Hawaii Five-0 Season 9 Episode 20 Review: Ke Ala O Ka Pu (Way of the Gun)

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This episode isn't going to score any points with the NRA.

The history of a single gun was traced on Hawaii Five-0 Season 9 Episode 20.

It covers much the same ground as Robert Altman's 1997 groundbreaking anthology series Gun.

Story of a Gun -- Tall - Hawaii Five-0 Season 9 Episode 20

That six-episode series starred a pearl-handled revolver as the only constant in various storylines featuring different casts of film stars, back when crossing over to TV wasn't as common as it is now. 

This episode was even more ambitious, trying to explore that same theme in 42 minutes. It largely succeeded in proving that the same handgun can hurt, or kill, many people over decades.

The concept of a "community gun" was examined, a gun that has been passed around so much over years and years that it's impossible for law enforcement to establish legal ownership.

Related: Hawaii Five-0 Season 9 Episode 19 Review: Pupuhi ka he'e o kai uli (The Octopus of the Deep Spews its Ink)

I was baffled that nobody had bothered to file off the serial number in all that time. But I guess no one had possession of it for too long, so it wasn't much of a concern.

The current crime was set up ridiculously easy. A teen girl arranged online to buy a .38-caliber handgun from a desperate junkie.

Finding the Victim - Hawaii Five-0 Season 9 Episode 20

The desperate junkie willing to sell a handgun was quite believable. A girl from a broken, working-class home coming up with $500 in cash to buy the gun, not so much.

Yes, it was convenient that Junior's friend was the other junkie there when the sale took place, and that he was stricken with a crisis of conscience. At least that gave Junior a connection, however tenuous, to the gun.

Related: Watch Hawaii Five-0: Season 9 Episode 19

Five-0 finding a murder victim shot with a .38, apparently, a gun used less and less in modern times, made them think instantly of the recently purchased weapon.

As in pro forma these days on procedurals, Jerry determined how the sale was set up on the Web and tracked it back to an IP address at a particular school.

Then, thanks to one junkie-inspired sketch, McGarrett and Danny were sitting down with Bonnie and her dad, to no avail, naturally.

Closing In - Hawaii Five-0 Season 9 Episode 20

After another Jerry breakthrough, they found the link between the murdered man and Bonnie. Since he had been dating and beating on Bonnie's mom, that incident largely fell under justifiable homicide.

Then it just came down to figuring out which of the family members shot the guy.

Related: CBS Cheat Sheet

The father defending his wife and daughter worked for me. A good lawyer should have been able to swing self-defense for him.

But the present-day case largely wasn't what the episode was about. Its premise was to look at all the damage one gun could do. 

We wouldn't be having this same discussion about a bow and arrows, after all.

Cold Case Solved - Hawaii Five-0 Season 9 Episode 20

It's always fun to go back into Steve's history. This journey back to 1983 allowed us to enjoy the McGarrett family before things all fell apart and Doris disappeared into the CIA.

Watching young John in action allowed us to see that Steve came by the way he is honestly as John was willing to leave behind his family to answer a dangerous call of duty.

That was also the night when Steve somewhat understood what his father did and felt the tug of destiny for the first time.

But John wasn't stupid, making sure to wear a bulletproof vest (was it Kevlar back then) into what promised to be a dodgy situation.

John bravely drew Hester's fire in hopes of sparing the other cop, then turned around and saved that cop's life. As I said, it was easy to see where Steve gets it.

It was a great twist having that young cop be Duke. It's hard to believe that it had never come up that Steve's dad had saved Duke decades before.

New to the Islands - Hawaii Five-0 Season 9 Episode 20

Steve saved Duke again in the end when he made Duke think and stopped him from killing Hester. The guy deserves the bullet in the leg for trying to flee and for killing Duke's partner.

Steve also got to solve one for his father.

The flashbacks back and forth in that scene were a nice touch as well.

Then there was Danny, who seems to have had his skill for being in the wrong place at the wrong time from the beginning.

Fresh from the States, he got caught in the midst of a robbery when simply looking for a steamed hot dog. Some guys have all the luck. 

Only Danny could get his first unsolved case before he even started working for HPD. He had to get some extra satisfaction for arresting the robber, even if the robber had found religion because of their encounter a decade ago.

Simpler Times - Hawaii Five-0 Season 9 Episode 20

Even Tani was able to get in on the act, despite her short Five-0 career. Her intersection with the gun came back when she was still dating gangbanger Damien, who was killed on Hawaii Five-0 Season 8 Episode 12.

Dani saw Damien's gangmate Maleko with the gun and got word to the HPD detective investigating the murder of a rival gang member.

The detective gave Tani the push she needed to get herself and Koa away from Damien, and she started at the police academy a short time after. So the gun indirectly led to her becoming a cop.

Related: Get CBS All Access via Amazon Channels for Hit Shows, Exclusive Originals & Live TV

So getting that gun off the street gave her closure as well.

Some viewers will write this episode off as anti-gun propaganda by leftist writers. But what it really illustrated how easy it is for someone motivated to get ahold of a gun, background checks be damned.

And how many people one gun can affect.

As the season winds down, watch Hawaii Five-0 online.

How did you enjoy the multi-case format?

Do it make you think as well as entertain?

How did you like Tani with bangs?

Comment below.

Ke Ala O Ka Pu (Way of the Gun) Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (25 Votes)

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Hawaii Five-0 Season 9 Episode 20 Quotes

Now there's a .38 with one less bullet in it.


Storekeeper: This island grows on you.
Danny: That's what I hear.