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'Hawaii Five-0' Recap: 'Lapa'au' (2.08)

Brittany Frederick Brittany Frederick
November 8th, 2011 2:06am EST

What do you do when a plane with a corpse in it crashes down? You call the best cops in Hawaii and hope they can make sense of it. Welcome to Hawaii Five-0.

Hawaii Five-O

That is, when they're not watching B-movies in Danny's new dive of an apartment. In all honesty, I think Scott Caan and Alex O'Loughlin would do great if Mystery Science Theater 3000 ever came back. Their banter belongs on a Rifftrax.

Back to the case: the corpse belongs to an ICE agent. That's how we meet Jeff Morrison (Masi Oka's former Heroes costar Greg Grunberg), who was the deceased lady's boss. Jeff is taking the situation pretty hard, leaving Lori to make one of her unconvincing attempts to console someone, which in turn leads him to say "Monica reminded me a lot of you." It's a line that feels like the writers trying to put Lori on the audience's good side again.

I'll give them points back for their laugh-out-loud wink at Heroes, when Max tells Jeff that he thinks he knows him. Regardless, I'm just happy to see Grunberg back on TV; I thought he was the most underrated thing about Alias. I'm glad that he gets a substantive role in the episode, although like the inclusion of Joe White, I'm not sure how legal it is. I'm going to file that one under "dramatic license" and let it be. (I will not, however, let the graphics team off the hook for misspelling "department" as "departmant" in one of the captions.)

Going into the ICE agent's past leads the team to Liam Miller (Jon Gries), who clues Chin and Kono in to what she was investigating before she died. It also makes me happy to see Kono back in the field after she spent most of last week in the office. From him, they get to Jason Akita (Ronnie Gene Blevins), who leads our heroes on a prolonged foot chase - always a sign of innocence. He maintains that he was the agent's informant, not her killer.

Who's the responsible party? We only find out in the last act that Miller is also a licensed pilot. That sounds like something our heroes could have found out much earlier if they'd checked his background out more thoroughly the first time they talked to him. He killed the ICE agent because she wouldn't stop poking around the animal poaching she uncovered while working on her narcotics case. Jeff contemplates shooting Miller, as Grunberg packs one heck of a glare, but thankfully he doesn't. I wouldn't mind seeing Jeff again someday; this show does seem to have a knack for bringing back characters.

On the whole, "Lapa'au" is one of the better episodes of the second season. It felt more like the Hawaii Five-0 of season one; it didn't hit the sore spots that have been common in season two, and there was more of what I've enjoyed about the show previously, like Kono having a more active hand in investigating, and Steve and Danny's continuing banter without it seeming forced. Having a great guest star was an added bonus that just enhanced the episode for me. Let's hope that this is just the first in a spate of more improved installments in season two.

(c)2011 Brittany Frederick/Digital Airwaves. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.

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