Last week’s “Hawaii Five-O” was filled with a fun and flirty vibe, with Joan Collins giving Steve and Danny her famously British best at being sassy. This week's March 15 Episode 19 of Season 9, “Pupuhi ka he'e o kai uli" (The Octopus of the Deep Spews its Ink), holds plenty of heart and humor, and even a visit from an old friend, but the case is quite serious.

The last time Junior (Beulah Koale) and his dad (Eric Scanlan) attempted to complete the deck, back in Episode 13 in January, the dispute over red Cedar sparked such frustration that the son handed back the tools and left, but later returned to try again, with his father extending a hammer.

Everything is smooth this time with the lumber, and Junior learns that dad loves musical theater because of meeting Junior's mom in high school because of signing up to sing. When Dad finds a cherished lost bracelet, that belonged to his deceased daughter Maya, Junior cannot understand how he can quickly push the treasure into his pocket and not say a word. Junior takes a call about a victim who has fallen to his death.

What seems a likely death of a window washer delves into artistic and political freedom and crosses international lines, requiring the expertise of everyone on “Hawaii Five-O.”

Confused identities

Lt. Commander Steve McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) arrives on the scene with Junior, and the setting suggests that the victim, Cooper, is a window washer for a local company.

In truth, however, no such company or employee exists. Investigation and connecting the dots from the chemical found in the victim (and usually found in spray paint) by Noelani (Kimee Balmilero) reveal that the victim is indeed a revered street artist, Brix, in the same vein as Banksy and other modern contemporaries. His fate was sealed by a team of hooded killers, who only took the job for money, not malice.

An old friend, Gerard Hirsch, played by recurring cast favorite, Willie Garson, offers his expertise to “Hawaii Five-O” once more after Junior and Tani (Meaghan Rath) unintentionally set off an alarm of paintball hits in a warehouse. They are tracking another set of footprints from the crime scene, belonging to a female, but she is nowhere to be found.

Longtime fans had to find it very satisfying to see Tani taking care of perpetrators with some powerful kicks, and joining in with Gerard like his former crush, Kono, portrayed forever memorably by Grace Park. Hirsch has the idea to re-create some street art in the Brix style, to lure possible suspects and lead to the female who escaped. He is a world-class forger, after all, and Tani is surprisingly impressed by his creation. He even adds the trademark panda emblem perfectly and sends out his work on social media.

Meanwhile, in a backyard, Adam (Ian Anthony Dale) finds a shirtless victim who clearly has been the victim of a ligature strangle. Lou Grover (Chi McBride) realizes that the key to their case may be in finding the missing shirt, and a bamboo button leads to the man hoping to cash in the threads for money and the gambling win that leads to death.

Nightmare in Nicaragua

Captain Grover has his suspicions about the shirt confirmed by the owner of his favorite Hawaiian shirt shop, and sets up a sting as an appraiser, simply waiting for the perpetrator who took the shirt to come in for the cash. Sure enough, it doesn't take long, and Lou plays it perfectly cool, putting the suspect in cuffs soon.

Jerry (Jorge Garcia) does some dang good cyber wizardry of his own, breaking into a computer video secretly saved by Brix, with the testimony of a dissident artist from Nicaragua, Teresa (Patricia Velasquez) who describes her brutal torture and imprisonment in her country for the sake of her art. She also details the death of her son by authoritarian hands.

Gerard Hirsch confirms her place as an artist, and as a political voice, and “Hawaii Five-O” knows that she was the woman that Brix and his art dealer were trying to protect, and who the hooded men were paid to take.

Junior confides to Tani that he doesn't understand how his father still has no emotion over the loss of Maya. She gives a good-hearted retort that not talking about emotions is hereditary for his family.

The team traces that Teresa is being held in “live stream” from Nicaragua by a corrupt and wicked directorate of State, Arturo Granera (Marlon Martel). McGarrett seems to zoom to the location with the crew, bidding “case closed” on the camera, right in front of the Nicaraguan captor.

When Adam and Lou get wind that their victim had taken in a big haul from the gaming tables the night of his death, it doesn't take long before they are at his ex-wife's door, pressing charges of conspiracy to commit murder against her and her boyfriend, who's not quite fast enough to get away.

In a sweet closing moment, Tani invites Gerard to dinner, clear to insist that it is not a date. She gives him the name of a man running a foundation to help dissident artists and tells him that she put in his name. Gerard is touched and still asks if a date is a possibility, just as he did in so many past episodes. Tani advises that he not spoil the moment.

What “Hawaii Five-O” does best is blending its themes of “ohana,” bringing justice, and high-action with genuine heart and the final scene of this episode should be marked as among the most touching in the police drama’s history.

Beulah Koale delivers a moving performance much akin to his role in the film, “Thank You for Your Service” in these final few moments. Junior find his father drowning his heartbreak in drink, clutching the bracelet found earlier and recalling precious memories. With loving grace, he says,” I got you, Dad” to his father, walking him safely to bed, and removing his prosthetic leg. Weeping, the father falls into his son’s shoulder, and they lock into an embrace before the credits roll.

This kind of beautiful scene exhibits why millions have watched “Hawaii Five-O” for nearly nine full seasons now, and hope to make the run a full decade, and maybe more. It's good to see all of this team working together, and it all works.

"March Madness" will put the police drama on hiatus for a few weeks with NCAA basketball before returning with Season 9's final three episodes.