Five-0 Redux: Happily ever after
BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser
The last time we had a wedding on “Hawaii Five-0,” Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) married Malia (Reiko Aylesworth) in a simple ceremony under a lei-covered bower, and for a while it seemed as if they would live out their own version of happily ever after. We all know that happy endings don’t always start off with a fairy tale ceremony on a sunny ropical island. Sometimes happy endings, like for Chin and Malia, end in blood and tears. This week’s episode, “Aia lā aku” (“From this day forward”), seems like no exception.
The episode started off with a five-star wedding, where a beautiful bride Dahlia (played with Julia Roberts accuracy by Briana Lane) takes off moments before her marriage vows and crashes her cherry-red “Just Married” Mustang. While Elvis sings backup to her mascara-fueled weeping, she is pushed over the side of a ravine by a supposed good samaritan. The “good samaritan” turned out to be her brother, who in the past had run “sweetheart cons” where his pretty sister Dahlia duped rich men out of their millions after they proposed or married her.
This was the set up for this week’s police procedural, which even with guest star Rebecca De Mornay playing a good guy for once, didn’t really capture my interest as much as watching the subplots play out between the major characters. And while I am a huge fan of seeing more about Danno and Gabby’s relationship; Cath’s new job with ex-boyfriend, Billy; and of course, seeing Kono and Adam on the run — I really wanted a better case to be used as the vehicle for this week’s storytelling.
Still, the episode had some fun scenes, especially between McG and Danno. The carguments were hilarious and included a running commentary on not only the case they were working on, but their personal lives and various “issues.”
Danno seemed particularly “down on marriage,” which had a lot to do with the fact that girlfriend Gabby (Autumn Reeser) was offered a great opportunity in Denver, and would be gone for six months. Danno had to decide between supporting Gabby’s career, and giving up his part-time girl, while trying to concentrate on his full-time girl — his daughter Gracie (Teilor Grubbs).
Caan is really excellent at playing a father, and his scenes with Grubbs are always lovely and sincere. Grubbs seems to be really growing up before our eyes, but is still the same Gracie we fell in love with in season one when she played with Barbies and hustled Kamekona in poker. Yet when Danno does a McG and tells Gabby to take the job in Denver, it was the most gentle breakup scene I think I’ve ever witnessed on television.
Now I’m sure there are some fans who are sad about Gabby leaving, but actress Reeser is pregnant with her second child (did you notice all the strategic hiding of her belly with pillows, theatre seats, and kitchen counters?) so I think that could be one of the reasons they seemed to have ended that storyline for Danno.
I’m glad that they kept true to Danno’s character, as he always puts Gracie first, and I did like the fact that Danno got a chance to explain some of his feelings about his new home. You can’t help but fall in love with Hawaiʻi at some point even when you are forced to live there because of work or circumstance. They will grow on anyone if you play in its sands long enough. Gotcha, Danno.
This week’s episode sure focused on relationships. One relationship got a fast and furious update in the first few minutes of the show. Kono (Grace Park) and Adam (Ian Anthony Dale) are no longer in Hawaiʻi, but they surely have not been forgotten. Their scenes in Hong Kong were intense and violent, but it seems as if their relationship, for all it’s sexy forbiddenness, has always been rather rough; just add in a few showers and bubble baths, and wrap it all up with a little light kidnapping and plenty of duct tape. I bet they both would like to take a nice long soak, scrub off their fugitive grime and get off their feet, because they are still on the run with no end in sight.
Now that Kono is a target, I think Adam has made up his mind to force her to go back to Hawaiʻi where Chin and the team can protect her. They seem to be on their way out of Asia at least. Perhaps they will make their way to Canada and hide out there?
Nonetheless, Adam is on notice. Chin was not very happy with him and his forceful, “You promised to protect her … now DO IT,” was not a request as much as it was a demand. Part of Adam and Kono’s relationship is that they keep saving each other, so I wonder what it will be like when they can finally settle down and have their own happy endings?
I hope we see it soon and with more smiles than tears. They’ve had a enough of that for a while.
Of course, I can’t talk about happy endings or potential happy endings without talking about Catherine (Michelle Borth) and McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin). Their relationship, while seemingly getting stronger, seems to be threatened by Cath’s new boss Billy (recurring cast member Justin Bruening). McG keeps giving him the eye, but is it just McG being an alpha dog and letting Billy know who’s the boss?
While Billy seems a bit too good to be true for me, I wonder if Cath may have bitten off more than she can chew. Still, I’m with Danno, the whole situation — Cath working for and with her ex-boyfriend whose code name is “Big Kahuna” — is just all kinds of wrong. Yet I do love the fact that now McG owes Cath a few favors, and she’s cashing in. We never doubted she was a smart wahine, right?
I just hope that next week’s episode doesn’t bring an end to McG’s new found happiness. He could use a break when it comes to his women.
And I know you don’t want me to forget the best relationship of all: McG and Danno. I know your favorite scene was the McG/Cath and Danno/Gabby double date. That was just McG and Danno bromance perfection. Danno’s explanation of the romantic-comedy genre as a whole was classic snarky Danno at his best. Pair that with discussions of how weddings are bad ideas because no one should get married and that it only brings out jealous exes and murder; it was not only funny, but went along with the Danno we fell in love with from the start. You know he means what he says, but you can’t really take him that seriously when he uses words like “fisticuffs” in a sentence.
McGarrett and Danno both admitting they would miss each other if Danno moved with Gabby to Denver was just the perfect way to solidify their buddy cards. If there was only a few things to like about this episode, the McG and Danno scenes were the best parts.
Overall, this was a so-so procedural, with really great team centered scenes to help fill in the gaps. I suppose we would love each episode to end on a positive note like this week’s surprising happy ending. The runaway bride married the understanding rich guy, and Cath came home to a patiently waiting McG. If only everyone in “Five-0” land can find their own happy endings for the rest of the season — just with a little more action and drama mixed in.
Redux Side Note
I was one of the few optimists about “Hawaii Five-0” moving to Friday nights. I kept telling fans that airing between the popular “Undercover Boss” and the well-loved “Blue Bloods” was a great place to be in television land.
According to CBS, I was not far off. Their Friday night line-up is “posting across-the-board growth paced by its new 9 to 11 p.m. crime block of ‘Hawaii Five-0′ and ‘Blue Bloods,’ according to Nielsen most current ratings through the first three weeks of the season.”
“Hawaii Five-0” viewership is up overall 14% from last year’s Monday average, and up 27% from last year’s Friday night 9:00 (8:00 in Hawaiʻi) slot. Overall, viewership has gone from an average of 8.28 million to 10.54 million. And compared to Friday last year, CBS is up 9% in viewers overall (10.39 million from 9.57 million).
I asked Peter Lenkov what he thought about the success of “Hawaii Five-0” on Friday nights before “Aia lā aku” aired.
“We’re thrilled with our new home on Friday nights,” said Lenkov. “I’ve always said ‘Hawaii Five-0′ was a 9 p.m. family show. This proves it.”