Five-0 Redux: Guardian McGarrett

Dec. 18, 2012 | 11 Comments

<em>George Takei makes a guest appearance as Chin Ho Kelly's uncle in this week's episode. (Courtesy CBS)</em>

George Takei makes a guest appearance as Chin Ho Kelly's uncle in this week's episode. (Courtesy CBS)

BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser

A message to all tweakers who want to make Santa’s naughty list by carjacking a Navy SEAL on Christmas Eve — perhaps you shouldn’t choose Steve McGarrett’s car, as he would guard anything he cares about with all of his abilities. That was very evident in this week’s episode, “Kahu,” translated by CBS as “Guardian.”

So even though our local tweaker (Kainalu Hecomovich) had his wish list blown away by McG, it seemed as if everyone else had a wish list this week, too. Catherine wished for a romantic evening out, Kamekona wished for a helicopter so his new logo would make sense, and McGarrett made a wish to help a wayward young boy who seemed to have lost his father. Ethan Awana (Tristan Lake Leabu) may have reminded Catherine of McG at 13 years old, and knowing McGarrett’s history of losing his mother at a young age, may have been why they took Ethan under their wing.

“Kahu” was another solid show of the popular elements we have come to love. There was a nice mix of humor, sassy zingers, a strong show of team ‘ohana, as well as an interesting procedural that included several different “guardians” into the storyline.

In Hawaiian, “kahu” means “honored attendant, guardian … keeper, administrator, warden, or caretaker.” We definitely saw that in several characters — Uncle Choi (George Takei) was the caretaker of the moonshine, Ethan Awana was somewhat a guardian of his father, and McG and Catherine guarded and cared for Ethan.

“Kahu” also means “pastor, minister, reverend, or preacher of a church,” which is the more common use of the word in Hawai‘i’s vernacular, so it seemed a bit of an odd choice, as the reference was not related to a church or religion at all. “Kāpuhi” means “nurse or caretaker of a child,” so perhaps that might have worked as well for a title, but I see why the choice was made to use kahu. It has more weight and is a stronger choice for the guardian theme.

<em>After someone foolishly tries to carjack McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin, second from left), he and Catherine (Michelle Borth, second from right with Scott Caan, right) meet a boy (Tristan Lake Leabu, left) whose father is missing and may have gotten himself into some deadly trouble. (Courtesy CBS)</em>

After someone foolishly tries to carjack McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin, second from left), he and Catherine (Michelle Borth, second from right with Scott Caan, right) meet a boy (Tristan Lake Leabu, left) whose father is missing and may have gotten himself into some deadly trouble. (Courtesy CBS)

While the procedural got a little convoluted, the bottom line for me, was that McGarrett took on the role of Ethan’s guardian. He saw something in the boy that made him want to find out why the boy was all sad eyes and eager to free himself from a pair of cooling off cuffs. O’Loughlin had some nice interplay with the young Leabu; McG was more of a big brother than a father figure, but it worked well in the episode.

I also enjoyed Michelle Borth getting to show not only her sensitive side, but her fight scene with the actual villain, Stuart Rizzi (Lew Temple), was more proof of her kick-ass abilities. She may not be wearing her Navy uniform in every episode, but Cath can definitely hold her own with the Five-0 team.

I enjoyed a lot of this episode, while the procedural just seemed to be pieced together in order to highlight the Ethan and McG interplay, there was still enough to keep me engaged. The McG/Cath scene at Rainbow Drive-In really set the mood for the episode, as it didn’t get very dark this week, not like it has in some of the past episodes.

One of my favorite scenes was when McG dragged in the Tweaker/Carjacker to HPD, and Duke (Dennis Chun) laughed at the audacity of someone trying to carjack McGarrett. Chun’s reaction was the same as mine, “You picked the wrong car, brah.”

I’ve said it before — I love Chun’s natural reaction to whatever scene he is in, and I am hoping to see him integrated into more of the plot in future episodes.

All in all I think the peripheral scenes were the best of the episode. Chin finding an imu instead of a dead body, and calling Moku Bradford (Juan Gabriel Pareja) “lōlō” was classic. “Lōlō” means “feeble-minded or crazy” in Hawaiian, but most locals use it to mean “stupid.”

I also liked George Takei as Uncle Choi. He played the perfect curmudgeonly moonshiner, and his distrust of cops — who are not family, of course — as well as his weather beaten, craggy face, really helped to create a good character for the usually exaggerated Takei. And I could not leave out Kamekona Claus, handing out his self-promoting gifts, Danno preferring Egg Nog to moonshine, and Bond McG showing up to escort a surprised Cath to Christmas dinner — all scenes that made me want to sing “Mele Kalikimaka” like Don Ho.

<em>McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin, standing in tuxedo) carries off Catherine (Michelle Borth, in O’Loughlin’s arms) for a romantic Christmas surprise. (Courtesy CBS)</em>

McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin, standing in tuxedo) carries off Catherine (Michelle Borth, in O’Loughlin’s arms) for a romantic Christmas surprise. (Courtesy CBS)

This week left me feeling happy that the holidays are just around the corner, and I enjoyed having an episode that focused around McGarrett — and not because he was hunting Shelburne or dealing with Momma McG drama. McG has had two playing guardian to scared kids, last week with Lucy and this week with Ethan.

I can almost bet Guardian McGarrett will definitely be on Santa’s “good” list this year.

Redux Side Note:

A few interesting side notes caught my eye in this week’s episode. The scene when Ethan waited in McG’s office, he was reading a comic book called “R.I.P.D.” Executive producer and showrunner Peter Lenkov wrote “R.I.P.D.” and I talked with him about the comic before the start of season two. The film version of the comic is scheduled for release in July 2013, starring Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Bacon, and Mary-Louise Parker.

And for those of you who enjoyed “Magnum P.I.” perhaps you noticed a familiar helicopter parked next to the chopper Danny brokered for Kamekona. It looked exactly like TC’s (Roger E. Mosley) yellow and orange-stripped chopper made very famous in the popular ’80s show starring Tom Selleck. If it wasn’t the actual chopper from “Magnum P.I.,” it sure reminded me of my second favorite TV show from my childhood. I’ll let you all ponder what show was first on my list. I’m sure you won’t have to think too hard about that one.

“The Five-0 Redux” will go on a little holiday hiatus, as “Hawaii Five-0” will run three weeks of repeats. Dec. 24 is a rebroadcast of “Kūpale” and Dec. 31st is “I Helu Pū.”

This has been a hard week for all of us, between the tragic events in Newtown, and the loss of our beloved Senator Dan Inouye, it was nice to have a few moments of levity with the ‘Five-0’ team. Today, Dennis Chun sent fans a Christmas message of love and hope. I leave you his message, beautifully illustrated by Laura Mellow, and I also wish you all a very Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau‘oli Makahiki Hou.

<em>A Christmas Card to "Hawaii Five-0" fans from Dennis Chun and Laura Mellow (Courtesy Dennis Chun/Laura Mellow) </em>

A Christmas card from Dennis Chun and Laura Mellow (Courtesy photo)


———
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher who lives and works in Honolulu. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

  • Anonymous

    Great review! Spot on as always. This was another solid episode for our guys, especially Alex who shines brightly when working with kids!! For the second week in a row, I’m totally head-over-heels in love with Steve (I’ll clarify by stating loving him more than usual!!). Last week with Lucy and this week with Ethan! What a handsome young man he is. When Steve told him at the end when you’re done breaking hearts, call me, I loved his response, I’ll think about it. I can easily see this sweet young actor returning as Steve’s protégé.

    The entire hour went by in a flash! Alex and Michelle have an easy to look at love for each other. When he smiles at her it’s all over for me! And he does “get” her and knows when he’s wrong! Sigh…. Loved George as Uncle. I was waiting for an Oh My when Danny refused his moonshine! Kicka$$ Catherine, wow!! I’m kinda hoping for an epi when Kamekono gets his pilots license and takes the crew for a ride!!

    All I can say is is there any other man who can wear a tux like Alex, aka Lt. Cmdr, Steven J. “McHottie” McGarrett! He’s what dreams are made of! I’m so happy the last show of the year ended on such a high note! I’m already having withdrawal with no new episodes till January!!!

  • Diane

    My comment was wiped out again.
    Hi Wendie, thanks for the review. I agree not the greatest plot but it moved the show along. I loved that they are showing more of a relationship between Catherine and Steve. I’ve dated some guys who would have thought that eating in a car out of a box was a good date. I’m glad Steve made up for it at the end. And we got to see Alex in a tuxedo. Catherine knows how to kick butt. Loved George Takei, he played a great moonshinning uncle. I hope we see him again. I guess we will be seeing Catherine back in uniform since they mentioned her leave was almost up. Thanks for letting us know how many repeats to expect. I know this is the time of the season when we get some long droughts. I loved the Magnum PI helicopter. I’m hoping that Tom Selleck will make an appearance either as Magnum or some other character. I still miss that show.
    My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of Newtown and the senator from Hawaii.
    Mele Kalikimaka to you Wendie and to all your readers.

  • Anonymous

    Wendie,
    Excellent as always. Great ep, really liked the Christmas theme in the opening scene. Gotta see more of the helo. Merry Christmas to all.
    Paul

  • http://twitter.com/H50BAMF ESS

    I loved this episode. I liked Danny and Chin together going to see Uncle Choi and of course, you can’t go wrong with George Takei!! Hope we see more of him! I agree with Wendie that Dennis Chun brings something special to the screen when he’s on. I love that we’re seeing more of him this season. The imu was priceless!! though Danny should have known what an Imu was after the S1 episode where his partner was found burned in one. :(

    Wendie, thanks for clarifying lolo. I heard the nekkid hula dancer say it in his interrogation and forgot to look up what it meant. Now I know!

    My favorite part of course was the interaction of McG and Cath. I’ve loved them together since S1. I am thankful the writers have decided it’s time to develop it. (overdue, but I’ll stop complaining about that) They have a wonderful playful side balanced with humor, affection and underscored with loyalty even if they they were the last people to say it out loud. Huh. Sounds just like the beginning of my own relationship…now 20+ yrs on. ;)

    “I enjoyed having an episode that focused around McGarrett — and not because he was hunting Shelburne or dealing with Momma McG drama” – Could not agree more!! I personally don’t mind those plot lines but there is so much more to McG that they could develop away from those lines. He grew up on the island….where are his friends?? Old girlfriends? Old buddies, etc??

    Enjoy your break, Wendie! Look forward to next season and next season’t recaps!

  • http://twitter.com/Immunity5O Immunity

    Thanks Wendie for a great review.

    A nice Christmas eppie Cath/Steve, they are showing them more as a couple they are so adorable together. Ohhhh Steve you are so clueless some times how in the world can a breakfast in your car in the parking lot romantisch. But I had a feeling he was teasing Cath we all know Steve can be romantic remember he picked a flower for her and made it up to Cath when their weekend was disturbed by an crime case Steve decided to go with Cath on the Enterprise. My feeling is that Steve always had planned to take Catherine out for dinner to celebrate the end of her leave’s.
    We also saw see a little bit more how the Steve/Cath relationship develop, which has been interesting, Cath even admitted he’s her boyfriend.

    What really got to me though, was when Steve said to Cath when they were in HPD that getting to the truth hurt and that the boy will find out sooner or later if the father did commit the crime, how clear it was that Catherine was thinking of the information she was withholding from Steve about Doris.

    The Christmas dinner cargument was so McDanno snarky but hearts in the right place. I loved that Steve invited Danny and was happy to hear Cath would be there to. A McGarrett Christmas dinner!

    Chin and the pig juice was funny, Danny and Steve trying not to laugh in front of the suspect and then him apologising to Chin . Found it a bit weird that Chin grabbed the shovel and began to shelves afterall it was a crime scene right!

    Danny and Kamekona buying a helicopter was also very funny I notice TC’s helicopter from Magnum PI in the background when Danny was dealing with the salesman? how wonderful would it be when Tom Selleck would make a cast appearance and if I should choose as Catherine’s father that would be awesome would love to see Super Seal Steve with Magnum.

    Wishing you all and all those are dear to you a Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with blessings health and peace..

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

    Great post, Wendie! Happy holidays to you and the Five-0 Redux ohana!

  • Anonymous

    Mele Kalikimaka to you and yours, Wendie, and all the 5-0 Ohana here! A truly beautiful message from Dennis and Laura, as well.

    This wasn’t my favorite episode, and I didn’t “get” the crime of the week too well, but there were enough light and fun moments to make this a thoroughly enjoyable episode for me. As most people agree, Steve and Cath are perfect together, and we saw a lot of their personal relationship together this week. Steve might not know he has a girlfriend, but Catherine admits to having a boyfriend! Women always get these things figured out first! I will miss Cath and the happy, boyish McGarrett that comes out when they are interacting, as leave is over for Cath and she will be out to sea for at least the foreseeable future.

    I spotted that R.I.P.D. cover immediately – and got a good chuckle over Peter’s blatant plug for his new movie!

    One gripe – I’ve had it before – is that the show tends to “explain” Hawaiian customs at the expense of Scott’s character, Danny. I’m fine with the fact that not everyone watching is aware of what an emu pit is, but honestly? There is NO way Danny could have forgotten that his 1st Hawaiian partner, Meka was roasted in a emu pit. All that type of writing does is make “Danny” look dumb. Perhaps this was a new writer who didn’t watch S1, but someone on that writing staff shoulda/coulda corrected that rather glaring continuity mistake. By making Danny the character that is always lost when it comes to Hawaiian customs, even after 3 years on the island, it creates a foolish and whiny character that many find boring and irritating in a way that is certainly not intended, I’m sure! (I never find Danny boring or irritating, but being a Dannygirl could make me slightly prejudiced!)

    Great review for an enjoyable episode! Enjoy your vacation time, Wendie, and see everyone in January!

  • http://twitter.com/hedwig2212 Dina

    Thank you Wendie for sharing that lovely card- being so near the tradegy of past Friday – it really hit home.
    As far as the show there were some wonderfully funny moments and some great work in the cast. I loved seeing Cath rock the Wonder Woman role ,yet I am a bit saddned that we didn’t have the team Christmas moment, continuing to make Rachel the evil ex so they can do away with her whole character- thus keeping Grace away from Danno, and the procedural had some confusing moments like why was Ethan so scared of the basement? Did I miss the explanation of that somewhere? I also was pretty surprised to see Danno not know about the imu- since his ex partner was killed in one?? I have heard the fandom make points that they have “dumbed” down his character. I dont see that too much but that particular moment I do believe that was a pretty big over site on the writers continuity. thanks as always for a great review and “instruction” on all things “Hawaiian!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/kari.oloughlin Kari Oloughlin

    McGarrett IS definitely on Santa’s good list this year Wendie & so are you honey; for all those AWESOME reviews you post every week for us, BIG MAHALO for the much appreciated efforts even with the teaching, the Mom/wife duties & the other BLOGS you right on, you always remember your OHANA & best show with such great honest reviews :) I REALLY SALUTE YOU BABE <3 <3

    as for the show, OMG girl this was truly one of the AWESOME epis :D got used to see great stories & guest stars this season the show is getting better & better even at the ratings yey :D
    only thing is im a bit :( coz i wont be getting my Monday H50/McG shot, but hey, our team needs a break too, right? so its worth waiting & of course we will be waiting for the return
    Mele Kalikimaka everyone & have a blessing Holiday :)

  • http://twitter.com/gerGnesdunK Greg Knudsen

    I’m chiming in late, but still find it inconsistent and bothersome that McG – as one would expect – didn’t hesitate to neutralize a frantic menacing carjacker pointing a gun at his head, while in the last episode McG didn’t even try to disarm a bungling oafish Tom Arnold who had taken a child hostage.

  • Anonymous

    Aloha Wendie! Thank you for a wonderful 2012 of Five-O blogs! Belated Happy New Year to you, the family, and all Cousins. This was a cool episode. I instantly recognized the sun-rainbow-colored helicopter! Now Kamekona will be needing flight lessons so who better than from TC himself? I’ll be seeing Roger Moseley and Larry Manetti Saturday the 12th at LAX so will ask them if a cameo or guest starring role is in the works (and for their PI buddy Magnum too!). Also will be seeing Irene Tsu who starred with Elvis in the movie ‘Paradise Hawaiian Style’. She was also a guest star in the original Five-O series.
    Thank you for adding in the Duke Christmas card. December was a tough month for the country. I’m very happy though that the state of Hawaii has been so well represented in Congress by a true American hero, Sen Inouye, for so many years. God Bless.
    Hope to see you soon. Would love a ‘tweet-up’ especially if you could ‘book’ a cast member to attend. Also, my award bounty for any Cousin that can get me access to the Ilikai balcony is still available! Ha!
    Mahalo,
    Alan