Gecko-O-Meter: 10 geckos!
I was enthralled with this episode. It was so well done—the visuals, the writing, the acting, the music, the tribute to veterans, even the remembrance of internment camps—all so perfectly done. Not a light-hearted episode, though, so this might be a more serious recap than usual. Okay, there were a few small quirks that I noticed, like the lightning-quick way they solved the case in less than a day. But Hawaii is such a magical place (much like Tahiti) that they can probably do that there.
The opening newsreel was a nice introduction.
Then we segue into real life, December 7, 1941, starting in the mess hall. I was a little confused at first because I thought the serviceman we were following was Steve’s grandfather, and I couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t on the USS Arizona. I eventually figured out that this was Ezra Clark, one of veterans who survived the attack.
We move from watching Ezra during the attack to watching him during the Pearl Harbor memorial program onboard the USS Missouri. I believe I read that these were real-life surviving veterans.
Steve and Catherine are also in attendance at the program, and I take a break from my solemnity to drool over Steve in his dress white uniform. He, however, is not drooling over me, he is noticing an older Japanese-American gentleman who is watching the ceremony from the shore.
As they are leaving, Steve sees that same older man pull out a gun. He’s going to shoot one of the veterans!
Steve makes an awesome running leap to stop him, while Cath saves Steve’s hat.
He was going to kill Ezra Clark because he believes this man killed his father.
Next stop, Five-0 HQ, where David Toriyama is being detained. Well, actually, it appears Steve and Cath stopped to change clothes first, which makes sense since neither of them was dressed for crime-solving. Especially that white uniform! Can you imagine how messy Steve would look after a day of chasing people? And generally just being Steve? Here, do you need another picture of him, just to remind you of how he looks in the uniform?
We learn that David’s family was imprisoned in Honouliuli Internment Camp during WWII, and Ezra Clark was a guard there. David’s father was murdered and their family katana was stolen. David’s wife and son are gone now, so he feels he can finally seek justice for his father.
David is a veteran of the Korean War. He was going to use his gun from those days, but Steve points out that it wouldn’t have fired and might have blown up.
At first Steve is angry that David is accusing a decorated soldier and asks why this crime wasn’t prosecuted. David tried to get the authorities to open an investigation, but no one ever would.
Steve often goes the extra mile for to help a veteran, and this situation is no exception. He decides to investigate.
David’s story is beautifully told but so sad. I have no personal connection to Pearl Harbor, but I learned about the internment camps when I was in elementary school. It stills seem so strange that that could happen in my country.
David, his brother Kenji, and their parents lived a respectable life in Hawaii before the attack. His father taught American history. How ironic is that? Interesting little touch from the writers.
He still remembers the day they were taken away like criminals to live in the camp.
Kenji made sure to take the family’s katana, which had been with them for generations.
Steve and Cath go to speak with Ezra. He doesn’t remember them and is pretty angry, threatening to call the cops. He says he doesn’t know anything about the murder of James Toriyama.
Back at the office, Chin Ho checks up on David and asks if he can shake his hand.
Chin: I think you went to Pearl Harbor today to make a point, not kill a man.
David: Make sure you tell your children what happened to us. They must never forget.
Steve and Cath drive David home. I was glad they took Steve’s truck and didn’t make the poor guy climb in the back of the Camaro. Steve puts David under “house arrest” until they solve this case (lucky for David they can do so in a few hours).
Steve: Soldier to soldier, I need your word that you’re telling me the truth.
David bring out his family photo album, the same one we saw his mother pack when they were taken from their home. He tells about Kenji, who enlisted and was killed in action in Italy. He was part of a mostly Japanese-American unit that Steve remembers was one of the most decorated units in history. I liked how David knew that Steve had gone to Annapolis; they must have been sharing veteran stories.
Along with the pictures of the katana and the family, Steve spots a picture of his grandfather, also Steven McGarrett, USN Ensign. David had mentioned earlier that Steve seemed familiar, but he doesn’t remember McGrandfather or why he is in the picture. Hmmmm, what’s going on here? Maybe the family name was originally McToriyama?
Suddenly, Steve and Danny are driving the Camaro. I don’t know what happened with Cath and the truck. Perhaps she went to pick up a load of pineapples.
Danny doesn’t quite understand why they are “running errands” for David. Because he’s a veteran and Steve feels a need to take that seriously, Danny!
Danny: You know what you’re becoming, right?
Steve: No, but you’re going to tell me, right?
Danny: A big softie.
Steve: I was right.
Danny: With a bleeding heart…maybe you’re becoming a human being, Steve.
Oh, Danny, the rest of us have known all along that Steve has a big heart when the situation is right! We think you know this, too, but you’re pretending you don’t.
Steve, Danny, and Chin are going to search some old Army records that are stored in a cave. Spelunking time!! Oops, Danny doesn’t want to go in, because of his claustrophobia. (What’s with this season 4 claustrophobia, anyway? Is there going to be some reason that he needs a claustrophobic backstory? Seems like such an odd thing to throw in, otherwise. Unless they are looking for a volunteer to cuddle with Danny to comfort him. If so, then I approve of the storyline.)
Steve: I’ll hold your hand. Come on.
He really does reach out his hand! I wanted very, very, very much for Danny to grab him!!!! That would be so cute! Gag reel, maybe?
Danny: Claustrophobia is not something to make fun of, Steve.
Steve: We’ll hold a telethon. Come on.
Quick like a bunny, they discover the exact paper they need, the incident report of James Toriyama’s death.
Charlie!!! Charlie and his computer are able to piece together all the little bits of the report. Did I forget to mention that rats had chewed it up? Ewwww. Of course, Charlie simply used the “Restore From Rat Kibble” function in Word.
Even though Steve and Danny had been driving together in the Camaro, they must not have left Charlie’s place together, because Steve went home and Danny called to find out where he was. Maybe Cath picked up Danny from Charlie’s because she needed help carrying the pineapples?
Steve is looking through his grandfather’s things, in hopes of finding some information about the connection to the Toriyama family. He has a wonderful nostalgic look on his face, doesn’t he? This family-generation theme is so moving. It must be amazing to have that feeling of belonging.
Steve and Chin take David to the old internment camp site, in hope of prodding his memory for more details. So poignant, as he remembers the time he spent there.
He was playing catch with his dad, when James saw someone in their tent and went to see what was going on. Then David heard a shot and ran to find his father, shot in the head, with Ezra Clark kneeling beside him. The katana was gone.
The team debates whether Ezra did it, or if he just responded to the shot faster than David did. He was stationed close to the tent and could easily have gotten there first. He could have been trying to save David’s father.
Charlie, using some industrial-sized fancy technology of some kind (or maybe a magic spell), finds out the name of the cop who investigated the death. Off go Steve and Danny to find this cop’s case files. More old paper in storage. No rats or caves this time. His daughter has them locked in the garage. Apparently, today is “Steve Rotates Partners Day.” When do I get my turn to go somewhere with him? Do I get to choose where we go?
They go to Kamekona’s to read the old case files, but they, quick like a bunny, find what they need.
The cop found out that Joseph Archer was seen leaving the scene of the crime. Archer had a criminal history and was convicted of murder in the 1950s. The murder weapon from that crime is still in the possession of HPD!
The boys think that the bullet that killed David’s father is probably still in the body, and if they can match it to Archer’s weapon, they can prove that Archer killed him, not Ezra. Wow, that is some detective work!!!!
They pull everyone together to exhume the body. I am loving Max’s red, white, and blue deck shoes! I, personally, would not know the proper etiquette for how to dress for an exhumation. And look, Chin has joined them! Perhaps it’s his turn to be Steve’s partner for the next installment of the investigation.
The ballistics match, and Archer is (was) the killer and thief. They find the katana in the possession of Archer’s grandson, and soon return it to David.
Steve: On behalf of the United States government, we’d like to return this property to you, its rightful owner, and extend our most humble apologies.
I’m crying at this point. And for the rest of the show.
They brought along Ezra Clark. (Is he going to be Steve’s partner for the rest of the show?) David apologizes and shakes his hand. All is right with the world.
Our final scene takes us back to the USS Arizona Memorial.
Steve pays his respects.
And so does David.
David has remembered why Steve’s grandfather’s picture was in the family album. David’s father was tutoring him for an officer aptitude test. McGrandfather and McGrandmother were expecting another child, and he wanted better for his family. Was the baby Steve’s dad?
The last time David saw McGrandfather was December 6, 1941, when he gave David a baseball glove as a thank you to the family. The same glove he took to the internment camp. Steve’s deep emotions show not just on his face but through his whole body.
David: You have his heart. That’s how I remembered.