McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and Catherine (Michelle Borth) head to the North Korean border to complete a prisoner exchange and retrieve the remains off an old friend (Alan Ritchson) which leads McGarrett to think back on his SEAL training and share with Catherine the story of his final two-man mission with the SEALs to stop an arms deal between the Antoine Hesse (Norman Reedus) and the leader of terrorist organization known as Dark Sun in North Korea. That story helps explain the reason why McGarrett believes the body in the pine box can’t be those of his fallen comrade and why he’s dead-set on not leaving without the real remains of his friend.
After going through proper channels for three years only to have the North Koreans pull a fast one, McGarrett is in no mood to begin the process all over again. Calling in Joe (Terry O’Quinn) to buy them some time with Washington, McGarrett and Catherine search out an old friend (Jimmy Buffett) to get them over the border. After finding the mutilated remains of his friend, McGarrett’s errand of mercy becomes one of vengeance as he seeks out the man responsible (Rick Yune) only to get himself and Catherine captured on the wrong side of the DMZ and almost killed.
Despite the drama, McGarrett manages to complete his mission to bring the soldier home and see his fallen friend finally get the proper military funeral long denied him. Although the other members of Five-0 only earn a cameo, the episode stands on the dramatic elements of its story as well as providing more insight into McGarrett’s past as a Navy Seal and the mission that not only lost him his best friend but also led him to Hawaii to his new family. And Catherine gets to kick a little ass as well.