Five-0 Redux: Say goodbye, Danno

Feb. 22, 2011 | 26 Comments

While Five-0 races to stop a mad bomber before he kills again, Danny (Scott Caan, left) gets an unexpected visit from Matt (Dane Cook, right), his fun-loving, Wall Street-broker-little brother. —MARIO PEREZ/CBS

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From watching the “Hawaii Five-0” teasers and previews this week, I got the fact that in this episode, Danno’s brother comes to visit and he not only brings fairy princess presents for Grace, but he also brings a bunch-0-trouble for the Five-0 Team. And I didn’t even mention that a pretty famous Hollywood troublemaker, none other than Dane Cook, plays Danno’s brother. Local peeps, don’t get him confused with our own newsmaker Dan Cook. They are not the same guy, trust me.

Dane Cook seems to be an accurate choice to play the part of Matt, the golden child of the Williams family. The camaraderie between Matt and big brother Dan was charming and the dinner scene with the brothers, the ex-wife, and the current partner, was fun and made me like Danno a lot more. This entire episode was about the importance and love of family, Danno for Matt, the victims for their children, the villain—scarily goateed and all—for his dead son. The idea that the bad guy, Roan, never got to say goodbye to his son, and then took away the final goodbyes of his victims to their own children, was perfect for this episode’s title and theme. Add Danny’s painful scene with his brother at the end—the long goodbye, my friends.

But regardless of the dramatic “will he shoot him or will he not” ending, there were some funny and interesting moments of the evening. I thought that the secondary plot line of Roan killing the children of the people he blamed for his own son’s death, was a little melodramatic for Hawaii, but I did like how it filled the episode with tension. Between wondering what was lurking behind Matt’s reason for his visit to see his big brother, and the tension between Danno and Rachel—Step Stan’s in Boston and Danno does go to see her at the end, not his partner Steve—was very telling and an excellent way to ratchet up our emotional buy-in for the show. Was that a revealing ending hug, or what? How the tides turn, Five-0 viewers, let’s see how those Danno and Rachel waves crash.

I do hope these turning tides do not mean an end to our bromantic love between Danno and Steve? It was almost odd to not have a bickering car ride between the two. I missed it tonight. We traded it in for a stroll down memory lane over surf and turf and the third degree from Magnum/Danno.

And just for the record, Danno is nothing at all like Magnum. Not even close. I mean, Magnum would never have worn a tie; he wore slippers, and had a much cooler car. And then there are the physical differences. I mean, Danno doesn’t even have a mustache. Just saying.

But I think the episode belongs to Dane Cook. I was ready for the quick lines, the funny barbs, the “let’s start some trouble now” from our funny man, but his dramatic turn at the end was an interesting twist. I still wanted Danny to shoot him— in the knee at least—but I get why big brother doesn’t. I have no doubt McGarrett would have shot Matt clean in the knee to stop him.

Or perhaps not. Steve was the one who lied to the Feds so Danno could get to Matt and either help his brother or help him get away? Would Steve have gotten Chin and Kono to help with another heist of the HPD millions to help a brother out? Not sure. But I know I will be tuning in for the rest of the season to see how this plays out.

Redux Side Note: Just for the record, I was a little puzzled by the title this evening, which is billed as “Loa Aloha or The Long Goodbye.” So I asked my ‘Olelo Hawai‘i expert, Ilihia Gionson, who said that in Hawaiian language it’s subject first, then the modifier. So “Loa Aloha” would be the “loving lengths.” Which if you think about the episode, figuratively works with the theme. Hawaiians don’t really say goodbye, we say “a hui hou” or until we meet again. Even “aloha” is really just “a general-purpose well wish.”

So “The Long Goodbye” would be Ke Aloha Loa. But to be fair, “Hawaii Five-0” takes some loving lengths to try and be accurate in their titles and in their themes. Mahalo nui loa, Five-0.

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Wendie Burbridge is a published writer, playwright and a teacher of literature and fiction writing at Kamehameha Schools-Kapālama.

  • http://twitter.com/H50undercover Officer 808

    I loved Dane Cook in the episode as well! Very interesting lesson with the Hawaiian title of the episode!

  • Val

    Terrific blog. I really liked your playful references of uncle Matt who spoils his favorite neice with toys and a fairy tale wand and crown – he called “cutie p-atutie” – he got that right, she’s adorable. He also let on that Danny still loves his ex-wife and also interesting is that when Rachel and Dano broke up, Matt’s the one family member that came to the rescue and spent six months at his older brother’s side, there is no way that Danny could stop Matt from leaving that kind of bond between the two brothers is deep and I’m sure that if Matt calls Danny out of desparation, Danny would be there for him no matter what. I think Matt took the desperate road because he was ashamed and didn’t want to drag Danny into his mess. I truly believe that Matt was hurting too when he got into the plane and left. As for Rachel, the chemistry between her and Danny is unmistakably good and I’m hoping in this scene that the two of them spend the night, one discretion but with Stan’s constant travel plans…I think their relationship will drift and Rachel and Danny will rekindle that flame that never left not right away, alot of healing is needed here but for now they are friends and on good terms. If anyone who can help Danny out – did anyone forget Stan? But in the end I’m glad Danny didn’t leave the island. He would have – if his brother agreed to turn himself in. Interesting to learn that he has other sisters in the family. Wonder if we’ll learn more about them?

  • DaneFan

    BIG Dane Cook fan and he def owned the epi. Did not really like the epi though. Hate the Rachel DanO hookup, as we be straying into girly-soap territory now. Plus there were a lot of scenes of the DanOs just sitting around at the pool and at the beach and at the table and yapping about, wait for it, DanO. What happened to our action? What happened to our team? The only thing they blew up were a couple of kids, and their deaths got very little fanfare as we be too busy worrying about, wait again, DanO and fam. And bad on em for that. And for all of DanO’s whining about StevO playing loose with rules, I guess when the shite hits, DanO has no compunction about breaking a few federal laws. All moral superiority goes out the windO, DanO. As did my interest.

  • jlopie

    Enjoyed your review, as always, Wendie. Between you and Undercover, I don’t need to go anywhere else for the definitive take on Hawaii 5-0!

    I think I would have been thoroughly disgusted with Danno if he did shoot his brother in the knee, foot or anywhere else to keep him from getting on the plane. Yes, he’s been all police procedural, do it right, etc., up to this point, but Danny, as well as the rest of the team, has changed his perspective on what’s right and what’s life, since the start of this show. The team has faced numerous crises in which they have had to make decisions that 1) they never expected to have to make, and 2) compromise they’re previous notions of right and wrong. Steve has learned from Danny about loyalty and family first, while Danny has learned from Steve that sometimes you just have to go with your gut instincts and DO something, don’t just think about it. I was impressed with the whole episode, even though I pretty much forgot about the mad bomber story. I guess I like different things than most viewers. I also do think we’re not going to get all mushy, gushy, soapy here with Rachel and Danny. It made sense that he went to her, he needed to be with people he loved, with family, but that doesn’t change their overall situation, and we were led to believe by Matt’s comment that Danny has made mistakes, too, that maybe there is more to why Rachel left him than we know yet? Needless to say, I didn’t lose interest – I just can’t believe we have to wait for 3 weeks for a new episode!

  • Ktbob

    Loved the ep, Scott Caan nailed the heartbreak and pain of having a beloved family member hurt him like that. I really, really hope they don’t go the Rachel/Danny route on the show, though. They work well as exes learning to be family in a different way; I think if they hook up it would damage both their characters, and be harmful to Grace as well. They clearly love each other, but they are too different to be together, and both (I believe) have too much integrity to be cheaters.

  • Tulloch

    Loved your blog. You always put an interesting twist on the story. I had mixed feelings about this episode. I thought Scott Caan was terrific. I really liked how Steve stepped up to help and be there for Danny. Part of me understands why Danny went to Rachel after Matt took off, but I really think that he should have gone to Steve instead. My opinion.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NH4T7FUJ6SBPBFDAD23AKFKI6Y VinnyB

    As a huge fan of the original and an Oahu resident for the past 10 years, I really wanted to like this show. As a former police officer, I found the show to be so completely absurd and I couldn’t keep watching it.

  • Anonymous

    Show should be renamed “Hawaii Dann-0.” Too much emphasis on Scott (not just in this episode), and getting a little sappy. Straying too far from the original show. I might not mind so much perhaps, if the characters had different names…

    Also don’t like that the show “promotes” law enforcement officers breaking the law whenever it suits their purposes.

  • Jaiu

    ‘It is interesting to see some of the underlining connections that you have pointed out and the possible underlying kaona to the episode’s “theme” of “good-bye”. One might see many different forms of hawaiiana in this episode; ohana, malama, and aloha. But to double back on the role that aloha played in the title, as well as the story, Aloha might also be see as an emotion or state of being that says “I might not always get along with you, and I might not agree with what you do or are doing, but I still love you and I care what happens to you.” Keeping this in mind, one might see how the theme of aloha plays directly into the story of Danno and his brother, as well as the terms on which they part.’

    • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

      Awesome comment! Thanks:) WJ

  • Anonymous

    I wish people would make up their minds on what THEY would like the show to be, maybe if they wish hard enough someone might listen one day. First they’re trying too much to be like the original and people say they can’t be and shouldn’t even try, then when it’s obvious they’re trying to blaze their own trail, they’re straying too far from the original. As far as too much Danno, as Bones said in the 2009 Star Trek Movie “If you wanna ride in the Kentucky Derby, you don’t leave your prized stallion in the stable”. Bottom line, the show doesn’t need Hawaii to watch to be successful, it’s the mainland viewers that will decide the fate of the show based in viewership. So far, they like it better than any new drama introduced this year. The only way Hawaii can decide is if we complain so much that they don’t want to be here anymore, and that’s when we lose the money and free publicity the show brings in, which in turn will sour future productions from coming here.

    • Anonymous

      I absolutely agree with everything you said!!! Amen to that!!!

  • Anonymous

    I think we all need to just sit back, relax and remember that this is a TV SHOW, it’s not real!!! Yes, sometimes it’s a little disturbing the lengths that this task force will go to, it isn’t real and no one would watch if they actually followed the rules and went by the book. I’m related to at least 2 REAL police officers that watch the show religiously and love it. They realize that the show isn’t trying to show what it’s really like, that would be a documentary, not a drama by the way, and they are able to sit back every Monday night and let Five-0 take them to fantasy land.
    Also, as far as the whole thing about it being too much Danno, I completely disagree. I think it’s been a lot more of the Steve-show then it’s been the Danno-show. I really hope they start to show more of Chin Ho and Kono’s stories soon.
    GOOD JOB, Wendie Joy, as always!!! Keep up the good work!!!

    • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

      Thanks ileimohala:) It’s nice to know that Officer Real Five-0 loves the show and that he “gets” that it’s TELEVISION and not RL. XO WJ

  • Cbarr72905

    I thought the eppy was very good. Storyline for Danno was great & gave his character even more depth. His description of how his ‘little brother’ took care of him in his hour of need explains why Danno went to Rachel in the end. She is/was family….she knows Matt & what he means to Danno…she would understand Danno’s pain & confusion…..Steve would not. Steve knew his partner was hurting because of family & that Danno, ‘breaking the law’ to help his brother, was a major deal. Danno holds the law as close as he holds his daughter….it defines him.
    Enjoyed the show but I don’t like Steve playing second fiddle in an eppy……I want Steve to have a long, indepth back story eppy like this………soon.

  • Anonymous

    SHAME ON YOU H50. Writing about kids or sons/daughters getting murdered is the lowest form of writing. It’s a cheap gimmick used when you can think of nothing better. Just like the episode before when the college kids were kidnapped and one of them was murdered and the resulting parent’s anguish. Didn’t have to have that in the script. Story would’ve flowed fine without it. H50 is sinking badly in the creativity department. Back to back episodes of children getting killed/murdered – deplorable H50.

  • Anonymous

    i enjoy 5 0 One of the few shows that take me away from k-drama

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  • DanaInVermont

    Really love all your insights, Wendie. I always learn something fascinating about Hawiiana from what you write! I also think its really cool that one needs an ‘Olelo Hawai’i ‘expert’ to consult on occasion for Hawaii Five 0 Episodes!

  • http://twitter.com/mouselme Lisa Michelle Effler

    Mahalo. And, just for the record, I’m with you about Danny shooting Matt in the knee at least. lol Oh, that and the Magnum reference. Danny doesn’t look like Magnum (though I was never a Magnum fan, it just happened to be on before Simon and Simon), doesn’t dress like Magnum, and definitely does not have the same attitude towards the island that Magnum did. lol Oh, and Magnum’s cool car wasn’t his.
    It was nice to see a more human side of Danny, not just the black and white of being a detective. I just hope this doesn’t end up biting him in the butt.

  • Kate

    For me this episode was the straw that broke the glass.Danny again acting on their own for the benefit of his family outside the group.Lying and letting his brother offender go.Steve also lying and abusing the trust of the Governor.The main plot became secondary,to give way to another domestic situation of Danny,in another attempt to make it the main character of H5.0 be Danny and Scott Caan can show off their performing skills.The writers and producers have risen Scott Caan to the level of star of the show.And I wonder why they did not follow the storyline of the pilot?There are some hidden interest for is made in this way?Why they not give whole cast the chance to shine in their interpretation?I feel sad for Alex O’Loughlin, they have not wanted to give him the same opportunity to show what it’s worth as an actor,he’s the main actor and he’s seems the secondary,is shameful and outrageous the treatment they give him.

  • Mariam

    This episode is uninteresting. I’m disappointed with the writers because most of the episodes are focused on Danny character, he is the only character who interact outside his work. Is this show about Williams’s family? There are other members in the team all of them really good actors. We never get enought of Mcgarrett, I’m fed up with Danno.

  • Ed

    I like the Hawaiian episode titles but as a Punahou boy (long time ago) and a frequent visitor I often have problems with the “official” translation. “Loa aloha” is a case in point. certainly the word order is wrong in any case, as Wendie points out. But “long goodbye”? I translate it as (roughly) “Too much love” which fits the episode themes a little better IMHO. Wouldn’t “long goodbye” be “Ke aloha lo’ihi”? And you’d sure have trouble finding room in the Iolani Palace for a room big enough to hold the magic table…

  • http://twitter.com/H50fan Carrie Bondy

    I just want to know how Danny got his car back when Steve drove him to the hotel in his truck.  Also, Matt made a comment about the mistakes that Danny has made. After we have seen the end of the season, you know very well what happened after the hug at the end of the episode. That turnabout was just wrong.

  • http://twitter.com/H50fan Carrie Bondy

    I just want to know how Danny got his car back when Steve drove him to the hotel in his truck.  Also, Matt made a comment about the mistakes that Danny has made. After we have seen the end of the season, you know very well what happened after the hug at the end of the episode. That turnabout was just wrong.

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