After nine years, “Hawaii Five-0” seems to have figured out how to end their seasons with more than just a proverbial bang. This year is no exception, but along with ending the season with a more literal bang, they added a few storylines that seem to set up several storylines for the next season. After fans learned the show was renewed for a tenth season last week, they quickly stopped lamenting a possible end to their favorite show and are now left with a cliffhanger that will keep guessing about what to expect in the fall.
The title of the season nine finale, “Hana mao ʻole ka ua o Waianae” which is Hawaiian for “Endlessly Pours the Rain of Waianae,” is an interesting take on the ʻolelo noʻeau, or Hawaiian proverb and poetical saying, “Hana mao ʻole ka ua o Hilo.” The proverb is “said of anything that goes on and on, as the pouring rain, or of havoc such as that produced by a torrent. Names of other places are sometimes substituted for Hilo.”
The title seems to reference the actual havoc that villain Aaron Wright (recurring cast member Joey Lawrence) creates in Hawaii when he sends out a fake ballistic missile alert reminiscent of the actual false alarm Hawaii residents and visitors experienced in January 2018. Yet the idea that rain “endlessly pours” in Waianae is very misleading. Waianae, and the Waianae mountain range, is on the Ewa or West side of the island and is the driest part of the island. The Windward or East side of the island is known for its rainy weather, so the “substitution” of Waianae for Hilo is a literal inaccuracy.
Perhaps writers Matt Wheeler and David Wolkove changed it to reference a city on Oahu, versus Hilo which is a town on Hawaii island. Directed by Eagle Egilsson, the episode handled several storylines with a balanced hand. Expertly paced, there was little time to breathe between the case of the week dealing with McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and the team’s search for cybercriminal Wright, and resolving Junior’s (Beulah Koale) conflict with his father (Eric Scanlan), as well as introducing Adam’s (Ian Anthony Dale) blossoming relationship with Tamiko Masuda (Brittany Ishibashi).
SCATTERING THE ASHES
Usually, if a season finale makes you cry, that’s a good sign. The first scene when McGarrett gives Frank Bama (recurring cast member Jimmy Buffett) the urn with Joe White’s ashes to scatter on Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, reminds us all of McGarrett’s last moments with Joe in Montana.
When the episode moves on, there are a few more bittersweet moments. As Adam shares breakfast with Tamiko to comfort her after the death of her fiance just hours before their wedding, they seem to be “just friends.” But later when he brings over dinner to share with her — the implications are that he has definitely moved on from Kono, and seems to have scattered the ashes of his marriage, and is ready to start a new.
While the team deals with their personal relationships, Duke (Dennis Chun) brings them back to their main mission — finding Aaron Wright. After he double-crossed Five-0 and the NSA by stealing the cyber-weapons he had originally been working with for the NSA, he murders the man who he paid to retrieve the drive that held the weapons. Duke tells the team that the dead man was already on the HPD cybercrime unit radar because he was local hacker, and HPD “figured the murder might be related to Wright.”
Danno (Scott Caan) agrees that the murder feels like something Wright would do. Jerry (Jorge Garcia) uses his own tech skills to help the team find Wright only to corner him in a crowded Waikiki mall. In order to get out of the surrounded mall, Wright sends out the false missile alert so he can use the chaos to escape.
Jerry finds evidence that Wright is about to fly himself off the island on a jet and McGarrett and Danno go after him. It’s really the worst game of “Chicken” McGarrett has ever played as he drives Danno’s Camaro toward Wright’s jet as it is taking off. While McGarrett loses that round, Jerry thwarts Wright by hacking into his plane and dumping his fuel. Jerry tells Wright to surrender to Five-0 or crash into the Pacific. It’s a very nice comeuppance of a villain — which was both nervewracking and thrilling to watch.
A TORRENT FORGIVENESS
There seems to be a recurring theme this season, about seeking and giving forgiveness. Junior’s decision to allow the parole board to free his sister’s killer causes his father to tell a heartbroken Junior “You are not my son. Not anymore.” While Junior seems to have the heart to forgive, his father does not.
And when the wife of Omar Hassan, Azra (Yasmin Dar) wants to apologize for her husband sending a hit squad to kill McGarrett and his SEAL team, we all thought this was the appropriate ending to a sad story. Only she wasn’t there to seek forgiveness, she was there for revenge. As McGarrett leads her out of Five-0 headquarters, she pulls a ceramic gun out of her son’s backpack and aims at McGarrett, just as Jerry walks toward them.
So the ninth season finale ends on a climactic cliffhanger — who did Azra shoot? Needless to say, in a season finale, the bang needs to be loud enough to remind everyone to return in the fall to see who survived and made it to the next season.