Hawaii Five-0 Review: Nothing Is What It Seems

at .  Updated at . Comments

On Hawaii Five-0 Season 4 Episode 17, there was a killing, a kidnapping and a mystery tool box; and, in the end, what was uncovered surprised everyone.

This was an unusually busy hour where there were three simultaneous stories.

There was the light-hearted story of Danny planning a surprise reunion for his parents in hopes of helping them reconcile. 

There was the home invasion/kidnapping of a young teen girl that turned into a much darker tale of premeditated murder and manipulation. 

Then, in the midst of it, was the mystery of the red tool box, which Jerry found in Steve's garage.

With Danny's mom still visiting, who unfortunately had not heard from Danny's dad in four weeks, Clara made a bold move and went to see a divorce attorney. 

Fortunately, Danny had come up with a plan to help get his parents back on track with their marriage and had recreated their favorite restaurant as a way to get them talking again and remembering what they loved about each other before it was too late. 

That was the easier tale of the night. It culminated beautifully with a touching reconciliation between Clara and Eddie as Grace and Danny watched smiling from the sidelines.

The scarier tale involved what looked like a home invasion gone wrong and the kidnapping of a teenage girl.  But the more the team investigated, the more it seemed like young Kelly had faked some photos of injuries that she had self-inflicted in order to manipulate an ex-con into killing her father.  It was pure and simple sociopathic greed. 

Kelly, even at the tender age of 16, felt like she could take charge of her own life and live quite comfortably on her father's life insurance money.  She even found the perfect patsy to take the fall for her father's murder.  Kelly's plan was indeed brilliant, but she had overlooked one small, critical detail: her father had let his life insurance policy lapse so that he could start saving money for her college tuition. 

All that perfect planning gone to waste.  For one, there was no money in the end; for another, it resulted in two deaths and the shooting of a third bystander -- all crimes that could be attributed back to Kelly as her perfect plan began to unravel.

Then the real mystery of the night involved the red tool box that Jerry found in Steve's garage.  Only a conspiracy theorist would have ever noticed the tool box had been repainted in a different shade of red, which someone would only do if they had something to hide. 

So leave it to Jerry to have found the one deep dark secret hiding in plain sight -- underneath the red paint on the bottom of the tool box in the garage.  Steve would have never have found it.  To him, it was just a tool box.  But to Jerry, it was a beacon of mystery and one that came with a complex numerical code. 

The message under the paint once cracked led to geographic coordinates and a code name associated to Steve's mother.  Just what was going on in Cambodia in 1968? 

Unable to leave well enough alone, Steve contacted someone to find out what was hidden in that cryptic message.  Fortunately, Steve came prepared.  When dealing with spooks, it is always a good idea to wear a wire just in case they give you the run around; and using a little blackmail pressure, Steve found out that the allegedly empty field on the Cambodia map was of an unidentified grave. 

Whatever that grave meant, it sure scared the spook who high-tailed as fast as he could.  Maybe this is one time Steve is better off leaving the past in the past and letting sleeping dogs lie; for whatever that grave signifies, it puts peoples lives in jeopardy. 

Only one of these stories had a happy ending -- but perhaps that is because Danny was motivated by love for his parents and universe was just itching to find a way to make sure that true love won out once again. 

But for Kelly and Tommy, things went from bad to worse to deadly.  Tommy forfeit his life after so desperately trying to save Kelly.  But Kelly never needed saving, she had only created the illusion that she needed a hero to save her.  Fortunately, the universe anticipated her greedy nature and her greed landed her in jail. 

As for the end of Steve's tale, tonight's revelations felt like this story was just beginning; and it may be a while before we find out what is really going on with Steve's mom, that unmarked grave, and why there was a message on the bottom of the tool box. 

Given how well that message was hidden and the apparent significance of it, it may be just better for Steve to let it lie and not dig up something that may put his or anyone else's life that he cares about in jeopardy.  This mystery foreshadows something very deadly and very dangerous. Steve needs to consider that carefully before going any further down that forbidden path.

The theme of this episode was secret motivations -- what drives people to do things deep in their hearts.  Is it love, fear, greed, curiosity or the desire to protect another?  It was only by digging a bit more under the surface that everyone's true motivations came to light. 

For some, that was a great thing; and for others the revelations underneath were shocking and disturbing.  For one never really truly knows what is in the hearts of man, but if you do look deeply enough, it will always surprise you.

(Special shout-out to Jorge Garcia, who plays Jerry, on getting signed on as a regular to the show. It will be great to see more of Jerry on Hawaii Five-0!)

Should Steve really be digging into his mother's CIA past and using such shady methods for obtaining information about her?


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
  • 4.0 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 3.6 / 5.0 (56 Votes)

I am with most of you as Im also confused of the Steve/Cath relationship, they had a odd awkward relationhsip. For me they are partners who work together and at the same time they sleep together nothing more than that. They had never said to each other the word "love". Steve at the beginning said that she is not his gf, so then what is it her to him?? I also thought they were living together but now all seems confused between them. I did read that Peter Lenkov said at one point in the past that Steve and Catherine do not live together. I thought they did as there were several scenes this season that make you believe they were living together. I believe everyone also believed it so. Also If Michelle were not in several episodes was because the actress signed for a 17 episode contract this season. I like Michelle in S1 and 2, she acted more as a gf to Steve back then. now everything is so confusing about their relationship. I do not get it either. I think it is the writers fault to have written her a bad storyline this season. All of this makes me wonder about the presence of Michelle Borth in the series for the next season, especially after reading a tweet from her in her own account yesterday. She posted a comment and the way that comment was written it may hint she is leaving the show I mean it could not be true but the message of that tweet explained other message. She said and I quote her own words: "It is time to MOVE ON (in capital letters she wrote it) from all the negativity , so going forward I`ll no longer discuss anything 5-0 related whatsoever. Onward and upward!” I do know that many viewers do not like her character now so perhaps she cannot tolerate all the negativity anymore. but I guess when the bullying is more than you can handle it becomes untolerable so you decide to quit and not face things, maybe she took things personal and seriously and she cant ignore the negativity from fans of the show and cannot move on in the show. But I guess when you are a celeb you have to learn to take good and bad things from viewers, fans etc and face it with dignity and maturity, maybe I said maybe Michelle cannot accept bad reviews.


I thought this was an excellent episode. The story of the evil teenage girl had some surprising twists and I loved the scene at the end where she is interrogated and her sweet demeanor does a 180 once she realizes she has been found out. Grace Park was great in that scene. I agree with the criticism of Melanie Griffith - she does not look good or in any way natural and I hope we have seen the last of her. Funny how Scott Caan's real life father, James Caan, was on the show in a previous season but he did NOT play Danny's father. Seems silly that they have now had to cast another actor to play his father when his own Dad would have made more sense. Very happy to hear that Jorge Garcia is now a regular. Great move although I'm not sure we need to re-visit the mystery tool box and its new clue. Thought we were done with it after Steve's Mom turned up. Like others, I am also confused about Catherine and Steve's relationship. When did she move out and why? Why is Michelle Borth appearing so infrequently now even though she is in the opening credits? Anyway, Five-O is still a great show and I am looking forward to s strong finish to this season.


This was a good episode - although not an "out of the ballpark" one for me. I actually enjoyed the crime of the week. I was gullible enough to believe the girl was the victim up until Kono and Cath figured it out. The actual victim ended up being the real sympathetic character. Jerry is a good addition. I think it makes perfect sense to have a conspiracy theorist look into the Champ Box mystery. I'm very glad to return to this story line - it is the one concrete underlying plot that will undoubtedly run through the entire series. Don't worry about Jerry taking up too much screen time. Max Bergman is a regular character and he hasn't had a lot of screen time this second half of the season. I'm glad to have had more of Danny's story, but honestly, Mom Williams has overstayed her welcome. If she comes back, once per season should be plenty. Lots of great Kono time this episode. She's still one tough cookie. I am as confused with the Steve/Cath relationship as everyone else! Let's see what happens in Afghanistan in a couple weeks! Three different stories in 44 minutes is a little hard to stomach, though. A little too flighty. But as usual, small problems that didn't take away from my overall enjoyment.


I agree with the others, I cannot concentrate on the Danno's Mom storyline because I am so distracted by MGs face!!
Although I am a HUGE Tom Berringer fan, agree with others this arc was not needed! It does seem like the writers are trying to keep Danny & Steve separated! Why?
And what is up with Catherine - she's in two (short) scenes and then we have scenes at Steve's house and she is nowhere to be seen?

@ Leesa

I think the writers are slowly weening the fans from Danno. I believe he's on his way out the door. His character is way too annoying to be believable. Any other partner would've shot him a long time ago. He also doesn't hide the fact that he hates it there and longs for the L A life. No worries though, the show will do just fine without him. As for Melanie Griffith, well there are no words...

@ Michael Rose

I have to respectfully disagree with you, Michael, with regard to you opinion that H50 would survive just fine without the Danny Williams character. That dynamic was what made this show a success in Season 1. The dynamic has definitely changed over the 4 seasons, but who would have McGarrett's back, no questions asked, if not Danny? Would you want Jerry (who I can take in small bits) to be Steve's partner? Danno isn't going anywhere. If he does, a large segment of viewers could possibly lose interest in the show. Neither is Scott. To the best of the fans' knowledge, no one working for Scott Caan or CBS has ever confirmed that Mr. Caan is leaving the show. Hawaii 5-0 is his job. Hawaii is not his home. He goes home whenever he can - who wouldn't? He has not missed any H5-0 filming because of the filming of the Entourage movie. Scott will join that filming when the H5-0 season filming ends on March 22nd. Lots of rumors have been flung far and wide this season. Until something is verified by the network, that's all they are.

@ jlopie1

I agree with jlopie1 - for me the enjoyment of the dynamic of the friendship between Steve and Danny is my reason for watching. I enjoy both characters. Neither Cath, Grover, or Jerry are going to be enough to keep my attention if they lose Danny.


This was a pretty good ep. But overall, this season has felt really unfocused to me. There’s always so much going on. Last week, we learned that Steve was having issues dealing with the loss of Freddy, but then nothing about it this week - is that story arc over, or just on hold? Now we have another new story for Steve with the Champ Box/Shelburne story coming back (and really, haven’t we been there, done that??). And what happened to Steve & Catherine? At the beginning the season they were living together and the Billy story arc seemed to be used to establish them as a serious couple. But now Steve is obviously living alone and their communication is strictly business. And it seems like Danny has been splintered off into separate story lines for much of the season. I enjoy the new characters, like Lou and Jerry, but it feels like things are all over the place with stories and characters.


I was a little surprised to find out that Kelly was actually behind it all, and is a sociopath. I felt so bad that Tommy had to die. Why did those cops keep firing when Steve kept shouting for them to hold their fire.
The toolbox storyline was fascinating, and I cannot wait to find out more about all that.
It was very sweet of Danny to arrange for that romantic reunion between his parents. He and Grace were so cute watching from the kitchen.
I have enjoyed what Jorge Garcia has brought to the show so far, and I am happy that he will be a regular next season. Yay on CBS giving it an early renewal!


The crime story was a good one. It kept me guessing for most of the show. I Jorge becoming a regular, he is the genius conspiracy guy. I loved that they just did not drop the champ box. So another clue, I hope they don't take too long to let us know who or what is in that grave. Of course McG has to go find out what it is, you can't expect him to drop it.
Loved Danny getting his parents back together. Loved Teilor being a waitress who isn't allowed to open a bottle of wine, she is growing up fast. So Glad Season 5 has been confirmed.


This was a good episode. When we found out that Kelly and Tommy were in a relationship I thought that they might of planned the whole thing and then when we thought Kelly's father was beating her I started to think Tommy was just trying to save her but I was surprised to find out that Kelly was a sociopath and this was all just a big scheme to get her father life insurance. It always bothers me in shows when they say don't shoot and say it more than once but someone still shoots and they end up killing the person that doesn't deserve to die it especially bugged me this episode because they told everyone not to shoot before Tommy even got out of the car. Danny's plan to get his parents back together was sweet and I'm glad it worked out. Finding out that the champ box had coordinates to a unmarked grave in Cambodia made me curious as to who's buried there and I can't wait to find out and whoever it is it must be huge because that guy wouldn't tell Steve and not because he was worried about losing his job.


Total Fail for me. Some fun moments but who are these people? McGarrett and Catherine were living together, he waited up for her to come home from working with Billy, suddenly he lives alone and something has happened. No reference to it whatsoever. And I see no reason for Danno's parents to have been on The epi. They took up screen time to work out a relationship problem I didn't know they had and didn't care about, as they are strangers to me and their plot had nothing to do with anything on the show. I am less concerned about poor Melanie's face problems than that her character had no reason for being, when characters who are a part of the team have suddenly been rewritten with no warning and no explanation. Did all the writers get fired and totally new ones suddenly rush in to slap together this bizarre fail? Even Alex's steadfast McGarrett could not save this head scratcher. If they ruin this show I will be so disappointed.

Mrs cleaver
@ AnotherGrace

Steve/Cath's relationship has NEVER made sense to me. They've been together for YEARS. He/Cath are dating in a flashback episode w/Steve's pal getting killed before his daughter who now looks like she's four or five was born. But neither ever says they love the other. After that time, you'd think either you love the other person or you are outta there. She's at the house sometimes, other times she's not. It's too bad cause I like them together. That said, Danno's relationship w/the Gabby never went anywhere either. I'm not sure the writers know what they want to do with these guys romantically.


Handcuffing a 16 year old minor in the blue-lit room and questioning her without a guardian or lawyer present? A first-year law student could get this case tossed.

Mrs cleaver
@ Walter

The writers of this show would get life if the "reality police" ever saw this show...gotta let it go Walter :0)

@ Walter

It's a good thing that this is just a TV show.

Tags: ,