Hawaii Five-O” has built its reputation and loyal following on the emotional connections and “ohana” between the characters, its unique storytelling, and fast-paced adrenaline-filled action. All of those were in play in this week's November 2 Episode 6 of Season 9, “Aia i Hi'ikua; i Hi'ialo" (Is Borne on the Back; Is Borne in the Arms). From the opening minutes, featuring an unknown civilian aircraft making a landing on the carrier USS Nimitz, to the final minutes of revelation, the power of this story hits like a salvo, and entertains all the way.

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All of the “Hawaii Five-O” team and HPD assemble to welcome back Sgt. Duke Lukela (Dennis Chun) to his rightful position after his reinstatement hearing and Steve McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) offers the first salute but is soon called away for some distressing news. Carson Rodes (Eddie Cahill), a Navy Seal brother-in-arms of Steve, has died while making that emergency landing, and the sole survivor is an infant baby boy. Nazeen Contractor is a presence on screen as Agent Emma Warren and her interplay with O'Loughlin's passionate and never by the books McGarrett is a TV screen treat. There are a lot of other sweet scenes to savor in this “Hawaii Five-O” installment.

Steve gets arrested for the sake of saving a baby and a friend's reputation on Hawaii Five-O. [Image source: Spoiler TV-YouTube]
Steve gets arrested for the sake of saving a baby and a friend's reputation on Hawaii Five-O. [Image source: Spoiler TV-YouTube]

Never turn on a buddy

Warren tells Steve that she will keep him informed on the case so long as he lets her do her job, and that inherently means not crossing procedural lines, which is one of the commander’s favorite things to do. She insinuates that Rodes’ dangerous and unsavory line of work led to his demise, and Steve immediately jumps to his defense, insisting that the friend he knows has far more on honor than she judges, despite his professional choices.

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Steve and Carson had reunited over drinks just days before, and Steve asks at one pointed moment, “Are you living right?” The question leads to a discussion of why Carson turned down his friend's offer to become part of “Hawaii Five-O,” but nothing erases the bond between the two, as they embrace before parting.

One of the things the pair discussed was the “tape trick,” a tactic for survival, in which a clue is left on a piece of tape hidden deep somewhere in a dangerous site.

Steve goes to Carson's hotel room, and sure enough, in a nightstand, finds a piece of tape with a license plate number left by Rodes. Just as he is about to leave, Agent Warren accosts him. Predictably, he tells her he found nothing missed at the scene.

Who takes this baby?

Meanwhile, the whole team is trying to unravel the origin of the plane and the identity of the precious infant. In one particularly humorous exchange, Jerry (Jorge Garcia) turns up at the storage hangar as Chuck, a new employee, who of course, left his credentials behind in a locker.

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He's scolded by none other than Captain Grover (Chi McBride), perfectly playing an NTSB official, who in turn scolds Agent Warren for allowing such “riffraff” on her site. He still gets the tail number of the plane, too.

While Steve is paying last respects to Carson, Noelani (Kimee Balmilero) conveniently takes a personal call, which allows Steve and Danny (Scott Caan) to go through the Navy man's final personal effects, which include a receipt for baby essentials, ensuring that this infant airlift was well-planned.

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Unfortunately, Agent Warren shows up at “Hawaii Five-O” headquarters at exactly the moment that the recently discovered tape is up on a screen, trapping McGarrett red-handed, so to speak, and she places him under arrest, handcuffing him in front of his team. Danny has his dream moments for ribbing his partner, who is confined to a conference room as a cell, which makes for great conversation in itself. While Danny tells Steve that the moment is so good that it is worthy of Danny's effort to open an Instagram account, Danny is the first one racing to the governor's office to obtain his partner’s letter of release. Agent Warren gives a final warning, noting that the next problem that arises may be one that “the governor can't fix” for McGarrett. No worries, Steve ends up getting a drink from Emma Warren by the end of the episode.

Investigation reveals that the baby belongs to Julia and Lee Berg (Sarah Dumont and Gabriel Mann). Dad is pretending to be a devoted parent at the hospital, while the team has to go searching for mom. Airport surveillance footage shows her greeting someone in a welcoming manner, but when “Hawaii Five-O” tracks the residence, they find evidence of a brutal bloodbath. The trail of evidence soon takes the team to a compound housing a sleazy security outfit, and a gun battle ensues, with the owner already shot. They locate Julia Berg, shot in the arm.

Mrs. Berg reveals that her husband is a chronic abuser, and she was hoping to flee his grasp, thanks to Carson Rodes efforts. When the conflict between her husband’s side and her salvation seemed to be a matter of life and death, she gave her son, Brandon, to Rodes in order to spare the child. The ex-Navy Seal did his mission, at his own expense.

“Hawaii Five-O” intercede, Lee Berg, as he tries to make a getaway on a private plane with his son. They convince him to surrender the child and take him to his mother in the hospital.

Tani (Meaghan Rath) is still in a quandary over what to do about Adam and the weapon identified as his. Junior (Beulah Koale) suggests the route of making an anonymous tip. She does, but in the meantime, she returns to Adam's house, planning to return the gun, and finds Adam there, in a complete, drunken stupor. Adam (Ian Anthony Dale) is like fans have never seen him before, despondent, and describing how he was “changed” after his confidential informant, Jessie, died, and then, Kono left him. Grace Park is doing just fine on ABC's “A Million Little Things.”

Tani tells Steve about the situation, and Steve dispatches Danny for a brotherly talk with Adam, which is very tender and truthful. Danny tells Adam he is welcomed on the “Hawaii Five-O” team, but he has to take a shower first since he smells so bad. This new direction for Adam could lay the groundwork for a new kind of solid relationship with Danny. It's quite a shock to see the man who handled Japanese gang lords with such steel courage succumb to the throes of heartache.

In the final minutes, Adam visits Tani’s office, telling her that an HPD search of his home prompted by the anonymous tip turned up nothing. He vows that he had nothing to do with the gun, or planting it. She assures him that his act of saving her brother's life supersedes anything he has done. Seconds before the credits roll, he asks “Who did?”

Peter Weller deserves director honors, doing another outstanding job of bringing out the best in this cliffhanger.

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