(new) Hawaii Five-0 on CBS

The Halloween episode, and there’s a lot going on. Fortunately, apart from the occasional costume (I can only echo Tani’s “What the hell…?” on seeing Jerry, dressed like an idiot) it’s action all the way. Steve is escorting our old friend Dr Alicia Brown (Claire Forlani) to court, where she’s standing trial for the murder of Madison Gray. She’s pleading self-defence… except, as she confesses to Steve, it was essentially an extra-judicial execution. Steve is perturbed by her apparent feelings of guilt: in what parallel world can’t he and his friends just run around shooting people who deserve it? And she has a daughter at home. What if you’re imprisoned, Dr Alicia? “Then”, she tells Steve, “I need to ask you to take care of her”. Huh? With Junior and that dog already under Steve’s wing, things are going to get pretty crowded chez Le Kahuna Grand.

Meantime, in the sort of utterly ridiculous Case of the Week which keeps me coming back to this show, there’s a killer on Oahu who seems to be re-enacting old Hawaiian folk tales. First to go is a pig importer whose death, as Tani informs an increasingly incredulous Danny, is an homage to a legend in which a fire goddess enters into a romantic relationship with, then splits from, a half-man half-pig demi-god. Danny can see why that might have happened: “He’s tracking hoof-mud all through the kitchen and the living room like an animal…” he sniffs. But when the killer follows up with a second death – this time the folk tale is something about trolls, I was about as interested as Danny – and then the kidnapping of a young girl, again apparently based on folklore, it’s clear that he grudgingly needs to take Tani more seriously.

But with no leads, what’s the Five-0 to do? Well, Steve has a word with the judge at Alicia’s trial, and no more than a few seconds later proceedings are halted in order that she can help find the killer. In the middle of her trial for murder. Alicia, at least, has the good grace to look baffled by this turn of events; but there’s no time for her to wonder about the state of the justice system in Hawaii, because she’s needed in the field.

And while all that’s going on, Grover has been summoned to Death Row in Florida State Prison, because Sebastian Wake, a multiple killer-for-hire who’s being executed in a matter of hours, wants to talk to him about something. Specifically, he wants to talk – in that even, ironic tone of voice which film and TV serial killers are obliged to possess – about Clay Maxwell. He, of course, is Grover’s former partner and bestie, who Grover firmly believes killed his wife, got away with it, then sent people after Grover to kill him as well. Well, now Grover’s listening. So, Wake says, if you can just get me a stay of execution I can tell you all about it…? Grover tries, but unsurprisingly the authorities aren’t having it, and Wake goes to his (unnecessarily gruesome, I’d say) death in the electric chair. But there’s a little post-death surprise for Grover anyway.

Back on Oahu, the abducted girl is found alive, but her kidnapper – who has a tragic backstory of her own – escapes, presumably to reappear later in the season. And Alicia gets offered a soft plea deal: probation with a condition she helps the Five-0. Which, together with the deal Adam Noshimuri got, suggests that Hawaii might be the best place in the whole USA to commit murder and get away with it. The final scene – suggesting that poor old Alicia and her daughter are about to be targeted yet again by yet another psycho-on-the-loose – was perhaps a bit much. Otherwise, though, this was excellent entertainment.

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