Five-0 Redux: In too deep
BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser
Leave it to “Hawaii Five-0” to remind us that chasing bad guys, avoiding bullets and getting punched in the face is a whole lot easier than taking care of a wee little baby.
If you’ve ever had to change your shirt because it was covered in peas, make up a story on the spot, or been charged with diaper duty, you are most likely nodding your head in agreement right now. Babies are adorable, but as our friendly Five-0 team proved this week, it was probably easier to break Chin Ho out of Halawa Correctional Facility than it was to babysit Mary Ann McGarrett’s newly adopted daughter, Joan.
And while we may have loved McG’s flighty sis (played by recurring cast member Taryn Manning) in the past, she’s hardly mommy material. Over the last three seasons she’s been detained twice by TSA, almost gone to jail for smuggling, changed jobs several times, and her love life has been nowhere near idyllic. So now she’s responsible enough to adopt a baby?
Yes, I know, it’s a television show, but if you just look at her own mother as a role model, no one should let Mary Ann near children.
She was great with the old gent she cared for in “‘Ōhuna,” but being a companion to an adult is far different than raising and caring for a child. I was glad both McG and Danno voiced my doubts about Mary Ann’s ability to parent. But at least she was smart enough to reach out to folks who are responsible and have the means and rationale to care for an infant — Uncles Steve, Danno, and Chin Ho.
Along with the “Three Men and a Baby” cuteness that infiltrated this week’s episode, “Ua Nalohia” (“In Deep”), the overall procedural was interesting and kept the team on their toes.
The very loose translation of “Ua Nalohia” corresponds to the police procedural part of the episode, about ATF undercover agent Matt Hutchins (Hawaiʻi-based actor West LeClay) being in too deep in a three-year sting operation to catch a gun and drug dealer.
Alvin Joiner, better known as hip-hop artist and television personality Xzibit, played JC Dekker, the bad guy who thought Hutchins was his friend, and for most of the episode I wondered if he really was a bad guy. I almost felt bad when McG arrested him at the end.
While Xzibit wasn’t billed by his famous moniker (he was listed as Alvin Joiner and not mentioned in a press release as a featured guest star), actress Daryl Hannah was — yet she only had a five-minute scene with Scott Caan and Baby Joan. And while she gave the team a clue that helped solve who killed Hutchins and tried to turn him into shark bait, she really didn’t have much of a chance to shine.
But it was great to see recurring cast member Chi McBride as Captain Lou Grover, which really helped amp up the action. Sure, Grover brought the SWAT guns in and added some macho moves to challenge McG in both the shootout scene and the operation at the Honolulu Zoo, but when Grover tried to buy Chin’s Wailana Coffee House pancake breakfast and made an attempt to play toward Chin’s loyalty to his “true” brothers in blue, it really confirmed his thoughts and feelings about Five-0 and McGarrett.
For Grover to say that McGarrett is “not a real cop” was insulting at best, and Chin turning down his breakfast treat was the perfect response. It’s too bad Chin couldn’t have kept texting Leilani (how cool were those effects?) and left Wailana with a better taste in his mouth.
Yet, I was as glad as McG to see the return of Charlie Fong, played by fan favorite Brian Yang, who has been busy promoting “Linsanity” around the globe. Yang helped produce the stellar documentary about NBA star Jeremy Lin, and has not been seen on “Hawaii Five-0” since last May in the season finale “Aloha. Malama Pono,” when he was unceremoniously stabbed by Michael Noshimuri (Daniel Henney).
Needless to say, it was great to see the Fonger “making up for lost time” back in his lab and looking as smart and handsome as ever. They need to stop hurting our geek gods (Fonger stabbed and Max shot in season three, and last week Max almost turning into a zombie).
While the overall investigation moved along and was easy to predict, the side stories were much more interesting to me. They definitely hung on to the theme of being “in deep.” McG and Cath (Michelle Borth) getting dressed in the opening and having a serious conversation about her walking into her own “investigation” of Yakuza henchman Hideaki Kuroda (Brian Tee of “Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift” and “The Wolverine” fame) in order to find Sato, and eventually Adam Noshimuri, was sexy and serious at the same time.
McG’s concern was palpable, and when he handed Cath his Five-0 badge, it was a nice foreshadowing of the episode’s ending scene. Cath was pretty deep into this investigation, fueled only by friendship and love for Chin, as well as for her friend Kono. But when things turned and she was fighting for her life, it turned the title into “in too deep” pretty quickly.
Watching Cath kick some major Yakuza butt was one of the best fight scenes this season. Stunt Coordinator Jeff Cadiente did an amazing job setting up the restroom brawl between tiny Borth and tough guy Tee, which was both fast and furiously cool. I’m glad she got the information to hopefully find Adam so the team can bring Kono and Adam back. And soon.
The team doesn’t seem the same without Kono; and now when I say team, I do include Cath. I think she offers an interesting dimension to the original four, and if we look at how much she has actually worked with McG and the team in the past, she has always been there, just not officially until McG “deputized” her and handed her a Five-0 shield.
Yet the best scenes of the episode had to have been McG and Danno with baby Joan. How could you not love watching McG toss her into the air, and Danno telling her a lovely story about a handsome prince who has his black stallion taken away by a selfish hairy ogre? O’Loughlin and Caan played proud fathers really well, and while O’Loughlin is a real-life dad and Caan plays one on TV, both made it look really adorable and pretty sexy. It also helped that Baby Joan (who was uncredited on the CBS press site) was utterly perfect.
Overall, this week’s episode was a good one with some nice humor, cool action, and lots of cuteness. While lighter in nature than past episodes this season, it was worth watching the team get in too deep with their case, a sweet niece, and now, a new team member. I just hope the dive into these new depths pays off in the end.
Redux Side Note:
Hawaiʻi-based actress Cathy Foy, who played Nani, Chin Ho’s favorite Wailana Coffee House waitress, was also in the original “Hawaii Five-0” in 1978 as a receptionist and in 1979 as a telephone operator. A former Miss Hawaii, she is known for her stage work in Hawaiʻi and on Broadway, as well as for her role as “Bloody Mary” in the 2011 national tour of “South Pacific.”
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.