Episode Title: "Powa Maka Moana"
Writer: Joe Halpin
Director: Brad Turner
Five-0 investigates the apparent kidnapping of a group of spring breakers partying on a catamaran. After searching the vessel, they discover a deckhand named Susan (Vanessa Minnillo), hiding on board. She does her best to tell the team what she saw and then reunites with her boyfriend (Nick Lachey) on the dock, moments later.
McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and Danno (Scott Caan) get a tip from Kamekona (Taylor Wiley) about a Tongan gang pirating tourist boats. Meanwhile, the parents of the spring breakers receive ransom calls from the kidnappers, demanding a total of twenty-million dollars. McGarrett warns them not to pay up, but one father is insistent.
McGarrett begins to suspect the attack is a frame-up when one of the pirates found on the boat appears to have been dead for over a day. After the Tongan lead turns up dry, Chin Ho (Daniel Dae Kim) and Kono (Grace Park) learn that one man bought the tickets for all the spring breakers. They check out the club where the kids were partying and then lured to the catamaran the day before.
McGarrett gets a call from the kidnapper, upset that only part of the ransom has been paid. The father who was reluctant to go along with McGarrett’s plan paid up and now the kidnappers have killed his son, as a power play. The kidnapper asks for the money to be delivered by Susan, who he claims to recognize from the newspaper, reasoning that she is not a cop.
Susan is hesitant but ultimately agrees to make the drop. The kidnapper makes a comment and she smiles but when he opens the bag, it’s full of phone books, which then explode.
McGarrett chases down the kidnapper and pulls off his mask, to reveal Susan’s boyfriend. When asked how he knew Susan was in on it, McGarrett says her name was not in the newspaper.
Later, the parents reunite with their kids, as the team looks on.
Aww, it’s Valentine’s Day and you know what the means on "Hawaii Five-0"….pirates! Yes, "Powa Maka Moana" is Hawaiian for "pirate" and who better to play a high seas hijacker than Nick Lachey? Sure, why not.
It was actually Lachey’s real life fiancee, Vanessa Minnillo, who got the screen time, here. After a brief introduction in the beginning of the episode, Lachey only returned at the end, now wearing a pirate/ninja mask which did very little to hide his luscious boyband lips. Yes, we knew it was you all along, the former Mr. Jessica Simpson!
But that didn’t take anything away from another great episode of "Hawaii Five-0." There were plenty of awesome one-liners (Danno asking McGarrett if he comes from Krypton) and a number of nifty stunts (Kono leaping across an escalator, McGarrett leaping through a window, grandees, exploding phonebooks) and a sweet emotional note (Kono standing among the reunited kids and their parents). Oh, and a visit from Kamekona is always a treat, even he doesn’t bring any shave ice.
Visually, "H50" continues do a nice job keeping a balance between the lush beauty of the Islands and the dark, seedy underbelly of the local criminal element. One minute we’re watching a bunch of coeds party on a catamaran, the next minute we’re raiding a Tongan safe house. The direction and pacing never feels disjointed or jarring. We see what makes the Islands so enchanting and at the same why H50 is necessary to maintain that serenity so many tourists come seeking.
And the pirate storyline was a perfect excuse to spoil on us some beauty shots of the Hawaiian waters. But when the Danny and McGarrett find a dead kidnapping victim on the beach, we’re snapped back into the reality of being a cop in perhaps the most beautiful place on Earth.
Crave Online Rating: 9 out of 10.