6.11 – Kuleana
While Steve and Danny attend a couples retreat in Maui to work on their partnership issues, Kamekona’s dangerous past comes back to haunt him. Friday, Jan. 8, 2016
CBS translated Kuleana to One’s Personal Sense of Responsibility
Seeing the promo pics and reading the press release I feared this episode would be the worst of the worst. A fail of epic proportions.
Then I received a text from Cokie after the show aired… let’s just say the text didn’t have a lot of praise. 😉
After that I was really brave and went to twitter to see the first gut-reactions. Oh boy.
As you can imagine my expectations went even lower, if that’s even possible.
So, I sat down and watched the episode. I had a gut reaction, too. 😉 But we’ll come to that later. This review will be in two parts, let’s start with the case of the week. Kamekona’s past… and future.
Kamekona can get a little bit much; at times they overuse him. But none the less I mostly like him. And I always hoped we would get his background story. I still have my doubts about this ‘changed-man’ talk, that he’s not doing some illegal stuff on the side. Why? Glad you asked. 🙂
In 2003 he worked as a CI for Chin (by the way, had John already retired by then?) and was sentenced to two years in prison. Which means he came out in 2005, 2006 the latest.
Remember the season one finale 2011? Of course you do, silly question. Steve went to Kamekona to get a gun. And Kame had a truckload of it, and I mean that literally.
So, that means even after five years out of prison he was still heavily involved in illegal dealings. And remember doing undercover work with Sang Min? He was more than convincing about his talk that all his business just being a front and all that stuff. I think Five-0 should take a really good look into his dealings. He is not as clean as he pretends to be. Mark my words.
Anyway, I enjoyed this part of the show. The rest of the team was involved in solving the murder and putting Levy back behind bars. This time for good. That didn’t work out as they planned, but at least in the end he was out of the picture.
I think they did a great job finding kids playing Kamekona and Flippa. They were really great. Some scenes didn’t make much sense to me. Like the one where Kame’s mom told him to not be late for school. Why the heck couldn’t she get up early to make breakfast? Did I miss something? Why did the son have to take care of his little brother and his mom?
I’m not quite sure where Kame’s little brother was all this time? Maybe I missed an explanation? But I understood that he hadn’t been charged with anything. So, he was not in prison, right? On the mainland all those years? Still working for Levy? Guess he’s looking at some prison time now.
As I said, I really enjoyed this part of the show. Chin was great as usual, but also the others had a good part in the show. Truly liked Lou’s concern and how he voiced it at the smart table.
All in all, a well done background story for Kamekona, with a few flaws, but also some great scenes.
OK, now let’s take a look at the second part of the episode; Steve and Danny taking a brocation.
As we learn the two are mandated to participate in 24 hours of therapy during one work year. Which would mean two hours a month. Steve has the brilliant idea to squeeze it all in one weekend and be done with it. Good plan, right? I mean they would get out of any therapy for the rest of the year, and we wouldn’t have to endure another hour of this BS-therapy. So I was all for it. Better suffer through one loooooong weekend than to have this crap again and again.
But you know as it goes with planning… Steve’s idea of getting away from work for a bit, to relax and maybe reconnect a little fell through since they landed at the wrong therapy.
Which brings me to the first point on my list. You all know how the show annoys the heck out of me with their idea of mocking therapy; how offensive I think this whole thing is. BUT this time I actually kind of liked how they went about it. WHAT?! 😉
OK, hear me out. This time they didn’t go about it like this was intended to be any kind of ‘real’ therapy for the boys. This time they did it to get it over with. This time they made Steve trying to get a little vacation out of it. I was OK with this setting because for the very first time I felt like this was NOT supposed to be any kind of therapy session. Does that make sense?
Don’t get me wrong; therapy is a life saver for many people. An important tool for mental health. But these ‘Weekend-Retreats’ are not that kind of therapy. They are intended to have fun, to learn to know your partner better or maybe resolve tiny little problems some might have. They are not therapy for people with ‘real’ problems.
And I think the show pointed that out very well. And I liked that they didn’t take this too seriously, and neither should we.
All the other times we had to sit through one of their therapy sessions I felt like they took it as serious therapy. Which made it offensive and annoying. Not so this time. This time they got it right. At least I think so.
But let’s start at the beginning. So, Steve books them a weekend at a relationship boot camp. Come on, you can’t tell me he misread the brochure. No way in hell didn’t he know where they were going. I think that was the plan all along. That way he thought they got the weekend without actually having to participate in much of anything. Yeah, well, guess that didn’t work out as he hoped.
I actually liked how they discussed if they could stay and use the seminar to fulfill their 24-hour mandate. I actually laughed out loud at that guy’s description of the relationship.
They’re stuck in a relationship they can’t get out of, they fight all the time, and they don’t have sex. Sounds a lot like our marriage.
But before they can start their brocation they have to get there. And even a 45-minute plane trip can be annoying when you bicker away. I actually like that Steve doesn’t endure it all quietly with a patient smile like he did all these years. Now Danny gets a bit of his own medicine.
I’m saying for years that Danny’s poking and bickering is mean spirited most of the times. Not so sure what Steve tries to achieve with bickering back. But at least he stopped taking it all. So, that is a plus. And by the way, I said this relationship is in serious trouble when Steve confessed that he’s not listening anymore to what Danny is saying. That is always the beginning of the end. One partner not listening anymore? Forget it, mostly not salvageable.
If you have reached the point that you have chipped away all the good, and only the nasty is left… there is mostly no going back to the good. And I liked it that they also pointed that out. Although I doubt Danny recognized that he is making the same mistake with Steve as he made with Rachel.
Anyway, plane trip to Maui. Can we please stop this ridiculous claustrophobic thing? Danny might be many things, but surely not claustrophobic. First, he developed it overnight, and now he is using it at every corner as an excuse. It’s at least the second mention this season alone. And both times it was ridiculous. He’s sitting at the window seat when he’s anxious about closed spaces? Yeah, sure that’s what you do then. I can only shake my head over such stupidity.
I wouldn’t care what Danny watches, but I think it is an interesting question why you would begin a film you know you can’t finish. 😉 You know, people seem to complain that their ‘bickering’ is not friendly banter anymore, but more nasty. Sorry, but it never was friendly. Only difference now is that Steve gives back. Danny hasn’t changed one bit. But now people realize for what it is because it’s not one-sided anymore. At some point people get comfortable and think they can say and do whatever they want in a relationship without causing any harm. That is not the case. At first, you don’t pay much attention. Then you hear it, but file it away as friendly ribbing. But at some point it starts to hurt. Then you either fight back, or you don’t care anymore.
Steve and Danny are at this point. They either figure out a way to stop the verbal assaults, or no matter that they have their backs at work, their friendship will end.
So, after those looooong 45 minutes (I bet it was way too short for Alyssa) they arrive at their boot camp. On their way to the reception it seems that Danny isn’t impressed with any of what he sees. And tells us he has a girlfriend which made me look up. What girlfriend? When did we see or hear of her the last time? Sometime last season? Did I miss something again?
Oh, and he’s quite delusional, too. Thinking Steve wants him as his wingman. LOL, as if he needed a wingman. Dream on, Danno.
So, after checking in and learning that this boot camp is not quite what they expected we see them at their first activity.
Yes, I agree Steve could have found a better way to get to his cell-phone, and the text wasn’t the best either. But the plan had been solid. And in no way had he injured Danny on purpose. Thinking that is just ridiculous. It was an accident for which he was sorry. You could see his shock when he realized that Danny was actually hurt.
That brings us to the next scenes, which were actually my favorite of the episode. Steve coming back to the hotel room after his night out.
Steve is a 39 year-old healthy male, who is single because the woman he loved for the last decade dumped him. In his mind she left him because he wasn’t enough for her. For the first time in over ten years he is NOT committed to anyone. He is hurt, he misses the love of his life, and he’s acting out on it. I think he was perfectly in character.
Why the heck wouldn’t he go out for drinks and some kissing? Do you honestly think there was more than the woman smearing her lipstick all over him? Seriously? You think Steve suddenly becomes a man-whore and sleeps around? That is just stupid.
And we don’t even know if their ‘night-out’ led to third base. And always remember, Steve is NOT in any kind of relationship. He is free as a bird, he can kiss, and yes, have sex with any woman he wants.
I have NO doubt that Steve had been faithful and loyal to Catherine all those years they were more or less together. But those times are over; at least for now. He lived like a monk for more than enough years, I think it is high time for him to enjoy himself a little. At least until he comes to his senses, until he realizes that something is not right with Catherine leaving like that. And I DO hope he gets his head out of his ass rather sooner than later. But until that finally happens I will enjoy our Steve acting a little ‘off’. He is still just Steve, just trying very hard to be happy. Failing miserably doing so, but still trying and pretending everything is A-OK.
So, I have no beef with him acting like he did. And I’m still trying to figure out why people are saying he was a total jerk. Where? When? I just don’t see it.
And I really enjoyed the hotel room scenes. And I loved it that he fell asleep before they could have a serious talk. Because Steve was too drunk to have such a talk. And it gave Danny the chance to figure it out himself.
Which leads to the last therapy activity. Seriously? You have Danny say all this? The guy who was totally into therapy, who loved working through that book they had as homework, who wanted to analyze every feeling Steve might have. He was the one totally being into that BS-therapy stuff. And now he suddenly realizes what kind of crap it really was? How this poking and bickering is chipping away at the relationship? Sorry, but I didn’t buy his sudden turnaround.
What I did like was a little later at the pool when he admitted to be part of the problem in his marriage with Rachel. It was the first time that he ever admitted to have issues. Until then it had always been the other peoples’ fault. Everything was the others’ fault.
So, maybe this weekend wasn’t a total waste after all.
Aside from the totally stupid scenes about the soup and how soft their hands are now, I really enjoyed this. But I take the soup part as making fun of all this spa stuff. I mean they can’t have been serious. Right?
Oh dear, I totally forgot. There was a third part to the show. I don’t have much to say about Kono and Adam. Just please end it. And don’t make us believe Gabriel could simply walk into the prison and have a chat with Adam. Please. How monumentally stupid was that?!
I’m sorry, but I really like the actor, but his role is just a joke. I feel like they simply position him to have a nice shot of him. It looks ridiculous. He is just a big joke to me. I can’t take him, or this whole story line seriously in any way. Just ugh.
So, what’s my verdict? It was way better than I expected. Which doesn’t say much. 😉 Due to the Kamekona stuff and that I kind of enjoyed the resort-stuff the episode gets an OK.
It’s the first episode that gets a verdict below good. But for good it just wasn’t good enough.
And can we please never ever again go to therapy as a team/couple/whatever. BUT I have nothing against another, not cut scene of therapy with Steve. Just saying.
All screen-shots were done by me. Credit to CBS. The images used in this post are presented under the Fair Use Policy. The use of this material is intended for non-profit, entertainment purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended.
And please remember, I don’t write reviews with the claim to be objective. This is how I perceived this episode. If you disagree… that is just fine. I don’t claim in any way that my opinion is the right and only one. This is supposed to be fun, so, don’t take any of this too seriously. Always remember, this is just a TV show.