Reviews for Picking Up the Pieces
jeangoony chapter 15 . 1/8/2014
Oh book em what a fabulous story, I haven't cried so much since I read gone with the wind many years ago. I have spent the whole afternoon and evening reading it with a pack of tissues. So many twists and turns Even though I knew Steve wasn't dead, I felt the emotion and anger of the team so deeply. I believe Steve did the right thing in not letting them know he was alive, not because he didn't trust them, but there were too many ways his cover could have been blown. I love the way you have explained Kono's leaving. It made for a closure for me even though it's fictional. It was a shame they didn't think fit to make mention of the going of both Kono and at least it can be done in fan story was really fast paced, I couldn't wait for the next sentence and was reading so greedily I had to keep going back. Your final paragraph is beautifully written,so poignant and true. Although five-0 was still the best, you are right, it was not quite whole without Kono.
Guest chapter 15 . 8/12/2013
The last bit between Steve and Kono was inspired (sniff). Excellent story, meaty and full of character I hope you write more H50 soon.

LadyOscar23 chapter 15 . 2/5/2013
(I apologize for the late review. I had put this aside to read properly when I had more free time-always dangerous.)

This is a worthy conclusion an extremely well crafted, engaging, and emotional story!

I had wondered how you were going to put the team back together after the magnitude of the events that pulled them apart. By this chapter the team had managed to come together again despite the obstacles, but were still missing one essential component - Steve.

Despite the problems he causes his men by running off on his own (as were so dramatically demonstrated here) Steve strikes me as a good boss in that he has always had his team's backs when they're in trouble. I liked that Chin recognized that fact and that it helped him let go of his anger over the fact that Steve, only partially through his own fault, had failed them this time. (I can well imagine the "heated argument" in the Governor's office!) I thought Danno's reconciliation was also very in keeping with his character.

And Kono...I love how you write him, and while his parting was still sad, it was nice to see him go with closure, and to a new place he can call home.

All in all, a satisfying, slightly bittersweet end...
KMW1968 chapter 15 . 1/30/2013
First of all, I am sorry about the delay in getting this review posted. This has been a great story and I agree with Tanith that it was worthy of an episode. I would, however, say that I think it would require at least two, perhaps three episodes to do it justice. It was clearly set between seasons 4 and 5 and was a great way to account for Kono’s departure, Ben’s inclusion on the team and Duke’s position as HPD liaison.

I like the way you have continued with your dual time frame in each chapter with the flashbacks to Danny’s bomb disposal course. This time, it was highlighting how to deal with the aftermath in emotional terms. It was very appropriate as this chapter was about picking up the pieces.

Jenny’s joy when she hears that Steve is definitely still alive, and her initial optimism that everything can now go back to the way it was, contrasts sharply with Chin’s doubts and remaining feelings of anger. Chin is, of course, right. As Jenny reflects at the end, everything could not go back to the way it was. Kono was not coming back.

The meeting between Steve, Kaye, Manicote and Jameson is understandably tense until Jameson acts as peacemaker and moves them forward to talking about the future. Steve, though, has a right to be angry. Kaye’s explanation is hardly adequate:

"You died, Steve," Kaye stated. "Someone had to replace you and once Zar was in charge he remade the team in the image he wanted."

It hardly explains why Danny was not the one to replace Steve and why Zar was appointed.

After Jameson’s intervention, it was good to hear that plans were in place to take care of the victims and to deal with Zar, Black and Da Shu. I agree with Steve when he urges Kaye to catch Da Shu and says “My men paid a heavy cost in playing your games." I also liked Jameson being aware of Steve’s weariness and feelings of worry about his team and encouraging and reassuring him that things would get better.

I’m sure it is rather a shock for Steve to see IA officers ransacking the Five-O offices for evidence, but I’m sure he felt a little better when he had his reunion with Jenny, despite his anxiety about his reunion with his team. Even though there were tears from Jenny, the hug would have been of great comfort to both of them. I like the fact that Jenny greeted Steve with the hug and the tears rather than showing anger. He’s going to get that anyway from Danny and Chin.

The scene between Steve, Danny and Chin is both the most intense scene and the heart of the chapter. Danny and Chin are understandably angry, but they go too far in blaming Steve for events that really resulted, not from Steve’s “death” but from the appointment of Zar. Chin’s accusation is an example of this lashing out:

"Your death destroyed Five-O! It almost got me killed – for real!"

Also this one from Danny:

"It doesn't matter what you wanted or what you thought would happen," Danny argued. "What matters is what happened because you decided to act without telling anyone!"

Other accusations and questions have, I think, more justification, as when Chin asks did Steve really not have any opportunity during two weeks to let his team know he was still alive. Yes, Steve did make one attempt, but if he had made it earlier, he would have had a better chance of contacting one of them. Another accusation also has more point to it:

“You trusted us to handle Five-O but you couldn't bring yourself to trust us with the truth!"

The problem is, of course, Steve’s “lone wolf” tendencies.

“Chin stepped forward and looked Steve in the eye. "You did what you thought you had to. We know that. But why must you always go it alone?"
Steve debated several answers but in the end he knew his men deserved the truth. "I don't know, Chin. I do what I feel I must."

I think Chin is letting go of his anger here, but Danny’s and Chin’s anger has definitely shaken Steve and made him fear that his decision could have cost him Five-O. It is interesting that Danny lets go of his anger when Steve shows some weakness when he understands that Danny and Chin do not expect Kono to come back. I’m glad that Danny eventually decides that he “couldn't be angry at the weary man, burdened with the weight of responsibility and the decisions he had been forced to make.” He finally accepts that Steve had no choice.

The last few lines of this scene, I think, are some of the most important in the chapter:

“Chin sat down in the third chair. "They broke us, Steve. Five-O shattered."
"No," Steve declared. "What I saw on docks was not a broken team, I saw a team that faced impossible odds and still didn't hesitate to do what was right." Steve paused to let his words sink in, before asking, "Are we going to let this case destroy us?"
Chin shook his head no and Danny replied without hesitation, "No, Steve."
As Steve looked at his men he saw that the pain wasn't gone, that the hurt was still there but he was also filled with the knowledge that they could work together to put the pieces back together again.”

I like the way you made it clear that healing the relationships within Five-O and between Five-O and HPD would take time and would be difficult and painful. As far as the relationship between Five-O and HPD is concerned, the fact that Steve is back (it was, after all, Zar who did the damage) and the fact that Duke is the liaison should help.

The reunion scene between Steve and Kono was interesting and unexpected. I had anticipated an angry scene as Kono has shown anger with Steve’s choices at several points during this story and I expected that he might have taken the opportunity to confront Steve about his decision to fake his death, but the issue was not raised in the conversation. I also had anticipated that Steve would have made an attempt to persuade Kono to return to Five-O, but that it would be unsuccessful. Instead, there was no anger on display, but rather friendship, understanding and a touch of humour. I loved the joke about the chickens. Steve may not show his sense of humour as often as Kono, but he certainly has one. On reflection, I think I like this choice better. Kono being angry would just have repeated the scene between Steve, Danny and Chin. Delaying this scene so that Kono has calmed down and making it about Kono’s decision to leave Five-O for good was better. I liked Steve’s recognition that Kono was staying in Kauai because he loved the land and the job, not because of anger, and that therefore, he should stay. I also liked Steve’s tribute to Kono and his contribution to Five-O. He recognises that he needs to tell Kono how much he appreciates and respects him. It was a great exit for Kono. I do wish that he had got a proper exit on the series and been referred to later. I did not like the fact that he just disappeared and his departure was never accounted for. This is how I like to imagine Kono’s exit. It is sad that he is leaving Five-O, but he is happy and has a job he loves – and he can still stay in touch with Steve and the rest of the Five-O team, as they are still his friends.

Jenny’s reflections at the end are sad, but they sum up the story so well:

“For things that are broken can sometimes be fixed but when things are shattered they can never be remade completely whole. No matter how hard and long one looked one small sliver will always be missing. … Regardless, one thing was true: Five-O would never be the same.”
Tanith2011 chapter 15 . 11/16/2012
Bravo on this strikingly powerful conclusion to what has been a truly sensational masterpiece, worthy of being filmed as an episode! I could read this over and over again, yet each time I reach the final scene, your words would still carry that punch; that Kono is no longer a part of Five-O, that he has found his calling and answered it in honor of the island and its people. I think I'll be needing a box of tissues every time I read this chapter.

"Five-O would never be the same."

Just a few words can tell so much.

The reactions of the characters were playing out in my mind as I read this. You've really given it all with their emotions, while keeping them true to the way they were portrayed in the series. The relationship between the members of Five-O, including Jenny, were highlighted beautifully. I could feel Steve's sense of regret, Danny's and Chin's anger giving way to grief and pain, then Kono's heart wrenching goodbye and Jennie's sorrow.

This was such an honorable exit for Kono's character from the series as his departure was never provided or even mentioned in the episodes. Ben Kokua's introduction to the fold was a smart move to include here, as was Duke's new official status as the HPD liaison to Five-O.

The fact that Five-O would never be truly the same again and how you voiced this through your last paragraph about how broken things are irreparable, yet if something were to shatter, a sliver would always be missing, was realistically envisioned.

You should be proud of this story. As your other reviewers have stated, it's definitely worth the wait to read this chapter. I appreciated the time and effort you have dedicated to ensure the story was wrapped up nicely and every character had their chance to shine.

What a breathtaking journey reading this story has been! Here's to hoping for many more to come.

honu59 chapter 15 . 11/15/2012
Oh my, this is an ending well worth the wait! I have the biggest lump in my throat. Thank you for handling this with the grace and dignity so characteristic of all your fine writing. Kono is a favorite of mine and though heart-breaking to see him go, you have made this a positive thing and Kono is going to be truly happy in his new position. No doubt after this conversation with Steve, they will stay in touch. Five-O is state police and Kauai is still part of the state.

I do admire the care that you took to write this. The emotions and reactions are all very true to life and believable - very much in character. As I mentioned in a PM, I also enjoyed Danny recollection of his first experience diffusing a bomb. You should be very proud of yourself to finish this fine story. Again, well worth the wait.
jodm chapter 15 . 11/15/2012
At last! The perfect emotional ending to a well-written and intriguing story, No stereotypes here, just good storytelling with a plot that grabbed me from the beginning.

I'm really impressed with the way you handled the reconciliation between Steve and the guys: you have shown that reconciliation takes time as relationships need to be rebuilt for true healing to occur. You handled the meeting between Steve and Kono well, too-no anger, just understanding. Beautifully written.

Finally, I applaud your weaving the evil of human trafficking into your story line. It is an evil that is more prevalent than many people realize. You dealt with it well, especially in the compassion you show for its victims.

Thank you for an excellent story that I will assuredly read again!
Shergar chapter 15 . 11/15/2012
Great story and what a fantastic ending. Well done indeed!
carismum chapter 14 . 10/9/2012
I thought this was a very well written story and I loved the flashbacks and the unique storyline :)
LadyOscar23 chapter 14 . 9/2/2012
I was expecting an exciting conclusion to the case, and this certainly didn't disappoint! I particularly liked that Chin got to take care of arresting Zar.

I found it interesting that while the team all come together to play their parts in solving the case, they're still separated by physical distance-Chin on the dock, Steve on the boat, Danny below decks, and Kono with the Coast Guard. In the same way, they're still mentally apart.

In regard to everyone's reactions-I think it's very Steve not to have really realized the extent to which Five-O would be _emotionally_ upset by losing him. Under normal circumstances Danny could have taken over and run Five-O, but the team would still have feelings of betrayal when he returned. As it is, of course, everything was much, much worse.

Because it was, and with the stress they have been under and the emotional impact of the conclusion of the case with the bomb being disarmed at the last minute, I think it's very realistic that everyone is angry and not being rational. Steve couldn't have predicted Zar, and once he realized something was very wrong he had no one whom he could trust to leave a message with (in those days he couldn't exactly just pick up his cell phone and send Danny a text). Hopefully when everything sinks in, Danny and the others will realize all this and Steve will consider their feelings, and there will be a reconciliation (alas, without Kono).

At any rate, I've really enjoyed the story so far, and I'm looking forward to the next chapter!
Tanith2011 chapter 14 . 8/18/2012
Wow, that was a riveting and emotionally powerful chapter.

I admire that extra step you've taken to accentuate the emotional consequences that both Steve and his men would have faced given Steve's tendencies to make decisions on his own. His lone wolf approach when he feels he is warranted to act alone, is canon to the series, as depicted clearly in the season 10 episode "A Short Walk on The Longshore". In this episode Steve goes undercover as a longshoreman without letting Danny and the rest of Five-O in on the operation. While the episode only touched lightly on how Danny felt about being left in the dark and Steve's remorse when he punched his confused second in command, it certainly gave us a taste on how badly things could have gone. Steve risked his life and his men's trust in him. In this story, you have raised the stakes and therefore the impact of Steve's actions are far greater. The emotional complexities were portrayed realistically and follows a canon direction.

I am glad to see the direction you have taken because to have Steve's men greet him with open arms as if all was well and their hardships forgotten just because he is very much alive, would be unrealistic and untrue to their characters. To have them portrayed as self centered or without feeling would be equally untrue, which I believe, is something you have not done and should be commended for it.

The reactions displayed by Danny, Kono and Chin are understandable for how could they possibly know that Steve was placed in such a situation where continuing the belief that he was dead was for the best for all concerned? The same goes for Steve: how was he to know that Zar was placed as head of Five-O when it seemed the obvious choice would be to pass the role on to Danny? Of course, as readers we know all the reasons behind Steve's decision to keep up the pretense that he was dead, and we also can see through your words the hardships that Danny, Chin and Kono had to endure. The characters are not given this luxury to read each other's minds.

The way you split your scenes between these key characters in one chapter clearly helps us understand how they each feel and why they feel this way. I really liked how you placed Duke and Ben in these scenes as they provide the support that Steve and Danny desperately need in order for them to start picking up the pieces.

The following are exemplary that though the bonds between Steve and his men may be damaged, they are not beyond repair and such is the strength of the Five-O ohana.

1) "Kono knew that he didn't have to make this decision at this moment but he also knew that if got off this cutter in Honolulu to meet up with Steve, Danny and Chin it would become that much harder for him to leave Five-O."

2) "Once Steve decides a course is right, he takes it. It's what makes him a good cop and it's why in the end I can't hate him for it."

3) "There was a bond between Danny and Steve beyond mentor and protégée that Ben could not deny. It was because of that bond that Ben already knew that Danny would forgive Steve."

Well done on keeping the characters characteristic to Five-O and following the mood of the series. Great work on bringing a believable emotional struggle to life through your words as a writer.
Tanith2011 chapter 13 . 8/18/2012
Firstly: Correction on my last review regarding the ship's name which should have been "Morning's Light" not "The Morning Light". Apologies :-)

The opening scene with Jenny Sherman was one of the highlights of this well thought out chapter. Your descriptions of her fear and nervousness was realistically portrayed and I was on the edge of my seat already!

Steve's courage to put himself in harm's way is something that is characteristically canon to the series. You've clearly shown that here when he takes possession of the trigger and attempts to protect it at all cost. I held my breath and almost gasped out loud when Xu regained possession of the device and pushed down on the trigger.

I could imagine the relief Danny felt when he successfully defused the bomb. His discovery of the young girls and the condition they were in must have been horrific and heart wrenching. Your vivid descriptions and the last line in that scene: "There were no words", are testament to how Danny must feel.

I enjoyed reading the confrontation between Chin and Zar. The look on Zar's face is surely priceless when he sees Steve McGarrett on deck of the "Morning's Light".

I look forward to reading the next installment which I presume covers the beginnings of what will be an emotionally difficult reunion between Steve and his men.
Tanith2011 chapter 12 . 8/18/2012
Had to back track a little as it has been some time since I have been reading this fabulously structured story.

The pieces are coming together nicely with Danny and HPD reaching the dock just as "The Morning Light" moves in toward the shoreline, then there's Kono on board the "USCG Olson", shining in his role. Finally, Steve, undercover on board "The Morning Light, is returning to Hawaii under extremely stressful circumstances.

"Danny, Chin, Kono, Duke, and Ben.

A splintered team that refused to die."

I really like how Ben is featured as part of the ohana and given some lime light in this.

My favorite part is the last scene. Danny's final word, "Yes" as he looked Duke in the eyes with his answer was symbolic of his character's inner strength.
Guest chapter 14 . 8/17/2012
Am I the only one mad at the men of Five-O for their distrust in McGarrett, and for being so self centered. Seriously, their all acting like McGarrett was off having the time of his life while they were suffering. Where is their trust, by now they should know if this man led them to believe he was dead then he had a good reason and it wasn't something he enjoyed doing. The only one I can even remotely condone is Chin because he's still trying to digest everything, and he's dealt with Zar more then anyone. But Kono, good riddence he can go back to Kaui, McGarrett don't need someone so full of himself on his team. At this point I'm not even sure I want him to take that whining full of himself Danhy back. I know these men went through stuff, but so did McGarrett and their all acting like they could careless its all about them what they went through and how their McGarrett abandon them. He didn't abandon them he was in as much danger if not more. Also, not too thrilled with how they so easily accepted he was dead, do they share any bond what so ever with this man? There should of been at least a little doubt but no Steve's dead, we accept it the end. I love how Duke and even Ben were portrayed as the voice of reason, yes they could be defined as outsiders, but at least they are willing to give McGarrett the benefit of a doubt. Too bad his so called team whom was suppose to know him so well couldn't do the same thing. Some might say they were hurt the most by his actins, but by now they should also know better then anyone that McGarrett wouldn't do such a thing without a good enough reason. Where is their faith in this man?
jodm chapter 14 . 8/15/2012
A chapter packed with emotions, mixed feelings, and a painful decision! I really like the way you brought forward the emotional conflict all the characters are experiencing: Steve, wondering why his men aren't there with him; Kono, deciding to return to Kauai; Chin, seeming to avoid his boss and friend; and Danny, struggling with feelings of relief, friendship and betrayal. I'm also impressed with the way you've portrayed the Five-O officers as skilled and highly competent professionals, doing a difficult job to the best of their ability, rather than simply victims of circumstance and violence.

I'm definitely looking forward to the next chapter!
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