Hawaii Five-0: Season 10 – Episode 15 REVIEW

The Yakuza give young love a bad name in this week’s thriller.

Hawaii Five-0

“He Waha Kou O Ka He’e” follows up last week’s episode in an equally strong suit. The performances originating from this week’s episode are the standout aspect. The episode’s opening scene was dark, fog lying thickly among the trees, not exactly the sunny paradise that Hawaii usually is. In which case, the opening scene was an indicator of the sinister events that were about to take place.

Nia Holloway, who plays Siobhan, Lou Grover’s niece, was impressive. She’s a newcomer to the show, introduced in “Ne’e Aku, Ne’e Mai Ke One O Punahoa”, but even then she showed promise. Her character was intriguing and dynamic, and Holloway’s performance managed to jump from light-hearted to intense with ease.

Siobhan’s dream is to become a cop, and we see that she’s actively pursuing her goals as she is now enrolled in the police academy, and according to Tani, acing her tests. Siobhan and Tani’s “girl talk” was one of the best moments of the episode, because it allowed us to see how Siobhan has adapted to life on Oahu and how close Five-0 really is. Tani is at the academy as a guest instructor, but she’s also encouraging Siobhan. She may have gone a little overboard with her praise at times (as it resembled something akin to nepotism), but Tani’s heart was in the right place.

Siobhan’s problems with her new boyfriend turn out to be vital information that Tani gathers, though Tani is unaware of how useful that information will be the next day. I flinched for Tani when Lou yelled at her, demanding to know why she hadn’t said a thing about Siobhan’s boyfriend the day before. Tani assumed Lou was privy to the information, leading to the misunderstanding between them.

The moment that Tani and Lou later shared was a significant one, especially performance-wise. McBride’s performance nearly moved me to tears. Lou (McBride) is openly crying about his niece, afraid that something has happened and he’ll have to tell her father the most awful news anyone could receive. Tani (Rath) is reassuring, calm and collected, acting as the rock that Lou desperately needs at that moment, encouraging him to keep the faith. It just goes to show how close the Five-0 team is, and how far they would go for their teammates and their families.

Likewise, Siobhan’s reunion with Lou was also tearful and emotional, making my heart go out to them. It’s meaningful to see how close these two really are, and how much they care for one another.

Siobhan, meanwhile, shows much promise as a future cop. She follows her instincts and investigates her boyfriend, Endo Tanaka (John Harlan Kim), originally believing that he may be cheating but finds that having an affair is far from the real problem at hand.

Endo turns out to be the godson of Kenji (Fernando Chien), the man Adam is trying to dethrone as head of the Yakuza in Hawaii. In a twist of irony, Endo had helped Adam move and bury bodies prior to the main events of the episode. Endo is tied to the Yakuza in many ways, one of those ways acting as their spy in the academy in order to obtain information.

Poor Siobhan becomes part of the fallout as Endo fears she’s discovered he is undercover for the Yakuza, which in turn gets her kidnapped following her brief investigation of him. I admired her bravery and each attempt she made to calm Endo so he’d think rationally. Her efforts are futile, but she still manages to break loose from her bonds. Unfortunately, she’s out in the middle of nowhere, emphasized by a carefully constructed long shot that shows the audience how isolated Siobhan really is, and her anguished scream emphasizing how hopeless things are looking, at least in the moment.

Endo’s performance also deserves a shout-out for his clearly conflicted character. He’s torn between his duties to the Yakuza and his feelings for Siobhan, which only places him between a rock and a hard place. He made all kinds of bad choices, only digging himself into a deeper hole. I lost any sympathy for him as soon as Five-0 had him in their custody and he outright lied to their faces, even insinuating that Siobhan had killed herself to explain her sudden disappearance.

Obviously no one in Five-0 believed that, so why Endo thought he could pull it off is beyond me, but when you’re desperate, you’ll try anything.

Speaking of desperation, Adam’s performance was also noteworthy. It’s clear that he chose to act as a spy in Five-0, but all that comes to a halt as soon as Siobhan is kidnapped, and Adam finds out who her boyfriend is. I was glad to see some of the old Adam shine through in a crisis as he puts his Five-0 family first before his new Yakuza aspirations, though clearly it’s going to cost him.

Adam’s performance was intense and well-timed, building up from anxious to outright murderous as he threatens Endo’s life should anything happen to Siobhan. Lou is furious with Adam’s actions, but Steve reassures his friend that, though he has his doubts about Adam, he believes their teammate will deliver.

I found it interesting how earlier in the episode, Lou met with Adam for coffee and was acting as his friend, saying everyone had been concerned and that they were available if Adam needed them. Their conversation was friendly and meaningful. However, with Siobhan’s kidnapping, and later Adam’s kidnapping of their prisoner Endo, a different side of Lou emerges. He swears that Adam won’t leave those woods if Siobhan doesn’t come out safe and sound. Does this mean he no longer trusts Adam, or was he saying things in the moment?

I have to admit I was disappointed that the end of the episode left us without a conversation between Adam and Five-0 regarding his actions and what kind of repercussions would ensue, but there are cliffhangers for a reason. Though, Steve’s fierce look at Adam as he emerged from the woods with Siobhan is a good indicator that things will not be going so smoothly.

Steve never completely trusted Adam since he started acting strangely, and knowing Steve, I saw that coming. Using Lou as a distraction for Adam gave Steve and Danny the opportunity to search Adam’s home for explanations, as there are still some pieces of the puzzle missing. Danny is against it, though I would expect he’d be on Steve’s side. Steve had a point, there were things that were suspicious and didn’t add up. I think Danny’s opposition had more to do with his discomfort at searching the home of his friend without their knowledge.

Steve likes to keep his friends close, and his enemies closer. He doesn’t like surprises coming out of the woodwork, so naturally when he explained his decision to let Adam back on the team so he could keep an eye on him, it was believable.

Steve’s distrust in Adam will only heighten given the events of “He Waha Kou O Ka He’e”, but this time he has real evidence to support his suspicions, which means the rest of Five-0 will likely side with him and question where Adam’s loyalties lie.

I appreciated that the events of last week’s episode were addressed early on, particularly the loss of the woman, Joanna, that Danny had hit it off with in the tragic car accident. Things are quite emotional as he meets Joanna’s sister, who is there to collect her belongings. I half-expected her sister to be angry at Danny, but was pleasantly surprised to see her hug him and thank him for all he did, stating that it wasn’t his fault.

If there was anything to complain about this episode, it was Danny’s lack of communication with Steve regarding his feelings over the car accident and his loss. Steve does ask Danny if he wants to talk, but Danny only responds with, “What am I gonna say?”

However, I think they had their own between-the-lines conversation in the episode’s ending while in Steve’s kitchen. Danny is discussing the construction on his house, and that he could probably go home soon, to which Steve insists that Danny’s welcome to stay as long as he wants. They’re bickering, but really, I think it’s Steve’s way of telling Danny he doesn’t have to be alone, and he’ll help him through whatever comes next. Perhaps more to that conversation will appear in future episodes.

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Hawaii Five-0
Several cast members delivered powerful performances in addition to an intensely fast-paced storyline, giving this episode an extra kick. The performances complemented the nearly flawless plot, making for an entertaining and emotional episode.