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Greed can sometimes be a blessing in disguise

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    When the corpse of a diamond smuggler is stolen from a graveyard, Five-0 tracks down his partner, Voss (guest star “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips), who will stop at nothing to retrieve their latest batch of contraband. Also, Adam (Ian Anthony Dale) recruits a new confidential informant, Jessie Nomura (Christine Ko); Tani (Meaghan Rath) gets a devastating call, and McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) tasks Pua (Shawn Thomsen) to find his and Danny’s (Scott Caan) stolen tools.
    When the corpse of a diamond smuggler is stolen from a graveyard, Five-0 tracks down his partner, Voss (guest star “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips), who will stop at nothing to retrieve their latest batch of contraband. Also, Adam (Ian Anthony Dale) recruits a new confidential informant, Jessie Nomura (Christine Ko); Tani (Meaghan Rath) gets a devastating call, and McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) tasks Pua (Shawn Thomsen) to find his and Danny’s (Scott Caan) stolen tools.

Leave it to “Hawaii Five-0” to take us through the different levels of thievery and greed and make it work for both the good guys and the bad guys. It is one of the reasons why fans enjoy the weekly police procedural — not everyone is perfect. But they really try to be — and sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t, but it is always an entertaining ride.

This week’s episode, “Na Keiki A Kalaihaohia (The Children of Kalaihaohia),” is based on a story by Peter Lenkov, with Eric Guggenheim penning the teleplay for the episode, and directed by Peter Weller. Weller’s latest direction takes us through a diabolical case of the week, as well as into the beginnings of Adam’s (Ian Anthony Dale) new division of the Five-0 task force. The episode also delves deeper into the sibling relationship between Tani (Meaghan Rath) and her brother Koa (Kunal Sharma), and the continuing challenges surrounding McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and Danny’s (Scott Caan) fledgling restaurant.

The title is a ʻōlelo no‘eau, or Hawaiian proverb and poetical saying, which means “greedy people.” It is a play on the world “kālai” which means “to carve, cut, or hew” and “haohai” which basically means “to grab all one can.” The word “hao” means “to scoop, dish, or pick up; to grasp, gouge, pillage, plunder, loot” so we can see where the poetical saying is meant to focus on greed and how the “children of Kalaihaohia” have no regard for others and only want what they can loot and steal from others.

Which works perfectly on several levels of the episode. In the case of the week — this week’s bad guy, Neil Voss (Phillip Phillips) breaks into a local cemetery in order to steal a corpse from a grave. The team finds out what he has done because he shoots and buries alive the security guard who was trying to stop the grave robbing. McGarrett and Danny interrupt their daily restaurant battle to arrive at the scene in order for Junior (Beulah Koale) to break the scene down for them and get his chops busted by Danny for calling Steve “Sir.”

They figure out the name of the stolen corpse — luckily for the team, Danny takes a moment to read Travis Hinkley’s headstone — and they head back to Five-0 to run down his name and consult with an expert on the macabre in order for to have a place to start to investigate. Thankfully, as Junior so cheerily reminds them — they just happen to have one in-house. Jerry (Jorge Garcia) is more than happy to offer his years of research and rationale on why anyone would want to go through to trouble to dig up a rotting body — and interestingly enough his information has nothing to do with selling bones or organs as McGarrett suggested earlier. Who knew, right?

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Luckily the Kids, Junior and Tani, and the Cap, what Junior calls Lou (Chi McBride) stayed to work the magic table to find an actual potential suspect. They start with the Hinkley — and find that he died of Malaria which he seemed to have contracted in West Africa. While they are searching, and learning from Cap about how Five-0 has had stranger cases than someone stealing a dead body like Norman Bates dug up his own mother — the van used to steal Hinkley from the graveyard is found.

Hinkley is basically intact, but his large intestine has been cut out of his body, and Junior says that they can assume it is safe to say that a little alien didn’t burst out of his body. They celebrate his joke, which McGarrett told him to use to combat job stress, even though Danny says it was a bit stiff. Luckily — they have a real stiff in front of them, but Noelani (Kimee Balmilero) breaks up the laugh factory to remind them that the evidence is deteriorating and to keep it together.

So Dr. Cunha, as Junior politely calls her, explains to the team that none of his tissues, bones, or organs have been taken. McGarrett’s realizes that his idea that the body had been dug up so that they could sell his parts on the black market, Junior further theorizes that Hinkley could have been a drug mule. Danny thinks that this was way too much work for a drug dealer to expend just for a small shipment of drugs and McGarrett agrees with him for the first time in the entire episode.

Their discussion is interrupted by a phone call from Adam, who needs to meet at an undisclosed — but picturesque spot — to fill him in on his part of the new Five-0 organized crime division. Adam was asked by McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) in “Ka hopu nui ʻana” (“The Round Up”) to find the organized crime boss who executed all of the smaller players in Hawaiʻi in order to take control of the island.

Adam has hit a bit of a snag. The confidential informant he was hoping to recruit to join Hideki Tashiro’s crew, Jessie Nomura (the newest recurring cast member Christine Ko), turned him down. Adam picked her up from jail, took her to Magic Island to sit under a palm tree and look at Diamond Head, and offered her a lot of money to join Tashiro’s crew — but she tells him that she can’t spend that kind of money if she’s dead. Adam wants her because she’s an orphan and she’s good at being bad. She would be able to fit in and she has no family that they can hurt and use against her — something Adam understands deeply.

McG questions Adam if all the time and money they are spending on trying to catch Tashiro is the right path for them to be chasing. Adam thinks Tashiro has to either be the one who executed the other gangs, or he is a puppet for the one who did. If they can get someone to act as a soldier in his crew — the information would help Adam, who Tani teasingly calls Elliott Ness, find out who his Al Capone is.

In the end Jessie changes her mind, especially after she realizes that Adam, dressed in a tailored shirt with a $200 haircut, is the brother of Michael Noshimuri (Daniel Henney — seen in flashback). She realizes that Adam may look like a banker on casual Friday — but he has gotten his hands very dirty and only someone who, as he admits, killed his own brother and knows how these kinds of criminals think and do business — can keep her alive. And just maybe, she wants to finally have a purpose.

Meanwhile, back at the Five-0 ranch, they finally put the case together, and it actually wraps up pretty tidily. Junior tells them that there was a print in a latex glove that the body snatcher left behind in the van. The print belongs to Neil Voss and the team find a connection between Hinkley and Voss, who also seemed to have spent time in West Africa as well as Liberia, and the Ivory Coast. He had been busted trying to bring uncut diamonds into Canada. McGarrett connects the dots about those areas being hot spots for blood diamonds, and if the two men had been in the same area together, they probably used Hinkley as the mule to carry the diamonds into Hawaiʻi.

Noelani calls them down to the Morgue to see what she found that Hinkley’s intestine had been opened in the van but also had surgical sutures on them from another procedure. McGarrett realizes that Hinkley had the diamonds removed before he was buried, probably by the mortician that embalmed him. Voss is still on the island because he is looking for the mortician to get the diamonds back. Which, of course, he does — only the diamonds are in the safe at the mortician’s home, and as Five-0 arrives in his neighborhood to rescue his wife — and arrest Voss — there is a standoff.  

Voss gets out and pulls a gun, and is finally taken out. Tani notices as he is bleeding on the street that diamonds are spilling out of his gut. Seems as if Voss was going to smuggle the diamonds out of Hawaiʻi the same way he brought them in. And we know how well that worked out for him, right?

Besides the case of the week and Adam working to put together his own team to work alongside Five-0, two other subplots threaded throughout the episode. Adam not only was trying to recruit his C.I. but he also helped Tani’s brother get a job with a construction crew. It all goes south, when Tani’s brother, who seems to epitomize another type of greed — selfishness — overdoses in the porta-john on the construction site. When Adam comes looking to take him to lunch, he finds him passed out and races him to Noelani.

Noelani should be sainted — always willing to help the team and their friends — even if they are not dead, which is really her job as the medical examiner (read: coroner). Noelani — still a doctor, and as cool as cucumber, literally saves his life. And Tani is heartbroken that he is still using and that he could have died or gone to jail, if not for Adam’s very quick thinking. She begs him not to leave her alone, that he is all she has left, and our strong girl cries for her brother. I hope his greed does not end up hurting her or forcing her to make a decision that she cannot live with.

The other storyline dealt with an actual robbery — McGarrett and Danny’s under construction restaurant had been burglarized, and Danny remembering how Officer Pua Kai was such a psychopath when he investigated Danny’s stolen Christmas true — they asked Duke (Dennis Chun) specifically to work their case.

Seems as if all of the tools McGarrett was using to fix up the restaurant — in an effort to save money — have been stolen. Pua heads to Kamekona (Taylor Wily) for help on where to find fenced goods — as Kame is a former expert in that area of the criminal world. And Kamekona is more than willing to give him a list of possible fences — if Pua does something for him. It’s like a scene from “The Godfather” with a sweet-faced local girl holding a big umbrella over a seated Kamekona. He tells Pua to get something to eat while he writes out the list, and Pua declines and says he’s not hungry.

“Quid pro quo, brotha. Buy some shrimp. Get some names,” Kamekona says. It’s one of the best lines of the night — that and Danny calling  McGarrett, “Lt. Cargo Pants.

Pua does find the tools. You knew he would, just to get McGarrett and Danny to stop arguing over who left the back door open, and who is the keeper of the keys, and on and on and on. Sometimes, those two need to not argue so much and just go surfing.

But at least Pua did his job and tracked down the stolen goods right to the exact spot you’d never thought they’d be — at the ruins of a family home, where a father is trying to rebuild his house, while his wife and children help. They are living in a tent surrounded by the charred remains of their lives. The man is polite to Pua but worried about why he is there. He tells Pua he bought the tools at a pawn shop — the same one where Pua got his name as the buyer of McGarrett and Danny’s tools — because he couldn’t afford to buy anything new. Their insurance money had not come through — and they were going to live off the land and do what they could for themselves.

And that’s where you see greed turn into some good. Greedy people steal and try and profit over others — without a care in the world who gets hurt or who is destroyed by their greed. It was nice to see for once that a greedy act actually helped someone out. And yes, McGarrett and Danny are out their tools, but maybe it helped them see that they need a little help to make their restaurant work — and to give their relationship a bit of a white flag. In this case of stolen tools, greed was good, as it helped two friends realize what was truly important in life.

Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright, and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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