Book ‘Em: Be My Valentine
BY BURL BURLINGAME / firstname.lastname@example.org
Whiplash! The opening sequences of #H50 have become so formulaic that they have become part of the shows stylistic groove, like the slice o’ New Yawk that introduced “Law & Order.” (Why isn’t there a yard-care show on H&G called “Lawn Order”?) But this episode is mixing it up. It opens, seemingly in the middle of a scene, with Officer Supermodel lurching about a hospital corridor, making Concerned Face, and the Governor stomps in and beats her brow about something. Dunno what, because it’s all so purposely oblique. There’s a reveal when a curtain is opened and we see some guy lying there. And the Gov snarls at Officer Supermodel that she needs to choose between the State of Hawaii and H50. She nods mutely, and then — whew! — back to the traditional opening with a zippy zoom in on her face.
Credits. It’s “I helu pu,” H22.214.171.124. I think the Hawaiian means “writers’ strike.”
Flashback, it’s “18 hours earlier,” and it’s early evening at a charity ball (which means the hospital freakout is early afternoon) and the H50 squaddies are there all tuxed out, although, naturally, McG and Danno didn’t shave. Hey, the Gov is also an auctioneer, raising private monies to clean public beaches. I guess he’s a Republican governor. McG is there with his Navy squeeze, whom we haven’t seen for many episodes. I thought she was off with Seal Team Six.
Jake Shimabukuro shout-out!
Rainbow Warriors shout-out!
Danno calls McG a “topper.” Is that a shout-out for Leo G. Carroll?
Valentine’s Day chit-chat among the ladies, except Officer Supermodel, off her crutches from last week, who makes soulful eyes at McG, but he’s there with Seal Lady. Thankfully, a bloodily butchered woman is discovered in a hotel laundry cart. Hey, Kimo Kahoano! Looking kinda haggard as a hotel security dude.
McG wants to declare the hotel a crime scene — which it is — but the Gov barges in and counteracts. The Gov doesn’t even glance at the slaughtered lady lying before him. Maybe she’s a potential bidder. The Gov is acting pretty dickish already, and the show is only like a minute old.
Whiplash! Back to the hospital, 18 hours earlier. Or it’s more like 17 hours, 55 minutes earlier, yeah? Officer Supermodel juts her dainty little jaw, whilst Kono, disguised in scrubs, steals some blood from the operating room and presents it to quirky MD. Max. For a guy who’s in the roll credits. Masi Oka has been AWOL for a while. And then zing-gggg, we’re 17 hours earlier, and MD. Max is fondling the dead woman in the laundry cart. So that’s how this structure is going to be played.
MD. Max is tuxed out as well, sporting a tie-dye vest and bowtie. How quirky! He proudly chirps that he has met “someone” and that he expects to woo her at Wailana Coffeehouse. The local shout-outs are flying furiously so far.
Chin Ho is defensive about getting the new bride flowers for Valentines’ Day, and Kono adds to his male-performance anxiety by insinuating it ain’t enough. “I gotta go shopping, don’t I?” he wails. (There will be commercials any second telling him, and us, where to assuage your VD guilt with cash purchases. This happens while he’s probing the laundry chute with a five-story proctoscope, which he just happens to have. Great, Chin, cheap flowers for your bride, while YOU break the family budget on personal proctoscopes!
Elevator surveillance footage leads McG and Danno to a “Dennis Mack” on the 11th floor. Mack’s room is trashed, blood splashed everywhere, including a shattered mirror, and outside, McG finds Mack teetering on a ledge, upset enough to jump. And it looks like he does as the show fades to black. Doing a lot of fade-blacks tonight. They need some of those cool, cryptic images like “Fringe” has.
Hospital. McG is banged up, and consults mysteriously with Kono, until the Gov barges in and imperiously declares that H50 has created an international incident.
Flashback 15 hours, and McG is back on the roof with Mack. Mack looks down, and it’s clear sailing all the way down to splatterville. But when McG jumps and grabs him, a balcony mysteriously appears one floor below.
McG and Danno throw Mack in the Green Room, and Mack tearfully blurts that he didn’t do nothin’ — that “April” did it to him, with his groomsman. What, Mack’s a horse? McG calls up a picture of the dead woman and demands that Mack ID her — McG, you’re holding the phone sideways — but no, that isn’t April, says Mack.
Mack’s alibi — he punched the mirror cause “that’s how you feel when you see your girlfriend banging some other dude.” Both McG and Danno nod sagely, male sympathy oozing. I think they’re all bonding over Mack’s cuckolding.
Oh, the dead woman. Mack calls her the “elevator chick,” she seemingly took advantage of his blues and intoxication to reach the hotel floors after hours. Mack’s bad luck.
They search the floor, and one room has no sign of anything wrong, except that it has been cleaned up. It’s rented to some corporation.
Officer Supermodel and Kono check out a tony dress shop in Waikiki and whine about their salaries, while the lighting accentuates their bird legs. They show the owner the picture of the dead woman and ask who it is, the shop owner says, “That’s one of my dresses!” But the credit card receipt IDs the vic as one Victoria Chase. On the guest list at the Gov’s auction.
Kono and McG go to Chase’s address (Kono says she must not be local because she doesn’t have a driver’s license) and a woman holding a baby bleats, “What happened to Vicky?” And when she’s told, she goes, “Eeeeyyuuuu!”
During the debrief, the lady reveal’s she’s Dead Vicky’s sister, that they had no secrets, albeit she professes puzzlement when told that Dead Vicky was at a charity fundraiser.
Gather ’round the Magic Table. Danno thinks Dead Vicky was trolling for rich men, bringing her milkshake to the yard. Chin Ho says the corporation exports transportation equipment. (Huh. How does it get there?) Chin Ho makes a magic kung-fu move and data leaps off Magic Table and infests a hanging flat scree. Picture of a ship.
Officer Supermodel bursts in. A print off the door handle IDs one of Dead Vicky’s co-workers, and in a splendid quick cut, there’s the co-worker flying out a shattering glass window over a chicken coop. Like the Creedence song, he runs through the jungle until Danno clotheslines him.
Hospital. Danno peeks in on the Gov and McG jawing, and hides until the Gov stomps off. McG’s hospital room has a lovely vase nestled in a stylish alcove, and for that reason, I don’t believe this is shot in a real hospital. Could be, but nah. McG and Danno exchange oblivious-isms , revealing only that H50 screwed up somehow and MD. Max’s blood sample is crucial.
Back to Green Room, where they’re sweating Jungle Runner, but the stupid is strong in this one. He claims that Dead Vicky wanted him to beat somebody up, but she was missing by the time he got to the hotel. And he gives some lame excuse for jungle running. Whatever it is, the proper translation is, “the writers needed an action sequence at 38 minutes into the show.”
McG and Kono get back with Dead Vicky’s sister. When they mention the corporation, Sister hurls. Seems she used to work there, and she was mightily impressed with one of the executives, who could apparently say “Let’s get it on” in five languages. Sister stares at the infant pointedly. Kono says, “So — a baby?” Nothing gets by this detective.
Sister tearfully explains how she was debauched by this corporation rapist. My wife bought one of those air-freshener gizmos that makes little wet sputtery splurts whenever it senses that our dog has cut one whiffa — that’s what this actress sounds like.
Corporation Rapist has disappeared and they’ve been searching for him for days. Wait a minute. There was only 18 hours between Then and Now when the show started. Are we stuck in a time-travel paradox? Speaking of which, all the above action should have taken place at night, but it didn’t.
“No one just disappears!” wails McG, wringing his hands.
Ah, he’s hiding at the “Russian consulate,” which looks an awful lot like La Pietra. The Russian Consul doesn’t even attempt a foreign accent.He sounds like he’s from Outer Ohio. But Danno yells something in Russian, which he translates later for McG as “Your vodka tastes like urine.” McG, being a Navy man, is enchanted.
Present time? The Gov toadies up to the Russian Consul, talking about the damage H50 squaddies have caused outside. And the godless Russkies are holding Chin Ho in a consulate supply room, which contains (A) lamps (B) marching-band flags, and ( C ) cases of vodka.
Chin Ho weakly protests that the Russkies are hiding a murderer and rapist, and the Gov. accuses Chin Ho of many things, including espionage. Wait a minute. Did Chin Ho collect Russian national secrets?
Seems Chin Ho, excited about winning his auction bid of a Jake Shimabukuro uke lesson, loaded up a van with barrels of ammonia nitrate fertilizer explosive, rammed the gate of the consulate — why would a wrought-iron gate throw out fireworks pinwheels when rammed? — and when Corporate Rapist runs scared, the rest of H50 chases him into a Kahala suburban street.
McG and Corporate Rapist are hit by a car, and Officer Supermodel runs pellmell to him, cradling his magnificent bloodied head in her tiny paws. “Oh Steve!” she shrieks. “Steve! Steve! Steve! Steve! Steve!”
I think she’s sweet on Steve.
As Steve is deposited in the hospital, complete with neck brace, he instructs Kono to steal the blood sample from Corporate Rapist and deliver it to MD. Max. Well, there’s a loose end tied up. As Officer Supermodel hovers like a sparrow over her injured man, an extra walks by in the backyard, looking like one of the Walking Dead.
A 30-second pastiche reprises all the plot point from the last 45 minutes, in case you came in late.
The Gov gets a phone call. Seems MD. Max has the goods on Corporate Rapist. Suddenly the Gov is backing #H50, now that the evidence is in against Corporate Rapist. Being a Republican governor, he knows that corporations are people too, and their feelings can get hurt.
The H50 squaddies allow Vicky’s Sister in to stare meaningfully at Corporate Rapist. She gets weepy. Corporate Rapist, being a typical H50 baddie, has no lines of dialogue whatsoever, plus no discernible personality.
McG puttering around his office. Officer Supermodel comes in a gives him UH season tickets — he’s happy! — and also her letter of resignation — he’s somewhat less happy! Seems the Gov really was being dickish and forced her out.
Officer Supermodel makes tear-brimming eyes at McG and reveals she has feelings for him and looks sad while he hugs her and awkwardly mumbles he’ll miss her.
Misses her so much that we quick-cut to Seal Lady, in her blue-digital cammos, and McG shows up in green cammos, bearing chocolates and tongue-kisses her into the information that he’ll be performing naval manueuvers with her. Cad.
And so we have it: Officer Supermodel, who seemed to be developing into the only interesting character on the show because she had hidden depths, is revealed to be that way only because the writers didn’t know what to do with her. I suspect she’ll show up in a later episode to die in McG’s arms. Body count, one, plus broken hearts here and there. Plotline had fun being non-linear, albeit still stingy on bad-guy characterization. Another waste of Masi Oka. Kono smashing in evening gown. McG released from hospital an hour after suffering massive head injuries in traffic rundown. Maybe they X-rayed his skull and didn’t find anything.