Allow me to start with the elephant in the room. This episode is the first of two episodes that will be affected by Alex O’Loughlin’s absence. That said, I have to give a nod to the writers and production staff for doing such a great job of adjusting this episode to deal with the missing McGarrett. I'm sure I speak for a lot of use when I say that I hope O'Loughlin's time off has helped him and I look forward to his return.
With that out of the way, let’s talk about the amount of information we got on Max this week! What a revealing episode for him. When Masi Oka first joined the cast as Max Bergman back in Season One, I really didn't like the character at all. He was too quirky, the OCD and eccentricities really turned me off the character.
What a long way we've come since then. Max has softened and they toned down his bazaar nature into more a “geeky” nature (his license plate is Warp 9 after all).
And after nearly two seasons on the show, we finally learned the answer to the question I asked when he started - why he is Asian but have the last name "Bergman." The answer was simple: he was adopted.
But then again, the answer wasn’t really simple was it? Not when his mother was a victim of the “Trash Man”. Max has been obsessed with the case ever since.
I really enjoyed the quid pro quo of Max asking Five-O to open the case as payment for the case he reopened for them. It showed depth and character that I would not have expected in 2010.
Speaking of quid pro quo – Kamekona’s missing shrimp truck seemed a bit tacked on. While it did offer some mild comedic relief, Danny’s initial rudeness to Kamekona had my wife commenting on what an ass he is.
How many times has Kamekona stepped up for Five-O? Danny should have at least picked up the phone and gotten some officers dedicated to the case for the man!
Thankfully Danny eased up a bit on the jackass-ery and recruited Chin Ho and Kono to help him find Kamekona’s truck, making everything right with him and team again. Except for Max, who went to pick Richard Branch (the man accused of being the serial killer) from jail.
I understood Max’s need to help Richard when he knew he was not the killer. Just as I’m sure that killing the real killer went a long way to making it feel like there was justice (or revenge) for his biological mother's death.
Losing a parent is hard, I can't imagine it would be easier on Max just because he didn't know his biological mother, just less direct emotions. I hope that helping Richard gave Max some closure on his mother's death.
Ironically, for having started as a character I disliked, Max truly redeemed himself this week. He is even featured in a few of the most memorable Hawaii Five-O quotes from the episode!
What did you think of Danny’s first turn as lead dog? Did you miss McGarrett the character or Alex the actor? Can you make it through one more episode without him? Comment below!
Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.