The crime-fighting entity known as “Hawaii Five-O” is famous for working as a team, even if that calls for them to defend a friend with a past well beyond what could be considered “shady.” In this week’s February 26 Episode 16 for Season 6, “Ka Pohaku Kihi Pa’a” (The Solid Cornerstone), featured series regular, Will Yun Lee, whose long career in film and TV includes roles in Total Recall and “True Blood” among many other spanning 20 years, in addition to his snarky, sassy bad guy turned ally on the island, Sang Min, is in dire need of legal representation without prejudice to past record. Steve (Alex O’Loughlin) asks loyal informant friend and Barber, Odell Martin (Michael imperioli) to put his legal he know how into play to give Sang Min a fair shake at trial. The truth really does make the best defense, especially with the help of some friends in a man’s corner.
The faithful haircutting friend of “5-0,” Odell Martin, has given up brick-and-mortar since his past ordeal with flying bullets being part of his association with the good guys, and just as he’s brushing up with Steve on a really sharp haircut, the Lt. Commander says, “I need a favor,” making him already leery, but when Steve realizes that Odell is still good to practice law in the state, it’s full speed ahead. He tells him that Sang Min has been accused of murder, but now that he’s an asset to “Hawaii Five-O,” the force feels that he’s completely innocent. The sentencing judge has been out for the confidential informant, too, having been part of his checkered past in going to prison. To top things off, there’s only three days to prepare a defense. When attorney meets client in the interrogation room, there is absolutely no mutual admiration, as Steve has to went himself between the two to keep them from battering one another. Sang offers plenty of backtalk i.e. “you couldn’t find the elevator—it’s a bitch getting old, isn’t it, Perry Mason?” Odell and Steve agree on one thing– that Sang Min should never take the stand, but of course, he insists that he has to testify. Steve explains how Sang Min came to lend his services to the force, at a particularly troubling spike in human trafficking on the island. Questioning Sang, there are no witnesses, and no leads that corroborate his story. Steve sequesters the attorney and client up in a swanky hotel, and Kono is ready to do some of her famous kicking in just the right places because of Sang’s come-on lines that dredge up bad memories, such as having to strip down to show him that she wasn’t wearing a wire.
Odell secretly invites an associate, Bones, portrayed by Ziggy Marley, who knows every contact in the world of human trafficking, and he’s ready to make a positive turn in his life. Steve is suspicious, but with Odell’s assurance, the investigation goes on. Dr. Bergman (Masi Oka) and investigation uncover that the victim is Filipino. His sister (Jocelyn Tecson) seems totally shattered by the news, but when she says that it was Sang Min who has been calling her, and demanding more money, the team knows that someone else out there and the big crime world has gotten to her first. She insists he was Korean, “with long hair,” describing Sang Min exactly.
In a charming and funny scene, Bones borrows Captain Grover’s phone to conduct some business in the car, and his spot-on Patois dialect gets some killer gazes from Chi McBride’s character. Bones warns that the contact that they are about to see “don’t like the Po-Po,” and when Lou goes completely, believably Jamaican himself with the contact, Graham Clark, no one is the wiser. They are tipped that a “shipment” (of humans) will be in the next day, when he realizes the surveillance on the dock, though, the cargo carrier just gets dumped in the sea. Chin the Steve take to the water, being heroes to rescue the innocent, trapped human cargo. One person is missing, and Graham is in surgery . Odell Martin holds a mock trial at the hotel for practice. Bones tries to swear in Kono with his playful manner, but she will not buy it or allow herself to bite all the way. She recalls Sang Min’s journey from arresting officer to innocence now. Sang tells Odell that, a few wins, he can cut his client’s hair. Sang’s early years in extortion are exposed, and Steve, and with news that their insider has died in surgery.
The day of the trial arrives, and Sang Min is sweating in his suit in the courtroom, meanwhile, Martin is fretting outside, wondering if he can even muster enough to walk into court. He recalls never wanting to be like his father, and now feels like is becoming his dad. Steve relates how he missed years not talking to his father, and now, that is one of his biggest regrets. Odell makes it into court in the nick of time. Martin describes the scene with James Lamb, and how Sang Min didn’t shrink back, but put his life on the line, saying many would consider that as being a hero. One at a time, each member of the team testifies that even though slugs matched the weapon, nothing confirms that Sang Min did the shooting. Sang Min takes the stand, still keeping his attitude, answering with “that’s a fact, Jack,” and so on. Martin shows photos of shell casings being by the warehouse, where the actual killer came from, and spread around the scene. He notices something different about how Sang Min is straining to see, and he asks “Do you wear glasses?” “No” is the reply, but records indicate that head trauma from being hit by Chin Ho with an ashtray years before vision decrease, and the science backs the finding up. “I deserved it, “ Sang insists. Kono is asked whether a severely nearsighted man could fire from a dark building to a target at some distance, using the particular weapons, a Beretta. She affirmed it would be “near impossible.” Steve related how Sang’s vision had gone from 20/20 vision when he entered prison, to 20/100 now, and he noted that Sang had turned down glasses. He was even unable to read from the seal of the state. The jury was awayed that those with a checkered past still deserved a chance to prove themselves, and the verdict came back, “Not guilty.” Odell seemed to pause to savor the moment, thinking of his dad. He makes a call, saying “Hey, Pop, it’s Odell. Do you have some time? It was a sweet start to new communication. Sang Min looked really sharp in his new glasses for a “Hawaii Five-O” picnic, and things were great until Odell Martin showed up with his hair-cutting shears. Credits roll just as the big trim begins.
There are only eight more episodes for the season, and March madness will dictate a few programming interruptions. Be patient. The wait is always worth it for “Hawaii Five-O.”