After last week’s underwhelming Hawaii Five-0, we finally find out who Shelburne is…and that’s pretty much it.
We get a flashback to 1992, where Steve is having a talk with his father (William Sadler, if you forgot). Dad is sending Steve and Mary Ann back to the mainland. “It’s not safe for you here anymore,” he says. This doesn’t go over well with teenage Steve, but present-day Steve totally gets it. And is totally following Joe, until he gets a call about a delivery truck being hit. What got stolen? Something that needed to be snuck past Customs.
The Five-0 team has to go to Sang Min (Will Yun Lee) in order to get to the bottom of things. There’s an incredibly corny sequence where he looks ridiculous and Steve laughs at him, which I think is probably not as funny as the writers thought it was. The funnier part is the team pointing out to Steve how pear-shaped things went the last time they sprung Sang Min. This time doesn’t go much better, including one ill-advised use of a flamethrower.
We learn that what went missing was a box of RFID chips (the things you find in your passport). That means there are a hundred counterfeit passports floating around. This brings up the name Richard Dettwiler, who happens to be a friend of Joe’s. That does not sit well with Steve. Richard is short on life by the time we find him, but happens to back up all his files so we’ve got an idea about arms dealers using forged passports to flee Hawaii. It’s a story that seems to end way too abruptly, but I can’t say I’m that upset, as it wasn’t that compelling.
In our continuing story, there’s yet another attempt on Joe’s life, this one a drive-by shooting in broad daylight. This leads to Steve and Joe having a late-night meeting with Adam Noshimuri, in which everyone has a gun aimed at everyone. Joe calls Adam’s father, Hiro, proving to Adam that his dad is still alive. Confused Adam is confused, until Steve and Joe explain to him just how evil Wo Fat is. “We just need to know if you’re in or if you’re out,” Steve tells him, but we don’t get to hear his answer. Still, anything that keeps Ian Anthony Dale around is fine by me.
Oh, and Rachel is going into labor, so Danny gets to be adorable. One can only wonder what he was like when she gave birth to the kid that was actually his. That’s one of the things I love about Scott Caan’s award-nominated performance; he brings so much life to Danny outside of Five-0, so we get a sense of him as a complete individual.
“Pu’olo” is an improvement over the prior week’s episode, though it’s still not that attention-grabbing. There’s nothing in it that made me say, “I’m glad I didn’t miss that!” which is a shame. In fact, there’s some of it that makes me wonder why it was included (Sang Min should never be used for comic relief ever again).
Having said that, though, I do like some of the ideas that crop up through the episode. Having our heroes collaborate with the Yakuza is an interesting twist, and one we don’t usually see played out in a procedural for more than an episode or two. I’d love to see that grey area really explored.
I’m also curious to see what bringing Rachel back means, if anything. Last season, the show really pushed her back with Danny; this season, that seemed to disappear and we saw the writers set up another potential love interest. So what’s the deal? Might we see her again? And if so, will it be as Danny’s love interest or merely platonic?
In the final minutes, we get an apparent explanation about Shelburne. It’s an alias under which Joe killed Wo Fat’s father. That’s pretty cool, but considering how long we’ve been waiting for that reveal, it almost feels anticlimactic. I was expecting to be shocked when that moment finally came, and I wasn’t. At least we know now, though, and we can stop asking ourselves that question and move forward with wherever the overarching story is headed. We’ve got awhile to go before the end of season two, but even so, I miss the excitement we had in season one. I legitimately freaked out whenever Wo Fat popped up. This season, I’m not quite so distressed, and that’s not as much fun.
We’ve got two more weeks of reruns, which isn’t helping the show’s momentum either. But now that we have our big answer, what’s next? Let’s hope it’s awesome, because this show deserves to be awesome again.