NCIS: Hawai’i 2×04 “Primal Fear” is the kind of filler episode procedurals pretty much need to sustain their longer-than-usual-these-days season runs. As a filler, it works pretty well – the case is okay, the dynamics between the team members work as well as they always do, and we get some of Tennant bonding with her son out of the equation. But if anything, the case kinda makes you stop and wonder what is actually wrong with people.
True crime being what it is, it feels like we keep being exposed to horrible things that happen to people, and yet procedurals sometimes still manage to come up with some scenarios that feel too horrible to be true. This episode had one of those, and though the episode played it off as possible supernatural for about 0.2 seconds, the reality that this is just something humans can do sometimes feels even worse.
“Primal Fear” doesn’t even go too hard into the alternative, into the monsters – though Jesse and Kai do have one fun conversation about it that highlights their differences, and what they can learn from each other. It also doesn’t truly try to hit you with the family vibes other episodes attempt. Instead, this episode is just a case, and a team you know working it. Bam, done, move onto the next one.
Not groundbreaking by any stretch of the imagination, but still kind of refreshing. Lucy and Kate are still Lucy and Kate, even when we don’t get to see them at home. Whistler is still part of the team and a very helpful part at that. Ernie is still the smartest and sometimes strangest man around. Jesse and Kai are still …well, Jesse and Kai. And Jane Tennant, well, she’s a great boss, even when she isn’t really doing anything out of the ordinary.
In the grand scheme of things, NCIS: Hawai’i 2×04 “Primal Fear” is probably not the kind of episode anyone will remember, or even go out of their way to re-watch. But sometimes the beauty is in the simplicity. Viewers would take fifty episodes like this one over badly written episodes that kill off characters for the sake of drama or ruin years of character development for reasons and science.
Procedurals are supposed to provide a level of comfort. You know what you signed up for. You know what you’re watching. NCIS: Hawai’i might only be in its second season, but it’s gotten the memo. And it’s doing pretty dang well.
Things I think I think:
- Tennant is such a mom, it’s hilarious.
- I’m 100% with Kate on the backup shoe business.
- I confess I don’t understand hiking, but much less alone.
- Oh …Neil is back.
- Cass is …21? Oookay.
- The Tennant and Jese convo about Cass was perfection. Not sure Jesse’s kid would agree, though.
- I sometimes think Kai and Jesse actually being friends now is my favorite thing about this show.
- I can see office politics being Kate’s jam.
- How do I watch as many procedurals as I do and still manage to be surprised at people being …people.
- Jane Tennant is a better person than me.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of NCIS: Hawai’i 2×04 “Primal Fear”? Share with us in the comments below!
NCIS: Hawai’i airs Mondays at 10/9c on CBS.