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Hawaii Five-0 - Ahuwale Ka Nane Huna - Review: "The Answer to the Riddle is Seen"

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What are the chances that this won’t be disturbing…

Tani must have seen this show before. The chances that the anonymous Betamax tape sent to headquarters weren’t going to be something horrifically gory were indeed quite low. The opening for tonight’s Hawaii 5-0 takes us deep into the mailroom of the palace and the poor souls who have to sort out all the creepy mail the team gets.

It’s up to the new kids to weed out the crazy mail from the truly psychotic, and Tani and Junior stumble on to something truly eerie with a grainy video of a woman being murdered in a hotel room. The only clues to the murder are the heavy breathing accompanying the video and the tacky tropical décor. Tani and Junior lament that it’s not a lot to go on, but Lou takes the opportunity to be a mentor for the rookies and teach them all about good old-fashioned police work.

Meanwhile, Steve and Danny are visiting their old friend Henry Langford and low-key name-dropping the Queen. Henry is town with his own old friend, Lady Helen Mortimer, and her daughter Sophie.

The friends’ lunch turns into an excruciating long shopping trip with Sophie, and Steve ends up close to snapping. Apparently, like Charlie, he turns into a psychopath if he doesn’t get a snack, and Danny refuses to share his animal crackers. Before this turns into a bloodbath, Henry discovers that Sophie has gone missing. Hard to go missing under the watch of a former Navy SEAL, a member of the Honolulu PD, and a bonafide MI-5 agent, but I guess it’s possible.

Turns out that Sophie is a bit of a criminal mastermind and uses a convenient town car to give her babysitters the slip. “Team Killjoy,” according to Sophie’s best friend, has no business going after Sophie, who just wanted to meet up with her date. Steve, on the other hand, knows that having a British royal loose on the island could lead to not only some bad PR but some dangerous situations for Sophie.

Sophie, as Danny finds from some light internet stalking, has ran off with a muppet and gone to a pool party.

Let’s be honest, this was not the most interesting episode in the world. It’s not incredibly fascinating to see Steve, Danny, and Harry go into super-over-protective dad mode and hassle some teens for an hour. It’s also a bit annoying that all of the guys’ bellyaching proves to be valid and Sophie ends up kidnapped by genuine international sex traffickers. After this, the episode lurches quickly into Taken mode as Harry gets increasingly frantic about tracking Sophie down.

The Taken plot is as over as quick as it started when Steve and Harry take care of the traffickers on the boat and get Sophie home safe. The twist, that Harry was Sophie’s real father, was incredibly obvious from the get-go but does give this plot some much needed emotional heft.

Back at headquarters, Junior and Tani are still scratching their heads over the mysterious tape. The two manage to figure out that the room is on the first floor and the murder happened sometime in the nineties. Their best lead is the number on the room key, which indicates that it’s one of the few hotels that would mark a “Room 13.” After a bunch of cold calls, the team gets lucky and finds the Avalon Hotel and the creepy crawlspace the amateur videographer used to tape the murder.

Tani is taking this case hard. With the exception of their mysterious pen-pal, no one cared enough about poor Lara Levy to fight for justice when she first disappeared more than two decades earlier. Lou gives Tani a pep talk about doing what they can to help the victims, but understanding that they can’t do everything. It’s a nice, small emotional moment in an episode that isn’t too concerned about feelings or deeper meaning.

Junior has identified Mr. Heavy Breather as a former hotel employee who slipped into a coma nearly a month earlier. Although he’s definitely the one taping the murder, he couldn’t have been the one to reach out to H50. That was his wife, who lived with the secret for years. The wife took her husband’s absence as an opportunity to do right by Lara.

Junior and Lou bust out the old “zoom and enhance” cliché to see a tiny pin on the killer’s jacket that identifies him as a pilot. Tani is there to personally arrest him and show that justice can still be served after so many years.

With this light and breezy (give or take some creepy heavy breathing) episode of H50, the serialized plots of the season fall by the wayside. Steve basically tells Danny that he’s not going to deal with Adam and his connection to Noriko’s death until he absolutely has to and no mention is made of Catherine’s return last week or any of the other change-ups to the team’s dynamic.

So all-in-all, this was the basic definition of a forgettable episode. Definitely not one of my favorites, but maybe you guys liked it better. What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

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