Hawaii Five-0 Review: Trouble with Change

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After a couple weeks off, Hawaii Five-0 Season 4 Episode 15 returned with a special visit from Danny's mom, portrayed by special guest Melanie Griffith.  

The veteran actress was a welcome addition this week, as her and Scott Caan made the mother-son relationship seem so believable and touching. 

It should be recognized that Danny's strength is always going to be his family and it was nice to see that his innate sense of love for his daughter was influenced by the strong love of his own mother; and no matter what difficult situation they all may be going through, that familial love carries them gracefully through it. 

Danny may have felt shocked and unable to initially accept that his own parents would be getting divorced, but he was open-minded enough to consider his mother's well-reasoned explanation as to why it was time to call their marriage quits.  

Clara had devoted her life to a man that made promises that he just would not honor.  She had waited patiently for Danny's father to retire, so they could rediscover their passion and love for each other and to explore life together -- but Danny's father was not interested in that, and the love they had once upon a time had drifted away over time.

Thus, it was time for Clara to claim her life and live it as she wanted; and not to pine of a life she would never have. And it was good that Danny understood that.  People change and their families have accept it when a relationship ends. 

It also good to see that Danny's mom came to Danny as a touchstone at a time when she needed the support and strength to end her marriage.  

She wanted to be with her son and grand-daughter. Clara had not come to grieve over the end of her marriage, but to celebrate her new life with them. She wanted Danny and Grace to be a part of her third chapter and to relish in it along with her.

As lovely as it was seeing Danny, Grace and Clara all together and adjusting to this new change in their lives, it felt odd that Danny was not more involved in this week's murder mystery case. But perhaps that was just not explained well that Danny was taking some personal time to be with his mom; particularly as he only came into the office to talk with Steve about his parents' divorce when he needed space to clear his head.  

Steve, fortunately, rose to the occasion and did his best to commiserate with Danny.  Though Danny kind of poked the bear by bringing up Steve's own family issues.  As a viewer, it was kind of funny, but to be in that situation, it looked rather awkward. Yet, that is perhaps more reflective of real life. Real life is awkward and messy and entangled.

Speaking of which, the murder mystery of the week was a bit messy too. It was a jealous husband who killed his wife and her lover in a fit of pique before the wife and lover could run off together.

The irate husband thought it poetic justice that he granted his wife's one dying wish: to be reunited with her lover for all eternity -- which he granted with the pull of a trigger and then buried her in wall. It was a messy way to deal with the fact that the husband felt jilted and an angry.  

Not to mention the fact that he bought a gun off the black-market from the place that was supposed to destroy guns for the police department -- a trail that led right back to him.

The cool thing that came about from the busted illegal gun sales was we got to see Chin Ho and Kono play bad-ass cops as they calmly busted in, shooting the gun buyers and taking down the dubious gun seller.  

Hawaii Five-0 is a cop show, after all, and seeing them efficiently take down the criminals felt great. Chin Ho and Kono make a great, no-nonsense team. Plus, the underlying sense that they want to laugh all the time is fun too.

Then the other messy story involved in this episode involved the nosy reporter (portrayed by Ethan Embry) who was looking for a juicy tale of a hostage negotiator who made the wrong call and got a two-year old boy killed.  The reporter just wanted a smear story to sell and was not really interested in the fact that there might have been extenuating circumstances.  

All that was aggravating to no end, but it did set up nicely the scenes with Steve and Lou. 

One of the more surprising aspects of the show has been the seamless integration of Lou Grover into the Hawaii Five-0 world. He also has a good rapport with Steve, as they both seem like tortured souls that really get each other.  

That they have gone through hell and lived to fight another day; and while their personal demons may still haunt them, they fight against drowning amongst those shadows every day. The Lou and Steve scenes are turning out to be my favorite scenes as such a strong bond is starting to develop between them. In addition, their light-hearted repartee is fun to watch. It feels laced with genuine affection.  

It should be noted that one theme that seems prevalent on Hawaii Five-0 Season 4 seems to be that characters are caught up in events from their pasts.  

As easy is it is to make cases relatable to our heroes by tying them into the stories through their pasts, it is also nice when our heroes focus on moving forward and living in the present.  There is a saying that no man can move forward while looking backward all the time.  

Hawaii Five-0 would benefit from looking forward more and not looking back so much. It would feel more hope-filled and less tortured that way. Let's unshackle them and see how amazing they are when not tied down by their pasts.  

(Shout-out to the fine behind-the-scenes production work on this episode. Full disclosure: I was invited to the production offices of Hawaii Five-0 for this episode and got to see how their technical wizardry comes together to make the show look and sound as good as it does.)

So... should Steve have made the deal with the devil, the news reporter, to save Lou from a malicious news story, particularly as it may come back to bite him?


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (56 Votes)

Please remove Melanie Griffith off of this show. She looks totally plastic. Her mouth is horrific...with all of the obvious fillers. She definitely can't act and there is a plethora of actresses that would look "human" and normal and do a much better job. If they don't take her off the show, I'll probably stop watching it. She really brings the show down several notches.


Good to see Kono and Chin working a case together, unfortunately the case seemed like an Amazon add on. Finally a Max sighting, that was good. Please have Kono and Catherine work a case together, that would be totally awesome. In the end just an ok ep for me, feel like they tried to stuff to much in one ep.


Entertaining yes...but...felt like the writers were just Xeroxing characters: Wo Fat and Steve were already doing the murdered father riff then Chin Ho ended up with a murdered dad. Seasons 1-2 were fully of Danny divorce angst and baby Charlie who may or may not be his biological son, Steve's parents' marriage seems to have been happy until Doris had to bug out in 1992, but the family issues are legion. Now we have yet another divorce going on. And to be honest most divorces are six of one half a dozen of the other - Mr Williams wouldn't honor his promises? What about Mrs Williams - why is it always the man (and I'm female) who has to give in and give up his dreams. No wonder he resented Clara and in real life no divorce ever is a positive, nor should it be - there are massively more things wrong with you if divorce doesn't make you stressed, miserable and unhappy. Likewise the murder case - he killed his wife and her lover in pique...um no, this was a man who loved someone that promised in public to always have his back and then betrayed him in a cruel and callous manner. He had every right to be enraged and he wasn't jilted - he was betrayed. Rachel did the same to Danny, remember? All in all an unsatisfying episode - good to see Kono, but why at the expense of Cath? Why this idea that women cannot bond and befriend but always have to be rivals. I would imagine that Cath and Kono would be very supportive of each other given their mutual experience of high maintenance, high stress men that they probably can't decide whether to hug until their ribs creak or throttle till they're purple. Likewise nice humor, but seems to be to be a filler episode, coasting. It would have been much more original for Mr Williams to be the arrival in Hawaii, sadly telling Danny of his marriage breakdown to a woman who wouldn't honor her promises. There needs to be more originality with character issues - 3 murdered fathers, 2 divorces, and 1 cliched "tortured cop" - Lou Grover would far more likely bond with Danny (both come from climates with proper weather) than with Steve, because the reason Steve doesn't get on with Doris should be why he doesn't get on with Grover - they are too much alike, not too different. Steve is Doris's "child" whereas Mary is clearly John McGarrett's, in the sense of personality, so Mary would have been closer to her mom than her dad, and Steve closer to his dad than Doris. A bit more thought into plot "twists" needs to be made.


I like this episode. The crime could have been better, and yes 2 bodies would tend to smell, but this is TV not real life. Every show does this, its Hollywood telling stories, not reality. I loved Melanie as Danny's mom. I always love the reaction of Danno with Grace and now with his mom. I thought that the cargument between them was great. It was very funny. Of course Steve would have been uncomfortable. Who has not been in a situation like that. Isn't that reality? Great seeing Max, I'm sure we will see Catherine back soon. I miss her too.


Enjoyable epi but a bit too much Grandma/Monkey time for me. I'd rather they focus on the regular cast. I missed Katherine and hope she's back soon. Steve's reactions to Danny's overreactions made this epi for me. Alex seldom gets comic moments but they gave him material this week and he ran with it. I'd happily watch more of that.


Not a bad epsiode. I'm just happy that Kono is back and hopefully she will stick around on a regular basis. Big Grace Park fan and it was tough being without her for so long!


Pretty entertaining episode. Some great McDanno scenes - always my favorite part – and the scene between Danny and Grace was really sweet. But Melanie Griffith as Danny’s mom? I didn’t buy it. There’s certainly nothing Jersey about her! Sorry, I just find her really annoying and not a fit here. As far as the review, I totally agree that it’s time for the characters to move forward instead of look back. When Lou told Steve he needed to confront secrets from his past, I thought “oh good grief, haven't we already spent the last 3 seasons confronting Steve's past"?? It’s time to let them move forward.


Where was Catherine,I thought she was apart of the show? She is noticeably missing from several episodes,I hope they will not kill her off the show.

@ cheryl

She is contracted for 17 episodes this season. She will be totally missing from 5 eps. Michelle Borth mentioned this herself on the Amy and Friends radio show a couple of weeks ago.


Poor Steve felt so uncomfortable between Danny and his mother. That report was so annoying glad Lou told Steve what hapen then steve told that reporter whats up. And Grace telling Danny she heard him cry after they told her about the divorce with her mom.


Week plot again. Two bodies in a wall in the heat of Hawaii for 6 months and no smell? Why would a reporter chase down an old story about a hostage situation? Why would anyone care? Why would Melanie Griffith agree to play the mother of an actor who is only 18 years younger than she is? Do Americans really commit double murder because of infidelity? Maybe divorce would be easier. Duh!

@ ellen

Melanie already played Scotts mom last summer in a play he wrote and performed, so my guess is that's the reason she agreed to play Danny's mom. And since she would have been 19 when he was born, completely believable. She is only 5 years younger, then Scott's real mom.

@ ellen

I would tend to agree with you. The crime story felt like just an after-thought in this episode. And the reporter story was random, although, I think the purpose was to set up future story lines based on the convo between Lou and Steve. They tried to cram a lot into this one ep.

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