Five-0 Redux: Special delivery

Jan. 20, 2012 | 18 Comments

Dante Basco. (Courtesy CBS)

Dante Basco was the special guest bad guy in this week's episode of "Hawaii Five-0." (Courtesy CBS)

BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser

Old Chinese proverb: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” So said “Uncle Joe” White (Terry O’Quinn) to two sons — Adam Noshimuri (Ian Anthony Dale) and Steven J. McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin).

Both sons react differently to the fact their fathers lied to them to keep them safe. One son doesn’t want to face the truth, while the other comes to a tough realization that he has been lied to his entire life, but at least now he understands it was to keep him alive. For love, perhaps; love he has struggled to understand since the day his father sent him away and told him, “you can always trust your Uncle Joe.”

But Steve is still struggling with that trust. And his Shelburne question lingers the entire episode. I have to say the answer to that question was a bit anti-climactic, but I was sorry to see Steve lose yet another father to the war with Wo Fat. Still, the story of sons avenging their fathers’ deaths will continue within both Steve’s and Wo Fat’s intersecting character arcs at least for the rest of this season, I think.

This week’s episode of “Hawaii Five-0,” entitled “Pū‘olo,” — which in Hawaiian means bundle, bag, container, parcel or packet, and as CBS translated the episode to mean “The Package” — seems like a pretty straightforward interpretation of the Hawaiian word.

A hijacking of a delivery truck to steal a package of RFID tags to make fake passports. The special delivery of Rachel and Stan’s bundle of joy. A parcel of bad news, delivered to McGarrett by “Uncle Joe” White, that both mends and severs the relationship between McG and his stand-in father figure. There were literal representations of a package throughout this episode, and a few figurative elements as well.

Much of what McG learned this week would never have been discovered if he hadn’t taken action by confronting Joe and the yakuza. As dangerous as both actions may have been, McG is never one to turn away from a tough fight — just like his father. But perhaps he was right; maybe action was the best way to figure out what secrets Joe was hiding. Sort of like trying to track down a lost UPS parcel with their handy tracker number. Only McG’s number seems to have been altered many times by Joe and others so he would not find out the truth.

Steve McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) and Joe White (Terry O'Quinn) deal with the lingering issue of who — or what — Shelburne is. (Courtesy CBS)

Steve McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) and Joe White (Terry O'Quinn) deal with the lingering issue of who — or what — Shelburne is. (Courtesy CBS)

Despite all the deliveries of sad news, it was refreshing to see some of the old “Five-0″ humor come back into play, especially the reappearance of season on villain-turned-remorseful-informant, Sang Min (Will Yun Lee). We haven’t seen him since he burst into Five-0 headquarters and threw himself at the mercy of McG.

The scenes with Sang Min and Kamekona (Taylor Wily) going undercover was slapstick humor at its best and had me laughing out loud. Kamekona’s Subway weight loss plan was an interesting advertisement for the fast food restaurant and Lori’s (Lauren German) comments on Sang Min’s hair and fashion sense was great fun. It reminded me of the reasons why I started to watch “Hawaii Five-0” in the first place. (I think they should also ask Sang Min where his accent came from, or where he picked up his unusual appetite for garlic shrimp.)

I also noticed a little perking of ears as the Five-0 team listened to Kamekona talk his way out of being seen as a snitch by this week’s bad guy, Nicky Chang (Dante Basco). Perhaps the team might be questioning Kamekona’s explanation of his role with Five-0?

See what happens when you give a Lost Boy a flamethrower? (Courtesy CBS)

See what happens when you give a Lost Boy a flamethrower? (Courtesy CBS)

And Basco, who is most famous for playing one of the Lost Boys in Steven Spielberg’s “Hook” as well as for being the voice of Prince Zuko in the television series “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” seemed like a naughty child playing gangster. Perhaps the writers should know never to give a Lost Boy a flamethrower. Oh, and maybe someone should have told him never to call police officers pigs — it’s such bad form. I guess the same can be said for inviting pigs to a luau.

Still, I don’t think I’ve laughed so much during an episode in a long time. It was nice to have some levity in such an emotional episode.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention poor Danny’s (Scott Caan) dilemma of having to be there for his ex-wife, who gave birth to the child he once thought was his own, which then turned out to be that of her current husband — and then to have to help her deliver that child while he is still so obviously in love with her.

If you followed that line of thought without a hiccup, good for you, because I know many of us are wondering why the writers thought it would be better for Danno if the child wasn’t his. I’m still fuzzy about that plot point. I think Danno having a family and being worried for their well-being with a new baby while living in Hawaii and not sunny New Jersey would have been just enough conflict for the character. This sort of silly, convoluted plot line of Danno delivering his ex-wife’s baby and sending a picture to absent-Dad Stan seems very situational comedy to me (albeit sans laugh track).

Danno (Scott Caan) helps deliver his ex-wife's new baby. (Courtesy CBS)

Danny Williams (Scott Caan) helps deliver his ex-wife's new baby. (Courtesy CBS)

I think I am not alone in wanting Danno to have a little bit of happiness delivered at some point this season. But I suppose he will just have to suffer in horrid Hawaii, surrounded by the dreaded ocean and scrawny palm trees until he opens up another parcel of bad news.

Speaking of bad news, it seems we can’t make it through an episode without getting some, but I still feel that none of this news really answers our questions. I know we finally found out who Shelburne is, but it still doesn’t answer the why. With so many lingering questions, let’s hope the rest of this season will start to answer some of the deeper ones. I hope most of us are still on board with “Hawaii Five-0” to stick around and sign for receipt when all the answers are finally delivered.

We may have to pay some postage due, but I’m betting that we will be more than satisfied with whatever package is delivered, wrapped up in a pretty bow — or not.

Redux Side Note:

Among the cast in “Pū‘olo” was popular Hawaii storyteller Lopaka Kapanui, who played the small part of Carl Hodge, the delivery driver who was killed in the opening. Since Papa McG has been haunting Steve from the start of the series, and as Kapanui is most famous for telling local and Hawaiian ghost stories, it just seemed fitting to have him on the show. You can read about Kapanui on his website, Mysteries of Honolulu.

When doomed Carl Hodge talks about taking his wife to the “Ninth Island,” he is making a reference to the popular phrase locals use to describe Las Vegas. Hawaii is made up of eight islands, Oahu, Kauai, Lanai. Molokai, Maui, Kahoolawe, Hawaii island, and Niihau. Las Vegas is called the “Ninth Island” because so many locals visit and play there, and many former Hawaii residents now currently call Las Vegas home.
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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/gerGnesdunK Greg Knudsen

    Hawaii Five-Dollar-Footlong, Oh?

    Is this H50′s new opening sequence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhtbMqiEEoA

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

      Too funny! Thanks for posting;) ~WJ

  • http://twitter.com/fiveophans Joey

    apparently shelburne is a person and i think we got the royal tease here. im guessing based on twitter feed that there is a shelburne – who was joe white talking to on the phone when hiro was tied up in the trunk. and PL indicates that there may in fact be a shelburne on twitter. hmmm the mystery is not explained . only more questions. poor little steve gets his heart ripped out my mean old papa McG- that was hard to watch. especially when i couldnt stop looking at the blue contacts- (make up tone them down next time–lol) great and funny funny episode- not what i was expecting but i enjoyed it just the same. looks like steve may have a new ally in hiro’s son. the dude has a strong screen presence and i hope we see more of him. The Danny story was wierd to me. I dont understand how he could have been so nice – Id feel a little bitter myself.shave ice was fantastic and funny as all hell- i hope they expand on his money laundering confession and i hope its true he plays bad just as well as he plays good- what a treat!! 

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

      All the father son metaphors are really great for their character development… not a new theme, but still really believable and gripping. Thanks for the comment Joey:) ~WJ

  • http://twitter.com/AbFabSkyLife Scott

    I have to take my slash goggles off for a moment and say that it does appear there are some pretty heady feelings for Rachel coming from Danny, but we knew that already. The lovely post coital scene from last season where Danny’s all like “Girl, Elvis might look good in white, but so do I. HINT.” I think it’s interesting that they decided to have Danny involved in the birth of a child that’s not his. Peter’s said one thing the Five-0s have in common is that each of them are sort of lost souls, and I think Danny’s recurring lesson throughout the series is that love and family seems to come to him in ways that he never quite envisioned. A lot of people have said he’s bitter, but I think he’s at that sort of “aha” period in life where you finally come to grips with the fact that dreams rarely look exactly the same once they become reality. Danny’s a traditionalist who I’m sure thought that a wife and children and that duplex in Weehauken were going to be his allotment in this life, but then he finds something completely different. Perhaps his ex-wife is better to him as a friend. Perhaps he can discover a connection with a child that isn’t his by blood because he’s remained close to the Mother. I keep picking up these hints about nontraditional families. Five-0 is one by itself – a group of lost souls who find themselves in each other. Perhaps Danny’s here to learn that all the things he expected from a traditional family, his parents, his brother, his spouse, his children, can come from Five-0 instead.

  • http://twitter.com/AbFabSkyLife Scott

    I have to take my slash goggles off for a moment and say that it does appear there are some pretty heady feelings for Rachel coming from Danny, but we knew that already. The lovely post coital scene from last season where Danny’s all like “Girl, Elvis might look good in white, but so do I. HINT.” I think it’s interesting that they decided to have Danny involved in the birth of a child that’s not his. Peter’s said one thing the Five-0s have in common is that each of them are sort of lost souls, and I think Danny’s recurring lesson throughout the series is that love and family seems to come to him in ways that he never quite envisioned. A lot of people have said he’s bitter, but I think he’s at that sort of “aha” period in life where you finally come to grips with the fact that dreams rarely look exactly the same once they become reality. Danny’s a traditionalist who I’m sure thought that a wife and children and that duplex in Weehauken were going to be his allotment in this life, but then he finds something completely different. Perhaps his ex-wife is better to him as a friend. Perhaps he can discover a connection with a child that isn’t his by blood because he’s remained close to the Mother. I keep picking up these hints about nontraditional families. Five-0 is one by itself – a group of lost souls who find themselves in each other. Perhaps Danny’s here to learn that all the things he expected from a traditional family, his parents, his brother, his spouse, his children, can come from Five-0 instead.

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

      Love the Danny comparison to Elvis:) Thanks for the comment Scott:) ~WJ

  • http://twitter.com/hedwig2212 Dina

    A wonderful review (as always) and I am anticipating that all of the “questions” of the episodes “answers” is just the beginning  of what is yet to come !

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

      Thanks Dina;) I agree- I think we may be in for a long 10 more episodes to get to those answers- but what a ride it will be:) ~WJ

  • http://twitter.com/ssigafoos Stephanie Sigafoos

    They should’ve named the baby Shelburne ;) Little Shelburne William Edwards. Has a nice ring to it!

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

      Funny, I was fixated that part of his name is William, for Danny Williams perhaps? hmmmmmm…. :D ~WJ

  • Anonymous

    Wendie….so sorry babe!  I could have swore I posted days ago!  A thousand lashes on me! 

    Thank you for the wonderful review.  I, personally, was not disappointed in the Shelburne reveal.  I fully expected it to be in the last few minutes of the show, I full expected that it would not answer all the questions and would probably add a couple more.  I had speculated that Shelburne may be a name for a strategic OP to protect a person and not necessarily a specific person so finding out it was a code name made up by Joe and John wasn’t a huge surprise to me.  I am looking forward to finding out more down the road.

    And, as much as I love TOQ I am kind of happy he’s going away for awhile but that the door is still open for his return.  With Joe away Steve can get back to the relationship that was the most important in his life before all hell broke loose….Danny.  The end of the episode scene between Steve and Danny had the kind of emotion that caused me to fall in love with this show in the first place.

    Speaking of Danny….the scenes at the hospital were good, Scott is amazing with the emo stuff.  I don’t really care for Rachel but if it turns out the baby is Danny’s I’d be ok with it.  I just hope they decide once and for all what it is going to be because Rachel changing her mind breaks Danny’s heart and I can’t bear to watch that again.  He seems to have  come to terms with the way things are between them now.  If that’s the case…so be it. 

    Kamekona and Sang Min are a hoot together.  Could be a spin off! ROFL

    Sorry again it took me so long to post!  Won’t happen again babe!  Aloha!

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

      No apologies necessary Linda! Great ideas:) I love seeing Kamekona & w/Sang Min- definitely funny:) Thanks for the comments:) ~WJ

  • http://twitter.com/ssigafoos Stephanie Sigafoos

    In all seriousness, I have a feeling we will be hearing about these RFID tags again.  There was no reason Joe was visiting with this ‘friend’ except to get a fake passport – for someone else, obviously. I mean, he went to Japan with his own passport so obviously he wasn’t concerned about leaving a trail of his own … but is undoubtedly protecting someone.

    Still disappointed with the Shelburne ‘reveal’ but can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I just don’t think it’s cool that Joe lied to Steve while they were standing over his father’s grave. Not cool, Joe. Not cool at all.

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

      I didnʻt even think about the whole grave being there…like Dad is still physically there. I agree, not cool. Thanks for the comment:) ~WJ

  • Anonymous

    Great review, Wendie.  Sorry I’m so late getting to it, hectic week here at the ranch.  I so wish I was in Hawaii right now – we had -35 windchills yesterday!
     
    I enjoyed the episode, it had a lot of positive points, first and foremost being the end of Joe White’s time in Hawaii for the moment. I got really tired of him.  He can come back later and attempt to convince me again that Shelburne was just a code name or the name he used to kill Wo Fat’s father…uhh…yeah, more confused the more I think about it.
     
    The banter was back and the team cameradie resurfaced. At the end of the episode, everyone seemed … relieved.  As if they were all glad the last 14 episodes were behind them!

    I mentioned this elsewhere, but it’s really the most important thing I took away from this episode. I feel as if the show has come full circle from where it started last season. Everything that started with the deconstruction of the team during the S1 finale has had a resolution. Chin is exonerated, a lieutenant on the force, and happily married to Malia.  Kono is off the hook with IA, proved herself as a terrific undercover agent, and is back on 5-0 as a seasoned cop. Danny’s story – well, poor Danny, life continues to bite him in the pants – but with the birth of Rachel and Stan’s baby, his dilemma from the S1 finale is finally concluded.  Steve has had the worst 6 months of his life, undoubtedly! He has, at least, won the current battle against Wo Fat, but obviously not the war. Wo Fat and all the related issues involved with him will all return later on in the season, but for now they can take a breather. The team is relaxed and enjoying it.  Steve and Danny have each other again. Nothing like a good meal (Zip pack? Actually looks kind of good!) to finish off a big “reveal” and a delivery!

    Now we’ll see what the writers have in store for us for the rest of the season!

    Thanks, Wendie, for the great blog post and the opportunity to share the 5-0 love!  

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

      Love the wrap up- and Zip Pacs are a bit of decadent deliciousness:) IMHO. :) Thanks for the comment! ~WJ

  • katie ganci

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