Uncovering a secret is usually at the heart of solving any mystery. The hard part about finding the truth behind any mystery is having to unravel the riddles that surround it. An unsolved crime is like a terrible secret just waiting to be revealed. Some have luckily been solved with the help of new technology and advanced forensics. Law enforcement will often give equal credit to “good old-fashioned police work”– the analysis of clues, talking to witnesses, and beating the streets to uncover any bit of information that will help solve the case.
This week’s “Hawaii Five-0,” titled “Ahuwale ka nane hūnā” which is Hawaiian for “The Answer to the Riddle is Seen,” was an entertaining example of that type of good investigating, coupled with the use of modern technology, in order solve two mysteries. The first has McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and Danny (Scott Caan) working with their old MI6 pal, Harry Langford (Chris Vance), to find a missing British pain-in-the-royal-ʻōkole, Lady Sophie (Alana Boden). The second has Lou (Chi McBride), Tani (Meaghan Rath), and Junior (Beulah Koale) using modern technology, as well as some old-fashioned detective work, to solve a 25-year-old murder.
The episode’s title is based on a ʻōlelo noʻeau, which actually should be translated as “the hidden answer to the riddle is seen.” The Hawaiian proverb means that what was once a secret is no longer hidden. Written by David Wolkove and Matt Wheeler and directed by Eagle Egilsson, the episode reveals several riddles that the Five-0 team try to find answers for. It even reveals a secret that surprisingly actually answers a few questions about the background of Five-0 friend, Harry Langford.
The case of the week deals with the delivery of an old Betamax tape to Five-0 Headquarters. It reveals a hidden camera view of a woman being murdered in a hotel room. After Tani and Junior find the last Betamax machine left on earth, of course, owned by Jerry, they seek to find out who the woman is and who murdered her. With Lou coaching them through the investigation, they work to piece together the case.
At first, the two young ones think the case is nearly impossible to solve. They can’t use facial recognition to identify the victim or the killer because they can’t get clear images of their faces. The room is seemingly nondescript and typical of hotel rooms around Waikīkī circa the early 90s. So big daddy Lou has to train the kids to look at the video as a jumping off point– and to use good old-fashioned police work to find their leads.
What was clever about the setup of this case, was that the magic table couldn’t solve all of their problems. It helped, but it was not as magical as it usually is since the video gave them very little information. A generic hotel key for a room 13, a mobile phone on the dresser, and the sound of labored breathing was about all they had to go on.
Lou helps them out by telling them the story of why hotels don’t usually have a room or floor labeled 13, as most people are superstitious about the number. After countless cold calls, Tani and Junior luckily find a hotel that once had a room 13. The three head to the room to look for the spot where the cameraman would have had to be in order to capture the video. Once they establish the voyeur’s nest in the attic space above the room, they find old soda cans to DNA test and find a match.
The match leads them to a former handyman of the hotel, who is most likely their videographer– he suffered from COPD which caused the labored breathing that they heard in the video– and to his wife, who was the one who sent the Betamax tape to Five-0. She also leads them to her husband’s library of secret tapes. After Tani and Junior go through them, they find more videos of their mystery couple and seek to find other identifiers of the killer. Lou finds an image of an airline pin worn by pilots– which eventually leads them to a man in Bakersfield, California.
The best parts of the case of the week– besides the nice nod to good investigative work– was the funny moments between Tani and Junior, as well as with Lou. Tani’s description of how watching the videos with Junior was like watching a movie with your family and getting uncomfortable when a sex scene comes on was perfect. Juniorʻs agreeing smile and Lou adamantly denying knowing that feeling was perfectly timed. These three make a good trio.
Tani’s sadness about how no one really tried to find out who killed the victim was very telling of Tani’s character and growth as a cop. She obviously feels very deeply for the people they are trying to help. Lou mentoring her through those feelings was also a tender moment, one we’ve seen before with his character– but one that is necessary when we consider the youth of our two new teammates.
While Lou, Tani, and Junior are holding down the Five-0 fort– McGarrett and Danny are off to lunch with Harry Langford, who is in Hawaiʻi as a bodyguard for Lady Sophie, a teenage girl with money, beauty, and a rebellious streak as long as the Thames. He is considered a family friend by Lady Helen Mortimer (Kate Beahan) thirty-fourth in line for the throne. As Harry has to accompany Lady Sophie on a shopping spree, the boys tag along– bickering along the way about animal crackers and the point at which hunger drives you to a psychotic break.
Little did we know that Danny had such an amazing sense of style– and for someone who could barely text because of his goofy thumbs, he now knows how to track teens online. Which comes in handy when Sophie ditches her three uncles and leaves them dumbfounded and starving. They call Sophie’s best friend in England who, besides noticing that Steve McGarrett as the best looking man on the planet, reluctantly tells them about a local hottie, Travis (Adam Scott Miller), who Sophie met via a dating app.
So Snoop Dad Danno finds online pics of Travis and Sophie at a huge pool party and his hashtag-life-goals social media pics labels Sophie as a “real life Princess.” The gents head over to the pool party– and in typical Wolkove and Wheeler fashion, the story takes a turn from hanging out with our British friend Harry to utter ridiculousness with a quickness.
Sophie is, of course, kidnapped by big bad people intent on selling her to a prince who seems to have no problem buying famous British royals to add to his harem. Because no one would look for her, right? And as the paparazzi have been seemingly camped out in her hotel lobby since she arrived– no one would notice her as the tenth wife of another royal prince. If you’re rolling your eyes, you’re not alone.
But, at least it did give Harry and McG an excuse to use their MI6/SEAL abilities to secretly get on the boat Sophie finds herself on, as she is being moved to international waters to be sold into harem slavery. Harry coolly disarms the kidnappers, by shooting only one bullet, and emptying the magazine of another. McG gets in on the action by tossing one bad guy overboard. and kicking another off the side of the boat. At least Harry wasn’t the only one who got to crack a few skulls.
So the princess gets to go home to her castle– albeit this castle is a killer suite at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, but still, she is reunited with her worried mum and dad. Harry is left out of the family group hug, and McGarrett and Danny pull him aside to go get a beer.
It is the ending conversation that brings the title to a perfect conclusion. Danny asks Harry if Sophie knows he is her real dad, as Danny catches how committed Harry has been to find Sophie, and how worried he truly was when he realized she was in bigger trouble than just being MIA and partying it up around Waikīkī. He says he had a worried dad look, and that is a look Danny knows very well. I suppose Harry being called “Pops,” and the cracks about him being Sophie’s dad were pretty spot on.
Still, it’s when Harry says she doesn’t know and in the meantime, he’ll always be there for her– that we realize what’s the hidden answer to the riddle. That sometimes a secret is better left alone, especially if it helps keep someone you love happy and safe.