Hawaii Five-0: Season 10 – Episode 16 REVIEW

Love isn't in the air this Valentine's day for the Five-0 team.

Hawaii Five-0

“He Kauwa Ke Kanaka Na Ke Aloha” starts out with the song “Love Is In The Air”, but it turns out to be the complete opposite as a woman, later known as Lorena (Marika Dominczyk) receives flowers, a balloon and stuffed animal, walking her new treasures into a kitchen – one stained red by a hammer dripping with blood and a dead body.

Well, it certainly explains the less-than-joyful look on her face.

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Lorena’s storyline was anyone’s Valentine’s Day nightmare. From moment one, Danny doesn’t believe Lorena’s confession, believing she is the victim and someone else killed her husband. As expected, Steve agrees with Danny and urges the rest of the team to find the answer. Steve and Danny’s bromance was at a high this week, with plenty of loveable moments featuring the two friends bickering over anything from ironing shirts to Valentine’s Day plans.

Lorena is placed between a rock and a hard place when she confesses to the crime on behalf of the man she loves, Dr. Paulson (Houston Rhines), but it turns out she’s taking the fall for the wrong person. Obviously she cared enough to risk going to jail, performing what she believes is a sacrifice for love, but as soon as she finds out someone she doesn’t know killed her husband, her entire tune changes.

It was a little unbelievable that Lorena was willing to risk everything. Love or not, it’s hefty to risk jail in the name of love. It just proves that when you’re head over heels, sometimes it makes you do crazy things. Sometimes that’s a good thing, and sometimes it’s not, which is the case for Lorena. She did have a deep and insightful speech concerning love and sacrifice, but how strongly she believed in sacrifice was rather scary. Danny’s way of connecting with Lorena through a discussion of love and sacrifices wasn’t realistic, given that Danny’s sacrifices were hardly similar to hers.

Adam still being a part of the team is far-fetched, especially considering last week’s events. I guess Steve truly is intent on keeping Adam close by to monitor him, though I more than expect Adam to either be fired, arrested, or both in the very near future. I actually found it ironic that Adam was the one to notice Tani’s absence. At least someone did. Granted they were all busy trying to solve a murder case, but why was it Adam that noticed and became involved in the convenience store hold-up? Is this the writers’ way of trying to show that a part of Adam still cares for his team, or to sympathize with his current position?

Danny’s performance, meanwhile, was strong and disciplined. He states that nothing in his life is making sense at the moment. Helping Lorena was what he needed. Perhaps Danny helping Lorena was his redemption for failing to save Joanna. It seems like something Danny would do. After all, he risked a lot, his job and his life, for Lorena.

Speaking of which, the law doesn’t seem to apply to Five-0. They’ve gotten away with a lot over the years, but this episode has me questioning how they still have their jobs. Danny only got out of punishment for hiding Lorena because Steve threatened to make some noise about Lorena’s situation, which the Secretary of State wishes to keep discreet to avoid an international incident.

Lorena’s deceased husband had forged documents renouncing her citizenship in the United States, so naturally the Secretary of State was ready and willing to send her on the next plane to Thailand for a murder trial. All the risks Danny took was not just to serve justice, but to do the right thing. He can’t get Joanna back, but he’ll do his best to make up for it for the rest of his life.

The risk was worth the reward as Lorena was granted her long-overdue happy ending with Dr. Paulson and Danny received the happy outcome he’s obviously been needing since losing Joanna. Not only that, but Lorena’s deceased husband also was served justice, albeit brutally, for all the terrible things he did that he was allowed to get away with. The past oftentimes comes back, especially when it concerns murder. However, his past allowed Lorena a real and happy future, so I can’t say I was sorry to see the husband go.

Like Danny’s storyline with Joanna, Adam’s storyline is in effect, albeit more as an undertone. Lou, understandably, is still struggling with Adam’s actions from the previous episode. Lou was short with Adam this episode as they worked, and Lou warned his colleague that it would take a while for him to get over what Adam had done.

The friction is strong, and like Lou mentioned, it does look like it’ll be a while before it fizzles out, if ever. The direction that Adam is taking, which includes handing over confidential information to the Yakuza, will only make things worse not just between Adam and Lou, but for everyone around Adam. I was hoping that given his concern and the lengths he took for Siobhan, Adam would have changed for the better in some way. Instead, he continues to take the same bad path without issue. It’s implied that Kenji will probably be coming for Adam soon, which is to be expected given Adam’s treatment of Kenji’s godson Endo.

I appreciated the Valentine’s-related theme that kept popping up throughout the episode. The desperate couple robbing the convenience store, for instance: they’re doing it out of love. The husband is sick and requires medical treatment that is financially out of their reach. The wife is desperate given she doesn’t want to lose him, so they resort to robbery as a means to an end. It made the plot more heartfelt, and the performances that much more intense. In a rare situation on Five-0, I sympathized with the bad guys.

Noelani and Tani were having a happy “Galentine’s” day up until they entered the convenience store. Noelani was flirting with her surf instructor and Tani was teasing, the mood light-hearted. My favorite part of the episode was watching the two come together, totally badass as they nearly take down the desperate couple until Tani’s forced to release the husband given the wife had overpowered Noelani and was threatening to kill her.

Even more significant was watching them talk down the couple together, with Noelani helping the husband and Tani making promises to the wife, reassuring her that prison would ensure her husband got treatment and that they would put a good word in with the judge. Their performances were equally commendable, and it was especially meaningful to see Noelani in more of an active role this week.

Oftentimes Noelani is more of a supporting character, but seeing her at the forefront this episode allowed us to get to know her character a bit more and provide further screen-time to outline Kimee Balmilero’s acting potential. Balmilero has certainly earned her spot on the show, so she should have more opportunities and spotlight than she has been given thus far. It’s true that Five-0 has a lot of characters to balance, but it seems Balmilero is too often lost in the mix.

It was incredibly sweet that Steve had everyone over at his house for a Valentine’s Day movie night, presenting “Love Actually” as the main feature. Steve makes excuses that he and his date didn’t want to get mixed in with the Valentine’s Day crowds, but it’s clear that Steve stayed so Danny wouldn’t be alone. Quinn, Tani, Kamekona, Flippa and Noelani join Steve, his date Brooke and Danny for movie night, coming together for the holiday as one big, happy Ohana (family).

Sometimes the sweet moments seem a little out-of-place considering the portrayal of the characters, especially Steve, being tough and sometimes distant with their emotions. However, over the years it seems that the team, notably Steve and Danny, have mellowed out some with age and wisdom. When you consider that, the mushy elements make sense and smoothly blend into this police procedural. Sometimes it can go too far, but in this case it was a perfect complement to this episode. I think it’s an attempt to show that with time, they become more in tune with their emotions and are more comfortable showing them. It makes the show stand out, especially among the police procedural genre, in a flattering way.

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With unrealistic elements and ideas that were far-fetched, this episode is a bit weaker in quality than its predecessor. However, it did provide several sweet Valentine’s Day themed moments that melted hearts and emphasized one of the show’s main themes: family.

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