The latest episode of Hawaii Five-0 examines one of the ugliest parts of American history in the forced internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII. Following an anniversary honoring the survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) stops the murder of a World War II veteran (Jack Axelrod) by a Korean War veteran (James Saito) who claims the soldier killed his father 70 years ago in the Honouliuli Internment Camp over a priceless family heirloom.
Call on Fong‘s (Brian Yang) and the notes of a long-dead former Hawaiian police officer to try and piece together the remains of any evidence to try and corroborate or disprove the man’s story. What they find leads them to the missing samurai sword and the true identity of the man’s father. While investigating a cold case seven decades old McGarrett uncovers a link between his grandfather and that of the Korean War veteran.
Although some of the episode’s dialogue ranges from clunky to downright corny, “Ho’onani Makuakane” is certainly one of the most memorable episodes of the show’s four-year run. The sepia-toned flashbacks are impressive as the show’s producers get the most out of what had to have been a very limited weekly television budget. It’s rare for the guest-star to dominate so much of the episode, but Saito is well-cast and provides the emotional core of the episode that reminds us both the bravery and ugliness of the armed forces during this time period.