Five-0 Redux: Settling the score

Feb. 13, 2012 | 13 Comments

Danny (Scott Caan) and McGarrett (Alex O'™Loughlin) work a case that nearly causes an international incident. (Courtesy CBS)

BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser

After last week’s episode, I think “Hawaii Five-0” fans were hoping for a “breather” from the intense drama and edge-of-our-seat action. You know, perhaps an episode where we could laugh at a few Kamekona jokes, see a few half-clothed team members, and let our knuckles return to a normal color. But, of course, our Five-0 Team can’t take a break just to appease our inner need for bromantic banter and shirtless McG shots. This week, we get a different view of the team—all dressed up and ready to show off their handsome faces and pretty collarbones. A fancy auction, complete with several plugs of local sporting events like the University of Hawaii Warrior Football team, as well as the famous ‘ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro, and a whole lot of international intrigue and Governor induced conflict, really put the team back on the hot seat.

And for the Five-0 Team, the hot seat is where they spent most of the night, dealing with appeasing Governor Denning, as well as trying to solve a nearly disastrous Cold War-flavored crisis. This week’s episode, “I Helu Pū,” translated as “The Reckoning,” was definitely an episode of settling disagreements and the team being held accountable for their actions—most particularly in Officer Lori Weston’s case, as she is faced with making some tough decisions between her duty to the Governor and the Five-0 Team.

From the start of the episode when Weston is asked to choose between Hawaii and Five-0, I had a feeling we would be losing our Homeland Security “babysitter,” but I was hoping for a super SEAL save by McG and the Team. And while we had a shocking sack of the criminal across the hood of a speeding car, which eventually lead to the team solving the case and settling a potential Russian invasion of Hawaii, that was not enough to save the score for Lori. I have to say, the team had more than just the one tough tackle in this episode. McG catching a potential suspect on the edge of a roof, Danno’s take down of potential suspect #2, Chin Ho trying to break through a touch defensive line of Russians, Nurse Kalakaua completing a blood steal so it could be tested—all perhaps to show us that our team could easily join the Warrior team and enjoy Lori’s parting gift on Aloha Stadium turf.

Alas, the repercussions of their actions were swift and a tad bittersweet. Lori giving her resignation and admitting her complete buy-in to the McG way of investigating showed how close the Team is to being broken up into little Governor sized pieces at any time. This is the most we’ve seen Richard T. Jones all season, and his commanding presence and no-nonsense attitude was a different twist to McG and the team sweeping in to save the day. It was a little hard to keep track of what was going on, as I wasn’t a huge fan of the non-linear storyline. The jumping around in time made the story too disjointed for me to follow without the help of the handy rewind button on my DVR. I thought there was enough conflict and mystery to unravel, and to have the episode jump back and forth to explain what was going on made it difficult to follow at times. Perhaps “Hawaii Five-0” was trying to incorporate the instant replay to keep us glued to the game, but for me, it didn’t work to keep the action flowing.

McGarrett (Alex O'™Loughlin) celebrates Valentine'™s Day with Catherine (Michelle Borth). (Courtesy CBS)

For the most part though, the episode had great moments of fun, and lots of cool action—enough for us to keep us watching until the final minutes to see how the game played out. I particularly loved the running one-liners about football tickets, appropriate Valentine presents, and the scenes with McG and his sometimes lady, Catherine (Michelle Borth). And did anyone notice that Danno made a comment that he had to buy a Valentine present for Gabby (meaning recurring character Dr. Gabrielle Asano, played by Autumn Reaser)? I guess many of us may have to face the fact that the Rachel ship may have sailed.

As for the final score, it seems as if the Five-0 is now a tight four-formation. The guest team members Lori Weston and Joe White are gone for now, but they still have their special teams made up of Max, Kamekona, and Fong. But the Five-0 team is back to basics and I just hope the Governor lets them stay that way.

Redux Side Note:

Popular Waikiki entertainer and radio personality, Kimo Kahoano, played the hotel security guard, Jake Almeda, who helped McGarrett at the Victoria Chase crime scene. Kahoano is a popular Hawaiian entertainer who was in several episodes of the original “Hawaii Five-O.”

At the auction, Chin Ho wins a personal ‘ukulele lesson from ‘ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro, who is well known for popularizing a mix of jazz and rock with classic and contemporary Hawaiian music. The ‘ukulele was brought to Hawaii by the Portuguese, who came to work in the sugar cane fields, and was adopted by Hawaiian musicians and famously promoted by King Kalākaua, which led to it its becoming a well-known symbol and sound within Hawaiian music.

Catherine’s desire to be drinking beers at Haleiwa Joe’s, can be on your list of things to do when you come to Oahu, as it is a popular seafood restaurant located in Haleiwa on the North Shore. The restaurant is located near the beach and you can enjoy your beers while watching the sunset.

Speaking of restaurants, Max’s late night sneak-out for pancakes to the “Wailana Diner,” was a reference a popular late night eatery in Waikiki—the Wailana Coffee House. This popular restaurant is located on Ala Moana Boulevard across from the Hilton Hawaiian Hotel. It is well known for its popular breakfast menu and all-you-can-eat pancakes. Sorry, McG, they do serve an awful lot of spam.
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Wendie Burbridge is a published writer, playwright and a teacher of literature and fiction writing at Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama. Reach her on Facebook and on Twitter.

  • Anonymous

    Fantastic post Wendie! I had vaguely picked up a few of the football references but you put that together for me! The silent auction with Football tickets, the ‘tough tackles’ making an ‘end run’ to settle scores and even the non-linear ‘instant replay’ type storytelling now becomes clear! I actually applaud the writers for trying this because I felt it was creative. I did enjoy it but realized it could be confusing. I also liked seeing the governor again and Catherine. I also feel a bit sad about the Lori storyline but in the end it felt like the right thing to do to get our tried and true team back together in ‘tight formation’ as you say. I also feel this was the way that the writers intended things to go from the beginning. With the fracturing of Five-0 from last year’s events, it’s only right that it would take 16 episodes to get them back to their original cohesive and fluid relationship. I wish it took less but the weight of the events dictated that a full settling of scores or “reckoning” would take this amount of time. I look forward to discussing it further with you on our next podcast!

    • Anonymous

      Well, there you go, Dana – you verbalized my reaction to the Lori Weston storyline perfectly! As someone said on a different forum last week, you need to see the entire story arc before tearing apart and spitting out a certain aspect of it. We don’t have to like a plot line or a character, but ultimately, the writers have a plan as to where they are taking their story. I give the H5-0 writers their due, they knew where they were going with Lori from the beginning – they just didn’t feel we needed to know all the details until the story line was played out! Completely fair! Love that you saw, as I did, that the fracturing of the team and the rebuilding needed to take a good long while to achieve. I know we all said, way back during the long summer haitus, that we HOPED the show wouldn’t gloss over everything that happened in the S1 finale and make everything hunky-dorey in S2′s premiere. We just didn’t realize how long the writers were willing to go before getting us back to our tight knit Fab Four! Whew! Glad we made it to that point, but I’m sorry Lori had to end up being axed – I liked her!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, Wendie, for a great new blog! Agreed! It takes 2 viewings to catch most of what happened in “Helu Pu”, but I feel ready to remark on it now! Like you say, I was ready for a “catch-my-breath” episode, but obviously, no such thing happened. This episode was geared to the action-loving fans, to say the least. Personally, I’m more interested in the character-driven eps, hence the fact that ep.2.10 and 2.15 are my favorites, but 2.16 was definitely entertaining. Agreed, there were lots of football references, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

    Can I just say, I don’t like Lt. Gov. Denning. He’s just no fun! I really hope when it’s election time  (wasn’t LAST season supposed to be a re-election year for Gov. Jameson?), he’ll get beaten by somebody a little less by-the-book. So, perhaps Denning is being so hard-nosed because he’s up for election? Enjoyed your blog, as always, Wendie!

  • Anonymous

    I have to agree that this episode was a bit hard to follow; but I loved it anyway. Any chance to see Alex O’Loughlin ‘shirtless’ or not is a reward in itself. I’m sad to see Lori leaving; was just warming up to her on the show. I totally dislike the role the Governor is playing, guess I got used to the Team being able to basically, ‘do what they need to do to get the job done.’

    Looking forward to see how the show will play out, now that the Governor is taking such a Heavy-Handed Hold on the Team.

    Hope they’ll do more Surfing scenes with Kono; love the beach scenes. And wondering if they are going to add scenes of ‘Married Life’ with Chin Ho in some episodes too. Ya’ know keeping it real to show the toll Police work can take on a family’s life. As for the reference to Wailana Coffee House; that place is an icon and I love their food :)

  • Anonymous

    “Let our knuckles return to a normal color”  ROFL…girl…I LOVE the way you write!  And I could not agree with you more.  Your review was right on the money as usual.

    As a LOST fan you would think that I would completely enjoy a storyline that leaps back and forth across different timelines but I agree..I found the way it was done here a bit confusing.  Like Lynnette I felt much better able to understand after I watched it a 2nd time. 

    I’m sorry to see Lori go but I’m not all that bummed out about it.  As dozens of other people have pointed out, the character was not developed properly.  I’ll miss the potential of what she could have been more than I will miss who she actually was.  I mean, in 15 episodes we still do not know who this person really is.  No background, no insights into her past, nothing.  There was nothing to make the audience think that she had long term potential.  It’s really a shame because Lauren German seems like a truly awesome person.  But without more substance there was nothing there to really grab on to.  And I say that as someone who liked Lori but a character needs SOMETHING to make them worth keeping around. 

    Now that I’ve seen it 3 times I can say that I truly liked this episode.  The acting from everyone was superb.  But what else is new?

  • Anonymous

    Best of luck Lauren in your next endeavor.  Wish the writers would have a plan before they sign the next “pretty face” up.  They did that to Larisa, and now Lauren.  I believe the term is called, “grasping”.

  • http://twitter.com/fiveophans Joey

    im still trying to soak it in – lol  – gonna have ot rewatch this one it was hard to follow – as much as i loved it i also hated it – well you all know why– but im looking forward to the direction they are taking us i think its gonna be awesome

  • http://twitter.com/Terrysagirl Terry

    I have to agree that the flashback effect wasn’t used to great result here. Perhaps they need to watch Damages to understand the best way to use it for dramatic effect. LOL

  • http://twitter.com/H50undercover Officer 808

    I LOVE THE FLASHBACKS!  BRING ON THE FLASH SIDEWAYS TOO! 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RDUQBI64WPVSDSX466ACDORKYY Karen

    I guess I’m in the minority here since I’m still doing a dance that Lori is gone.  Bad character development and (imo) bad acting made me cringe everytime she was on (which was a lot). Reference was made that she might be back – truthfully hope not.

    I had to watch it twice to catch everything that was going on and will probably watch it again just because! I loved that each of the characters were super kick @$$.  Seeing them all dressed up was fun.  I’m glad that Danny seems to be moving on, now we need to find someone for Kono.  And, what can you say about Steve (sigh…), he flies off balconies, gets hit by a car and like a Timex watch, he gets a lickin’ and keeps on ticking with nary a scratch (oh, ok 2 broken ribs and a chipped tooth!).
     
    Denning is a classic politician, the core4 make him look good so for the most part he’ll leave them alone (as was obvious when his babysitter/watchdog was too busy making goo goo eyes at Steve and in the thick of things with them – she should have been gone after the Korea ep. Joe was the only one to get punished for that) but he’ll come down hard on them when they make him look bad to make sure they remember he is the great and powerful Oz. They don’t make mention of it, but he’s only acting Governor, so he’ll probably have to enforce something (or someone) else to help keep the team on the straight and narrow, especially if he wants to be re-elected.

    Overall I’m glad the core4 are back and the writing seems to have taken a turn for the better.  This is the show that I fell in love with Season 1.

  • http://proworkshop.net/go/3G/ Sonya

    I love this show! Grace Kim is so beautiful!

  • http://twitter.com/dakotatears Nicole

    Wendie, I just found ur blog via another Hawaiian. This is my hr getaway show because I spent 1.5 yrs there as I took care of my niece..now  21 and worked at the airport in which I enjoyed meeting ppl from all over..even picking up a few Japanese words. I hope to go back and visit soon as I have 2 friends there. One I’ve known since I lived there, the other a precious facebook friend. Mahalo from North Dakota. :)

  • Anonymous

    Another great post, Wendie. 

    I agree with your criticism of the unnecessary flashback technique used in this episode.  Made the show harder to follow.  And count me as one who was starting to warm up to the Lori Weston character.  Intersting that she was never included in the opening credits (but Max is).  Sorry to see Lori go (unless of course it means we get to see more of Kono).

    I also liked the reference to the Wailana Coffee House.  I used to look forward to going there and having coconut waffles with my family back in the late 60′s and early 70′s.  I have only been back once in the last ten or fifteen years but I plan on changing that soon. 

    Keep up the good work Wendie.