After a short break for Thanksgiving, Hawaii Five 0 returned last night flying high. The episode was well done and seeing Steve as an undercover pilot and facing potential doom once again is always fun. As usual we take you through the episode in great detail below with help from Susan and friends, so suit up for another buzz by the tower with Steve and the team.
As the episode opens we are watching an obstacle course air race and are shown a plane doing amazing mid-air stunts over the ocean. The pilot is performing tactical procedures that barely miss the obstacles. Seconds later we find that it is Steve doing the flying, (of course). Steve radios in and asks how he is doing with time and when Danny does not encourage that, Steve decides to take things up a notch. Shortly, Steve clips one of the obstacles causing Lou, Jerry, and Tani to also come out from the crew tent to get a better look making sure Steve is still alright. Danny is in radio contact with Steve and is asking Steve to answer him. With no reply, we see the plane heading straight down for the water. (uh oh)
Upon that suspenseful moment, the credits are cued in.
The next scene flashes back to thirty one hours earlier. It is on the beach at Kamekona’s truck where Steve and Danny are meeting a very good friend of Steve’s from his prior life so to say. It is Ronnie Turner who knew Steve when he was an ensign in the Navy and Ronnie was the chief mechanic at the time. An ensign is entry level officer level so it was certainly some time ago.
Ronnie has asked Steve to help him look into the death of his friend who crashed during one of the air races. The pilot’s name was Jason Sachs. Ronnie believes that the crash was suspicious and not pilot error as he has heard it is about to be ruled as. Ronnie explains that Jason was much too good to be the reason for the crash and there has to be another reason.
Ronnie explains that he tried to check it out himself but the NTSB won’t let him near the recovered plane. Ronnie also tells Steve that Jason left behind a wife and small child, and if the crash is declared pilot error they won’t receive any insurance money leaving them with nothing. This seals the deal for Steve to pursue the matter further.
Next we see Steve and Danny at the plane hangar where the NTSB has the recovered plane and the pieces. They are speaking to agent Callahan who does not seem very forthcoming. Callahan tells Steve that their investigation is pointing to pilot error.
As Steve questions Callahan further, he discovers that they can’t find the trim tab from the plane. The trim tab is a rudder on the tail of the plane and is an important piece of the puzzle, or at least it should be. Steve and Danny argue that without that piece of the plane they can’t really be sure it’s pilot error. Callahan disagrees smugly, refuses to let Steve and Danny review the cockpit video, and does not cooperate with them at all.
Steve leaves quietly which surprises Danny (us as well). When Danny tells Steve he can’t believe that he didn’t punch the guy in the mouth, and that the radioactive Steve has become a better person, Steve says the guy either doesn’t know what he’s doing or he’s hiding something. Steve intends to find out which one it is, although it is clear to him and us viewers there is something that Callahan is hiding.
The scene switches to Tani and Junior at Kamekona’s truck where Tani asks Junior where he was when she called to see if he wanted to go for a paddle earlier. He tells her he went to go see his parents and it is obvious that Tani and Junior have been spending some time together, based on what they already know of each other’s situations.. It seems Junior doesn’t get along with his dad who did not want him to enlist, even though his father was in the Navy, too. Junior also seems disappointed that his mother never showed up for the visit. Their conversation is interrupted when Tani gets a call from Steve and is called off to work.
Now at HQ, Steve, Lou, Tani, and Jerry are at the table reviewing a You Tube video that Jerry has pulled up from spectators of the crash. From the footage they see, Steve can’t tell what went wrong or why, so he concludes the only way to know for sure is to somehow get that trim tab. Jerry also mentions sabotage and Steve thinks he could be on to something even though Tani is questionable of it.
Switching over to the medical examiner’s office, Lou is talking with Noelani about Jason’s autopsy. Noelani tells Lou that his death was caused from blunt force abdominal trauma consistent with a plane crash. Otherwise, Jason was in perfect health and showed a clean tox screen. Lou asked Noelani to conduct a second autopsy to see if the first ME may have missed something. Noelani agrees.
Next we see Steve and Tani talking with Jason’s wife Elena, who tells Steve and Tani how she met Jason. She shares that Jason basically saved her from a bad relationship and they ran away together from Mexico and never looked back. Talking further she tells Steve that the morning of the race she had seen Jason talking with a man in the lobby of their hotel and Jason seemed very upset.
From there we are switched over to Steve and Tani driving back from talking with Elena. Tani is clearly bothered by Elena and her son being left without Jason. Steve tells Tani it’s ok to care and asks if she is alright. Tani suggests that maybe Jerry can pull footage of the man Jason was talking to at the hotel.
They are interrupted by a phone call from Ronnie who tells Steve that he has the trim tab. When asked how, he tells Steve he got it from a technician and that he didn’t exactly hand it over voluntarily. Steve says they’re on the way.
Shortly at the plane hangar, Ronnie tells Steve the whole NTSB team came and took the trim tab. They must have been tracking him and although they left with the piece, he still has the technician Ronnie took it from locked in a trunk.
Switching to the rendition room, the technician from the trunk is now in the infamous chair. As Steve and Tani question the technician they get to the truth. The technician believes that something had to be wrong with one of the tabs on the trim tab because he got a good look at the trim tab before the NTSB took it. He thinks someone had to have sabotaged it and Steve believes the technician is telling the truth.
Out in the hall, Jerry comes to tell Steve that the NTSB is holding a press conference on the crash. Everyone rushes upstairs to see Callahan announce that the crash has been ruled as pilot error. Jerry stops the video and suggests it maybe another government cover-up.
Once again, Steve concludes that the only way to find the truth is to get that trim tab. He plans to call the Governor to help and Tani asks if that doesn’t work what then? To which, Steve answers, they will have to figure out another way. Tani looks as if she has her own idea already in play.
Next we see Lou and Danny at the Hawaiian King Hotel where they stop Norman Andrews. Norman was the man with Jason in the lobby the morning of Jason’s crash. Andrews tells them that ten years ago Jason came to him with an investment opportunity. He put his life savings into it and Jason ran off with the money. He explains a few months ago he sees Jason on You Tube and flew over to confront him about the money. Only when he finds Jason, it wasn’t the same Jason that stole his money. Andrews tells Lou and Danny that this guy Jason has the same name and same face, but the height was way off. This understandably, causes a perplexed look on Lou’s face.
Back at HQ, Steve is waiting for the Governor to respond, as he walks in to his office to find the trim tab on his desk. No one is in the place except Tani, who is in her office working and doesn’t seem to notice that Steve has even come in. Very surprised of the sudden appearance of the missing part, Steve calls Tani from across the office to his. When he asks Tani to explain she acts totally shocked, and plays along asking if that is the trim tab. She claims to know nothing but says don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Steve’s spidey senses, (as Danny would say) tell him otherwise but he seems pleased to let it go. Steve hands her the trim tab to take to the lab, and as Tani walks out, Steve tells her she is fitting in just fine with them.
Now down in the lab one of the lab techs (missing Eric here) explains to Tani that the markings on the trim tab would normally be from wear and tear, but these particular markings are too precise and were done with a tool of some type. It was also painted over trying to hide the tampering. It is now very clear there was some sort of sabotage to the plane.
We next see Steve and Tani racing up to the plane hangar full speed in Steve’s truck. They arrest Agent Callahan for obstruction of justice. (yay)
Back in the rendition room, Steve confronts Callahan of the cover up. When Callahan denies it, Tani tells him they traced accounts in foreign countries in his name with large amounts of money from the company that runs the air races. Steve tells him they know the company was paying him to cover up anything that went wrong to protect the company. Callahan retaliates and says everyone has a part in this and he would also make sure Five-0 was called on the carpet for stealing the evidence (trim tab). Steve and Tani deny knowledge of such. (at least one of them is telling the truth)
Out in the hall Lou comes up to tell Steve that Norman Andrews’ story checks out and that he was scammed by a different Jason Sachs. They conclude that Norman is not the killer. Lou continues that he had Jerry dig a little deeper and found that Norman’s “Jason” was killed in a car accident six years earlier so Lou had Noelani run the pilot Jason Sachs’ finger prints. Now Steve is the one that is understandably perplexed.
It turns out his real name is Luke Nixon so now everyone concludes that Jason aka Luke was trying to hide from someone. Lou tells Steve and Tani that he thinks the whole thing is connected to the DEA because the DEA arrested Luke Nixon in 2009, but no one knows what happened after that because the file is sealed. Steve says he will make a call to get the file un-sealed.
Back upstairs at the table, Jerry and the team are going over info on Luke. He was born in 1981 and arrested in Amarillo Texas for flying drugs for the Maldonado Cartel in 2009. He was given a choice of going to prison or turning informant. Danny guessed he went with the latter which of course is correct.
Luke chose to be the informant and he was so good at it that even the big guy of the cartel considered Luke like blood. Luke continued the work for eighteen months and then tried to convince the DEA to let him out, but no other agents had ever gotten that close to the cartel, so they refused to let him out. Therefore, Luke decided to just disappear, but he wasn’t alone when he did, as he and the only daughter of the head of the drug cartel had fallen in love so she also went with Luke. When Jerry pulls up a picture of the girl it turns out to be Elena, Jason/Luke’s widow. Everyone now concludes that the cartel caught up to Luke, sabotaged his plane to kill him, and also to take Elena and her son back to Mexico.
Next we see Steve and Tani walking up to Elena’s hotel room. Finding the door open, they go in to discover the room is a mess and Elena and her son are gone. They have obviously been taken as the little boy’s plane he was playing with earlier is left behind near a lamp that was crashed on the floor.
Back in the truck, Jerry has the federal police on the line. Steve tells him they have a hostage situation with the Maldonado Cartel and he needs to know if they have any surveillance that could help them find them. Hesitantly, the agent agrees and asks for ten minutes to see what he can find.
Next, the scene switches over to where Elena and her son are being held. We see the men making arrangements for them to leave. When they open the door to leave, their vehicle explodes, and Steve and Lou rush in with weapons taking the men down, as Tani comes in the back. After the team take the men out, Steve goes to Elena and her son to make sure they are alright, and with relief on her face, she thanks Steve for saving them.
Shortly, back in Steve’s office, Steve and Danny are filling Ronnie in on everything. Ronnie has a hard time believing that his friend of so many years was not who he said he was. Ronnie is grateful and thanks Steve. Steve and Danny give Ronnie the news that the cause of death will be malicious tampering so Elena and her son will get the insurance money. To their dismay, Ronnie shares that she will probably have to fight for it as the policy was in Jason’s name and not Luke’s who “Jason” really was. Danny thinks that at least the air race sponsor will pay out some money but once again to their dismay Ronnie tells them that the contract states a plane has to race, or the contact is considered invalid.
Ronnie continues saying they have a back- up plane but with no pilot they have to withdraw. This makes Steve’s day to hear all they need is a pilot as his face lights up with his signature smirk knowing he can do it. Danny immediately tries to interrupt, but that was a lost cause before he even opened his mouth to object.
You guessed it, we are then taken back to the beginning scene and are watching Steve in action as he’s flying in the race. We pick up where we left off with Steve heading for the water. Everything goes quiet and in slower motion we see Steve focus in breathing slowly. With the cockpit alarm sounding we see him pull up just in time with the team and all the spectators back on the beach cheering.
Danny radios in and asks Steve if he is alright to which Steve responds, “that was almost unpleasant”. Danny tells Steve to put the plane on the ground calling him a maniac, which Steve hears Maverick, (hmm, wasn’t this how the restaurant was named last season?)
Steve buzzes the beach similar to a Maverick move in Top Gun and Jerry lets out that he feels the need for Steve, instead of speed like the original and they call him a kissass. Steve soon lands back at the strip. Everyone is waiting for him and meets him only to let him know he came in dead last. He seems disappointed but Danny reminds him dead last is better than just dead and he offers to buy him a beer. He actually does call him Maverick this time.
The next scene is at Kamekona’s truck where everyone is unwinding from the day. They are teasing Jerry about his new motto which of course Steve chimes in on causing Jerry more embarrassment. Danny wonders if Steve ever found out how the trim tab got on his desk. Steve looks at Tani and says it is a mystery that won’t be solved. Junior seems left out of the loop but Tani says she will fill him in later but she has to do something first.
In our final scene we see Tani arriving home and Koa is sitting outside. He asks Tani if him getting that metal thing for her made a difference. Tani tells him it did and that they closed the case because of it. Koa asks if that makes them even and she tells him it does. As Tani is about to go inside, Koa asks her if she wants to grab some dinner at Rainbows, and seeing some real effort on Koa’s part to connect, she says she’s starving and they walk off together.
This was good. We got a little bit of excitement in the air with Steve, but the way it all unraveled was predictable. The COTW was also typical procedural with a few twists. The banter was fun for the most part and we were given more background on Junior and Koa even showed promise. Unfortunately, an important character was missing which was of course Eddie. Since we cannot add the Eddie bonus point to help out this time, the rating for this one would be an 8.