The noble act of laying down one’s life for another is one of the many themes that is threaded throughout the weekly storylines of “Hawaii Five-0.” While no one from the Five-0 team has died to save anyone, many have come very close to death, and it is not uncommon for them to risk everything– their jobs, their reputations, and even their own physical safety and health– to save their friends.
This week’s episode, “Make me kai,” which loosely means “Death at Sea,” takes the team out into the middle of the Pacific to investigate several deaths on a stranded yacht. As “make” (pronounced mah-keh) means “to die, perish; defeated, beaten, dead, killed,” it seems at first that Five-0 needs to figure out how a group of wealthy partygoers ended up dying horrifically after a fancy dinner party at sea. “Kai” means “sea” in Hawaiian, so the title does give us an idea of the storyline– but in true “Hawaii Five-0” fashion, that initial investigation of “death at sea” goes way beyond just murder.
Written by David Wolkove and Matt Wheeler, who also wrote: “Nā lā ʻīlio” (“Dog Days”) and “Kāu pahi, koʻu kua. Kāu pū, koʻu poʻo,” and directed by Maja Vrvilo, the episode was fast-paced and a good mix of thoughtful investigation and emotional drama. The story had Five-0 facing not only eleven dead bodies, but the mystery of what actually killed the people on the yacht, who killed them, and how one managed to escape death. I did enjoy how the team worked together, yet separately– as part of the team was at sea and the other half worked on land, so to speak. I also was highly entertained by a fantastic– and by that I mean, based in fantasy– end of the episode rescue at sea.
The episode starts off with the team investigating how Monique Sims (Alexandra Chando), a Hawaiʻi PR rep, who was found clinging to a life raft by the Coast Guard, became adrift at sea. McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and Danny (Scott Caan), amidst arguing about serving gluten-free vegan options at their restaurant– McG is for, Danno is against, and Junior (Beulah Koale) is Switzerland on the entire matter– join Jerry (Jorge Garcia) and Lou (Chi McBride) at Five-0 headquarters. The team is trying to figure out how and why Monique had been floating at sea for eight hours. Junior is with the team because he is shadowing McG for the week, but he seems very at ease with the group– even as he tries to stay out of McG and Danno’s bickering.
Quick side note: This season, I find the bickering less mean and more playful. Danny also has far less of an edge than he has in the past. His comments are spot on about McGarrett, but funny and not so spiteful. Their relationship seems much more compatible than it has been in the last few seasons. Not that I ever questioned their friendship, but I am enjoying McG and Danno time much more this year. They are clever and fun, and I like how they treat each other better. It would be nice to see them stay on this course. But I digress.
After the team discusses Monique and who she is, Tani (Meaghan Rath) tells them that Monique had been at a party the night before on board the yacht, The Serenity, owned by a wealthy hedge fund investor, Nathan Diamond (Attila Pohlmann). With that information and the magic table– Jerry triangulates where the ship is in the ocean, and using satellite imagery– they see there are several dead bodies on board the vessel. They call the coast guard, and quicker than Tani can say “Let’s haze the new guy”– they are on a helicopter headed toward the crime scene.
McGarrett, Danno, Tani, and Junior– along with a nervous Dr. Noelani Cunha (Kimee Balmilero)– chopper toward the yacht. Once aboard they find eleven dead, the radio disabled, and adding to the mystery, the victims all seemed to have died from being exposed to some sort of biological agent. The scene is gruesome, and McGarrett deduces that they seemed to have died from being exposed to a hemorrhagic virus or pathogen. Tani also correctly realizes that they have been exposed to it as well. They have to stay on the yacht in order to not spread whatever disease they have to the rest of Oʻahu. The team gathers evidence to send back with Noelani to figure out what they have and what they will need to do in order to not die like the party on the yacht.
Back at headquarters, Lou and Jerry are tasked to quarantine Monique because she may have been exposed as well, so they bring in their friend Adam Noshimuri (Ian Anthony Dale), to help the investigation. Adam, who once sat on the board of trustees for the Art Institute of Honolulu with Monique, comes in to help them figure out who else was on the boat and what may have happened.
I loved how smoothly Adam joined the case. He definitely has been helpful to Five-0. While he may not be a trained police officer or investigator, he asks the right questions and seems like he fits in well with the team. As he once ran what we can only assume was a multi-million dollar business operation, which also skated along the lines of being illegal– who better to understand the schemes and scams of other criminals? It might be unorthodox to bring in a civilian to work with the team, but this is Five-0 and their history of being by the book has always been a bit shaky. Still, it’s not illegal to bring in a “civilian consultant”– much like Jerry operated with the team for a few years. I guess it’s Adam’s turn to hope for a badge. Or at least a paycheck.
While Adam helps the team on land, at sea– it is Junior who helps them along. While he physically supplies support with his military expertise and new HPD training to clear the scene and process evidence, he also keeps Tani from losing her mind while she bemoans the fact that she is probably going to die. Junior kindly talks her through her feelings, being logical, yet sympathetic at the same time. He’s so calm and so good at putting people at ease. He helps Noelani relax when she mini-freaks out on the helo, and when Tani bears her gloomy heart to him, he tells her that the fight is only over when she has no more fight to give. And that he won’t let her give up. It’s a sweet scene and really shows what kind of anchor Junior will be for the team.
So while the team waits for Lou and Jerry to find an antidote for what they have, Danno is the first to start to succumb to the illness. The team finds a bad guy in the engine room clutching a case full of vials full of green liquid, half-burned, and very dead. Monique identifies him as a man named Marko (William R. Edwards) who joined the party at sea and seemed like the odd man out. Of course, the team finds that Monique is not quite telling the truth, and through her find an antidote to get to the team.
It’s just in time as all four are suffering. They sit on the sunny deck of the yacht as Tani jokes about joining Five-0 in order to do great things and change the world, only to die from hemorrhagic flu two months in. To make her feel better, Junior says at least she has a job, and Danno tells her that at least she didn’t have to spend seven years with McG as stuff like this happens all the time. She’s been saved from a lot of stress as the job ages you– “Look at me, I used to be gorgeous,” he says. It’s a bit of black comedy as they sit there awaiting their fate.
Danno drowns some of his sorrows with expensive champagne and by listening to “Margaritaville” in the sunshine, while he and McG don’t say goodbye to each other, but discuss a potential waiting area in their restaurant. Danno wants it to be a feature with club chairs and a table for drinks and hors-d’oeuvres. and McG says it’s a great idea. It’s a moment between the two friends that would be pretty funny if they didn’t look like death warmed over.
Meanwhile, Jerry has figured out that Monique has received $500 thousand from an offshore account and Adam uses his former ties to the money world to find out who paid her. She had been paid off to take the case with the virus from Marko. She couldn’t get the case because the partygoers turned on Marko for infecting them, so she left without getting the virus for the payoff. Which means that she had an antidote to save herself. When Lou and Adam close in on her, she pulls a gun and an HPD officer shoots her, allowing Lou to tell her that if she doesn’t give him the antidote, he will let her bleed out.
Like I said, the team will often risk themselves to save their friends. And if you stand in their way to save their friends– watch out.
As Lou flies to get the antidote to the team there is a huge storm is raging at sea. I know it heightens the drama, but really? Isn’t slowly dying over the course of eight hours drama enough?
Still, it was pretty entertaining watching the case come down and a weakened McG catches it, only to be thrown overboard by a huge wave. And the bigger twist– Junior is the Super SEAL who jumps into the ocean to save McG. I loved the fact that someone came to Steve’s rescue. Usually, it’s McGarrett who does all the saving, but now, they have a few others who can come to the rescue. Such a great change for the team– more friends who can make sacrifices for each other.
Really, the episode may have been a little farfetched, but I had a great time watching the team help save each other. It’s always rewarding to watch them connecting in ways that are new and believable, all while staying loyal to their friends, and taking risks to save the team.