In Hawaii, when visitors arrive, we tend to go a little overboard. We clean and change the bedding, and lug out the “good” towels — but we also do things like stock the freezer with mint chocolate chip mochi ice cream because it’s our sister’s favorite.
This week’s episode of “Hawaii Five-0,” titled “Ho‘okāhi no lā o ka malihini,” which is Hawaiian for “A Stranger Only for a Day,” is based on a ʻolelo noʻeau, or Hawaiian proverb and poetical saying. Hawaiians believe that after a period of time, friends should no longer feel like “guests” within their relationship. It’s more than just sharing personal details about their lives, or being able to drive their car or watch their kids. It’s about knowing that you are no longer malihini: a stranger, or one unfamiliar with a place or custom — but part of the ohana.
While one storyline leads to a case Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) must solve with the help of his sister Mary (Taryn Manning), the other has to do with Five-0 team members Tani (Meaghan Rath) and Junior (Beulah Koale). Our young ones must come to terms with the fact that they are moving toward being more than just colleagues, and are no longer strangers in each others’ lives.
A STRANGER ACROSS THE STREET
We haven’t seen Mary McGarrett since the death of Aunt Deb (Carol Burnett) in “Ua ola loko i ke aloha” (“Love Gives Life Within”), but it is evident that she and Joanie are doing fine since Deb made arrangements to provide for them before her death. Mary is in Hawaii to relax and against big brother Steve’s wishes, she rents an Airbnb for some quiet time — mostly because she cannot live with Mr. Pickles due to her cat allergy.
At her Airbnb, complete with an outdoor rainforest shower, she meets a strange neighbor, Ben Miller (John Patrick Jordan), who lives across the street from her rental. She later sees him angrily yelling at her host, who then asks her to leave. As Mary is a first and foremost a McGarrett, she senses that something fishy is going on with her “neighbor.”
She asks Steve to bring her a box of Leonard’s malasadas to bribe Miller to let her stay, but after being in his home, Steve now has a few questions. Why does Miller have boxes of cat litter, but Mary had no allergic reaction when she entered his home? Miller obviously does not have a cat. The siblings begin to speculate what Miller is hiding. They get even more information from Blake (Miles Emmons), the cutest kid to protect the ’sac (that’s cul-de-sac to you) when he tells them how Miller kept his drone after it crashed into Miller’s backyard.
Blake’s drone pictures show Miller working around his house and smoking outside late at night, making Mary think Miller is hiding a meth lab in his home. She tells Steve her theory after breaking into Miller’s house — “meth cooks use litter to absorb the spilled chemicals if you light a cigarette in a meth lab you’re gonna blow up. Working at night would prevent the neighbors from seeing what you’re doing.”
Of course, Steve finds the lab, and Mary “Miss Nancy Drew” to Lou (Chi McBride) and the gang — confirms her idea that she is actually a decent judge of character. It was a great reconnection between Steve and his sister, who had a bit of a rocky relationship until she adopted her daughter.
NO STRANGERS TO LOVE
The other storyline of merit dealt with Tani taking Junior to a wedding as her platonic plus-one. As McGarrett has taken off to spend time with Mary, the Five-0 team, Danny (Scott Caan), Adam (Ian Anthony Dale), Lou, Tani, and Junior, work the case of the week — which was confusing at best and only got exciting when Junior climbed down a ravine to save the victim/suspect.
But the best part of Junior’s scary climb was how Tani reacted to “Joons” almost sliding down the side of the mountain. As Junior is getting patched up, Danny tells her “You only get a few people, right? People in life that you care about. When you get old, you can count the good ones on one hand.” It seems as if Danny is telling her it’s okay to care about Junior, perhaps even on a romantic level. Danny is the very one who had a vision of Tani and Junior being married and running Five-0 in the future.
When the pair put on their boogie shoes and dance it up at the wedding, two little flower girls join them and Tani excuses herself. As she watches Junior dance with his two admirers, a bridesmaid, Jodie (Brianna Hope), tells Tani they are a cute couple. Tani says they are “just friends,” and Jodie looks at Junior with interest and asks if he’s single. Tani just looks at Junior and doesn’t answer. Jodie wishes her luck and walks away.
It’s as if something clicks for Tani and she walks over to Junior as a slow song starts. They begin to slow dance very close, their foreheads touching. It’s a telling embrace and one that tells us that perhaps there will be more of a connection between the two as they are no longer strangers, and soon will be much more than just friends.