The team was back with a new one for the beginning of the year, so we have a new recap from Susan Schoppe, our regular reviewer. Thanks to Susan as she stays up very late Friday nights writing these up for us. This episode had so many twists and turns it was really good, so let’s see what Susan thinks. This one is pretty long but worth it.
Well the anticipation for our first winter finale was truly worth the wait. As the story begins with the team in a secured location, Lou is assuring a very worried Kono that Chin will be alright when a knock on the door brings a welcome surprise. It’s Adam who’s come to help, while incidentally breaking his parole.
They embrace as Steve exits a room with information from one of Diego’s men on the location of where Chin has possibly been taken. Steve seems to have obtained the information his usual way… gotta love our guy. He says they have to move quickly. Lou says they are already ready since Danny’s loading up the car. Good way to explain Scotts’ absence this time with the perception he is still in Mexico with the team.
We next see Chin with a collar and chain around his neck about to be thrown into a pit with vicious dogs but not before insulting his captor’s brother. If he is going to go out, he is going to do it with honor and bravery, which you ahve to respect. Just as that’s about to happen, all Diego’s men and brother are shot dead saving Chin. Chins total look of surprise turns to relief when he sees Steve, who is first to his side.
After saving Chin, everyone arrives back at the house of Jorge and Maria to see Sara so Chin can say goodbye. When Sara and Chin see each other again it is so heartwarming. It is apparent Chin clearly already thinks of Sara as his little girl.
After cleaning up a bit Chin thanks Steve for coming to his rescue and Steve hands Chin back his badge telling him he dropped something in a brotherly moment. When Chin goes in to tell Sara goodbye and that he will visit soon, Jorge asks Chin for a moment aside. Chin apologizes to Jorge for blaming him for Sara’s kidnapping but Jorge stops him saying Sara just isn’t safe with them and gives Chin legal guardianship of Sara. Finally what we’ve all been waiting for, Sara gets to go home and live with a Chin.
Now back in Hawaii, Steve’s putting things away from the trip at HQ when Lou comes in. During their conversation to their surprise, they see Jerry sleeping on the floor of Steve’s office. The looks on their faces are perfect. Seems Jerry hasn’t found a place to live yet after moving out of Chin’s place a few months ago. Steve tells Jerry he has to get a place to live. He also notices there is a box of doughnuts on his desk with a note that says Commander McGarrett please say yes, Dr. G. Kimbo.
Not knowing who G. Kimbo is, Steve and Lou go to Max, hand him the partial box of doughnuts and ask if there’s anything he wants to share. Max says that Dr. Kimbo was under the impression that Steve did all the hiring and tosses the card and the box in the trash leading Steve to ask why Max is hiring a new coroner. Max tells Steve he’s short on staff and that’s why he’s there to do an autopsy on a Saturday.
The body is that of Mitch Lawson a car salesman. He had taken a car for a test drive, found the car empty of gas and this body in the trunk. The time of death is the same time his key card was used at his place of employment which means he was killed at work and the body was taken out in the car. Steve wants to get everyone down there for processing the whole place as a crime scene when Lou talks Steve into letting him go undercover as a salesman because, as Lou puts it, car salesmen are masters of psychological warfare and are all born liars. We next see Lou being introduced as the new guy and cheering on the employees to sell some metal.
Back at HQ when Chin walks in and Kono is surprised to see him, he explains that Danny had it right, he had already left town with Melissa before the work call came in ( thus explaining again why we didn’t see Danny in this episode) Abby and Sara are at the beach so he’s free to work.
Meanwhile at the dealership Lou discovers that Mitch Lawson and another salesman, Paul Burnett were the two top salesmen competing for a $50k bonus. During the clever and humorous use of Kamekona to test drive a car, Lou checks out the office that Paul has been protecting entrance of since the murder. Lou finds that Paul has stolen a lead sheet from Mitch and he has been hiding it in the office.
Steve believes with Mitch out of the picture and Paul being the only other one in line for the bonus that Paul looks good for the murder. They also discover that Paul needs that money to cover bad investments he’s made. Steve tells Lou that is enough and he’s bringing in Paul for questioning. Kamekona gets a text from Steve and he brings Paul to meet up with them on the side of the road.
Now at HQ with Paul in the chair, Steve and Chin tell Paul they know all about the financial trouble he has. Being a typical car salesman, he tries to sell Steve a car while denying he murdered Mitch (amazing) and alibiing out. Chin and Steve state they will check his alibi and Chin also mentions they’ll let his boss know he’s tied up with Five-0 and they should give the co-workers his leads.
Afraid he is going to lose out on his leads; Paul stops them and provides a bit more information. (guess that worked). It seems he overheard Mitch on the phone the night before in a very heated conversation but doesn’t know to whom.
While talking to Lou about the alibi and Paul, Kono comes in with information on the phone call Mitch was having. Mitch was talking to the dealership stock manager. Mitch had called to find out if the car he had taken a deposit on was ready for delivery and was told it had already been sold to someone else. Apparently Mitch went through the roof upon hearing this, so Steve sends in Lou to talk to the salesman who sold the car.
With no beating around the bush, Lou walks into Bob’s office and asks up front if he killed Mitch the night before. Totally stunned, of course Bob denies it and Lou with his quick witted humor gives Bob all his observations on his guilt, including an oddly placed plant on his office floor. When Lou moves it, there’s blood underneath it.
Bob then spills everything to Lou about how a buyer wanted that exact car but Bob needed to make his numbers so he sold it. He admitted he thought Mitch would be mad but he said he went ballistic instead. Mitch told Bob he had to have the car back right away. Bob said it was impossible and when Mitch came at him he killed him in self-defense. He didn’t mean to as he just wanted him to stop attacking him. He then put the body in the trunk of the car after everyone left but ran out of gas while looking for a place to dump the body.
Bob tries to persuade Lou to keep it between them by offering all his commissions to him when Lou seems surprised that Bob still thinks that Lou is really a car salesman. Bob is taken out in handcuffs and case closed, right? Nope. When Chin comes in, Lou tells him something is just off about a guy getting so upset over a $500.00 commission that he would physically attack his co- worker. Chin agrees and Lou shares he had done some digging and found that every month for the last two years Mitch sold the same exact car to the same exact person; a man by the name of Lee Sung.
Back at HQ, Kono is informing the team on Lee Sung. He came from Seoul six years ago and runs a local body shop. According to the HPD narcotic’s division he’s a known affiliate of the KFS Syndicate which is a Korean street gang that controls heroin trade on the island. Steve also tells them HPD found a secret safe in Mitch’s house containing over a million dollars. So the team is now thinking the cars were used to smuggle dope on and off the island. They think they know why Mitch wanted that car back and it also means the buyer is driving around in a car full of drugs and could be in danger. Steve orders an APB on the sold car and to have Swat meet them at Lee Sung’s shop.
Five-0 raids the body shop, a shootout ensues, and millions in heroin is confiscated but Sung wasn’t there. Kono then informs everyone HPD just spotted the car that was sold.
On a back road, an officer has the owner of the car sold with the drugs pulled over and asks him to step out of the car for his own safety when the officer is run down. The driver gets out and also shoots the owner of the car. The team and HPD now on the scene of the murders of the officer and the owner, find it odd that the two were killed over the drugs. Something once again is not adding up.
This leads us to a scene back at HQ where Lee Sung has been found and arrested and Steve is now questioning him. When Steve tells Sung they found both bodies of the officer and the owner of the car Sung looks very surprised. Steve tells him that with the killings along with the drug charges his days of freedom are over. Sung continues to deny that he killed anyone. Sung tells Steve that a few weeks back Mitch called to say their arrangement was over and that he had gotten a better offer.
Just then Steve gets a text from Kono saying they have news from the lab so Steve goes upstairs. Kono tells the team the car was torn apart and they couldn’t find any drugs or evidence of any. Once again they seem baffled as to what this is really about.
Chin comes in with video of the cop dash cam and they have a picture of the shooter, who after some digging they find out his name is Jarrod Namal. Namal has been on the FBI and Interpol’s list for months for ties to several terrorist active sites. While going over there information on Namal, Max calls Steve telling him the body of the car owner is radioactive and it is probably through the exposure of the car. Steve now thinks Namal could be building a dirty bomb.
The team finds Namal’s residence, which they go to where there’s a shootout and Namal shoots and kills himself. When Kono turns the body over they discover his face is disfigured from radiation poisoning. They find a steel case that is radioactive so they clear the whole building and get the container out with the hazmat team. Once again they think case closed and the island is safe.
We next see Chin riding up to Kono and Adam’s house. Adam is sitting out back at the table and Chin sits down to thank him for coming to help save him. Chin wants him to know he has watched him always be there for Kono and he now considers him true family. It is another nice moment in the episode.
Back at HQ, Jerry comes into Steve’s office with a lead on an apartment for rent, gives it to Steve and asks if it looks familiar.
It obviously did as the very next thing we see is Steve at Max’s door. Steve tells Max he’s there about the rental. Max tries to say he and Sabrina are upgrading to a bigger place, but Steve cuts through all the excuses and let’s Max know he knows that Max is probably moving to Africa. Steve tells him he has seen how his trip last year has changed and affected him. Max tells Steve the truth that although it will be hard to leave he wants to continue his experience. Steve tells Max how proud of him he is and that he will always be Ohana and should he ever want to come back that his Five-0 family and his job will be there for him. (this was hard to watch tearing up a little knowing next week we will need a whole box of tissues)
While talking with Max Steve gets a call from Lou who tells Steve they have a big problem. Lou tells Steve the suitcase they found had nothing in it, the radiation was residual. Steve and Lou now think Namal could have already passed the uranium off to someone else and, Lou says there was enough there to kill half the people on the island. This is obviously the new underlying story for the team for the season and it is much bigger than any serial killer. Should be fun to see how the team unravels this one. It could be explosive. (pun intended)
That’s where our episode ends! I loved the fact that they went straight to the rescue of Chin and wrapped it up fast as we had to wait so long for it. We also got to see what we have all been waiting for even longer, Sara coming back with Chin and for good this time. The many twists when the team thought they had wrapped the case to enjoy the rest of their weekend only to find out there was more to the story were also interesting. This was a very well written and thought out episode and jammed packed with the usual Hawaii Five-0 characteristics, so for these reasons and the fact the show is so good this season I rate this one a 9.