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HAWAII FIVE-0 2.21 ‘Pa Make Loa’

The 5-0 team enlists the help of NCIS to contain a potential smallpox outbreak on the island.

Episode Title: 'Pa Make Loa'

Writer: Tara Butters, Michele Fazekas and R. Scott Gemmill

Director: Bryan Spicer

Story:

A woman calls the police when her ex-husband bangs on the door, demanding to be let in. When police arrive, they find the man dying outside, covered in sores.

Danny (Scott Caan) has Chin Ho (Daniel Dae Kim) meet him at McGarrett's house, where he's trying to put together his partner's mysterious disappearance. Moments later, Danny gets a call from the Governor. He and Chin Ho head to the house where Max (Masi Oka) informs them that the man died of smallpox.

Back at headquarters, Max tells the detectives that he believes the man, identified as Bryan Palmer was injected with the deadly virus, meaning the entire island could face a breakout in a matter of weeks. Danny and Chin Ho meets with Palmer's ex-wife, who tells them that he was living in a hotel where he sometimes isolated himself for days. However, she thought her ex-husband was doing better, as of late.
 
Danny finds a case of syringes in the mini-fridge in Palmer's hotel room. However, Kono (Grace Park) learns that the syringes contained an experimental anti-depressant which Palmer had yet to take, not a deadly virus. When the recruiter from the drug company doesn't show up for work, Danny and Chin Ho head to his home, where they find him dead, inside his car in the garage with the motor running. But when Danny finds blood stains on the head rest, the man's suicide begins to look like a murder.

After Fong (Brian Yang) locates Palmer's still active cellphone, Kono finds it in a trashcan along with a bad of clothes. At the lab, Fong says the clothes belong to four different men. DNA samples reveal the men, including Palmer to be members of the same anti-depressant clinical trial. Meanwhile, blood from the car keys leads 5-0 to Dracul Comescu, a Romanian national on the NCIS watch list.

Danny reaches out to NCIS Special Agent Hanna (L.L. Cool J) who tells him that Comescu is a member of an organized crime family NCIS that recently shut down. Agent Callen (Chris O'Donnell) mentions his own personal connection to Comescu and the two agree to hop an Air Force Support Team flight to Hawaii that night to aid in the investigation.

After arriving on the island, Callen and Hanna tell 5-0 that Comescu spent the past three months in Siberia, perhaps looking for a buyer for a biological weapon. Callen adds that Comescu tried to kill his entire family as part of a blood feud.

At 5-0 HQ, the team theorizes that Comescu bribed the drug company recruiter to use the men as guinea pigs for the virus. When Palmer escaped, Comescu killed him along with the recruiter.

Chin Ho learns that the recruiter was paid five-hundred-thousand dollars by Comescu to set up a lab in a warehouse on Sand Island, also known as "Quarantine Island." Soon after the team arrives, they're involved in a high-speed chase with Comescu (Craig Robert Young). They manage to cut off Comescu's SUV, sending it down a ravine. But when they approach the vehicle, they find only the driver.

Back inside the warehouse, the team comes across the men suffering from smallpox, all dead from gunshot wounds. Max informs them that the smallpox vials are missing.

At the hospital, Danny gets Comescu's driver to give up details on an upcoming meeting with a buyer. He tells the detectives that everyone was dead when he got to the warehouse and the doctor working with Comescu was gone.

Meanwhile, Kono looks at footage from the warehouse with a doctor from the CDC, who tells her she recognizes the voice of the video's narrator but can't place it.

At the meeting place, Hanna tells Chin Ho that Comescu is meeting with Chechen rebels. They quickly spot the men and arrest them while Callen chases down Comescu. Cornered, the Romanian mobster prepares to break open one of the vials when Callen shoots him dead.

With the case appearing to be closed, the team celebrates at Kamekona's shrimp truck. But things are cut short when Kono calls to let Danny know the vials contained saline, not smallpox. She suspects the vials were switched by the doctor who ran the experiment, Jarrod Prodeman, who she was able to identify by matching his voice to some old lectures.

The team races to the airport where Prodeman is about to board a flight. However, when they page him, another man comes forward, claiming Prodeman paid him to switch flights. Moments later, Agent Hanna learns that the flight Prodeman is on just landed in L.A.

Breakdown:

How best to deal with the missing McGarrett, off in Japan tracking down Shellburne, ( really a codename for rehab?) Bring in the cast of another hit show for a two-night crossover special. Works for me.

Though the chemistry Danno shares with McG wasn't quite the same with L.L. Cool J, the two had a couple of pretty special moments. Agent Hanna thinks Danny's a lousy wheelman while Danny compares Hanna's shooting skills to those of Ray Charles. I can just feel McGarrett turning green with jealousy while rubbing elbows with yakuza, half a world away.

The  NCIS/5-0 foursome worked nicely, though Kono spent much of the episode on her own, taking out Chechen rebels on sniper duty and avoiding Chin Ho's questions about her mysterious love life. So who was calling Kono? I always thought she and Fong had a little something, but that wouldn't make sense after all the interaction they had in this episode. Another 5-0 regular, Dr. Max Bergman, also had plenty of screentime in 'Pa Make Loa,' allowing Masi Oka to do his best Dr. Spock impression ("I concur").

Whether or not the case of a major smallpox outbreak, thanks to a Romanian mobster and his double-crossing quack accomplice is enough to carry two of CBS' highest rated shows remains to be seen in the "NCIS: Los Angeles" follow-up. But as far as the "Hawaii Five-0" end of CBS' "crossover event," "Pa Make Loa," blended the two shows together seamlessly. Maybe McGarrett should take his time coming back from the Land of the Rising Sun, after all.