10.07 Ka ‘i’o
When the CIA informs McGarrett that his mother has gone rogue on her undercover mission and may have killed her partner, Steve goes solo to Mexico to bring her home and prove her innocence, on HAWAII FIVE-0, Friday, Nov. 8 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
CBS translated Ka ‘i’o to DNA
Episode Written and Directed by Series Star Alex O’Loughlin
A fair warning upfront; if you haven’t seen the episode, don’t read this review. But I guess it should be clear that with every review there will be spoilers… major ones.
I must confess, my expectations were very high with this episode, other than with most other episodes where I don’t expect much at all. And I can tell you right now, the episode exceeded my expectations.
Hence my tweet right after watching it.
I still mostly stand by it, so let’s get into detail about it. But before that let’s get one thing out of the way. Catherine. I didn’t want her in this episode, and I didn’t expect a mention, or her being in this ep in any form or shape. And the answer to why is very simple. When Steve and Cath find their way back to each other, when they realize that they are a perfect match I want them to figure that out without being in a dramatic or devastating situation. I didn’t want Cath in this episode, because it wasn’t about her, or about Steve’s feeling about her. It would have distracted from the real issue in this episode… Doris.
When this show started its run, we learned that Steve’s mom had been killed in a car accident when he was 16, or maybe 15, the show’s runner isn’t quite sure about that. 😉
Later we learned that her accident was handled as a murder. And we then found out that she wasn’t killed in an accident at all, but killed in a car bombing.
But whatever the case was, it defined Steve. It made him the person he is. With his protected life going on beyond the age of 15 or 16, he probably would never have left the islands and become a highly decorated SEAL. He might have become a teacher, or a marine biologist, or maybe stepped into his dad’s footsteps and become a cop.
But that is a fantasy because his life changed when he lost his mother. Of course, it changed again when he learned that she wasn’t dead after all.
And here is my first question. Why the heck did they resurrect her in the first place? Don’t get me wrong, I loved having Christine Lathi playing Doris McGarrett. She was a perfect fit for it. Her onscreen chemistry with Alex was just amazing. But I always wondered why is she there?
She didn’t really bring much to the table; she was barely there, and before you knew it she was gone again. OK, that might also have to do with availability of Christine Lathi, but I also think it was a plot that wasn’t really thought through. Not the only one, if you ask me. But that is beyond the point.
Regardless, it gave us some awesome scenes with Steve and Doris. They were oh-so-good together. Now that has come to an end with another stellar performance by the both of them.
But we’re not there yet. 🙂
The last few years we haven’t seen much of Doris. I guess TPTB had no clue what to do with her. Show her doing her thing with the CIA? You can do that maybe once a season, but it gets repetitive rather fast. And quite frankly, I can’t imagine Doris simply sitting in an apartment having a normal-week-life and on Sunday dinner with her son. That’s just not her.
But it seemed in the end that is exactly what she wanted. And couldn’t get.
Anyway, back to the beginning of the episode, an on with this double review. Yes, Cokie also has a lot to say about it. 😉
I really don’t have adequate words to use to describe my feelings for this episode. Awestruck I guess sums it up. I have always thought Alex was a top notch actor and loved watching him act. Then, he tried his hand at directing and I thought that was great. But now… knowing he wanted to spend his time off this summer writing an episode he felt needed to be read, acted, and watched… well, I thought it was admirable that he wanted to do this. But to actually watch what he so lovingly wrote, directed and acted in brought another emotion. I am in awe of his abilities; both as a writer and director as well as acting in the entire show.
I couldn’t agree more. It is an absolute joy to watch him do his thing, it is simply amazing; because his acting doesn’t feel like acting. When he’s on the screen, I don’t see Alex, I always, always see Steve. And that is a great accomplishment.
But what I find even more astounding is that he’s so committed to this show after ten long years, that he is so into it that he gives his time and love to this show. That he so often says how important this is to him. How he feels a connection to it, and that he sees it not just as an acting job, but he also sees the responsibility he has to so many people having a job with this show. And I think that is even more admirable than any acting done on this show.
So, here are my musings throughout the show.
In the parking garage in the beginning, upon learning about the CIA officer’s death, Steve unwaveringly said his mother was not guilty… he had heard no facts about the death at this time, but he knew she had not done what they said.
Steve learns that his mother has gone rogue and the agency wants him to bring her in. They offer him the chance to save her life. He doesn’t believe that she would betray her country, her oath, her partners. Well, it’s great that he believed in his mother like that, but quite frankly, I doubt he knew enough about her to make such a statement. And as we see later, he wasn’t right about it.
This is an awful job… going into a job such as this with a threat. “You or your mother can’t come back without killing Carmen.” What sweet people to work for.
And I love the thought process… “I’ve gotta go find Doris.”
Then we had the scene at the computer. Steve knows what he is up against. Doris will be killed if he doesn’t do anything. And this was a one man operation and the purpose was to kill Carmen. Getting his mom out was a much lower reason for the CIA.
I think they couldn’t care less if Doris made it out alive or not… or if Steve made it out. Their priority was to shut down Carmen’s operation and to kill her. I do have a question though. Wouldn’t there be an easier way to kill her? A sniper could have done that job just fine. Doesn’t the CIA have snipers on their payroll?
We see his “contact” shown on the screen. Raise your hand if you knew this guy wasn’t going to last long. He was the proverbial “red shirt” in this show.
LOL, yep, that was crystal clear.
Steve has this all laid out before this meeting with his team and you know he has poured over all these pictures and documents for hours. When he mentions that if he “needs” help from Junior, Junior turns and you could hear the excitement in his voice at the “Sir”. And I love when Junior said “Copy.” He was ready.
Yes, I also loved Junior. Steve knew right away that his brother (in arms) would have his back, no matter what. The bond they share through their service is way stronger than they casually show us on the show. I love that. And I also loved how involved Junior got.
Sam has said that she is OK with Danny in this ep. I still have problems. One is right here. He chooses to not support what Steve feels is his only option in this entire scenario. Given the options, he really didn’t have a choice not to go to Columbia. Instead of supporting Steve, Danny leaves the room. Now, you can say that he did so because he was upset, because he doesn’t want to lose Steve, etc., but bottom line, to me it shows no support for his friend when this is clearly something extremely important to Steve. The look on Steve’s face when Danny was walking away from him was heart-wrenching. Lou handled it admirably when Steve asked his opinion. No one liked what had to be done but those were the cards Steve was dealt. Get in there or your mom will be killed, too. No doubt about it.
Danny doesn’t have an opinion about what to do. Which I found rather strange writing. Danny always has an opinion about everything. He was written in character though to just walking out on his friend. Not wanting anything to do with it. Not sharing the responsibility coming to a decision. Very sad actually. But I didn’t mind that, it was a good scene.
If you think back, Danny never got involved. Oh yeah, hold your horses, be be with me for a moment. Back in 2.10 he was with them rescuing Steve, but the others, mainly Joe and his SEAL buddies organized everything. In 3.20 Danny sat behind a desk back in Hawaii while Steve and Cath brought Freddie back. In 4.21 Danny tagged along on the plane, didn’t do anything that helped his friend. The list goes on. What I am saying is that he was very much in character, and I was OK with it. And it took him off the screen, what else do you want? 😉
Tani didn’t really say much, which was good, because she hasn’t been there long enough to have any say in the matter.
I loved Lou. He is a real friend. Bringing the whole issue home with one sentence. Not going wasn’t an option for Steve, he would regret it for the rest of his life.
Some wondered where Quinn was. I didn’t. Maybe she wasn’t even there when this script was written and filmed? It would have been difficult to integrate someone who wasn’t even there for the filming. 😉
I loved the fact that the op was done in sepia. Brilliant, Mr. O’Loughlin. And kudos to Alex for doing the recap in the car explaining to us Steve’s agenda and how the op was going to go down.
Well, normally I’m not a fan, but it was a great difference to the vibrant colors of Hawaii. That was cleverly done. Kudos to the photography throughout the episode. There were some brilliant shots in it.
Lucky for Steve the car burst into flames and the Columbians didn’t go looking for him because I doubt he would have made it far. Yet, he made all his marks and got into Panama to the plane he needed to use to travel to Mexico. And then we have an eight week wait while Steve watches and plans for the op.
I loved those scenes. OK, I am a fan of action, and we had quite a bit of it in this episode. Thank you Alex for obviously being an action fan, too.
And while Steve is working there, Junior is spending those 8 weeks trying to track Steve, working at nights for weeks. And here is another Danny gripe. (Yes, I know I can’t shut up about it). Upon learning that Junior has spent countless hours on this, he comments, “We’re not doing anything because he asked you not to look for him.” THIS IS YOUR SUPPOSEDLY BEST FRIEND AND YOU GO ABOUT YOUR DAY LIKE NOTHING IS GOING ON? You don’t know if he is dead or alive and that’s OK? I have no words for him.
I agree with you on that. That was very odd. It almost felt like he didn’t want Steve to survive. That was really strange. But again, I think it was perfectly in character.
Junior wanted to know if Steve was dead or alive. Love that the other’s ignored Danny’s crass comment and were anxious to learn what Junior had found. And I thought he used a very smart way to find Steve. When asked what to do, Danny was too quick to say “do nothing”. While he seemed happy Steve was alive, he made it plain that Steve was on his own. Junior had other plans and already knew what he was going to do and already had a plan of action. “You can bless me and the SEALS to go in and help him out. Danny, this is the move.”
I also loved this, but I kinda hated that Junior felt the need to kinda ask permission. Anyway, this was a great scene, and it showed what potential Junior has. He is way underrated on the team. He’s a freaking SEAL, use that.
Back to sepia in Mexico. Poor Steve when he saw Doris hand over her weapon and watch the man killed on the dock. That look on his face was gut wrenching. And he certainly had valid questions for his mother.
That is what I meant earlier, that he was wrong about his mother not being guilty. She kinda really is. I’m sure she didn’t want that man to be killed, but she participated none the less. And if you ask me, she did turn her back on the CIA, on her country.
A great Steve line: “My life was compromised the day you walked out of it.” And then Doris had the nerve to actually hit her son in the face. Poor Steve.
Absolutely right. And this will play a role in how Steve will cope with all that is going to happen.
And when Steve makes it back to his hotel room, he gets jumped on again. I love the “what the hell are you doing here? What did I tell you?” and Junior’s reply of “It’s been so long, I couldn’t remember.”
I think Junior had some of the best lines in the entire show.
He was the absolute hero in this, and I loved that he was written by Alex like that.
OK, dumb question. Do we know Junior’s buddies or not? Are these the guys who went in for Joe White last year? There was really no explanation of who they were but Steve seemed comfortable with them and had no problem that Junior had chosen them.
This were actual SEALs. Friends of Alex. I think it was great to have them in the show, it gave all this an extra kick. They were just “brothers”. I don’t know, but I didn’t need to know who they were.
And another Junior line that was good. Steve asked “How’d you find me?” and the answer was perfect. “Same way you’d find me.” These two know each other and have each other’s backs.
As I said, their connection is great. And Alex gets that. Wonderfully written.
There were some things in this brief that I couldn’t understand. Steve was talking very low.
And Junior makes contact with the team back home. Steve apparently was OK with it because he was there. Only to hear his colleague call him an animal once again. Sorry, this is not cute. Especially with all that is going on.
I hated that. What a douchbag. But again, I can only repeat, perfectly in character.
I love that Junior confronts Steve about discovering the truth about Doris. Steve’s reply is so sad. Through his nightly nightmares, he realizes he isn’t ready to not have her in his life and prays the decisions he is making are the right ones.
Steve’s attempt at a thank you is great. How can you really thank someone for what they are doing? And again, Junior comes through. “At least we get tortured together.” That boy is a keeper.
This was great writing.
And then we have this battle of epic proportions. Finally… FINALLY we find some SEALs who can actually shoot and hit their targets. Thank you, Alex!
LOL, yeah, sometimes it gets ridiculous on the show how they can’t hit anything. This felt very real, I think Alex had great advisers. I absolutely loved the action.
Once Steve finds Doris, things just keep getting worse. She berates him for thinking “only of himself” and he finally lashes out “you never made sacrifices for us.” Which was so true. She may have thought all these years that she was doing the right things for the right reasons, but in the end, none of that mattered. All he wanted was her.
You know, I never thought she was a hero. She left her family. A hero doesn’t do that. If she really thought her family had been in danger, she should have left with them. I am sure it wouldn’t have been a problem to start a new life somewhere where they could all be save. But in the end, she took the easy way out. She wanted to be the martyr. She wasn’t. She was just a woman leaving her kids and husband behind.
Carmen deserved every bullet Junior put into her. She surely had no redeemable qualities. Finally, in Doris’ last moments, she tells Steve she loves him and calls him baby. How sweet was that. And he got to tell her he loved her, too.
Again, great lines.
This is another great directing moment. When Doris died, everything from Steve’s point of view is out of focus. And there are no words as Junior takes charge of everything. That was an absolute perfect scene. Again, I am in awe of Alex’s abilities in knowing how he wanted this to be shown.
This is where I cried. Not because it was so sad, but because it was so perfect. It was just awesome and overwhelming.
Loved the scene of a totally spent Steve, on his own in D.C. trying to protect his mom’s body when the CIA arrived. That was pure instinct. Here’s another question I had. Does the CIA know that he did have help in Mexico or did he cover up the fact that Junior and company came down? And what was the paper he signed?
The paper? Maybe a release form for his mother’s body? I don’t know.
When the bodies have been removed and CIA are gone, you finally see him breaking down. You can see how broken he is.
Alex totally rocked this. And he looked the part. Just wow.
We have Steve after someone finally gets him some medical treatment, sitting alone in a hotel room in D.C. And now… NOW when it is over, Danny shows his face and flippantly waltzes in, reads Steve personal mail and makes light of the situation before finally saying that he was sorry. And then stupidly asks “Are you OK?”
I absolutely LOVE Steve’s speech about how life isn’t on our own terms and the tears in his eyes. This man acted his heart out all the way through this episode. I know I have said it before, but he just blows me away.
Steve said the wisest words, some that everyone should take to heart. We can try to make good deals out of our lives, but in the end, we don’t really have a say in it. Make the best of every day, take what life deals YOU. Move forward and love your life. That is what I took from this.
I also took from this conversation that Doris did go rogue, in a way. She wanted to put aside money to set up her children. But that was blood money. Did she really think that is a way to get revenge (or whatever you wanna call it) for a lost life? What she believed she sacrificed for the greater good? For me, that is betrayal. She betrayed her country, herself, but most of all her family.
I know I have bashed Danny in this but we didn’t need his humor or flippant attitude. And at the end of the episode, Steve finally answered the much asked question of the last ten years. And the answer is, “No, Steve does NOT want Danny in his bed.”
LOL. No, he surely doesn’t. About his humor, Danny doesn’t have any humor, at least none that is funny. But again, he was perfectly in character. Annoying and useless. But as I said, I didn’t mind because he was barely in it.
I would give this as many stars as possible, or an A+++ or whatever is superlative. Alex outdid himself. His commitment to this show is exemplary. This was an award-winning performance. It is a shame that won’t happen.
No, he won’t get anything other than our admiration. I at least hope he knows how brilliant this episode was.
Please excuse any mistakes, we will take them out when we have the time to go over this again. 😉