Hawaii is a very unique place in the sense that while it has all the trappings of big city life, it is sometimes like living in a small town. It’s commonplace to run into a cousin, a kid you grew up with or an old pal from high school while going about your daily business. We don’t say “it’s a small world,” we say “it’s a small island” as the metaphor is much the same.
In this week’s “Hawaii Five-0,” this type of coincidental encounter is seen through the lives of Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), Danny (Scott Caan), Tani (Meaghan Rath), and Duke (Dennis Chun) and their connection to a gun. They all experience the small island concept while dealing with the 40-year criminal history of a .38 revolver.
The episode titled “Ke ala o ka pū,” which is Hawaiian for “Way of the Gun,” was written by Paul Grellong and directed by David Straiton. The story is fast-paced and intricate as the history of the gun also reveals the backstories of the Five-0 characters. The episode expertly takes us through the crimes committed by people who possessed the gun and the impact it made on Five-0 over the years.
THE WAY OF THE GUN
Viewers like an episode that takes us into the lives of the Five-0 characters. This episode does not disappoint and takes viewers from 1983 when Duke Lukela (Eric Elizaga) and John McGarrett (Ryan Bittle) encounter the gun to 2010 when Danny faces the revolver during an armed robbery. Next viewers take a trip to 2015 when Tani sees her brother Koa (Kunal Sharma) shooting cans with it at a party. Finally, viewers are transported to 2019 when the gun arrives back in the Five-0 team’s hands after they solve a recent murder.
The scenes allow us to see younger versions of the characters — McGarrett at age six (Revel Kolohe Sloboda); Duke as a young patrol officer; Danny as he has just arrived in Hawaii from New Jersey; and Tani before she joined HPD.
In the present day, Junior (Beulah Koale) is the one to bring the gun to the team’s attention, as a friend from his days of living in a homeless shelter, Hilo (John Clarence Stewart), tells him about selling a .38 revolver to a teenage girl (Makenna James).
BEFORE THE FIRST DAY
Years after Duke is shot by the gun, Danny is new to Hawaii and looks for something to eat at a local convenience store. As the store owner, played by veteran Hawaii actor and entertainer Al Waterson, points him toward the spam musubis and suggests he “lose the tie,” the store is robbed by a hooded man with a star tattoo on his wrist. He kills the owner with the same .38 revolver the team is now looking for.
As they connect the cases attached to this “community gun,” Tani tells her own story, which eventually helps Danny find the armed gunman. Tani’s former boyfriend, Damien (Jon Chaffin), gave the .38 to a guy in his crew, Maleko (Ty Quiamboa). Tani helps put Maleko in Halawa for murder by telling HPD about the gun, and six months later, she starts at the academy.
Tani and Danny visit Maleko in Halawa, and he gives them the name of the person he got the gun from, a pastor who Danny recognizes by his tattoo. Danny and Tani arrest him, and the case that started Danny on the path to Five-0 is finally solved. Danny tells Tani how weird it is that the gun that got Tani to join HPD, is the same gun that almost got him killed when he first arrived in Hawaii.
COMING FULL CIRCLE
The best part of the episode is when Duke and McGarrett find Scott Hester (Colin Cunningham), the man who blamed John McGarrett for ruining his life and used Duke to lure him to a remote area so he could kill him, murdering Duke’s partner in the process, and nearly killing Duke. When the now Sgt. Duke tells McGarrett about what happened and how his father saved his life, McGarrett tells Duke he remembers that night and how his father left telling him he needed to help someone.
He tells Duke it was the first time he understood what his father did every day, what he risked, and that there was something more important than himself. Duke reminds him that apples don’t fall far from the tree. Both men smile, as it is a compliment to both father and son. It’s a sweet scene between the two characters, and both McGarrett and Duke come across not only as friends but as two men who have been through a lot together.
They find a lead to Hester in California, and Duke and McGarrett go after him. When they find him, it is Duke who chases him down and shoots Hester to stop him, but it is his younger self who points his gun in Hester’s face. McGarrett calls Duke to stop him. Duke points the gun at McGarrett and tells Hester: “This is John McGarrett’s son. And my name is Duke Lukela. Remember me?” And that is how the way of the gun ends, with Five-0 putting it away in an evidence box, and McGarrett helping a friend catch his man and put his sorrow and loss behind him.