Any long time “Hawaii Five-O” follower who might have thought that this week's Episode 4 of Season 8, “E uhi wale no ‘a’ole e nalo he imu puhi” (No Matter How Much One Covers a Steaming Imu, The Smoke Will Rise) would shake out as just another chronicle of techno-crime read the smoke signals wrong. Beyond the run-ins with diabolical hackers, this story has a depth that is likely to be probed throughout the season and continues with a theme of lasting legacies in the storyline.

No welcome back

Trouble explodes for the team when they discover that one of its most trusted, albeit “baked,” confidential informants, “Toast,” who has worked his cyber-genius in many past cases, has been viciously murdered, making it “personal.” Topping that terrible loss, word arrives that the entire “Hawaii Five-O” system has been hacked, with intent to target potentially every C.I.

with whom the force has worked.

Feeling forced to “dance with the devil,” Steve (Alex O'Loughlin) and Lou (Chi McBride) offer concessions to techno-terrorist, Aaron Wright (Joey Lawrence) in exchange for his expertise to track the hacker. This is the same psycho-crook who had no problem “unleashing hell” in the form of the arsonist, Jason DuClair, who nearly consumed the island in flames, so seeing doom in the negotiation doesn't take much of a leap.

Wright demands to do his work in a swanky hotel suite, and Tani (Meaghan Rath) takes on babysitting duties for the bad boy. He uncovers the signature of “Mogera” a criminal hacking legend, but he also has laid advanced arrangements to be rescued from his public location, and his henchmen arrive right at the prescribed moment, throwing a chemical bomb to incapacitate Tani.

Disheartened, she shuts down and starts to disconnect from her colleagues.

Pieces of the heart

While the blind mastermind behind the signature identity is snapped up in interrogation, Steve checks in on his protégé, Junior (Beulah Koale) at his Police Academy training. The instructor raves over his “raw talent,” and diligence, but also sees a “streak” of desperation to succeed, much like McGarrett himself, who had much deeper reasons for wanting his “Hawaii Five-O” leadership.

Steve discovers that Kamekona (Taylor Wily) is missing when he and Junior meet for lunch, and he goes to the location of Flippa’s truck, finding it already engulfed in flames. He rescues Nehele, who tells him that Kamekona has been taken.

Thugs try every tactic to break Kamekona physically and spiritually, but he stays true to the truth, and to the turn in his nature that happened when he decided to turn his life toward a good direction following prison.

An old adversary out of lockup, Joey Kang (Reggie Lee) is after $500,000 from his stash house. Kamekona confesses again and again that he “spent it” without any indication of an enhanced lifestyle. The big chef’s heart is beyond the size of his body, and he is at peace with life, no matter his fate. He is driven to the forest, set to be killed and abandoned.

Steve and the team track down Kang’s father at his auto body shop, and Steve let the dad know that he is even more determined “to get my family back,” as the “ohana” theme reverberates through every frame shot in this “Hawaii Five-O” season. It takes a dousing of gasoline to put the fear of God into the elder, but a call to his son makes a difference, and he doesn't shoot Kamekona.

More than a commander

In between the unfolding of the case, Steve draws closer to Junior, realizing that this determined trainee has lived most of his life “without,” which was also a reality for the actor himself in the ghetto neighborhoods of South Auckland, New Zealand. When his boss finds him living in a mission, he intercedes to open his home, and the gratitude is palpable. The basics of “accommodations and three squares” that Steve describes are already beyond what Junior has known. He is introduced to the rest of his “Five-O” family at their usual “after case” get together.

McGarrett shares a tender unspoken connection with Kamekona, but wonders where Tani is. Steve takes Eddie for a drive and drops by for a talk with her.

He tells her “we wouldn't be having this talk” if he did not have full confidence in her as part of his team, and there's nothing that a sweet dog’s wet nose can’t heal.

The final moving moments depict Kamekona savoring a youth basketball practice in a building made possible by his intervention. Generations of future kids will play there, and never realize the benefactor in the “anonymous” designation on the plaque hanging from the wall, but heaven keeps track of those records, and family flows deeper than blood.