As expected, the sixth season finale of “Hawaii Five-0” started off with an explosive bang, gave us a surprising shocker, and ended with a reason to celebrate. While by no means do we celebrate our heroes being shot at, McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) being dragged toward death, or Danno (Scott Caan) having to sacrifice himself (or at least part of himself) to save his friend– we certainly can be happy that none of the core team met with a bullet-filled end.
But I am certainly not happy that another character had to die in order to get to that feel-good ending. Not happy at all.
This year, the last episode was set up much like it was in season five– two episodes used as a two-hour epic season finale. The episodes basically ran right into each other and were connected by the Five-0 team’s investigation into a slew of meth overdoses that have been plaguing Honolulu.
The first hour, “Paʻa ka ʻīpuka i ka ʻupena nananana” (“The Entrance is Stopped with a Spider’s Web”), started the meth investigation, but also brought the team face-to-face with Gabriel Waincroft (Christopher Sean) who had been hiding in an abandoned building in Chinatown. Written by Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt and directed by Stephen Herek, the episode is full of awesome stunts and gunplay, coupled with continued development of the existing character arcs.
The second hour, “ʻO ke aliʻi wale no kaʻu makemake” (“My Desire Is Only For The Chief”), started basically where the first hour left off, continuing Five-0’s search for the meth dealers– this time with Steve and Danny going undercover as pilots in order to connect with the people moving the drugs into Honolulu. Written by Peter M. Lenkov and Matt Wheeler and directed by Bryan Spicer, the episode linked the two hours together and gave us the happy ending we all want for the team. The episode wasn’t without its scary moments– McG shot several times, Danno having to fly and land a plane while McG is near death– makes for a pretty intense episode. Perfect for a season ender.
The finale starts with the introduction of the meth investigation that umbrellas both episodes. A new drug is hitting the streets of Honolulu, called Rainbow Meth or “The Plague.” Max (Masi Oka) has seen several meth overdoses in the last few weeks, and while he tells McGarrett of his impending temporary resignation from the ME’s office in order to join Doctors Without Borders, he also promises to stay long enough to help Five-0 stop the meth epidemic.
The team is called to a known drug house, based on a call to 911 call made by a junkie who has shot Gabriel. When the team storm the building, McGarrett sees his blood trail and they find him trying to get away, even though he has a gunshot wound to his abdomen. Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) promises him they will save his life– and then get to watch him rot in prison.
At this point, Gabriel is probably happy to see them– regardless of the fact that McGarrett has placed him under arrest. McG and the team– Danny, Chin, and Kono (Grace Park), find themselves under fire as the Yakuza seems to know exactly where to find Gabriel. They realize that there is a mole in HPD who is giving away their position to the Yakuza, and they work to find alternate comm lines in order to hide their whereabouts.
There seems to be an endless amount of Yakuza assassins out to get Gabriel– and the Five-0 team– as Michelle Shioma (Michelle Krusiec), has given the hitmen a “Kill them all” order. Shioma, who has been trying to basically kill anyone she feels had a hand in killing her father, and anyone who stands in her way, orders the hit while sitting poolside during her children’s swimming lessons. While the Mother of the Year dries off her girls, she tells her head goon, Te’o (Cung Le), to do whatever it takes to kill Gabriel, or she will kill his family first so that he learns his lesson before he dies.
While Te’o waits for Shimona’s reinforcements, the team gets cornered on the roof of the meth house, and McGarrett tells them they have to jump to the next building in order to escape. Everyone is pretty much on board– except for Danno, who hates the idea and tells McG he’ll have to apologize to Danno’s family after he dies. The argument ends with McGarrett saying “I love you, buddy, good luck.” Danno’s “I hate you so much,” was actually more bromantic than it reads. I know some people dislike Danno’s seemingly constant negativity, but I think if you’d spent six years with a partner who doesn’t hesitate to take the most risk in order to get the job done, you might be a little gun shy about following his lead.
But the team jumps, even with Gabriel as badly injured as he is, and the stunt is awesome. I love when the show not only includes cool car chases and gunfights, but also the more physical stunts like jumping off roofs while dodging bullets at the same time. Amid all the high tech stunts, the “simple” ones seem to pack an even greater punch.
Abby (Julie Benz), Lou (Chi McBride), and Jerry (Jorge Garcia) help the team in very cool ways as well. Lou gets his SWAT band back together to bring some of the calvary; Abby takes Chin’s motorcycle and saves Lou from being gunned down on Beretania; and Jerry gets the Navy to help him rig an alternate way to communicate with the team using the magic table. He helps the team navigate away from the Yakuza in order to get Gabriel to a hospital who is losing blood and in bad shape.
Of course, McG says they need to find transportation, and they do– in the form of a city bus. It seems as if Five-0 has really enjoyed using public transportation this season. After a huge gunfight, with McG crashing The Bus into two waiting SUV’s full of well-armed Yakuza, Chin uses the gunfight to try to get Gabriel to a hospital. The pair hide out in a nearby apartment, and have one of their last heart-to-heart talks while they wait out the searching Yakuza.
Duke (Dennis Chun) is tasked by Kono to stake out Michelle Shioma’s house, keeping track of her so that the team can pick her up, once they figure out who the HPD mole is, and can get enough evidence to arrest her. Sadly, even though the team catches the dispatcher who is texting Te’o the Five-0 team’s movements, they are too late to catch Shioma, who uses a tunnel under her Kahala home to make her escape. Shioma is the complete evil package– beautiful, cunning, ruthless.
And while I don’t mind Shioma being so evil, I just wish that she was a bit more believable. She is such a two-dimensional character. Not like Gabriel. He seems just as bad, but he is so much more believable. Perhaps it’s because we know what he was like before he took a turn for the worse. Or perhaps it’s because we’ve seen him grow over two season and several episodes. Or maybe it’s because Sean is such a solid actor.
Gabriel’s confession to Chin– that he was sorry about killing his father, Kam Tong, that he wanted Chin to take care of his daughter– and that Sara looked just like Malia— that was just heartbreaking. And when Chin tells McGarrett that Gabriel went into cardiac arrest and didn’t make it– I was completely blindsided. Flabbergasted. Gobsmacked.
Really? Kill Gabriel? Who is going to be the bad guy now? Michelle Shioma is no match for Gabriel. And Wo Fat is dead. I really hope someone really isn’t dead– maybe Chin is hiding Gabriel to keep him alive so that he can one day see his daughter again. Or maybe Chin is hiding him so Robert Coughlin (Ingo Rademacher) won’t get his hands on him. For me that would be the best revenge for what the Coughlin’s have put Five-0 through.
When the second hour started, I was already emotionally spent, but there was more. Yes. More. And this one was even more of a punch to the gut. I guess I need to start wearing kevlar to watch the show.
The episode starts with a continuation of the team searching for answers about the Rainbow Meth, and they find a junkie who gives McGarrett the name of his dealer. Kono makes a buy from him, and then adorably wrecks his car as Lou and McG question him about his connections. They find Nathaniel Francis (David Paluck) a pilot who has been making drug runs for a man named Dae Won (Sung Kang). Francis sets up McG and Danno as alternate pilots for him, so that they can catch the drug ring.
McGarrett is pretty adamant about stopping the drugs from coming into Hawaiʻi, as his pal Nahele Huikala (Kekoa Kekumano) had a 16 year-old friend who overdosed on the meth. I think that is why McGarrett and Danno have no problem using brute force to get Francis to set them up as pilots. I suppose breaking someone’s arm is a little extreme in order to make it buyable that Francis couldn’t fly, but from McG’s point of view– time is of the essence.
After McGarrett poses as a gruff pilot and Danno as his must-have mechanic, they fly Dae Won and a shipment of meth from Green Island Atoll back to Honolulu. During their flight, a helicopter makes a flying drive by and shoots up their plane, hitting McG in the belly and the shoulder.
And it’s bad, friends, so bad that super SEAL McGarrett passes out and basically whispers to Danno that he is going to die. Danno panics just a bit and calls in a Mayday in order to get the help he needs to try and land the plane.
I do love when Danno gets flustered. It’s so amazing how his true feelings for McG– past the “I hate you” words and his angry attitude– goes out the window with his cover. I also love how it’s Danno this time around who saves the day. It usually is Steve who commandeers the situation and lands the plane or shoots the bad guy between the eyes. But this time, Danno, as well as the rest of the team gets to do this for him.
Danno orders Steve not to die, and then awesomely lands the plane, after Five-0 clears the beach and gets all the bikinis to safety. The team runs in to pull McGarrett from the plane and they rush him to Tripler Hospital. Once McGarrett is there, Danno makes sure he is sent to surgery and then he promptly walks out to finish the job of catching the drug dealers. Broken ribs and all.
They catch up with Dae Won’s rivals who shot up their plane, and Danno chases down the gunman he knows shot Steve. There’s a bit of a moment when you think that Danno will kill the man, much like he did Marco Reyes, but perhaps the difference is that Steve is still alive, or Danno is a different man than the one who was so wounded by his brother’s ugly demise.
When the team get back to the hospital, they learn that McGarrett’s liver is very badly damaged and if he doesn’t get a new one, he will die.
So while we all had a commercial break to let that one sink in, the team also deals with his injury in different ways. They all agree to be tested to see if they are a match to give Steve a part of their liver, while Danno says that he is the same blood type and a perfect match for Steve. Who’s the super SEAL now?
While they wait for the two to get out of surgery, they all have their moments recalling McGarrett and what kind of friend he is to each of them. We all know what he means to Danny– just seeing his face when Steve said he was going to die– told us exactly how he felt. But Lou and Chin have a great moment by the vending machines, where Lou cries as he tells Chin how much of a friend McGarrett is to him now– after hating him when they first met– and Chin tells Lou about what Steve did for him after Malia died. How during the two times in his life that he really needed someone– John McGarrett when his father died, and Steve when his wife was killed– both times they were McGarretts. And Kono has a lovely private moment with Steve while he is recovery, and tells her “Boss” how he didn’t just give her a job, he gave her a family.
The entire episode was similar to what we’ve seen in other season finales– big stunts, big crashes, big guns, big shooting– but the big emotion this time was much more personal, and definitely closer to home. While we still don’t know if Chin will adopt Sara, we know that his relationship with Abby is progressing– and after four seasons of mourning Malia, we’re glad he is moving on. And Kono has only a few more months to wait for Adam– who is planning a few surf dates with Steve when he gets out. Max is off to work with living patients, something he’s always wanted to do, and Jerry is still hoping there’s a badge for him somewhere in the future.
As for Steve and Danno, it seems as if their relationship is still secure, and even though they don’t always like everything about each other– their trust and love are completely on solid ground.
REDUX SIDE NOTE:
Yes, the sixth season is officially over, but the Five-0 Redux will continue during the summer hiatus. Don’t miss our weekly Saturday posts as we bring you additional “Hawaii Five-0” content, as well as interviews with some of the Hawaiʻi actors who have been featured this season.
If you have a story to share about your experience as an extra or an actor on the show, if they used your home or your business to shoot an episode, or if you have an interesting Hawaiʻi connection to the show– email Wendie Burbridge at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to feature your experience in a future Five-0 Redux post.