Since season 8 kicked off with a blast and a bang last night, we are here to do the same with the first recap of the season. It has been a long 4.5 months and Hawaii Five 0 fans have been waiting with baited breath to find out how the show would handle some things that occurred over the Summer, not to mention meet the new cast members. The wait was over last night for a couple of those things so let’s delve into the recap, once again provided by Susan, with some help from the editor.
The episode begins with Steve and Danny visiting a lifeguard at a local hotel swimming pool. Steve offers her a job working with them undercover on a case involving the murder of a man named Benny Lun. He was in a computer course at Aloha State and the only suspect they have who is a hacker that goes by the name Mizchief. It seems the lifeguard washed out as a cop in the academy for punching a supervisor and cheating on an exam. Her name is Tani Rey and she turns Steve down flat. Steve, however, shows he’s done his homework and points out to Tani that he knows that until she washed out at the academy, she was the best the Academy had seen in years. Because of that he would give her a pass on all the other stuff as that is not what they need anyway. He also knows that her father had passed away the week before and as Steve puts it, he wasn’t looking for someone who followed the rules. He even shares about Chin and that he is now running his own task force elsewhere even though he came from the same type of issues she has. Nevertheless, Tani turns him down flat a second time and walks away.
We next see a young man walking on campus at Aloha State University. He takes a seat outside and begins to hack into Halawa Correctional Facility. He successfully locks down the whole facility and lets just one prisoner walk out the front door. We all know that face, as we have seen him in previous seasons. It is Jason Duclair, who we have come to know as our favorite fire-starter, and to some, one of the most interesting adversaries Five-0 has had.
The long awaited credits roll along with the wave.
Then we see Tani pulling up to her house on a motor scooter of sorts. She walks in to find her younger brother Koa playing video games to which she doesn’t seem too happy about. When she asks him where he got the game and pulls the cord because he does not answer, he storms out.
Our next scene is of Steve and Danny in what appears to be a restaurant not yet finished. Danny is giving Steve the full tour and plans of the new potential business venture. Steve is surprised to find out Danny wants him to be his partner in the restaurant and to actually start on it before he retires. During a mini restaura-ment including reference to Steve’s radiation poisoning and some jokes about dying, Steve gets a call from Jerry telling him of Duclair’s escape.
Now at HQ, Jerry fills everyone in on Duclair’s escape. During the discussion Eric arrives with information on the hacker and the fact that he had hacked from the University. The hackers name is Aaron Wright, brother of Ian Wright who kidnapped Grover’s daughter three years ago. Before they can continue Aaron takes over HQ’s computer taking credit for releasing Duclair. Neither Eric nor Jerry can stop him as he has locked them out of their own system.
Next we see Duclair going through a burned out building. He seems to be making an assessment along with a couple of men watching.
Back at HQ, Jerry informs Steve and Grover that Aaron has been on the island for two months and arrived there under an alias of Mick St John. (this is of course a nod to Alex’s old beloved character in Moonlight).
They also find that he booked a room under that same name so we next see Steve and Danny heading into that room. However, Aaron is not there but he has set up a computer. He is talking to them from the computer screen and tells them good luck finding Duclair, as he throw in a few humorous slams, but nothing about why he let him out. Steve then gets a call from Jerry telling him they may have a possible lead on Duclair because there is a fire in progress and there is at least one dead.
Now at the scene of the fire in Waimanalo, Noelani explains to Grover that the dead man was shot in the knee caps before the fire. However, Steve doesn’t think it’s Duclair’s work as it does not seem to be his style, and Grover agrees. The dead guy’s name is Anthony Brant, a two time convicted arsonist who torched a residence a week earlier that was connected to Randy Tao, a known drug trafficker. So now Steve and Grover believe that Tao had Duclair released in order to find out who burned down his drug houses.
We next see Steve and the team at Tao’s house when they enter to find Tao and his two associates burned to a crisp. Steve now believes that Duclair is removing anyone who can lead them to him and that he won’t stop until every one of them is eliminated. While there, Jerry calls Steve with a money trail that leads from Tao to Aaron including a rental on the beach.
Based on the new info the three men head to the rental where we see Duclair pouring gasoline on a very frightened Aaron. As he’s about to strike the match, to our surprise enters Tani.
At this point we are let in on just how tough this girl is. The fight is on and she’s good. She seems to have a different style of fighting than we have seen before from any of the other team members. She has the quick wit and mouth to match.
Just when it’s getting good, Steve and the team burst in and Duclair runs. Steve and Danny are shocked to see Tani there, so she tells them she changed her mind about the job. Steve is clearly annoyed that she didn’t tell him first. Steve and Danny take off for Duclair and Tani follows with all shortly arriving at a fence, Steve tells Tani to go back to the house and she promptly jumps the fence leaving Danny to tell Steve she’s a female him.
Duclair, however, stops a car, throws out the driver, and gets away. Thankfully, the car has an anti-theft device, so Jerry tracks it to a dead end entry to the woods, but it seems as if Duclair is now on foot.
Steve and the team arrive there and follow Duclair in. Danny and Grover do not think it is best to arm Tani, but after a short orientation class in which she answers not to shoot the good guys, he decides otherwise and gives her a weapon from the trunk. To make an escape cover Duclair sets fire to everything in the woods. As the team moves forward the flames begin to engulf them.
We briefly get to see Kamekona and Nahele at the shrimp truck deciding to load up and move to the staging area of the firefighters to serve them food.
Back in the woods Steve finds Duclair and the fight is on. Once again we get to see our hero at his best as he fights a worthy adversary. It does not look like the radiation poison is getting him down much.
The rest of the team show up to help but Steve tells them to back off as he has it under control. However, after just a few moments, Tani shoots Duclair in the leg, ending the fight and not making Steve happy. Danny and Grover are however very happy and decide she is someone they could get used to.
Now with Duclair captured and in tow, they make their way through the woods to find a way out. It is not looking good as the flames are surrounding them everywhere. As they walk away from the fire, they find a cabin to take refuge in and to prepare a way of escape. The fire is not too far off as Steve calculates the time they have left to Danny’s dismay.
Once inside, they begin to wet themselves down and to fill cracks in the cabin to prevent smoke from coming in. Steve decides to go back out to see if he can find any rescue crews looking for people to get help. Of course no one thinks that is a good idea but there’s no other option.
As Steve makes his way down the hill, the scene flashes back and forth between that and Duclair sharing what kind of death was imminent for Steve in the fire. Grover gets pissed off and has heard enough, smacking him around a little. Meanwhile Steve sees a helicopter overhead and begins to wave and scream out for attention.
Back at the cabin Duclair manages to escape and run into the woods. As Danny, Grover and Tani take cover on the floor they hear the sound of a helicopter and run out to see Steve flying it. Steve drops a radio down to Danny and explains the plan to get everyone out through the flames. He lowers heavy cables for the team to strap together under the cabin so that it can be lifted out. Of course it’s crazy and of course can only work on TV. Also only on TV, we see the helicopter picking up the cabin with the team in it and successfully taking it out of the fire. We also hear the reports that the body of Duclair was found, but we all know he will probably be back. (also only on TV)
We next see Tani sitting on the steps of her home when Danny drives up. To our surprise he’s driving his own car and Steve is not with him. Danny tells Tani that he came to see if she was going to accept Steve’s offer for the job. We also learn she is an Army brat that has moved through seven bases with Oahu being the last. Danny shares with Tani what a good and caring person Steve is and how he will always have her back. Danny shares a few comical memories from when he first met Steve, but also says it was perfect timing as he seems to have that knack for finding people when they need it most. This is also where we learn that Kono is on the mainland working a child trafficking task force, and that things have been changing. They want Tani to be part of that change.
There is a brief scene thereafter with Grover bringing Samantha down to see Wright but not really sure the purpose of that one. Grover does threaten him in the interrogation room and when he comes out Samantha hugs him. Maybe some sort of foreshadow.
In the final scene we are back at the restaurant with Steve and Danny where Steve has asked Danny to meet him there. Danny informs Steve that Tani has agreed to be a part of the team which makes him very happy. Steve presents Danny with a lease agreement on the place cementing their official partnership in the restaurant. It ends with Steve and Danny both jockeying for who will be boss, which truly gives us all the usual customary feel and is clear the boys are back in full form.
In rating this first one of the season, we will have to say we gave it a hard 8.5. It had the overall feel of Five-0 and Tani looks as if she could be a good fit. The story was good, and Randy Couture (Duclair) and Joey Lawrence (Wright) were fun additions. However, they seemed to go too far with the house lift. Yes, it is TV, but this seemed to be an overstretch that actually brought about laughter instead of the dramatic affect they were going for. With that being said, If this is any indication of what’s to come, season 8 should be great and has a lot of potential. We will leave you with one last fire pun (we promise) – the team came together out of the ashes. Bring on 8.02