A simple, self-contained episode never hurts.
No over-arching storylines, no head-scratching clues which are part of a year-long puzzle.
Instead, everyone just pitched in to solve the mysterious death of a race pilot on Hawaii Five-0 Season 8 Episode 8.
The interesting twist was that the pilot's life was just as much a mystery as his death.
There were actually two major sections of this episode: the case of the week and McGarrett's return to the skies.
At least he didn't crash this time, despite all the buildup.
Naturally, Five-0 got involved with something outside its jurisdiction, which almost never happens. At least they didn't leave the country this time.
That's because one of McGarrett's many old military buddies was now the mechanic for an air-race team,
His team's pilot had died under mysterious circumstances, and he wanted Steve to look into it.
Since there were a widow and young son involved, of course, McGarrett took the case, even though he had the most tenuous right to do so. His island, his rules, right?
Meeting the officious fed who was phoning in his investigation only strengthened McGarrett's resolve TO GET TO THE TRUTH! (Steve is a capital kind of guy.)
I did love Danny's explanation of how radiation had affected McGarrett. Instead of turning a normal person into a superhero, it had turned a superhero (Steve) into a normal person. He isn't leading with his fists in frustrating situations as often.
No, that's why we have Tani. But I digress.
The NTSB agent was acting suspiciously from the word go, refusing to cooperate in any way with the local police who had taken an interest in his current case. Also, he was so sure of his conclusions far too quickly.
It wasn't that surprising when Five-0 figured out the agent was on the race team's payroll, making sure that the pilot, not the team, would be found liable. Good for McGarrett sending all that incriminating evidence to the agent's boss, so he'd be busted. It also invalidated his findings.
But all that had nothing to do with why Jason the pilot was killed.
Let's see if I have this right: He was a confidential informant for the DEA spying on a drug cartel. He wanted out, so he skipped Mexico, along with the drug lord's daughter, then took on the identity, and somehow the face, of a con man.
Then Luke/Jason became a race pilot. Way to fly under the radar!
So eventually, because of a Youtube video of a race, he was found by the cartel. The drug lord wanted his daughter and grandson back, but Jason, not so much. A little sabotage and into the drink he went.
It made for an intriguing, if improbable, case of the week. And it was a hoot to see all the Five-0 family on hand to serve as McGarrett's ground crew.
The Top Gun references were flying fast and furious, even if Steve wasn't. At least the writers didn't strain credulity far enough to have the forty-something pilot beat the young hotshots. Twelfth out of 12 sounds about right for his finish.
Although many viewers are missing Chin and Kono, Tani and Junior are serving a purpose.
New blood can be a good thing. After seven-plus seasons, we've met all of McGarrett's and Danny's relatives. With Tani and Junior, there are new backstories to explore.
So there's tension between Junior and his dad, and his mother's not in the picture. Or was she just missing that day he was speaking of?
Then there's Tani's younger brother Koa, who she has to keep out of trouble. I'm not sure how having him steal an airplane part from a federal investigation fits into that goal, but it made for a couple of funny scenes, never a bad thing.
I agree with McGarrett that Tani is fitting in. She's already treating Jerry like her odd but endearing older brother. Even though she's just a rookie and a police academy expelee (it should be a word), she's as adept as her veteran coworkers when it comes to cutting corners, legally speaking.
I'm still curious to see how long before McGarrett gives Junior a special dispensation and puts him on Five-0. It's impossible to justify making Junior go to the academy when Tani hasn't completed it. McGarrett never did either, for that matter.
Maybe there will be a time jump after the holiday hiatus, and Junior will be ready to graduate.
SPOILER ALERT: Next up, if having suffered radiation exposure wasn't enough, McGarrett, along with Danny, Tani, and Junior, get exposed to a bio-weapon. (It must be "Take Your Roommate to Work Day" or a really bad time for some job shadowing.) That leaves Grover and the behind-the-scenes players having to save them.
To follow the new team developing, watch Hawaii Five-0 online.
Should Steve stay out of aircraft? Why no Eddie? How many scenes did it take before you booed the NTSB agent? Comment below.
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.