We don't know a lot about these characters, but they are slowly coming into their own.
NCIS: Hawai'i Season 1 Episode 3 featured the best case to date, more character development for the series regulars, and a decent amount of action.
What more could we want from a show set in the NCIS universe?
One thing I want to get out of the way is that I have to commend NCIS: Hawai'i for the lighter tone.
Despite some of these cases being gnarly, they're dealt with in a lighthearted manner that is more reminiscent of Magnum P.I. than the other NCIS shows.
If you watch NCIS: Hawai'i online, you know the first two cases were not the best, but the series is finding its footing very quickly.
Jesse has not been fond of Kai since the beginning, so having these two men with a different view of the world and the case at hand allowed the case to be more nuanced than the ones that came before.
Jesse has come across as very one-dimensional, but witnessing him understand Kai's decisions to join the gang and take them down from the inside allowed me to view him in a different light.
When working on these cases, you need to trust the people you work with, and now that Kai and Jesse have formed a bond, hopefully, they will be able to perform better in the future.
Kai's plan was risky. You don't just make a case for yourself to join one of these gangs and expect to live to tell the tale.
Manipulating Lee into thinking Kai wanted to preserve the gang's ways was an excellent way to connect with him on an emotional level.
Lee was not the sharpest person, so it was easy to believe that he and his goons believed the tall tale Kai had so perfectly orchestrated.
I did expect the stakes to be higher in the end, and the shootout as the agents closed in on their lair was perfectly executed.
Lucy using her abilities to climb into the building to get Lee from behind was a good call in theory, but did anyone else roll their eyes when Jesse and Kai talked about her plan as the bullets were being shot around them?
That was a minor aspect of a very good episode, but it took the immersion away a little bit because Lee could and should have heard them and acted accordingly.
Kai continues to be my favorite character because he's the most well-written. Beneath his tough exterior, there's a warmth in him that makes him strive to do what's right, even if he puts his own life on the line.
Offering to go on the mission alone was a selfless act, but Jane is smart enough to know how quickly these cases can turn on their heads and how her people could be killed even quicker.
The last-minute revelation that Andrea was the killer took me by surprise, mainly because her demeanor the whole episode was building towards her doing something to help her son.
The heel turn when Andrea slipped up, and Jane realized what was going on was chilling. It turned from a friendly tea to a full-blown battle, and the only good thing to come of it is that Andrea is behind bars.
Brad being free to pursue a career in the NCIS is surprising after everything that happened, but the final scene with Kai and Jesse talking was telling. Jesse is slowly coming around to a different way of thinking after thinking he was right for so long.
Jane's trouble with her son was predictable. There was something amiss with him the moment he was acting all distracted.
His plan to lie to both his mother and father was decent, but he clearly didn't bank on his father calling his mother to blame her for the whole scenario.
Now that we know Jane and her ex-husband went to therapy, we're getting a clearer picture of how fractured their relationship truly was ahead of what was probably an unamicable divorce.
This appears to be the tip of the iceberg in relation to her fraught relationship with her ex, and finding out what made their relationship fall apart could be an interesting enough plot.
The series has now proven that it has a reason to exist, and it's hard not to be invested. If the character development continues to be this good and the cases continue to excite, this show could be a big hit for CBS.
It's nice that it is forging its own path and not relying on its predecessors to tell the tale. Many spinoffs struggle with that right off the bat, but NCIS: Hawai'i is keeping me as a viewer for now.
What are your thoughts on the nature of the cases? Do you think this was the strongest?
Do you think scaling back the characters in the story worked for this episode?
What are your thoughts on Jane as a leader? Do you want to delve deeper into what went wrong with her husband?
Hit the comments.
NCIS: Hawai'i continues Mondays at 10 p.m. on CBS.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.