The final few episodes of Season 4 for Hawaii Five-O have held all any fan could want in suspense, emotion, and lingering mystery, not to mention some of the best “bromance” moments ever between Danny (Scott Caan), Steve (Alex O’Loughlin) , and even Captain Grover (Chi McBride). Nothing ever seems to take these guys off their game, but when Catherine (Michelle Borth) gets a call that she can’t refuse in this week’s “Makani ‘Olu a Holo Malie” (Fair Winds and Following Seas), an unplanned, very undercover excursion to Afghanistan becomes the toughest situation Steve has ever confronted, and he comes to confront emotions that he has been known to avoid. Meanwhile, the rest of the “Five-O” force find themselves tracking down an organ trafficker, only to uncover some corporate crime.
Always in for a good cause, Steve hosts a poker night for the benefit of the police bereavement fund, but feels a little snubbed when he gets resistance from Danny on a little loan to keep him in the game, especially when Kamekona’s (Taylor Wily) offer of “shrimp bucks” isn’t widely accepted, even from bounty hunter, Duane “Dawg” Chapman. A call comes that takes Catherine away from the table, and draws her back seven years, to her service in Afghanistan. The father of a family that saved her life from battle injury and then, discovery by the Taliban, desperately seeks her assistance to save his son. At the same time, the team is summoned to a scene where an abandoned vehicle is found to be a organ donor transporter, and its driver, Bruce Paloma, a victim. Catherine confides to Steve the life-and-death details of her connection to the Khan family, and despite the danger, Steve understands and respects her allegiance. She asks him to arrange “under the radar” flight to the country. As she is about to board, she hears Steve calling the codeword, “Stillman,” and assuring, “You didn’t think I was going to let you go alone, did you?”
Some digging indicates that a liver was to be delivered in the vehicle at the scene, but the delivery case was empty, and first leads pointed to Leon Chase (David Landry), but his alibi was clean– he wasn’t going for the liver. Steve and Catherine ride in on horseback for their in country mission, in full native dress. They get a warm greeting from mother Kahn (Malika Sherawat), but things already have gone from bad to worse, and they follow a trail of blood to the father, Amir (Mido Hamada) who has been stabbed, and lies bleeding out, from his efforts to save his son, Najib (Christianno De Lugo), from capture, to no avail. The team back in Hawaii is racing against time, with a viable liver only having in 18-hour shelflife, and the patient awaiting transplant. GPS does lead them to the true man holding the liver, Jamie (Jordan Salud), but there’s more to the story than simple organ trafficking. Chin discovers the entire crime was caught on tape for a purpose by Addis Chemical, who wanted the staged crime to act as a smokescreen to their liability in their legal jams in court. The recipient of the liver was their lawyer. Despite the ploy, he was still a man in need of the life-saving transplant, young, and with a family.
Catherine shares the story of a soccer ball and her first meeting with young boy, Najib, stopping him from chasing the ball in an area of land mines, and then calling in a favor from Billy to have the field cleared. Steve dresses as a lowly sheepherder as they try to trace vehicles carrying children for their selfish and murderous purposes as Taliban expendables. Catherine doesn’t find Najib, but does allow the other children time to escape as Steve distracts, but he soon has to become shooter as heavy fire comes, a grenade is thrown, and he is captured, as Catherine can only look on in terror. She calls Danny to ask him to contact Joe White, giving him Steve’s last location coordinates. Danny decides he’s going on this mission, not officially, but as a true buddy. Steve endures the beating of his life from his captors, and these Hawaii Five-O depictions were the most difficult to watch in the drama’s history. Steve surrenders not an inch, and divulges nothing, but there are computers even in this pit of hell, and they deduce his Navy Seal background at the same time he denounces their cause as righteousness, refusing to confess his “sins” before them. He literally is within an inch of his life, and losing his head, when special mission forces arrive. Relief sweeps over Danny with news that the “package is secure,” but Steve doesn’t find much security for recovery, as military officers demand to know where his intel information came from, and he feigns he “can’t remember” due to his beatings to keep Catherine safe. He is told to leave and not return, or face being thrown into the brig for the duration. Danny jokes about the poker debt, and the partners leave for home, Steve still fearful for Catherine.
Just as Steve comes through his front door, a call comes from Catherine. She says that she is safe, but still has not found Najib, and she must stay there until she does, especially because she has a lead on his location. Steve protests that he’s coming back, but she realizes, just as he does, that her cover is more secure alone. She makes a tearful promise that she will be careful. “I love you,” her Lt. Commander speaks at last across all those thousands of miles. “I love you, too,” she affirms, before speeding off on a motorcycle to unknown parts and an unknown fate, but with very known, very real feelings of love.
Next week, the season finale for Season 4 airs, and Captain Grover’s daughter is in the crosshairs of life and death, certain to provoke power struggles and emotional sparks.