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Hawaii Five-0 “Mana’o (Belief)”

Photo Credit: Neil Jacobs/CBS

Scott Caan gets a showcase episode with “”Mana’o (Belief)”, which focuses on Danny’s attempt to clear the name of his former partner, Hanamoa, whose charred corpse is discovered at a Luau at the beginning of the episode. Working the case puts Kelly right in the path of one of the IA goons (Homicide’s Jon Seda) who had disgraced him, so he’s got more than enough motivation to help Danny make things right.

McGarrett and Kono backseat the episode to a degree. The former shakes Danny a couple of times to get his head on straight and the latter works the intel angle (and later a lovely frock while they’re UC at a gallery). Hanamoa left a wife and son, to whom Danny is close, and it’s through his widow that he finds out his friend has been killed and that his memory is already being blackened inside the department. He inserts 5-0 into the case pretty much without asking anybody and then the path leads them to info that he was up to something that had him booked on a plane to Singapore the night he was killed.

The only cop in his unit who wants to help, Kaleo, is played by Jason Scott Lee, who was genius as Bruce Lee in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story; seriously, go rent it and buy the soundtrack. You’re welcome. So that’s a pretty big tell that could go either way—the dude is genuine or genuinely bad. Separately, the crew feels out from Cuz that the drug trade was involved, so they make their way into a gallery and get into the back room to meet Bronson Pinchot, who is the dealer’s liaison, and when he’s unreceptive to Danny and McGarrett’s requests for info, Danny ties him to the hood of his Chevy and races him round and round to the roof of a parking garage while McGarrett snits that if he’d done it, Danny would have shot him down. Danny doesn’t disagree, so McGarrett says that gets him a pass on the next interrogation.

They arrange a buy and bring Kaleo in on the investigation and then he inconveniently kills the dealer before Hanamoa can be exonerated. Danny’s not an idiot, though, and he’s been out to the prison to sit down with Sang Min (who they busted in the pilot) to get him to ID his HPD source. Min’s not having it, but Danny wears him down by pleading mercy because of Hanamoa’s surviving wife and son, and that works. Kelly and Kono march Min into HPD headquarters and he points out Kaleo, who’s mid-brag about the dealer, as his source. Danny gives him what for and how many before they cuff him. Danny then pays up his end to Min and takes him to see his wife and son, but Min decides to stay in the car, tearily telling Danny he’s done them enough damage.

The episode closes with everybody aware that Hanamoa was trying to expose Kaleo. His widow greets Danny, grateful for 5-0’s help, as the house overflows with uniformed officers paying their respects. Danny’s happy to see a photo of  himself with Hanamoa in the display of pictures. Then the 5-0s arrive in uniform (woof!) and pay their respects, too. Danny tells McGarrett he didn’t have to come and McGarrett sloughs it off that heloves himis always going to be there for him, and Danny is humbled.

Awesome job by Caan tonight—he holstered the swagger and gave a very genuine performance of a guy trying to redeem his friend, not only so his name wasn’t tarnished, but  also for the sake of his wife and son (and the pension due them). I was surprised that Danny had had another partner. I keep thinking he was a newbie when McGarrett met him, so I need more math on how long he’s actually been in Hawaii. I liked the reversal of McGarrett backing up Danny and letting him run the show, and of Kelly getting his a chance to redeem another cop the way McGarrett essentially redeemed him. One LOL moment in the heaviness—Kelly and Kono are discussing art at the galley and when she questions him on something, he tells her to “Bing it,” so she does, on her phone. Product placement!

Loved seeing Jason Scott Lee and would have rathered he wasn’t the baddie so he could come back, but like Will Yun Lee, who I was also glad to revisit, maybe he will. Next week, Kelly Hu is back, plus Emmanuelle Vaugier and Max Martini (from The Unit). So digging this show. If we can get Sophia Myles or Jason Dohring out to Hawaii, mama will be goofy giddy.

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