This week’s Hawaii Five-O (Season 4, Episode 11), “Pukana” (Keepsake) opens with bikinis and Santa hats, but the Christmas glisten soon turns to glass cutting and gunshots, as a burglar breaks into a home. Crime never takes a holiday, and Danny (Scott Caan) has his day of annual holiday beach cleanup with Grace (Teilor Grubbs) interrupted by the call of duty. A persistently admiring mom (Melanie Melner) makes it clear she admires him for more than just being a “good dad,” and Grace takes note, too, before dad points out her marital history. Grace makes a discovery of a very special box, designed as a puzzle, that will carry she and “Danno” across miles and many emotions. What the “Five-O” team hopes will be a typical holiday burglary case turns into a death match against a psycho killer. A “real housewife” turns out to be a hero, too!
Danny is more concerned with hygiene when Grace implores him to open the box she has discovered, knowing even then it was more than discarded trash, but try as he might, he doesn’t manage entry. Kono (Grace Park) checks in with cousin, Chin Ho (Daniel Dae Kim) saying she’s found a lead for Adam under his mother’s maiden name, so she’s setting off for Canada. Max is intrigued by the latex underneath the shooting victim’s fingernail, and the “mushroom shot,” retrieved from the body is designed for maximum body damage, according to Lt. Commander McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin). Danny is hoping to wrap the case up as shooter and victim in cahoots, so he can get back to holiday time with Grace, and ponies up cash for Kamekona’s (Taylor Wily) $300 Christmas cash fund, along with Steve, in exchange for tips on a dealer in stolen merchandise, and a “Tiny Bubbles” serenade. When Steve notices Danny absorbed in the mysterious found box, “discussion” of the case ends, and he pulls the car over, and slides the slats just right to open the wooden box, and reveal a heart-shaped locket, with a little girl’s picture inside, setting Danny on a mission. They get to and address only to find an “early Santa” there to burgle rather than bestow gifts. He turns out to be Tim Sapoli (Scott Subiono), who only assisted the deceased Dobbs and did casing jobs on perspective homes.
Initially, a weapon found at Sapoli’s place seems to match the weapon that shot Dobbs, but lab expert Charlie (Brian Yang) discerns that the weapon is a Browning, not a Glock, sending the team in another direction. Danny asks Charlie to investigate the box for ties to the devastating tsunami in Japan. While Chin Ho is looking over the home of Gary Nathan (James Urbaniak) searching for technical setups left by the burglars posing as installers, FBI Special Agent, Rebecca Conway (Monique Curnen), comes to headquarters with a lead that a serial killer she’s been trailing might be the same man they’re looking for, and in fact, may be putting Chin in immediate danger now. When no one, including Leilani (Lindsay Price) can reach Chin, they realize the situation is dire. Captain Grover (Chi McBride) and the team plan a swarm tactic.
Naturally uneasy with Chin’s scouring of his premises, Nathan attacks Chin as he finds a tinfoil wrapper on the floor. He is dragged to the basement, bound and stripped of all communication, and his fingers are examined for which would make the best “momento” for his killer. He is further tortured with photos of past victims, as Chin picks at his twisted mind, moving from calling him “deity” to “pathetic worm” while plotting a way out. When girlfriend, Emily, played by real-life Housewife of Orange County, Heather Dubrow, brings soup for her “sick” boyfriend, she winds up being the second basement guest. Just like when he was up against an entire prison, Chin is stronger and more savvy than any psycho killer, wriggling himself to a wrench to cut his ropes, while Emily shoves the dropped gun his direction, and of course, he’s got the shot to drop Gary Nathan just before the team comes in, leaving Agent Conway sad that she didn’t get the shot. The safe holds the killer’s macabre treasures.
Scenes switch to sweeter and more subtle Christmas calm. Chin and Leilani cozy up on the beach. Captain Grover plays Santa, and ribs Steve, saying they really do like each other, apart from procedural disputes. Kono is seen entering Vancouver, and Grace hugs her dad in joy after opening her roller skates. Charlie comes to tell Danny that a hair found in the locket belonged to a six-year-old daughter lost in the tsunami, along with her mother, and only the father survived. Before the final Hawaii Five-O credits, Danny and Grace are making their way through a Japanese neighborhood, asking for Mr. Tanaka (Shiro Kawai). The tender parting scene as Danny presents the box, with Teilor Grubbs proving why she is one terrific actress, too, is more than moving. The father says “Merry Christmas,” and the response comes the same. A memory is the dearest gift of all.