NCIS: Hawaii 2×02 “Blind Curves” is an episode about racing with a joke about The Fast and the Furious family theme, pretty on point considering this show, in general, is also about family. It’s only been a season and two episodes, so that family is sure to have some ups and downs in the future, but the NCIS franchise has pretty much figured out the formula, and NCIS: Hawaii has the puzzle pieces in place.
This wasn’t truly the case for the two surviving shows in the franchise, at least not from the beginning. NCIS took a bit to find a team that truly gelled, and then has had multiple cast changes, to the point where the team barely looks like the one from 20 years ago – which, it has been 20 years, so that’s kind of understandable. NCISLA, meanwhile, had a mostly forgettable first season until it brought in Deeks and the team just clicked, and though it has seen its own share of cast shakeups, it’s kept its core four since then.
It’s hard to tell what the future holds for NCIS: Hawaii in that respect, and a fool’s errand to worry about it right now when we’re only in Season 2. But some of the rough spots in the characters’ dynamics have been sort of mellowed out in the first two episodes of this season, and that helps the family dynamics the show wants and needs to establish.
There’s Jesse, everyone’s big brother, and by everyone, I meant everyone. He’s there to tease Kai, and watch movies with him (poor Kai, he’s now going to have to watch all the Fast and the Furious movies), to give advice to Lucy, to support Ernie, to listen to Tennant and yes, he’s also there to provide perspective for the newest member of this family – Kate.
As good as it was to see Lucy confiding in Jesse, it was even better to see Kate do so, particularly because – even though the last scene of the episode cements the fact that Kate Whistler isn’t really alone, it does feel like she doesn’t have that big brother presence in her life, and we all need a bit of that from time to time. It’s good to see her get close to the NCIS Hawaii team, and part of that is for Lucy, yes, but part of that is inevitably about herself.
Kate fits in with the team, it’s as simple as that. And though her first and most important relationship is indeed with her girlfriend, it’s nice to see her not just find her own place, but her own dynamics with everyone.
Just as it was nice to see her confront her fears – normal fears, too – and not just disclose her relationship with Lucy, but bring her to the BBQ and introduce her as her girlfriend. Kacy’s relationship was a bit rocky in Season 1, and domesticity has been great to see in Season 2, but we don’t exist in a bubble, and for a relationship to last we gotta be willing to take our partner’s hand and step out into the world, together. That’s what Kacy is doing, and it’s really great to see.
And we won’t say no to the casual PDA, either. LGBTQ+ relationships on TV are typically marked by drama, and it’s a rare thing to see two women just existing while loving each other. The NCIS franchise has managed this well with other relationships, so truly, if the Densi blueprint is what Kacy is going to replicate, then we’ll more than take it. We’ll be glad for it. We don’t need drama for the sake of drama or a breakup a season. We just need two people figuring out how to face their fears, together. Always.
The other family dynamics in this episode involve Tennat and her son, Alex – plus a lot of conversations about him with her ex-husband. And the thing is, there’s nothing really bad in what Alex is doing, or at least, there’s nothing surprising. He’s a teenager, and he’s got a life, and he wants that life to be his. That doesn’t mean he loves his mom any less, it just means …this is his life. And he’s gotta figure out how to live it.
Mom just has to step back and trust the kid she’s raised to make the right decisions and to come to her if and when he needs her. That’s what family is – for Alex, and for everyone else on this show. About having a safe place to land, a hand to pull you up when you need it. That comes through, and that’s what makes this procedural work.
“I don’t have friends, I have family” indeed.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of NCIS: Hawaii 2×02 “Blind Curves”? Share with us in the comments below!
NCIS: Hawaii airs Mondays at 10/9c on CBS.