And then there were three.
Alongside some averted terrorist events, fratricide and comingthisclose to finally getting to the bottom of the Doris-Wo Fat situation, "Aloha, Malama Pono (Farewell and Take Care)" also saw the team undergo a fundamental change. Due to the loss of Kono.
But did it, really? Count me as skeptical that Kono is going to stay on the run for very long or that the actions of tonight's episode will have lasting ramifications.
Don't get me wrong - there were many things to like about the Hawaii Five-0 Season 3 finale, including some zingy Hawaii 5-0 quotes and a truly vicious murder for the crew to solve. But ultimately, the episode was about promising higher stakes than could be delivered.
I blame the Noshimuris. Through a season that gave us plenty of heinous baddies to watch the gang take down, Michael Noshimuri was something of a flat villain. Sure, he was capable of some heartbreaking works of staggering badness and the show worked overtime to give the battling bros all manner of exciting problems over the past few weeks.
But his plot never gained enough momentum to truly drive the show. And, honestly, he just didn't have that much charisma.
Hawaii Five-0 excels at creating the kind of bad guys that you just can't look away from (see: Fat, Wo). But Michael Noshimuri never quite got there for me. Even in his death scene, what should have been shocking violence between two brothers barely registered. And Hawaii Five-0 is certainly a drama that knows how to make the pain register.
However, so little was invested in the Noshimuri plot line - aside from Kono's well-being, of course - that to watch the brothers fight each other was a wasted opportunity. Unfortunately, over the course of the entire season, neither of the Noshimuris were able to summon up the charisma and character that Doris McGarrett can inject in a brief scene at the supermarket.
Yes, I was hoping this season finale would focus on Doris, and maybe take us a little bit closer to unearthing Mrs. McG's mysterious motives. And yes, I'm disappointed that I have to wait til the season premiere (if then!) to have all my questions about America's favorite post-menopausal ex-super-spy answered. Of all the plot threads that wove in and out of this season, Doris's was both the most fun and the most intriguing - and the case with the actual highest stakes. Which is probably why the show saved her story for another day.
I'm not going to offer a send-off to Kono because I don't imagine that we've seen Grace Park wearing body armor over a tank top for the last time (I mean, I hope not! For all of our sakes!).
But I can imagine a Hawaii Five-0 Season 4 where the show's shape has mutated into one that's 3/4 island crime-fighting and 1/4 Kono being an international (fugitive) woman of mystery. I'm not saying I'm lobbying for it, but I could imagine it. Some sumptuous helicopter shots of Shanghai at sunset, perhaps?
However, I'm more inclined to believe that Adam and Kono's jaunt will be coming to a close just around the time of the show's fourth season premiere - not only is it simpler, but having the 5-0 all in one place just makes for better TV. And so knowing that Kono's defection will only probably last the length of a summer hiatus lowered the stakes on that, too.
Not to say that I'm disappointed in the finale; season finales often have the thankless job of trying to tie up every single loose plot thread, come up with a few cliff-hangers to keep fans interested all summer and still make time to fit in a few commercials (my favorite was for Cascade, if you're keeping track - calm down about how clean the inside of your dishwashers are, you maniac-ladies!).
And so, in the grand scheme of season finales, this did a fine, serviceable job. I'm more eager to see next season than reeling from tonight's revelations, but perhaps that was the plan all along.
What did you think of the season finale? Do you think Kono will stay away for long? Who could be on the other side of that steel door?