This week’s episode covers some pretty serious territory – child abduction – and I came into it wondering how the subject matter would be dealt with in the Hawaii 5-0 context. There was a sense of ‘reality’ to the episode (missing from the last few, I have to say). This was reinforced for me as just before I sat down to watch it, there was an item on our nightly news about three women in the US rescued from a house where’d they been kept prisoner for 10 years. Also, we knew from the promos that the Maile Amber Alert would be featured. On the mainland an Amber Alert can be issued in cases of child abduction; in Hawaii, the ‘Maile’ has been added to the title, in remembrance of the abduction and murder of Maile Gilbert in 1985 from a family gathering in Kailua, Oahu.
OK, to the episode: There are fireworks and general merriment as the episode opens. The catchy backing track for the featured beach party nicely segues into the first scene showing a teenage girl in what looks like her bedroom, doing what teenage girls do – listening to music, singing along and writing in her diary. Only this teenage girl is different – her left leg is shackled. The door opens and a little girl is pushed into the room by an unknown man. She’s crying and she wants her Mum and the older girl comforts her. She knows what it’s like to want her mother. I’m sad already.
Then we cut to the credits and the first scene featuring the team. They’re at Kamekona’s watching a sumo wrestling competition. That Kamekona! Danny’s having a crack at McG about his hair but I kind of like it. Danny, mate, it’s waaaaaaay better than that awful rug! McG is right back at Danny and his use of hair products but we all know you can’t get an Epic Pompadour like that without a little help. Cath’s there, too, and she’s getting in on the act. Poor McG. (And I notice that the white pants are back. Not a fan but hey, at least there’s no awful wig #silverlining.)
Kono turns up late and Chin says “no worries”! Total shout out to us Aussies! Kono has her serious face on and she tells Chin she doesn’t know what’s going on with Adam, that he hasn’t been around much lately and he’s “secretive.” I would suggest ties with the Yakuza would make one a tad secretive. Chin, being the stand up guy that he is, wants Kono to give Adam the benefit of the doubt. Somehow, I don’t think this is going to end well. (And, because I saw Ian Anthony Dale last month filming 3.23 at the Noshimuri house when I was on holiday in Hawaii, I know he’s in the next episode!!!! Just had to put that in there!)
Sumo wrestling ensues and here is where we see (well as much as possible from inside the suit), Olympic and world champion freestyle wrestler, Clarissa Chun, in action. Kamekona’s cousin, Flipper, gets taken down by Clarissa and I’m enjoying this light-hearted scene because I know there is seriousness to come. I love that Danny backed the ‘scrappy’ Clarissa. You go, girl! But the fun doesn’t last and soon the Five Ohs are off to the Crime of the Week.
I can’t believe the next scene – the teenage girl from the opener is found dead in a shallow grave, shot in the back. McG deduces that she was shot running away from her captor. Danny’s looking really upset – as I would be – and you just know this case is going to be tough for him. Look at how McG reacts, too (and look at his beautiful eyes – sigh….)
The boys are back at HQ and they’ve figured out the type of truck that the tyre tracks at the crime scene belong to – turns out it’s a common vehicle so they could have trouble finding it. How about that? It’s usually some rare species of vehicle with special tyres made only in Outer Mongolia or something. Anyway, there’s serious music playing in the background and we are given a moment to fully understand the heinous crime – there’s evidence of long term bruising and bone calcification on the victim’s ankle which points to her being kept prisoner for years. There’s no sign of sexual abuse which may be the first clue as to why she was abducted. The victim is identified as Amanda Morris, a girl who was reported missing 10 years ago when she was seven. The team pulls out its super duper facial ageing thingie to confirm that the kidnapped girl is indeed their victim. This is really sad but I like that so far the subject matter is being treated with dignity and not too much drama.
The parents are informed of their daughter’s death and I think this scene is beautifully done.
The parents are dealing with the loss of their daughter twice and I totally get it. We’ve had a similar case here in Queensland where a 14 year old boy, Daniel Morcombe, went missing while waiting for a bus to go Christmas shopping in 2003. His remains were only discovered in the past year or so. The Morcombes have never given up hope that they would find Daniel and they have become campaigners in Australia for child safety. Daniel disappeared about an hour’s drive from where I live and we’ve seen images of him on our television screens for years as the case has progressed – the whole nation has been through every harrowing moment alongside the Morcombes. They, too, have dealt with the loss of their son twice. So the case in this week’s episode really touches me. The parents talk about how Amanda disappeared at the water park and McG says it could have happened to anyone. The Dad says, “yeah, but it happened to us.” Sniff.