The Hawaii Five-0 Season 4 finale was an elaborate shell-game. It was a slight of hand trick that any amateur magician could do. What was tricky was figuring out: who was the magician?
Who was in control of the shell-game with the $100 million dollars?
Hawaii Five-0 Season 4 Episode 22 opened with the grand escape of Wo Fat from a Colorado maximum security prison. In impressive style, Wo Fat had collected a large stash of medications that he used combined with paint thinner and fertilizer from the prison yard to build a bomb and blow a hole in the prison wall and escape.
Yet surprisingly, this episode was not about him... at least not initially.
What happened next was Lou Grover's daughter Samantha was taken hostage by Ian Wright, a terrorist/hacker with a prior history with McGarrett and Lou. With a slick plan to steal $100 million from the U.S. government, Ian had the perfect plan.
He knew the government was moving the "ghost money" (money seized from illegal narcotics activities and reallocated for government use off-books), and he needed Lou's access to SWAT vehicles, jackets and weaponry for the thugs Ian had recruited for the heist.
What Ian had failed to consider was that he was not the only crook looking to steal the money.
Government agent Novak had decided it was time for his early retirement and the "ghost money" was his ticket out of government service and into a high life of luxury.
So Ian's elaborate plan to use Lou, the SWAT resources and the airport delivery came to an abrupt screeching halt, and it became necessary to reassess what was really going on. Where the money was, who had taken it, and where?
Luckily, Ian is a computer hacker and made short work of tracking Novak down to a local thug hang-out. What was crazy was how they all dealt with that information.
Ian for some crazy reason decided he had to make a personal appearance at Five-0 headquarters and make some crazy Beatle's analogy. Frankly, a Wizard of Oz kind of analogy with the man-behind-the-curtain may have felt more relevant than the Beatles. But it was his analogy and perhaps Ian doesn't know literature as well as he knows the history of the Beatles.
After a bit of chest-thumping and bad analogies, Ian calmly walked out of the precinct and Five-0 all high tailed to where Novak and the money was.
While I applaud Lou's use of diversionary tactics, was a fake suicide vest necessary when the Five-0 team was right behind him all along? Not sure about that.
Just like Ian at the precinct, the standoff with Lou and Novak felt unnecessary given the situation. Grand standing of the worst kind.
But their goal was ultimately accomplished: Five-0 got the $100 million and went to meet Ian to get Samantha back. This is where the twist came in. Ian was a no-show.
Instead Lou got a call saying his daughter was safe at the precinct and Ian was dead. Once everyone was back at Five-0 headquarters, Samantha revealed that Ian had been shot by Wo Fat and he had freed her with a message for Steve that they needed to talk.
All in all, a fantastic result, but very anti-climatic; though I was personally delighted to see Ian take two bullets in the chest. Didn't shed one tear for that sociopath. His time was up and he went out in spectacular fashion.
Makes me wonder if we should be rooting for Wo Fat? Is there a critical piece of the puzzle we are missing? How did Wo Fat know about Ian and where to find him and how did he arrive at just the right time?
Alas, the answers for these questions are being held for next season. Instead, Lou had to answer for his part in the near robbery from the U.S. government and it meant he was forced to take early retirement. Lucky for him, the Five-0 team were happy to invite him to join them and they warmly welcomed him as their newest member.
Yet this did not feel like a moment to be celebrating. Catherine is still over in Afghanistan searching for Amir's son. Thank goodness for modern technology as she can keep Steve updated on her progress via text messages.
Then the fact that Wo Fat is still at loose and deadly to those he encounters, that's a real problem they should be looking into ASAP.
Chi McBride was stellar as the distraught father willing to do anything to get his daughter back and we felt every second of his intense agony as he was controlled by a relentless puppet-master to get the $100 million dollars. But it felt off-note as soon as Samantha delivered the message from Wo Fat.
There was that feeling of: that's it? This is where they are ending this? Nothing has been resolved at all.
So this episode felt like a cliffhanger, even though it probably was not intended to be one. But welcoming Lou into the Five-0 unit seemed like a beginning and not the end. Guess we will have to see where the story goes in Season 5. Wo Fat, take heed, Five-0 is coming for you.
Is it possible Wo Fat orchestrated the theft of the $100 million along with Ian?