This week “Hawaii Five-0” was full of interesting surprises and a couple of unexpected twists. Not a bad way to continue entertaining us during February sweeps. Friday’s episode, “Hahai i nā pilikua nui,” which means “Hunting Monsters” in Hawaiian, sets the Five-0 team against Dr. Madison Gray (Elisabeth Rohm)– who was revealed to be “The Chess Piece Killer” earlier in the season. Since September, Five-0 has been hunting for Dr. Gray, who escaped from Five-0 after almost killing McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and former FBI Profiler, Alicia Brown (Claire Forlani).
Dr. Gray is not your typical serial killer– one who has killed many over a long span of time– she is one who manipulates other like-minded psychopaths into committing the unspeakable. Our murderous conductor is very much culpable for all the death she has caused, even though she has never really bloodied her own hands. Well, except for stabbing and terrorizing McG and Alicia. And then turning them over to a pair of deviant killers to kill them.
But this week, when she walks into the Honolulu Police Department, and raises her blood-stained hands in surrender– we begin to see how, as McGarrett says, “every move this woman makes has a purpose.” While the officers quickly react to the shocking scene of the weepy and seemingly frightened woman– we’re all glad to see that Sgt. Duke (Dennis Chun) has the wherewithal to yell for someone to call Five-0. Now.
It’s not surprising that McGarrett and his partners Danny (Scott Caan), Chin (Daniel Dae Kim), Kono (Grace Park), and Lou (Chi McBride), are once again faced with Dr. Gray. The team is used to searching for all types of murderers and psychopaths, as this was the reason why McG was given the power to start his special task force. Yet even though the team has hunted many crazed multiple-murderers, they have never really come across one as a wily and insanely clever as Dr. Gray.
This week’s episode was written by Rob Hanning, who also wrote this season’s “Hana Komo Pae” (“Rite of Passage”) and was directed by Roderick Davis, who makes his directorial debut with “Hawaii Five-0.” Davis is no stranger to Five-0 as he has been an editor since season one and supervising editor since season six. While Hanning is relatively new to the Five-0 crew, he is also co-executive producer of the show, and his story did a satisfying job showcasing all of the relationships while keeping true to the continuing story of Alicia and Dr. Gray.
From the start the episode picks up the story, which started in the first episode of the season, and runs with it. Thankfully, there is a short humorous scene with Kamekona (Taylor Wily) and Flippa’s (Shawn Mokuahi Garnett) shrimp truck grand opening, which is a nice interlude between the surprising start with Dr. Gray and her bloody hands, and the drama that follows her. There is also a gratuitous famous person cameo with Max Weinberg, who plays himself. The E Street Band drummer plays the celeb who is making an appearance and will cut the ribbon for Flippa’s celebration– but I think fans will better remember Weinberg as the pro-2nd Amendment gun shop owner “Norm” from season two’s “Hookman” and again in season five’s “Kū kaʻawale” (“Stakeout”).
From the start, Alicia says that “one thing (she) learned hunting monsters– you can’t outrun them.” This of course, come from her days of profiling serial killers– including the man who orchestrated the murder of her own daughter. Her statement comes true, as Dr. Gray deliberately turns herself in, so that she can manipulate Alicia to kill for her. Which is always her ultimate goal.
Dr. Gray convinces everyone– even therapist David Laupola (Michael Adamshick), who says she has dissociative identity disorder (DID)– that she believes she is Lauren Parker and has no idea that she is Dr. Gray. Both McGarrett and Alicia do not believe her, and they are proven right when Alicia is brought to see her at HPD. She gives Alicia a little smart smile so that only Alicia can see– and Alicia knows that “Lauren Parker” is a big lie.
Of course, we all know Dr. Gray is pulling a major fast one. We know she is trying to get Alicia to do something for her. And Alicia knows she is playing another game, and wants to find out what the rules are in order to win.
So even with McG spending the night on her couch– Alicia sneaks out to see Dr. Gray– really to torture her to fess up about why she turned herself in. Alicia also swears to kill her if she doesn’t tell Alicia exactly what she wants to know, and then agree to leave her alone. But that is not what Dr. Gray has in mind. She has a secret she wants to tell Alicia, and she knows that Alicia will do anything for this particular bit of knowledge.
The secret is the name and location of the man who killed Alicia’s daughter, Sienna (Ashleigh Domangue). McGarrett says, “Madison Gray convinces others to kill bad people for her” and after Alicia breaks Dr. Gray out of HPD headquarters– the team knows that Dr. Gray is going to use Alicia to kill someone. They are not quite sure who, but they know this is how Dr. Gray operates.
They track the two to Wisconsin, where the serial killer Edward Sears (Ryan Locke) is incarcerated. This is the killer who Alicia put away when she worked for the FBI, and who she blames for orchestrating the murder of her daughter. Chin and McG ask Sears for the name of the killer, but Sears kills himself with Chin’s pen, and doesn’t give up the name. But the two find letters in his cell that lead them to a remote cabin in the woods, where the letter writer, Benton Jones (Brandon Smith), is holding Alicia’s daughter, Sienna.
Yes, I’m sure many of you saw that coming. Still I did appreciate that twist. Sure, it was set up at the start when the blood on Dr. Gray’s hands came back as being a partial match to Alicia. I knew from that moment that the blood had to be from Sienna– but there was still the question of if she was still alive.
So when Alicia and Dr. Gray pull up to Jones’s cabin, I thought that Alicia is only being sent there to kill Jones in order to appease Dr. Gray’s sick killer instinct. But it was a great scene having Alicia find her daughter alive in Jones’s creepy cabin in the woods. It was a pretty emotional scene, but it was played well as a there was still a danger of Jones returning to kill them. Thankfully, McG and Chin arrive just in time and kill Jones, and there seems to be a bit of happy ever after. For now.
The whole scene moved really well, and held the tension without becoming melodramatic. I really thought it was interesting when Alicia walks toward the cabin with the gun in her hand, Dr. Gray watches her and smiles. It’s a sweet smile. And I wondered if she was smiling because Alicia was becoming a murderer, or if she knew that she was helping to reunite mother and daughter?
I wondered a lot about that moment. It could have gone either way. And I liked the fact that Rohm played that juxtaposition so well. I loved that Rohm was much more three dimensional this time around as Dr. Gray. Maybe it was the fact that her character was better fleshed out in this episode, or if Rohm could show more dimension as she played both the serial killer Dr. Gray, as well as the more emotional Lauren Parker. Whatever the case, Rohm was much stronger in this episode as killer Dr. Gray than she had been in her earlier episodes.
There was a lot I liked about this episode. Yes, some of it could have been seen as predictable, but the tension was well paced and I enjoyed the push and pull of Alicia and Dr. Gray– as each got an upper hand they became more and more fun to watch.
It was also fun watching the little flirtatious dance McGarrett and Alicia had throughout the episode. Forlani and O’Loughlin have amazing chemistry– much more than he’s really had with a female character in a long time. I’m sure you Lynn and Cath lovers will throw me some shade here, but really– if McG is going to have a lady friend he needs to have some sort of spark– and he and Alicia definitely have it.
But as I watched the ending– Dr. Gray appearing and telling Alicia how much she wanted to see Miss Virtuous Morality turn into a killer– I knew that if Alicia pulled that trigger, there would be no more flirty moments with McG. At first I thought that it was really unrealistic that after holding back from killing Dr. Gray the entire episode– and then to shoot her at the end– was a cop out. But then I heard her threaten Sienna– and understood why Alicia reported a murder. After everything her daughter had been through, Mommy Alicia was never going to let anything hurt her girl again.
Perhaps Dr. Gray is right– pushing someone to the edge gives you the ultimate control. But sometimes, like the maps of long ago, when you get to the edge of the world it says: Here There Be Monsters. And once you enter that place, there is no turning back.