Moving forward with the case, Chin is looking at security camera footage from around Ella’s house and he notices that one particular car keeps coming back into view.
I think that’s not so unusual as I get lost all the time but actually, it turns out to be Fake Police Officer Helen Cantera (again, this week – where do they get the uniforms from? Is there a special store that sells them for criminals?). She’s not driving the kidnapper’s vehicle but she may have been used to snatch the children initially. The Five Ohs race to Cantera’s house but she commits suicide before she can be interviewed (perhaps she’s seen Show this season and knows how tough being a suspect can be?).
The team find a bracelet of Ella’s in Cantera’s trunk so they know for sure she was involved in the kidnapping. Her wardrobe is filled with trustworthy uniforms (a nun and a paramedic no less) and lots of cash – so we now know Cantera kidnapped and sold kids for a living. Oh, great.
Here’s our first glance of the kidnapper above the calves. It’s Mare Winningham! I can’t help but think of St Elmo’s Fire whenever I see this actress – and she’s really good. She’s brought Ella a sandwich and she’s playing at maternal and comforting but then delivers the kicker – that Ella’s parents are dead. She’s obviously seriously disturbed. The kidnapper’s husband is in the lounge watching the news where he learns of Cantera’s fate.
To return to the Kono story, Cath (now out of a bikini and in uniform), phones with intell on Sato, who is one seriously bad dude in the Yakuza world.
Japanese police surveillance cameras show Adam meeting with Sato in Japan in the last few days. Oh, no!
We’re at the 30 minute mark so things need to move on. And they do. A trace on Cantera’s phone links her to someone in the Hawaii Department of Health and a series of false identities. So it turns out that the kidnappers have been collecting benefits for the abducted children – once poor Amanda turned 18 she’d no longer create benefits for them so they swapped her for Ella. Oh my God, this is distressing.
But the trail of false benefit claims leads them to the kidnappers, the Becketts, who are sitting in their modest lounge room eating TV dinners. The two are handcuffed but McG can’t find Ella anywhere. Terry Beckett is clearly terrified (having just seen her husband thrown to the ground by Danny) and glances over to the corner of the room where McG spots an indentation in the carpet. He pushes a bookcase back to reveal a room – the girls’ bedroom – but alas no Ella can be found.
Danny is in the lounge trying to get Beckett to tell him where Ella is and he’s barely holding it in. The actor playing Beckett is really good as the menacing criminal. He claims to be unable to work – this is his justification for the kidnapping (so how did he pay for the girls?). Meanwhile, McG is with Terry in the girls’ bedroom and Alex and Mare are knocking this scene out of the park. McG thinks he has a trump card in the picture of Amanda’s dead body – clearly Terry didn’t know what had happened – but it doesn’t work.
So Danny tries police brutality instead. I REALLY DO NOT LIKE IT when McG asks Danny to turn in his badge and then walks away while Danny beats Beckett until he gives up the information. I get why Danny did it but I don’t like it at all. Surely, no matter what the circumstances, brutality and a lack of self-control are not justified?
But it worked and they have Ella’s location and she is rescued then safely returned to her family.
It’s a beautifully touching scene – the parents overjoyed at having their daughter back and there’s quietly-expressed joy and a sense of relief on the Five Oh faces.
As we see the family reunion, we hear Amanda reading from her diary – documenting memories of her lost childhood. HPD officers are gathering evidence at the Beckett’s house, including Amanda’s diary, and then we see the Morris’s in their lounge room, looking through the diary which is now all they have left with which to remember their daughter. Danny is present – reflecting on the tragedy that occurred in the Beckett’s house and also understanding the sorrow that Amanda’s parents must be experiencing. Scott Caan is terrific here – his face says it all.
The final scene is really distressing but also beautifully done – I am saddened by what Amanda endured and by her parents’ grief but also impressed with the way Show handled the subject matter in this episode. Bravo.
The last couple of episodes have not been my favourites, to say the least, but I think this one is up there amongst the best. My only real complaint is about the police brutality – I can’t give Show a pass on these tactics as they have disturbed me this season and I don’t like them at all – this isn’t something I think an elite taskforce should be engaging in no matter what the circumstances. However, I thought this episode was well written and superbly acted by all involved – regular cast and guest actors alike – and I could appreciate the good storytelling and the measured way the subject matter was handled. It was confronting because of the seriousness of the crimes but I liked that there was a sense of believability and sensitivity to it. It was a nice move, too, to have Tip Gilbert and the Maile Amber Alert interwoven into the story and I applaud show for raising awareness of this. Being the serious type that I am, I love it when Show delivers on the serious episodes *applause*. And lastly, and not at all plot related, Alex looked simply breathtaking in this episode – his eyes were captivating, so much so that I even forgave the white pants ;-).