Five-0 Redux: No death wish here

Dec. 4, 2012 | 16 Comments

<em>Danny (Scott Caan), second from left, is stuck with the tough task of coming to the rescue of the most beautiful women in the world when a stalker goes after a Victoria’s Secret model. He's pictured with Jacquelyn Jablonski, right, Jasmine Tookes, left, and Behati Prinsloo, second from right. (Courtesy CBS)</em>

Danny (Scott Caan), second from left, is stuck with the tough task of coming to the rescue of the most beautiful women in the world when a stalker goes after a Victoria’s Secret model. He's pictured with Jacquelyn Jablonski, right, Jasmine Tookes, left, and Behati Prinsloo, second from right. (Courtesy CBS)

BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser

Oh, “Hawaii Five-0,” you definitely made me laugh out loud this week. And while I was laughing at several of the tongue-in-cheek jokes, I was still very engaged in the interesting procedural and secondary Max storyline. Yet I couldn’t decide if the crazy fan stalking Victoria Secret models subplot was just an advertisement for the Victoria Secret Fashion Show, which is to air tonight on CBS. Or if perhaps it was just a way to give Danno a few moments of happiness — even if it was just for a short stint on a beautiful girl covered couch.

But all in all, I did enjoy the episode. There was great action in the opening scene with a bank robbery gone wrong, and Max getting the digits of cute bank teller Sabrina Lane (played with natural sweetness by guest star Rumer Willis). I found it charming that Danno was tasked to protect a bevy of beauties in this episode. I have been asking for Danno to have a bit of good luck and an hour of happiness, and of course, even though he’s tracking a stabby stalker, he seemed to be in heaven. (He did say it was the happiest day of his life, talking to super models, showing them pictures of his darling daughter.)

Lucky Danno, I’m sure he was very happy to hang out with Victoria Secret model Behati Prinsloo, who stretched her acting chops by playing herself, rather than hang out with aneurysm-face McG. Her explanation of how difficult it is to be beautiful, I mean, how hard it is to model, almost moved me, and did make me think of the idea of fantasy verses reality.

So when I began to take apart this week’s episode title, “Hā‘awe Make Loa,” translated by CBS as “Death Wish,” I thought that the entire episode definitely gave McGarrett and crew a taste of what some will go through when their want for death — as a fantasy or in reality — is more than just a wish.

<em>Danny with McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), right, and Billy Malone, left. (Courtesy CBS)</em>

Danny with McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), right, and Billy Malone, left. (Courtesy CBS)

In Hawaiian, “hāʻawe” means “to carry a burden on the back,” and “make loa” means “to die.” As there is no direct definition of the word “wish” in the Hawaiian dictionary, so the closest we can get to the idea of a “death wish” would be the metaphoric idea of carrying the burden of wanting death to come. Such was the case for guest star C. Thomas Howell — I will try not to call him Ponyboy for the rest of this post — who played bank robber Martin Cordova. Cordova is a former contract killer who has found a way to beat his terminal cancer diagnosis: Death by McGarrett.

Since that is pretty much an equivalent to a death wish, this title possibly works.

I suppose I can wax poetic for a few more paragraphs when I think of all the burdens one would carry when diagnosed with a fatal disease. And when facing death, to what lengths they would go through to make sure their loved ones are taken care of as well as how they could end their suffering sooner than later. Both Ponyboy (sorry, I grew up in the ’80s, so sue me) and shooting victim/bank heist mastermind Jim Rogers (Lochlyn Munro), who were both diagnosed with cancer and both wanted to die before the real problems began, make a reciprocal deal. Rob a bank, get shot in the process, and perhaps save a few people and look like a hero.

By working with someone who has basically nothing to lose — because they are dying of cancer too — we’re back to the death wish theme.

So, Max dealing with a potential love interest unfortunately being shot minutes after she confirms a date with him — holy bad luck Max Man! — and McGarrett being kidnapped to perform suicide by cop, mixed with the sadness of desperate men trying to find a way to deal with the suffering and death of cancer, all made me want more comedy and lighthearted moments. I’m not sure a half-naked, grass skirt-clad, hallucinating bank robber sufficed for a lighthearted moment, but it was funny.

The entire ending scene with Gracie getting pampered by the VS models and McG and Danno grilling Kamekona about stealing police identities, felonies, bribery and free lunches was a nice way to end the episode — and slide right into the Victoria Secret fashion show.

<em>Max (Masi Oka), right, and his crush (Rumer Willis) get put in harm’s way during a botched bank robbery in this week's episode. (Courtesy CBS)</em>

Max (Masi Oka), right, and his crush (Rumer Willis) get put in harm’s way during a botched bank robbery in this week's episode. (Courtesy CBS)

I was glad to see Max being let out of his lab to pursue other interests, like girls who are alive, and you all know I was a big fan of the all the “Fonger” screen time we got, as Brian Yang was in several scenes in this episode. When he hands Kono the LED-laced “Island Hotties” sweatshirt, I couldn’t help but laugh at his show of personality. Great to see a little more of Fong’s personal side even in the few scenes he’s given.

This was a nice episode for the “Five-0″ four. Kono and Chin Ho were completely active in this procedural, and McGarrett got to save a carjack victim after the coolest foot chase over rooftops since McG climbed onto the roof of the Five-0 headquarters in the finale episode of season one. And Danno, of course, got to save the supermodel.

The one thing that bugged me? Doesn’t anyone get a hug after they’ve been saved from a harrowing experience? I mean, if McG pulled me out from in front of a speeding semi-truck, or if Danno killed my stalker — I’d want a hug, dammit. Well, Danno did get a kiss in the end, but alas, no digits.

I have to say, I was a bit relieved to not have to negotiate through any Momma McG drama. It was nice to get a break this week from that story arc. And while the McG/Danno carguments took a little bit of a backseat, we did get a “Book ‘em, Danno” that wasn’t that awkward.

If I could wish for anything, it would be that we have more of these kinds of action-filled, funny, entertaining procedurals from the “Five-0″ crew. No death wish from me, that is for sure.

Redux Side Note:

A couple of Hawai‘i actors had some nice screen time this week. Actress Z Zoccolante played Denise Pope, Behati Prinsloo’s stalker. She very much looked the part, so I was happy to see smiling, lovely pictures of her on her website.

Local musician Shawn Mokuahi Garnett played Kamekona’s cousin, “Flippa.” He may not look like Danny Williams, but he sure looked like he was in Victoria Secret heaven. Check out his music videos on his website.
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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

    Wendie,
    Another good post. I also liked this ep as it concentrated on the team with a few good side stories. The Victoria Secrets storyline is a good tie in to the CBS show today, but it was connected with the ep plus good views of the models and the beach. Loved the Max and Foonger parts, bring it on more.
    Paul

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

    Had to be the best chase scene since Season 1!

  • http://twitter.com/NatValCas Natalie Casetti

    Great read. And I can confirm, that getting that diagnose, does change ones view on certain things, and the forecast of becoming a becoming a veggie hanging on tubes at the hospital has lead more than one to drastic measures. I have been a firefighter for 25 years now. And have cancer too… But hey, nobody’s perfect!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/robin.j.bridges Robin Jane Bridges

    I liked it too. I was laughing so hard at them chasing that man and poor Steve tackiling him, jumped up like he had been burned. Then he made Kono hand cuff the guff. I wonder what Danny’s going to think when he reads those reports not to mention the Governor. It was nice to get away for Doris and things blowing up.

  • Anonymous

    Love your review, Wendie, as always, but not so fond of the VS product placement! Just all seemed a bit cheesy to me,. Yes, it was nice to see Danny smile for the entire episode, and I did enjoy the way he manipulated McGarrett and the situation to get to be the one watching over the Angels,but I really don’t like it when the writers separate him from the rest of the team. I can understand the need when he’s dealing with familial issues, but not just for the sake of promoting a TV special on the same channel the next night! But then again, it was a way for the writers to get screen time for all 4 of the core – if it’s just one crime, there’s not a lot of screen time that can be worked out for all of them together, so perhaps there’s more of a reason for the extra plot than I originally saw last night! See, I can talk my way around almost anything! LOL! Thanks for the review, Wendie – always look forward to it on Tuesday mornings!

  • http://twitter.com/hedwig2212 Dina

    Nice review Wendie, it was an ok episode didn’t adore it- mush over it nor did I hate it. But every episode cannot be super character driven nor blow me away with twists of procedural. It is a stand alone episode and I am sure for that reason it will get used as a “repeat” or filler during summer hiatus or any other scheduling changes.

  • Anonymous

    Great review Wendie. I really enjoyed this episode. I was happy that the VS models weren’t front and center and how Danny managed to steal the assignment from Steve. I felt very sad for both cancer victims. I couldn’t imagine being in that situation, so desperate that you want someone to help you commit suicide. I love Steve and Kono working together and Chin and Danny working solo. Different dynamics. There were touching moments with Max and Sabrina and fun moments with the models and the naked bank robber! Loved the end with Gracie getting some loving by the models. All in all a solid epi and we even got a book em Danno!

  • http://twitter.com/Terrysagirl Terry

    I agree that it’s good to see more of Charlie Fong’s personality! Hopefully, we’ll get more soon. I think writer Bill Haynes gave us a nice plot twist, with some interesting new forensic techniques, and I loved the naked-man chase scene. McGarrett’s face and the way he jumped up after tackling the guy was absolutely priceless. I also enjoyed the less-stilted Max with his sweet crush. and of course, we ladies love us some “Uncle Steve.” Unfortunately, the extended Victoria Secret commercial had the effect of watering down the good in this episode. Had they merely shown the VS models in one scene, it wouldn’t have been so bad, but they pushed it too far and the lack of acting experience became very apparent. Behati seems like a very cool person, and she may become a better actor, but she’s not there yet. And the “oh poor super-model” speech was ill-advised to say the least. How many hearts broke for the sad life of a Victoria Secret model?

    I know that DVRs mean more product placement in TV shows but I hope this extreme example does not become the norm. Nonetheless, between Victoria Secret and Blake Shelton on NBC, Hawaii 5-0’s ratings went up, so for that I am grateful.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=659376696 Val Lai

    Hi Wendie: Love reading your blog as always – like you I did see the irony of the “Death Wish” from two men who wanted wishes that could never be true. For Jim Rogers he wanted his family to forgive and forget but when his wife refused to allow him to see his daughter or forgive he chose to fabricate a way to redeem himself for his daughter unfortunately Sabrina an innocent victim got caught in the cross fire and as for Martin Cordova he got what he deserved in the end. He lived long enough to face justice for his crimes. So for those reasons – I felt this was a solid episode.

    The VS model, yes rather distracting and a little over the top but hey the guys got to have a little fun and share some smiles for a change not just us all the time. But seeing more of Charlie, definite wish for me and more stand alone stories and let Doris sit in the back burner a bit!! How cute was Max in this episode and thought it was rather funny that both Danny and Max abandoned Steve for a girl.

  • 808independent

    The show lost credibility with its completely over-the-top Subway product placement, and now this. Can you imagine the original Five-O doing something like this? That show focused on story, and little of what passes for entertainment today.

  • http://www.facebook.com/FabFourLover Linda Stein

    Hi Wendie! Great review as always. I liked the episode too but like others have said it won’t go down as a favorite. But it had lots of great moments and I don’t remember when I laughed so much at a foot chase! That was just priceless.

    I agree with Lynnette. I really don’t care for it when they separate Steve and Danny and I think Danny would have been an invaluable asset to the main storyline. A father desperately wanting to see his young daughter and wanting to appear as a hero in her eyes is something Danny could have sympathized with. The heart to heart between him and Steve would have been something to see. Danny ranting over the guys choices but understanding a bit his motives.

    I loved Max in this episode…so sweet and awkward but utterly charming. I really hope we get to see Sabrina again! As for the VS angels?? Eh Seems rather pointless but I suppose if it brought more viewers it was worth it and Danny was sure cute around those girls!

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

    it was a very yummy episode, glad to see the boys all dressed up to the nine & looking dashing & we got to see Kamekona in suit too that was so cute & to top it he stole McG’s ID lol that was what a man can do to get into one of VS shows :) good for you kamekona ;)
    loved the action, loved the core four in action, love the cuteness & the hotness in this epi, such a warm cute yummy episode made me happy :) <3
    mahalo Wendie, always a pleasure to read this Blog xox

  • Anonymous

    Great review Wendie. I always look forward to your reviews and your insight (had no idea that was Bruce Willis’ daughter playing Max’s girlfriend).
    As others have said, this was not the season’s best episode but it still held its own despite the cheesy Victoria’s Secret tie-in. I miss Michelle Borth when she is not on the show and I don’t understand how she is completely left out of some episodes, especially when she is now an official cast member and part of the opening credits. I believe this is the third time this year she has been scratched from the line-up – bummer.
    Anyway, the season is still showing promise and I look forward to a strong second half and to more of your Tuesday morning reviews.
    Thanks Wendie.

  • Diane

    Hi Wendie, thanks once again for telling us something about the Hawaiian culture or explaining the language. You are a good teacher.
    I very much liked this episode. The two chase scenes were great. Chasing the naked guy down the street was hilarious. I loved the guy’s PeeWee Herman moves. Loved both Steve and Kono’s expressions. All’s fair, Steve had to tackle him, so Kono had to cuff him. I am one who loves Danny and Steve together, but I don’t mind when they mix it up. I thought Danny on his own did a great job.
    Behati did pretty well. I liked her speech about how people think that they know famous people. I almost think that was aimed at the fans that go to far and don’t keep in perspective that this is a role they are playing, not real life, and not to take things about a TV show so seriously.
    I absolutely loved Max and Sabrina. I hope too see them together soon. I think Bruce and Demi’s daughter did a very good job. Great to continue to see Kono, missing Chin, but I’m sure he’ll get his turn.

  • Kay

    Another great review – thank you! It took me a few days to catch up with this episode. I was kind of surprised to find that I really enjoyed this one! I could have done without the VS sub-plot entirely, but if we hadn’t had it, we would probably have not been able to see Steve and Kono working this case together, and that was pure pleasure! They are very interesting together because they are so very alike in so many ways. I would like to see more of that partnership – I enjoy the mentor/mentee relationship. All in all, this episode had a lot of humor in it and I really enjoyed that – not everything has to be so serious all the time. I have to admit I did not miss the Mom/Cath stuff at all – this one was chock full of other good stuff that reminded me of season 1. Now, I am really looking forward to seeing how they storyline progresses for Adam/Kono and the Noshimori brother. That storyline could be gold. Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    I loved that Kono kinda got to take Danno’s place as being one of the main ones involved with solving the case.