A special, fan-built hour, Hawaii Five-0 Season 4 Episode 18 featured a crime buried in time.
High school time capsules are meant to capture the memories of yester-year, reminding of everything good and fun from that time period.
Yet, for some, it only brings up secrets from the past that are better left buried.
In this case, a young woman was haunted by the death of a high school lover, killed during an angry encounter with her ex-boyfriend, whose body they had buried and tried to forget about as the years past.
But it only proved quite tragically that fear and festering jealousy can strike at any time and lives are ruined when it does.
The episode started strongly with Jerry and Chin Ho arriving in high style and walking the red carpet into their 25 year high school reunion. Both looked dapper all dressed up and wearing their cool shades in the glistening Hawaii sunlight.
Unfortunately, as soon as Jerry and Chin Ho were inside and had slapped on their high school name badges, everything did not go as smoothly as both dodged awkward social conversations from classmates they would rather have left in their own respective pasts.
Then while the reunion time capsule opening was supposed to be the highlight of the night, that was cut short when a woman's frantic pleas for help were heard and Chin Ho and Jerry quickly rushed to her aid.
But in her haste to escape, the woman kicked off her high heeled shoes, ran up the stairs, and moments later was thrown down landing onto her deadly spiked shoes.
What should have been a night of revelry and remembrance turned into a night of murder. So instead of a blast from the past, fate had claimed a life and everyone was left wondering why. Jerry was more affected by this loss as the victim was someone who had been kind to him and he could not understand who would harm such a warm person.
For Chin Ho, his police training kicked it and he was quick to shift gears and get down to business investigating the murder. All thoughts of rekindling romances or reconnecting with long lost classmates were gone the second that the body fell.
And soon, with the efficient aid of Kono, Catherine and Max, the investigation quickly revealed a $200,000 withdrawal made hours before the victim's death, money which was soon traced as paying off a hospital bill which led to a missing young man who had vanished 25 years before.
Tracking the movements of the murdered woman had shown she was trying to make amends for a secret long buried in her past; one that ultimately led back to a jealous ex-boyfriend and a protective brother who had helped cover up the death of the girl's secret lover 25 years before.
But with the ex-boyfriend fearing that digging up the past would unravel his current life, he murdered her to keep her quiet, which then led her brother to seek out his own retaliatory vengeance.
And, unfortunately, one ever gives up so easily when their own freedom is at stake. Knowing that his attempt to avenge his sister was going to put him behind bars, the victim's brother fled into the heart of the estate shrubbery maze.
As a special highlight, it was entertaining to watch Steve, Danny, Chin Ho and Kono search the maze with the aid of a friendly eye-in-the-sky. If anything, the maze chase just proved once again that with a little teamwork, they always gets their man.
It should be noted that a few cool magician tricks were pulled out for this episode. One of the reunion classmates was a magician turned illusionist, and his arrest offered a few fun moments of levity as his pockets were searched, trinkets and tools of the trade examined, and ultimately an ace of spades pulled out of Chin Ho's pocket (nice trick!). But all that was just a fun and distracting illusion 'til the ultimate culprits were uncovered.
While the reunion murders were solved and the magician's secrets uncovered, the one mystery left hanging in this episode was the empty grave in Cambodia. It was surprising but very cool to see that Danny had accompanied Steve to Cambodia, perhaps instinctively knowing that this was too important of a trip for Steve to make alone and he would need a friend nearby in case of trouble, or in case things did not go as expected. The empty grave was definitely not what they expected.
The one good thing that came out of the trip was that Steve had found a clue in the grave and had given it to Max to analyze -- and, fortunately, he had the good sense to not give Max the entire sample, as Max's sample immediately went missing at the lab. (Those CIA spooks move fast!)
In another stroke of good luck, Steve had persuaded his CIA contact to share what had been found in the Cambodian grave. Unfortunately, that luck soon vanished, as with one last masterful magician's stroke, the CIA made Steve's contact disappear before Steve could get the information he so desperately wanted.
One has to wonder if Steve will ever be satisfied by the answers once he gets them. Does he really want to know that his mother was responsible for the death of the person in the Cambodian grave? Or will he be relieved and stop searching once he finds out that she wasn't?
For some, digging up the past leads to forgiveness and absolution. It is a chance to live life free and happy, unfettered from shadows and guilt. Then for others, digging up the past only leads to scary truths that they would rather not have known or had to face.
It is a tricky dilemma and one that only can be answered in hindsight whether it was ultimately worth it or not.
We are hopeful that in Steve's case, that digging up the past leads to answers he does want to know and does not bring the pain we fear that will accompany it -- for truth does not always come without a price.
Should some secrets be left buried and in the past?
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