This week's Hawaii Five-0 episode tackles some difficult issues. On a lighter note, though, Steve is wearing his blue shirt. (Thank you wardrobe people!)
Flippa is waiting for his turn to perform at the Hawaiian Cultural Festival, but Luka, his drummer, is late and not answering his calls. He finally answers, and is apologetic while unloading his drum kit. Sadly, he is stabbed while talking on the phone to Flippa and someone drives off in his van. Then we see a very bloody and obviously dead Luka.
Steve arrives on scene and tries to comfort Flippa, telling him they'll do everything they can to find out who did this. Flippa is emotional since it was the last time he ever talked to Luka and he was annoyed with him. (So sad!) He tells Steve that the killing doesn't make sense since Luka would have given over his keys in a heartbeat. Steve reassures him that he'll be the first call as soon as they find out anything. Noelani gives Steve her report that there were nine stab wounds and they agree this seems personal. They did get one long blonde hair from the victim's shirt, which could be the killer's. Lou doesn't find any matches in the system, but Tani finds out that Luka worked as a family therapist and he'd been paying $5000 a month to Annie Kerr---who has long blonde hair. It doesn't look good that he's been paying money to an underage girl and the team isn't sure what to think.
They try to track Annie down, but her parents don't know where she is. Maui police pick her up at a bus stop, though, and she's brought in with her lawyer. The lawyer thinks it's overkill for Five-0 to be working on a runaway case, and Steve informs her that this is a murder investigation and her client is a person of interest. Annie is confused, so Tani and Steve break the news that Luka was murdered and Annie's hair was found on his body. Annie is visibly upset and tells them that Luka drove her to the airport last night before his gig. She wasn't in a relationship with him, either, since he was gay. Well why was he sending her money, you ask? He was her therapist, he counseled LGBTQ youth, and since Annie's parents found out she was gay, they decided to send her to conversion therapy in Idaho. Luka was paying for a lawyer for Annie to help her get emancipated from her parents and got her a spot in a sanctuary home in Maui so she wouldn't have to go. The lawyer jumps in with the fact that the judge denied their first petition, so now they need both parents signatures to get her emancipated. Steve is carefully listening and sees Lou come into the office with the parents. Annie freaks a bit since she doesn't want to go anywhere with her parents. Steve assures her she won't and gives the hold signal to Lou and goes out to chat with them, ending up in a separate office. The parents aren't happy they're being kept from their daughter, but lie and say they didn't know Luka, when they'd actually hired a P.I. to look into him. (Uh oh. As Lou says, "they've got some 'splainin' to do!) They want what's best for their daughter and love her, but hate her sin. Steve informs them there's nothing sinful about the little girl sitting in his office and it's a good thing she knows that about herself. The mom asks if Steve has children, and he says he doesn't, but when he does, he intends to love them unconditionally for who they are. (I would really like to see him become a dad on the show. He'd be a good one!)
Back at the Chatting Table, Jerry has a pic of the guy driving the stolen van from a traffic cam. His name is Connor Russell and he has a juvy record and recently got out of Halawa prison. They wonder if maybe the Kerrs hired Russell to kill Luka, but until they figure things out, Steve wants the parents kept in the office. Or they can leave if they sign the emancipation papers. Junior and Jerry go check out Luka's room and Jerry kicks in the door. They find a heavily encrypted computer, but when Jerry tries to take it so he can analyze it, a bomb goes off. Jerry is burned on his arms and hand, but he's okay. The good news is only one charge went off and not all three that were set. The bad news is, the bomb squad finds trace elements of ammonium nitrate on the shirts and shoes in BomberConnor's closet. Which, as we all know, if the main ingredient for a fertilizer bomb, and usually is staged in vehicles like a van. BomberConnor must have killed Luka and stole his van so he wouldn't leave a paper trail, like McVeigh did. And then we get a shot of BomberConner putting some large barrels in the van. Steve is having all the law enforcement on the island pull over vans with the make and model of Luka's, while he and Lou go to talk to BomberConnor's old prison cellmate.
The cellmate's name is Roger Barton and he's an old guy who works in the prison ministry and library. He gives them some background info on BomberConnor---the kid was shy, bullied in school, may be having a psychotic break since his dad was a paranoid schizophrenic and committed suicide when Russell was thirteen. So, BomberConnor is a loner who was bullied, and also possibly mentally ill. Not good. Jerry does manage to locate a private password protected site on the dark web that shows BomberConnor with a kerchief over his face spouting hate-filled rhetoric. Steve notices Lou clenching his fists and files that away for later.
BomberConnor is working on the bomb in a warehouse, when a policeman knocks on the door. There was a vehicle of interest seen pulling into the park, and he wants to look around the warehouse. BomberConnor lets him in, but the cop doesn't find anything---until he's about to leave. I couldn't figure out exactly what tipped the cop off, but when he turns to question BomberConnor about it, BomberConnor slashes his throat. Yikes.
Jerry is analyzing the hate-filled video and finds some unique speech patterns. BomberConnor's speech has some key phrases that match an op ed published in Arizona by none other than the cellmate Roger Barton! Steve and Lou go back for another visit and on the way over, Steve confronts Lou about balling up his fists at HQ. Lou doesn't want to talk about it and tells Steve to just drive. When they get to the prison, Steve throws Barton across the room, chokes him, and slams him into a chair. (Honestly, I was a little surprised. Even though the guy is trash, he's old. Why be so violent?) They tell Barton they saw the videos and want to know what he knows. Barton starts spouting off and deliberately provokes Lou with a "you feel me dog?" Lou throws him up against the wall, holding onto him by the ears while Barton is railing on Steve for being a disappointment and not aligning himself with "his people" and instead becoming a stooge. Steve sets him straight really quick that his grandfather defended this country from pricks like him. Barton is rambling on that the Reckoning has already begun. Lou's had enough and is taking off his watch to give him a beating he won't forget, when a guard comes in after shaking down Barton's cell. He had a burner phone in there! They were just messing with him while the guard searched. They get the sim data over to Jerry while Tani and Adam are headed over to where a guy dropped off a van and walked away. Things are slow going waiting for the bomb robot. When Tani sees movement in the van, she decides to go for it and runs over there. She's not blown up, just finds a van driver gagged and tied up in the back. BomberConnor was just throwing them off while he stole a different truck! We see him driving around in his new truck filled with the fertilizer bomb. Jerry lets them know he found a video claiming credit for the attack that will automatically post at 6 p.m. so time is running out. Oh, and five cities across the country are mentioned since they're going to detonate bombs from coast to coast. Better hurry things up and find BomberConnor!
Nest we see some cute kids crossing the road and waving at BomberConnor while the team is worrying that the attack is going down any minute but they don't know where. They finally tell Jerry to check the group chat that BomberConnor was on, and he finds a link to a doc in there that conveniently lists all the targets! (Whew!) They all hurry over to the community center with a couple of hundred kids that BomberConnor is about to bomb. (That's a lot of kids going to that center!) Everyone scrambles to inform the FBI and local PD for the other four places while they let the community center know so they can start evacuating from the back. BomberConnor parks his van and arms the bomb before he gets out with a hand trigger clutched tight. Jerry sees him on security cameras and lets the team know where he is and what kind of detonator he has in his hand. BomberConnor holds up the grip detonator, but Steve tackles him before he can let go. They fight for the detonator and Junior comes up with his gun drawn, but for some reason can't shoot BomberConnor. Lou has no problem, however, and takes him out. Steve carefully takes the detonator and Lou says he can relax until the bomb squad gets there, but don't go all butterfingers.
Next we see Lou at a bar drinking a beer when Steve joins him. Lou finally tells him the story from back in June of 1988. He was heading down to his cousin's graduation from high school in Illinois and stopped at a roadside cafe in Elkheart Illinois. He got a few looks when he walked in, but he was used to that, and went ahead and ordered his food and started eating it. A black couple walked in and started getting harassed by two rednecks and Lou jumped up to join the conversation. They ended up fighting in the parking lot and since it was two on one, Lou wasn't sad to see the police show up. (Where did the guy and his wife go? I was curious about that.) He had his share of lumps and bruises and blood, but he'd also broken his finger. Steve is sorry that happened, and Lou says he doesn't think about it much anymore, but because of his finger he can't put it completely out of his mind. Before it rains, his finger takes him back to that night, and it rains a lot on the island. Steve says, "I love you, man," and Lou replies with "love you right back." (It's a good moment.)
The end is a little memorial for Luka where Flippa is playing a song about him. There's a large crowd and Annie approaches Steve to thank him for all he did. Oh and she got her emancipation. She goes on stage and asks everyone to look to the left and then right. They're all there because of what Luka did for them. Then she asks them to turn on their phone flashlights and hold it up. She wants the lights so bright that Luka could see them down there saying thank you. "We love you." (Oddly, the guy between McG and Adam is holding his phone up without the flashlight being on. LOL)
So, the beginning and end were about LGBTQ youth and mentors and the middle was about Neo-Nazis. Two big topics for sure. Did you watch? What did you think?