Hawaii Five-O has always been as much about heart as it is about busting those hard-nosed perpetrators prowling the island, and this week’s “Pale’la” (Season 4 Episode 15) broke a drought of repeat episodes with a story that put Danny (Scott Caan) alongside partner, Steve (Alex O’Loughlin) wondering what’s going on with Mom. Steve proves loyal friend to Captain Grover (Chi McBride) in his boss’ moment of crisis, and it’s harder to hide a mummy than anyone thinks.
The story starts innocently enough, as a wife is being particularly persnickety about the hanging of a painting, until an adjustment reveals an eye staring back from behind the plaster. Danny is bouncing off the airport walls to welcome his mom and dad for their visit, when mom, Clara (Melanie Griffith) comes off the jet way with a mammoth load of luggage, but not her husband. Ever the detective, Danny cannot let his questions rest, and she has to reveal then and there that she and Dad are getting a divorce. There ensues a riotous round of three-way telling tales about Danny, with clear reiterating the history of all her son’s well-known habits, amidst his protest. Steve is called her the case, as Clara settles in, and Danny tries to delve into the root of his parental problems. Steve is accosted by persistent reporter, Sean Hutton (Ethan Emby), who is determined to dig into the past of a dirty case that led to Captain Grover leaving his Chicago post, and picking up stakes to head to Hawaii. Steve deflects the assault, reminding him “you better have your facts straight” before flinging accusations.
Max (Masi Oka) does his typical, fine job as M.E. as he determines the body is six months beyond the wall, named as one Guy Ingram. Danny is further distressed by his mother doing a lunchtime serenade of “I Saw the Sign,” with a bit too much joy. Clara sees that Danny has caught up on his cuisine skills, and she tells him that the reason for her decision to leave was that her dream of “our time” with Dad never materialized, leaving her alone and isolated, so she is determined to find “my time.” Chin (Daniel Dae Kim and Kono (Grace Park) learn that Guy had a plane ticket booked to Los Angeles, and he wasn’t traveling alone, he was traveling with a certain Sally Ann, who was also Mrs. Gerard. There was a playful exchange between the real estate agent, Cherie Tranton (Daryl Hannah) and the 5-O team. She had a brief flirtation last season with Danny before allowing her listing to be used as a stakeout. She was a serious selling rival for Guy, but not a murderer. Danny asks for a “rescue” call to a case, so he can consult with Steve about his new mother misery. Captain Grover is threatened by Hutton with a 24-hour deadline to provide his side of the story in the Chicago Molina case from Chicago, which cost the lives of a young family, including an infant. Steve tells Danny to “be there” for his mother, and Danny bristles at his suggestion that Clara might be bringing dates home soon! Chin and Kono track a bullet from the wall to one used in a jewelry store holdup, but that gun was supposed to be safe and sound in the evidence room, until Kono finds it gone. Lou Grover meets with Steve to tell the truth, and to give another man with secrets wisdom on letting them go before they eat a man up from the inside out. He tells how he had befriended the father in the family, and called off the SWAT team, even when a clear shot presented itself. Friendship did not prevail, however, and the whole family was killed in a bloody tragedy, that Lou could never leave behind. The department cleared Grover, but he couldn’t clear himself, and he warned “get things off your chest” to Steve, before it’s too late.
Clara takes Grace (Teilor Grubbs) for a granddaughter-grandma makeover day, leaving Danny quite disturbed about his daughter wearing makeup, renaming it “corrupt my daughter day.” Steve has it out with Hutton, telling him “you don’t get us,” referring to understanding how the weight of split-second decisions that mean life or death can wear away the soul. While Gracie is sent to wash her face, Danny and his mom have another heart-to-heart, as he reminds her how hard it was to tell Grace that her parents were divorcing, and how he feels as though he’s losing his “anchor.” Clara is empathetic, but describes how she was unable to cope with being displaced.
Kono and Chin and visit to the smelters, where weapons are supposed to be safely melted down, and learn that a man named Moku (Eugene Cordero) was diverting them for sale to the criminal element. His transactions are interrupted with their crash through his windows, and he is sent on an incarceration vacation. Moku puts them on the trail of Gerard Burns (Michael Green) who is the real killer, seeking revenge on his unfaithful wife, and leaving her to eternity behind the wall, “exactly where she should be,” according to him. Captain Grover hears the Hutton is pulling the story, and he knows Steve worked the deal. Steve is content to “over him one,” telling Lou, “You’re a good cop.”
The final scene finds Danny tucking mom in on the couch with TV for company, and being consoled by his beautiful daughter, who gets busted for reading in bed! Her comforting hug is badly needed, as “Danno” and daughter love each other through the similar pains of divorce, with pure Hawaii Five-O heart!