Hawaii Five-O” fans had two reasons to celebrate Friday's April 26 Episode 22 of Season 9, “O ke kumu, o ka mana, ho'opuka 'ia” (The Teacher, the Pupil—Let it Come Forth). The first is that the current Season 9 will have 25 episodes, meaning three more “Hawaii Five-O” adventures await the police dramas faithful following. The second is that this tantalizing and terrorizing tale brings the stalwart talents of Kimee Balmilero as the medical examiner, Noelani Cunha, and Ian Anthony Dale’s Adam to the forefront in a pivotal storyline.

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The action opens with edge-of-your-seat suspense for the dutiful and sharp-as-a-sword medical examiner. She is forced at gunpoint to retrieve a heart valve from a morgue victim and then forced into the car of the mob captors in the early morning hours. She can hardly imagine the task that awaits her at her unknown destination. The same morning, a bride-to-be and former betrothed of Adam shows up at “Hawaii Five-O” headquarters with worries for beyond simply being a jilted bride. Her story draws Adam back into the dark Yakuza world briefly and leaves hints of lingering romance.

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An unexpected and evil OR

Noelani arrives at an isolated warehouse, where a makeshift operating room has been created. She is stunned, but relieved, to see her medical mentor, Dr. Chu (Page Leong), there as well. Dr. Chu tells Noelani that she was “chosen” because the doctor knew that her former student would be the only one with access to a heart valve “off the grid,” so to speak. More surprising is Dr.

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Chu's insistence that Noelani assists her with the surgery [VIDEO]. Noelani is gob-smacked by the terrorizing stakes of the situation, but more than aware that her own and her mentor’s life are in the balance. Their patient is the father of the primary mob member, and his survival means survival for them both.

The portrayals by Balmilero and Leong are standouts in this scenario. Noelani plots a plan for escape, thinking that Dr.

Chu is as much captive as she is. She employs the irrefutable need to go to the bathroom as her ploy, overpowering her takers. The 4’10” actress puts her girl power on full display. She and Chu run for escape, but at the final door, the Dr. tells Noelani that “I can't let you leave,” pointing a gun at her.

A series of unfortunate situations, scape-goating, and desperate choices put Dr. Chu in the position of “operating for the enemy.” As stupefied as Noelani is from these revelations, a more immediate problem is that the heart valve she brought his calcified, and cannot be used.

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A new valve is unfortunately available swiftly, as the captor in charge of Noelani’s nature call is shot by the son of the patient. Dr. Chu takes a bullet herself, being in the line of fire. She guides Noelani through the procedure as her life is fading out. The patient seems to pull through, until some vital alarms sound.

The scares aren't over, when Lt. Commander McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) and “Hawaii Five-O” find out about the peculiar hours and activity from dependable Noelani, they rush to the scene to intercept the crooked operation and save lives, but still more bullets fly.

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Sadly, Dr. Chu does not survive, and Noelani is both devastated by her death and by the circumstances that brought her to her demise.

Steve comforts her in the closing scene, counseling from his own experiences with not being able to save his own father figure and mentor, Joe White. With a sweet embrace, he encourages that Noelani has to accept that she could not save her own mentor, but her own choices for the good of others can honor the goodness in her.

Tani (Meaghan Rath) and Junior (Beulah Koale) exemplify more of the “Hawaii Five-O” “ohana” when she restores a beautiful portrait of his father and sister as a gift, and Junior discloses that the drunk driver responsible for his sister's death is soon to be paroled from prison. He fears for his father's mental stability, with the father-son relationship so recently restored.

A Yakuza rewind

Adam comforts Tamiko (Brittany Ishibashi), with a familiar hug of his own, when he finds the beautifully dressed bride at “Hawaii Five-O” headquarters. The man she was set to marry was really an undercover FBI agent who was investigating her father's “business.” Only she thought she knew his true identity, and her love for him was so true that she dared not tell her father, Masuda (Sonny Sato).

Adam and “Hawaii Five-O” initially conclude that this is simply a case of a father finding out about his future son-in-law and taking care of the problem, crime boss-style. When Adam talks with Masuda, however, he feels that the dad is being truthful about not wanting to snuff out his daughter's happiness, having seen her arranged marriage already fail. Masuda went so far as to put $5 million in a bank account, insisting that the newlyweds move away and live in safe anonymity, after learning of his son-in-law’s situation.

Adam and Tamiko get close and seem to take pleasure in their stroll through past memories, and perhaps there is potential for a closer connection between the characters later. Adam convinces her that she had no part in her fiancé’s death, and neither did her father.

What is revealed, however, is that the fiancé was involved in another case, investigating a pharmaceutical manufacturer who was really running a meth lab. When that man was sent to prison, the agent provided financial support to his wife and unborn child, which continued until his release. He was the one who wanted the agent gone, but when Steve and Adam track down his boat, a bullet is already shot through his head.

Adam knows that this hit has to be ordered from Masuda. When he confronts the captain of organized crime, Masuda self-assuredly reminds Adam that he will be back to his old Yakuza ways, “and this drink will be waiting.” Adam does not partake, and just weeks ago he celebrated the feeling of being free and creating a new life for himself with Captain Grover. He is likely not ready to surrender all that now, but he may again become a marked man.

Faithful “Hawaii Five-O” viewers will have to wait and see how the last three Season 9 episodes roll. As of this past week, there was no official word yet on Season 10, but the police drama that has become “appointment TV” is almost assured of its decade run.

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