They say you can never go home again— for when you do, it’s not the same. Your home and your town— even your friends are different. This week’s episode, “ʻUmia Ka Hanu” (“Hold the Breath”), written by Peter M. Lenkov and Eric Guggenheim and directed by Stephen Herek, revisits Grover’s (Chi McBride) quest to prove that his former Chicago PD partner, Clay Maxwell (Mykelti Williamson) killed his wife, Diane (Kim Wayans). For Grover, this desire to prove that Clay is a murderer has become his personal mission in life. His new hobby, if you will.
Still, he has to return to his hometown to prove it. And Chicago is a long way from sunny Hawaiʻi— and more than just a little cold— especially this weekend, as the Northeast plows its way out from under Winter Storm Jonas. But when Grover makes his way back to Chi-Town to confront Clay— itʻs more than just the snow that is chilly.
Grover has tried in the past to find evidence against Clay, but this time he decides that he is not leaving until he has something to send Clay to prison. His idea is that if Clay killed his wife, there’s really no reason to think he wouldn’t have committed other crimes as well.
Luckily, just a few weeks ago we had a refresher about the initial case that started Grover off on his Quest for Justice. We kicked off 2016 with the Jan. 2 repeat of “‘Ike Hānau” (“Instinct”) which focused on Grover’s initial investigation of Diane’s death.
Grover suspected almost from the start that Clay staged the accidental Diane’s fall in order to cover up her murder. While Grover found some evidence of a motive— Clay seeing a younger woman and the fact that Clay didn’t want to lose his reputation as a “good guy”— it wasn’t enough evidence to prove his guilt. Still, Grover felt it in his naʻau— his gut, his deeper instinct— that Clay had pushed Diane off a hiking trail on the day of their 20th wedding anniversary.
I do love when “Hawaii Five-0” gives us an interesting case to sink our teeth into, and also a secondary storyline that is just as compelling. I wish sometimes it wasn’t always about putting our team in major danger, but it was great to have two strands keeping me on the edge of my comfy couch.
So while Grover is off in snowy Chicago, the rest of the team is enjoying the warm winter weather on the North Shore of Oʻahu, surfing the day away. I loved how, while Grover’s storyline was super intense, the secondary storyline gave us some fun lighthearted moments. I know I am not alone in my love of watching McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), Danno (Scott Caan), Chin (Daniel Dae Kim), and Kono (Grace Park) bonding over party waves and commiserating about the traffic.
And how cute is McG when he starts to get competitive? His throw down with Chin on “who can get back to the Palace first” was so SEAL on a mission— complete with “Dukes of Hazzard” action as he slid over the hood of Danno’s Camaro to pop into the driver’s seat via the open window. The prize is all-you-can-eat wings and drinks at Side Street Inn with the loser picking up the tab— I can see why McG wants a head start. If you have ever eaten at Side Street— you know that this is a bet you do not want to lose.
Chin’s challenge to McG is that he can make it back to the Palace faster by cutting through the coffee fields in Waialua. McG balks at taking the service roads— which are old Cane Haul Roads that the sugar plantation trucks used to haul cane. We no longer have sugar cane on the North Shore— it’s now all coffee and some pineapple, but the roads still exist. McG thinks it’s faster to skip the traffic and take Highway 83— which is Kamehameha Highway going toward the Windward side. Kono is right— it is more scenic, but McG has a point— it’s not always a faster option.
Unless you drive like Turbo McG, that is. I suppose the “Cannonball Run” theme song was very appropriate as McG cut through traffic and broke all his own rules in his quest to win the wager. Danno says he’s cheap, but I’d like to think that McG just loves his local grinds.
And Chin and Kono have a nice ride, their conversation easy and relaxed. Chin notices that Kono is “hauʻoli,” her feet hanging out of his car, a smile on her face. His comment that she is happy makes him smile, but he knows that she is worried about Adam. Chin tries to ease her fears about him, and Kono in turn ribs her cousin about his new relationship with Abby (Julie Benz). “Is it that obvious?” he says. Yes! We all scream at the television. Kono asks what will happen when Abby returns to San Francisco, and Chin doesn’t want to think about it. But we wonder about that too, Kono.
Their easy drive turns into more than just a traffic pain in the neck, when they can’t find their way out of the service roads and back to the highway. They see another car and hope the other motorists will have cell service to help them get off the back roads. Unfortunately, Kono and Chin are still dressed for surfing and pau hana at Side Street, so when they come across two killers who hold them at gunpoint— they have nothing to us to protect themselves. The men, Jeremy and Luke (Marshall Allman and James Harvey), force them to help dig a grave for their victim— who happens to also be a cop.
As Grover is in Chicago following his naʻau about Clay, McGarrett’s naʻau was on high alert, and when Chin and Kono fail to show up to pay for his wings and beers, he and Danno head back to the North Shore to find him. Danno finds himself in an interesting situation, as now Danno is the one soothing McGʻs fears of doom and gloom, which typically McG has to do for Danno.
Kono and Chin are in dire straits as if it looks like the men are not only going to bury the cop they killed, but the cousins as well. Chin did try and get away, but you canʻt bring a stick to a gunfight— yet I was still hoping Kono would take one of the shovels and pummel one of the two losers. I did like how McG and Danno came to their rescue, as I knew they would. Still I was not disappointed that the bad guys were the ones who were dropped rather than our hand-holding cousins. No more taking short cuts for Chin— this was way too close of a call.
But as McG’s gut instinct paid off, so does Grover’s. He knows there is money hidden in Clay’s home— money stolen from a search of a drug dealer’s home so many years before. Grover remembers that some of the money recovered in the bust had never been found. And he knows that Clay has it— he wagers his beautiful family, his cushy pension, and his golf club membership on this knowledge. He knows he can prove Clay is dirty in order to send him to prison. If he can’t send him away for killing Diane, so he’ll settle for another crime. Like when we sent Al Capone to jail for tax evasion— whatever gets him behind bars is worth it to Grover.
As Grover is putting holes into Clay’s walls, searching for the truth, it all comes to him in a picture. A picture of the two former partners at a barbecue, with Clay’s old rust bucket of a Dodge Coronet parked next to them. He wonders why it’s parked nice and warm in the garage, while his new car is parked outside in the snow and Chicago cold. Grover follows his naʻau and hits the jackpot when he finds the patched up hole in the fender is really a door to Clay’s “safe.” The sight of the money is all he needs to make a few phone calls in order to turn in this evidence.
I only hope that it is enough to put Clay away, and get him far away from LeAnn (Jonell Kennedy) who seems to have taken Grover’s words to heart. Why would Grover put his whole life on the line if he wasn’t sure Clay was a murderer? And could she possibly be next? Something to definitely think about when you are the other woman.
Overall the episode was a good mix of tension and focus on the bonds of friendship. Sometimes these bonds are positive and worth the effort, and sometimes they are stretched too far, and there is no way to repair or mend them. McG worrying about his friends saved them. Grover wanting the truth from his friend only brought him a sense of justice— but no real happiness.
The title of this week’s episode, “ʻUmia ka hanu,” is a war cry— it means: “Hold the breath! Be patient, persist!”— and that is exactly what Grover did— he held his breath, he was patient, he persisted. And in the end he won the battle— but at what price? We can only hope that his naʻau is satisfied, even if his heart is not.
REDUX SIDE NOTE
If you are one of the many “Five-0 Redux” readers who do not live in Hawaiʻi, then you may not understand the comments McGarrett makes about traffic in Hawaiʻi. Hawaiʻi consistently ranks among the top three cities in the United States with the worst traffic. Last year, Hawaiʻi slipped to third worst behind San Francisco and Los Angeles. In 2012— we “won” for the worst in the nation. McGarrett is not kidding when he mentions that driving around the island from the North Shore to get back to Five-0 headquarters might be quicker.
Depending on what time the team left Haleʻiwa, it would take them at least ninety minutes— barring any problems, accidents, rain, speed traps, or Sunday drivers— before they set eyes on the King Kamehameha Statue. According to Google Maps the drive takes 47 minutes without traffic. As someone who has driven from Haleʻiwa to downtown Honolulu on a few occasions— the 47 minute drive only exists in the world of “Hawaii Five-0”— because it is sheer fantasy.
Next week “Hawaii Five-0” returns with two repeats. “Mai Hoʻoni i ka Wai Lana Mālie” (“Do Not Disturb the Water that is Tranquil”) is slated for their Friday, Jan. 29 time slot. On Saturday, Jan. 30 “Lehu a Lehu” (“Ashes to Ashes”) replays at 7:00 p.m.
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.