Five-0 Redux: Revealing the deceiver
BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser
I suppose if I were headed to North Korea to save the man I love, I’d definitely be begging Steve McGarrett to come with me. Of course, I doubt McG thought it would get him stranded in the jungle with his arch-nemesis, sporting the new rope-as-a-scarf fashion look and being electrocuted just enough to make his hair curl.
But if Jenna had been a smarter woman, she should have also asked Joe White to help get her fiancé home. Joe sure seems to know his way around the world, as well as some interesting characters that could help any team headed into enemy territory — even one who’s more familiar with places like Margaritaville.
So even though this week’s “Hawaii Five-0” took us on a ride all the way to Southeast Asia and revealed the deceiver within the Five-0 team, it ended with everyone flying off into the sunset, because it’s five o’clock somewhere, right?
Jimmy Buffett, who played the Huey pilot Frank Bama, really added a great bit of character and fun to the episode, with his snappy one-liners, delivered like a typical American ex-pat living in Asia. He made a perfect addition to the Five-0 rescue team. His infusion of humor really helped add a bit of balance to the pretty horrific beating and torture McGarrett had to endure from an overly silent Wo Fat. I think Mark Dacascos did not speak until the last 20 minutes into the episode. And of all the “Hawaii Five-0” episodes featuring Wo Fat, this one has been the longest Dacascos has been seen on camera.
It’s almost unnerving how little he speaks yet how prominent he is in the scenes. The mystery of Wo Fat continues.
Back in April, I wrote a blog deconstructing some of the theories from the first season of “Hawaii Five-0,” a few of which have come to fruition this season. In “Deconstructing ‘Five-0’ theories,” I wrote, “Agent Kaye is a Wo Fat plant to keep McG and the Team away from Jack McGarrett’s original investigation.”
So when Jenna was the one who whisked Wo Fat away from the prison after plugging up his Victor Hess-style leak, I don’t know if I was more shocked that Jenna was a double-agent or that I had been pretty close to the truth. I’m sure there were several thousand fans that probably agreed with me. (Or maybe it’s millions — like close to 11 million?)
However many fans out there agreed or disagreed with me on Jenna, I know there are just as many of you out there who agreed tonight’s episode was a mix of justice served with a side of bittersweet. And a healthy dollop of — yes, Kono— what the hell?
It wouldn’t be an episode written by Peter Lenkov and Paul Zbyszewski if it didn’t leave us wanting in the end, now would it?
Wanting more, of course, goes without saying. But this time I found myself wanting a little more information about Wo Fat. I guess I am getting used to Wo Fat’s entrances and exits, and like the player he is, I am always wondering what part he will play in each episode. He has been judge, jury, and executioner so many times, I suppose I shouldn’t be shocked when he kills yet another member of the Five-0 team. But I also wanted to know how he got to be the man that he is. He is so cold blooded, it’s frightening.
But evil isn’t born, it’s created, and I want to know how evil was manufactured in this man’s blood and veins. I’m sure the story is safely housed within Peter Lenkov’s super-sharp writer’s brain, but I’d like some of it to ooze out onto Mark Dacascos face — or even better, out of his stiff upper lip — a few times during some future episodes. I’m sure that story will be fascinating and so fun to watch.
In Hawaiian, “Ki‘ilua” does mean “deceiver,” but it also means “two-faced” and “liar,” all themes we saw in this week’s episode. Between the two-faced turn of Jenna, as well as the many lies and layers of deception set up by Wo Fat, the theme is well woven within the storyline and characters.
My friend and Hawaiian Language expert T. Ilihia Gionson also revealed something interesting that he asked me to take into consideration. He said that if you split up ki‘ilua, “ki‘i” means “face” and “lua” means “two,” which is where two-faced comes from. But “ki‘i” also means “to fetch,” which could also relate to Jenna wanting to fetch her fiancé from Wo Fat’s clutches.
Hawaiians tend to be more poetic in their criticisms of others, so the idea that calling someone “ki‘ilua” would be kinder than calling them a liar, yet I think “deceiver” really covers all of our bases in this episode. And after seeing all the deception surrounding McG and his team, I wonder if he will ever trust anyone who comes to him for help.
Let’s hope that his belief in people and his trust in his friends have not been permanently damaged.
Redux Side Note:
“Hawaii Five-0” will be taking a Thanksgiving break next Monday, Nov. 28, as CBS airs a rebroadcast of “Pōwā Ma Ka Moana.” I wrote about that episode in my post, “Pirating in Hostile Waters.”
And I’m sure I’m not the only one who is looking forward to seeing a Chin Ho and Malia wedding — with McG as best man. I think the best moment of this week’s episode was when he finally got his brown-eyed girl. Another win for the Five-0 team!
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.