Five-0 Redux: No quick fix

Jan. 3, 2012 | 7 Comments

Veteran Hollywood actor Sam Anderson makes a guest appearance in this week's episode of "Hawaii Five-0." (Courtesy CBS)

Veteran Hollywood actor Sam Anderson makes a guest appearance in this week's episode of "Hawaii Five-0." (Courtesy CBS)

BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser

The last time we saw our Five-0 team, we were in a bit of a mess, so to speak. Not a huge, oh-my-God-we’re-trapped-in-North-Korea mess, but more of a small mess that had the potential of either blowing up in our faces or being swept under the Five-0 emblem in the doorway of their headquarters.

But a mess of a situation it was, with Joe keeping secrets from McG and McG committing petty theft to figure out what Joe was hiding. I mean, really, do these old friends and allies need to resort to such juvenile infractions? It was almost like I was watching “Survivor Hawaii,” with each man trying to outwit the other before they got voted off the island.

Either way, tonight’s episode definitely did not answer many of my questions. It answered some, but not the really important ones that have been gnawing on the back of my “Five-0″-addled brain. (Sorry, no signs of obsession here … right?)

Steve McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) confronts Joe White (Terry O'Quinn) at HPD headquarters. (Courtesy CBS)

Steve McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) confronts Joe White (Terry O'Quinn) at HPD headquarters. (Courtesy CBS)

This week’s episode, titled “Ka Ho‘oponopono” (translated as “The Fix” by CBS), was definitely an episode of corrections. Joe being branded, at most, a killer — or at least, a kidnapper — was fixed, and Hiro Noshimuri being hunted down by Wo Fat was conveniently resolved so he wouldn’t have to look over his shoulder for the rest of his new life.

A few of the show’s characters also tried to fix things this week; Emily tried to fix her friend Karen’s blackmail problem, which led us to the fixing of a jury to hide a more serious issue. And not only was the theme carried out within the episode’s storyline, but in the overall story arc of McGarrett and his quest for the truth — about his father, about Shelburne, about Wo Fat, about his entire life.

Excuse the melodrama, but we are talking about McGarrett’s entire reason for returning to Hawaii and creating the Five-0 team, not to mention avenging the deaths of his father and his mother. We could probably add Laura Hills, Governor Jameson and Jenna Kaye to that revenge list, despite all their efforts to betray McG while working in desperate straits for the Svengali-like Wo Fat.

McGarrett steps up to repay a favor by rescuing White from Japanese gangsters looking for revenge. (Courtesy CBS)

McGarrett steps up to repay a favor by rescuing White from Japanese gangsters looking for revenge. (Courtesy CBS)

In the Hawaiian language, the word “ho‘oponopono” means “to make pono (right), or to find resolution through mediation.” According to Hawaiian language native speaker and expert, T Ilihia Gionson, “while ho‘oponopono is a kind of fix, it is not as quick or informal as the word ‘fix’ might imply. For Hawaiians there is no word for a ‘quick fix.’ If there’s a problem, it must be resolved thoroughly and completely.”

Most Hawaiians would liken ho‘oponopono to peaceful mediation between colleagues or even diplomatic negotiation between enemies. Either way, ho‘oponopono is used whenever parties disagree and need to resolve conflict. And it seems as if Joe White is definitely trying to resolve something completely, yet only being able to make quick fixes along the way toward honoring Jack McGarrett’s request to protect his family — which seems to be blowing up in his face.

Perhaps I was right about the messy situation. Perhaps it wasn’t as small as I originally thought.

Another purpose of ho‘oponopono, according to Gionson, “is to seek out the deeper issue that predicated the act.” So, Joe’s actions are definitely an act of ho‘oponopono, just without the “peaceful mediation” part. I can only see Joe and McG sitting down to a mediation with Wo Fat over a table of hand grenades and RPG’s.

Gionson said that a better English title for this week’s episode might have been something like “resolution,” but right now I think that Joe and McG’s issues are not yet completely resolved. Until that happens, we may be in for a whole lot of quick fixes — and can only hope for a resolution come May, when season two ends.

Redux Side Note:

In the opening sequence of “Ka Ho‘oponopono,” Hawaii actors Jonah Ho’okano and Lea DiMarchi played the roles of teens Jake and Courtney, who discover the unfortunate (and dead) Emily. Look for my interview with Ho‘okano next week on the Pulse, as “Hawaii Five-0” rebroadcasts the season two premiere of “Ha‘i‘ole.”

Another Hawaii actor, Russell Subiono, played the construction worker who made a brief appearance toward the end of the episode. He’s been seen in many local commercials and also stars in “Plate Lunch” with fellow “Hawaii Five-0” alum, Scott Ok.

And finally, McKinley High School was the real-life stand-in for the tony Ala Moana Academy mentioned this week. McKinley students wrote about their “Five-0″ experience in their school newspaper, “The Pinon.”
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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 and on Twitter.

  • http://twitter.com/fiveophans Joey

    ok #1 fan here but im getting frustrated – i skipped alot of lost becasue i got tired of being strung along week after week with no answers- ill never give up on my show but i was left very frustrated last nite – side note the lori kono team up was very hot- loved it!!

  • Myles Yamamoto

    OMG This was a crazy episode!!  I think I say it after every episode but after last night I was definitely wondering what’s going on.  I really want to know more about the Shelburne thing because right now it looks like White betraying McG because of it.  I wonder how hard it was for White to walk away from McG in the end.  Not only because of their friendship but because it almost seems like White has to betray another SEAL.  Hopefully what White is protecting is worth all that. 

  • http://twitter.com/shirik1 shiri

    tnx Wendie!

  • Anonymous

    ” And not only was the theme carried out within the episode’s storyline,
    but in the overall story arc of McGarrett and his quest for the truth —
    about his father, about Shelburne, about Wo Fat, about his entire life”

    You are absolutely right Wendie!  People are complaining (and I am also losing patience) about the pace of the Shelbourne story but you’re right.  It IS the entire reason for the existence of the Steve McGarrett we have come to know and love.  Whatever or whoever this is it is the reason Steve was sent away, the reason he decided to join the Navy, the reason he was assigned to Joe White as his SEAL instructor (I refuse to believe THAT was a coincidence!) the reason his father was murdered, the reason he came back to Hawaii, the reason Five-0 was formed…and on and on and on.  When you think about it like that, it’s impossible for a quick resolution of this mystery.  Yes, I am still losing patience and want to know what it all means but I understand why it has to take as long as it takes!

  • http://twitter.com/ringringbella Gina Sorgini

    The Shelbourne mystery is getting more and more interesting. The writer’s are telling a story and there is more going on in the H50 team’s day then Shelbourne so the story line will take time. I absolutely love this show and the writer’s are magnificent! remember…good things come to those who wait and I bet we will all be extremely surprised when all is revealed.

  • Anonymous

    Very good analysis Wendie! I was also looking for the overall connecting theme for this episode with “Fix” as my guiding word. The fix in each situation between characters was hard to pin down, and never satisfactorily resolved. Eleven more episodes are in front of us to hopefully get to that resolution. As a “Lost” fan I think the H50 writers have a long way to go before they can be accused of the same level of stringing-us-along shenanigans that Lost writers achieved.

  • http://twitter.com/3DHawaii 3DHawaii

    Great roundup, Wendie! There’s certainly a lot left to “fix.” I’ve got a permanent mental image of a Wo Fat-Joe-McGarrett mediation over small arms fire now. ;-)