Five-0 Redux: Fallen hero

Oct. 26, 2013 | 19 Comments

Joe White (Terry O'Quinn), right, returns to "Hawaii Five-0" this week. (Courtesy CBS)

Joe White (Terry O’Quinn), right, returns to “Hawaii Five-0″ this week. (Courtesy CBS)

BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser

Oh, “Hawaii Five-0.” How you tease us with your “A Hero Will Fall” promo, complete with McGarrett at Catherine’s bedside looking so lost, that I’m sure half of the “Five-0” fandom thought he was going to lose his best girl. I bet there was more wringing of hands and anxiety-filled neck rubbing about the noticeable shortage of right-hand-man-BFF Danno than about Cath’s much-hyped hospital stay.

Yet, we did lose another hero, just not the character we were lead to believe. But that’s okay; what kind of show would it be if no one was ever threatened and no one faced any danger, random gunfire, or blood loss every week?

This week’s episode, “Kupuʻeu,” was creatively translated as “Fallen Hero,” although it actually means “rascal” or “scamp” before the secondary definition of “hero” or “wondrous one.” Kupu’eu are more the embodiment of a hero who is rebellious and doesn’t adhere to normal rules of society.

Seems to sum up a Navy SEAL rather perfectly, don’t you think?

So, perhaps the title fits. If you think about the types of SEALs “Hawaii Five-0” has created for us: McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), Joe White (Terry O’Quinn), Wade Gutches (David Keith), Freddie Hart (Alan Ritchson) and Billy Harrington (Justin Bruening), each one almost perfect embodiments of the definition of “kupuʻeu.” Rascals. Scamps. Mischievous men who show their exemption from the taboos of ordinary men.

Yes, I’d say that would describe these SEAL brothers without a doubt.

While this episode dealt more with the death of Billy Harrington, shot during a seemingly routine surveillance of a cheating husband (Paul Bauer). Billy and Catherine (Michelle Borth) were both caught in the crossfire of a professional hit, commissioned by what McGarrett at first thought was the work of the “first oldest motive” — a woman scorned.

In typical “Five-0” fashion, the red herrings were three-fold this week. First it was the cheating husband’s wife, Sandra Cutler (Monica Lacy), then it became the cheating husband’s betrayed partner in crime Lee Benner (Larry Poincexter), then his call-girl mistress Abby Maxwell (Lacey Beeman). All of whom lead you away from the real culprit, the call-girl’s assistant Andrew Burns (Logan Fahey), who was so in love with his boss he hired hitman Jason Kroll (John Mark Harmon) to kill the one person she thought would make her an honest woman.

McGarrett’s second oldest motive — unrequited love — seems to have won this round.

We also saw the continuation of the Momma McG mystery. Not only did we see the return of Joe White, but we were also reminded of our old enigma, the Champ box, and all of its returned clues and evidence once believed stolen and lost forever.

Didn’t see that one coming, did you? (And don’t tell me you didn’t think, “Is Joe looking at the hatch numbers?” All you “LOST” fans had a little moment, didn’t you?)

I did like the scene between Danno (Scott Caan) and Joe White driving along a haul cane road, with Danno trying to have a cargument with a reluctant Joe, who pointedly asks him, “Is this what you and Steve do? Bicker like an old married couple?”

Why yes, Joe, that is what they do. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

Alas, Joe won’t play along, but his advice to Danno is great: “If we start turning over rocks we may be more afraid of what crawls out.” In the case of Momma McG, which is who McG wants Joe to find, I’m not surprised at Joe’s analysis of the situation.

But Joe is also right about one other thing; when Steve looks at him he sees an ulterior motive, and when he looks at Danno he sees a friend. But Danno actually has to be in the episode to offer his help, and while he did offer Cath a sympathetic hug for Billy’s death and McG his help to find the killer of a fellow SEAL, it was Chin Ho (Daniel Dae Kim) who did all the heavy lifting.

Catherine took the other lead in the case, as she was Billy’s friend, business partner, and felt completely responsible for his death. All legitimate reasons for her being on the case. Still, I missed Danno. It doesn’t feel the same without him. Or Kono.

I really miss Kono. Even the small snippets of interplay of Kono and Adam on the run are just not enough. It’s like getting to have one mini-Snickers on Halloween night. I need more sugar to get my fix. But the scenes they are slowly doling out are so intriguing. I really hope we get an episode where the team comes to her aid, and brings the two of them home safe and sound. I love all the Romeo and Juliet stuff, but my nerves are shot.

Now, with Adam sacrificing himself for Kono so she can get away and Kono telling Chin, “I love you cuz, but I’m not coming home without Adam,” it looks like this storyline is going to be played out like the sweet torture it’s been set up to be for all the fans. Just lovely.

All in all, it was a good episode. I loved the drama with Kono; Billy and Cath’s shootout; McG’s anxiety; and all the respectful treatment during Billy’s passing. How Joe informs the morgue attendant (Chad Takesue) about Billy and what he has done for our country, and the moving military funeral on the bow of a US Navy ship, as well as the lovely post-funeral Irish ceremony at O’Toole’s Irish Pub, complete with the singing of “The Minstrel Boy” really brought home the symbolic nature of the title.

Episode director Jeff Hunt shared with me last February how much he respects the military and all they do to serve our country. This was evident in the respect and care he took to show the moving tribute of the 21-gun salute, the presenting of the colors, and the playing of “Taps” at Billy’s funeral.

Hunt is well known for his action filled episodes, and since we opened with Kono and Adam trying to run from the Yakuza; Cath and Billy in a gunfight; McG and Cath chasing the lolo who “found” the victim’s car with the keys in the ignition; and included a bathroom shootout with the killer for hire, I’d say there was enough action for Hunt to shine. Still, the stronger scenes of tension and drama were nicely paced and played out. I wanted a better procedural, but I think I say that every week when the story that holds all the better parts of “Five-0” together is sort of ho-hum.

I’m just glad that Billy was laid to rest as a good guy. Every SEAL brother should get the same treatment.

Redux Side Note

This week’s TNT episodes were two fan favorites: “Ua Hiki Mai Kapalena Pau” (“Until the End is Near”) and “‘Oia‘i‘o” (“Trust”), both episodes that ended season one.

Next week will be the third annual Halloween episode, airing Friday, Nov. 1, and it looks like this year it will be about zombies. I suppose if you have had two significant actors from “The Walking Dead” (Norman Reedus, who played Anton Hesse, and Lew Temple, who played Stuart Rizzi, in “Kahu”) already on “Hawaii Five-0,” I guess the actual zombies aren’t too far behind.
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Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

  • FIVE0JOE

    i thought it was excellent wendiejoy- hmmmmmmm your fair but i have to disagree- i didnt see it coming with who dun it – usually i have it guessed by halftime — i think this was a five star ep–.Borth shined – i can see this going to a ‘join the team’ ep – next week or two — i loved all the acting with al and borth and im never disappointed with anything kono- im so glad they had the foresight to shoot her scenes last year because just like when we were missing alex it just isn’t five-0 without her! anyway season 4 is really shaping up and the joe white who is not my favorite character because i don’t like how he deceives steve, really dropped some future arch’s on us last nite- Doris – is she dead or active? all i can hope for is that she comes back because she is missed! (although i think she can easily carry a spin-off) I can not wait for the haloween ep- being a huge zombie fan-although I’ve noticed the promos this year have been very misleading – don’t know if that’s good or bad but it hasn’t changed my enjoyment of the show. id give my left one to be able to outline an episode – the more i watch every episode the more ideas i have for great ones but i’m just a joe with a big imagination. i think the writers are the rite guys for the job lol — my only problem with this one emotionally was no one was really effected with Billys death in my humble opinion because we weren’t bonded ( given enough of his character to love him or hate him )- it was just kinda like – oh they killed billy off – maby a few more eps would have had a more emotional impact on us . having said that the military service and the – (im irish) – irish pub scene really tugged on my man heart – i loved how they chose to end the episode. i cant get enough of this show . im gonna need meds when its finally put to rest one day – lets hope it stays longer than 2 more seasons! i feel Alex on wanting to capture his opportunities but damn boy – we love steve mcgarrett!! Peter and company really put alot of love into this show and it comes out on screen– nothing comes close for me – just the best mix of everything rolled into one very fast hour!!

  • LindaStein

    Great review Wendie…as always. I really really liked it but for some reason I didn’t get the WOW factor I thought I would. I thought Michelle did a fantastic job keeping Cath just on the edge of keeping it together and falling apart. Alex was…well, Alex giving me everything I always expect from him andnothing less but for some reason the episode just felt off to me.

    Maybe it was Billy’s death that really didn’t move me all that much. He wasn’t around for very long. He didn’t really form any kind of bond with anyone other than Cath and even that was more a left over bond from their past. He never bonded with the audience other than viewing him as a weasel after Steve’s lady. So his death was kinda anti-climatic for me. I knew it was going to happen and it did.

    I think the other reason the show felt off was there was no Danny. I totally understand why Scott wasn’t in the episode much and I admire Scott’s commitment to his charity causes and the show’s willingness to allow their stars some latitude with scheduling. But even understanding why it is so, I still miss them when they are not there. At least the Kono/Adam arc adds some drama to the whole package even if their snippets of screen time are very small but Danny’s absence last night really didn’t make a ton of sense to me. As much as I would have disliked not seeing him at all, it probably would have made more sense, story wise, if Danny hadn’t been there at all. They could have just said he was with Gracie at the Cheerleading competition on another island or something and just couldn’t be there. Having him there DID give us that great little scene with Joe in the car but that really didn’t make up for the fact that he showed up, leaving Gracie’s competition to help the team with the case then just disappeared. Chin did all the work along with Steve and Cath. Even Joe did more work on the case than Danny did.

    I did really like it, it IS Five-0 after all.

    • LindaStein

      Whew! :-)

  • Maria Joao Cunha

    Another great review. For me I never thought that it was Cath, in fact last week I had made a bet with a friend saying that it was Billy who was going to die and I won that bet. I loved my Chin time. DDK and Alex are my 2 fav men of the show.

  • edmattes763

    You’re right Wendie. I was all ready to hate Billy as the sleaze who got between Steve and Catherine and they nipped that in the bud. A couple of random thoughts: for sure Joe (who apparently is living at least part time in Hawaii now) isn’t telling Steve everything about Doris … but is Adam being completely upfront with Kono about what he’s up to? He probably won’t be at that clock tower. And does Catherine join Five-0 or does she continue Billy’s business?

  • KAD1228

    It was a good episode. Had a bit more of a s3 feel to it rather than the romantic feel its been having. Truth be told, I’m missing the “old” 50 a lot. It has a way different feel to it this season. No hate please. I get the character development, the branching out but I want more procedural, with a sprinkling of other stuff. Not the other way around. I can’t say I’m sorry to see Billy gone, another s2 square peg, round hole scenario. I miss Kono, I missed Danny last night. The team is broken and the Chemistry is too. Hopefully they’re getting back on the right track. I’m sad. My favorite, must watch show is turning into a maybe I’ll watch. I’ll try to keep holding on and hoping.

    • Anna Sinclair

      I agree ….I am not happy with the new direction ….I miss the old H50 and our team…this season has been disappointing except for episodes 1 and 3 …they were great …from what I keep reading in interviews …Alex…Kono and Scott would be happy if H50 was not renewed for a 5th season….(my opinion) they want to move on !! …so sad….I didn’t have a problem with Billy and was totally surprised that he was killed off so soon…I was looking forward to see more of him …the show is becoming a romantic comedy….also my opinion ….I love the Kono/Adam scenes….5 episodes and no word about Fong….so bored with the Doris angle…let it go !!!

      • KAD1228

        Anna – I’ll keep it short and say I’m in complete agreeance with you. Many others feel the same and many others have stopped watching completely.

        • FIVE0JOE

          shows have to change and evolve in order to survive – if it was season one every year it would be gone by now – new characters new developments. everyone was screaming for more character episodes last year and now its not good enough. let the writers write– let the show entertain–if its not for everybody its not for everybody- but you have to infuse new life into a 4 year old show if your going to keep it fresh (my opinion)

      • Amy Denton

        So, you missed the Tweet from Peter that Charlie will be returning in Episode 7?
        Oh ye of little faith…

        • Anna Sinclair

          why has there been no mention of Charlie on 5 episodes….he was stabbed in the season 3 last episode …I know he’s coming back but I find it very disturbing that nothing was said about the stabbing and if he was dead or alive !!

  • Angela Gerstner

    Wendie, I know you love your Navy heroes but even though Billy was a hero in the Navy, I’m so glad he’s the one who got killed – not only because I didn’t trust him with Cath but mainly because I’d hate to lose someone like Cath or Kono instead!
    I also have the impression that Billy still sort of “stands between” Cath and Steve because the loss of Billy has obviously affected Cath more than it (probably) should – considering that she’s in a relationship with Steve who stands by her side and tries his very best to comfort her and to take care of her (I loved him in the hospital scene!) – while Steve himself is in an emotional turmoil because of his Mom who is once again hiding from her son. I think Joe has probably told Steve the truth at the end of this episode.
    It’s true that Danno and Kono got very little screen time but we all know that Scotty and Grace have good reasons for that in real life, so it’s o.k. with me. At least we got to see a lot of emotional Steve and Cath, as well as Chin – whom I all like very much.
    This episode has definitely left us with many good reasons to look forward to upcoming episodes (And I’m not talking about the Halloween zombies which I could do without) because it’ll be very interesting to see how much Billy’s death will keep influencing Cath’s state of emotions and, thus, her relationship with Steve who seems to sense that Cath is mourning maybe a little too much over Billy. Then there’s also the open story for Kono and Adam which will hopefully have a good ending for both of them – and, last but not least, we’ll see Steve struggling with his feelings about his mother. These personal conflicts of Steve have always been one of my favorite parts of the show because Alex does such a great job at playing emotional stuff.
    Personally, I thought this was a fantastic episode but I’m sure not everyone will agree with me :-)
    PS: Great review as always, Wendie! And sorry for writing so long – I swear I’m not trying to compete with Linda :-)

  • Dina

    Nice Job Wendie as always!

  • alavenia

    Again Wendie, thanks for an awesome review, I enjoyed the episode very much, I thought the scenes played by Alex and Michelle were outstanding, terrific performances, and I am looking forward to find out out Mama McG is up to.

  • https://twitter.com/FanmisaN Fanmisa (Nadia)

    Another amazing review as always Wendie ! Thanks !!!
    I don’t agree with all but I have a few point I do … Missing Danny and Kono ? YEAH I did too ! BUT i trust the writers and what they’re preparing for us about Kono is gonna be BIG i’m pretty sure so I just try to be patient and to enjoy every second of Kono and Adam we can have … they were priceless !
    Scott was in LA when they filmed it so i think it explains a lot and like you I loved the convo with Joe !

    Michelle and Alex KILLED it – like they did on 3.20, it all goes emotions, BAMF and love and i just can’t have enough of this, LOVE LOVE it !

    About Billy’s death, maybe too early, I think I felt more bad for Cath and Steve than for Billy himself lol but i think we didn’t know him enough .. but the emotion we got from Cath was enough to blow me away … totally !

    Doris .. I feel more and more lost about her lol and with Joe coming back didn’t help me to get any answer lol really looking forward to see what they’ll bring next arounf Doris and Wo Fat

    not gonna comment more, already did on spoilertv this episode was really PRICELESS ! The entire team, writers, actors, stunts , crew … are doing an unbelivable job for this season, and its getting better and better every week !

    Mahalo Wendie for this AMAZING review again ! LOVE reading you xoxo

  • jlopie1

    Thanks for another awesome review, Wendie! You mean…you didn’t know it was going to be Billy who was our fallen hero? You should have asked me! I had that one pegged even before last week’s promo came out! Of course, that was the only one of my speculations I had right! Didn’t expect to see Billy check out before the first commercial, but it gave Catherine a lot of emotion to work through for the rest of the episode! Michelle did a fantastic job – kudos to her. I’m tired of Kono and Adam running all over the place! I like their loving looks and fear for each other, but COME ON! Let’s DO something! I know it’s coming, I just want it sooner rather than later!

    Joe White, I love you but sometimes I hate you! Here we are, right back where we were in S2, sneaking around and keeping things from Steve to protect him! I can’t believe Steve put the Champ box back in the garage with all his Dad’s investigation material sitting there – unlocked, no less! And Doris! Woman, you’re driving me, along with your son, nuts! Oh, well… I love this show no matter how irritated the characters can make me.

    This was a good episode, setting the scene for a lot more action later in the season. I enjoyed it, but no overwhelming love. I do hope viewers won’t get annoyed about the return of the McGarrett family saga and flee the coop again! The McGarrett story is the foundation of this series, and it’s not going anywhere until it’s complete!

  • Diane

    Hi Wendie. I had said I did not want the Billy thing to be dragged out, but I thought it would be there a little longer, and cause more of a riff between Steve and Catherine. It did surprise me that they killed this character off so quickly. I did however, like that they showed how much Steve and Cath care for each other. Along with most other people, I love the emotions both the actors show. Loved these two together.

    I do miss Kono being there more. The storyline however, is interesting. I don’t feel they are going to kill Adam off, at least not yet. Kono is just like her male team, she is not going to come home until she rescues Adam. I like that they do give us a little of Kono each week, so we don’t think she is forgotten. Chin’s emotion while talking to Kono was great too. DDK can be added to all the other actors on this show as doing a great job expressing their emotions.

    It was good seeing Joe, but he again is keeping stuff from Steve. I know its part of the plan for Doris’ return, but it seems so frustrating that Joe won’t just tell Steve what he knows. I’m loving this season.

  • Diane

    Oh, I forgot, seeing Alex in uniform is something that always makes my night. Have a great week Wendie.

  • pauldunn1

    Wendie,
    A great post with a plethora of excellent insights. I did not see either you or the other comments posted that mentioned a key part of the garage scene: the appearance of McGs original car. To me that was a scene stealer. Yes I did catch the Lost reference when Joe looked at those series of numbers. The coolest scene for me was when Cath and Steve were outside of the bathroom door wondering if the perp inside was armed; as he proceeded to blow the door apart with his shots. No Fong yet.
    Paul