Hawaii FIve 0 is on a roll with new episodes and last night was another to add to the end of the season straight run. Harry Langford returned and he brought a royal friend with him. When she disappears from practically right under their noses , the boys are on the case. Thanks to Stella for this week’s recap to see how it all went down.
As the episode begins, we follow a mailman as he pushes his cart through the corridors of Iolani Palace. Upon delivering all envelopes and packages, he points to a specific package sitting on top of the mail destined to Five-0 and tells the young woman at the counter to check it because it looks sketchy. She nods, saying she’ll send it up to the lab for a threat assessment. The package is X-rayed and then delivered to the task force. It contains an old Betamax.
In Jerry’s office, Tani wonders what the chances are that there’s something disturbing on it while Junior is searching for a Betamax player. The young man marvels at how people had to drive to a video store and hope that their favorite movie was available to rent during the old Blockbuster days. “Today you can just sit on your toilet seat and watch videos from your phone,” he shares “A great time to be alive”, Tani comments, thanking Junior for the disturbing mental image. He, of course, denies ever doing that and suggests that they start watching the tape.
On an old television, we see a motel room and a couple who looks about to be having sex. They cannot hear what they’re saying, but someone is breathing in the background and they think it’s whoever shot the video. Junior asks if it’s just an old sex tape but as the images play we realize that the young woman who’s lying on the bed is actually getting murdered.
Back from the credits, Steve and Danny are inside the Camaro. Danny asks if they should discuss the ‘pink elephant’ in the room. Noriko. He doesn’t think it’s a coincidence that the day the woman turns up dead is the same day Adam skipped town. Steve replies that until he has evidence that implicates Adam there’s nothing to discuss. “And if there is?” Danny asks. “Then I’m gonna have a very difficult decision to make,” he responds.
They arrive at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and head to the King’s Suite. Steve knocks on the door and they’re greeted by Harry Langford, who’s back in town and happy to see them both. He introduces Steve and Danny to Lady Helen Mortimer, saying he used to run security for the family back in his MI5 days. The Mortimers are vacationing in Hawaii and apparently drawing a lot of attention as Steve mentions that the lobby was full of photographers. Lady Helen introduces them to her daughter, Lady Sophie, who’s become the ‘favorite of every tabloid editor’ since she hit puberty.
Harry tells Sophie that Steve and Danny have had the honor of meeting the Queen. They got medals and, much to Danny’s delight, fish and chips for lunch. “So, how many people have to die before you become the Queen?” Danny asks. 34, according to Sophie who says her mother has indeed counted them. After an awkward moment, they agree to head out for lunch. Harry has invited the boys but says there’s been a slight change of plans.
The change of plans is a stop to a clothing store for what is, in Harry’s words, ‘Sophie’s standard holiday move’. The girl always underpacks and then insists on turning her first day into a shopping spree. The three men are not happy to sit around while the young girl tries outfit after outfit, especially Steve, who’s very hungry.
He sees Danny eating animal crackers and asks where he got it. Danny says he was with Charlie earlier and he always has snacks ready for the kid so that his blood sugar doesn’t drop. Steve wants one but Danny’s not in the mood to share. Harry, feeling guilty about dragging them to the store, suggests that when Sophie reappears they all agree that whatever she’s wearing looks fantastic so that they can go eat. It sounds like a good idea and when the girl finally comes out of the dressing room, Harry and Steve both tell her she looks amazing. Danny, much to his friends’ disbelief, does not agree, and proceeds to tell her what she should buy. Sophie is delighted to hear that, telling the others to take note because he sure knows what he’s talking about. As she disappears again to get everything together, Danny explains that he has a 16-year-old daughter and a really good sense of style.
Harry apologizes again, saying lunch is on him. Steve replies that given how empty his stomach is, it’s probably going to cost him. As more time passes, he informs Harry and Danny that his personality is about to take ‘a serious left-hand turn’ if he doesn’t get some food into his system so Harry agrees to go check on Sophie to tell her to hurry up. But Sophie’s nowhere in sight, and it looks like their lunch will be postponed again.
Back to HQ, Grover, Tani and Junior are gathered around the smart table. The recording is about 20 to 30 years old, and they were unable to identify any of the people in it. There was no return address on the package and no prints that can help them identify who sent it. Lou suggests trying to establish the crime scene first. They don’t have a lot of information to go off but according to Noelani, the breathing that is heard on the video is indicative of a condition called COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). If they find which motel it is, they can cross-reference past employees with that condition. Junior says it’s impossible to pinpoint a specific location and Lou chuckles. “Young people…” he says. “Nothing’s impossible.” The video is their best and only lead, so they need to analyze every single clue they can grab and then cross-reference that against motels that were operating at the time it was recorded.
Steve, Danny and Harry are inside the Camaro, following a black car. They stop it and ask the driver where Sophie is. They traced a request for a car from her phone so they know he picked her up. The man has no idea. He tells them that she just told him to keep driving until he got pulled over. Then he asks who Harry is and gives him a folded piece of paper. ‘Don’t wait up for me’, is Sophie’s message.
Tani tells Junior and Grover that the lab cleaned up the sound on the recording. The camera was too far away and didn’t pick up much, but they’re able to hear the man say: “I never promised you anything”. Sadly, it doesn’t get them any closer to getting an ID. They also notice headlights sweeping across the window, suggesting that the room was on the first floor. Zooming on the nightstand, they identify it as a Motorola phone manufactured between the years of ’94 and ’97, so they should look at missing person cases during that time frame. The room key might be another clue. The room number is 13 and as Lou explains, most motels do not have a room number 13 because they assume that people are superstitious and wouldn’t want to stay there. If they find one that does, it could very well be their crime scene.
In the meantime, Harry has broken the news of Sophie’s disappearance to Lady Helen, promising her that he’ll find her. Steve assures him they’re not going anywhere and will help him get her back. The young girl is extremely resourceful: she’s wiped her phone clean and didn’t leave any clues behind as to how she wanted to spend her time on the island. Danny, having a 16-year-old daughter himself, becomes an invaluable source of information and help, suggesting that they talk to her best friend first. Harry calls the girl, Carlotta, who’s in bed as it’s after midnight in London, and asks her where Sophie is. “She’s gone off on a little adventure,” she replies. He then introduces her to Danny and Steve, and Carlotta is especially pleased to meet the Commander, who tries to reason with her when Harry loses his patience. She eventually tells them that Sophie met a boy on a dating app and was going to meet him. She doesn’t have a name, but she does have a picture and the guy is cute. Danny asks her to send them the picture “for investigative purposes,” he adds, “not because he’s cute.”
Back to the Palace, Tani and Junior are both on the phone calling motels to ask if they have a room number 13. Tani finds one – the Avalon – which did at one point have a number 13 room but had since remodeled and renumbered their rooms. They check the motel’s website and find a picture of a room that’s very similar to the one on the video. This is their motel.
The manager shows them the room. The décor’s different, but the layout is the same. They ask if there was ever an opening in the ceiling and he replies that the rooms were remodeled before he started working there so he doesn’t know. “We need to get up into this attic,” Lou says. “And by we, I mean you two.” Classic Grover.
Tani and Junior explore the attic, finding proof that someone spent a lot of time in there. She then finds what looks like an old AC vent and sure enough it is. That’s their crime scene.
Outside by the pool, Tani shares with Junior that she is appalled at the thought of someone videotaping people having sex without their consent and admits that if it wasn’t for that heavy-breathing pervert they wouldn’t have known anything about the murder. Lou informs her and Junior that he spoke with the owner, who bought the place ten years ago from someone who had owned it since the ‘70s, but he is unfortunately dead so can’t be questioned.
Steve, Danny and Harry are staring at the picture of the guy Sophie ran off with. Harry wants to know what she saw in a pond weed like him and again, Danny provides insightful information: she’s rebelling, that was the natural choice. The guy doesn’t have a criminal record or a driver’s license so how are they going to identify him?
“You guys, get out, move away. I gotta do everything?” Danny says. Having a 16-year-old daughter gives you special tech skills and he explains that if he is under the age of 30, he definitely has a social media footprint. “Well, if he isn’t behaving himself, I’m going to leave a pretty heavy footprint on his face,” is Harry’s reply. A few clicks and they have their guy: Travis Lynch. On his timeline, they find pictures uploaded less than an hour ago from the Muse Beach Club, and Sophie is on one of them. The picture has over 300 likes, so they’re not the only ones who knows where she is.
The three of them go to the club where lots of young people are having fun drinking and playing in the pool. Steve suggests that they split up so they can cover more ground. He and Danny go left, and Harry goes right. Harry finds Travis in one of the cabanas, kissing a girl who turns out not to be Sophie. When a bodyguard tries to stop him, harry twists his arm behind his back and throws him in the pool.
Travis claims he has no idea where Sophie is. Harry slaps him and threatens bodily harm, his patience wearing thin. Steve supports his friend, saying he and Danny will look the other way so he can do what he pleases. The young man finally agrees to talk, confirming that they met on a dating app and messaged back and forth until she told him she was going to be on the island for a couple of days and wanted someone to show her a good time. He offered to get her into the party and she agreed, telling him to meet her outside a store on Kalakaua.
He also says he had no idea she was royalty and that she sure knows how to party. He went to get her a drink and when he got back she was sitting on some other guys lap. He felt used so he left her there and moved elsewhere. Later, he saw her leave the party with two other blonde girls.
As they leave the club wondering how they’re going to find three blonde girls, Harry notices a photographer. He’s already seen him outside the hotel that morning so he knows he was there for Sophie. He grabs the camera and looks at the pictures. He sees Sophie get into a car so he zooms in on the license plate. To the dismay of the photographer, Harry then deletes the pictures so they can’t be sold to the tabloids.
Grover tells Tani that he just heard back from Noelani, who pulled the medical records of the motel owner back when the tape was made and found no evidence of a pulmonary condition. He’s not their killer. Also, Junior is trying to dig up some employee records, hoping one of them might be their “Peeping Tom”.
Tani, who was looking at open missing persons cases from ’94 to ’97, says she may have ID’d the victim and shows Lou a picture of a Lara Levy. According to her roommate statement, the young woman was having a secretive relationship with a guy from out of town, but HPD never found him. Tani is sad that no one at the time had cared enough about Lara to find out who her killer was. They just forgot her. Lou, always the wise man, tells her that cases don’t always end with them knocking on somebody’s door to give them closure. Sometimes there is no closure and no healing, it’s just about them getting justice for the victim.
Junior interrupts them, saying he has got something they need to see. The lab has found DNA on an old soda can found in the attic and got a hit: Arthur Dubbins. He used to work at the Avalon as a handyman and is in the system for aggravated assault. The bad news is he’s in a coma after collapsing from a stroke.
After determining that Dubbin’s wife was the one who sent them the tape through handwriting analysis, they call her in for an explanation. The woman has kept the secret for all these years because her husband threatened to kill her if she went to the police. Once he got sick, she finally saw a chance to do the right thing. She thinks her husband knew the identity of the killer because he had access to the guest logs and tells them there’s something they need to see. When they go to their house, they find a closet filled with dozens of tapes recorded over the years.
Meanwhile, Sophie and the two other blondes pull up at the Ala Wai Boat Harbor. The girl at the wheel tells her there’s a party on their friend Oliver’s boat. They’re super early, but it will pick up soon. Sophie’s not entirely convinced, but she follows them.
Lou tells Steve that the BMW the girls are driving is a rental, loaned to a James Hollis from Detroit. The name’s a fake. Whoever rented the car didn’t want it traced back to them but the vehicle has a recovery system and the rental company’s checking it. Lou promises Steve to call the minute he hears anything and then joins Tani and Junior at the smart table. They’ve examined the tapes and found nine recordings of Lara with the mysterious guy. She referred to him as ‘Paul’ twice and according to her roommate, they met at the motel every Thursday for a few months.
Grover notices a pin on the man’s jacket and asks Junior to zoom in on it. It’s a clue. Paul is an airline pilot and they met every week because he was on a layover. If they can figure out which airline the pin is associated with they can ID him.
Meanwhile, on the SS Martha, Sophie’s doesn’t seem to be having a good time. She wants to leave, but the two men on board tell her to sit down and reveal their true intentions: they’re going to sell her to the highest bidder.
Steve and Harry are not too far behind. They find the BMW, break the window and notice the words ‘SS Martha’ on the passenger headrest. Sophie has left them a clue. “Smart girl,” Steve ascertains.
Sophie is crying while the two men take pictures of her and tell her that she will soon join a prince’s harem of girlfriends. As they threaten to hurt her after she spat in one of their faces, Harry shows up behind them. He’s there to make sure she gets home safely, he tells them. “Who’s there to make sure you get home safe?” one of them asks. “Oh, he should be along any minute,” Harry replies, “to help me beat you imbeciles to death.” And sure enough we hear a scream and a man falls down into the water. Steve McGarrett has arrived. After playing around with them for a short moment, they have the bad guys on the ground in seconds, and it’s time to go home.
We move to Bakersfield, CA. Grover and Tani, in coordination with the Sheriff’s office, arrest Paul Hoff for the murder of Lara Levy. His wife, who opens the door to them, stands there in shock as the man is dragged out of the house and into the police car. The man gives them the location of the girl’s body: Mokuleia Forest Reserve. The woman can finally rest in peace.
Back to Oahu, Steve, Danny and Harry bring Sophie back to the hotel suite. She runs into her mother’s arms, and her father joins the picture as well. The three of them hug each other and Steve suggest they grab a beer to give them some privacy.
As they walk along the beach, Danny asks if she knows. “Does who know what?” Harry replies. “Does she know that you are her real father?” The detective’s perceptive skills have noticed how similar the two of them are, and the look he had on his face when he thought she was in danger. The look of a scared father.
Harry explains that Lady Helen was separated at the time, and that when she told him she was pregnant he wanted to do the right thing, which ended up being accepting her decision to go back to her husband. “If she ever asks, I won’t lie,” he tells Steve. “In the meantime, I’ll always be there for her.” And we believe him, hoping they are heading to get some long overdue food after a long day and a job well done.
This episode was really good. Harry is one of the recurring characters that we enjoy and he is one that we actually do like to see back on our screens. He is fun and fits in perfectly with both Steve and Danny. It also usually guarantees that we will see Steve working a case together with his partner, Danny, like the old days. That has been rare this season otherwise.
The banter playing off one another was smooth and again Harry fits right in. The story they brought forth made sense perfectly as to why Harry would have returned to the island. We even got to see a little of Steve and his badass ways right in sync with Harry and his. All three men did a good job and although the ending was a little predictable, it was displayed well as to the connection that Danny would have to Harry. After all, he pretty much had the same thing happen to him, but with a different ending.
As for the rest of the episode, that too was good. There were only two stories this week and therefore it all transitioned well and was so much enjoyable to watch. It was nice to see Lou mentor the young people as he would say and it was also really nice to see how they tracked down the leads from a cold case. Old fashioned police work like this is something that is missing from the episodes frequently, so it was a good reminder that this is really how it needs to be done in most cases.
After really enjoying this one, we hope there are many more along the same line. It is like the old seasons when things just flowed…the good old days. It was also well written with no discrepancies so kudos on that.
Overall, we would rate this one a 9 as Eddie was missing which brought things down slightly in accordance to our Eddie appearance tracker.
Hopefully the rest of the season will follow this lead. Well done!