NCIS: Hawai’i 2×18 “Bread Crumbs” is a great episode of television. In a way, it might feel like all I do is say good things about this show, but I don’t do it lightly. If I’m here every week singing the show’s praises, it’s because every week the show manages to succeed in the thing a procedural has to, above all — characterization, and the dynamics between the team. Sure, some cases work better than others, but the NCIS: Hawai’i team, that always works.
This hour is also the kind of Jane Tennant episode I’d recommend to someone who’s only ever seen Vanessa Lachey on Love is Blind, or remember her name from who she’s married to. Because Jane Tennant is a badass, yes. So is Vanessa Lachey. But this episode isn’t just about how much of a badass the character is, or how well the actress plays that, this episode is also about how important it is for her to be all of those things on a primetime procedural on CBS.
NCIS: Hawai’i however, isn’t more message than substance, it never has been. Instead, it’s the kind of show that is so good at sending a message because there is substance to back that message up. There is a great lead, strong, dynamic, and capable plus a great team of characters that might fit into certain stereotypes, but that are never asked to be just that. Instead, the people that inhabit this show are allowed to have good days, bad days, to be heroes, and to falter …and to try again another day.
They are also allowed the kind of dynamics other shows dream about. The thing that makes NCIS: Hawai’i 2×18 “Bread Crumbs” work is the undercurrent of found family that pushes everyone to help solve the case and find Tennant, but the individual dynamics should not be obscured by how well the general team works. Yes, this is indeed a family, and that’s not even subtext at this point. But this is also a show whose foundation is friendship, above all things — and that’s pretty darn special, even in the procedural world.
Platonic male/female dynamics are rare on TV. There’s this idea that as soon as you put an attractive man and an attractive woman together on a show, it’s gotta be setup for a ship. But this hour gives us Kai and Whistler, who have become friends in their own right, outside of Whistler’s relationship with Lucy, Jesse and Chase, and even Tennant and a guy we probably won’t see again. And it’s all not just believable, it’s exactly what we want to see.
Because yes, Kai and Whistler are now friends. As are Tennant and Jesse — a relationship that, in some ways, is even rarer, because how often do we see a mentor/mentee relationship where the mentor is a woman? And there’s the backstory of this episode, which starts with a friendship and basically ends with Tennant making another lifelong friend.
Our everyday life basically revolves around the people we love, and that holds true no matter what job we do. Why would it be any different for the agents of NCIS: Hawai’i? Yes, they go to work every day and they fight bad guys and sometimes, the case has nothing to do with any of them being in danger — which can be enjoyable in its own right if used as a way to give us insight into who these people are. But some things hit close to home, and sometimes, the episode is about how Tennant has both the people looking for her and the people who will go to her house and sit with her kid so he isn’t alone.
The best friendships sometimes turn you into a family. NCIS: Hawai’i 2×18 “Bread Crumbs” is clear — that’s what this team is. That’s how they face things. And that, and the individual dynamics that make up this found family, are what make this show stand out, even in a genre that usually understands that characters should rule over the plot.
Things I think I think:
- “We all need someone like you when we start out.”
- I adore the Jesse and Kai dynamic. To think of where they started, too. And it’s only Season 2. They’ve built this rapport in two seasons!
- “We need you to come back to the office and be the boss while we look for the boss.”
- BOSS JR.
- It’s only funny cause I know Tennat is okay.
- The way I appreciate Chase just …not wanting to leave.
- WHERE IS LUCY?
- The moment where Jesse sends Kai and Whistler after Tennant, because he knows Kai can find her? A+ moment for both.
- Everyone’s there! Even Boom Boom! But where is Lucy?!
- I mean, telling Alex is not the worst idea. Especially since his mom is alive.
- Ernie, COME ON. You start off by saying “as far as we know, your mom is fine.” Don’t scare the poor kid half to death.
- I mean, going there to be with him? Nice. But we need to talk about your communication skills.
- Kai and Whistler bonding is another thing I really enjoy.
- And Kate just …not giving up, because Tennant is family. Yeah, I’m not feeling things, nah.
- I AM.
- She has to at least have broken a rib.
- The way they played off the message in the flashbacks was really good too.
- Did a tear or two escape me at the end of this episode? I cannot confirm or deny.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of NCIS: Hawai’i 2×18 “Bread Crumbs”? Share with us in the comments below!
NCIS: Hawai’i airs Mondays on CBS.