Sunday, February 15, 2015

Hawaii Five-0: Season 5, Episode 15 Review (S05E15) -- E 'Imi pono (Searching for the Truth)

(S05E15) E 'Imi pono (Searching for the Truth)
RATING: 2-1/2 stars

Original air date: 02/13/15

The crime of the week part of this episode was not bad.

Roko Makoni (Barkhad Abdi), a warlord from the Congo responsible for brutal kidnappings, rapes and murders during the 2000s and described as "the most wanted man in the world," moved to Hawaii several years ago with the help of Ben Hamilton (Grant Bowler), a CIA "cultural attaché" with the American embassy in Kinshasa. Having faked his death in Africa with the help of Hamilton, Makoni is living a new life under the name of Earl Robinson and working as a taxi driver in Honolulu. But Makoni is recognized by Patrice Thomas (Feikamoh Massaquo), members of whose family were murdered by Makoni in Africa. Thomas came to the States from the Congo as a political refugee and moved to the islands. Thomas contacts Julius Brennan (AJ Buckley), a freelance journalist and documentarian who befriended him while reporting on the Congo conflict and sends him some pictures connected to Makoni. As a result, Brennan also comes to Oahu.

As the show begins, Brennan meets up with Hamilton, who he knew when in the Congo. Hamilton later describes Brennan as acting paranoid and "not the Julius I knew." Shortly after their dinner, Brennan is garrotted in his car by Makoni, who was likely tipped off by Hamilton.

When Max starts examining Brennan's body, he finds writing all over the his chest. Assistant ME Shaw describes this to McGarrett and Danno as hypographia, a "behavioral condition characterized by an intense desire to write." Some of what she and Max say about this condition has been taken almost word-for-word from its Wikipedia entry (see below*). There is also similar writing all over Brennan's hotel room.

Jerry manages to crack this writing's "code." It contains a mark which is "the arrow of Sagittarius ... referring to the zodiac symbol of ancient Babylonian origin representing the soldier" (seriously). This code also contains Thomas's name, and when Five-0 arrive at his apartment, they find him the victim of a staged drug overdose. The Sagittarius symbol is branded on Thomas's body from years before..

Finding photos of Makoni's taxi on Thomas's computer leads Five-0 to the warlord, who pulls out some heavy-duty weaponry and the usual firefight ensues. He escapes because, once again, Five-0 can't hit the side of a barn door, or, in this case, a fleeing hijacked car. Makoni has another taxi than the one he usually uses secreted in some building with a lot of C4 explosive in the trunk. After taking hostages, one of whom he shoots in the stomach, Makoni is surrounded by cops on a Honolulu street (corner of Kapuni and Cleghorn). There McGarrett tries to negotiate with him and he is just about to shoot McGarrett when Kono plugs him from afar with her usual expertise.

There were plenty of opportunities to stretch this plot out to the show's full length. For example, nothing is made of the C4 in the trunk of the taxi. Didn't anyone think that the supposedly clever Makoni would have had some kind of detonation device that he could have used to further threaten everyone? There also could have been connections made between the CIA man Hamilton and McGarrett's mother, hopefully without having Ma McG putting in an appearance.

Unfortunately, far too much of this show was taken up with the usual "family" nonsense. As if to make up for his recent absences, Danno rattled on and on about Gracie getting text messages on her new cel phone from some boy at school who he described as a "little thug" and "predator." (Danno was able to view these messages thanks to some technical screwup by the phone company.) We have heard this before, haven't we? Not only was Danno whining about this as McGarrett dumped some butter in his coffee at the beginning of the show, but then we had to endure further ranting from Danno as they were driving. I must admit that the end of the show, where Danno resolved his "trust" issues with his daughter, was touching, but this was during another beery "ohana" finale at a Valentine's Day barbeque where Grover was dressed up in some ridiculous chef's outfit which transformed him into a jazzy version of the guy on the Cream of Wheat box. To top this off, at this party Jerry was seen having the hots for Dr. Shaw as the others looked on, chuckling. Did anyone not figure that when Shaw gave him a rose earlier telling him to give it to someone that he cared about, that she would not be getting this flower back eventually?


  • Danno uses some peculiar expression when he and McGarrett are driving.

    Danno: When I was a kid, if I liked a girl, I had to go up and talk to her, right, like, with my mouth, a human being. Now, any kid with thumbs, a family share plan, gets to walk around, thinking they're the mack.

    McGarrett: The mack? You say "the mack?"

    Danno: The mack, yeah. I don't know. It's the smooth jazz ["on hold" music on his phone], baby. It's got me thinking about the 90's, you know?

  • Gracie and her boyfriend are seen hanging out at Via Gelato, an actual Honolulu locale.
  • During the hostage-taking, how does Makone know McGarrett's name?
  • Max was far less annoying in this episode than usual. He mentioned that he was going to be meeting his girl friend Sabrina for Valentine's Day. He described her his "paramour," a term usually used for "a person with whom someone is having a romantic or sexual relationship and especially a secret or improper relationship." When questioned, Shaw tells him that "I have a date with my Kindle and a nice bottle of Cab," which Max describes as "wonderfully pathetic."
  • In the CBS PR material for this show, dated January 22, 2015, Makono's name is Roko Contee and Brennan's is Joseph Boyd. There are two other characters listed, Kee Mun, played by Hoon Lee amd Little Girl, played by Ciara Fortuno, who seemingly do not appear in the show at all.
  • Part of the negotiation between Makoni and McGarrett involves a helicopter. To where? It's not going to get to the mainland, that's for sure. Is it going to the airport where a plane awaits him? After he is captured, McGarrett tells Makoni he is going to The Hague, meaning the International Court of Justice.
  • Patrice Thomas's driver's license #729K419 shows he lives at 1109 Kahuamaka St., #210 in Pearl City 96782. He is 6'0" and weighs 175 lbs. His date of birth is 04/22/1991. Considering he is 25 years old, why would he be branded with the Sagittarius symbol, since this was supposedly done by Makone on his "kidnapped child soldiers"?
  • Brennan is shown interviewing Thomas and his brother Wesley [sic] in the Congo during the conflict years before in a video which Five-0 got very quickly from some editor who worked on it. Rather than being filmed with a single camera, it employs the multi-camera techniques and closeups similar to Five-0's photography.
  • Makone's Laulauna Taxi Company license, 2994992-49920, and Hamilton's Diplomatic Immunity Card, #2997543796-0087 have signatures which look like they were written by the same person. The license plate of Makona's taxi is QDI 851. The other taxi he has with the C4 in the trunk has a license YF5 852.
  • According to Mike Timothy, Makone's "C4" taxi is a 1995 Ford Crown Victoria. As to whether the driver could control the locks in the manner depicted in the show, Mike says, "There is a rocker switch on the driver's door panel which locks or unlocks all doors. In addition, there is a knob at the top of the door panel for all four doors that runs up or down depending on the master door lock switch. There likely is a power door lock switch on the passenger front door. As originally designed, it is not possible for the driver to lock the rear doors in a fashion such that the rear seat passengers could not unlock and open the doors themselves. Police cars (Crown Victoria Police Interceptor) models of course have that feature, but not a retail sale or fleet sale (cab) car. There may be a switch on the driver door panel that deactivates the power window switch (power window lockout). Indeed the 1968 Park Lane Brougham has such a feature, though it was worthless to McGarrett, as he never ever drove with the windows up. No car with power door locks, however, has had a power lock override."
  • The writing on Brennan's chest has disappeared between the time it is originally seen by Max and Shaw and when Jerry comes to the morgue. Presumably it was washed off before the body was sliced open, but isn't this considered evidence?
  • *Wikipedia:

    Hypergraphia is a behavioral condition characterized by the intense desire to write. Forms of hypergraphia can vary in writing style and content. It is a symptom associated with temporal lobe changes in epilepsy, which is the cause of the Geschwind syndrome, a mental disorder. Structures that may have an effect on hypergraphia when damaged due to temporal lobe epilepsy are the hippocampus and Wernicke's area. Aside from temporal lobe epilepsy, chemical causes may be responsible for inducing hypergraphia. [Note there is nothing mentioned about stress.]

    [Under "Characteristics":] Patients with hypergraphia exhibit a wide variety of writing styles and content. While some write in a coherent, logical manner, others write in a more jumbled style (sometimes in a specific pattern).[citation needed]

    The Show:

    Shaw: It's called hypergraphia. It's a behavioral condition characterized by an intense desire to write. It's a symptom associated with temporal lobe epilepsy and can be triggered by high-stress life events.

    Danno: He's had plenty of those.

    McGarrett: Yeah, or maybe the stress of thinking somebody's out to kill you. Looks like a code.

    Max: That was my first assumption as well, until I took a closer look. (Gives McGarrett a mirror.) The words are backwards.

    [Holding the mirror, McGarrett reads several of the words.]

    McGarrett: What does this mean? Do you guys understand this?

    Shaw: It actually makes sense that it doesn't make sense. Think of it as nervous doodling, a frenzied firing of neurons in the brain.

    Max: Some people who suffer from hypergraphia write in a coherent and logical manner. Others, like Mr. Brennan, have a more jumbled style.

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