3.12 – Kapu (Forbidden) Page 4

Back at HQ, Chin tells us that Cutler has made frequent trips to Ni‘ihau in recent months so this may be the origin of the specimen, given that the ‘forbidden island’ is home to thousands of rare plants. Danny is a no-go for the field trip to Ni‘ihau as he doesn’t like flying with McG. McG could always do an A-Team-style knockout of Danny for the duration of the flight but no, Chin goes instead.

I love this next scene because it is a wonderful demonstration of how well Show does its exploration of Hawaiian culture. Chin speaks to a local woman in her native language to find out where Cutler may have gone and this scene is very nicely done. We also learn something about the history and significance of the island. Kudos, Show!


We cut back to Danny and Eric and Danny is giving Eric yet another pep talk. That he says the kid has accomplished nothing and has zero value to society is way harsh IMHO. I know his job is to set him on the straight and narrow, but still and all. At least he tells Eric he has done a good job today. Good job? He’s practically solved the case for them!

The next scene contains another stoner computer hacker only this time it’s Toast’s roommate not Toast himself. I’m initially disappointed that it’s not Toast but the roommate is just as hilarious (the pineapple bong!). Are all computer guys stoners?

Back on Ni‘ihau, McG and Chin find Dr Stevens, a botanist whom Professor Cutler had been helping to find a cure for his son’s rare degenerative disease (adrenoleukodystrophy, I believe). So this is what Cutler was working on!


Stoner Computer Guy finds out a virus was implanted by Roth in Cutler’s computer via an email so that he could keep an eye on what Cutler was doing. Roth obviously found out about the research into the cure and wanted a piece of it. It turns out Roth is on Ni‘ihau, also searching for Cutler’s Partner in Science. Roth chases after Dr Stevens and tries to shoot him but McG and Chin get there first and Roth is subdued. Yay!

In the best scene of the episode in my view, Kono finds Sang Min sitting on the kerb looking into his family’s house as they eat dinner. Sang Min’s wife has moved on and now has a new husband and Sang Min is heartbroken. This scene is very well done as the writers and Will Yun Lee manage to make me care about Sang Min. I’m not sure that it is a good thing to feel this way about a criminal but well done Show anyway!


In the final scene, we see McG in the hospital with Dr Stevens and his son. I found out after watching the episode that the boy is not an actor but a real seriously ill child (suffering from cancer). He did a nice job and it added some realism to the scene. It also provided us with yet another McG-is-good-with-kids moment (although I think we get it now, writers :)). Anyway, McG has managed to obtain permission from the governor for Dr Stevens to continue his research on Ni‘ihau. Yay, McG! Also, but in no way pertinent to the plot, Alex looks gorgeous in the black shirt he is wearing. Oh, and Eric has repented all sins and now wants to work in a crime lab. I so wish my parenting dilemmas were as easily solved!



A note about the alternative endings:

I cannot access the alternative endings as the clips on the CBS site aren’t available outside of the US. However, I have gathered from reading some comments online that the other suspects had the same motive for killing Cutler, to take credit for his research. I also understand that each ending was basically exactly the same, only McG and Chin had to subdue a different suspect. This doesn’t really seem like ‘alternative endings’ to me. I think Show has missed an opportunity to do something really clever here. Thoughts?

Door Number 3:

I understand that the West Coast viewers chose the student as their killer, that the student put the virus on Cutler’s computer to search for the tests and then discovered the research. To anyone who has seen this ending: didn’t the TA sell the tests to the student? Also, would a college kid really have killed a professor over his research and then travelled to the forbidden island to kill the botanist? How would he have passed such groundbreaking research off as his own? Or was that not his intention? Or, am I asking too many plot-related questions? (Yes, I hear you all say.)

Door Number 2:

I presume that the TA also put the virus on Cutler’s computer (to try to find out what he was up to). And, already disgruntled from overwork, he discovered the research and wanted to take credit for it? This seems more plausible to me than the student although of course viewers didn’t know about the nature of Cutler’s research when asked to choose their killer.

In sum:

The good:

• The humour/character development – There were some great moments with Eric (the photo of Danny!), the pineapple bong, the college girl thinking McG and Danny are a couple/old enough to be her friend’s ‘Dads’, and Rebecca trying to get away on a pink scooter. I’ve always loved Show for the humour and it definitely delivered this week. The storyline between Eric and Danny was a welcomed aspect to the episode even if Danny delivered tough love to his nephew and it was all wrapped up a bit too neatly at the end. Even though I get that McG is good with kids and we’re supposed to see his softer side this season, the scene in the hospital was also nicely done.

• Sang Min – I know we are not really supposed to feel empathy towards a serious criminal but I do and I like Sang Min. Will Yun Lee did an amazing job of the scene with Kono, outside his house. Kudos, Show.

• Ni‘ihau – Show usually does a good job of highlighting Hawaiian culture and this episode was no exception. I (being a nerd) like learning about other cultures and I find the Hawaiian aspects of Show really interesting. I liked that the writers respected the importance of the ‘forbidden island’ and I loved the scene with the local woman spoken in the appropriate dialect.

The not-so-good:

Even taking aside the fact that I couldn’t vote, I don’t think the alternative ending strategy really worked. If it earned higher ratings, then I suppose it did but to me, it took away enjoyment from the episode and it wasn’t very cleverly done. It was written with only one result in mind – the desire to pinch the professor’s research – and if the endings were exactly the same other than the perpetrator, then it doesn’t really seem like ‘alternative endings’. Overall, the character moments were good but the COTW wasn’t very interesting even though there was lots of potential for it to be.

Righto, go forth and comment. I’m keen to know what you all thought of the episode given that it was an interesting, and possibly risky, move on Show’s part.





  1. I agree with the fun bits and Sang Minh at the end being good, and of course Steve´s smile in black tee was great 🙂
    The alternative endings failed in my opinion, but I heard they managed to get more viewers. But I really wished they had been totally different. I guess they didn´t have the time or recourses for totally different endings. But I think they could have at least had one with the father being shot dead in front of Steve and Chin. Don´t think it would have costed too much for a bullett and blood…

  2. I thought the writing, and direction was weak. The three ending were the same, therefore the show was indifferent. Only part I like was H50 maintained of Ni’ihau Hawaiian culture.

    This show was more hype than puting together a well written script.

    1. Andrea_Briz your recap was better written than the show.

      1. Thanks E although this is a somewhat dubious honour 🙂 I think Show missed an opportunity here to do something really clever although I totally get Paula’s point about how difficult it would be to create completely different endings (cost and so on). I think getting back to basics with strong procedural writing is what Show needs rather than gimmicks.

        1. Andrea_Briz…Why didn’t Max have a vocal role in this episode. He was there picking body parts out of boiling (oil?) crap. Danny, and Steve were talking but not a word from or to Max.

          Not cool.

          1. Yeah, I kinda wondered why Max didn’t feature. I guess there was too much else going on. With such a grisly body this week, I was sure there’d be some Max time. Oh, well 🙂

  3. I live in California and West Coast viewers voted for the student. (Why, viewers, why?) The thing is, at the halfway point, when we are given the “Vote Now” message, we don’t know yet about the secret disease-curing plant research. The student seems like the last suspect to get in on that research money, but he might have been a good suspect if Show went with the cheating storyline. Ugh. Show, if you’re going to do gimmick-y things, at least make it work.

    On the other hand, the humor this episode was fantastic, and I was actually thoroughly entertained by E-train, Hacker #2 and Danno/Steve banter. It was a good week for Bromance. I loved it when Danny had no idea about Ni’ihau, and blamed it on Eric. Chin’s face? Priceless.

    1. Infant_Sardonic · · Reply

      I saw MANY tweets about picking a different ending to the east coast.

  4. I didn’t know that other endings are basically the same. It would be better to have it as student wanted him dead so that Professor doesn’t find out about cheating, and that TA would kill him for research (that makes more sense than boss) – but Atplenkov I guess knows better than we do… and that Danny’s picture from his old movie is the best funny scene of this season, IMHO – I’m hoping to see something of it in gag reel…

  5. canadagirl66 · · Reply

    I LOVED the Sang Min scene. I actually felt sorry for him. Great acting from Mr. Lee…no wonder he became a recurring character after appearing in the pilot!!

    1. Absolutely! Only a very good actor can make you feel empathy for a killer, no matter how well written the story is. Kudos to WYL.

      1. ACA! One of the best bits in the episode. WYL knocked it out of the park for sure.

      2. Only a very good actor like that guy who played that serial killer in that Criminal Minds episode? 😉

        1. Who?? 😉 oh… That guy. He’s ok.

          1. He was pretty good. I wonder what he’s doing these days? 😉

            1. Makin babies and panty destroying from what I hear.

  6. Trying… to comment… eyelash gif… too distracting…

      1. When he blinks it changes weather patterns on the other side of the world.

        1. Then he better stop fkn blinking, because its bloody hot here.

          1. ACA! Paula tweeted that it was -26C where she lives but it’s fkn 35C again today here and I’m totally over it!

  7. annieoakley · · Reply

    So the east coasties chose the department chair? That makes WAY more sense than the student – but then I always DVR and watch the next day, so I didn’t vote. I’m involved with University research in my real life and there’s NO WAY an undergrad would think of something like taking credit for a professor’s research, let alone get away with it.
    TOTES agree with whoever said the ‘you choose the ending’ thing was just a gimmick – really pretty lame, Show. You’d get better ratings if you’d JUST LET MCG TAKE OFF HIS PANTS.
    There were things to love, however – E-train (would’ve liked more of him interacting with McG – maybe he’ll be back). And I don’t care if he’s a criminal, I LOVE Sang Min! (Lest we forget, Adam Noshimuri is a criminal too).

  8. On the West Coast feed, there’s actually an additional couple of lines between McG & Danny where they have to go “the student, really? what a dumbass” because it makes no sense the student would have the same motive or go to the same lengths as either the TA or Boss would for the opportunity to take credit for the groundbreaking research. So that was kind of funny.

    1. Agree Steph. The research was hugely ground breaking so there’s no way a student would be even able to take credit for it. I asked that question in my summary above because I couldn’t come to grips with the student as the killer if the motive was the same as the other two. Weird.

  9. canadagirl66 · · Reply

    The COTW did not excite me much…however there was a lot to love about this episode.
    I LOVE that show respects the Hawaiian culture and tries to educate us about the islands and the people!
    I adored the hospital scene with Alex and the young boy. It was sweet. I love BAMF McG but there is something very special about Steve showing his softer side.
    This was one of the funnier episodes I laughed out loud A LOT!
    Loved Toast’s hacker buddy, Bullwinkle and the nephew (thought that Uncle Danny was way too harsh though)!
    And last but not least, I LOVE and LUSTED over Steve in that black tee. THANK.YOU.WARDROBE.DEPARTMENT!!

    1. Heyhey, not so loud with the compliments to the wardrobe dep! They are the ones making Steve wear those over shirts! Pure thing must be baking in all that cotton… Couldn´t we get just one episode of shirtless, in shorts, Steve surfing and drinking and fondling Cath´s thighs…with that sloooow hand…

      1. ^^^THIS^^^ she cries faintly from the puddle on the floor…

      2. heymomo · · Reply


  10. Sang Min stole the episode IMO. Not even Alex held much attention for me this week, I was totally ‘meh’ over it. Ok, except that last scene with the sick child. That was special. Just really special.

    1. ^^^^ This….I was a little bored. Am I allowed to say that? Do I have to turn in my FUCUP ID? Love the picture of Steve holding his gun up there….

      1. ACA with Ess that Sang Min totally stole the episode. And I was a bit ‘meh’ about the whole thing too. Perhaps concentrating on trying to pull off the ‘choose your own ending’ was to the detriment of the actual procedural.

      2. Seeing as most of us felt that way, I’d say your FUCUP ID is safe!

        1. Whew! *wipes forehead*

  11. heymomo · · Reply

    I completely agree with A-Briz about Ni’ihau! I love when Show gives us more Hawaii, I want them to do this more often!! I have to get my island fix from TV 🙂

    1. (I kept thinking they were saying Ni-Hao and it made me think of you!)

    2. Me too! We’ve had a few bits and pieces across the seasons but I’d love to see more.

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