Well it was an “all hands” kinds of week on Hawaii Five-0, where everybody got to be in on the case in pretty much equal measure. Awesome. The only hitch was some weird use/misuse of the guest cast. They brought in the saucy and stunning Emmanuelle Vaugier, had her strip to her skivvies to assassinate a guy and then…that’s pretty much the extent of her appearance, which nets a big HUH? The other guest this week is Max Martini as a former SEAL pal of McGarrett’s, whom Danny immediately distrusts. McGarrett calls jealous, and then before long has to eat that because, ding, ding, ding, Danny’s bullshit-meter actually is pretty accurate.
The setup for the case is an ex-CIA operative named Erica (Vaugier) killing an advance man for a dictatorial (think Myanmar) general who’s coming to Hawaii for trade talks. The governor asks the 5-0’s to step in to make sure the general survives the meet. That’s where McGarrett meets his old buddy, Nick, who’s running a private security operation of his own.
McGarrett and Kono follow a lead on a protestor and learn he and his family would be well within their rights to kill the general but actually have no involvement in the plot. Sidebar: McGarrett has started holstering his gun on the front of his vest, which to me seems to be inviting somebody to try to take it off of him, and it’s led to an affectation of him often walking with his hand on his chest, which is sort of distracting (not like that, you perv).
The 5-0’s piece together Erica’s identity (after Kelly does some tech wizardry to build a composite image from multiple snippets and angles—clever!) and find out she killed a woman and has been based out of her home. Nick gives them the intel that she was a CIA-trained assassin who went rogue at some point and is essentially a hired gun. The 5-0’s catch up with her and have a shoot-out in the street that ends with her being killed by a trolley car (random!). So, that’s the conclusion of Vaugier’s trip to Hawaii (fail!).
Once she’s out of the picture, the 5-0’s have to step in and actually run the security detail themselves, transporting the general and his family, which doesn’t sit well with any of them. They get about halfway there when Kono gets the call on Erica’s phone dump that Nick was working with her, and they realize they’re being set up, so they start to break up the convoy of (Chevy!) vehicles and end up in a shoot out with Nick’s crew before secreting the general and his family to Casa McGarrett while they wait for backup (that isn’t coming). Once ensconced inside the house, the general sees that the 5-0’s actually give a damn—helping his wife, who took a bullet, and calming his son—he confesses that he’s there for asylum, so now they really have to keep him alive.
It’s not too long before Nick and his brigade storm and shoot up the house and McGarrett has to kill him, but ahead of that we get the obligatory disappointment-over-your-friend-who-chose-greenbacks-over-country speech. Plot point: the advance man was killed because he had agreed to kill the general but balked at killing the wife and son, so he was about to reveal the operation. The episode closes with the general signing off on his agreement with a judge and agreeing to whatever punishment is handed to him because his son respects what he’s done in turning himself in, and the 5-0’s have some sort of peace about doing what they did, too.
I completely expected Danny to be the one who would kill Nick, so it was a surprise that McGarrett finished it. Before that, though, I’d have liked to see McGarrett interact more with Nick since he was someone with whom he’d supposedly had a long history, especially when there was a betrayal to come. We didn’t see how tight he was with Nick to really get how much it was supposed to hurt him that Nick went rogue for money.
In the middle of all this there was some awesome banter between Danny and McGarrett—first about Danny putting Jersey swag in the Chevy without “proper authorization” followed by a debate about Jersey-based food and crooners, and then later on when Danny really, really can’t mask his dislike of Nick and the CIA-speak. They ramped Danny’s annoyance almost over the top of professional vs. personal, but it worked because Danny was right about distrusting Nick, and McGarrett had to mea culpa that he didn’t see the betrayal coming. O’Loughlin and Caan’s chemistry together is so,so good. If you haven’t seen the CBS NoBro promo, click NOW (and seriously, somebody please tell me if the guy in profile at 1:30 is NOT O’Loughlin and is a stunt double).
One more new episode this year before Hawaii-atus. Boo!