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Hawaii Five-0: “Hana ‘a’a Makehewa (Desperate Measures)” 

Photo Credit: Neil Jacobs/CBS

One of my oldest and dearest friends used to genuinely fret over The X-Fileswhen they would imperil Mulder and Scully, so it became a running decade-long joke about “Oh my God, they’re gonna kill ____.”

So, when we began this Christmas episode of H50with a bomb strapped to the neck of the lovely Daniel Dae Kim, kneeling in an outside plaza, it elicited an “oh, dear” instead of an “oh, DAMN!” Plus, I had much sympathy for however many hours he spent with his knees on the pavement, Hawaiian heat or not.

After Danny and McGarrett render their garments over Kelly’s predicament and his phone starts to ring, we dial back a day to Danny receiving a most pitiful mail-order tree and arguing the finer points of Santa suits with Kamekona. I call bullshit that Danny’s Santa suit was claimed by his ex in the divorce, especially now that he’s back in Hawaii.

So, anyway…McGarrett picks Danny up and they begin investigating a washed-up mobster on a beach, which tracks them back to videotape that shows Victor Hesse (James Marsters) is alive and well and sauntering around Hawaii (and as more than one person tells McGarrett, he’s a crappy shot because he didn’t kill Hesse in the pilot).

To find Hesse, they go visit Sang Min (Will Yun Lee—nice gig, man!) again and he demands a day pass to help them grab Victor. In a move that’s shocking to no one, Danny and McGarrett go looking for Hesse in a club, find him, chase him out onto the street, and a suddenly free-of-his-handcuffs Min speeds Hesse away in Danny’s car.

They send Kelly onto a boat to track Min’s ankle bracelet and his reward is a blow to the head and a spiffy new exploding necklace. Then we’re back to the ringing phone and it’s Hesse, demanding $10 million. Kelly and a panicky Kono exchange knowing looks about where to find the money and pretty soon the 5-0s are ferreting into a secret HQ vault to steal some of the bankroll that had been part of Kelly’s blacklisting. McGarrett delivers the money to Hesse, who promptly burns it and then they throw down ultimate fighting style until Kono puts a bullet in Hesse.

We close on Danny’s Christmas for Grace, complete with Santa suit, because McGarrett is handy with a needle and thread, of course, and the 5-0s and Kamekona are on hand to celebrate. A jailed Hesse takes a visit from Wo Fat (Marc Dacascos!) asking how close McGarrett’s is to investigating his mother’s accident not being an accident. Hesse says “too close,” and Fat says “too bad,” and DUN DUN DUN. So we have the setup for the back 10. Bring it!

This was a pretty by-the-numbers “save X team member” episode, but I liked that they all just fell in line immediately to get Kelly out of the jam, and had no trouble breaking the law when the (unseen) governor refused to hand over the cash. I wonder again why we’re not seeing Jean Smart. Has she been dropped? Also, for a Christmas episode, I thought we’d get Mary again, but not yet. Maybe when the investigation into Mama McGarrett picks up. The episode was pretty (appropriately) banter light but there was one funny aside between Danny and McGarrett about why McGarrett is always driving Danny’s car. I think it was a toss up between “likes to drive” and “control issues.” Hee!

See you next month. Enjoy the Hawaii-atus.

Congratulations to Scott Caan on his Golden Globe nomination. You can still vote for H50 as best new drama in the People’s Choice Awards.

Happy holidays!

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