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Hawaii Five-0 - Aia i Hi'ikua; i Hi'ialo - Review - Is Borne on the Back; Is Borne in the Arms

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The opening of this episode, set on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, made me immediately homesick for JAG. Can one be homesick for a TV show? I guess so. There was little time for melancholy, because the Peter Weller-directed episode took off and never slowed down, which is typical for TV episodes from that director. A small airplane in distress lands on the aircraft carrier. The pilot is dead. But there’s a baby on the backseat. NCIS Special Agent Emma Warren (luminous guest star Nazneen Contractor) pulls McGarrett aside at Duke’s welcome back party to tell him that a Navy SEAL pal of his was the pilot. Flashbacks (something else Weller-directed episodes frequently use) reveal that this man Carson Rodes met with McGarrett for some lighthearted drinks just two days earlier.

Special Agent Warren expects that McGarrett will do some grieving and leave her alone to investigate this possible kidnapping/murder scenario. She must be new. He immediately rallies his team to tackle this from all angles. Junior (who Tani might be calling Junes now) checks local hospitals for the baby. Jerry searches missing persons lists. And McGarrett goes to investigate Rodes’s last hotel room. He finds a hidden message, a license plate, that Rodes stuck to the underneath of a drawer on tape. Special Agent Warren shows up just then. There’s a bit too much plot convenience afoot in how she catches on to McGarrett too quickly in this episode, but I’m letting it slide because Contractor is so much fun as an exasperated, smoldering frenemy character. She arrests McGarrett, sending Danny skipping off to get a personal release letter from the governor. But first he has another important stop.
Just when it was starting to feel like we would never see Ian Anthony Dale again, Adam returns. Tani sneaks back into his house to put the gun back and is startled when Adam appears. He buys her explanation that she was just making her usual visit to water plants. However, he’s also scruffy (and not in a good way), filthy, and very hungover. I’ll back up. Adam tells her that he and Kono broke up. Which may not quite mean divorce, but it’s probably headed that way. With McGarrett perpetually single and Junior maybe intended for a Season 13 romance with Tani, Hawaii Five-0 couldn’t have Adam trapped in an offscreen love story any longer. Even if said story was with a popular long-term character. For now, this is okay. Even if it does feel slightly cold.

Seeing Adam as a basket case is enough to make Tani worry that maybe he and Kono broke up because she saw some new darkness in him. She asks Junior what she should do. He throws out the idea of anonymously calling the police to report the gun. While one part of me wishes she would be honest with McGarrett, she hasn’t known him as long as we have. I feel her concern about how he would respond is valid for someone in her position. Tani does tell McGarrett that Adam is back, including that he’s not doing well. Handcuffed in a conference room, McGarrett sends the best person he knows to bring Adam back from the brink. Danny visits him with empathy, hugs, a plugged nose, and an offer to join Five-0 officially. Adam is overjoyed to accept.

The case of the week thickened when Five-0 identified the car as a rental and traced the woman who rented it to a nearby island. There Tani and Grover found several bodies and a bloodied house. They wondered if Rodes had been the one doing the shooting. However, the discoveries kept piling up. It turned out the baby’s mother had recently flown to Hawaii from the mainland, leaving behind her tech mogul husband (Gabriel Mann so perfectly played up the distraught side of a parent that for a second I forgot he had to be the villain). He met them at the hospital and poured out a syrupy story about hiring Rodes to find his poor postpartum-insane wife. McGarrett told Warren he was sure that was a bunch of hooey. They identified some of the dead men as working for a private security company, which just happened to have a location not far away. After a rigorous shootout, the team rescued the baby’s mother. The father had already fled the hospital, after murdering a security officer, but he did not manage to escape in his private jet. How he ever thought he would get away with it!
Everything wound down with Adam cleaning up his house, only to get a knock at his door. Duke and approximately half the HPD were out there to search the place after getting an anonymous tip. Adam seemed concerned but not surprised. Junior later called Tani to report that the police didn’t find anything. Also, neither he nor Tani called in the tip. Tani finds Adam waiting for her in her office, and he wonders if she planted the gun, which he places on the desk. Tani tells the truth about finding it. We knew that it was more likely that someone else planted it in his house and that same someone called in the tip once he was back in down. At least, the team can work together on this now.

This episode sped along nicely with its good editing. The revelations of the case were well-timed too, keeping things interesting. Danny was oddly just hanging out on the edges for most of the episode, but his scene consoling Adam was a touching moment. I was also glad to see the ending with Tani and Adam clearing the air. Having him as a more active team member should provide another bridge between new and old characters, something that’s been touch and go so far this season. Although I have to say Adam was maybe way too chill about the whole thing. Could he still know more about his sister's death? Either way, he's in for the long haul.

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