Geck-O-Meter: 9 Geckos of out 10
Wow, this was such a powerful episode. So much depth of feeling! Alex deserves bunches of awards for his incredible acting.
Not much room for silliness, so this might be a slightly different recap. Who knows, though, where my mind will go once I get started. (If you are new to reading my blogging, I’m normally lighthearted.)
We start with Steve looking handsome and a little scary, on the border between North and South Korea. He’s wearing his uniform and a thigh holster. Check…I’m happy. He and Catherine are there to make a prisoner trade: two live prisoners for one body. Either Steve has some major influence with the government or this is someone very important.
Flashback to baby!SEAL Steve at Coronado. This buddy he’s with, Freddie, must be the body he was retrieving in the opener. And Joe White is the instructor.
Shhh…baby!SEAL Steve is supposed to be asleep. Or should we call him McGarrett since he’s all military right now?
Freddie wants to quit SEAL training, but Steve won’t let him. I loved McGarrett’s explanation about why Freddie started to ring the bell (to indicate that he wants out). “Ensign Hart was just polishing the bell because he’s so motivated, Chief.” Ha! Freddie didn’t think it was clever, though.
Alex is in pretty good shape, as shown by some of the moves he made during these scenes. Not that I had any questions about that, but he did seem agile and strong. Don’t worry, I double-checked and examined this pictures closely. 😉
This experience gives Steve a chance to explain that Freddie’s father is extremely proud that his son is a SEAL, and that spurs Freddie on to become one of the best. This was really touching to me, to see these guys share something meaningful like this. Not really feelings, exactly, but something. Interesting how Freddie didn’t truly understand what his father thought of him. Does this parallel Steve and his father at all?
Back in the present day, Steve wants to spend a few moments alone with his friend. This gives Catherine a chance to call home so we get to see a few precious seconds of Danny. (Well, they were precious to me, because Danny is precious to me.) He asks, “How’s my boy?”
Then Steve discovers that this is not Freddie. After all they’ve apparently gone through? And how does he know?
Another flashback gives us the answer, this time to Iraq and the moment when Steve decided to take Freddie on that fateful mission. But first, we must take an irreverent break and admire how amahhhhhzing Steve looks in those glasses, all hot and dirty and…..where was I?
Some really important people in a tent have intel on Victor and Anton Hesse (What??!! Not THE Hesse brothers?).They want Steve to go after the Hesses. Steve can choose one team member to go, too. “I know just the man, sir.”
Freddie got a new tattoo just before they went on this mission. He got married over the weekend, too, because he and his now-wife are going to have a baby! (This did leave me wondering just where his girlfriend lived, that he could marry her that fast. He was in either Iraq or Korea. Maybe she was in the Navy, too?)
I adored the camaraderie between Steve and Freddie. It was enjoyable and yet quite different from Steve and Danny. That whole “you spelled her name wrong” joke! And I think Alex did a wonderful job of portraying a younger Steve—still the man we’ve come to know and love, with a demeanor and style that fit who he was then.
Back in the present, Steve decides that they don’t have time to wait for the State Department to straighten this problem out, so he’s going to North Korea to get Freddie’s body himself. Cath insists on going with him, but all she has is “a pack of gum, some Dramamine, and a ready smile.” (I love that a Naval officer gets motion sickness! Cute little joke!)
Steve has to call Joe to find out how to get in touch with Jimmy Buffet. Um, Joe? Last time we saw him he plopped Steve in Japan with Shelbourne. I guess they’ve been in touch since then? Joe is in Montana, but I’m not sure why that matters. (Kind of a weird detail to throw in.) Perhaps he’s ridin’ the trail with the Pony Express? There were no Chevrolets in this episode, so maybe Wells-Fargo was a sponsor this time? Or he’s gonna deliver Danny to me here in Colorado? (Hey, it could happen.)
Before Steve and Cath visit Jimmy (I know his character has a name, but to me he will always be Jimmy Buffet), we get a quick phone call to The Team. Yay! I am happy to see them.
Jimmy can’t fly them into North Korea because his helicopter has perished. She ran into honey buzzards. Poor Tangerine the Helicopter. So he drives them to a trail and they have to hike through a minefield instead. Who says McGarrett is not a fun date? Anyone can take a girl to play miniature golf, but Steve–? He finds a minefield.
Steve and Cath commandeer a car driven by a soldier that Steve remembers from 3 years ago.
The soldier crashes the car and injures everyone, but they recapture him and have him dig up the body.
This may be one of the most powerful scenes of the entire series. Steve cries for a moment over his friend, because it’s obvious that someone mutilated this body after death. Now McGarrett’s going after Ji-woon, the man responsible.
But first they set a grenade under their prisoner, to keep him from moving.
They’re captured by Ji-woon’s men. I kind of half expected them to jump backwards off the bridge here, but they didn’t. It would have been an awesome picture, though! And then they could have been scooped out of the sky by a black helicopter or The Claw!!
Some more intense and emotional moments as McGarrett confronts Ji-woon.
Here’s a random pic that I thought a few of you would enjoy.
Just as the North Koreans are about to shoot Steve and Catherine, the grenade under their prisoner explodes, distracting the guards long enough for S&C to take charge.
This affords Steve the chance to shoot Ji-woon, which he does with a great deal of passion.
As they leave, Steve remembers the last time he left, when Freddie died. It was a blood bath as they broke into the North Korean camp and grabbed Anton Hesse.
“Steven. I need you to do something for me.” He wants Steve to tell his daughter that her daddy loved her.
On the return flight, Catherine reminds Steve that he completed the mission, which prompts him to reveal that this was the mission that also ended with his father’s death and his move back to Hawaii. The final flashback is actually the first few moments of the pilot episode.
The unloading of the plane and funeral scene had me in tears. It’s wonderful, though, that Freddie’s family was able to get some closure after 3 years. Yes, they knew what had happened, but this would mean so much more, I think. And it’s heartening to see the respect that was given to all involved.
Steve’s feelings as he watched and as he presented the dog tags to Freddie’s daughter were so amazing. The depth of his love and his loss was so apparent.
It was comforting to see that his Five-0 team members were there to support him, too.