Five-0 Redux: Return of the villain

Mar. 22, 2011 | 13 Comments

When a sci-fi fan dressed like a superhero is murdered, Five-0 (Grace Park, left; Scott Caan, right) hits the convention scene in search of a villain. —Photos by Mario Perez/CBS

BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser

If any of you have ever been to a Comic Book Convention, like Comicon, or a Star Trek or Star Wars Convention, or even a Twi-Con for all of you Twi-hards out there, you know that the fans come out in droves dressed and ready to get their super-fan action on. And if you have never been to one, nor heard of these conventions — let’s just say that the one pictured by “Hawaii Five-0” in tonight’s episode is tame at best. We did get a bit of realism with all the uber-fans dressed in their hero best, as well as a little taste at how rabid their love for their chosen characters can be. Yes, Commander Sisko, I’m sure we know a few Trekkies who would love to beam up their own Psycho Kitty to their launch pads at any time.

But the costumes just gave us a glimpse into what “Hawaii Five-0” had cooked up for tonight’s heroes. The Five-0 team certainly met some costumed villains — one in a costume we were not expecting, and another who came out from behind his mask of mystery to help McGarrett put a face on a seemingly new nemesis. Bet I wasn’t the only one who didn’t see that one coming. The title for tonight’s episode is “Na Me‘e Lāua Na Paio,” which CBS has listed as meaning “Heroes and Villains,” which is a perfect title for tonight’s broadcast. The Five-0 heroes meet some new villains, and of course, one from McG’s past, Wo Fat. According to my Hawaiian language consultant T Ilihia Gionson, the actual translation of na me‘e lāua na paio is “the heroes and the battles or fight” or rather “the heroes and their opponents.” An opponent, or hoa paio to a hero, could naturally be seen as a “villain” since a hero is always matched with one in our world. We would not need a hero if we did not also have villains, and the Five-0 team are always going up against bad guy opponents—and tonight, the opponents are many and their stories tangled and twisted. And sometimes an old “villain from our dark past” shows up for the showdown at dinner in a Chinese restaurant. Good thing our McGarrett always knows to draw first.

Some of the villains we met were Johnny D, played with humorous bravado by James Ransone, a clever thief whose downfall seems to be his penchant for believing suggestive text messages from strippers. As if that would happen to a guy in real life. Well, guys like Johnny D anyway. He has some of the best lines of the night, my favorites being that he “always wanted to see Paris” and his “Mavis, can you get the records from the last robbery? Oh, I’m sorry, I guess my secretary is out.” Too bad he didn’t know what the Eiffel Tower looked like, but hey, the Seattle Space Needle is the next thing to the great Paris landmark. I guess Johnny D is not as smart as his tongue.

Another villain who appeared out of really no where was the wife of the two-timing attorney Richard Davis, played by D.B. Sweeney, the owner of the Johnny D-stolen gold Rolex, and of the “Paris” snow globe, Anne Davis, played by Perrey Reeves. She definitely played the innocent with Chin Ho, and gave her best clueless wife, while she hired an eyebrow shaved personal trainer-slash-thug to hunt down Johnny D and tried to hide the fact that she videotaped her husband’s affair, killed her husband’s lover, and covered it up for two years. I always say, never mess with a schoolteacher. They are more cunning and dangerous than you might think. And if you think about it, they are always in costume. Just like our Mrs. Davis. We did get an almost reluctant “Book ‘em, Danno” from McG tonight. But it was almost like a sigh, sadness at how her thoughtless actions caused not only the death of her intended victim, Lindsey Roberts, but also her unintended victim, our Comicon superhero, Alex Baker. McGarrett and the Team never like to see an innocent being harmed, as all great heroes carry that burden with them.

The last big villain of the evening was brought to an unsuspecting McGarrett by way of a seeming villain — CIA agent Jenna Kaye played with charming pluck by Larisa Oleynik. At first we see her as a villain, threatening McG’s personal investigation of his mother’s murder, as well as his desire for the rest of the truth about his father’s death, and he and his sister’s upturned lives. But as we see, Kaye also wants to track down McG’s villain — Wo Fat. Before, Wo Fat was just a name of a guy who was playing golf with a real villain, Hiro Noshimuri, but now, Agent Kaye shows him her evidence that HE is the one behind his mother’s death and his father’s murder by his underling Victor Hesse. All news to McGarrett. As he begins to see more of his puzzle coming together, he also sees that sometimes a hero comes in a villain’s costume, and I know we’re going to see more of Agent Kaye as the series continues. I think she is an endearing add to the Five-0 Team, with her geeky glasses and her Harvard University t-shirt. As McGarrett says, “I think we are going to get along just fine.”

And for all of you uber-Five-0-fans who were chomping at the bit to see a new episode — yes, I know it’s been three weeks — I was not at all disappointed by this episode. I was at the edge of my seat during the last few minutes, wondering if McGarrett was going to introduce Wo Fat to not only more old American proverbs, but to his handy little friend, the flashlight gun. But I know, a hero never shoots an unarmed man, not does he shoot before he knows the truth. Only villains shoot and ask questions later, and we know, our McG would never follow the bad guy’s lead.

Redux Side Note: I hope I wasn’t the only viewer who caught a glimpse of local girl and designer Lisa Woo, dressed in her own costume that she created for the show, coming down the escalator right before Danno’s corny “What’s up dog?” line at the Comicon Convention. I’m thrilled that Lisa got such a long look from McG and got some good face time on screen. After my time in Extras Casting after college, I know that extras are more often never seen nor do we ever get a lasting look at them on screen. Perhaps the “Hawaii Five-0” producers know a great face and excellent creative design when they see it. Congratulations Lisa. Next time—let’s get you a line—perhaps you can be a featured extra that speaks rather than just looking great in a costume.

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Wendie Burbridge is a published writer, playwright and a teacher of literature and fiction writing at Kamehameha Schools-Kapālama. Reach her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Five0Redux and Twitter @WendieJoy.

  • Jkeagy928

    awesome. the whole storyline with steve and wofat is excellent. my only complaint is theyre giving us dribs and drabs of it when we want an entire episode of it. kinda feel teased a little, like watching an episode of lost where you expect answers and get more questions. its a great move to create suspense but doesnt satisfy my need for instant gratification! loved the last five minutes. was glued to the every move, look, word that came out of steve and wo fat! intense drama. may be the best last 5 minutes of any show ever! definetly left me hungry for more. now the torture begins all over again! April 11 seems like light years away! and then they probroally wont even touch on the wofat line. I have a feeling were gonna be waiting for the INEVITABLE season 2 to get any more answers. I still say we need a 2 hour episode of just the steve backstory/wofat story line to satisfy our craving!! well written as always wendy. (and wasnt it fun to be able to see it first for once- one of the few perks to being on the east coast as opposed to paradise!)

    • Jkeagy928

      and there are alot of hard core fans out there who would never dream of missing an episode – i am one – but the ratings were disappointing and im wondering if showing one episode a month is wearing thin on the casual viewer. especially with the steve-wofat thing- to tease with a small bit every week or two is fine if your seeing a new episode weekly but to do it and show 2 or 3 repeats after im worried people are going to start defecting. i hope im wrong casue noone wants the best show on tv to go away but im not understanding their mind set with this. once its established like lost was maby messin with our heads is affordable but when theyre trying to get ratings and show one episode a month i think its dangerous territory. id love to hear your views on this for my fb friends to digest cause were all saying the same thing.

  • Raefhn

    I love reading your blog after a new episode. I was also at the edge of my seat by the end of the hour too. I knew they were going to meet from the trailer but I am curious how Wo Fat knew about McG and Kaye going tho the resturant in the first place? I’m sure he has his ways to spy on people. All in all, it was a great episode. Everything is slowly starting to make sense and although thats a good thing, it is also a little sad cause I know that the season is winding down. Good thing I have all the episodes saved on my DVR so I can rewatch them all summer in antisipation of season 2. On a side note…I am coming to Hawaii in May and get more and more excited with every episode I watch. When they show local landmarks and such, I just looks like the best place to be and I am sure at the end of my trip I will probably not want to leave.
    Anyways, thanks for the post.

  • Myles Unabia

    You forgot to mention local surfer/surf travel writer/ and Honolulu party-promoter Matty Liu, played the bartender at Honolulu strip club Femme Nu…Good job as always Matty!

  • Val

    Hi Wendie, terrific blog as always!! I have never been to a comic-con theme before and it feels weird seeing it all happen like a carnival on Five-0. Those costumes were stunning to look at. But Jenna Kaye was really full of surprises for me. Her stance in the office wearing a suit and confronting McG, took my breath away, I never expected that meeting to begin quite so “edgy” comes to mind and seeing the tape recorder in her hand was an unexpected shock since I thought all the evidence would have been destroyed so if it was all recovered, this strange pattern of behavior reminds me of all the money that Five-0 borrowed suddenly showed up again. What kind of a sick mind trick is that? lol

    Who ever dreamed of this must truly have a lot of chuckles writing it into their scripts but just the same I’m eager like everyone else dying to know what’s coming next. But one thing is certain we are all going to have a lot of sleepless nights trying to guess, and analyse which direction the writers are taking us and its clear to all they love teasing us with little bits and pieces of info that just makes us hunger for more and we know that the whole Chin back story is going to be no different. We are still going to be totally clueless to what the writers have in store for all of us who are ready to eat our furniture if they don’t hurry up and let us in on what’s going on.

    The amusing part of the entire season so far is that he crime stories tho cleverly written in is like one gigantic red herring to distract us from the real meaty part of the show is just fed to us like a ball of string that is just endless and we just never quite get there…isn’t that how torture works….lol!!!

  • Mcgreggl

    Another great epsiode but I agree with the other comments about the lack of new episodes. Three-week gaps are too long! I would rather they dispense with the re-runs and just end the season sooner but I know there is more money in it for the network if they drag it out as long as possible. I hope there is some kind of cliff-hanger finale regarding Wo Fat – maybe a two hour episode to make up for these endless breaks between new shows.

  • Linda Stein

    I liked the episode. I was also very taken back by Jenna at first and I was ready to really hate her. But I made a mistake judging MaryAnn to quickly so I’m not going to do that with Jenna. I’m willing to wait it out and see what develops. I agree about the re-runs but it’s old school for me. I watched LOST for 6 years so it doesn’t really bug me that much. What worries me is that LOST took a lot of guff for all the re-runs but it was a NUMBER ONE show that won both the PCA and the Emmy it’s first year. H50, while extremely good, is not in that class. It could be, it’s got the chops for it but it won’t be if people are bored or confused with the timeframe. I’ve said it before. I just hope the powers that be KNOW they have season 2 locked up so they are not to concerned with the ratings numbers now.

  • jlopie

    I REALLY liked this episode. I loved the comic book convention, the fabulous costumes and all the rest of the nerdiness related with it! I must be a nerd at heart, I guess! I agree with all the previous comments, especially Joey’s worries about the way the show is painfully doling out snippets of the McGarrett story, the weeks of reruns in between new episodes leading to the loss of viewers. We all knew when the new episode was coming on, because we have thought of little else for the past month, but the hit and miss tv viewers missed it last night – dare I say CBS is missing the boat on getting the publicity out? They don’t need to preach to the choir with their little spoilers, they need to reach the entire flock of tvdom! (is that a word? probably not, but you know what I mean,right?)

    Anyway, it was a fun episode, for the most part, with lots of change ups in partnering – Kono and Danny so need to be paired up more! I would love to know what Kono put in that text to Johnny D that embarrassed Danny! Chin was priceless with his “Did he just do that?” and “Put him out of his misery” lines. And the gum under the “computer?” Steve is such a neat freak! The tension really spiked in the last 5 minutes! We all knew and were waiting for the WoFat/McG face-off in the restaurant, but didn’t know what to expect. Some of us on fb were waiting to see if Steve would shoot and ask questions later, or listen to Dad McG on one shoulder and Danny on the other telling Steve that a good cop will wait for the evidence and find out everything there is to know first, then shoot him in the face!

    Thanks for your analysis, Wendie – it’s as great as ever!

  • Anonymous

    There is one more ingredient to this battle…our secret ingredient…the theme on which our chefs will offer their succulent variations. Today’s secret ingredient … is … TYPECAST !!!!
    -
    So now America, with an open heart and empty stomach I say unto you in the words of my uncle, ‘Allez Cuisine’!”
    -

  • tawnliz

    Thx for a great, in-depth article. I hope they don’t make Jenna a love interest of McGarrett. Too predictable. Also, I love seeing Wo Fat! Marc Dacascos is awesome!

  • Rachellee

    Well, I’m glad to hear that you liked the Jenna Kaye character. The jury is out on that one for me. That ridiculous bit with the chewing gum was utter nonsense. The girl looks like she’s 12. We don’t need an in-your face reminder that she’s young and not experienced. And all I can say is that any rumors of her being brought in as a possible love interest for McG better not be true. Talk about squicking me out if that happens. That would be like him deciding to bed a teenager. Ick!

    Turning to the rest of the episode, I really liked this one. The writing seemed to be much tighter than most of the previous episodes. The main storyline kept me tuned in and the side story involving Kaye was just enough and still left McG to deal with the killer storyline unlike a couple of the previous eps when it felt like the Danny Williams Show and not true Hawaii Five-0. I also gotta know who we can bribe to get Wo Fat some actual airtime. These quick 2 to 3 minute appearances just show that he’s a force to be reckoned with and would provide much more powerful storytelling. Get a clue TPTB!

    I did catch Lisa on the escalator. While it’s nice to see her there, from what I’ve seen on blogs, the girl seems to be almost stalking the set on a regular basis. It’s getting kind of embarrassing actually. The cast can’t even grab coffee from the local Starbucks without her there asking for pics.

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

    http://50undercover.com/2011/03/26/location-of-mcgarrett-and-wo-fats-first-encounter-revealed/
    Looks like i was right- it was a Chinese restaurant. Thanks Officer808 and investigating that for us:) I guess I DO know my Chinese language from my Japanese language. Who knew?

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

    http://50undercover.com/2011/03/26/location-of-mcgarrett-and-wo-fats-first-encounter-revealed/
    Looks like i was right- it was a Chinese restaurant. Thanks Officer808 and investigating that for us:) I guess I DO know my Chinese language from my Japanese language. Who knew?