Five-0 Redux: Scandalous maneuvers

Jan. 23, 2013 | 23 Comments

BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser

For most of the American public, political scandals are often in the news and after Bill and Monica, John and Rielle, and Arnold and the housekeeper, nothing can shock us now.

So it is awfully timely for “Hawaii Five-0” to rip a page out of the headlines to give us “Hana I Wā ‘Ia,” which in Hawaiian means “Scandal.”

<em>The Five-0 team searches for the killer of a murdered prostitute in this week's episode. (Courtesy CBS)</em>

The Five-0 team searches for the killer of a murdered prostitute in this week's episode. (Courtesy CBS)

And it was a doozy of a scandal, as it seems that it involved more than just Governor Sam Denning (Richard T. Jones), his Congressman friend, a special election, and a dead escort. It was pretty evident from the start that it was none other than the pain-in-Five-0’s-side, Wo Fat, who orchestrated this scandal.

If anyone knows how to plan a downfall, it would be Wo Fat. He was the mastermind behind McGarrett going to jail, as well as the murders of Jenna Kaye and Pat Jameson, the former Governor of Hawai‘i. So it wasn’t that much of a surprise to find the devil in a sharp suit holding a gun to the head of one of the pawns in his game.

Wo Fat wants to fix a special election. And his way of fixing the election is to kidnap a Congressman and get him to “commit suicide,” so his pick will win the election and owe his political career to Wo Fat.

That’s the basic premise for this episode, yet I have a sneaky suspicion that Wo Fat wants the Congressman in his pocket, so that he can eventually control the Governor, who in turn can regulate his arch-nemesis — McGarrett. And then perhaps he will finally get revenge on Mama McG for killing his father.

This is just my own humble theory and I could be very wrong, but while Wo Fat is pretty wily in his actions, his reasoning has always been pretty simple — to get McGarrett.

<em>Richard T. Jones returns as Gov. Denning. (Courtesy CBS)</em>

Richard T. Jones returns as Gov. Denning. (Courtesy CBS)

In the midst of Wo Fat’s nefarious plans, the sub plot of the episode was Danno’s court battle with an absent Rachel over custody of Gracie. The scenes of McG supporting his right-hand-man in the courtroom were full of the bromance fans adore. Danno fixing McG’s tie, McG standing up to vouch for his partner and “close friend,” and Danno’s heartfelt speech to the judge (Joy Minaai) are all elements we want to see in “Hawaii Five-0.”

The episode definitely heats up when Governor Denning asks McGarrett to personally take over the investigation of a murdered prostitute and to streamline all inquiries through his office. Big red flags go up for Danno, and the ensuing “cargument” in the Five-0 headquarters was only the start of Danno’s cynicism about why they were asked to investigate this murder.

McG was at his best when he confronts the Governor and point blank asks him if it was his DNA they found on the victim. Watching two determined and powerful men locking horns is always good drama, and when the Governor admits that the only reason he wants to keep the investigation close to Five-0’s Kevlar vest, is because the Congressman, who was staying at the house where the victim was found, is his friend and former brother-in-arms.

And it only gets better from there. I have to say, even though I knew from the start of the episode that Wo Fat was involved, I still gasped a little when Kono’s surveillance footage showed a clear shot of McG’s nemesis. And when the poor Amy Davidson (Australian actress Stephanie Jacobsen) reveals that she had been forced by Wo Fat to wear a wire — I’m not sure if I was more surprised by her undressing and shushing Danno, than by the sudden sniper shot that killed her.

<em>Danno (Scott Caan), left, and McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) take another helicopter ride together in search of Wo Fat during this week's episode. (Courtesy CBS)</em>

Danno (Scott Caan), left, and McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) take another helicopter ride together in search of Wo Fat during this week's episode. (Courtesy CBS)

Director Larry Teng really kept the tempo at a nice pace in this episode. And I appreciated how the episode didn’t go off on strange tangents. Yes, we had the typical red herring with the team thinking that nerdy writing professor, Ryan Webb, (Patrick Fischler) killed the prostitute, but once he was cleared, they saw that all roads lead to Wo Fat.

The chase to find the missing Congressman and clear what started off as a murder, but turned into a political conspiracy involving an escaped felon and the Congressman’s opponent. Teng often directs episodes with far more action, car chases, and gunplay — and this episode had some of that — but the action in this one was perfectly balanced. Mike Schaub penned an excellent procedural, and used it as a way to keep us interested in Wo Fat and to remind us that he is still out there, and still gunning for the McGarretts.

After Sunday’s action packed riotous prison episode, this was a strong show of character development and helped to answer a few questions that we’ve had since the start of season three. Questions about Danno and Garcie’s future, about Wo Fat and what he has been up to since we last saw him escaping out the window of Mama McG’s safehouse, as well as the question of Governor Denning’s true agenda with Five-0 — all were satisfactorily answered.

There was a lot I loved about this episode: the McG and Danno banter, the helicopter chase with Danno holding the big gun, Wo Fat shooting until he was out of bullets, and seeing both his and McG’s face at the thought that they were going to let the other get away — again — was spot on. The ending scene with McG and a casually dressed Governor was great, and really added more dimension to Denning’s character.

I hope this means we will see more of him, as I think he’s the type of boss McGarrett needs; one McG can definitely trust.

Regardless of the maneuvers Wo Fat used to get a leg up on McGarrett and his team, at least we know now that the Governor will be on the right side this time, and that gives me a little more confidence that perhaps Five-0 will get their man sooner than later.

Redux Side Note:

I was so sad to see Wo Fat make quick work getting rid of the hunter on an ATV. I can’t believe he shot very beloved Hawaiian musician and performer Keali‘i Reichel. I know he called Wo Fat a pig, but really? Did he have to get shot after 30 seconds on screen?

<em>Fans gathered at Big City Diner Pearlridge last weekend. (Courtesy photo)</em>

Fans gathered at Big City Diner Pearlridge last weekend. (Courtesy photo)

And I wished Commander McGarrett had stopped by for a few minutes to chat with the Governor’s assistant, played for the third time by Melissa Puana-Martin. Hopefully, now that the Gov and McG are now BFF’s, Puana-Martin will be back for more scenes and more screen time.

It has been a whirlwind “Hawaii Five-0” weekend. Saturday night was a repeat of “Lekiō” and a few of the Hawai‘i fans got together at Big City Diner Pearlridge. California fans Christina and Alexia Kerwick, and classic and reboot fan Alan Keisner joined us to watch the episode.

It’s always so much better to watch a rerun of “Hawaii Five-0” with friends and food, as it is usually done in Hawai‘i.

Sunday was a special episode, which aired after the AFC Championships. “ʻŌlelo hoʻopaʻi make” was an action-packed show with many local faces and the return of many “Five-0″ bad guys. If you missed the episode, you can watch it now at CBS.com. Be sure to check out my review after you have caught up on your viewing!
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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.

  • Diane

    Hi Wendie. It was fun seeing two new episodes two nights in a row. I was looking for Wofat, so I did recognize his voice in the beginning. I love Mark Dacoscas playing Wofat, and I don’t think that he will be captured any time soon, as Peter Lenkov once said he wants him around as long as the original H50 had him, which was all 12 years.
    I hope this show is on at least as long. Seeing Alex in his dress blues (which are actually black) made my night. That scene outside the courtroom was what makes this show different. Alex and Scott’s own friendship shows through the screen. I’m glad to see they did not have the drama of Grace staying in Hawaii or moving to Vegas drag on too long. Of course Grace needs to stay here. I guess it was a scheduling conflict with the actress, but I was surprised that they did not have Rachel in the courtroom. I wonder if we are going to see her again. I loved the ending scene as well. I was glad to see that the govenor was an honest one, or at least at this point. I did not like him very much before, but this changed my mind. I hope we do see him more often. Thanks again for the review. I’m guessing we have a couple of weeks of repeats Wendie before February sweeps. Thanks for keeping up the blog, I hope to read your reviews as long as there is an H50, and thanks for pointing out the locals.

    • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

      Thanks for reading and commenting Diane:) I love Mark Dacascos as well! He’s a great man and plays a fantastic character. :) I know we have a repeat next Monday 1/28, and the New “Hookman” episode airs 2/4.

      Interesting fact about Dress Blues- according to my husband (26 years in the Navy, retired as a Chief) he said that the Navy wears black “dress blues.” Navy dress uniforms were once blue, but the Navy moved to using black because Navy ships were run with coal and coal sticks to everything- thus, blue fabric would get dirty easily. In some cases- like with the Winter Blue uniforms- called the “Johnny Cash” because it looks black– it really is a very very dark blue. Sailors no longer wear the “Johnny Cash” but Chief still has several sets of this uniform and you have to look very hard at it to tell that it’s blue and not black.

      Thanks again for the Redux support;) Aloha, Wendie

      • Diane

        Thanks Wendie. I did not even notice we were that close to February, so only one repeat. That’s great. Please thank your husband for the explanation of the dress blues, I’m glad at least at some point they really were blue.

        • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

          Thanks for being interested in my long explanation. Chief loves to talk about the Navy… so he’s always giving me info. :) Aloha, Wendie

  • http://www.facebook.com/sylvie.turgeon.37 Sylvie Turgeon

    Thanks for your review. I liked very much these two episode of Five -0.

    • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

      I did too! Once was really action packed and a lot of “rock n roll” and this one was well paced and solid. Overall a nice week for H50. Thanks for reading and commenting! Aloha, Wendie

  • http://twitter.com/hedwig2212 Dina

    YES another spot on recap of another great episode of #h50! Wendie it is always a pleasure to read your work- your honest and true. Never negative in your reviews- you question what the FANS do question, you give criticism when it is needed and sing praises when the show gets back to its Season 1 roots!!!

    • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

      Thanks Dina:) Thanks for reading and commenting. I try not to be negative because there is so much out there that IS negative about H50- but sometimes I have to point out the obvious. Still- even though somethings the plots are a little far fetched- it’s just TV right? And it’s still fun and entertaining and we still care about our Team- so it’s all good:) Thanks Dina for the support:) Aloha, Wendie

  • Anonymous

    I loved this episode. Seeing Steve (nothing like a handsome man in uniform) and Danny (love the tie-fixing and their furtive glances at hopefully not being caught!) at family court was touching (I think Steve loves Gracie just as much as Danny!). There were so many people acting so strangely that even though I saw Mark’s name I didn’t figure Wo Fat as being the cause – I wasn’t sure how he’d play into the episode (what was I thinking!! I should’ve known better!!). I didn’t see the shooting or the wire-tap coming and was completely blindsided by them. The helicopter scene and the shooting scenes were outstanding (2 nights in a row seeing Steve fly!! Be still my heart!) For me, watching Steve and Denning come head-to-head was more than a battle of the brawn – it clearly established the “trust” boundaries. I now feel that Denning is more attuned to the danger of Wo Fat and his absolute hatred of Steve but also that there won’t be any further need for a “babysitter” (Steve’s mention of Lori’s demise to Danny skepticism of the assignment) for 5-0. I didn’t like Denning’s character in earlier epi’s but he sort of changed my mind – especially at the end when he showed up w/his olive branch at Steve’s! I was so happy at the outcome of the custody fight (but I knew he’d win!). All in all a great episode and another great review.

    • http://twitter.com/H50BAMF ESS

      KAD, I completely agree with your thoughts on Denning and McG’s scene. It was long over due IMO that these two have this discussion. I guess they had to involve something Denning held close to him (his friend) before he really was able to put away the things he had heard of Five-0 before and see the real asset they are. The olive branch was nice and it was a very memorable scene.

      • Anonymous

        Hopefully we’ll see more of Denning and get to know him better. As much as I love this show there’s a tendency toward little to no character development for semi-recurring characters.

        • http://twitter.com/H50BAMF ESS

          I would think logistics plays a lot in that. They have to fly them to HI, put them up, etc. With money not being an object there is still the matter of having an actor/actress willing to do that because it would interrupt their lives as well as any other projects they have going on.

          At the same time, I don’t know of any show I watch that develops the semi-recurring characters too much. So I think they’ve made a huge leap forward with this one.

    • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

      Hi Karen- it was another great episode to watch and write about. Your comments I fully agree with:) Loved it all. Thanks for commenting and supporting the Redux:) Aloha, Wendie

  • Anonymous

    Great review Wendie.
    This was a great weekend with two new eps in a row. I suspect it may be a few weeks before we see another new one. This was another very good ep.
    Paul

    • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

      Paul! Thanks for always reading and commenting:) Mahalo for the support. I thought it was a great weekend for both eps:) We’ll see a new one on Feb. 4 with H50′s remake of the “Hookman” episode from 1973. Dennis Chun has been telling me for weeks NOT to miss it! :) ~Aloha, Wendie

  • http://twitter.com/Radazzle LovesAlexO

    Thanks Wendie for another great review! It was well scripted, acted and intriguing new episode of Hawaii Five-0! Applause to the cast and crew for a job well done!

    • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

      Agreed- it was a nice solid episode, well written and acted and directed. And great to write about! Mahalo for commenting and reading. Aloha, Wendie

  • http://twitter.com/H50BAMF ESS

    When i first heard the premise of this COTW I kind of rolled my eyes a bit but it played out well. I think one of the better procedurals we’ve had this season.

    That said, it’s not at all why I watch the show. This week had spectacular character developments and it left me with very fuzzy feelings.

    Danny just reaching over to fix McG’s tie was a little weird for me, #1 as a man in uniform I highly doubt McG would not notice his tie is jacked up and #2 it just didn’t feel right. However, the devotion and loyalty to each other feels completely genuine. Of course McG would have his back AND his say in court. I had no doubt.

    All the scenes with Denning, from McG playing it cool at first to storming in and confronting him when he felt it necessary. All completely in character for McG and the way Denning didn’t back down made it a real treat because in the end, they ended with a new found level of respect. Denning has finally become a flesh and blood character.

    Danny’s speech to the court was short and sweet and very powerful but did anyone really doubt he’d win? It’s our Danny, he’s no one without Grace.

    The way they re-introduced WoFat actually gave me a little bit of interest again. His character had grown one dimensional and boring. We still need to know a lot more about him to make him a real fleshed out character IMO. Until then, he’s just a face they throw around when they need to yank the rug out from under McG.

    McG’s face when he had to let WoFat go….again, was heartbreaking. Alex has a way of saying so much with zero dialogue.

    After Sunday night’s episode which I thought was all flash and little substance, this was a welcome return to true H50 form. Larry Teng is my hero, also a huge credit to Mike Schaub and the entire cast. This episode will be a classic fave for me.

    • http://twitter.com/SOlivia67 Sandy B

      Yes, Alex is the best I have seen at telling a story with his facial expressions.

      • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

        So true– such good facial expressions that really add to the story. ~WJ

    • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

      Love your comments. I agree- I was glad to see Denning fleshed out a little more– he’s fuller to me than Gov. Jameson from Season 1. And Wo Fat as well- I’d love a back story episode about our villain… that would be great. Teng did a great job following the “flashier” Sunday episode- which I thought it was a great episode, but I agree it was more fun and rock ‘n roll than the substance that Mike Schaub and Monday’s episode provided. All in all, it was a great weekend for “Hawaii Five-0″:) Thanks for reading and commenting! And for the support:) Aloha, Wendie

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

    I loved the episode last night. It had some turns and twist that wasn’t expected.

    • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

      It was great- both Sunday and Monday rate up there with my favorite episodes of the season:) Thanks for reading and commenting! Aloha, Wendie