The most recent episode of our favorite show highlights a very real and ongoing problem that many states experience on a daily basis. It’s particularly good when we see the Hawaii Five 0 writers focus on many of today’s real life issues. This one tonight was about human sex trafficking right in one’s own backyard. Here is the recap of the episode by Susan.
As our episode begins, we are in the emergency room of Kings Medical Center. In one of the exam rooms a young 15 year old girl was brought in with possible broken ribs and contusions. The man who brought her in says she had fallen down some stairs, although it is obvious the girl seems scared and is not allowed to answer any of the questions herself. The nurse leaves the room and asks the front desk to notify family services for possible child abuse. Upon returning to the room the nurse finds it empty and that the man and the girl are gone.
Our next scene is at Steve’s house where he and Kono are having coffee and talking. After first acknowledging her recent case with the MacGyver team, it seems as if Steve has asked Kono over to check on her and Adam. It seems it’s been hard for Adam to find a job now that he has gone legitimate and now has a record. Steve offers to help in any way and Kono thanks Steve telling him that if she and Adam want to start a family Adam needs to feel he’s doing his part.
At that moment Steve’s doorbell rings. Steve opens the door to see the most adorable little Sara standing there with Kamekona. She has a wagon full of Aloha Girl cookies for sale. With Kamekona’s helpful tips on salesmanship, she manages to get Steve to buy thirteen boxes of cookies after telling him that Detective Williams bought twelve boxes. Steve asks how Danny did that when he’s in Jersey visiting his sister. Answer is he preordered them from Sara before he left. (Great way to explain his absence in a nonchalant manner) It is beneficial to Sara that the competition is still going strong between Danny and Steve. As Sara keeps piling up the boxes on Uncle Steve’s lap, which was beyond adorable, Kono gets a call from Noelani. She wants Kono to come see her and help her with something. Before Kono leaves we find out that she has bought plenty of cookies, too.
We next see Kono arriving at Kings Medical met there by Noelani. They walk in to meet Anna, Noelani’s friend from Oahu State. Anna was the nurse that reported the child abuse case the night before and she asked Noelani for help. Anna tells Kono that the guy with the girl said he was her uncle and that she’s seen this type of thing before. Kono asks for the video footage of the two during the time they were at the hospital.
Back at HQ, we see Jerry going over the footage Kono sent over. As Steve and Kono join Jerry at the table, Kono tells Steve that all of the information they left was fake, names included. Steve tries to get Jerry to help him eat a box of cookies but Jerry promptly tells Steve that he has his own boxes of them in his freezer. Jerry runs facial recognition on the guy and gets nothing so Steve has him run it on the girl where it comes up that she is a runaway by the name of Moani Amosa age fifteen who went missing six weeks ago.
We next see Steve and Kono at the Amosa residence where Kono is showing a picture of the guy that took Moani to the hospital. Kono tells the parents that Moani had broken ribs and they believe he may have been responsible. The Amosas don’t recognize the man. Kono asks the Amosas if they can take Moani ‘s lap top to search it further.
Our next scene is with Chin and Lou who are at Clear Path Sober Living Home where they are met by Duke informing them that there are three bodies inside. One was a drug counselor and two were recovering addicts and they were all male. A girlfriend of one of the victims found the bodies. After questioning the girl, they determine that there were a couple of guys that came by regularly that didn’t fit in there and looked like trouble. While looking around, Lou deducts the four dehumidifiers in the room probably have a role in this which brings him to pull open a panel of the wall behind the couch. Lou finds a stash of drugs there. He and Chin then surmise that one of the three was running a stash house in the facility and drugs had been stolen so it must have been a robbery.
Meanwhile over at HPD Crime Lab. Kono is paying a visit to Eric. (always fun) After some banter between the two, we find out that Eric is on verbal lockdown based on a threat from “Uncle D”, and thus has been addressing Kono with more respect. Kono asks Eric if he will research Moani ‘s laptop because it may give them some leads on where she might be. Before Kono leaves, Eric tries to give her some cookies but he finds Kono is fully stocked, too. (Sara’s really making the rounds)
We are now back with Chin and Lou who are at a skateboard park where their drug dealer suspect is videoing his son. They persuade him with the typical Lou humor, to give up the name of the person that was involved in the murders of the three people at the Sober Living Home.
Back at HQ, Eric, Steve, and Kono are at the table where Eric is revealing the deleted messages he was able to get off of Moani ‘s laptop. It seems she was messaging a guy named Jonah. Eric found that they met through social media and became more involved over time. Eventually they met up. Eric was able to get a fix on Jonah’s location which turned out to be a house that was in foreclosure, so Eric believes he been squatting there.
Next we see Steve and Kono driving in the car and talking about what it was like to have been a 15 year old girl and why kids these days might get involved in some sort of trouble like this.
They pull up to the foreclosed home where they do a systematic search and find a young girl padlocked in one of the closets bound and gagged. It hits them both hard to see such a thing.
Our next scene is at Kings Medical where Anna is updating Steve and Kono on the girl’s condition. She tells them she is traumatized as she was sexually abused for sex trafficking for months. Steve seems very shocked by this information because she is a local girl. They want to question her but Anna says it would be better if Kono went in by herself to which makes sense to Steve so he agrees.
Kono goes to the girl’s room whose name is Kelsey. Kono tells her she would like to ask her some questions and that she knows how hard it is. Kelsey interrupts saying no, she doesn’t. Kono admits she doesn’t but she needs her help for the other girls and Moani. Kelsey says she knows Moani and shares there are others. At this point, Kono suggests they go outside to get some fresh air so they do.
Sitting outside now, Kono shows Kelsey a picture of the man that was at the hospital with Moani . Kelsey recognizes him and tells Kono his name is Emilio. Kelsey tells Kono there were three other girls and they took off and that she heard Tori say Emilio wasn’t coming back so they had to leave. She tells Kono that Tori is the woman that kept them in line and that she’s the one that locked her in the closet. Kelsey also tells Kono that she met Emilio at the mall when he approached her saying she should be a model. It escalated into sex and him telling her he loved her, which escalated into the trafficking. When she tried to leave he told her he would go after her little sister making her do the same things. After that she was out with the other girls and they were moved around a lot. She said that guys would show up a lot. Some were local guys and some were tourists. Sometimes they would go to hotels. As she told her story Kono was deeply affected. She asked Kono not to tell her dad what they did to her which was clearly the hardest thing for Kono to hear and to deal with.
On her way back to HQ, Kono looks every bit in shock herself. As she sits at a red light, she doesn’t notice when it turns green. The man behind her starts blowing his horn. Kono doesn’t seem to hear this right away and it continues with the man yelling at her. After a minute she gets out of her car, walks back to the man in his car, and puts her fist through the driver’s side door window. She grabs his keys out of the ignition and throws them over the top of the car as she gets back in her car and leaves. This is the first sign of the episode that no one should mess with Kono.
Transitioning to outside of HQ, Steve pulls up and walks towards the building when he passes Kono’s car with her in it just sitting there. Finding this different he opens the door asking if she ok. She says yeah. Steve gets in and Kono tells him she talked to Kelsey and they may have a lead. One of her regulars was a high school teacher that coaches swim but she doesn’t know his real name. HPD is gathering all high school coaches putting a photo book of them for Kelsey to look at. Steve notices Kono’s bandaged hand, looks at it, and asks if she’s sure she’s OK. Kono says she knows it’s not a good thing for a cop to get angry and emotional but that she can’t help it. Steve asks her if she wants to sit this one out to which she answers with an astounding NO! Steve says, “good”.
Next inside HQ, we see Chin at the elevator meeting Makoa, (the drug dealer who gave Chin and Lou a name at the skateboard park) who has come to give them some information on one condition; that they won’t use it against him. This next part is pretty funny for those that used to watch the Get Smart episodes. Lou talks about the cone of silence and of course Makoa does not get the reference. After a detailed explanation of the reference from Jerry, Lou thinks it would have been better off not saying anything in the first place. Makoa might not have appreciated this but Maxwell Smart would have.. Anyway, it seems his stolen drugs are being ransomed back to him and whoever is behind it probably killed the three men.
We are now back with Steve and Kono who are walking up to the home of the swim coach that Kelsey identified. He meets them on his porch as they walk up. Once on his doorstep, Kono shows him a picture of Kelsey and he hesitates. Kono having none of it delivers a hard punch to his gut. This is the second reminder not to mess with Kono.
As they go inside Steve looks around to see if any one may have seen that. Once inside, Kono shows him a picture of Emilio. He admits he knows him and Kono tells him he’s going to help them find him. He begs them not to do it there as his wife and daughter are there. Steve proceeds to tell him he has a lot worse problems than whether his wife finds out about his disgusting behavior as he is going to jail.
Realizing he has no option, Kono has him make a call out for one of the girls and he leaves a message. While waiting for a call back, Kono and Steve look around his living room and ask how he does what he does to girls around the same age as his students. Kono asks how someone with kids and a wife ends up being like him. He gets a call back with an address on where to meet the girl he called out for. Steve and Kono head for the hotel address on the phone.
Back at HQ Jerry has information on the phone that was sent to Makoa. HPD did a search and the buyer is Stacy, the girlfriend we saw at the stash house talking to Chin and Grover. Guess she was not as upset as she pretended over her dead boyfriend.
We next see Stacy in the interrogation room with Chin and Lou. It seems she was helping one of the other guys at the Sober House to steal the drugs and ransom them back.
Meanwhile, Steve and Kono are set up along with HPD at the hotel. As a SUV pulls up they get into position. They wait until the girl is safely out of the vehicle. Then Kono gets the girl and Steve rushes out to the SUV which is stopped in front by HPD. The vehicle goes into reverse and heads for Steve who continually fires at its windshield. The tires might have been a better choice of aim. At the last minute as it barely misses him he jumps out of its path and it crashes into another car.
Steve gets up, opens the door, and pulls a woman out of the seat. He and Kono then take her into the hotel room where they learn she is the woman called Tori, who helped Emilio keep the girls in line. After a little talk with Tori about the potential of letting the women prisoners loose on her, she sees the light and gives Steve and Kono an address on where to find Emilio. It is nice to always see Steve and Kono knowing the right buttons to push to get what they need out of their perps.
Next we see the entire team kicking in the door to the address given to them and they find girls locked in one of the bedrooms. There are at least six or seven of them and one of them is Moani. Lou alerts Steve that he sees Emilio running out the back. Steve calls Kono and they run outside where Emilio is hiding. As Kono searches, Emilio makes a run for it and she gets the drop on him. He’s holding a knife which he lets fall to the ground instantly. Kono tells him to pick up the knife which at first he won’t. She insists on it while holding her weapon on him. Emilio picks up the knife, Kono puts down her gun, and the fight begins. With all of her anger Emilio never had a chance. She broke his arm, probably his nose, and the move that put him on the ground was the old classic boot to the groin. It is doubt that the multiple punches to his face after that were not felt. (Did I say the fight begins? More of a workout) As Steve rushes up to catch the finish, Kono walks by him saying “He had a knife” ..got to love that line and the look on Steve’s face was epic! This is the third and final reminder in this episode not to mess with Kono. She is badass.
As the girls are treated and taken to Kings Medical we see Moani looking at Kono. Later at Kings, Kono is getting her hand attended to while Anna is explaining to Kono that the girls will need intensive reintegration into society after being traumatized. She explains that there is a place called Pearl Haven which is a safe place to recover and is run by a group called Hoola Na Pua. As Kono leaves the exam room she goes out to the waiting room to where Moani and her parents are. She wanted to check in on them and Moani and her parents thank her for what she did.
A few days later we see Kono driving up to Pearl Haven with Moani as they walk up to the counselors. Kono asks Moani if she can come back next week to have lunch with her. Moani seems very happy that Kono will be returning to see her. Kono tells her to call if she needs anything and she would be there. As they say good-bye, Moani runs back for a heartfelt hug from Kono.
This one was particularly good as this subject is something that is so prevalent to today and the writers nailed it. Of course, the cast always puts their best out there and thus the script was highly executed. Grace was very good in this episode and it was nice to see the guys take a back seat every once in a while and give her the floor. The addition of some badass Kono was a thrill to watch which was carefully balanced with some real emotion for a very sensitive and important topic. It was also nice to see a real non-profit highlighted at the end. For me this was a 9.5.
To find out more about Pearl Haven and how you can help, go to their