Episode 2 (called “Ohana”) ends with McG promising Kono, Danny and Chin that they are now a family and Episode 3 begins with a family outing! I don’t begrudge 1.2 the “Ohana” name because that episode showed us the start of the family. But, of course, it could be a perfectly good title for this episode as well, because this episode is actually all about families: McG’s. Danny’s. Chin and Kono’s. The Gangs. The Mafia. And the lengths to which you would go to protect your family.
It’s a common time-saving cliche of crime tv that the cops are already conveniently at the scene of the crime when the crime occurs. This episode takes that trope to the next level, giving it some real world consequences, with Rachel threatening to reduce Danny’s custody. This creates the opportunity for McG to provide protection to Danny and by extension, Grace, who at this moment in time is Danny’s only connection to Hawaii.
Meanwhile, the family element of Chin and Kono’s relationship receives emphasis with Chin Ho’s situation (vis-a-vis HPD) presented as not just a career penalty (like it was in the last two episodes) but one that had personal-life impacting consequences as well.
The case of the week is a clever blend of Hawaii and New Jersey (just like our new team) and the mystery unravels quickly and smoothly with only a couple of hiccups. I have always had a problem that McG and Danny zero in on the Quarterback with the gun in his backpack instead of going after the adult who they saw giving the Quarterback the gun – but this is done to generate the conflict between McG and Danny (our “what the hell is the matter with you” moment of the episode) to remind us that this partnership is still pretty fresh, and there isn’t 100% trust or understanding between these two yet.
The tradeoff for the conflict between McG and Danny in the locker room is that it leads us to one of my favorite stunts of the entire series! McG takes a guy head first into a crystal bowl at International Marketplace. I love this stunt so much, let me break it down for you. We start with McG running, always a favorite.
Then we have an establishing shot:
McG cuts through the wind-chimes and sun-catchers, cutting off the baddie’s escape.
Then someone who is hopefully Justin (Alex’s stunt double) tackles the baddie and crashes them both into the kiosk, glass shards flying everywhere!
So McG subdues the baddie & arrests him but in this series of caps I think it’s very clear that no one will feel sorry for this baddie in the least.
And of course, along with some action, this episode full-on brings the pretty with the boys in their Whale Suits and Kono getting her geisha on.
But this episode? I actually watch for the plot! And by plot I mean the characters, their conversations, their development and background. There really wasn’t much of any wasted time in this episode. Everything really flows, and it all ties together really well. The writing is crisp. There are so many memorable lines and exchanges in this episode that I can’t even start pointing them out –I may as well have posted the entire script. Finally, the episode is beautifully shot.
But back to the family. Out on the boat, McG goes out of his way to explain about aumakuas: the protectors of families, the spiritual protector, the physical protector. I’m not sure what a shark-spirit looks like when it’s thinking about protecting his or her family group from threats of danger, but it probably looks a little like this.
The scene on the boat is my favorite scene in the episode (like The Pilot, it had a lot of tough competition, there are almost no bad/unmemorable scenes in this entire episode!) but this one is the perfect mix of drama, outrageousness, humor and emotion. It really just has it all.
McG is obviously concerned and invested in Danny’s difficulties and Danny, pre-occupied with said difficulties, doesn’t even notice how much so. He doesn’t know McG well enough yet (neither do we, really – this is one of the ways in which we learn) that McG has a generosity of spirit, notices these things, and is a giver. A fixer of problems. And someone who will do what it takes to protect his family. The family he has chosen, to replace the one he lost.
McG’s in a position of power wherever he goes because he has literally nothing to lose and everything to gain. Here in Hawaii, Danny’s practically helpless. He can’t stop bad things from happening. And he ain’t too proud to beg.
Maybe you’re not as alone around here as you think, Danno. I kind of blank out after this wonderful moment… partly because I’m not sure what McG was going for asking “how much of your soul did you just lose?” and I have no idea what “measuring” as a response really means, but oh well, we got our Moment (broment?) of the episode so I will not complain.
And we end the episode with the Ohana, some popcorn and some streaming video originally shot in the early ’90s. This scene could just as easily been set in a living room as a conference room. Memories and reminisces. Easy smiles and home videos. And it’s so poignant and touching to me that it is in this family environment that the team finally finds its name – and the name, like the creation of the team itself, is the legacy of John McGarrett.
This episode gets a solid 7.7/10 score from me. I pretty much loved it all.
Thanks for reading! I look forward to hearing your thoughts.