Hawaii Five-0 – Ua Malo’o Ka Wai – Review:”The Water is Dried Up”

I will never get tired of Hawaii 5-0 characters explaining the episodes’ plots to other characters. The opening of this week’s episode, where a couple in trouble stumbles upon a ship full of dead crew members, is gripping as always, but Danny cheerily explaining to the doctor that Steve may have some light radiation poisoning is also a great begining. Danny isn’t too happy that Steve hasn’t exactly been cleared for intense hand-to-hand combat. Both of their days are going to get worse when Jerry picks up the case and connects the ship in distress to an old nemesis, Michelle Shioma.

Danny, Steve, Chin, and Kono all seem quite relaxed when they track Michelle to Lanai. Guess they’re forgetting all the trouble she caused them in the previous season. The team assumes that Michelle was on an unauthorized fishing trawler traveling from Japan. When she happened upon the crew, she killed them to preserve their silence and holed up on a deserted beach on Lanai.

The first thing the team sees when they land is corpses gutted and tied up in trees. They’re spooked by the sight and manage to get ambushed by hostile Yakuza members.

Things get even more bizarre as the team is forced to drag the corpses behind them when the Yakuza lead them deeper into the jungle. It’s another one of those spine-tingling moments that shows that after seven seasons, the writers can still create interesting experiences that keep us watching every week.

Steve gets another shock when the pseudo-soldiers inform him that Michelle is long gone. She may have been hyped up to Noelani as the team’s big new nemesis, but she ended up the target of a mutiny. The four 5-0 members end up trapped in a cage and still bewildered at this paramilitary outfit that’s set up shop on the island.

Steve orchestrates an escape plan by flagging down a soldier like he’s a preoccupied waiter and demanding he talk to their leader. He offers them $20 million of MIchelle’s money for the team’s freedom.

Surprise! Michelle steps out of the shadows long enough to tell her flunkies that Steve is lying through his teeth. I’m not sure the reveal was the greatest in Hawaii 5-0 history. Villains can make a meaningful entrance when they’ve been presumed dead for a season. Michelle was presumed dead for a commercial break.

Although Steve fights back, the soldiers gang up on him and toss him back in the cell.

Steve gets beat up, but manages to lift a bullet off of one of the soldiers. He uses the gunpowder to blow the lock on the cage. Steve might not have been taught how to be Houdini in SEAL training, but he’s getting pretty close. The team could have just run away into the jungle, but they decide to take out the entire Yakuza team. Michelle isn’t about to get caught. She flees as soon as she hears the gunfire.

Back at the ME’s office, Jerry is incredibly worried about the team, but doesn’t know who he can trust. Noelani (why does he trust Noelani, but not Duke?!) urges him to call someone about it.

Jerry gets over his paranoia in time to mount a rescue mission to save the team. Noelani tells him that he just needs to trust in o’hana. Right when the team is once again surrounded by enemies, reinforcements arrive. Duke has perfect timing.

The show doesn’t even bother showing us Michelle’s inglorious capture. Even she can’t take on a fleet of helicopters. Steve visits her in interrogation to tell her that she’s not going to plan another way of escaping. He will make sure that Michelle doesn’t cut a deal with the US attorney or try to break out of prison. She owes it to her daughters to do so. Jerry is rewarded with his own badge by the grateful team and everything ends well in Hawaii.

Meanwhile, Lou thinks he has checked out of the action this week by planning a vacation/witness testimony combination trip to Chicago with Will. I’ll be honest, the fact that Lou was planning on testifying against his evil ex-partner and just happened to bring Will with him made me very worried for his son’s safety. He keeps cracking jokes about no one noticing if Will was missing, and all I can think is that this is some ominous foreshadowing.

Things get even more tense when Lou’s police escort shows up and shows how unhappy some Chicago cops are about Lou testifying against his ex-partner. Lou gives a terrifying speech of his own to the bitter young cop, immediately shifting between jokes and veiled threats. It’s at times like this that I remember that Chi McBride is a really good actor. Although he should let his son text his girlfriend every once in a while.

It’s disheartening to see Lou, so happy and well-liked in Hawaii, receive such a cold welcome in Chicago. Everyone’s angry that he’s testifying against Clay Maxwell and even Will’s former little league coach suggests that Lou shouldn’t overstay his welcome. Chi gets a great scene when he has another heart to heart with his son. He tries to be the jokey father figure, but can’t completely hide his anger, sadness, and resignation that he is testifying against someone his kids called “Uncle.” Luckily, Lou has a new o’hana and his kids have an entire family that would take a bullet for them. It’s with his security in his new home that Lou tells Will about the times you have to make the tough decisions that can change your life forever. Lou’s been foisting off bad travel and relationship advice all episode, but this simple talk hits home with Will. I’m still terrified as long as the Grover boys are in Chicago. The “holy hell” Lou promises the cop protecting Will sounds like too good an opportunity for the writers to pass up.

Thankfully, they do. That’s does mean that Lou’s plot doesn’t end on a melancholy note. It’s heartbreaking to see someone usually so happy completely lose it for a single moment. Until the very end, I thought there would be a bomb hidden in the room service cart, but disaster is averted. Lou isn’t a hero in Chicago, but he’s a hero in Hawaii. And he’s definitely a hero to his son.

What did you think of tonight’s episode? Were you happy to see Michelle back? Let me know in the comments!