are probably great qualities to have in a team member, but not so great from a character perspective.


Meanwhile, the other new addition to the team is busy interrogating the only survivor. Adam was an acquaintance of Monique, and at first it makes sense that he would be called in. While the show is certainly trying to find creative ways of getting Adam on the team, it gives up halfway through. It basically says, “Adam wants to help, and everyone wants him to help. Deal with it.” Adam is also the one who manages to find the hole in Monique’s story. Monique claims that a man named Marko showed up on the boat and tried to rob all the other passengers. She bailed out as soon as she saw a gun.

With the help of these two newbies and the rest of the team back on the island, Steve manages to piece together what really happened. The other passengers weren’t being robbed by Marko. When they realized what he had done to them, they turned on him and shot him in the face with a flare gun. The main evidence for Steve's theory is Marko’s corpse shoved below deck, clutching a briefcase full of the virus. Monique lied.


Jerry identifies Marko as Andreas Koslov, a Ukrainian chemical weapons expert who has been shopping a chimera virus to different buyers. The CDC warns the team that this one is nasty. It is a combination of Ebola and measles, and it can kill within hours. The CDC doubts they can create a cure in time to save anyone.

Marko was the only one on board the Serenity who didn’t die of the virus, so the team believes he must have had an antidote. However, it isn’t on board the ship, and at this point everyone is too weak to do anymore sleuthing. The show never tries to play coy about the virus. The entire team is infected and showing all the symptoms.


When it gets to be too much, Danny raids the bar, kicks back, and listens to Jimmy Buffet. He and Steve even come to a revelation about the waiting room at their restaurant. Before they have any more business ideas, there’s a thunder clap off on the distance. The look on Steve’s face reads: “Seriously?!” Now they’ve got a storm to worry about.

Meanwhile, Monique is trying to get out of dodge. She was paid a lot of money to smuggle Andreas on board the boat, but her backer isn’t happy with the result. She kills her ICU nurse, and gives Adam and Lou the slip at the hospital. When they finally track her down, she takes a shot to the gut instead of surrendering. Then, Adam turns into the Monique Whisperer, and Lou does a little threatening to get her to give them the antidote.

Lou takes off in a helicopter in the middle of the storm to deliver the antidote to Steve. When it falls into the ocean, Steve jumps in after it. Junior jumps in after him and saves all their lives (I may think the guy is a little boring, but he has definitely earned his place on the team). Tani pulls them to safety, and everyone makes it home. They just have to spend a couple of days cooped up together in quarantine!

Programming note: Although the major revelation that Steve hates the waiting room idea would be a good mid-season cliffhanger, there’s not one but two episodes next week at 9:00 and 10:00. A holiday miracle!

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

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