Hawaii Five-O” fans were treated to a double-scoop of perplexing perpetrators on February 22's Episodes 16 and 17 of Season 9. The storylines of “Hapai ke kuko, hanau ka hewa" (When covetousness is conceived, sin is born) and “E’ao Lu’au A Kualima” (Offer Young Taro Leaves To), both center on robbery, just with different aspects. The first involves the murder-by-poisoning of a top seller in the multilevel marketing pyramid scheme of Plum and Rose Beauty, who was just about to spill the goods on the crooked enterprise when she met her untimely demise.

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The second is just an old-fashioned bank-robbery with a multimillion-dollar take and a very personal tie for Junior Reigns (Beulah Koale).

Alex O'Loughlin takes the director’s chair again, along with the starring role, in the action-packed second episode. Deeper dimensions are brought to the character of Adam (Ian Anthony Dale) as he intervenes to make a difference in the life of a homeless hearing-impaired man, portrayed by Bob Hiltermann, whose life story is an inspiration in itself.

Alex O'Loughlin (R) stars and directs the 17th episode of Hawaii Five-O this week in a two-episode treat. [Image source:TViQ-YouTube]
Alex O'Loughlin (R) stars and directs the 17th episode of Hawaii Five-O this week in a two-episode treat. [Image source:TViQ-YouTube]

Tani (Meaghan Rath) is treated to a lifelong dream, too, thanks to Junior’s good heart.

These episodes translate something about right choices in any language, and faithful viewers are bound to enjoy the journey.

Not a fun dive

Unbeknownst to her, Gwendoline Baker (Chelsea Glenn) had been given foxglove poison in the collagen powder of her morning smoothie, and she hemorrhaged to death during a mermaid class swim arranged for all her devoted sellers of Plum and Rose.

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Naturally, the husband away at tennis camp was an initial suspect, but he is the prime defender of his wife’s purer motives to disclose the criminal activities of the company’s founder in laundering money through a Chicago syndicate.

There is no shortage of haters, seeing as hundreds and hundreds have been duped out their life savings by promises of a lavish life as depicted by the upper echelons on Facebook. One lead traces to one of those dreamers, Mukani (Kristina Emerson).

She confesses that she did vandalize Baker's car with “women bleed” in red paint, but never went farther. It doesn't take long until “Hawaii Five-O” gets to the top dog, or the female alternative, of the company, Jocelyn Greene (Ginifer King) and her husband (Todd James Jackson) who have already been targeted by the mobsters for making moves with the cash. They take the Greene children as collateral, and when “Hawaii Five-O” takes a fatal shot at the man who knows where the children are, Jocelyn pleads for help from “Hawaii Five-O” to spare them.

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The husband is killed in the melee, but at least mom gets a memorable hug before justice is delivered.

In the second episode in the night, 17, a major bank robbery is organized at the Bank of Oahu and another local bank, comprising a haul in the millions. For “Hawaii Five-O” faithful who live for the adrenaline rush, this tale of criminals for hire and a few with no moral compass at all keeps the blood pumping.

It doesn't take long to reach the conclusion that the full operation was an inside job by a retired armored truck driver (Michael Ironside) and a current “regular” driver, Carl (Brian Howe).

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The retired driver, Caster, bears a grudge since he was denied his full benefits, and his “inside” knowledge of operations prompts them to recruit a desperate crew of accomplices, each having their own motives for joining in on the heist.

One of the employees at the bank is Jenny (Taiana Tully), who reluctantly leads Junior to a painful connection to his past, and an effort to change the future for one of the men.

Going deeper to do good

The compelling aspects, of both of these stories, are the back stories of redemption. In Episode 16, Adam visits his friend, Hal, with whom he frequently shares a sandwich, Hal’s favorite kind, “free.” The persevering friend relates to Adam that he needs a permanent address to secure a job, and when he asks Adam to help him buy a birthday present for his granddaughter’s sixth birthday, Adam goes more than the extra mile. He purchases the requested purple elephant, and takes Hal for a transforming shave and a haircut, before arranging for him to have a shower and new close before boarding a plane to deliver the gift in person.

Adam is dejected when Hal does not show up for lunch before the trip, but Kamekona gives wise insight from his personal past about the process of becoming ready to receive help, and Hal and Adam do meet for talk of honest revelation. Adam describes how his “ohana” extended lifelines for him, and he wants to do the same for Hal. In the hands of lesser actors, this could become just another weepy mess, but these stars convey the best of the human spirit and leave the essence of hope. Hal arrives to celebrate with his granddaughter.

Tani tells Junior of her “Little Mermaid” dreams in childhood, and how they evoke the closeness she had with her father. Toward the close of the episode, Junior walks his “Hawaii Five-O” partner to a mermaid class, presenting her with her own mermaid tail. She doesn't try to mask her exuberant joy with her usual sass or toughness. She joyfully accepts the gesture with a hug and a kiss and goes splashing in the water.

In episode 17, once Junior realizes through Jenny that one of the bank robbers is Troy (J.J. Soria) the boyfriend of his former love, Layla (Anna Enger) and the father of their baby, he commits himself to protect her. She refuses to listen to his investigative findings regarding Troy’s involvement and, instead, demands he leave.

Later, when a message comes from Layla, Junior knows by the use of his name that it is not from Layla, but he goes to try to convince Troy to surrender. Instead, the full crew of robbers surrounds the two, and Troy flees on foot. “Hawaii Five-O” shows up in full force, handling the ensemble of shooters, while Junior wants to take care of Troy on his own.

When Troy is cornered, Junior makes another attempt in begging him to willingly cooperate, but his gun remains pointed. A montage of the loving father and couple embracing their baby in the morning light intercedes amidst the stand-off. Troy insists that he did this dirty crime for the benefit of his family, just as countless other criminals have defended.

Junior fires his weapon to try to disarm his once-friend, but instead, the wound is fatal. Both men will suffer the consequences of these decisions forever. One is a decision for salvation, another is an option for an easy way out, with needless suffering by innocent people. Tani tries to convince Junior that none of his actions took Troy’s life, or could have altered the outcome. It's hard to shake the sensation of holding a dying body. Layla confronts Junior with a slap.

Steve warns Junior about managing “blind spots,” but some of those often change the vision of the future forever.

March Madness will preempt “Hawaii Five-O” during a few weeks in March, so at least fans can savor this double helping of “ohana.”

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