We know it has been a while since we have done a recap, and even though many have asked us to keep it up, we still do not have the regular time to be consistent with them. With that being said, we came together and decided to do one for the 200th episode in honor of this television milestone. The show joined the ranks of iconic shows such as GunSmoke, MASH, I Love Lucy , The Waltons, Happy Days, and more last night as the 200th episode aired. In this day and age it is even a bigger accomplishment than before based on all the different choices and channels a viewer has. Back then there were only three major channels to watch so it was easier for a show to last longer.
Thanks to Stella who wrote this one, along with the editor who spiced it up with wonderful pictures and the review. Hope you enjoy this nice treat to start your week off right and Congratulations to all involved in the show especially Alex and Scott who got them all this far. Here we go!
The 200th episode starts in the middle of the action. It’s December 6th, 1941 and a police car is chasing another vehicle through the unpaved road of a sugar cane field. Inside the HPD cruiser, two familiar faces who are playing in this scene different characters: Steven McGarrett Senior is at the wheel, sporting the same driving skills as his grandson, and his best friend Milton Cooper is in the passenger seat, trying to shoot at the bad guys. His aim is not very precise, which he blames on his partner’s driving, and we witness what can be considered a 1941 version of a cargument.
As Milton prepares to shoot at the tires, one of the bad guys aims a Tommy gun at them. Their eyes widen, and the credits start rolling. A very different version of the credits, with 1940s music instead of the regular, modern tune plays as a nice addition to the overall feel.
When we return to the show it’s 2018 and the Ohana is gathered at the restaurant for a soft opening. What started as Danny’s plan for retirement in episode 7×18 is finally a reality and about to open for business. Danny’s looking at people’s plates, noticing that they are full of food they’re not paying for, and worries that the event will economically destroy them. Steve is more laid back, happy that their friends are enjoying the food and having a good time. Plus, he notes, they’re cops and deserve the best.
Danny goes to get himself a drink and Steve notices Duke Lukela walking towards him. The Sergeant introduces him to Milton Cooper, a retired HPD detective and, we discover at the same time as Steve does, McGarrett Senior’s best friend. He tells Steve that he looks just like his grandfather and that he hears he’s even more like him in spirit. Steve is flattered by the compliment, and even more by Milton’s next statement: “He’d be so proud to see you wearing a badge”.
He barely knows anything about the man he’s been named after, so he listens with attention as Cooper tells him that all they used to talk about was becoming detectives and that it was his grandfather’s dream until he lost his life during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Milton admits he joined HPD because of the people who lost their lives that day’; to honor them and his best friend. Then he hands Steve a briefcase he dug out of storage specifically for the occasion. It has the initials “SM” on it and ‘a bit of a mystery’ inside: Chang Apana’s — the legendary HPD detective — last unsolved case, that the two friends were obsessed with and trying to crack over the weekends to practice their detective skills. He wants to give it to Steve in hope he’ll have better luck with it and as a nice memory of his grandfather.
Later that night, Steve brings the briefcase home and sits at what was once his father’s study examining its content. Inside there’s a manila folder with pictures, reports and newspaper clippings about the disappearance of a young girl named Lila Kekoa. Danny joins him, bringing along a couple of Longboards and commenting that the restaurant’s soft opening was ‘almost a success’. He is still worried about the money and despite Steve’s reassurances that the people who enjoyed the free meal will be back with their friends and family and pay in the future, admits that all the restaurant has given him so far is a headache, not to mention emptying his pocket.
“I mean, nobody warned us about this?” he says.
“You mean why didn’t we listen when everybody warned us?” Steve replies.
Danny changes the subject, asking Steve who the young man in one of the pictures lying on the desk is. Steve tells him with pride that it is his granddaddy posing with Chang Apana, and we learn a bit of history about this legendary character. He was a man who became HPD’s most famous detective, who over his 34 year-long career, almost single-handedly fought crime without even having a gun. Like a Hawaiian Indiana Jones, his weapon of choice was a bullwhip. Apana was stabbed multiple times, shot, thrown out of a window and run over, and he still never let a bad guy get away. “Sounds like you,” Danny comments, and we can’t help but agree with him. Steve sure sounds a lot like him.
The content of the briefcase is a missing person’s case, a young girl named Lila Kekoa who disappeared in 1932. Steve is intrigued but not sure where to start or what to do with it. Danny, on the other hand, is glad he doesn’t have to so he calls it a night and heads out, leaving Steve to sort through the documents to try and find some clues. As he sits there and time passes, he grows increasingly more tired until he leans forward on the table, lowers his head on his hands, and falls asleep. And that’s where the dream starts, and we are transported back to 1941.
McGarrett Senior is asleep at his desk at the police station until Milton Cooper wakes him up and hands him a picture of the missing girl, Lila. Her family worked in a sugar plantation but in the last picture taken before her disappearance she’s wearing a necklace a poor girl would never be able to afford, so they decide to go talk to the brother again, see if he can shed some light on that. As they exit the building, they are nearly gunned down by a drive-by shooting. Milton comments that “Generally, when people shoot at you in front of your office it means you’re onto something”.
A short while later, we see a few more familiar faces talking to our detectives about the shooting: Duke Lukela, who here plays Sergeant Naskiuchi, and Jerry Ortega playing Officer Mike Flanagan. McGarrett and Cooper didn’t get a good look at the perps, so the former tells Flanagan to put the word out that they’re looking for a maroon Fleetmaster. 1941 McGarrett smokes, speaks with an accent and has a toothpick he rarely takes out of his mouth. Scott Caan plays Milton differently too, and there’s small details that stand out in all the other characters’ alter egos, which made the episode very interesting to watch.
The next morning, the two partners go talk to Lila’s brother, who is a surfing teacher and looks suspiciously a lot like Junior Reigns. This is Steve’s dream after all, and all the significant people in his life are making an appearance and helping him solve the case.
Lila’s brother tells our guys that she might have gotten the necklace from the plantation owner, one Mr. William Pettifer, so they decide to pay him a visit next. Cooper reminds McGarrett that their last two visits didn’t go well and that without a warrant he and his people are not going to let them in and Steven Sr. replies that maybe they’ve been too polite, so when one of Pettifer’s bodyguards comes up to them he grabs him by the tie and smacks his head against the car.
After taking out another guard they finally get to Pettifer. The man threatens to have their badges, but as he sees Lila’s picture his features soften and his anger fades away. He admits the girl was too delicate to work the cane and that he loved her like a daughter but doesn’t know who gave her the necklace. He also tells the detectives that a week before she went missing Lila came to him to offer him 300 dollars to pay off the first part of a debt her father owed him, determined to get her family off the plantation. Their conversation is interrupted by a phone call. It’s Flanagan, informing McGarrett that he’s got eyes on the Fleetmaster.
In the next scene, we’re back where the episode started: our guys chasing the car through the sugar cane field. The chase ends when Milton takes out the shooter and the Fleetmaster crashes into another car. The bad guys die on impact, and in an attempt to identify at least one of them McGarrett tries to get one of their wallets, heedless of the flames engulfing the vehicle, and much to Milton’s dismay who calls him a ‘crazy idiot’. Cooper gets him away from the burning car moments before it explodes but not before Steven’s right arm gets burned.
“Damn it? How about ‘thank you for saving me from being barbecued’?”
Doesn’t matter what decade they’re in, their banter is always on point and one of the funniest and most interesting things to watch.
Another familiar face is waiting for us as McGarrett Senior gets his arm treated. It’s Noelani Cunha, here playing a doctor. Steven tries to get his partner’s attention, asking him to take a look at his injury but Milton doesn’t fall for it, focusing instead all his attention on the file in his hands. As he looks up, he notices a young man who’s also getting treated. His girlfriend is wearing a sweater with the number 65 and the letter J on it and Cooper remembers seeing a similar one in one of the pictures in Lila’s file. Indeed, the sweater under one of the girls’ leg in the photo has the letter F and the number 32 on it, which they realize is from Franklin High School. Thanks to Flanagan who gets the yearbook for 1932, they identify the girl it belongs to as Alexa Alani. The name rings a bell to McGarrett, because Alexa is now a talented singer.
The detectives pay her a visit and as we listen to Alexa/Meaghan perform beautifully on-stage Steven Sr. gets distracted by the presence of another man, Earl Blackstone, who is 1941’s version of Adam Noshimuri. Unlike his 2018 alter ego, deep in illegal gambling and dope dealing. McGarrett makes it clear that he will not back down until Blackstone pays for his deeds. He compliments him on the champagne choice as he takes a swig from it and says “thank you for the drink”.
He and Milton head over to speak to Alexa, who states she doesn’t talk to cops but slips them a box of matches with the words ‘Alley, 2 mins’ written on it.
They meet outside, and she admits to being with Lila the night the picture was taken. According to her, Lila was in love, and the day she disappeared she got into a man’s fancy new car, probably the same man who gave her the necklace. She also adds that it would’ve been a big scandal back then if people had known who she was seeing. McGarrett presses her for a name, but all she manages to get out is ‘James’ before being shot and dying in his arms.
As Alexa’s body is taken away, McGarrett and Cooper’s Captain — Charles Sumner, the 1941 version of Lou Grover — arrives at the scene, mad at the two detectives for ignoring his orders to drop Lila’s case and focus on Blackstone. He asks if it was worth it, if they cracked the case with the now dead girl’s information, and proceeds to collect their guns and badges, taking them off the street until further notice.
But 1941 Steven is not a quitter and neither is his partner, and they keep working the case even if they’re not on the force. On December 7th, 1941, they meet up with Officer Flanagan and find out that 25-year-old James Whitmour got a brand-new Phantom II for his birthday about a week before Lila disappeared. The kid was mobster-and-casino-owner Clarence Whitmour’s son, engaged to Ellen DeBecker, of the DeBecker diamond fortune. “Well, if I was engaged to her, I’d be keeping my hula girlfriend a secret too,” Steven Senior comments.
James Whitmour is dead, gunned down during a shooting on April 18th, 1932, the same night Lila went missing. As he looks at the crime scene photo McGarrett notices that if James was killed by a Tommy gun there should’ve been a pool of blood under the body, and that according to the autopsy report he had to have been sitting down when he was shot. Maybe in his fancy new car with Lila at his side.
As they’re talking, Steven Senior gets a call from the coroner’s office who has identified one of the perps from the Fleetmaster crash. The man was a known associate of Clarence Whitmour, and they speculate that young James’ death was the spark that ignited the feud between the two families. They also figure that Clarence Whitmour made the whole thing disappear so that people wouldn’t know that his son was having an affair with a hula girl.
With this new evidence in hand, they decide to go talk to Clarence Whitmour. After taking out the man’s entire security detail in a very well-acted and choreographed scene, McGarrett, Cooper and Flanagan find themselves face to face with the man, who after two missed rounds of Russian roulette confirms everything they had been guessing. James and Lila were killed inside the Phantom, and he tried to cover up the evidence to avoid a scandal.
McGarrett points his gun at the man’s head and asks where the girl’s body is but as he’s about to do so, we hear a siren start to wail. Steven Senior, Milton and Flanagan head outside and can only watch as Japanese planes head toward Pearl Harbor for what will be considered one of the saddest days in US history.
Back in 2018, McGarrett is awakened by a garbage truck. It is now morning, and as he stares at the documents still spread out on the table, he realizes he knows how to solve the case.
In the following scene, we see him entering Danny’s office where the detective is reading a book called “The House Without a Key – A Charlie Chan Mystery” after doing his own research on Chang Apana. Steve tells him he thinks he knows what happened to Lila, doing what HPD’s finest couldn’t. Danny teases him about it, but we can see he’s impressed.
They gather around the smart table, reasoning that finding the car, a very distinctive car riddled with bullets, is the key to finding out what happened to the girl. Going through Clarence Whitmour’s records, Steve finds out that one of the man’s listed companies was a haulage firm, which listed a journey from downtown Honolulu to the Whitmour’s estate on their log book the night of Lila’s disappearance. Clarence also submitted plans to build a swimming pool on the estate, hiring a company to start working on the project, but an aerial photo reveals no pool on the property.
With this information, Steve orders an excavation on the Whitmour compound, where they find the Phantom with Lila’s remains inside.
“You did it. You solved a 90-year old cold case.”
“I didn’t solve it. I just got it over the finish line.”
Later, we see Steve first visiting the Honolulu Police Department Museum, where he places Lila’s picture in front of Apana’s, and then attending the girl’s funeral along with Milton Cooper.
In the final scene, Steve and Danny are back to the restaurant. Steve’s mind is still on the case, and it’s made him think about what he wants to do with his time. Danny laughs at that, replying that he doesn’t have any time because he works two jobs and even solves cases in his sleep. Steve tells him how his grandfather would’ve given anything to be a cop but never got the chance to do it and here he is, with the badge and a job he loves, running a restaurant and taking time away from it.
“Danny, being a cop is all I know now,” he admits, apologizing profusely. “And I love my job. Why am I gonna walk away from it?”
He’s afraid that Danny will be mad at him but surprisingly, Danny feels relieved at the news. He immediately tells him that “If you’re out, I’m out” and that he’d rather die from a bullet than from the stress of running the place.
It was a surprising but fitting conclusion to the restaurant storyline that has accompanied us for almost two years. Steve has supported and encouraged Danny’s dreams even if he didn’t fully believe in it, and Danny has drawn strength from that, relying on it whenever he felt stressed out or insecure about the validity of the project. It proved once again that these two will always be there for each other, and that wherever one goes, the other will follow.
Kamekona will buy both of their shares, and they will be free to pursue what they really love; being cops. As the screen fades to black we see the two friends make a toast: to them, their short but passionate and successful run as restaurateurs, and to knowing when to quit.
This episode was good and we really enjoyed it. It was fun to watch Alex, Scott, and the other characters take on different personas. Alex and Scott both did a very good job with the accents and the mannerisms were also a nice nod towards that time in the world. Photography, props, and costumes also stepped up making Hawaii a believable 1941.
Alex, being in every scene, excelled once again, with his emotive expressions which he has used through the years since he brought the beloved Steve McGarrett into our lives eight years ago.
We especially appreciated that the show was completely written around Steve and Danny and their alter egos of the 40’s. These two have been the constant of the show and to have done it any other way would have been disappointing. Thanks to Peter for handling that with the utmost care and respect. The other characters minor parts were good additions and had the appropriate screen time for the time frame they have been on the show.
Here is hoping the rest of the season will take on a similar quality of writing this one did. If not, maybe it’s time to take heed to the last line of the episode.
Our rating is a 9.5 for the reasons above and also because we will hold out the 10 rating for another one like the 100th. Nothing thusfar, has been able to meet that as our all time favorite episode.