Faithful fans of “Hawaii Five-O” have come to expect sweet and delicious fare from the police drama for every Thanksgiving episode. From the Grover brothers’ competition as cooks to memories of beloved Aunt Deb, portrayed by the legendary Carol Burnett, each holiday episode carves itself into viewers’ hearts. Thanksgiving falls at a particularly painful juncture for Lt. Commander Steve McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) this year, in this week's November 22, Episode 9 of Season 10, "Ka la'au kumu 'ole o Kahilikolo" (The Trunkless Tree of Kahilikolo),

The boss of “Hawaii Five-O” is carrying forward with his Thanksgiving plans to host 20 people.

Still, everyone is looking out for his well-being after the traumatic odyssey ending in his mother's death, following soon after the death of Joe White. Sadly, criminals take advantage of holidays, and this “Hawaii Five-O” Thanksgiving becomes a working one very rapidly. While the team is called to the home where a well-known, wealthy business leader has been killed, and a prized tree was taken from this property, Junior gets a call from his mother, telling him that she and his dad have been robbed. Possessions far beyond monetary value have been taken, and Junior and Tani (Beulah Koale and Meaghan Rath) attempt a desperate intervention.

Ready for the big day

As the tables and chairs are being gathered for Thanksgiving guests, Junior assures Steve that if any of the festivities become too much in light of the recent trauma, he stands ready to “pull the plug.” Steve doesn't try to be “the guy” this time, letting his protégé know he appreciates the help, but that Thanksgiving can go on as planned. He does indicate that he may not be up for the traditional game of football before food.

At that very moment, Danny (Scott Caan) comes to the door, with his bag packed, saying what sounds like “I'm old,” but once deciphered, it is “I've got mold.” Steve doesn't buy it for a moment, but bears with the story of contamination, knowing that his partner just wants to keep an eye on him.

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Danny wants to finagle Junior out of his bedroom, and then Eddie from his couch in a very cute scene. Steve reminds everyone that “if I'm going to run hostel, then everyone has to clean up for themselves.” The dialogue is very reminiscent of the early days of “McDanno.”

A very different kind of robbery-killing pulls “Hawaii Five-O” back to work. Tani describes the details of the killing of the family patriarch, Mr. Gray, when he returns home from an out-of-town trip to find robbers on his property.

Despite the opulent home and valuables, what is taken is a koa wood tree. Throughout Hawaiian history, the Acacia species have been highly-prized in making canoes, furniture, and numerous other keepsake treasures. Steve points out that one mature tree can bring $1 million, which is why they are highly regulated and protected.

Immediately, the points of the story from the siblings, Preston (Dan Amboyer), Olivia (Ellen Holman), and Darren (Kyle Leatherberry) depart from the trail of evidence. Initial contact from Captain Grover (Chi McBride) does confirm that a dealer on the street was aware of a tree hitting the streets, but he had no knowledge of anyone being killed.

The call comes from Junior's mom that their home has been robbed, and Steve details him and Tani to handle that personal situation.

A friend like a brother in big trouble

Junior is crushed to see his parents’ home vandalized, and more devastated to learn that his father's keepsake box with his Purple Heart and other irreplaceable items has been taken. His mother admits that Dad (Eric Scanlon) didn't want his son to know about the situation.

Junior instantly suspects that Owen (Damien Diaz), a troubled child taken in and loved by him and his family since the age of 8, is the culprit. Despite their close bond, Owen was drawn into addiction by his mother, and every attempt by Junior to get Owen to seek help had failed.

Tani knows about addiction through her brother’s experiences, and realizes how it can run in families, saying “I dodged that bullet.” She takes a photograph of some drugs found in Owen’s mother's apartment and forwards them to her brother. The tip from Koa leads to finding the son at a park. Junior bluntly confronts Owen about the robbery, and about his future if he remains an addict. Junior gives him a choice to “come with me” and be arrested, or going to rehab that very day. Owen insists that he didn't pawn the Purple Heart, and he leaves for rehab only moments later.

Junior finds something unexpected when he opens the box-- a treasure of a different kind. There are several well-read letters from Junior's commanding officer to his father. The rift that began when Junior enlisted after the death of his sister stifled any communication between father and son, but the dad still found a way to learn about Junior's life.

In a tender scene, calling back to Season 9’s deck-building moments, Junior compliments his dad on the new patio doors, and tells him he knows about the letters, that “tell me plenty.” When Junior relates how he lost his father further by forgiving the driver who killed his sister in court, Dad stops him, commending his son for forgiving, which he was not ready to do.

They melt into an embrace and then go together to Steve's for Thanksgiving.

On the trail of the tree heist, it soon becomes evident that wood is not what the fiendish siblings were after-- they only wanted one section of the tree, with a large opening. By the time “Hawaii Five-O” comes to the location of the tree trade, all of the traders are shot dead, and that traces to Darren. When it comes to Preston and Olivia, the situation is much more complicated. Preston had a fling with a girl staying in a European hostel, who was naturally impressed by his family’s status and lifestyle, but who likely never would be accepted into the family.

At a party one night, the girl falls into the pool and sustains a devastating head blow. Preston confesses to chopping the victim in pieces, even falling for a prop from Quinn (Katrina Law), to spill his story, saying that the skull and parts were put in the tree.

The team knows full well that Preston doesn't know the forensic truth, that the girl survived her pool fall, but not the blows that Olivia made to her head. The truth is revealed, and all three siblings are arrested and taken to face their legal fate at last. At least Preston echoes a trace of conscience, insisting that “She could have lived,” as his sister, Olivia, is told to “face the fruit salad” while she is being handcuffed.

Steve welcomes Junior’s parents, warmly, praising their son as “the best young officer I've ever had the pleasure to work with,” praising his upbringing. Tani returns the family treasures to Junior's mom, and Junior has some special thanks for Tani, who has been “the constant in my life.” He promises that he is ready to make a change, assuring that she will take a high place among his priorities.

Adam asks if Steve is up for a few throws of the football before the feasting. After a thoughtful pause, McGarrett says, “Let's go!” He knows he can come through anything with “ohana.”

There is no new episode of “Hawaii Five-O” next week, and fans should remember that there was a murder in the closing seconds of Episode 8, and the team is sure to untangle more with the case related to Cullen soon.

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