The ex-wife of the man who shot Danny comes to Oahu and reveals how Danny’s protection during a dangerous domestic dispute when he was in New Jersey helped save her life. Also, Tani and Junior are assigned to walk the beat as uniformed officers for the day, and Adam is framed for the murder of the crime boss he has been tracking.
Hawaii 5-0 returns from a short hiatus with an episode directed by its series star, Alex O’Loughlin. While “E Ho’oko Kuleana” answers important questions and raises some new issues, its disjointed nature has the show lurching from one plot line to the next.
Perhaps the best example of this is in the episode’s open. After Chin was miraculously saved from a drug cartel in about five minutes, I’ve taken these strange opens as part of Hawaii 5-0’s charm. Sure, important scenes like Chin’s rescue or Danny’s reunion with an old friend he saved from an abusive ex would make more sense at the end of the episode, but that’s just not 5-0’s way. Instead, the writers and O'Loughlin use Danny's story to frame a series of poignant flashbacks about a significant relationship in his life.
It turns out that Danny’s shooter was not tied into the larger story about Adam’s investigation into the mob or connected to any of the team’s old enemies. Instead, it goes back to his days as a rookie with the Newark, New Jersey Police Department.
When he first responds to a domestic disturbance involving an abused young woman and her husband, he immediately understands her fear and panic. Instead of trying to arrest the scumbag right there, Danny offers her a way out with his business card. Although not every scene is included, it’s easy to infer that she took Danny up on his offer by the warm way they greet each other in the present day. The two have good rapport and their short story of reconnection and closure has some lovely moments.
Still, it’s a little strange that when Danny was making a list of anyone who might have a grudge against him, he never thought of this guy. This was a guy that he hated enough to pick a fight with and set up to be arrested, and he couldn’t even remember his face? Now we know why that guy was so offended when he broke into the quarantine unit.
Danny may be healed from the gunshot, but this surprise reunion brings up old wounds. A confrontation in a parking lot set two very different men on very different paths. After remembering painful times, Danny reminisces about the New Jersey moment that changed his own life – meeting Rachel when she ran into his car. He ends the episode sharing a moment with Rachel and Charlie, content in the choices he made.
There’s only a slight thematic connection between Danny’s storyline and Junior and Tani’s adventures on the beat as rookie cops. Both prove that a cop showing a simple moment of compassion and empathy can change someone’s life, but Junior and Tani’s time on the force mines the scenario for all its comedic value as well.
When Tani crashes Junior’s morning meeting with Steve, Junior can’t resist getting her back. He has one more requisite for graduating from the academy – spend a day as a rookie cop. He also can’t think of anyone he would rather spend it with than Tani. While their more experienced teammates deal with old flames and new betrayals, Tani and Junior try to solve small relationship issues and keep the streets safe from nefarious graffiti artists.
It’s in these small scenes that the visuals really pop. When Alex O’Loughlin isn’t busy hanging out with Jimmy Buffet, he’s making some great choices. Early on in the episode, Junior and Tani take opposite sides in a spat between boyfriend and girlfriend. As the two use this argument as a proxy for their own relationship, they occupy opposite sides of the frame, separated by bold lines in the background. Another great moment is them sharing about their families as they supervise one of those nefarious graffiti artists cleaning up an eye-catching mural.
Their story takes a dramatic turn when Tani spies a young boy walking down the street by himself. A hunch leads to the kid’s dad finally getting the help he needs and Tani and Junior learning an important lesson about taking time off from hunting down terrorists and kingpins to take a look around their own neighborhood. Then, the episode delivers the biggest laugh of the night by showing Junior getting maced in the face by an old woman he was trying to help across the street.
While Danny’s storyline has the pathos and the rookies’ has the comedy, Steve and Adam’s plot just ends up dour. I was sick with the Hideki storyline about five episodes ago, and I’m pretty much checked out at this point. The problem is Jessie. While the show wants us to constantly question her loyalty, there’s nothing about her that makes her journey inherently compelling. Adam’s story through the series has worked so well because he is a fully-fleshed out character with strong relationships with the rest of the team. We wanted him to be better. Jessie, on the other hand, is more a plot device than a person.
When Adam is pulled over by HPD, they find Hideki’s body in his trunk. Lou and Steve immediately suspect Jessie, and Adam can’t really think of anyone else who could betray him. When the team tracks down Jessie’s contact/lover, they find him dead as well.
Two deaths are enough to make anyone run, Jessie explains to Lou and Steve when they finally catch up with her. Although Steve remains skeptical, he does take Jessie’s tip to heart. Hideki was killed in a trailer at a construction site – a trailer that is now missing. While Agent MacNeal (who has villain written all over him) grills Adam in interrogation, the team is working frantically to find the trailer and clear his name.
Security cameras quickly confirm that Jessie is telling the truth about the trailer and reveal its new location. After a brief gunfight, Steve secures the trailer and it’s enough to win Adam’s freedom. As Adam contemplates the city skyline, Steve drops a bombshell. They found foreign DNA on Hideki’s body, and it turns out to be Adam’s half-sister. Who knows if she is the mastermind behind all the crimes on the island, or another person for the team to recruit. We’ll have to wait to next week to find out.
- Hideki Tashiro, Koa Rey, and Renee Grover were all mentioned but do not appear.
- This episode has flashbacks to 1999 in Newark, New Jersey with patrol officer, Danny Williams, and his old lover Brooke Gardner. During that time:
- Danny hair was darker (less sun bleaching) and was worn in a short side parted quiff, unlike his current style.
- Danny still drove a Camaro - 1999 Silver. Maybe an unmarked z28 (spoiler style seems to be most common on a z28)
- Danny sets up and willing takes a beating from Ray to ensure Ray goes to jail - thus freeing Brooke to escape her abusive husband.
- Danny was thinking of Brooke when Rachel drove her red VW bug into Danny's Camaro for their first meeting.
- We are reminded that Steve McGarrett knows how to play a guitar. He is "caught" "tuning" a Portuguese guitar in the office while Frank Bama sings a tune. Steve is still hesitant about people knowing he plays.
- The Portuguese guitar is a belated birthday gift from Frank to Steve.
- It is revealed how Danny Williams and Rachel Edwards first met.
- Adam Noshimuri is revealed to have a half-sister.
- This episode revealed why Danny Williams was shot in quarantine months earlier. 
- Steve McGarrett mentions how Frank Bama has saved his life many times over the years    and Frank adds the time he stayed on his couch the year earlier. 
- Adam Noshimuri mentioned when he and Jessie Nomura were forced to look for Michelle Shioma's buried $20 million. 
- Jerry Ortega, Kamekona Tupuola, Duke Lukela, and Dr. Noelani Cunha were not seen in this episode.
- Kazuya Nemoto
- Hideki Tashiro
- Steve McGarrett killed 2 people
- Lou Grover killed 1 person
- A SWAT member killed 1 person
(Present Day, Honolulu)
Danny Williams: Brooke.
Brooke Gardner: Danny.
Danny Williams: You look fantastic. You look amazing.
Brooke Gardner: Come'err
(Danny and Brooke hug - tightly)
Danny Williams: (quietly) Hey
Brooke Gardner: You're looking good yourself.
Danny Williams: No, no, I look, uh I look 20 years older. You look the exact same.
Brooke Gardner: You doing okay?
Danny Williams: Yeah, look at me. I'm fantastic. You know? Oh, that that bullet, uh, missed my heart by about three millimeters, so I am thinking of going to Vegas, liquidating my pension, see what we can do, you know?
Brooke Gardner: I still can't believe Ray did that to you. After all these years.
Danny Williams: Some people hold grudges.
Tani Rey: Did he say why?
Junior Reigns: Nope. He just asked me to come see him when I got in.
Tani Rey: That's typical. You know, it just proves my point that you're his favorite. Like, he never asks to meet me in secret.
Junior Reigns: We're meeting in his office.
(Tani and Junior walk in to Steve's office)
(Steve is playing a guitar with Frank sitting in Steve's office chair singing a song)
(Frank first notices them and then Steve does - and immediately stops playing)
Tani Rey: Are you taking requests?
Steve McGarrett: No, uh, I'm I was tuning this, actually.
(Steve quickly puts down the guitar)
Tani Rey: Ah.
Frank Bama: Hmm. Fresh faces. Bright, optimistic eyes. These two must be new around here.
Steve McGarrett: They are. This is Junior and Tani. I'd like you guys to meet Frank Bama. And for the record, Frank is the only person on God's green Earth who can go shoeless in this office. Just so we're clear.
Junior Reigns: Pleasure to meet you.
Frank Bama: (to Junior) Nice to meet you. (to Tani) Nice to meet you.
Tani Rey: Nice to meet you.
Frank Bama: Yeah.
Steve McGarrett: Frank's an old friend of Five-O's. He's saved my ass more times than I care to remember.
Frank Bama: He's exaggerating. Once or twice, max. Your boss probably failed to mention how he, uh, repaid me for that by letting me crash on his couch last year.
Tani Rey: Wow. For saving his life? That hardly seems fair.
Junior Reigns: Hey, so what brings you back to Hawaii, sir?
Frank Bama: Vay-cay. I'm Airbnb'ing this sweet little pad down in Lanikai. And I had to come by here and drop off a belated birthday gift to Steve: that gorgeous Portuguese guitar that he's pretending he doesn't know how to play.
Junior Reigns: You wanted to see me, sir?
Steve McGarrett: I did. I have an assignment for you.
Junior Reigns: Okay. Whatever you need.
Steve McGarrett: You remember I asked you to complete the HPD Academy before you became a member of this task force?
Steve McGarrett: Right. Now, you got your Five-O badge early because you earned it. But there is one last thing that HPD Academy recruits are required to do before they graduate.
(Steve unzips a garment bag and exposes an HPD uniform)
Steve McGarrett: And that (clears throat) is walk a beat.
(Tani smirks trying not to laugh and looks at Junior)
Tani Rey: Please tell me he has to wear that.
Junior Reigns: Sir..
Steve McGarrett: One day. Junior - All right? You're gonna wear this uniform, work one shift, see things from a cop's point of view. Okay?
(Tani looks a little smug)
Steve McGarrett: They're our front line, and there's no work more honorable.
Junior Reigns: Commander, I agree. But, respectfully, I must ask the question - why am I the only new recruit doing the honorable work?
(Tani can't believe Junior is throwing her under the bus and knows she can't argue it)
(Steve looks at Tani)
Steve McGarrett: You make a very good point.
(scene break to Junior and Tani walking a beat on Waikiki Beach in uniform)
Tani Rey: You just had to open your mouth, didn't you?
Junior Reigns: You just had to be in the room.
Tani Rey: So, spoke to her. Apparently, he comes home last night at 3:00 a.m. no text, no phone call. She checks the GPS on his phone. Turns out he was at a fancy hotel. Insult to injury, it's her birthday today, so
Junior Reigns: Well, there's nothing to charge them with, so I say we just let them sort it out.
Tani Rey: Right, so we're just gonna brush over the fact that he's obviously cheating on her?
Junior Reigns: Well, that's speculative. And even if he was, it's not a crime.
Tani Rey: That is so typical. Take his side. Well done, well done.
Junior Reigns: What? J-Just because he was at a hotel late last night doesn't mean he was being unfaithful.
Tani Rey: Oh, oh, please continue mansplaining that to me, 'cause here in reality, that makes no logical sense.
(Couple making out)
Tani Rey: Well, job well done.
Junior Reigns: All right, you folks have fun.
Steve McGarrett: That Nemoto?
Lou Grover: Hard to say. Take a look through that hole. Half his face is blown off. Those are his tats, though.
Tani Rey: You know, nothing against musubis, but it's a snack food; it's not a meal.
Junior Reigns: Hey, I wasn't the one who suggested we rock-paper-scissors over where we get lunch, okay?
Junior Reigns: Hey, you do realize that this is what you would be doing every day if you hadn't been kicked out of the academy, right?
Tani Rey: Yeah, I'm aware. You don't become a cop because you're psyched to chase down public urinators and get shot at. Joining the force was never about me being happy.
Kid: Why do I have to paint this whole wall?
Junior Reigns: Because it's better than getting booked for vandalism. And under section 708 of the Hawaiian Penal Code, it's a misdemeanor charge, so you can get charged up to a thousand bucks. You got a thousand bucks?
Tani Rey: (to Junior)What? Somebody read the manual.
Junior Reigns: Yeah, I kind of improvised a little bit on the section number, but who cares?
Tani Rey: (to Junior) Well done. (to the kid) Okay, so we want two coats of that.
Junior Reigns: Mm-Hm
Tani Rey: And you know what? I think that I want really crisp edges.
Junior Reigns: Mm
Tani Rey: You think you can handle that, Picasso? We want crisp edges.
Steve McGarrett: Hey! That's her.
Lou Grover: We have a wreck, my wife is gonna kick your ass.
Danny Williams: Uh, I was I was just thinking about, uh the night that Ray got arrested and how it changed the course of his life. He never really got over it. For me, I didn't really think about it ever again, so much so I didn't even recognize him when I saw him. And it's it's a trip how, uh, two people can experience the same moment, uh, so differently.
Junior Reigns: You don't even drive a car. You ride a scooter. You have the least driving experience.
Tani Rey: Okay, just give it up, all right? I have seniority. I'm driving. That's it.
Junior Reigns: You got like two months seniority on me.
Tani Rey: Yep.
Junior Reigns: Okay? Next place we're stopping, we're swapping places.
Tani Rey: No, we're not.
(Junior has just gotten treated for the mace in the face)
Tani Rey: Well uh, just so you're aware, um, I will be telling everyone about this. And I mean everyone, starting with McGarrett.
Junior Reigns: Well, I suppose there's no way I could buy your silence.
Tani Rey: (scoffs) Are you kidding me? No. I'm sorry. The Golden Child gets owned by a grandma? That's.. that is priceless.
Steve McGarrett: We don't know anything right now. But I gotta talk to you about something else. When the M.E. was conducting the autopsy on Hideki's body, they found some foreign DNA. Now, there's no way to tell if it was the killer's, but they ran it anyway. There was nothing in the system that could outright I.D. this person, but it did turn up a familial match. To you.
Adam Noshimuri: What? How is that even possible?
Steve McGarrett: You had 27 of 111 DNA markers in common, showing a close familial relation. We also know the sample came from a female, roughly 35 to 40 years old. Adam, you understand what all this means, right?
Adam Noshimuri: I have a half-sister.
- This episode marks the directional debut of Alex O'Loughlin (Steve McGarrett).
- Despite being credited, Jorge Garcia, Taylor Wily, Dennis Chun and Kimee Balmilero do not appear.
|Steve McGarrett||Alex O'Loughlin||A former Navy SEAL and the leader of the Hawaii Five-0 Task Force.|
|Danny Williams||Scott Caan||2nd-in-command of the H50 Task Force and Steve's partner.|
|Adam Noshimuri||Ian Anthony Dale||An associate of the H50 team, and Kono's husband.|
|Tani Rey||Meaghan Rath||Former HPD cadet, who was recruited by H50|
|Junior Reigns||Beulah Koale||Former Navy SEAL and turned into Five-0 Task Force|
|Lou Grover||Chi McBride||Former leader of the HPD SWAT, and newest member of H50.|
|Rachel Hollander||Claire van der Boom||Danny Williams's ex-wife, also Grace and Charlie's mother.|
|Frank Bama||Jimmy Buffett||Helicopter pilot, & personal friend of Joe White and Steve McGarrett.|
|Charles Williams||Zach Sulzbach||Danny Williams's Son, and second born child.|
|Jessie Nomura||Christine Ko||Adam's new confidential informant|
|Agent Colin McNeal||Gonzalo Menendez||Agent investigating Jessie Nomura|
|Brooke Gardner||Joanna Christie||Ray Gardner's ex wife and Danny' old flame.|
|Ray Gardner||Daniel Kaemon||Brooke Gardner's ex husband and man who tried to kill Danny|
|Paramedic||Stephen Meyers||Paramedic helping Ray Gardner|
|Officer Pete Evans||David Stanley||Danny's old partner in New Jersey|