Faithful “Hawaii Five-O” fans probably feel like it has not been so long since the police drama that pulsates with “ohana ” as much as it does with high-action crime-fighting celebrated its 100th episode back in October of 2014. Amidst these times of short-run cable series, it is a rare feat for any mainstream network show to hit that milestone, much less a 200th episode. “Hawaii Five-O” continues to keep fans coming back every Friday, largely due to the connections with the lives of the lead characters, and also because of the creative storytelling in unraveling cases.

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All of those elements were in play on the November 9, season 9 seventh episode, "Pua is la ka uwahi o ka moe" (The Smoke Seen in the Dream Now Rises). To mark the 200th episode, executive producer, Peter Lenkov, took his pen to write the episode that not only travels back to the fateful days before the attack on Pearl Harbor but creates wholly new characters for each of the “Hawaii Five-O” team.

The 100th episode centered on themes of unity [VIDEO] in its “All for One” message, as well as in the special John Ordrasik Five for Fighting theme song for the episode. The full team was marshaled for a rescue of McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) in that storyline. McGarrett needed no rescue in this 200th milestone, but instead, looked to his grandfather and a Hawaiian detective hero to solve the mystery of the death of a poor, forgotten girl. Danny (Scott Caan) and Steve also reach a mutual decision about their restaurant endeavors.

A tasty party and touching the past

The mood is festive and free as Danny and Steve celebrate a soft opening of their restaurant in Oahu’s Chinatown. The partners are getting rave reviews, but Danny is slipping into a depression over all the money that is literally being consumed without a cent of profit before their eyes.

Duke (Dennis Chun) introduces an elderly Milton Cooper (Richard Herd) to Steve, and the senior detective explains that he was the partner of Steve's grandfather, who would have become a detective had he not been killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Cooper presents the briefcase that belonged to grandfather Steve McGarrett to Lt. Commander Steve McGarrett of “Hawaii Five-O.” Steve is utterly moved and captivated by the mystery of what is inside the gift. The case holds the last leads of the legendary Hawaiian “cowboy” detective hero, Chang Apana, who preferred a bullwhip over using bullets in dealing with his perpetrators.

Steve takes the precious briefcase home, captivated by its history and its unsolved mystery. He falls asleep going through the contents regarding a missing girl named Lila, who worked on a sugarcane plantation with her family.

In this dream, McGarrett becomes his grandfather, and Danny is Milton Cooper. Chi McBride is Captain Charles Sumner, eve harder-nosed than Grover.

Ian Anthony Dale portrays crime boss Earl Blackstone. Jorge Garcia portrays real police officer, Mike Flanagan, and proves very proficient with a firearm. Meaghan Rath transforms from Tani Rey to a singing siren, Alexa Alana. Taylor Wily is still a large presence as protector “Biggie” Tupa, while Dennis Chun still works the case as Sgt. Naskluchi. Beulah Koale gets the cush job on the beach as the surfing instructor, and brother of Lila, Evan Kekoa. Ever the ground-breaker, Kimee Balmilero turns from medical examiner, Noelani, to the 1940s doctor who bandages up McGarrett.

A stylistic feast

The only further enhancement to the feel of the episode would have been to shoot it in grainy black-and-white, with the flecks from old footage coming through. Nonetheless, from the fedoras to the trench coats to the weapons and the cars, everything from the 40s was captured, down to home décor.

The accents and mannerisms make another treat. In the opening minutes, when McGarrett and Milton are fired at outside the police station, and Scott Caan’s wry description as Milton of the incident as being “dark and over quickly, like my first marriage,” and the ride takes off from there.

McGarrett is intrigued that such a poor girl would have a sizable diamond necklace at the time of her disappearance. The first lead is the brother, who has another terrific accent as he flirts, and his information takes Milton and McGarrett to the plantation owner, named Whitmour (Mariano Farrar). The owner maintains that he truly cared for Lila, and was “insulted” when she presented him with the first hard-earned payment of $300 to secure her and her family’s freedom from servitude on the plantation. He denies ties to the necklace.

For any “Hawaii Five-O” viewers who relish “The Untouchables” or other stories of its kind, the shootout scenes in vintage cars are marvelous, and somehow a beloved “cargument” still occurs amidst the gunfire. Jorge Garcia as Flanagan takes some really good shots.

McGarrett gets burned when he tries to get a perpetrator’s wallet just after an explosion. His arm is burned, and a very competent female doctor treats his injuries.

The partners get a true break when they go to a club, where a friend of Lila's, Alexa, sings. They run into crime boss, Blackstone, but McGarrett only stays at his table long enough to taste and ruin his expensive booze.

Alexa won’t talk inside, but she tips Milton and McGarrett to meet her in the alley. She tells them that she was with a very happy Lila on the night she disappeared and that Lila was working very hard for herself and her family to leave the plantation. The necklace had come from Lila’s boyfriend/lover. Just as that secret was given, Alexa is shot, and Meaghan Rath gives a full-on, eyes-open departure in a death scene, but not before she utters “James” to McGarrett as the name of the boyfriend. James was the son of the plantation owner, Whitmour, and he was already engaged to a prominent socialite heiress. His heart clearly was elsewhere, and his father would do anything to hide the truth.

On a subsequent visit, the elder Whitmour seems ready to spill the rest of the story, when sirens screech out, and planes fly overhead, signaling the attack on Pearl Harbor [VIDEO], and McGarrett's change of fate.

Steve deduces that a project to build a pool on the Whitmour estate was, in fact, a cover for burying the vehicle containing Lila's body, since the pool never materialized.

The next day, Steve expresses a newfound desire to do “what I know” in police work, inspired by the cold case. He proposes that he needs to get out of the restaurant business, apologizing to Danny. Danny is also ready to ditch the business and already has a buyer in Kamekona, ready to take his next foray into food.

Already in Season 9, much of “Hawaii Five-O” history has been probed and honored, as in the first episode looking back to Wo Fat. A friend is never forgotten on this drama, and neither is a victim deserving of justice, no matter a historic interruption. Season 9 is already a third through its run, but at this rate, the police drama could shoot for a 300th episode.