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Hawaii Five-0 - O Na Hoku O Ka Lani... - Review: "Only the Stars of Heaven..."

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It’s an unspoken rule in television that if characters ever find themselves at a pricey auction, they will inevitably, accidentally bid on an item they can’t afford. That’s exactly where I thought this episode was going the second Steve decides to call the Governor to requisition funds for a pricey fundraiser, but Junior and Tani neatly sidestep the setup in Hawaii Five-0’s first episode back from the lull caused by the Winter Olympics.

But first, back to that cliffhanger. The show knows that it’s been a while, and it helpfully fills you in on the details of Adam’s predicament on the “previously on” section. Viewers are reminded that Adam had an important meeting with Michelle Shioma before she died, and that there are millions of dollars buried somewhere on the island.

When mob boss Hideki confronts Adam in a shipping container full of CGI ants, it ends up being a clever twist. The viewers go in thinking that Adam has been kidnapped due to the investigation he’s running with Jessie. Instead, Hideki has completely fallen for his act. He only wants Adam because he thinks that Michelle revealed the location of the money. As far as he is concerned, Adam’s back to continue his shady dealings and hunt down the cash.

Luckily for Adam, Hideki decides to test his newest recruit by having Jessie lead the interrogation. I was a little disappointed that he didn’t ominously say, “Send in the ants,” or something to that effect, but this ongoing plot neatly furthers the Hideki storyline and shows where Jessie’s loyalties lie. It might be easy to assume that the ex-con and criminal would take a chance and sell Adam out, but she clearly shows that she is as clever and brave as any member of the main team.

Instead of leading Hideki to Michelle’s money, Adam leads him to a gun his father kept as an insurance policy against a rich local businessman. Hideki can use it to blackmail its owner, but only Adam has the name he needs to do so. Hideki lets Adam go, and Adam immediately calls Steve.

Steve is a good friend and is always available for a ride from the middle of the wilderness after you’ve been tortured. Adam confesses that there’s something no one is seeing about Hideki and his boss, but he’s got more pressing issues. The local businessman commits suicide without paying Hideki the money, and Jessie warns Adam that he’s still on the hook for that twenty-million dollars.

Meanwhile, Steve has cooked up a little scheme to look into the disappearance of Waller, the missing headmaster of Lawrence Academy, a ritzy private school full of monied students and catty parents. While Steve and Danny both tell Tani and Junior the excuse that the exclusiveness of school has stopped HPD from making headway, both seem a little too pleased with the idea of making Junior and Tani take on undercover identities as prospective parents. Russo even joins in with a phony greenscreen photo shoot so the fake couple can dazzle the admissions staff with pictures of their precious Noah.

Both of 5-0’s newest members approach this task with a sense of humor. Tani especially gets some good lines off, teasing Lou about his daughter’s college expenses and rallying against the rigged admissions system. It doesn’t take long for Russo’s computer skills to point the finger at Ms. Meech, Waller’s smiley second-in-command. Junior and Tani are overjoyed to extract themselves from the obnoxious PTA members they’ve been questioning to give Meech an admissions interview of her own.

Steve and Tani decide that, unless Meech’s desperate prayers have actually affected reality, she didn’t kill Waller. It turns out that Waller never even left the school campus and is literally unearthed from the foundation of a new school building.

Naturally, the team’s attention turns to Mr. Barton, who is not only one of the members of the PTA but the manager of the construction site. When they find Barton trying to disappear with five million in cash, he almost immediately confesses. He isn’t worried about prison, but the Venezuelan cartel he’s working for.

The cartel grabs Barton’s family in retaliation, giving the show its much needed action-packed third act. The team storms the cartel’s compound and saves the entire Barton family just in time. The police allow Barton to reunite with his wife and daughter for a moment before putting him in handcuffs. Steve tells Barton that DNA evidence from the lab shows that the shooter was a female and surmises that Barton is just covering for his wife. Barton responds by guessing that Steve certainly can’t prove any of that.

Back in the restaurant plot that just won’t die, Kamekona neatly sums up how I feel about the narrative. When Uncle Vito (can’t believe he is hanging out for more than one episode) quotes from the A-Team , Kamekona claims that he’s more the B or C team. This entire setup has the feeling of filler, and it ends up screwing with the pacing of the episode. It’s hard to feel all that anxious about Adam’s fate when the show keeps cutting away from the tense jungle showdown to Uncle Vito trying to game the system and get a liquor license. It feels like the script ended up running about ten pages too short and the writers were scrambling to come up with a solution. The restaurant plot works when it focuses on Danny’s dreams of retirement and the tension between those dreams and his present-day life, but it falls flat when we are forced to watch a character we don’t care about offer to bribe an official.

While Vito’s trying to fix the liquor license, he leaves Kamekona in charge of the construction work. Danny arrives not only to find the restaurant absolutely gutted but Vito in jail for bribing a public official. When Danny bails him out, Vito delivers a reality check to the two business partners. Trying to run a restaurant while also committing to a full-time job is a terrible idea. Somehow, Danny and Steve completely double-down on terrible ideas and ask Uncle Vito to stick around.

Uncle Vito may not be able to expedite a liquor license, but he does provide an answer to the ongoing mystery about who shot Danny in quarantine. It all leads back to Jersey, but we’ll have to wait to find out the would-be killer’s true motivations.

Also, did you see that preview for next week’s episode? Writers did not sleep on the whole “Hawaii accidentally activates a nuclear drill” storyline for long.

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

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