Hawaii Five-0 season 9 episode 8 was not your standard hour of television. The episode, written by Chi McBride (who we love!), was a story of family and of celebrating Thanksgiving and while Hawaii Five-0 does often have the theme of family on this show, this one was a bit different. There was a case at the center of it, but it was one that a resolution that was not altogether dramatic. As a matter of fact, you could even call it bittersweet.
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Before getting into that the real meat of this story (turkey meat, if you will) came courtesy of the Grover family all congregating together in Hawaii for the holiday this year. That would’ve been fine, at least were it not for the obvious tension between Lou and his brother Percy Jr., who didn’t seem to want to do anything other than just relentlessly compete with him. The back-and-forth battle started over food but soon after that, spiraled out of control. Lou couldn’t handle someone in his house, making fun of his weight, and then also proclaiming himself to be a better cook. He really couldn’t handle his brother in general, which is why he escalated things in a pretty shocking manner courtesy of a bet: If Grover made a Thanksgiving meal better than his brother, he would be banned from future Thanksgivings for years. While he made the bet in the midst of the rivalry, this was still fairly heartbreaking to think about. Grover was willing to exclude his own brother from future holidays, all because of a petty fight over manhood and who was better. To think, this was after they already lost some of said manhood due to a petty fight in the kitchen.
Not too long after that, things escalated further. Even after Grover found his brother a turkey (a live one, at least at first, scrounged up by Kamekona), he thought that Percy had intentionally burnt his to get an unfair advantage. That led to another fight outside, and after Grover put a greasy towel too close to the heat, he almost burnt the house down. Basically, Lou let a silly rivalry, one that really just seemed to start over his brother wanting to feel like he was good at something for a change, lead to him almost never having his brother around at all. His parents were (mostly) the voice of reason here, as was his wife. Through separate conversations, they started to make the two guys realize that none of this fighting was going to get them anywhere other than just away from each other forever. They already lost Thanksgiving dinner because they refused to get along, and they were on the cusp of losing more.
After the firefighters took care of the kitchen fire (something that these people have to be used to on Thanksgiving), Grover finally realized that this was not the way to be, and that kicking his brother out of his own holiday was incredibly cruel. That’s when their guard actually started to come down and they had one of the first real conversations that they’d had in a long time. While Percy was clearly overcompensating and wanted to be thought of as good at … well, something, Lou was forgetting that Percy was for so many years a personal hero. He stood up for a young Grover and made sure nobody bullied him and he was one of the reasons he wanted to be a cop. The conversation between the two, tears and all, was a genuine tear-jerking moment between men who started to realize what they really meant to each other.
In the aftermath of that, the two went to Kamekona’s restaurant (Steve and Danny aren’t the owners anymore) for Thanksgiving dinner, and as it turns out, Percy’s baking skills were enough to get him a job there! There was a happy ending for all, and a reason to give a heck of a lot of thanks within the closing minutes.
Chi McBride interview: If you missed our recent interview with McBride talking about this episode check that out!
As for the case…
This was at first about an empty safe killing a man, but eventually it actually became about more: A stolen baseball card. There was a guy out there who was alive and in possession of it, and that led to Five-0 tracking them down. The surprise turn was that the criminal was not a mastermind but rather a man who worked at a homeless shelter. When the card’s owner decided to not give to the needy that Thanksgiving, he felt like he had to do something to ensure that everyone got fed. With that, he took the card and tried to pawn it.
Make no mistake that what he did was illegal and Junior and Tani arrested him for it. Yet, they at least waited until after he finished serving the homeless to do so (and also helped out in the process). It was a simple case with a simple end, but sometimes, that’s okay when you have a much bigger story like what was happening with Grover.
McBride did a wonderful job with this episode; there wasn’t a ton of action, but it was personal and meaningful and there were a lot of nice little moments in here. Take, for example, the story about Percy’s scrapbook and some of the things that he’s held onto of his brother over the years. Beyond just that, you also had Jerry cheering up Adam at his first Thanksgiving since splitting from Kono and Tani getting way too competitive in the midst of a football game featuring many other characters, as well. There was a lot of heart within this episode, but a lot of charm and a lot of meaning. It’s a Thanksgiving special that could replay for many years just because family was at the center of it — that’s a message that is always going to reverberate with this show and something we can always related to since family is number one in our life too.
What did you think about Chi McBride’s Thanksgiving episode overall? Be sure to share right now in the attached comments! (Photo: CBS.)