It’s fairly human to look back into our pasts– to relive cherished memories, and to remind ourselves of people we love. Often we remember the good times, as well as moments that we wish would stay buried forever. “Hawaii Five-0” often delves into the past of their characters, and for the most part, what is uncovered helps the team resolve a case or rectify a current situation.
This week’s episode, “ʻAʻohe mea make i ka hewa; make no i ka mihi ʻole,” which is Hawaiian for “No one has ever died for the mistakes he has made; only because he didn’t repent,” the past does more than just help solve a case. It puts to rest eighteen murders and gives a former hitman a way to repent for his many sins.
The basic idea behind the title is based on a ʻōlelo noʻeau, or Hawaiian proverb, which not only addresses the idea of taking responsibility for past mistakes, but is based on the Hawaiian belief that “urges repentance to one’s aumākua,” a family or personal god. As Christianity spread throughout Hawaiʻi in the early 1800s, the proverb “later came to include the idea of a repentance before God.” The Hawaiian word “hewa” used in the proverb means, “mistake, fault, error, sin, blunder, defect, offense, guilt, or crime.” It definitely is a heavy word, and for the most part, the episode held onto the truth and consequences of guilt and the deep regret when one makes commits the sin of murder.
Written by Rob Hanning and Ashley Dizon, and directed by Jennifer Lynch, the episode moved between two major storylines, one that also flashed back into McGarrett’s (Alex O’Loughlin) life– more specifically into his father John’s past, and his more than 20 year chase of a known hitman for the Hawaiian syndicate. The case starts when Leroy Davis (Frankie Faison) walks into McGarrett’s office to confess to the murder of HPD Detective Jake Ozuki and seventeen others.
In flashbacks to 1975, we saw glimpses into Leroyʻs life, how Leroy buried Detective Ozuki, and how John confronted Leroy by taking a bat to his car in front of a popular Waikīkī discotheque. John McGarrett is played by Ryan Bittle and Leroy is played by former NFL running back Thomas Q. Jones.
During the first five seasons, Papa McG was played by William Sadler, even in flashbacks. This is the first time we’ve seen a much younger John McGarrett– one who is seen trying to find Leroy and his killing field on the night of Steve’s birth. Which was the reason why Leroy didn’t kill John.
Leroy tells Steve that he only killed people he was ordered to by the syndicate. But Steve said Leroy obviously had a reason to kill his father because he had gotten so close to finding out where Leroy buried the bodies. A flashback to 1977 tells us how close John got to Leroy, but then he is abruptly called away to back up his wife– as she is going into labor. It was Steve who saved his father’s life. Perhaps Leroy admired John’s tenacity, or he didn’t want to mark the day of Steve’s birth as the day of his father’s death.
As Leroy takes Steve to the Ewa Forest Reserve and shows him where he buried seven bodies– including the body of Detective Ozuki– we see in the flashbacks how determined John was to catch Leroy and find out who murdered a fellow cop.
Steve tasks Noelani (Kimee Balmilero) to exhume the bodies, and with Junior (Beulah Koale), they work to identify the remains. Lou (Chi McBride) and Tani (Meaghan Rath) work with them at Five-0 headquarters, while Steve takes Leroy to his home to let the older man find a home for his cats. Steve recognizes Leroyʻs house as one he and his father would pass by on his way home from school. Leroy tells Steve how his father kept tabs on him, even after he had gotten out of the business and started a family of his own. “Your old man, he was relentless,” he tells Steve, which is a word many now use to describe his son.
Leroy takes Steve to Waimānalo, to a tree-lined beachfront area where he buried the other bodies. Steve tells Leroy that even though he has done a good thing by confessing to the eighteen murders, and answered many questions for the loved ones of those he killed, it still doesn’t absolve him of any guilt.
Steve finally takes Leroy to turn him over to Duke (Dennis Chun) at HPD, and Leroy asks Duke if Steve can read him his rights as it would have been “something his father would have enjoyed doing.” As Duke and his boys are leading Leroy away, Steve asks him if he did all this for his father, and Leroy tells him he didn’t do this for anyone but Jack– the son of the detective he killed.
We flashback to 1994 and see John picking up Leroy and taking him to Oahu Cemetery to watch Jack Ozuki and his mother, Linda, visit the empty grave of Jake. John tells him that “every murder has two victims, the deceased and the family left in the wake.” It causes Steve to visit Leroy’s doctor (Henry Louie) to find out that Leroy has a fatal brain disease and that he will die in three to six months. Near the door of the doctor’s office is a sweet kid-drawn picture of a dad and his son, labeled “Dad” and “Jack.” Steve wonders, just as we are, if perhaps that is what inspired Leroy to confess to the murders and atone for his many sins.
But it is the ending that hits the hardest. When Steve leaves Noelani’s office with the identities of all of the victims in his hands, the families– including Sgt. Jack Ozuki, now a police officer like his father– waiting to thank Steve for finding their loved ones. They shower him with thanks and drape him in a maile lei before he leaves them. It is a bittersweet moment– as their families are still shattered, yet at least none of them will have to visit an empty grave site ever again.
If anyone watched that scene and didn’t tear up, then they are as cold as Adam’s secret half-sister, Noriko (Susan Park). Adam (Ian Anthony Dale) is introduced to her in this week’s secondary storyline. Noriko is the illegitimate child his father hid from Adam and his brother. Their reunion is not a happy one– she doesn’t want to have family dinners or spend the holidays together. She wants money– the $20 million that Hideki was supposed to get for her. She needs to go underground because bad FBI Agent Colin McNeal (Gonzalo Menendez) has outed her by planting her DNA on Hideki’s body. The best part of the entire scene is when she shoots him in the head. Thank you, bad actors all need to be written off that way.
Noriko pulls the “I know where your loved ones are” blackmail card, telling Adam she knows where Kono and Chin are and has people waiting to kill them blah blah blah– unless Adam brings her the money. Haven’t we seen this before? Adam needs a much better storyline. We were so very hopeful that he would have a more exciting and original character arc. But bringing in a half-sister, who is just another carbon copy of Michelle Shioma– including the wooden two-dimensional acting– just doesn’t cut it.
Adam goes to see Jessie (Christine Ko) because she is in danger too, and together they go and get the money– because it makes so much sense that Adam knew where it was all along. He’s about to take it to her and save his family, and Jessie takes off with it. Seriously, why Adam trusted an ex-con with so much, we’re still trying to figure that one out. But at least Jessie has spunk, and Ko definitely can act, so it was so very sad that she ended up with a bullet in her head. She was a good actor– she needed to stay.
And we need a better story for Adam. One that includes him– not separates him from the team. It worked better when he was backing up McGarrett, not working on his own. How many of you were yelling for him to call the team much sooner than he did? I think Adam needs to tell the team everything and they all need to work this all out. Adam needs some Five-0 first aid, stat.
But all is not lost– the case of the week was great, and we did get to see popular Hawaiʻi television personality Billy V as Fire Inspector Ed Romero in a couple of funny scenes. And Hawaiian UFC Featherweight Champion Max Holloway played Makoa, Noriko’s henchman, who punches Adam. I’m pretty sure Holloway didn’t need a stunt double or need to rehearse that punch. He was visible in most of the scene, and actually showed more emotion than Noriko did with his one little line. It was good to see more local talent on screen. Looking forward to seeing more in the six end of the season episodes.
Overall, the episode was spot on with the case of the week– a perfect mix of McGarrett backstory, drama, and emotion– now if we could get that kind of action throughout the entire episode with all of our favorites– that would really make the show complete.