NCIS: Hawai’i 1X03: Recruiter reminds us that no good deed goes unpunished. Miles Hayward, a local service recruiter who focuses on wayward boys, is murdered in cold blood in a parking lot after a training session with one of his recruits.
It’s important that this gentleman died and I don’t mean to discount what that would look like in the real world, but this fictional episode itself is actually less about the case and almost exclusively about what parents do for and to their children.
JANE & ALEX TENNANT
This marks the first mention of Tennant’s ex-husband, and though he’s not seen, his presence looms large. Her children are going back and forth between two houses and Recruiter highlights just how difficult that is for Alex (Kian Talan), her teenage son.
Dad has a new baby coming with his new wife, and while his younger sister seems content with the arrangement, Alex is left sleeping on the couch. So he did what any teenager with a problem would do. He lied. He came back to mom’s house, having told dad it was her idea, and causing more problems in an already strained family dynamic.
Divorce is hard for all involved, especially children. The way Tennant approached him and had an honest conversation, even having him call his father to clear things up, was admirable. From what we’ve seen, she doesn’t shy away from the hard stuff, in work or family. She’s open with Alex, difficult as that may be at times.
This is shown in stark contrast to Brad’s mom, Andrea (Lydia Look) having actually killed the recruiter to keep her son close, rather than ever bothering to have a conversation about what he wanted. Extreme.
KAI HOLMAN AS THE WAYWARD SON STAND-IN
It’s still early in the show to make a rash judgment, but so far Kai’s whole persona revolves around being the kid who left the island to join the Marines and has recently returned to (kinda maybe someday) face his past. It’s a worthy archetype to explore, but it would be nice to see a little more depth coming from him.
It was refreshing to see him connect with another wayward son, Brad (Martin Martinez), who was only trying to get away from the gang his family runs. To have him connect with him on the level of wanting something more out of life. And, of course, in the end, giving that extra nod so that Brad was accepted into military service.
EVEN GANG LEADERS CAN “LOVE” THEIR SONS
Sunny Oania (Dustin Nguyen), founder of the Oania Boys local gang, goes so far as to confess to the murder he thinks his son may have committed–from within a prison cell. After all, apparently it’s not too difficult to have someone killed from the inside when you’re the head of the gang.
His older son, Lee (Ben Venturina), is effectively running the gang. He’s unaware Brad is even his brother and certainly shows no favoritism to the boy, often dismissing and making fun of him.
In the end, Brad had done nothing wrong, and may now have an actual shot to leave his tragic family and past behind him.
JESSE BOONE AND HIS VAGUE PERSONAL LIFE
Jesse’s children have been mentioned several times in the first 3 episodes, but little information has been given about them or their mother. It’s been made clear he’s very concerned for his children and strives to be a good father, but what we see in this episode is more about his worldview than anything else.
From moment one, Jesse is convinced the recruiter is too good to be true, showing a bent toward cynicism built into his personality. Leaves us wondering how many times he’s been burned. It was nice to see him show up at the swear-in ceremony to remind himself there are good people, ready and willing to do the right thing.
- If nothing else, this episode reinforces just how beautiful Hawai’i is in every landscape scene.
- There was a Captain Joe Milius sized hole in this episode.
NCIS: Hawai’i airs Mondays at 10 pm.