Five-0 Redux: Secrets revealed
BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser
Most people love a good secret — and “Hawaii Five-0” is pretty famous for its secrets. So this week’s episode, “‘Ōhuna” (meaning “secret or hidden thing”), is really not a new theme for fans of the show.
Last season was full of secrets, from Jenna Kaye’s secretly joining forces with Wo Fat to the “Shelburne is your Momma” secret Joe White had been hiding from McG. From the start of the series, secrets seem to surround the Five-0 team. Yet this season, the theme seems to be more about revealing secrets than keeping them.
We are very curious creatures, and when we know someone has a secret, we want to hear about it, have it whispered into our greedy-for-gossip ears, and perhaps pass it along. This is probably why gossip websites and magazines make bazillions of dollars lying in wait for the famous to be caught doing something they most definitely should not be doing. Ask Tiger Woods or Arnold Schwarzenegger — or the most recent to fall from grace, Gen. Richard Petraeus, if they ever wanted their secrets to get out.
This week’s procedural — dealing with secrets we are becoming more familiar with in our digital age — dealt with a password wanted by a South African bad man Sean Winston (played with awesome creepiness by Carlo Rota) from talented young hacker, Zack Slater (Matt Bush). Winston works very hard to keep secrets as well as to reveal them — usually to the highest bidder.
When we first meet the Slater family, whose son Zack, known as “Omega Man” in hacking circles, has just been released from juvenile detention for hacking into the White House database. Zack is a pro at finding out secrets, yet when he ends up dead before his secret password can be revealed, Winston goes after his family and autistic brother, James (Gregory Kasyan). The secret theme continues as Kono works to reveal the secret lodged into James’s consciousness.
Of course, Kono saves the day, as not only does she uncover the secret password, but she also saves James and Zack’s parents (played by Melinda McGraw and Alan Ruck) and their unfortunate guests-turned-hostages.
We’ve been waiting for some Kono and Chin screen time, and this week we got some nice cousin moments and, by far, the best Kono scene since she jumped on the hood of Toothpick’s car to take him down in the season opener.
I know I shouldn’t give out “Best of the Season” awards so soon, but I think the Best Fight of the Season will go to Kono for nearly killing Winston. Grace Park was great in this episode. She was great with the autistic brother, not babying him, yet working with him to reveal Zack’s secret, and then coolly dealing with a gun in her chest, as well as falling out of a truck, and still being able to beat her man. Way to go, no-longer-a-rookie Kono.
But this episode was all about secrets getting out and being revealed. With the arrival of sister Mary Ann (Taryn Manning), the McGarrett family secrets seem to finally be out in the open. Mary Ann had a bit of a different reaction than her brother did to the news of their Mother’s resurrection from the dead. She is as angry as her brother, but not about Mom being gone for so many years — she’s angry about the pain her mother caused their father and family.
I hope that the Mary Ann and Doris (Christine Lahti) reunion, seen through the smiling gaze of McG, will help with the family tension. Most scenes between Momma and Steve are fraught with I-haven’t-seen-you-in-twenty-years-and-now-you-want-to-mother-me tension. Perhaps with Mary Ann in the “know,” the McG’s can begin to heal and move on. Laugh if you like, but I am crossing my fingers that I am right. For once. Give me just this one wish for the holidays.
It was great to see a couple of our favorite regulars this week, like Dennis Chun and Brian Yang. I know that we saw Yang in the Halloween episode, “Mōhai,” and we last saw Dennis in “Kānalua,” but even with the short scenes in which Yang and Chun have been seen, it’s been a treat to see them get to develop their characters a little more. It would be nice for both of their characters to be able to interact more with the core “Five-0″ four, but I’m glad they are being used in ways that make sense with the storyline and the established function of their characters.
Overall, this episode was a solid one. Written by Mike Schaub, “ʻŌhuna” was a great mix of humor, action, and a tug on our heartstrings. McGarrett riding under the police van and punching out the driver was awesome, and completely something I would expect from director Larry Teng. The scenes with Toast (Martin Starr) who returned from the show’s first season to help Danno and McG find out hacker intel was laugh out loud funny.
(“Live long and perspire,” Toast. I really hope you get to come back and help out the team again. If nothing else, perhaps you can always fall back on Plan B.)
Couple those scenes with Kono giving James her badge and the scene on the beach with words of wisdom from Morty, Mary Ann’s client (played by Shelley Berman). When Morty encouraged Mary Ann to go see her mother and not miss another moment — and then watching Momma and Mary Ann hugging it out with Steve watching — all scenes had me wiping my eyes this week.
I am beginning to see a brighter future for this season, as the episodes get tighter and stay cohesive. I am definitely a fan of revealing secrets rather than keeping them so close to the vest that viewers get too frustrated to wait around to see how they pan out. Keep revealing the secrets “Five-0″ — it makes for much better drama and satisfaction.
Redux Side Note:
Next week’s “Hawaii Five-0” is back with another new episode with special guest star Vanessa Marcil and the return of Carlos Bernard. The ‘Five-0’ team will travel to Maui for a few scenes and local actor Devon Nekoba will return to play TSA SCA Myers.
If you hadn’t already heard, Alex O’Loughlin and Malia Jones named their son, Lion Kahano O’Loughlin. The newest O’Loughlin has a very regal name, as Ka hano means “The Honor.”
I hope all the “Hawaii Five-0” fans have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. I am very thankful for all of you reading, commenting, and supporting the “Five-0 Redux.”
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher who lives and works in Honolulu. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.