We've come to Hawaii Five-0's fall finale, and it encapsulates the season to date: perhaps not remarkable, but watchable, and leaving us wondering where it's all going.
When a dead body (who later turns out to be quite alive) is found inside an abandoned bunker, it's up to our heroes to close the case and still make it to Chin's wedding. This involves live grenades, a perp dumpster diving, and a run-in with newly-promoted Captain Fryer (Tom Sizemore). The man they found is Fryer's prime suspect in the murder of Bridgett Turner. His wife (that's NYPD Blue's Gail O'Grady) has no idea what her husband was up to, but would like to know why Bridgett was in a photo with her missing son Sean. And so, the plot thickens.
It's forty minutes of setup and about four of unraveling. Bridgett had contacted Sean's father, claiming that Sean was in Hawaii and in trouble with a local gang. The photo she sent him was a Photoshop job, and she was working with her boss to scam the family. Her boss slash murderer happened to share a cell with Sean's real killer. It's one of those endings that makes you wonder, "Why didn't I think of that?" That gives me mixed feelings: when it's all laid out, the plot seems simple, but I have to give the writers credit for sustaining it until the fourth act.
With that out of the way, the final few minutes are devoted to Chin and Malia's wedding, which is the perfect happy note on which to pause the season. As I've stated previously, I'm alright with this development - it will be nice to have one of the Five-0 team members with a happy home life, and Reiko Aylesworth is a great actress that I always enjoy seeing, so in my eyes it's a double win. (Did anyone spot Cold Case star Jeremy Ratchford in the episode? He's credited in the press release, but I never saw him.)
This episode also brings back Adam Noshimuri (Ian Anthony Dale), who wants Steve to help him set up a meeting with Joe, in order for him to find his dad - last seen in the trunk of Joe's car last week. This leads to a confrontation between Steve and Joe, where Joe talks about "containing" Shelburne and Steve steals his passport. We're left to wonder how these two will deal with each other going forward now that Steve knows Joe is keeping secrets from him, and as we know that Steve is too stubborn not to press him. I still have nagging doubts in my mind from last week, but I'm sure those will be dealt with in the second half.
Season two of Five-0 has had its good episodes and bad episodes, strengths and weaknesses. My enthusiasm for the show has decidedly waned, but I can't bring myself to tune out, either. Looking back on these first twelve episodes of season two, I must admit that perhaps the shine has come off, muddled under a whole host of happenings including the introduction of new characters, a whole host of guest stars, and plot twists for the sake of twists.
Yet despite that, H50 still boasts one of the best core ensembles on television, and it would be a shame to discount them (remember that Scott Caan was nominated for a Golden Globe last season?). As long as they keep putting in their best effort, and developing these characters I still love, I can't count them out. Even when it's rocky, H50 is still one of TV's better procedurals.
(c)2011 Brittany Frederick/Digital Airwaves. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.