It is that time of week for the reviews to be redistributed with some fun GIF additions too. It is amazing how fast this year has gone. Here is the last installment of Different Points of View of 2016 from Linda and Manu. This winter finale episode gave us all a great product to work with. Enjoy,.
Emanuela (Manu) Pari
After the more light hearted episode from last week this week we were in for a very intense, emotions driven show which brought me to tears at least twice and which left us on the edge of our seats with a “to be continued” and an unusual fall finale cliffhanger.
After meeting cute little Sara during last season, we have grown very fond of Chin’s niece and we have followed with awe and then apprehension the story of them becoming Ohana and the story of the little girl going back to Mexico to live with her maternal family. We knew we wouldn’t have seen the last of Sara and of course she came back like a whirlwind in ep 7.11.
As usual a celebration in the Hawaii Five 0 Universe can’t take place without the phone ringing and spoiling the party for at least one of the members of the task force. This time we had the lovely scene of Chin’s birthday party, it must have been a special one as everybody was invited, either in person or on the recorded video. How cute were the pictures of baby Chin, toddler Chin, teenager Chin and growing up Chin (all confirmed to be his real ones by actor Daniel Dae Kim)?
And how cute was to see Charlie and Gracie at the party, cousin Flippa with his funny Christmas costume, Duke, Max and of course Steve, Danno, Kono and Lou. Even funnier were the messages from Sang Min, uncle Choi, Dwane the Dog.
My only disappointment was the complete absence of Abby, either in person or just on the video. Was it really impossible for Five 0 to have Julie Benz recording a message? And considering that no mention whatsoever of her character was made in the rest of the episode, when Chin needed all the support he could get I think this was a really bad overview. For whatever reason of the absence something should have been said to justify it.
Other than that the episode was one of the best of the season.
Everybody gathered that something was really wrong when Chin left the party without saying a word and jumped on his motorbike with the intention of going directly to Mexico, or something equally reckless.
Luckily our Commander, forever the protector of his people, managed to persuade him to accept the team’s help and to deal with the problem in a more rational way. Always meaningful the way Steve reminded the Mexican police officer that Five 0 is not regular police, we knew already at that point that the team would do everything necessary to bring Sara back safe and sound.
This episode gave us quite a few teary moments, and one of them for me was when Chin was in Sara’s room, looking at her favourite toy rabbit and reading her letter to Santa in which she asked for a plane ticket for uncle Chin to come to visit her. Scene beautifully portrayed by Daniel which I think gave his very best in this occasion even more than in the entire series.
Luckily this episode didn’t give us only tears and action but also a bit of fun, when Lou and Danno went to the morgue to try to identify the deceased kidnapper. First, they amused us with their comparative lack of skills in the Spanish language, “Soy Americano” from Lou was definitely more helpful than Danno’s “Your smile is gorgeous” with the guard. Their bribing charm though wasn’t as good as their pistols to persuade the poor dude to help them. In the same way, the funniest M.E. in the world kept us entertained with his failure in recognising that “Danny” was Detective Williams and with his pointing out the complete lack of qualifications, skills and knowledge to perform the task of identifying the dead man.
We will miss you Max, so very much.
The situation turned tense again when Chin directly accused Jorge Morales, Sara’s uncle to be the cause of her current predicament as he knew that a drug dealer was registered on his telephone. Useless the argument from Jorge that he had nothing to do with Sara’s kidnapping. Unfortunately even less of use his lack of financial means as the corrupted brand of the Mexican police had seized most of his money some time before. The “we have to steal it back” from Chin didn’t promise anything good, as similar situations never ended well for our Ohana.
Luckily Steve is able to occasionally learn from his past mistakes and turns down Ramirez’s offer to provide the million dollar, not wanting to find himself in the situation, sometime in the future, to be ask to give back something he wouldn’t want to do. Nevertheless Ramirez gives up the name of a corrupt police officer, Detective Quintanilla, so that the team can carry on, quoting Danno, the dumbest idea of robbing the police head quarters. At the same time Chin recovers the tapes of the Morales conversations with the drugs dealer that he thinks would help in finding Sara. Chin’s desperation shows when he shoots the guy in the foot when he refuses to give what he asked for.
Kono is given the task to go over the tapes in order for Chin to find a reason for taking Sara away from her Mexican family once the ordeal is over. Opposite to what Chin thought Kono find out that it wasn’t because of the Morales that Sara was taken but because of Chin and his connection with Five 0, a twist that I have to admit I didn’t see coming.
The team survives an ambush from the Diegos Cartel, which has some past beef with the force as one of its leaders was killed by them in Hawaii previously. Going after Sara in the Cartel’s head quarters would be a suicide mission and Steve tries to persuade Danno and Lou that as they have kids they should wait this one out.
In the meantime Chin breaks down with Kono, wondering why being the good guys and trying to do the right thing always ends up in them putting the people they love in arms way.
While the rest of the team tries to find an alternative solution Chin plans and carries out the ultimate sacrifice, offering himself to the cartel in Sara’s place.
This leads to the scene that had me really crying, seeing uncle and niece finally, even if briefly, reunited and in each other arms. Very sweet the scene of Chin telling Sara that uncle Steve and auntie Kono would be there soon and heart breaking when the little girl asks if he will be there too and Chin answers, with the sweetest smile “I will always be there”. In your heart he means, because at this point Chin is certain that his demise is imminent.
When the team arrives they find Sara hiding in the car with her favourite bunny and Chin’s badge on the ground, abandoned.
The episode ends at the cliffhanger point, leaving us to wonder about Chin’s fate and about how the team will manage once again to rescue one of their own from certain death.
Because they will right? The have to! Chin Ho is one of our favourite characters and we have to have him back.
And with this very emotional episode my friends I bid you temporarily good bye and I wish for you a very Happy Holidays season and an arrivederci to after Christmas and New Year.
Each week I try to come up with a great opening paragraph to set up my newest review. This week, I’m not even going to try because this episode was so incredibly good, no set up is required. Of course, I think every H50 episode is good but this one just blew me away.
We’ve never had a mid-season cliffhanger before and, damn, if Writer Matt Wheeler and Director Jennifer Lynch didn’t give us one hell of an episode for our first one. There wasn’t a wasted moment. Wheeler’s story expertly weaved thorough lighthearted, frightening, unexpected, disgustingly humorous (that morgue scene.. oh my God!), heart pounding and so heartbreaking I regretted not having a box of tissues nearby.
There is no way I can ever do justice to this episode, it was perfect from beginning to end. So just bear with me while I simply gush for a while.
As the last episode of the year, it would be customary for it to be a Christmas episode and while we did get to see Flippa in the most ridiculous elf costume ever known to man (Lou: “One word for you: Union”) and a few Christmas decorations and trees here and there, you’d never know it was Christmas time. Instead, we get to attend a really fun party to celebrate Chin’s birthday.
I loved the video tribute, especially the pictures of Daniel Dae Kim (and his son) as Chin growing up. The cameo appearances by Sang Min, Chin’s Uncle Choi and Dog were really funny. It’s always great to see the entire Ohana gathered together for a fun occasion. I especially loved seeing Gracie and Charlie there with Danny to help celebrate Uncle Chin’s birthday too. Unfortunately, this is H50 so, of course, that means someone’s damn phone is going to ring five minutes in and ruin everyone’s good time.
There were many twists, turns and surprises in this episode but the way the team immediately rallied around Chin the moment they found out Sara had been taken was not one of them. No surprise there. If there’s one thing that’s been an unflappable constant from the very first day it’s that these people will do anything for each other and their Ohana. It’s also plainly obvious that in the short time she’s been with Chin, Sara is very much included in the Ohana. There was no way in hell any of them were going to allow Chin to go off half cocked to Mexico. They were going to do this together and you know damn well they were going to do it fully cocked!
From the very first moment we heard of the existence of Jorge and Maria Morales it’s been played that there’s something shady going on with them. So much so that Chin tried his damnedest to find something on them to prevent Sara from going to Mexico at all. Then Sara is taken and everyone immediately thinks it’s because of Jorge’s connection to a known drug dealer, a dealer whose number Jerry had previously found on his phone. Never mind that he’s an attorney and the drug dealer is merely a client, it’s easy to think Jorge is involved in this.
And once again… again…. we have a kidnapping. I had really hoped we’d seen the last of these for a good while but this one had such an unexpected turn it really felt like something new. For a moment, when everyone realized it wasn’t Jorge, all suspicion immediately went to Maria. After all, wasn’t it just last week when it looked like the father but ended up being the mother who was the bad guy? But lo and behold, it turns out they are just as much victims as little Sara. She wasn’t taken because of Jorge or his law firm, she was taken because of Five-0.
I must admit, when the Diego cartel came up as those who took Sara I had to stop and think for a second. Thank goodness for that little flashback of Kono popping out of that duffle bag so I could quickly make the connection. This was inspired, in my opinion. The original appearance of the cartel came in Episode 7.03 (He Moho Hou “New Player”). In that episode, we met Kono’s old surfing competitor Rosie and learned her story. We also met Dr. Madison Grey and moved along in the story of the Chess Piece Killer. The third story in that episode revolved around the cartel.
In my review of that episode, I wrote: “Of the three stories in this episode this was the least interesting. That’s not saying it wasn’t a good story or that I didn’t enjoy it, because I did but I was more wrapped up in Kono and Rosie and in our ongoing serial killer arc.”
It’s why I think the return of the cartel in this episode was so inspired. I had filed away the cartel storyline as a not truly memorable portion of a very enjoyable episode, something done and gone. To have Carlos Diego kidnap Sara as revenge for Five-0 killing his brother… yes, inspired and something I never saw coming. It was a fantastic twist and it gave the title of 7.03 a whole new meaning. It wasn’t just Dr. Gray who was the “new player” in that episode, it was (at the time, unknown) Carlos Diego as well.
It also perfectly fits into what Peter Lenkov called a season revolving around “legacy” and how our team was going to be reflecting on how what they do affects their lives away from work. To have it revealed that the actual threat to Sara was not her aunt and uncle but Five-0 was simply heartbreaking for Chin.
“It was because of our dealings with Diego that Sara was taken.” “The biggest threat to Sara wasn’t the Morales’s… it was me.” “Why is it that we’re always putting the ones we love most in harm’s way?”
It also makes me wonder how, or even if, Chin really will ever get Sara back. I mean, Jorge and Maria didn’t do anything wrong, they were as much victims as Sara was. How will Chin get Sara back if, as it seems, Jorge and Maria really are good people. It’s obvious they really love Sara too. Maria was more than distraught. How will Chin ever be able to convince a judge that Sara would be better off with him when it was because of Five-0 that she was taken in the first place? For the first time, I’m really beginning to think that Chin may never get Sara back full time. That’s the most heartbreaking part of this entire situation. I have never wanted to be wrong more.
There wasn’t anything in this episode I didn’t love. McGarrett was perfection from beginning to end. I adored his scenes with the drug lord Ramirez. I loved how, against all good advice, Steve just strolled into the Ramirez compound to get the answers he needed. Of course, Steve’s confidence really doesn’t need much of a boost, but it does help when you have Kono and her trusty sniper rifle on your side!
His “cowboy” swagger was quite impressive, so much so that even Ramirez was impressed. He even offers to give Steve the million dollars they need to ransom Sara just to get him out of the country. Steve is way too intelligent for that, of course, knowing that money would only be an IOU for a future favor Ramirez will want that Steve won’t be able to give. It shows the type of respect Steve demands that Ramirez gives Steve the name of the dirty cop who stole Jorge’s money anyway.
The action in this episode was top notch as well. For a scene that didn’t last very long, the team breaking into the police station, masked to appear as mere robbers, was really cool. I loved how Steve threw the dirty cop into the lockup so his own prisoners could get him to cooperate. That was just awesome.
Of course, Chin ripping off his mask kind of destroyed the allusion that they were robbers but I loved watching him go all Steve and Danny on the guy to get him to give up those tapes of Jorge’s phone calls to his clients. Those tapes were instrumental in finding out that Jorge wasn’t the bad guy in this and that it was Five-0 the kidnappers were truly after.
The second action sequence of this episode was incredible. Lured into a trap, our team is completely surrounded. How the hell they managed to survive that ambush when the vehicles of the cartel were literally driving around them in circles, guns blazing, I have no idea. But our team always seems to triumph under the most harrowing of circumstances, thank God! My heart was pounding the entire time.
Can I just jump in here for a second and say, thank goodness for the wonderful comedic chemistry of Danny and Lou? These two, in the middle of all this turmoil and angst were a refreshing breath of fresh air. From the moment they tried to bribe the guard outside the morgue (Lou: “Turn your nose up at Mr. Franklin and you end up with Mr. Heckler and Mr. Koch. Those German guys can be pretty persuasive”) to every single moment inside the morgue, these two were golden. Add Max into this mix and you have something truly wonderful.
We don’t often get to see Danny and Lou alone together. They are usually always paired with Steve or with Kono but, I have to say, I hope to God we get these two alone together a lot more. They are incredible and added some needed levity into an episode that could have been crushed under the overall heavy nature of the story.
The writing for the morgue scene was pure perfection. I loved them comparing the teeny bit of Spanish they both know. Danny is so proud he knows an entire sentence even if it’s totally a pick up line! And Max’s recitation of all the education Danny would need in order to perform a proper autopsy was hysterical.
It was fun watching Max making a bit fun at them as he walked them through the steps to try to find a tattoo on the badly burned body of one of the kidnappers. Listening to Lou describe the condition of the body as “CBR” and resembling Will’s barbecue technique while also seeing Danny slowly and disgustingly pealing back the perps charred skin, it amazed me that I could be so disgusted and laughing at the same time. Lou’s line about never eating meat again was icing on the very disgusting cake!
I have the feeling that Scott and Chi had a ball filming those scenes. Between the funny dialog and the physical comedy of Danny and Lou trying to protect themselves from the smell while trying not to loose their lunches, I have a feeling there is some great stuff that could end up on the DVD gag (pun intended) reel.
Ultimately though, it all came down to Sara and what Chin was willing to do to save her. The team finds out that Diego is holding Sara at his compound which is guarded by “100 military-grade henchmen”. It’s a suicide mission but, as always, Chin and Sara are Ohana which means the team will do anything. But they never get the chance.
Chin knows what his friends are willing to do for him but he comes to realize he’s not willing to allow them to do it. He loves Steve and Kono like siblings. And, now that he understands what being a father is like, he won’t run the risk of Danny and Lou not making it home to their own children. He surrenders himself to the cartel in the hopes that if they have him, they will not only let Sara go but will also leave the rest of Five-0 alone.
I swear to God, between DDK and little Londyn Silzer I was finding it really hard to keep from bawling like a baby. When Chin called Kono to tell her where he was, where Sara was going to be, I knew I was sunk. When he told her he needed to make it right, that he was proud of her and that he loved them all…oh my God! I was as scared for him as Kono was.
The relief and utter joy Chin displayed when he finally laid eyes on a safe Sara was palpable. It was really difficult watching Chin try so hard to keep a brave face for Sara. My heart simply melted when she told him, “I knew you would come, Uncle Chin, because you promised.” Her sweet question of “Will you be there?” when Chin told her that Uncle Steve and Auntie Kono were going to take her somewhere safe was so incredibly hopeful and sad at the same time. “I will always be there,” he told her, even if, at that moment he knows it’s going to be one promise he won’t be able to keep. Leaving his badge behind shows Chin has accepted he’s not coming back, that he won’t be needing that badge anymore.
But, just as the team wouldn’t let Chin go to Mexico alone, we know they will never give up their fight to get him back in one piece. Just as the title “Snatchback” signifies the teams attempt to snatch Sara back from the grip of kidnappers, the title of 7.12 “The Deal” probably signifies what the team will end up doing to get Chin back. I just wish we didn’t have to wait three weeks to see it even though I know, without a shadow of a doubt, it will be more than worth the wait.
So far, this season has been a wonderful delight. It just gets better and better every week and there is no reason to think the second half of the season won’t be just as fantastic. I can’t wait to see where the writers will take us next.
That’s it for this week my friends and to this year as well. To every one of my readers, to your friends and your families, I send my most heartfelt wishes for you all to have a beautiful and wonderful Holiday season. I hope you all get to spend the holidays doing all the things you love with all the people you love. Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!
That is the last review for 2016. Thanks goes out to Linda and Manu who do a great job with their reviews each episode and allow us to share their vision. Looking forward to many more in 2017.
Like Manu and Linda, we wish you all the best Christmas and holiday season. Happy 2017!