Each week for the last 10 years, “Hawaii Five-0” has been on the air almost every week, either with a new or repeat episode, and television audiences have never really given it a second thought. But when the news that the series would end on April 3 broke — just hours before their newest episode aired — it was a hard blow to fans. And that made watching this week’s episode, “Nalowale i ke ‘ehu o ke kai” (“Lost in the Sea Sprays”), very difficult.
The episode has McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and the Five-0 team searching for the pirates who murdered a cargo ship captain and smuggled millions of dollars worth of synthetic drugs on his ship. While the case of the week added the action and drama, the secondary storyline, which involved Noelani (Kimee Balmilero) looking into the death of her Uncle Akumu (Victor Naval), was a bit of a tear-jerker. It did not go unnoticed that on the night when the world got the news that “Hawaii Five-0” would end their historic 10-season run, there was a funeral near the end of the episode.
Based on a story by Zoe Robyn, and teleplay by Talia Gonzalez and Bisanne Masoud, the episode’s title is based on a ʻōlelo noʻeau, or Hawaiian proverb and poetical saying. The phase is “said of one who disappears from sight to avoid coming in contact with others, like a canoe that speeds away and raises sprays so that it can’t be seen.” The title seems to make more of a connection to the fact that the pirates transformed their skiff to look like a Coast Guard boat, but it also pertains to Noelani’s case as a metaphor behind the truth behind her uncle’s death. It also relates to Adam who hid behind a spray of lies so that the yakuza — and McGarrett — could not see his true intent.
THE BAD GUYS “ARR” ALL PIRATES
This week’s case of the week had a few twists and turns, but the best parts had to do with scenes sprinkled throughout the episode between McGarrett and Danny (Scott Caan) and between Junior (Beulah Koale) and Tani (Meaghan Rath). These are the kinds of moments that we truly love to see. McGarrett ironing a shirt for a big date, with Danny busting his chops about dating. The scene where Junior apologizes to Tani for having to cancel their date as they are clearing the cargo ship, looking for one of the suspect pirates, has Tani giving him a little grief about his timing.
Rath truly wins the season with the fight of the year when she finds the pirate in the ship’s galley. Tani hits the guy with literally everything she has — a metal pan, a glass coffee pot — until she finally shoots him just as Junior, McGarrett, and Danny break down the galley door. It was just priceless when they all stare at her, guns drawn, and she quips, “Found him.”
Still, the team does a thorough job of investigating the case, with Lou (Chi McBride) working the magic table to find where the pirates might be holding all their booty. When they finally find them dead in a house full of what looks like kilos of heroin, they realize that it is actually “carfentanil, a synthetic opioid that’s 10,000 times stronger than morphine and banned from the chemical weapons convention.” Tani wins again for the best joke of the season when she tells McGarrett and Lou, “why are pirates called pirates? ‘Cause they “arr”!” And she is right, it is a solid one, at least it gave us a bit of a laugh on a night when we certainly needed it.
NOELANI SEARCHES FOR THE TRUTH
It is Noelani’s case that really has everyone reaching for the tissues, as she recalls not only how supportive and loving her uncle was in her life, but how he helped so many people as a pastor whose church helped teens and the community. When she has suspicions that his death was not caused by a heart attack, she asks McGarrett for help, and Quinn Liu (Katrina Law) arrives to help Noelani investigate Akumu’s death.
Quinn’s Five-0 badge begins to open doors for Noelani, and together the two find out that Akumu was actually murdered by a Councilman Mikala (Max Phyo), who had a deal with the local gangs so they could sell drugs where the cops wouldn’t bother them, in return for a cut of their profits. When Akumu found out from one of the teens he was helping, Councilman Mikala killed Akumu and made it look like he committed suicide. Once Noelani knew her uncle didn’t kill himself, which she never believed, Quinn has the councilman arrested. Before they attend Akumu’s burial, Noelani seems to make-up with her parents who have always disapproved of her choice to become a medical examiner. Noelani’s parents were played by Jean Ota and Roy M. Balmilero, Kimee’s real-life father.
DANCING AWAY THE BLUES
They say after the rain comes the rainbows, so after Akumu is laid to rest, and we all cry for Noelani’s loss (and Quinn’s, who confessed to Noelani that her brother killed himself when she was in high school), it was fun to see the team get together at Rick’s (Zachary Knighton of “Magnum P.I.”) La Mariana for beers and dancing. Rick returned in the episode to help Tani find a clue about the pirates, and while he was helping with the case, he could not help but ask about Quinn and if he perhaps had a shot at pursuing her.
So Quinn brings Noelani by for “just one drink” and the gang is all there to help cheer her up. McGarrett, of course, forgot his wallet, so Rick buys the next round, and when Quinn proclaims that the Backstreet Boy’s song “Everybody” was her “jam in the fifth grade” she and Rick hit the dance floor. Tani and Junior are not to be outdone by the likes of the two dance amateurs and get up to show them how it is done. The scene was beyond silly and fun, and it was so delightful to see them all dancing together. It helped to chase away some of the blues of losing this great group in a few weeks. At least for a few precious moments.