Five-0 Redux: Until we meet again

May. 21, 2013 | 16 Comments

Kono (Grace Park) bids farewell to her Five-0 team in the season three finale of "Hawaii Five-0." (Courtesy CBS)

Kono (Grace Park) bids farewell to her Five-0 team in the season three finale of “Hawaii Five-0.” (Courtesy CBS)

BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser

Well, ladies and gents, we made it to the end of season three. And like the third year of life, college, or a smokin’ hot love affair, it had its share of bumps and bruises — but it sure kept up with all the action. While we nurse our scrapes and wipe our tears, the action and nail-biting drama will sure keep us coming back during season four.

Most of us will probably come back just to have our questions answered. Because wouldn’t you know it — most of them were left dangling off the proverbial television cliff with just enough rope left to keep us hanging on.

So not fair.

But of course, the creative team behind “Hawaii Five-0,” this week headed by director Bryan Spicer, and scripted by Peter M. Lenkov, Ken Solarz, and David Wolkove, delivered a good punch tonight—ending with a tearful good-bye, as well as knock-out on the cliffhanger front.

I did love this week’s title, “Aloha. Mālama Pono,” used to not only describe several dramatic good-byes, but uttered by Kono in the last few minutes of the episode. While her goodbye had more of a sad and bittersweet tone, it was not the type of farewell I was expecting according to the promos.

The “four become three” tag line made me think someone was going to die. And why wouldn’t I think that? In the season one finale they killed Laura Hills (Kelly Hu) and Governor Jameson (Jean Smart), in the season two ender they killed Malia (Reiko Aylesworth), and tried to kill Kono. So naturally, I thought more blood would be shed — and it was, just this time it was of a bad guy and it still didn’t solve anyone’s problems.

 Michael Noshimuri (Daniel Henney) goes out with a bang — literally — in the season three finale of "Hawaii Five-0." (Courtesy CBS)

Michael Noshimuri (Daniel Henney) goes out with a bang — literally — in the season three finale of “Hawaii Five-0.” (Courtesy CBS)

Yet even though “Five-0″ definitely ratcheted up the drama with the stabbing of forensic “Geek God” Charlie Fong (recurring cast member Brian Yang) by Michael Noshimuri (Daniel Henney), and then ended Michael’s Yakuza career with a Cain and Abel fight for the gun with his brother, Adam (Ian Anthony Dale). Coupled with the side story of Wo Fat imprisoned in Hannibal Lecter’s cell, and McG and Momma playing the “let’s confront each other but not really tell each other anything” game, I was involved in the episode, loving the tension, but still feeling frustrated with the lack of payoff.

There’s a good writing technique that writers often use, and that is where they pose questions for the audience to think about and want the answers for, and then they have the characters reveal the answers as the story moves along. The writer then makes sure the audience gets an answer — a reward, you could say — so that the audience stays with the story and the characters. Writers will always add a new question when at the same time they answer a question to keep the audience on their toes—and always intrigued by the character.

For me, this season had too many questions and not enough answers—to the point that the rewards were sometimes too small and not enough for me to feel satisfied. Sort of like eating a piece of chocolate cake that looks delicious, but was made with ersatz cocoa and Splenda. Just not the same.

I want to be filled up with answers, but eager to find out the answers to the next question, the next case, the next storyline. While I enjoyed McGarrett putting Doris on the spot and getting into her face (finally!), I was so let down with the “To Be Continued.” I know I am not the only one.

Yes, I know some of you will write to me and say — but now you will come back and watch so you can find out what she means! Yes, yes, I will, but throw me a bone here — is Doris Wo Fat’s Momma too? Is she Momma Fat McG? Please just answer that question — who is Wo Fat to Doris? I know a million more questions will arise just from answering that one question. And then we get a reward, and we’ll be so much more inclined to watch another season answering the questions that follow. Oh, and they will follow, I know they will. This is “Hawaii Five-0.” There are always more questions and more problems to solve. No disappointment there.

Mark Dacascos as Wo Fat. (Courtesy CBS)

Mark Dacascos as Wo Fat. (Courtesy CBS)

As Wo Fat, Mark Dacascos was completely scary half-burned and twitching in pain. I am eager to find out how his “enemy of my enemy is now my brother” McGarrett can save him. And does this mean that now McG and Wo Fat are allies? This storyline I’ll stay tuned for. It is worth the wait to find out who’s coming through the door, guns and torches blazing.

And of course, I’m dying to know what will happen to Kono and Adam. Will their love survive? Will Momma McG take care of them as well as she takes care of herself?

I was not sad to see Doris get on the boat, but I was sad to see Kono go. I have really loved the Kono/Adam storyline all season—well, since it was set up in season two, and I thought the writer’s really handled the pacing and the tension in that subplot very well. I liked the romance, the sexiness, and the almost “Romeo and Juliet” quality to their storyline.

I know we’re all eager to hear the official story to why Grace Park seems to be written out of the storyline for a while — but how long, we all wonder? We can only wait for someone from the show to let us know. I, for one, hope it is not long. I know I disliked when Kono wasn’t part of the team during the first few episodes of season two. But at least she was on the show.

While the essential McG questions weren’t answered this week, I thought the episode was entertaining and had many elements that I love about the show. The opening car chase was slick and cool and I always love when the team goes rogue. One thing about the team, they only break rules when it is “pono” — righteous, just, virtuous. And usually when they are trying to save one of their own, or find out information that could save lives.

They went rogue to save McGarrett when he escaped from prison, they disobeyed orders to fly in to save Chin in Halawa, and McG covered for Danno when he broke a few rules to save a little girl. They don’t just bend the rules to benefit themselves, but they do it to find justice. All elements we love about our team. And which is why we keep coming back, no matter if our questions are answered or not, but because we know what they are doing is right and good.

This week’s title is definitely bittersweet, as “Hawaii Five-0” says “Aloha, malama pono,” to the fans and viewers until season four. Many changes are headed our way next season, a change of night, a change of time, and now a change up within the cast.

So aloha ʻoe, until me meet again — to Kono and Adam, to Doris, and Fong. May season four come quickly for all of us who want to know your fate.

Redux Side Note:

Dennis Chun had an intense scene in the opening moments of the episode, and while we always love Sgt. Duke Lukela, we know it must be hard to be a cop and understand where McGarrett and his team are coming from, but having to still do the job.

Dennis Chun. (Courtesy CBS)

Dennis Chun. (Courtesy CBS)

Chun understands the idea of “the job” well, as his father, Kam Fong — who played Chin Ho Kelly in the original version of “Hawaii Five-O” — was a Honolulu Police officer for 16 years. Last weekend, Fong was inducted into the HPD Hall of Fame. Be sure to read the “Five-0 Redux” next week, when I share my experience attending the dinner honoring Fong, as well as all the 2013 HPD retirees. It was a very special night that I was privileged to attend and share with the Chun ‘ohana.

Next week starts a summer of reruns, and like the last two breaks, the “Redux” will return with more information about the cultural elements of Hawai’i that the show touches upon, as well as interviews with local actors who have had small parts, but still made an impact on “Hawaii Five-0.”

If you have any interesting ideas for me to write about, research, or an actor you’d like me to interview, send me an email at Five0Redux@gmail.com. I’d love to know what you’d like to read about or learn about during the hiatus.
———
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher who lives and works in Honolulu. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

  • http://twitter.com/fiveophans FIVEOJOE.

    loved it ! doris and steves arch is big and deserves many seasons- also . me smells a temp assignment for “billy” who will get in between our mcroll and force steve to finally man up. what an awesome ending and a great way to keep us reeling for the summer–.hope to see alot more wofat in the first few eps before he ultimately escapes again! love the tension

  • https://www.facebook.com/nadia.correia.5 Fanmisa

    Best season finale of the 3 imo
    I loved every second, and the end was heartbreaking and breathtaking !
    Kono/Adam storyline was brilliantly written during the entire season !
    New character Billy ! I DO NOT LIKE HIM ! LOL just kidding, can be interesting to developp Steve/Cath in s4 !
    Doris/WoFat still no answer but I LOVE THAT WAIT ! Getting us all nervous and absolutely loving it !
    Starting to think that WF could be a good guy and not the bad one shown since s1 ;)

    Hiatus will be a real torture !
    Awesome review as always Wendie ! 2 thumbs up ! xo

  • http://twitter.com/lmk66 lainie

    I totally agree. That was what I was feeling last night- like there was no reward for being a loyal and faithful doggie all season. They didn’t even throw us one bone. Lets say it had ended with “Steve, Wo Fat is your brother….. but I am not your mother…..” or something as intriguing as that. Would have closed one door and opened another. Instead, we were stuck with nothing.

    Also, I feel like Kono will be back in S4 full time. They can use the ‘many months later’ writers tool and have it be that Adam ditched her somewhere ‘to keep her safe’. And, of course, Mama McG went back into hiding too.

    Regarding the Danny storyline- what did Scott Caan do to deserve such a weak finale? I for one think there is no way Gabby is staying. She will come back for an ep or two and then decide she misses her excursion and needs to go back- therefore breaking Danny’s heart again. Did they make him happy this time, because he had so much angst in S1 and S2? So, they thought they would do opposite this time? Well, it might have worked if it hadn’t been months since we mentioned Gabby (with exception of last week).

    I also think they threw in Cath’s ex bf as a way to appease the McRoll haters. This way, they have ‘hope’ of a breakup. It does open up an interesting storyline, and possibility of a Cath exit. So, TPTB threw it out there. Only satisfying thing for me in the show was Chin’s willingness to move foward with his life- that was the most affirming thing in the ep. Other than that, I was left feeling like “that’s it” at the end of the show. Ok, I know I will have haters now, but I had to say my peace.

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

    Great review Wendie! I thought the finale was very well done. I do agree it would have been nice to get a bit of a bone in the Doris/WoFat story but I think, maybe, that story was amended based on the availability of Christine for S4. Since her pilot was not picked up she will be more available for H50. Therefore it was possible to stretch that storyline out a bit further. IF her pilot HAD been picked up and her availability uncertain, I think they would have revealed more and then had Steve spend S4 searching for her and more answers. This way, he can, eventually, confront her again face to face. There was no guarantee that would happen if her pilot had been picked up.

    I so understand why Kono felt she had to leave with Adam. She loves him, that’s for certain but also because Adam has been there for her. He saved her life and he’s attempting to clean up his business as a show of good intentions to her. She couldn’t let him face whatever is out there waiting for him alone. I totally get that. If it was me, no way I’d let my man go off alone either.

    I liked how Chin and Danny ended the season. Nice to see Chin finally be “ready” to move on and try to be happy. And it was wonderful to see Danny end the season with a smile on his face since we KNOW that won’t last.

    I’m glad you brought up Dennis Chun too. When I met him in Hawaii I asked him a couple questions about Duke and his relationship with Five-0 and he said he plays it that Duke has a love/hate relationship with McGarrett. He respects him. He respects his service and the fact that he will go above and beyond to call for justice. He respects how he will do anything to protect his team. BUT Duke is a cop to the bone and feels rules and procedure are there for good reason and must be followed. When Five-0 goes beyond what Duke feels is proper he just can’t abide it. Dennis plays this war within Duke extremely well!

    Thanks Wendie for another great season of Redux. Can’t wait for Season 4 to see what TPTB at Five-0 have in store for us and what great reviews you’ll produce because of it. Mahalo sistah…good luck in your next endeavors! LUV YA

  • http://twitter.com/H50BAMF ESS

    Great review Wendie. I have a love/hate relationship with this finale. In one way I think it FAR surpassed last season’s. It was tight, action packed but not overly so, the surprises I thought we were going to get didn’t happen and gave us different ones instead. Not that I loved the unexpected surprises but I give them props for pulling it off! lol.

    Pros:

    1. agreed anytime Duke is onscreen, especially when he’s having moments with McG are truly priceless. Love that he’s a bigger character as the show goes on.
    2. Adam left the island. I just don’t like this storyline and Adam is the least interesting and convincing Noshimuri on the show. I’m happy he’s gone.
    3. The ending with WoFat didn’t play as predicted and I literally can’t wait to see who is coming in the door and how McG will handle them. The possiblity of WF and McG being allies? Sign me UP!!!

    Cons:
    1. The introduction of Cath’s ex-BF was unnecessary and stupid. I really hope they don’t go down that predicable, unfulfilling road. They have the chance to do something really unique with these 2 wonderful actors and char’s. If they change their focus to some stupid competition or angst, it will be the first nail in the coffin for me.
    2. Michael’s death – another misuse of a potentially wonderful recurring bad character. He’s mysterious and powerful. They really lost out there.
    3. Steve letting Doris off the hook in his office when he had her backed into the corner. Really show?? Steve should have yelled, “NOT NOW DANNY!!” and given her 5 more minutes. He KNOWS giving them a “to be continued” never ever works. Sigh.
    4. FONG BETTER NOT DIE!! (but MN stabbing him? brilliant!!!)

  • pauldunn1

    Wendie,
    Great review as always for the end of another season. I agree that Dennis Chun is the best HPD rep on the show. The scene is always a good one when he is in it. I do hope that Kono returns. Is there any backstory about contract issues or her wanting out for some reason?

    Yes I would have preferred a resolution of sorts with the Momma McG storyline.

    I will look forward to your summer notes about the show. Have a nice break from your teacher duties and have a great summer.
    Paul
    ,

  • LiL

    I’m really worrying about this ex-boyfriend storyline. For me it’s too much. Hope that writers won’t change such good and funny tv show in some sort of love story drama or sopa opera. Danno and Gabby, Chin with new gf, Kono and Adam and now Steve, Cath and Billy? Geez, we have enough love triangles in True Blood or The Vampire Diaries ;) More oldschool action, please!

  • http://twitter.com/hedwig2212 Dina

    I adore your reviews!! I adore how you “left” out Gabby too heheheh! It wasn’t a BAD episode but it wasn’t nail-biting either- it was very predictable and as other have stated all questions and no answers doesn’t make for a conversation and will turn more off than keep fans tuned in. I loved how Adam has turned into hero and lovely comparison of Romeo and Juliet. Gabby Danno I was TRULY hoping for intrigue-(alliterative motivate for her return) but fans have been screaming for happy Danno- well they got it- and yet some still complain ;=) We all know what i hope for “endgame”
    Chin’s call was nice we have see that in play and I think done nicely as well. I dont MIND waiting for McMom answers but the way it has been drawn out really over 3 seasons (there is still champbox stuff NOT answered) it is a bit too long in coming and reaaalllly think Peter and crew better give up some answers QUICK or fans gonna loose all interest.
    The only true surprise for me was Fong- WOW that was brilliant and help my breath and Michael walked in.. GREAT STUFF!!

  • KAD1228

    Great review Wendie. I’m equally sad and frustrated with the finale. Like you, I have a lot more questions than answers. I really wanted resolution to the Mom arc. I was so very glad when Steve finally got in her face and I thought, yes, finally an answer, but catching the bad guy got in
    the way.

    Wo Fat and Steve allies? Could be. I didn’t think I’d see Steve become allies with Adam and the Yakuza either. I don’t feel they’re brothers, but I feel Doris could have been married to Wo Fat’s father before John, making her WF’s stepmom. I agree that this storyline is worth following (and would be even better w/out Doris further muddying the waters). What I found interesting and heartbreaking was how choked up Steve got hugging Kono goodbye and making her keep her promise of a not if, but when, I return. His face took on a whole different look when he hugged Doris, relief, resignation. Chin was so devastated – I do wonder if what he whispered in Kono’s ear had something to do with his calling Lelani and taking a step forward with his life?

    I truly hope that Kono won’t be leaving permanently. Don’t get me wrong, I like Catherine, but she doesn’t belong on the team. It’d change
    the dynamics of the team to greatly. As for her ex-bf showing up, what was w/that? Hopefully not a potential team replacement (ugh, shades of LG all over again – the thought makes me cringe). We need our Kono back. And Charlie. And Adam.

    It’s going to be a very long summer break. I look forward to
    your summer blogs!! Mahalo for all you do!! Is. It. September. Yet??

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002803637625 Sally Amelotti

    We lost our feed last night due to bad storms. Our friends/neighbors took us in so we could see the season finale. The only problem is the DVR didn’t get it recorded so I will have a mad 10 yr. today. Will have to watch it on the computer, good but not the same. Your review was great. I can’t believe Kono will be gone for long cause after all Adam is head of the Yakuza. Hopefully Fong will be back and omg Doris we still don’t know the secret. That was the most hair pulling moment. Maybe Wo Fat will tell Steve the answer but I’m guessing not. Can hardly wait for Season 4 and I know it will be a very long summer, but it will give us lots to talk about. Have a great day.

  • http://twitter.com/lunaterra12 Luna McBetter

    Excellent review! You said many things I have said or thought myself. Will be waiting anxiously for season 4! Mahalo!

  • edmattes763

    Wendie There were photos posted thru Twitter in mid-April thru Peter Lenkov and Jeff Cadiente showing Grace and Ian filming scenes to be shown in 4.01, so they will at least be in that one. They didn’t say how long the two would be hiding.

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

    I liked it. Did Kono hug Danny? Oh well, can not wait til season 4.

  • junewilliams7

    Re: “I know we’re all eager to hear the official story to why Grace Park seems to be written out of the storyline for a while”

    Last week, in your column, reviewer “TheRealScoop” said the Kono actress is pregnant and going on maternity leave. I don’t know if that’s true, so maybe her agent could tell you that answer?

    I just hope “Geek God” Charlie Fong returns!

  • Robb Peterson

    Actually, I’d like to know why Angie Laprete is not in front of the camera! She’s gorgeous, very pono and I love her madly. She helped me get Brooke Burns to assist me with a March of Dimes event several years back when Baywatch was in town. Angie, you slay me!!

  • Diane

    Hi Wendie. I agree with you, I was so looking forward to them giving us a good answer about Doris and WoFat, and instead was disappointed. I think the writers on H50 tend to drag things out too long. Although I am here for the long run, I’m sure that they are losing people because of that. As you said, you can answer a question and still have more questions to keep you watching. So I was disappointed in the writers this season because of that.
    Otherwise, I felt the finale was entertaining. I don’t think Kono is gone for long. There are rumors as to why, but Grace Park deserves her privacy, and will tell us the reason when she feels ready to. As for Catherine’s old boyfriend showing up, I remember Michelle Borth stating that Steve and Catherine’s relationship would be a rocky one. But I hope, and feel pretty confident that they come together again, if anything does happen. I think that they work well together. I can’t see Steve with anyone else. Looking forward to next season. I hope the writers listen and give us answers a little quicker next season. I know a lot of people think the move to Friday is a death sentence, but I feel its a fresh start and would do well next to Blue Bloods. I’m looking forward to watching them without having to get up the next morning to go to work. Thanks for your reviews Wendie, you have done a great job all season.