“Hawaii Five-O” has been all about “ohana” (family) this season, and tonight’s (November 21) eighth episode for Season 5, “Ka Hana Malu” (meaning “inside job”) welcomes back Carol Burnett as Steve’s beloved Aunt Deb. She’s all aglow about becoming a bride before her time runs out to celebrate marital bliss, but Steve (Alex O’Loughlin) has some doubts about her fiancé, Leonard, portrayed by Frankie Valli, another cancer warrior, who has some big hidden secrets in his closet, and in a box, too. Before the joyous occasion, though, there’s a matter of clearing a murder case where it looks like two teens had something to do with their parents’ death, but looks can be deceiving, and sometimes mothers can have strange ways of showing love.
When a teen couple nearly strike a dog on the road as he is en route to help his fatally shot owners, the trail back home only leads to more mystery. The crimson stain on his white coat belies the bloody scene, but suspects are clouded. Meanwhile, Steve welcomes Aunt Deb back to the island, and she is delighted to say that the “poison worked” on her tumor, shrinking it by half, but she is determined to bask in every blessing she can get, especially her dream of love, and that includes a wedding the next evening to her fiancé, Leonard, another Stage IV warrior she met during treatment. She spins a sweet tale that he’s a retired woodshop teacher, but he offers legal advice and doles out dollars of high denominations like nobody’s business. He’s got smooth hands, too. That gets Steve’s radar bleeping, so he puts Jerry (Jorge Garcia) on the case.
At the crime scene, Max (Masi Oka) notes that the caliber of shots was definitely overkill for the targets of the gunman, and that the shots were definitely taken away from the property. The Kealoha family seemingly had everything, but in truth, very little. The husband was an investment banker who used pyramid schemes instead of playing fair with clients who were victimized by his failure to save their funds. The mother, Kate, seemed caring to a fault, even apologizing for her husband’s failings to friends. Their teenage boys, Travis (Charlie Carver) and Jake (Nathan Kress) were spending the night with a friend, Tai Gable (Wilke Itzini), and when they are questioned, their attorney, Eugene Goodman (John Billingsly), makes it abundantly clear that they have “lawyered up” even before the investigation begins. That family dog, Riley, reacts anything but warmly to the boys, prompting Danny (Scott Caan) to decide that the perpetrators have already been picked. When Kono’s (Grace Park) ever sharp investigation reveals that Tai Gable’s college fund was among the assets lost by Mr. Kealoha, the case seems a simple close, but the young Gable was more worried about his boss knowing he was selling weed, not warrantlng further probe. Danny has some fun discovering that Lou Grover (Chi McBride) learned even more reckless driving in Chicago than Steve, totally able to plow down their suspect on a sidewalk. Gable tips Danno and McGarrett that maybe Travis and Jake took his car, but the lawyer leans that line of investigation to the negative, and instead, a trace of Travis to Tai’s mom, Patti (Josie Davis) uncovers the tension between success in terms of money and the mother’s concern for raising her sons right in the Kealoha home. She had even intervened in an attempt of an overdose from pills. Patti and Travis were reluctant to reveal their love under the volatile situation.
Jerry gets his report to Steve concerning Leonard, who was a big time mob lawyer, and one with a shady series of incidents of evidence tampering. When Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) uncovers that a $10 million insurance policy with a double indemnity clause would still pay out to the boys even if parents were murdered, Steve and Danny ask if they would be willing to take a polygraph. Making a desperate call before the test, Travis runs, while Jake passes. Travis is followed, and learns that he is trying to protect Patti because she could lose her custody of her daughter due to their involvement. Convinced that the sons truly had no knowledge of the policy, and no desire to have their parents’ deceased, Steve apologizes, and affirms that he believes they will do the right thing regarding the money, regardless of what the law says about the payout. It turns out that the lawyer, Goodwin, had access to all the family funds, enough to even pay the hitman from the family who was paying him. Drug tests on the blood staining the dog reveal that it was the same sleeping medication used by Mrs. Keoloha, and that she had actually paid for her own murder and her husband’s, hoping to give her sons opportunity for a new start with the money.
Danny reminds Steve that in this case, he was the one “lookin’ for trouble” in investigating Leonard, and that it matters more that his mother lives happy than in knowing the truth. Steve and Deb share talk about “the truth” with Leonard and the dream of love, and Deb tells her nephew that she only wishes he could celebrate the kind of love that she has found at last. Steve decides not to open the infamous box that Leonard never shared at his last trial, instead saying he will turn it over to the New York district attorney. The buddies head off to Deb’s wedding, Steve telling her that she can he “still make a run for it,” but she only wants to run to her groom, he tells her that his stage IV cancer was the best thing that ever happened to him because she was “my real treatment.” The ceremony ends on a beautiful note of harmony, when Deb sings Gershwin’s “S’Wonderful” under a canopy and beautiful setting sun.
Additional source: “Hawaii Five-O“ broadcast, November 21, 2014 CBS Networks.