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Thread: "Love Thy Neighbor, Take His Wife" - Season 8, Episode 22

  1. #1
    This typified the average quality of Season 8 episodes -- good, but not great.

    The episode starts off with fanatical environmentalist Ben Tanaka (Kimo Kahoano), rehearsing a fairy radical speech to give at a protest of a high-rise being built. It would appear to the viewer that this was going to be another environmentalists-versus-developers episode, like "Strangers in Our Own Land" and "Paniolo", but it turned out to be more of a run-of-the-mill kidnapping-for-money case.

    Tanaka was yet another in a long line of misunderstood Hawaiian characters, who are prideful and aggressive, but good hearted, and find themselves in trouble due to unlucky circumstances.

    (On a side note, the actor playing Tanaka looks somewhat like Al Harrington, who played a better known "Ben" on the show!)

    Tanaka is framed for a kidnapping by being kidnapped himself, forced to drive his own vehicle to the home of a wealthy couple, which is then caught on a recently-installed security camera. He is then knocked out, and dropped off at home.

    The episode unfortunately lacks much suspense or mystery. We know exactly who did it within the first few minutes (the neighbor of the couple), and it seems like just a matter of time before McGarett and company figure everything out.

    When a ransom of $500,000 is demanded (about $2.3 milion today), it is to be dropped in a locker at a bus station. The Five-O crew realizes that a drop at a crowded bus station is "odd" because "the kidnapper must know we'll be all over it", but that doesn't stop Chin, Danny, and one other officer from blowing it badly.

    Despite stating that the kidnapper must have some kind of trick up his sleeve, they don't bother inspecting the locker in question, and indeed there's a hole cut in the bottom, allowing the kidnapper to steal it via the basement! Chin, upon hearing the signal from the transmitter in the suitcase go weak, takes way too long to react, and it's too late. Chin says, "We've been snookered good!" Yep!

    The kidnapping itself was committed by two younger henchmen, one of whom, Molony, seems to be a sociopath. Molony repeatedly states that he's going to rape the victim before returning her, and actually tries on one occasion before being interrupted. When she pulls his mask off, he tells her that she "made a big mistake", and decides he's going to kill her. Molony also was wanted for two murders on the mainland. The other kidnapper, Keloa, seems unnerved by Molony's violent criminaity, and repeatedly asks him not to touch the victim. When Molony wrongly suspects that Rhoads, the ringeader, is double-crossing him, he tracks him down and demands they split the money immediately.

    However, Molony is uncharacteristically trustworthy regarding the money. He has the gun, and could easily have run off with the entire $500k, but doesn't. When it comes time to split, he objects that his $100k piece is too small because "we did all the work", but backs down when Rhoads refuses. He only attacks when Rhoads won't let him kill the kidnapping victim. Upon shooting Rhoads dead, Five-O storms the place. Molony ultimately only gets shot in the arm, and arrested. The only one to end up dead in the entire situation is Rhoads! (I was hoping Molony would get shot dead, and it appeared the episode was being set up for that to happen.)

    Developer Del Wingfield, whose wife was kidnapped, was portrayed fairly positively. He was calm and softspoken throughout, yet was shown to clearly care a lot for his wife. He also wasn't portrayed as a heartless urban developer. It was almost implied that perhaps Tanaka was the one in the wrong with his objections to Wingfield's projects.

    Janit Baldwin played Julie Rhoads, the daughter of the kidnapping ringleader. She happened to also be dating Tanaka. They showed her in a bathing suit at the pool several times, in what seemed to be gratuitous skin shots for the men watching the show. Baldwin was 22 at the time the episode was shot.

    Alba Francesca played kidnap victim Lisa Wingfield. She was supposed to be substantially older than the Julie Rhoads character, but the two actresses were only 4 years apart in age. Abla Francesca was 26 years younger than her on-screen husband James Karen, who played Del Wingfield.

    Overall I give the episode 2.5 stars.

  2. #2
    Good review Todd on the episode Love Thy Neighbor, Take His Wife Season 8. I think your 2.5 stars is right on the money. Might give it 3 because I liked Rhoads ingenuity in taking the money with HFO watching the locker. Tanaka was set up expertly and his van was seen on the camera. There's plenty to like about this episode. I think that's good writing that Rhoads daughter is Tanaka's girlfriend. She knows Tanaka has a good heart and is innocent. Also gives HFO some good information on her Dad Rhoads. It probably would have been better if Molony died at the end and Rhoads had lived. Rhoads would have had to look his daughter and Tanaka in the eyes at the end. What would he say? What could he say? This is an episode I will definitely revisit in the summer.

  3. #3
    Todd, it’s a pretty good kidnapping episode and is probably among the better episodes of the season. But I agree with what you say about season 8 in general. It’s good but not great. Not like the previous seasons. I used to think that seasons 7 and 8 were about on par, but I actually think that 7 was stronger. And so was 9. Season 8 just doesn’t have that one episode that knocks it out of the park! Season 7 had the brilliant “I’ll Kill ‘Em Again” and 9 actually had a few like “A Capitol Crime” and “Target-A Cop” and “The Bells Toll at Noon” and “Man in a Steel Frame” which were all pretty dynamite! But 8 really only had “McGarrett is Missing” which wasn’t as memorable to me as the ones I mentioned above.

    I was actually surprised by one reviewer around here (can’t remember who it was) who considered seasons 6 and 8 to be the strongest seasons of the show. Personally I think there’s quite a gap in quality between those 2 seasons. Don’t get me wrong. 8 is still a solid season. It’s nowhere near season 10 or beyond territory. But not quite as high as the seasons that preceded it. Or the one right after it.

  4. #4
    Good feedback on Love Thy Neighbor, Take His Wife and Season 8 episodes. I was thinking what Season 8 episodes would be 3 stars or higher on the 4 Star system. I think Death's Name Is SAM, Honor Is An Unmarked Grave, Legacy Of Terror, Murder---Eyes Only, Retire In Sunny Hawaii, The Defector, etc are of high quality. They can stand up with Classics like Draw Me A Killer, Engaged To Be Buried, Highest Castle, Deepest Grave, Hookman, The Vashon Trilogy etc.

    I think Death's Name Is SAM, Honor Is An Unmarked Grave, Legacy Of Terror, Murder Eyes Only, The Defector are very close to perfect episodes. Season 8 is underrated to me. I believe some of the great episodes are not talked about as much. Mr. Mike and I are fans of Honor Is An Unmarked Grave and give it the highest honor 4 stars ⭐⭐ ⭐⭐. I probably enjoy the Season 8 episodes more than Season 7 HFO. A Gun For McGarrett and How To Steal A Masterpiece (The Stolen Painting) one are 2 of my FAVS from Season 7. I'll have to look back at Mr. Mike's Classic HFO Season Review Average to see if Season 7 or Season 8 was scored higher. People seem to enjoy I'll Kill 'Em Again more than me. I did enjoy the re-creations. I was disappointed he killed Mr. Beecham. He was a nice boss. That's good discussion about the Empire Hotel. HFO decided to go their 1st is my guess. They happened to be right. JC

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