The Hawaii Five-O team has their hands full dealing with personal and family demons of late, besides bringing felons to their deserved fate on the island. In this week’s “Ma lalo o ka ili” (Beneath the Surface), Episode 17 of Season 4, family issues confront the “Five-O” favorites and the team as they crack a kidnapping case to find a very different truth.
Amidst a father being bludgeoned, the story opens with a seemingly desperate teen daughter trying to call for help. A delivery of huge boxes arrives at Danny’s (Scott Caan) home, which seem to defy his explanation, and mom, Clara (Melanie Griffith) sets off for a “none of your business” appointment. Jerry (Jorge Garcia) makes a kindly roommate gesture in making breakfast for Steve (Alex O’Loughlin), but Steve still thinks it’s time for Jerry to “move on,” and let him live his solitary lifestyle preference. Jerry and Steve share a very firm, parting embrace, when the call comes on the case. Garcia has been added to the cast as a regular now, so expect another level of brotherly love to unfold! Danny confesses he followed his mother to a divorce attorney’s office, and desperately wants to divert any legal matters that he feels his mom will later regret. Arriving on scene, the victim is Russell Donovan, a hard-working, single dad schoolteacher, who doted completely on his daughter, according to appearances, but the daughter is nowhere to be found.
A description of a fleeing car in the night leads to its owner, Jay Cooper (Noshir Dalai), playing at jet propulsion, but the wealthy adventurer has no idea who has taken the car, until Catherine’s (Michelle Borth) digging uncovers the taker to be Tommy Fa’aloa (BooBoo Stewart), a kid with a really long record, and reasons behind it. He lost his drug dealing, abusive parents to prison before being bounced around through foster care before his own crime history. Jerry uncovers a mystery he does not even realize when he brings the toolbox left by Steve’s dad, describing how he uncovered the “Shelberne” name again, not understanding its meaning as a maternal codeword. The name was revealed after scraping away a surface paint job, and only Jerry could decipher that the unusual “e’s” in the name led to map coordinates in Cambodia. Tommy makes more brutal assaults to steal cars, as he and his willing captive, not victim, Kelly Donovan (Conor Leslie) attempt evasion. It works for a moment, when Tommy disengages his vehicle’s airbags, then traps Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) and Steve with the ones in their own vehicle after a deliberate collision. Danny comes home to find his mom sobbing, with the attorney’s word that she has to sell the house, and still contend with the silence on Danny’s dad’s end. She tells him she filed for divorce. He tells her that he’s arranged for a treat of a spa day, and she is obliged to accept such a caring act.
The team uncovers that Kelly told friend her best friend that her father was abusive, and despite that feelings about Tommy, Kelly used him as a rescuer. Before another regretful robbery, Tommy and Kelly speak “I love you’s,” with cops right on their trail. Danny details that Steve’s chase tactics behind the wheel have now terrified him “118 times,” and meanwhile, the team finds further evidence that Kelly planned her father’s hit, and deliberately plucked Tommy as her ploy, knowing he would feel empathy with an abuse angle. The plot was all to get the million dollar payoff from an insurance policy. Finally cornered, Tommy tries to run, and despite Steve’s call of “Hold fire,” from a distance away, he is fatally shot for trying to save someone who only feigned love. Kelly calls for rescue again while chained to the chair in the interrogation room, but Kono swiftly reminds her that instead of making her father. The monster, “the monster’s you.” She shows Kelly that the entire evil caper was all for nothing, because her dad had let the policy lapse in order to save for a college fund. “Happy reading,” Kono reminds, leaving the room.
Danny has decorated his entire living room in the décor of Silvio’s Restaurant, his parents’ favorite, when his dolled-up mom returns home. Dad, Eddie (Tom Berenger) comes out, serving as special consultant to the project. He explains that he’s been too ashamed to call, and that retirement has felt like a gut rip for him, so much so that he had little realization that he was neglecting the love of his life. “I came here to get you, and I’m not leaving without you,” he declares to Clara, and Grace (Teilor Grubbs) announces that the only entrée will be pizza, and she and Danny look on as her grandparents find laughter and rekindle romance again. Through Joe White, Steve gets a lead on an informant, who tells him to walk away again, from the situation with his mother. Showing him the map, the Cambodian field is revealed as a grave, and the penalty for any further information could mean death. Parent situations seem only to lead to pain for Steve. There’s no pain for Hawaii Five-O fans, though. The series just got renewed for its fifth season this week!