Five-0 Redux: Unbreakable McGarrett

Sep. 20, 2011 | 26 Comments

BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser

So it was a great episode, right? Worth the month of speculation and anticipation? Worth the little pleas you sent up to the television angels, asking for time to move faster, for the last three months to speed by like a silver Camaro.

The Five-0 team is back in action for a second season. (Photo courtesy CBS)

If you were jumping up and down in your living room or yelling at your high-def screen after watching the season two opener of “Hawaii Five-0,” you are nodding your head as you read this — “Ha‘i‘ole” was well worth the wait.

I have been holding it in for nine days, people. NINE DAYS. I’m ready to burst out with my many thoughts, just like the hidden camera placed by Poppa McG in the Governor’s office spilled all the Wo Fat beans.

But before I get ahead of myself and talk about the OMG ending, let’s breakdown a few of the moments that made this episode live up to it’s title.

We now have a lot of proof that McGarrett and the Five-0 team truly are unbreakable. They are faced from the beginning with an unbreakable case, a case that seems to have no cracks in which they can find a way to get McGarrett out of the murder charges and the life in prison he faces.

Yet, from out of the blue sky lands a new friend who has arrived to help the team out — Lt. Commander Joe White (Terry O’Quinn). And this friend is the one who trained McGarrett. If there is one thing a SEAL knows how to do, it is not to break.

There are a lot of friends in this episode — old friends who help, friends from both McG’s and Poppa McG’s past, and even one who comes back from the dead via modern day video surveillance. There is even a friend who used to be an enemy, and an enemy who has been acting like a friend. And with friends like that, who really needs enemies? It’s not as if the team doesn’t have enough.

Yes, my friends, it was a rollercoaster of a ride and believe me when I tell you, I’m still trying to wrap my head around who are the team’s real friends and which ones do they need kick out of the car. Last week I thought that Lt. Commander Joe White would be the deus ex machina — the man who would come in and save them all. But the team’s actual savior was another lieutenant: Lt. Governor Sam Denning (Richard T. Jones).

Well, he at least made a partial team save. The verdict is still out on Kono’s fate. But I have a feeling that ball will not be dropped by McG and the boys, who will work to clear her name. I’m sure that will come to fruition in the next few episodes. Otherwise, we’re going to be watching a lot of Kono surfing in a string bikini scenes.

Not that any of the male population of the world would mind that — but I think we’d rather have her kicking ass and taking names with the rest of the male Five-0’s, don’t we?

Lt. Commander Joe White (Terry O’Quinn) and Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim) meet for the first time. (Photo courtesy CBS)

I have to say the writers really gave us an episode of the light and funny as well as the dark and ugly. The added bromantic scenes between McG and his former SEAL trainer were a great addition to the show, and I’m looking forward to more of Joe White. Yes, they almost stole the show from the McG and Danno bro-marriage, but we did get enough witty repartee from our two Five-0 favorites to give us the laughs we have been waiting for all summer.

The added humor from Max (the always interesting Masi Oka) and of course, the cherry syrup on our favorite shave ice, Kamekona (Taylor Wily) was enough to give us the “welcome home Five-0” feeling our living rooms have sorely missed.

I don’t know what was funnier — Max driving Danny’s Camaro at warp speed, his Master Yoda clarification, or Kamekona explaining how to make undercover ops look real. Can’t wait to see more of these two this season.

BUT THE dark and ugly, that was well played and equally well written. The scenes of McG in an orange prison jumper doing rounds of pushups did not make us swoon at his well-shaped arm muscles, they just made us feel faint from the sheer fact that McG is behind bars — and we’ve seen enough cop dramas to know a former cop/former SEAL in jail is not a good thing for our hero’s life.

We know McGarrett is played by an Aussie, but we don’t want scenes like the ones in another prison television show named after Alex O’Loughlin’s homeland. So when McGarrett survives a violent jailhouse attack — by former enemy Victor Hesse, now his seeming friend who has no idea how to show his friendship in a normal way, I know I was holding my breath.

Alex O'Loughlin stars as Steve McGarrett, who sits in prison awaiting trial for murder of the governor. (Photo courtesy CBS)

But he’s McGarrett and the theme of this episode is “unbreakable,” and we see McG do almost everything but break. He makes it through jumping from a moving ambulance and running from a cop who just so happened to take a pit stop at the wrong time, only to survive being grilled by Danno, stitched up Max, and end up hiding from the law in the lavatory of Kamekona’s shave ice lair.

McGarrett does not once break — even when he’s almost arrested once again and this time with the possibility of escape added to his murder charge. Can’t the man catch a break?

The one thing that did break in this episode was a bit of truth. The truth about Jenna Kaye, played with deceptive innocence by Larisa Oleynik, and Wo Fat. Now, I thought I was dying to see this episode, until I saw the ending. And now I’m dying to know what is the story of Jenna Kaye.

Which leads us back to Wo Fat. It was hard for me to wrap my mind around the vindictiveness of the character, and how deep his evil tentacles have penetrated into McGarrett’s circle of trust, after meeting the sweet and genuine Mark Dacascos. But when I saw who was driving Wo Fat’s getaway car, I was assured that there are other villains in the show who could trump even his impenetrable stare.

I am getting a bit tired of all the betrayal that is being slung around the magic table. Who’s next? Kamekona turning informant for IAB and getting Danno in trouble for breaking the no-ties-just-aloha-shirts statute? All I know is, whatever you think about “Ha‘i‘ole,” if you saw it on the big screen on Waikiki Beach on Sept. 10 or if you watched on your home screen Monday night, I’m sure you were pleased to know that the Five-0 team is back together and on its way to being completely intact.

But we know for sure — our McG and his friends are proving themselves to be an unbreakable team.

Redux Side Note:

If you have already pre-ordered your “Hawaii Five-0” season one DVD online or are planning on picking it up this week, you will not be disappointed. All of the deleted scenes and the extras on the six-disc set are amazing. Several deleted scenes left me teary eyed and were amazing character studies of our team, as well as Max and Mary Ann. In fact, you really get to see Mary Ann in a completely different light by watching the deleted scenes. And the Gag Reel is a good look at the chemistry the team enjoys off camera.

Check out Burl Burlingame’s complete review in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Also be sure to check out the Sept. 19 edition of the Star-Advertiser for Mike Gordon’s special four-page viewer’s guide to season two. He did an awesome job compiling a breakdown on all of the main and recurring characters as well as the guest stars. You can always see complete coverage of the show by checking out the Star-Advertiser’s Hawaii Five-0 page.
———
Wendie Burbridge is a published writer, playwright and a teacher of literature and fiction writing at Kamehameha Schools-Kapālama. Reach her on Facebook and on Twitter.

  • Anonymous

    great review. I am sure it was tough not being able to talk about that for a week! I actually even thought of you and this blog during the show! I thought you did a great job with your right after SOTB review. You didn’t “spoil” anything but you gave enough to satisfy for a bit.
    I was shocked at the last scene. Shocked at Victor Hesse. Mark Dascasco is really incredible. He seems so nice and wonderful in real life. He does an amazing job as Wo Fat. Amazing. So chillingly evil.
    Loved Max, he was great.
    Thought they wrapped up Rachel a little too quickly. It didn’t fit with what happened in the finale I thought. I thought there would be more to the story of why she was so anxious to get out of Hawaii and take Danny with her. A connection to Wo Fat? Maybe there is more to come on that.
    What a show!

  • Anonymous

    great review. I am sure it was tough not being able to talk about that for a week! I actually even thought of you and this blog during the show! I thought you did a great job with your right after SOTB review. You didn’t “spoil” anything but you gave enough to satisfy for a bit.
    I was shocked at the last scene. Shocked at Victor Hesse. Mark Dascasco is really incredible. He seems so nice and wonderful in real life. He does an amazing job as Wo Fat. Amazing. So chillingly evil.
    Loved Max, he was great.
    Thought they wrapped up Rachel a little too quickly. It didn’t fit with what happened in the finale I thought. I thought there would be more to the story of why she was so anxious to get out of Hawaii and take Danny with her. A connection to Wo Fat? Maybe there is more to come on that.
    What a show!

  • Anonymous

    great review. I am sure it was tough not being able to talk about that for a week! I actually even thought of you and this blog during the show! I thought you did a great job with your right after SOTB review. You didn’t “spoil” anything but you gave enough to satisfy for a bit.
    I was shocked at the last scene. Shocked at Victor Hesse. Mark Dascasco is really incredible. He seems so nice and wonderful in real life. He does an amazing job as Wo Fat. Amazing. So chillingly evil.
    Loved Max, he was great.
    Thought they wrapped up Rachel a little too quickly. It didn’t fit with what happened in the finale I thought. I thought there would be more to the story of why she was so anxious to get out of Hawaii and take Danny with her. A connection to Wo Fat? Maybe there is more to come on that.
    What a show!

  • Anonymous

    great review. I am sure it was tough not being able to talk about that for a week! I actually even thought of you and this blog during the show! I thought you did a great job with your right after SOTB review. You didn’t “spoil” anything but you gave enough to satisfy for a bit.
    I was shocked at the last scene. Shocked at Victor Hesse. Mark Dascasco is really incredible. He seems so nice and wonderful in real life. He does an amazing job as Wo Fat. Amazing. So chillingly evil.
    Loved Max, he was great.
    Thought they wrapped up Rachel a little too quickly. It didn’t fit with what happened in the finale I thought. I thought there would be more to the story of why she was so anxious to get out of Hawaii and take Danny with her. A connection to Wo Fat? Maybe there is more to come on that.
    What a show!

  • Anonymous

    Oh Wendie…how the hell did you do it?!?!?  Not talk about this for 9 whole days!  I can’t believe it.  It was so awesome and totally worth the wait!  You hit every nail squarely on the head with your review.  I loved every minute of it.  The 1st 5 minutes had my heart pounding wondering what the hell was going to happen next. 

    I agree, we absolutely MUST have more of Max and Kamekona.  They add so much to the fabric of the team.  Max has an Enterprise key chain and a Warp 9 licence plate.  As a lifelong Star Trek fan I’m in love!! LOL

    I’m going to like Denning.  I don’t care if the full immunity and means is curbed a bit.  It will do Steve some good to have someone to answer to.  And it opens up lots of Danny worry about what the Governor will say when Steve pulls something he shouldn’t.

    Oh this season is going to be sooooooo great…I can’t wait for more!!!

  • Anonymous

    Oh Wendie…how the hell did you do it?!?!?  Not talk about this for 9 whole days!  I can’t believe it.  It was so awesome and totally worth the wait!  You hit every nail squarely on the head with your review.  I loved every minute of it.  The 1st 5 minutes had my heart pounding wondering what the hell was going to happen next. 

    I agree, we absolutely MUST have more of Max and Kamekona.  They add so much to the fabric of the team.  Max has an Enterprise key chain and a Warp 9 licence plate.  As a lifelong Star Trek fan I’m in love!! LOL

    I’m going to like Denning.  I don’t care if the full immunity and means is curbed a bit.  It will do Steve some good to have someone to answer to.  And it opens up lots of Danny worry about what the Governor will say when Steve pulls something he shouldn’t.

    Oh this season is going to be sooooooo great…I can’t wait for more!!!

  • Anonymous

    Oh Wendie…how the hell did you do it?!?!?  Not talk about this for 9 whole days!  I can’t believe it.  It was so awesome and totally worth the wait!  You hit every nail squarely on the head with your review.  I loved every minute of it.  The 1st 5 minutes had my heart pounding wondering what the hell was going to happen next. 

    I agree, we absolutely MUST have more of Max and Kamekona.  They add so much to the fabric of the team.  Max has an Enterprise key chain and a Warp 9 licence plate.  As a lifelong Star Trek fan I’m in love!! LOL

    I’m going to like Denning.  I don’t care if the full immunity and means is curbed a bit.  It will do Steve some good to have someone to answer to.  And it opens up lots of Danny worry about what the Governor will say when Steve pulls something he shouldn’t.

    Oh this season is going to be sooooooo great…I can’t wait for more!!!

  • Anonymous

    Oh Wendie…how the hell did you do it?!?!?  Not talk about this for 9 whole days!  I can’t believe it.  It was so awesome and totally worth the wait!  You hit every nail squarely on the head with your review.  I loved every minute of it.  The 1st 5 minutes had my heart pounding wondering what the hell was going to happen next. 

    I agree, we absolutely MUST have more of Max and Kamekona.  They add so much to the fabric of the team.  Max has an Enterprise key chain and a Warp 9 licence plate.  As a lifelong Star Trek fan I’m in love!! LOL

    I’m going to like Denning.  I don’t care if the full immunity and means is curbed a bit.  It will do Steve some good to have someone to answer to.  And it opens up lots of Danny worry about what the Governor will say when Steve pulls something he shouldn’t.

    Oh this season is going to be sooooooo great…I can’t wait for more!!!

  • http://twitter.com/NurseBrak Matthew

    Aside from a minor quibble about a general lack of explosions, I really was quite pleased with this episode. Like you, I’m not wild about the betrayal. They’ve already had the governor turn out to have been Evil All Along, not it looks like they’re doing the same thing with Jenna. As a viewer I don’t want to have to constantly be second guessing the characters I’m supposed to be rooting for. The marketing they’ve done for Lauren German’s character has already put me off her. Now I’m going to be watching her the whole time wondering if she might be evil too. This is not fun for me.

  • http://twitter.com/NurseBrak Matthew

    Aside from a minor quibble about a general lack of explosions, I really was quite pleased with this episode. Like you, I’m not wild about the betrayal. They’ve already had the governor turn out to have been Evil All Along, not it looks like they’re doing the same thing with Jenna. As a viewer I don’t want to have to constantly be second guessing the characters I’m supposed to be rooting for. The marketing they’ve done for Lauren German’s character has already put me off her. Now I’m going to be watching her the whole time wondering if she might be evil too. This is not fun for me.

  • Anonymous

    Wendie,
    Your prior review of the SOTB was a perfect setup for us on the mainland to experience the season premier. You did not give away any secrets that would spoil the show for us. I hope they do not get too crazy with guest stars getting screen minutes at the expense of the team. It was a very good first week, and looking forward to the weeks to come. Kono does have to get back full time, although a few water scenes are good also. I totally agree with another poster who wants to see more of Max and Kamekona. They really add to the show.
    Paul

  • Anonymous

    Wendie,
    Your prior review of the SOTB was a perfect setup for us on the mainland to experience the season premier. You did not give away any secrets that would spoil the show for us. I hope they do not get too crazy with guest stars getting screen minutes at the expense of the team. It was a very good first week, and looking forward to the weeks to come. Kono does have to get back full time, although a few water scenes are good also. I totally agree with another poster who wants to see more of Max and Kamekona. They really add to the show.
    Paul

  • Anonymous

    Wendie,
    Your prior review of the SOTB was a perfect setup for us on the mainland to experience the season premier. You did not give away any secrets that would spoil the show for us. I hope they do not get too crazy with guest stars getting screen minutes at the expense of the team. It was a very good first week, and looking forward to the weeks to come. Kono does have to get back full time, although a few water scenes are good also. I totally agree with another poster who wants to see more of Max and Kamekona. They really add to the show.
    Paul

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ILXXMUHUGYOTXZJLQOFJM5WBZY JoAnne

    Thank you for another season of Hawaii 5-0 Redux.   I just realized that there is still that connection between the old 5-0 and the new in the fact that the Acting Governor’s name is Denning.  If you remember, the original 5-0′s Governor was portrayed by actor Richard Denning?   I like  to see more of T.Wily and M. Oki. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ILXXMUHUGYOTXZJLQOFJM5WBZY JoAnne

    Thank you for another season of Hawaii 5-0 Redux.   I just realized that there is still that connection between the old 5-0 and the new in the fact that the Acting Governor’s name is Denning.  If you remember, the original 5-0′s Governor was portrayed by actor Richard Denning?   I like  to see more of T.Wily and M. Oki. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ILXXMUHUGYOTXZJLQOFJM5WBZY JoAnne

    Thank you for another season of Hawaii 5-0 Redux.   I just realized that there is still that connection between the old 5-0 and the new in the fact that the Acting Governor’s name is Denning.  If you remember, the original 5-0′s Governor was portrayed by actor Richard Denning?   I like  to see more of T.Wily and M. Oki. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/rieko.goo Rieko Thomas Goo

    Whole lotta love here. . . Loved your write up, Sis. Loved last night’s episode.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rieko.goo Rieko Thomas Goo

    Whole lotta love here. . . Loved your write up, Sis. Loved last night’s episode.

  • http://twitter.com/NeilYamamoto Neil Yamamoto

    Wen!

      an awesome writeup as usual!  The episode opened up a lot of possibilities for storylines this season…  How does the team clear Kono’s name, does Danno go crawling back to Rachel (I hope he doesn’t, etc…) My big question is how much of the 5-O backstory does new Gov. Denning know?  Does he know anything?  How loyal will he be to the deceased Gov. Jameson?  To make him a TOTAL supporter of the team would be too simple and too cliche… but to make him another one of Wo Fat’s cronies would be equally cliche…  It would be interesting if Wo Fat was actually a pawn of the REAL mastermind… and who would that mastermind be?  Why, Jenna Kaye of course… hrmmmm… 

      In any case, my favorite Monday night show is back, and it’s gonna be AWESOME!!! dadadada daaaa daaaaaaa dadadada daaaaaaaaaaa!!!! XD

  • http://twitter.com/NeilYamamoto Neil Yamamoto

    Wen!

      an awesome writeup as usual!  The episode opened up a lot of possibilities for storylines this season…  How does the team clear Kono’s name, does Danno go crawling back to Rachel (I hope he doesn’t, etc…) My big question is how much of the 5-O backstory does new Gov. Denning know?  Does he know anything?  How loyal will he be to the deceased Gov. Jameson?  To make him a TOTAL supporter of the team would be too simple and too cliche… but to make him another one of Wo Fat’s cronies would be equally cliche…  It would be interesting if Wo Fat was actually a pawn of the REAL mastermind… and who would that mastermind be?  Why, Jenna Kaye of course… hrmmmm… 

      In any case, my favorite Monday night show is back, and it’s gonna be AWESOME!!! dadadada daaaa daaaaaaa dadadada daaaaaaaaaaa!!!! XD

  • http://twitter.com/NeilYamamoto Neil Yamamoto

    Wen!

      an awesome writeup as usual!  The episode opened up a lot of possibilities for storylines this season…  How does the team clear Kono’s name, does Danno go crawling back to Rachel (I hope he doesn’t, etc…) My big question is how much of the 5-O backstory does new Gov. Denning know?  Does he know anything?  How loyal will he be to the deceased Gov. Jameson?  To make him a TOTAL supporter of the team would be too simple and too cliche… but to make him another one of Wo Fat’s cronies would be equally cliche…  It would be interesting if Wo Fat was actually a pawn of the REAL mastermind… and who would that mastermind be?  Why, Jenna Kaye of course… hrmmmm… 

      In any case, my favorite Monday night show is back, and it’s gonna be AWESOME!!! dadadada daaaa daaaaaaa dadadada daaaaaaaaaaa!!!! XD

  • Anonymous

    Another great post, Wendie.  As usual, you echo my thoughts.
     
    I think everyone was suspicious of Jenna Kaye last year only to have the season end with her apparently still a “good guy”.  Clever of the writers to expose her at the start of the new season instead of at the end of the last.  I also liked the way they tied up the loose end with Danny and his wife (and her pregnancy). 
     
    The addition of the new Lt. Governor and Joe White already look promising and you can count me as one of the male viewers who would not mind seeing Kono suspended (and on the beach) for a while (is the whole season too much to ask?). 
     
    Thanks for writing about the show, Wendie.  Please keep up the good work.

  • Anonymous

    Another great post, Wendie.  As usual, you echo my thoughts.
     
    I think everyone was suspicious of Jenna Kaye last year only to have the season end with her apparently still a “good guy”.  Clever of the writers to expose her at the start of the new season instead of at the end of the last.  I also liked the way they tied up the loose end with Danny and his wife (and her pregnancy). 
     
    The addition of the new Lt. Governor and Joe White already look promising and you can count me as one of the male viewers who would not mind seeing Kono suspended (and on the beach) for a while (is the whole season too much to ask?). 
     
    Thanks for writing about the show, Wendie.  Please keep up the good work.

  • Anonymous

    Another great post, Wendie.  As usual, you echo my thoughts.
     
    I think everyone was suspicious of Jenna Kaye last year only to have the season end with her apparently still a “good guy”.  Clever of the writers to expose her at the start of the new season instead of at the end of the last.  I also liked the way they tied up the loose end with Danny and his wife (and her pregnancy). 
     
    The addition of the new Lt. Governor and Joe White already look promising and you can count me as one of the male viewers who would not mind seeing Kono suspended (and on the beach) for a while (is the whole season too much to ask?). 
     
    Thanks for writing about the show, Wendie.  Please keep up the good work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1474516777 Taryn Alisna

    I certainly agree with everything you said. As if we didn’t have enough mind trauma finding out the governor was working with Wo Fat, but Kaye too. I feel stressed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1474516777 Taryn Alisna

    I certainly agree with everything you said. As if we didn’t have enough mind trauma finding out the governor was working with Wo Fat, but Kaye too. I feel stressed.