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?