Hawaii Five-0 Season 9 Episode 7 Review: The Smoke Seen in the Dream Now Rises

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Steve McGarrett really is a man born outside his own time.

Steve fit so much better in his grandfather's time in 1941 on Hawaii Five-0 Season 9 Episode 7.

It was a time when men were men, women were dames and everyone for some reason talked with a Jersey accent. Don't ask me why.

The 1940s - Hawaii Five-0

The line between good and evil was so much clearer then as well.

Was this an epic 200th episode, with all the required bells and whistles? No.

But that doesn't mean it wasn't a lot of fun.

Related: Hawaii Five-0 Season 9 Episode 6 Review: Aia i Hi'ikua; i Hi'ialo (Is Borne on the Back; Is Borne in the Arms)

That fun started with that Big Band-tinged version of the theme song, a new twist on what is arguably the most familiar theme song in TV history. That or Mission Impossible, you pick.

This episode allowed Steve to further connect with his grandfather and namesake whom he never got to know since the elder McGarrett was killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. 

Milton, his granddad's ex-partner, gave McGarrett a great gift: more information about his grandfather, the elder McGarrett's briefcase and a cold case to solve.

Opening Visitor - Hawaii Five-0 Season 9 Episode 7

And even though the restaurant's soft opening happened that same night, what captures Steve's attention? That's right, the cold case.

It's not just any cold case. however. It's the last unsolved case of the famed HPD Detective Chang Apana. Chang was famous enough that even Danny was aware of him, and Danny is as purposefully ignorant of things Hawaii as he can get away with.

So, in addition to being a cold case, it involved a figure out of Hawaiian mythology or at least Hawaiian history. That's another plus because the best episodes of Hawaii Five-0 are those that are educational as well as entertaining.

Related: Watch Hawaii Five-0 Online: Season 9 Episode 6

Mine your unique setting for all its worth. Otherwise, just use a backlot or the California hills.

Plus, let's face it, clothing and cars from 1941 were soooo much more stylish than those of today, which was another positive development.

It was amusing to watch how all the evidence from the cold case blended with the people in Steve's work life to re-create the investigation in his  dream.

Torch Singer - Hawaii Five-0 Season 9 Episode 7

The true charm of this type of flashback episode is watching current characters placed in different types of roles. However, there wasn't much of that happening here.

Steve and Danny were cops, who still had carguments 90 years in the past, as were Jerry and Duke. Adam was a crime boss, complete with a wispy mustache that always designated weasels in films of the day.

Tani was a revelation as a torch singer. Who knew she could sing? Junior as the victim's brother/surfing instructor and Kamekona as the club emcee were at least stretches as characters.

Related: 45 Baddies We Unapologetically Adore

The flashback also touched on the socio-economic conditions of colonial Hawaii. There were the rich plantation owner and the workers he largely owned, such as Lila's family. Then there was the scandal of the plantation owner's son sneaking around with a hula girl when he was engaged to an heiress.

The secret behind Leila's disappearance was that economics and social status took priority over one couple's love.

McGarrett's solution was so simple, it's shocking that no one, especially Chang or Steve's grandfather, hadn't thought of it before. He asked where James' bullet-riddled car had ended up and figured out that Lila's body must have been inside it.

Back to Work - Hawaii Five-0 Season 9 Episode 7

After all, James' body being found in the wrong part of town could be explained away. But his shot-up car and his scandalous affair could not.

When Steve found the plans for a proposed pool on the Whitmour estate, I figured the pool had been built over the buried car. But the truth was even more elegant, as the plans gave Whitmour an excuse for construction on his property. 

Related: Get CBS All Access via Amazon Channels for Hit Shows, Exclusive Originals & Live TV

The best part about this exercise in deductive reasoning is that McGarrett realized that he didn't belong in the restaurant business. When Steve announced his plan to get out, Danny surprisingly agreed. Apparently, the restaurant business is more aggravating than being shot at.

So ends the storyline that wouldn't die. It only took a season and a third for the powers that be to realize that it just wasn't working. One peek at Kamekona's Italian Bistro when it opens, and this can finally be put to bed.

To follow the odyssey of Steve's, watch Hawaii Five-0 online.

How did you enjoy the cold case? Which was your favorite character? Are you glad the restaurant storyline has largely been dropped?

Comment below.

Pua a'e la ka uwahi o ka moe (The Smoke Seen in the Dream Now Rises) Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (65 Votes)

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Hawaii Five-0 Season 9 Episode 7 Quotes

McGarrett the Elder: That was some crack shooting, Detective.
Milton: Hold it steady, dammit.

McGarrett the Elder: Would you do something please, Milton?
Milton: You're the one driving. What exactly would you like me to do?
McGarrett: I don't know. Shoot back maybe? Shoot back, huh?
Milton: OK. Just say so, and I'll do it.