As the countdown continues to the end of “Hawaii Five-0,” it’s interesting to note how they are slowly wrapping up the series with little hints and suggestions. Maybe we would not have noticed these little mentions of finality if this had been a typical ramp-up to the end of a season, but now every conversation between McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and Danno (Scott Caan) has a deeper meaning. Each case they work together matters, and every sweet look, each kind word, and inside joke shared between the team means more to us than ever before.
This week’s episode, “E ho‘i na keiki oki uaua o na pali” which is Hawaiian for “Home go the very tough lads of the hills,” has Five-0 investigating the death of Daniel Kekaula, a rancher who is found murdered after being dragged behind a horse by masked cowboys. Written by Noah Evslin and Rob Hanning and directed by Geoff Shotz, the episode’s title is a ʻōlelo noʻeau, or Hawaiian proverb and poetical saying. The saying is about the paniolo, or cowboys, from Hawaii island, and about how “these lads of the hills were the cowboys of Pu‘uwa‘awa‘a and Pu‘uanahulu, who were well known for their endurance.”
The title seems to reflect not only how McGarrett and Danno ride like paniolo to a cabin in the Kualoa Mountain Range in order to capture their murder suspects, but the legend behind their investigation. While trying to find out who killed the rancher, Five-0 uncovers a family rivalry between two Hawaiian paniolo families, reminiscent of the Hatfields and the McCoys, over a cache of Civil War-era gold coins buried for over a century.
HO‘OKANO VS MAKOI
This week’s case was one that started in 1870, when Abel Ho‘okano, whose land the murder victim now owns, and his best friend Buddy Makoi, brought neighboring ranches after returning from the mainland with the coins. When they could not agree on what to do with the gold — a feud started. The case definitely had an interesting historical background and was a very good example of how well the team works together.
Lou (Chi McBride) and Duke (Dennis Chun) find out the truth of what happened to Abel, which helped to reveal a theory why Kekaula may have been killed. They theorize that Kekaula may have found Abel’s gold and when Junior (Beulah Koale) and Tani (Meaghan Rath) visit a nearby bar, where Tani seems to have been the crowned the Queen of the Line Dance at one point in her life, his obvious celebration of a windfall seems to solidify the theory.
Of course, the team figures out that one of the bar patrons, Ray Makoi (Dave Reaves), probably killed Kekaula for the gold, which is how McGarrett and Danno end up chasing them up the mountain on horseback. When Danno is questioned about his horsemanship, he assures McGarrett he’s been taking lessons with Grace and can handle the ride.
In truth, Caan comes from a family of stuntmen and horsemen and his uncle was the famous cowboy stuntman, Walter Scott, so on a horse and in an action scene, Caan can most definitely handle himself. And we got to see this when McGarrett and Danno finally confront the Makoi ohana. Our heroes are outgunned and outmanned, making the scene more just tense, especially when McGarrett has to improvise in order to get the upper hand in the gunfight. Luckily for him, Danno is also great at improvising and takes out Ray right before he crushes in McGarrett’s skull.
While the Five-0 team works the paniolo case, Adam (Ian Anthony Dale) helps Quinn (Katrina Law) find her wayward ex-husband Jake (Bart Johnson) after his daughter Olivia (Hawaii actress Siena Agudong) calls Quinn for help. Quinn turns to Adam, who has seemingly been let go from the Five-0 task force and asks him to help her find Jake. Quinn confesses to Adam that Jake has a gambling problem and Adam reaches out to his underworld sources. But it’s when he and Quinn visit Kamekona (Taylor Wily) who always has “friends in low places” that they get a lead on where to find Jake.
While this was the secondary storyline of the episode — it was really nice to see Quinn open up to Adam, who definitely understands what it’s like to be married only to have your relationship derailed by issues out of your control. It was also interesting to learn more about Quinn and understand why she fits in so well with McGarrett and Five-0. When she breaks down after having Duke arrest Jake, it was like we finally know who Quinn really is and what makes her such a likable and powerful character.
RIDING OFF INTO THE SUNSET
The last time we had a meaningful horseback ride in an episode was when McGarrett rode with Joe White in “Pio ke Kukui, Po‘ele ka Hale” (“When the Light Goes Out, the House Is Dark”). And these scenes with McGarrett and Danno were quite revealing as Danno tells McGarrett that he can hear McG pacing at night, and knows he is not really sleeping. McGarrett admits that he has a lot on his mind.
Something is going on with McGarrett, but we’re not sure what it is. Still, at the end of the episode, McGarrett tells Danno about how important it is to watch a sunset, saying that he’s always taken sunsets for granted and “just because you see something every day doesn’t make it any less special. In fact, I think those are the things you’re going to miss the most in the end.” Perhaps he’s not talking about sunsets — perhaps he’s talking about a certain group of people he might not be seeing each and every day for much longer.