Five-0 Redux: Ohana means family

Jan. 29, 2011 | 11 Comments

This was the episode that made me not just like “Hawaii Five-0,” but the one that made me realize that I was going to love the show. And there was so much to love from the start — Danno eating a malasada, mistaking McGarrett as an Army man, which is inexcusable to a Navy man, and of course, the breakdown of Danno’s Jersey issue detective attire. We could debate his clothing options all day, because he in no way looks like a kama‘aina, but we know this was just the beginning of the McGarrett/Danno bromance. How could we not enjoy them bickering like a newlywed couple? And to think — we were there from the start. Sans seatbelts and all.

We learned more about the bond between Chin Ho and Kono, how their familial relationship has been marred by Chin’s treatment by the HPD. And how that could possibly affect Kono’s career. As if McGarrett and the team would let that happen.

But the episode had the ohana theme well woven into its characters and dialogue. John McGarrett’s voice over at the beginning explaining his love for his children helped set the scene for the father/son relationship between the kidnap victim, Roland Lowry, and his son Evan. When Evan laments about calling his dad a “dictator” doesn’t Steve look like that hurt a little? Perhaps he had the same conversation with his own dad. We can only imagine, and hope, more of McGarrett’s relationship with his father is revealed in later episodes.

But the topper of this episode was the scene at the end with Kono, looking a little beat up and a little sad about missing her graduation. When she looked at her freshly pressed and yet to be worn uniform, it was with a mixture of disappointment and pride. That look was a confirmation of her duty to her career and to the Five-0 Team. Then to have McGarrett, Danno, and Chin Ho in their dress uniforms ready to pay tribute to her, and perform her swearing in ceremony, just made it all the more special. Kono said “You become a cop by doing the work, not by walking across a stage,” and since she did a lot of the hard work — sorry, I meant, bleeding, in this episode, she was right.

The gifts also told us a lot about our heroes. A back-up weapon from McGarrett, the St. Michael medal from Danno, and Chin Ho giving her the mag light — because she always brings light to darkness — and saying he would never have missed her graduation, confirmed for all of us that if there had been any doubt, they were now a family. Because even though families fight and argue, get each other shot, get thrown through doors and windows, and never require each other to wear a seatbelt, they do love and care about each other. And that is what ohana means.

Sorry, I just had to swallow a little lump in my throat.

Really? Is that going to be a thing now? Well, we all think it’s catchy.

Wendie Burbridge is a published writer, playwright and a teacher of literature and fiction writing at Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama. Most recently, her story “The Cave Man’ was published in “‘Oiwi 4, Kupa‘a Makou ma hope o ka ‘Aina  (We Stand Firm Behind the Land) — Kanaka Maoli Voices on Annexation, Statehood, and Ceded Lands.” As a student at Gonzaga University she studied Theatre Arts and acted in and directed productions in Spokane, Wash. She also worked in Extras Casting for NBC and Warner Brothers on various television shows and films in the Pacific Northwest.

  • http://www.facebook.com/samantha.joane.hunt Samantha Hunt

    Thank you!
    And I had to swallow a little lump in my throat there too.
    Mahalo!

  • tawnliz

    Another great article from Wendie! I loved this episode! The backgrounds of the characters, like you said, was a great start to the H50 story. Also, seeing McG, Danno and Chin in their uniforms helped alot!!! Very poignant info!

  • Serena

    This episode definitely brought the team together as a unified police unit & family. The bromance has given the viewers pivotal laughs with Danno being the one with great lines! McGarrett the stoic & compassionate Navy Seal brings organized thinking. McGarrett may not know about children but he loves people. Wendie once again your assessment of this episode is right on!

  • Mary Bingleman

    The new Hawaii Five 0 is the best show on television today, in my opinion!! Of course, besides the character’s and story line, there is the amazing scenery, which makes me feel, like I’m looking at home. My time in the islands was short, but never to be forgotten. I loved every minute I was there and hope to return someday. Lets keep the Aloha Spirit alive always—Mary Bingleman–Brantford, Ontario, Canada

  • jlopie

    We’re not quite 2/3 of the way through the first season, and I’m already nostalgic for the early episodes! So much has developed since this 2nd episode – the personalities, the relationships and the story arcs. This episode really did solidify our 4 main characters as a family, a unit we know will definitely be tested in future episodes! Gread review, Wendie. It’s fun to go back and watch the earlier episodes and see how Steve and Danny have learned to relate to each other!

  • Anonymous

    I hate to be a hater, but the show seems fairly predictable. The characters are good looking, but the overall structure is a tired formula. People really seem to enjoy all the scenery and local references, but that is a mish-mash fiction that borders on absurd. The episode I saw was one where they were going to the Chinatown in Waipahu based on some element that is only in the Waipahu water supply. Or how about the one with the Samoan and Tongan football teams! Come on now!

    If viewed as mindless entertainment, I don’t have a problem. But as a riveting storyline, I’m not getting it.

    • jlopie

      Fair enough, 808independent. You bring up some valid points. I wonder if you would elaborate on why you consider the structure tired? What are you comparing it to? Possibly the CSI or NCIS franchises? I’m not so sure about the absurdity part, though. The water supply incident is definitely something that could easily be seen on a CSI episode, and most of the other technical elements can be found on NCIS, as well. So in that regards, yes, H5-0′s structure is similar to other major hit shows. Are those shows considered absurd, too? H5-0 stands out in the crowd for the other aspects it has going for it, especially, as Wendie points out here, the sense of family, friendship and loyalty that is so looked forward to by the fans who watch each week. H5-0 fans are developing a cameradie with each other as the season progresses. This might not have been something CBS anticipated when they developed this show, but you just have to look to Facebook and CBS’s forums and everywhere else that pertains to the new H5-0 to realize it’s a phenomena happening.

      The story line is there, although not always obvious each week. The show needs to be seen from the pilot to the present to understand the whole McGarrett family story, and the Wo Fat angle is just getting started. Each episode now seems to end with some surprising tidbit of information to wet a diehard fan’s appetite for more. If you don’t believe me, find a discussion board and see for yourself the many different opinions on who put the $10 million back in the forfeiture locker or who 5-0′s guardian angel is! Mindless entertainment? Okay, fine, sign me up.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with jlopie that it’s fun to go back & watch the earlier episodes, I have most of them on my DVR & when I need a bromance or DDK fix, I go back & watch them. I can’t wait to see what’s coming up but I also love going back & seeing where the Five-0 team started out. Great job, as always, WJ!! :)

  • Trumpwrker

    this show is the best . i never miss the show

  • Malama

    The new series sucks ! Not only are the actors second rate but the script is so ver contrived and amaturish ! The local casting is the worst; who is the casting director; a 5-year old ?

  • pineapple princess

    Makes me so homesick watching it every Monday night….seeing how beautiful Hawaii has always been even with all the changes. Thank god for on demand… I can watch the reruns. Love the bromance between Steve and Danno…even my husband likes all the bickering they do..he says it is believable to him because he has 4 brothers and they do bicker like that once in a while. Can’t wait to come home for a visit and maybe catching them shooting the series around Honolulu….