Five-0 Redux: The truth is out there

Oct. 12, 2013 | 14 Comments

Jorge Garcia, right, is the featured guest star in this week's episode of "Hawaii Five-0." (Courtesy CBS)

Jorge Garcia, right, is the featured guest star in this week’s episode of “Hawaii Five-0.” (Courtesy CBS)

BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser

Leave it to “Hawaii Five-0” to make me wonder if my Hawaiian history kumu withheld information of hidden treasure, nefarious scandals and conspiracies while he lectured about the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi and the Kamehameha Dynasty. I can almost imagine conspiracy theorists hanging around Aliʻiōlani Hale and ʻIolani Palace trying to find hidden underground lava tubes, or making their way to Mauna ʻAla, the Royal Mausoleum of Hawaiʻi, to see what is really buried in its sacred ground.

No, folks, I’m not encouraging such investigation, because I am sure that the most conspiratorial story that comes from Hawaiian history is the true story of the annexation of the Hawaiian Kingdom and overthrow of the monarchy.

Still, this week’s episode, “Ka ʻoiaʻiʻo maloko” (three words, not four), meaning “The Truth Within,” helped to not only reveal a few truths within McGarrett and Catherine’s relationship, but also gave us a fun “theory” rolled up within the rich culture and customs of Hawaiʻi. Take it from this island girl with more than a pinky toe of Hawaiian blood, it was a solid effort from writers Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt. They took a nice chunk of real Hawaiian history, added some cool fiction to make it work for the show and rolled it all up into an entertaining story.

Not a bad ride for “Five-0” viewers, who not only love all things McGarrett and crew, but who also enjoy learning more about the state that shares its name with their beloved show. And anytime they can bring on a great guest star like Jorge Garcia, who played conspiracy theorist and Chin Ho’s fellow band pal Jerry Ortega, to help the team and add witty zingers to the storyline, I’m all for it.

I was a huge fan of one-season-wonder “Alcatraz,” Garcia’s first post-“Lost” adventure. His portrayal of Dr. Diego “Doc” Soto, comic book aficionado and Alcatraz historian and expert, really made the short-lived show worth watching. Garcia is, of course, well-known as the much beloved “Hurley” from “Lost” and has made a name for himself in roles that provide a bit of comic relief. While he’s famous for his comedic talent, he definitely has the dramatic chops to tackle serious leading roles as he did in both “Lost” and “Alcatraz.”

Jorge Garcia plays a conspiracy theorist in this week's episode of "Hawaii Five-0." (Courtesy CBS)

Jorge Garcia plays a conspiracy theorist in this week’s episode of “Hawaii Five-0.” (Courtesy CBS)

But in “Hawaii Five-0” this week, Garcia was all comedy. His scenes with fellow “Lost” alum, Daniel Dae Kim, were priceless, with Chin even saying that going to band camp with Jerry “was like being stuck on a deserted island.” Between Danno’s trademarked sarcastic zingers, from asking if they could feed Jerry after midnight to his “Say hello to the Hobbits” farewell, and Jerry’s “Holy Fox Mulder!” and telling Danno, “You are my Scully,” I could not stop laughing at the fast and furious pop culture references.

When Jerry came out in public despite his “surveillance problems” and revealed his conspiracy theory, I was sold on his eccentric nature and could go along with the Royal League and the Medici Rings connection.

Yes, folks, Jerry was right about the facts surrounding the Kamehameha statue. Thomas R. Gould, an American who was living in Italy, did create the statue that sits in front of Aliʻiōlani Hale (which stands in for Five-0 Headquarters). The original statue was lost at sea and was another ordered, and it is the second statue we see in the opening credits of “Hawaii Five-0.”

The original statue, which was cast in brass, was found near the Falkland Islands and sold back to the Hawaiian government. It was subsequently placed near Kamehameha’s birthplace in Kapaʻau on Hawaiʻi island. The fiction added to the story about the Royal League and scrimshaw key made the mystery behind what looked like an armed robbery even more interesting than just another murder-for-hire plot.

That kind of storyline — killing for money, lust or love — might have been popular when Gremlins were staying away from bright light and the “X-Files” were on television. Our modern minds want more intrigue and details. And a cool payoff.

Guest star Jorge Garcia, left, in a scene from "Hawaii Five-0" with Alex O'Loughlin, middle, and Scott Caan. (Courtesy CBS)

Guest star Jorge Garcia, left, in a scene from “Hawaii Five-0″ with Alex O’Loughlin, middle, and Scott Caan. (Courtesy CBS)

Overall, I thought this week’s episode had more sass, with Jerry’s quirkiness playing off Danno’s snarky one-liners, Max and McG announcing their BFF status, and Chin reluctantly admitting his former band geek status having added to the lightheartedness that surrounded the storyline. The more dramatic moments — Danno being concerned for the victim’s daughter, Catherine resigning her commission and McGarrett thinking that perhaps Billy isn’t really a shipmate he can trust — all helped to balance the episode.

There were some strong Hawaiʻi actors in the episode, some who could have used a few more minutes of screen time. Loretta Ables Sayre, who played Jerry’s mom, was sadly not used as much as her talent deserved. A Tony Award nominee for her performance as “Bloody Mary” in the 2007 revival of “South Pacific,” Ables Sayre could have played a much more significant character; perhaps in a different episode.

And Will Oak Wild, who played killer Ellis Gregory, had a cool action scene and spoke maybe one line, but not much else. It would have been great to see an interrogation scene with McG, or let him watch Jerry find the treasure so we could see his face when he realizes how close he really was to solving a 150-year-old mystery. Wouldn’t it have been just perfect to watch his face as Jerry, who still lives with his Mom, thinks phones are out to get him and closes his eyes so no one can take him out for seeing something top secret, open the Kamehameha statue to find the Medici Rings?

Two Hawaiʻi actresses did have nice scenes. Jesiree Dizon played the murder victim, Kaylea Van Horn, and Jenn Boneza played her sister, Alani. Boneza had two nice scenes with Scott Caan as they both mourned for her sisterʻs death as well as her niece, who was now an orphan. The ending scene when Danno brings Alani and the baby a stuffed monkey that his daughter, Gracie, has “grown out of,” was enough to make the entire “Five-0” fandom collectively sigh.

There was a lot to like in this episode: the fun, the comedy, the mystery, the history. But Danno might have been onto something when he said, “When things are good, nobody thinks they are going to go bad.”

I know he was speaking of Catherine and McG’s relationship, but you could almost relate it to “Hawaii Five-0.” This season started off on some really good footing, but I just hope they don’t lose their momentum. With all the story arcs continuing from last season, I’m thinking the “bad” may only come with criminals, villains and the return of Momma McG and Wo Fat.

But then again, wouldn’t that that be fun?

Redux Side Note

Every Thursday TNT gives us two hours with the Five-0 team. This week’s episodes were “Na Me‘e Lāua Na Paio” (“Heroes and Villains”) and “Ma Ke Kahakai” (“At the Shore”).

We haven’t seen the Fonger (Brian Yang) in the last three episodes. Do we know the fate of our favorite forensic Geek God? One can only hope Adam’s brother Michael didn’t end Fong’s tenure on “Five-0” in the season three finale. Perhaps Yang’s side film project, “Linsanity,” which screened at the Hawaii International Film Festival’s Spring Showcase earlier this year and opened in select markets this weekend, is extending his hiatus. Hopefully he’ll be back to help the team analyze evidence and solve crimes very soon.
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Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

  • Dina

    / yes Wendie!! it was a great show and the XFiles lines made me laugh out loud as well!!! I so look forward to your reviews- smart-and informational!!!

  • pauldunn1

    Wendie,

    Great info in your post, as well as a good ep. As a fan of Alcatraz and X Files, this was an extra special treat for me. (Lost, not so much). In any case I thought this was a nice break from some of the darker eps we have had in the past. I do think the storyline with Catherine should be interesting to see how it plays out.

    Two points for me to make: where the heck is the Fonger and glad to see that Duke was in a number of scenes (sometimes in the background).

    Paul

  • LindaStein

    Thanks Wendie! I remember hearing the story of the original King Kamehameha statue while I was in Hawaii so it was really cool to hear Jerry tell it again. As always, it’s wonderful to learn more and more about Hawaii and her history and I commend TPTB on this show for never forgetting they are in a land of such rich history and culture. It would be so easy for them to just use the pretty scenery as wallpaper and write stories that could actually be done anywhere else. The fact that they do not do that shows the respect they have for where they have chosen to create their show.

    I adored Jorge Garcia as Jerry and loved all the LOST references. Not only the “deserted island” line but also the fact that the treasure was buried “at the foot of the statue”. Yeah…I willingly admit…I still miss LOST! LOL I’m aso thrilled to hear from Peter that Jorge will be back later in the season. My geeky fangirl heart would adore a scene between Jerry, Max and Toast. It would be hysterical. Danny might just burst a blood vessel ROFL

    Speaking of Danny…damn…did he shine in this episode or what? Going from complete softie with the poor crying baby to total BAMF on the perps who dared hurt that innocent child then back to completely melt my heart with the baby again. I just adore when the writers let Scott really show every aspect of his talent!

    I’m also looking forward to the Steve/Cath/Billy storyline. I think it will be fun to see this new side of confident, self assured Steve being vulnerable. I just hope it doesn’t last too long. Steve and Cath care about each other too much to let it fester for very long. Just my opinion, of course.

    Anyway….another great episode. So far Season 4 has been nothing but good feels for me. Can’t wait to see more!

  • Robin Jane Bridges

    I really liked the episode last night. Apparently the bad guy network hasn’t gotten the message that if make a child cry, you deal with Dann’s dark side and Steve lets him. LOL!!!

  • Brenda

    It was a nice little light episode. Why do I have the feeling that fans are being set-up to have our hearts ripped out soon as this team can do so well. I can’t wait! I just know there is an intense story coming our way.

    Thanks Wendie for your blog.

  • Terry FiveOs

    Thanks for answering all the questions I had last night! You’re pretty handy to have around!
    ;-)

    I loved the combined integration of Hawaii history with a Raiders of the Lost Ark type mystery. Although a bit fantastical, it was a pleasant change from burned bodies, and severed limbs. I really, really, really hope we see the return of Jerry. He’s a nice challenge for Danny to deal with, a guy who can share fun, embarrassing secrets from Chin Ho’s geeky past, and someone McGarrett seems to have a natural affinity for.
    I enjoyed Alex O’Loughlin’s early humorous scenes with Jerry, but did think McGarrett got a bit too gushy at the end with the “I never doubted you for a minute,” comments. Really? This is Steve McGarrett, a man much more comfortable with fact than myth. I almost expected McG to tell Jerry, “I love you, man!” at the end. While I really enjoyed this episode by new-to-the-show writers Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt, let’s not lose touch with who our Five-0 team members are. Viewers have been irritated by character inconsistencies in the past couple of seasons, something that needs to be corrected, not continued.

    I loved that McGarrett told Catherine he was going to be there for her, showing his deepening commitment. He may have “issues,” but he’s not an immature teenager, and he’s realized and accepted how deep his feelings for his lady have become.

    I have to admit, I didn’t even miss the lack of Wo Fat, Doris, and even Kono and Adam on the run drama. This was a nice little self-contained episode, that still managed to set the stage for possible future tension with Billy Harrington. Who, by the way, I don’t trust at all…

    Oh, and adorable Danno and baby. Yay! I don’t know if Scott Caan would make a good dad in real life (this is acting, after all) but he aces those scenes every time.

  • FIVE0JOE

    loving this season – love the new writers – looks to be one of the best!!
    dont ususally drill it down – just enjoy my show so much
    love the direction peter is taking us

  • alavenia

    Loved the episode last night, lots of fun parts, thank you for the insight on Hawaiian history, you answered all my questions, and like Terry said I really hope Jerry will come back, he would be a fun addition to the team, thanks Wendie!!

  • Madaline Rico

    I did not know the story of the Kamehameha statue was true, with a twist! Thanks for enlightening us with your continued knowledge of Hawaiian history Wendie. I too enjoyed the way this episode was written. So different from the others. A big mahalo to the new writers Steven Lilien and Bryan Wydbrandt for such a creative storyline.

  • harryleemartin

    Great episode, and I don’t think I’ve laughed and chuckled more in all 4 years of H50. Thank you, as always, Wendie, for adding more to each episode. Always an enjoyable read.

  • KAD1228

    I enjoyed this episode a lot. I loved the DaVinci Code/Tom Hanks/Dan Brown feel it had. Danny is always at his best when kids are involved and he shined in this episode. I love that he’s Steve’s voice of reason and will always be there for him. And Jorge was so good and so much fun as an eccentric/misfit genius! I hope they bring him back! The writers did a great job of intertwining fact and fiction. Steve acknowledging to Catherine he’s not comfortable w/the new job scenario but trusts her spoke volumes of his coming to realize just how much she means to him. It had it all. A little procedural, a little romance and a lot of fun!! A nice change of pace (but don’t want it as a regular thing)!

  • Wendy Hansen

    I loved this episode so much. From the beginning, where we see Steve finally be honest with Catherine and show a little of his vulnerability, (“No, of course I’m not okay with it [Billy being her boss]! But I trust you, okay? That’s all I need.”) and can I just inject here and say ABOUT TIME McGarrett showed some cracks in that tough exterior when it comes to anything other than his parents. It showed, at least to me, just how much Catherine has come to mean to him. She’s his family.

    Then we have Jerry (Jorge Garcia, who is such a wonderful actor, that I could wax lyrical about him all day). Jerry is such a wonderful character – and with the witty repartee with Danno, it just killed me! I loved it! “You’re my Scully!” Totally brilliant! He was such a wonderful addition to the show and I hope we see him again in future episodes.

    This one was one of my favourites, between the relationship with Steve and Cath, Danny trying to give Steve his brotherly advice and then getting all jealous over Steve and Max’s new chummy “BFF” status (though I really did love how Steve was shocked at the price of the vinyl record. “$1300?? That’s a lot of money for me!” Tightarse. What the hell is he spending his money on??) when Max hands over Cath’s present. And then when they finally catch the criminals and Jerry is able to solve the mystery, proving his theory right!? Best moment ever! Loved it, loved it, loved it!

    I hate to say it though, I do believe that a storm is brewing with this Billy character. He has his eyes set on Cath, and I’m with Danny. Steve can trust Cath all he likes, but there’s no way he should trust Billy. That guy is gonna make a play for his woman. Which also reminds me of another favourite part, when Jerry commented on how beautiful Catherine was when they introduced her at the Navy Base, and Danny said to him to keep his hands off, her boyfriend was an animal, and he didn’t want any part of that. I giggled. Oh Danny. You’re a total wingman. Always having McG’s back. I love him!!

  • Diane

    Hi Wendie. Thanks for always letting us know what is real and what is Hollywood, when it comes to Hawaiian culture and history.

    Loved Jorge, I truly hope he appears again, great character. I loved him in Alcatraz also, I enjoyed the show, but it did not make it. As for Scott being a caring parent, he certainly knows how to play this. When ever there is a child involved, Danny always makes it personal, and Scott plays that beautifully. Loved the fun references, I would have loved seeing Chin in a band. I missed Kono, but I know she will be back.

    Well I knew Billy had an agenda, and I do think this is a good thing to do, showing Steve how much Catherine means to him. I can’t help get nervous for him, I’m sure he wins out in the end, but I also hope that they don’t drag it out too long. All relationships have bumps, but in TV, they need to be resolved a little quicker, to keep interest. I too wish they would at least say something about Fong, he is a loved character. Have a good week Wendie.

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

    Absolutely LOVE your review – Really interesting points put forward :)
    I’m really enjoying s4 so much ! It goes deeper into character’s feelings and life and it’s really well done !
    kudos to the writers who are doing an incredible job ! Peter totes rocks and he’s driving us to perfection !
    Loved to see Jorge on this ep – loved him on LOST, Jerry was SO SO great ! :)

    An amazing ep :) looking forward for next one :D
    xx