Five-0 Redux: Escaping the past

Feb. 1, 2014 | 26 Comments

Michael Madsen guest stars in this week's episode of "Hawaii Five-0." (Courtesy CBS)

Michael Madsen guest stars in this week’s episode of “Hawaii Five-0.” (Courtesy CBS)

BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser

“Nā Hala a ka Makua” — “Sins of the Father” — was an apt title for this week’s episode of “Hawaii Five-0.” The idea of fatherhood seems to be a major thread that often weaves its way into many “Five-0” storylines, perhaps because the entire series started off with the death of McGarrett’s father, or that McG’s partner Danno is fiercely protective of his daughter.

Unfortunately, both men also know the impact of sins on fatherhood; sins that still haunt them well into the show’s fourth season.

This week’s episode was written by David Wolkove, who also worked on “Kūpouli ʻla” (“Broken”) and “Aia lā Aku” (“From This Day Forward”). Executive producer Peter Lenkov also brought Peter Weller back to direct this week; Weller also directed “O Kēlā me Kēia Manawa” (“Now and Then”) and one of the best of season three, “Hookman.”

Chi McBride, left, and Alex O'Loughlin in character on the set of "Hawaii Five-0." (Courtesy CBS)

Chi McBride, left, and Alex O’Loughlin in character on the set of “Hawaii Five-0.” (Courtesy CBS)

Leave it to “Hawaii Five-0” to bring us another episode focusing on daddy issues. Yet this week was a little different, as the issues had more to do with guest star Michael Madsen and his character, escaped convict Roy Parrish. Madsen is not really known for playing fatherly roles — although he did appear in the first two “Free Willy” films as foster dad Glen Greenwood. Madsen plays “Mr. Blonde” types more often, like the sadistic ex-con he played in Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs.”

I know we all saw a bit of evil in Parrish when he threatened to kill Danno (Scott Caan) unless McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) could get them through a police checkpoint. The sadistic part of the entire scene is when he calls Gracie (Teilor Grubbs) so that she can listen to her father die if McG fails. How scary is that?

Trying to reconcile Parrish as a “father” was hard for me to wrap my brain around, knowing he could still terrorize a child, even if it is “over the phone.”

The characterization helped show Parrish’s desperation and driving need to get what he wanted, despite what he wants not being what we are led to believe.

I love when the twist comes early. It is a nice payoff for us to see that even though he is a “three strikes” criminal and he obviously broke out of jail, kidnapped two cops, and held them at gunpoint without breaking too much of a sweat, he has a deeper and more altruistic need. Really, his need to escape has more to do with clearing his name so he could be seen as worthy enough to his daughter, Lauren.

Michelle Borth, left, and Daniel Dae Kim on the "Hawaii Five-0" set during filming of this week's episode. (Courtesy CBS)

Michelle Borth, left, and Daniel Dae Kim on the “Hawaii Five-0″ set during filming of this week’s episode. (Courtesy CBS)

I do love when this show gives me a reason to love a bad guy. Parrish’s short monologue about how much time he spent with his daughter and why he wanted to get clean after his second prison term was enough to lead me to the path of liking Madsen’s character. This had a lot to do with his acting; I know he is great at playing bad guys, scary guys and guys you’d never introduce to your mother, but he was just great as being someone who wanted a chance at being a dad.

I thought Madsen was going to just play a scary convict, bent on hurting McG and Danno, and perhaps dancing to a little tune and taking an ear off, but no — he really showed there’s more to Michael Madsen than just a scary guy. Perhaps it is all the poetry he has been writing (Madsen has published 9 books of poetry and photography via 13 Hands Publications), but he really got to me — and McG and Danno — with his want to prove to his daughter that this time he was innocent.

After McG and Danno heard his reason for breaking out of custody and taking them captive, they decide to help him clear his name, “because Five-0 are the only guys who will give him a fair shake.” I was in and ready for them to find the real bad guys. I sort of already knew that it was the “FBI” agent Kono and Chin met at Lauren’s house when they went to question her. It was a little obvious, but it might have been because Matthew Glave, who played Agent Kohl, usually plays smarmy characters. Kohl is really Julian Lynch, who set Parrish up to be his patsy.

A beautiful scenic shot of Honolulu is ruined by the sight of a few dead bodies. (Courtesy CBS)

A beautiful scenic shot of Honolulu is ruined by the sight of a few dead bodies. (Courtesy CBS)

Danno calling Parrish a patsy — a person who is easily swindled, deceived, coerced, persuaded — was spot on, and McG’s rub of Danno’s word choice, much like he has done in the past, was perfect “Five-0.” I know, we all love when Danno and McG poke and rib each other. Even when they have an escaped convict in the back of their car holding a gun to their heads, the bromance is always alive.

When Parrish tells McG to “shut up and drive,” and Danno quips back, “that’s going to be a problem,” it was pure gold. Not really a cargument, but much like the sarcastic back and forth that Danno and McG share in less stressful moments, which doesn’t usually involve a gun or a third person.

Having a larger part of the episode take place in the car was definitely a twist for the show, and while I always love episodes with McG and Danno as a focus, the rest of the team had their own turns at strong scenes as well. Chi McBride was back in uniform helping the team — and again being derailed by McG — in most of the episode. Grover really is turning into another part of the Five-0 Task Force, just in a SWAT capacity.

Kono (Grace Park) had a lovely scene with Parrish’s daughter, trying to help her see that she still loved her father and would only hurt more if she didn’t tell him her feelings. I love that Kono is back and even though she wasn’t in a lot of scenes, Park looked right at ease in her scenes and I’m glad she’s back full-time.

The episode had a lot of great action, with Madsen’s escape scene, McG’s outrunning of HPD, the shootout at Akama’s house and the drama of the ending was handled so well. I loved Lauren reading Parrish’s letters at the end, with Madsen’s distinctive voice over adding to the poignant moment.

Damn, “Hawaii Five-0” knows how to end an episode.

Scott Caan, left, and Alex O'Loughlin during filming of this week's episode of "Hawaii Five-0." (Courtesy CBS)

Scott Caan, left, and Alex O’Loughlin during filming of this week’s episode of “Hawaii Five-0.” (Courtesy CBS)

The secondary storyline of Danno’s Gracie punching out a fellow student only added to the theme of “daddy issues” in this episode. Danno’s discussion with the Principal Anne Fiske (Keiko Elizabeth) about potential mitigating circumstances causing Grace to hit Lucas Banks so hard that he required four stitches to stop the bleeding, was priceless. Daddy Danno not trying to be a cop, but just being a dad was very telling, and his daughter taking the Code of Omertà was priceless.

McG’s right— she’s scrappy, stubborn, hotheaded, and loyal to a fault; she’s you, pal. Better get used to it Danno, Gracie’s growing up. And you should be proud she has a mean right cross. Every girl should have that in her back pocket, because Daddy’s not always going to be around to give her a hand.

Redux Side Note:

Several Hawaiʻi actors were featured in this week’s episode:

» Chris Gritti was the Impala driver, the unfortunate young man who has his car — and his pants — stolen by Parrish.

» Jackie Tufa-Marques was the School secretary who showed Danno into the principal’s office at Gracie’s school.

» Geoff Heise was the federal judge who sentenced Parrish in voice over at the start and was seen on the bench at the end clearing the charges against Parrish.

» Keiko Elizabeth was Principal Ann Fiske who battled with Daddy Danno about Grace’s assault on bully Lucas Banks. Elizabeth is a former Hilo resident who most recently has been seen in “Hot in Cleveland” and “Days of Our Lives.” She is currently producing a show called “Disassembly” with Theatre of NOTE in Los Angeles, and is also working on the webseries, “Manny in Real Life.”

Next week, CBS will air the season four opener “Aloha Kekahi i Kekahi” (“Love One Another”). Be sure to also check out my review of the episode in case you missed it in September.
———
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

  • Dina

    You cranked this one out EARLY Wendie!!!! I liked the show but was not a fav. I agree with all your points except one – and of course you KNOW where i am going… and I’ll briefly just state that Danno is only one parent and as usual Peter and crew want us to complete forget the storyline they laid out for 2 seasons prior…..
    I actually wish that there was more with Matthew Glave he is a GREAT character actor.
    Yes the end was “ohana” but as our pal Ed said last night… after the line about the right cross the NEXT line should of been ” nah bray it was only a love tap!”

    • edmattes763

      Thanks Dina, I guess I’ve watched the pilot scene where Kono was intro’ed too many times. LOL
      I like this episode, the first that I can recall all season where the whole team was together helping each other out. (Except for Max of course, because a coroner wasn’t needed.) One minor nit I might like to pick, I’d have liked to see a small scene that showed Grace trying to contact somebody at Five-0 to tell them that Danno was in trouble. Gotta feel for Grover … McGarrett keeps mis-directing him. But Steve was true to his promise to Roy and did his best.

      • Wendie Joy

        Ed- I loved when Kono was introduced- “love tap” so awesome. And I’m with you- would have been great to see Max in there as well. My husband was upset that they weren’t hanging at the shrimp truck. LOL Thanks for reading and commenting. Aloha,Wendie

    • Wendie Joy

      Hi Dina- doesn’t Danno have sole custody of Grace? So I think when he got custody and Grace could stay in Hawai’i that’s how they could “justify” Rachel and Stan moving to Las Vegas. I think it was Las Vegas. Anyway, that was how they resolved that storyline- by giving Danno custody of Grace. I know, I know, that’s not what you want to happen– I’m with you– I’d love to have Danno and Rachel get back together. I was rooting for that when it happened in season one/two. Matthew Glave was on for such a short time– it’s too bad we couldn’t see more of him being evil. :D “Nah, brah, only a love tap!” That would have been classic! Thanks for reading and posting:) Aloha, Wendie

      • Dina

        I was pretty sure it was joint custody- but I guess I am wrong. It obvious Peter and crew want us to forget all about Rachel and Stan and Charlie- sad like you said A LOT of us were pulling for them for to get back together.

        • Wendie Joy

          I can’t really remember if it was sole or joint- but either way it does seem that it was a way for them to brush that storyline under the carpet. Too bad b/c it is a good story that would have made good drama on the show:)

          • Dina

            I agree any one of us “married folk” KNOW there is plenty of drama in that relationship and not EVERY marriage has to end in divorce.

          • Kaye Roberson

            Wendy Joy, I always enjoy you insights. Keep up the good work! The courts granted joint custody with a proviso that Grace was not to leave the islands. PTB never followed thru on whether or not Rachel actually moved to Las Vegas. Only guessing she did since Grace does seem to live with Danny now… tho ptb are missing what could be great story. Last night is a prime example, Rachel and Danny disagree on Grace punishment etc.
            On a side note, I love this show, never miss it but i do take issue with Kath. I like the character but not is a member of the team. Too much togetherness has ruined many good relationships. Maybe Hawaii police rules are different but short of having our own business, I know of no job where I could report to my husband. Kath running up to Steve for a hug was so unprofessional when she could see quite clearly that he was unhurt. geez. If Kath is gonna be a member she should remain inhouse and Kono in the field. just my opinion….

  • LindaStein

    Thanks again for a great review Wendie. I really liked this episode, not a favorite but a really good one. I loved that we had the entire main cast (well, except for Max) in on the case and it is soooooo wonderful to see Kono back with the team again. Of course, any episode with lots of Steve&Danny time is a plus for me.

    I enjoyed the twist of why Roy had taken Steve&Danny. I kept saying to myself… “ok, you’re committing a crime in an effort to prove you didn’t commit a crime, what’s the point when you’re convicted of the new crime?” Never expected he’d die. And damn if they didn’t get me to tear up AGAIN this week. Seems I’m doing that a lot this season and loving it, I may add.

    The ending was perfect. Beer, pu pu platters and Ohana togetherness. THE BEST way to end an episode. It felt like a gift from the writers to the fans….Here is our family all together at last….enjoy!

    • Wendie Joy

      HI Linda;) Yeah, this wasn’t going to go on my favorites list, but I did enjoy it more than I thought I would. I did love the ending just as you did:) I want more of that for sure! :) Thanks for always supporting and commenting Linda;) Aloha, Wendie

  • Terry FiveOs

    I think you liked this one more than I did, Wendie. To me it brought back memories of the Season 2 episodes when the character inconsistencies has viewers asking “who ARE these people?”

    Here was a criminal who was so sadistic that he was willing to kill Danno while Gracie listened (even threatening to do it was sick,) but McGarrett is going outrun the police purely because “they gave their word.” Please! First of all, they gave their word to a hardened criminal, and secondly, why couldn’t they couldn’t prove him innocent AFTER he was back in custody?

    Then there was the whole Gracie incident. She punched a classmate so hard that he required stitches, because he committed the sin of “picking on” her friend, and then Danny rewards her for reacting to words with violence. Kids pick on each other all the time! You would really think that Danny of all people, would teach the effectiveness of the snarky comment, rather than promoting behavior that is going to get his sweet little angel kicked out of school. If the writers had wanted Grace’s actions to be acceptable, they should have had the bully hitting the friend, not just “pick on” her. THEN, the Danno I know would have found his daughter’s response to be appropriate.

    I’ve really enjoyed this year’s episodes so I’m hoping this was just a blip, because to me this felt like the second season when fans didn’t understand what direction the writers were taking the characters. WE know who these people are, so should the writers.

    And my other gripe was that this show was hailed as a return to “Bromance,” and it really wasn’t, except for the cute scene at the very end.

    Oh, and if Danny wants to teach Grace to fight but wants to instill some discipline, maybe the two of them should enroll in some Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes. Uncle Steve might just decide to join them.

    • Wendie Joy

      Hi Terry- I’m down with scenes of Uncle Steve and Danno teaching Grace some jiu jitsu for sure! Egan looks different enough from when he was on the premiere of season 2 so he could come back as the team’s instructor and that could be cool:) You should pitch that idea:) As for the episode- I knew they were going to make Madsen evil and hard- how can you not? He’s known for those kinds of roles. But I thought it interesting that the twist was to get to his daughter. I don’t know, perhaps I wanted it to be a good guy gone wrong… I think I just suspended my disbelief enough to enjoy the show. But I see where you are coming from and I too hope that they don’t go back into the sketchiness of past seasons when we were confused and frustrated with the direction the characters were going. This season has been stellar and I’ve been enjoying the shows so I’m with you on hoping this continues. Thanks for commenting:) Aloha, Wendie

  • Angela Gerstner

    Others (like Terry) may have found little shortcomings in this episode – like Danno not being as strict with Gracie as one would expect from someone who is usually the perfect by-the-book cop. But if you keep in mind what Danno had experienced shortly before he had the scene with Gracie in the elevator in which he tells her that he’s proud of her and will always love her, you will realize why he forgives her so easily. He had just watched a father die in the arms of his daughter who, for years, had believed him to be nothing but a careless liar and who didn’t realize until he was about to die that he actually loved and cared about her. I think this experience would have made any father forgive his daughter almost anything – at least at that particular moment – and just make him want to tell her how much he loves her before it’s too late. Even though I don’t have kids myself, I can totally understand Danno’s behaviour in this situation.

    I agree pretty much with everything you’ve written, Wendie. I loved this episode for several reasons – mainly because I got a huge dose of my favorite boys, as well as the wonderful `ohana ending. And again H50 made me cry (when Roy died and his daughter reads his letters) and laugh (in the final scenes) within the same episode. To me, that’s perfect entertainment.

    • Wendie Joy

      Thanks Angie:) While you don’t have to agree with what I wrote, I’m glad you liked the episode and I always appreciate you reading:) Mahalo for that! Your thoughts behind why Danno reacted to Gracie the way he did make sense- I think that is how I reacted to it as well. Danno is always moved when he sees a child hurt or in trouble and of course, he can’t help but to make correlations to his own relationship with Gracie. Nicely said. Thanks for your comment:) Aloha, Wendie

  • Wendy Hansen

    I liked this episode. I should think it would teach McG about locking the Camaro when they’re out investigating, instead of just leaving it open for any criminal to jump into the backseat and take them hostage. :) Also, I’m not surprised that the guys chose to help him out to prove that he was innocent – it wasn’t like they intentionally let him roam free, they had him in cuffs at the “witness’s” house, and he escaped when they were being fired upon. But if their choices were help or be killed, yeah, I’d have chosen to help too.

    Saying that, putting Grace on the phone to get them through the checkpoint, that was cold and the action of a desperate man. Not only would that have played into both Danny’s overprotectiveness of Grace, and Steve’s protective instincts as her honorary uncle, but having gone through that himself, there was no way he would have let Grace go through what he did. NONE. I did come to have sympathy and empathy for Parrish halfway through the episode. You could tell that only someone who was desperate to prove their innocence, who was fighting for their life, would go to these measures.

    Regarding Grace and the school bully… I can totally see Grace resorting to hitting someone if her temper flared. She is her father’s daughter after all. I think she knows that violence isn’t the answer – and she realises that by hitting this other student she has disappointed her Danno, but at the same time, Danny also knows that as a child he (probably) did similar, if not the same things – and therefore he couldn’t be too mad at her for doing what he would have done if he were her. That being said, she did it to protect someone – after the non violence route hadn’t worked… so while there were other options she should have explored (ie get a teacher etc), she really is just like him. Talk about a wake up call!

    Great review! I really did enjoy the episode. I liked it how it took everyone a while to work out the boys were in trouble – Grover yelling at Chin about the missing suspect – before the bells went off. It had one liners, it had McDanno Snarkiness, it had a McRoll moment with the hug after shootout, there was teamwork, and family and daddy Daddo, and so much in this episode. Jam packed hour.

  • Diane

    Hi Wendie. Another great review. I agree, I love the way H50 ends an episode. Its usually the most touching part of the show. Loved the bromance portions, even it not the usual back and forth, some good one liners. Madsen played the part beautifully, and I have to admit, I was a little surprised that they killed him off, but it was a very touching moment.

    Danny being part lawyer for Grace was great, and then Grace “not being a rat”, shows how much her character is growing. As is Teilor, which child stars tend to do. Danny and Steve make a great Dad and uncle, she’s a very lucky girl. Glad to see Catherine and Kono back. I’m sure we will get more of Grace Park, she looks great.

    I know I’ve said this before, but this season is favorite, not a bad episode all year. Best since the first.

  • Robin Jane Bridges

    I liked last night’s episode. It made me laugh and cry,darn it! I agree with Ed, Gracie should have called Chin or came running into 50′s HQ saying that Dano and Steve was in trouble. But that might have happen off screen, Chin did take off on his bike, suited up for action, that was the situation was more serious than the guys being kidnapped if Gracie knew about. But we will never know about that. At least a different boy’s name was mentioned, I wonder if Tommy, “The Bragger”, is still at school and what he thought of Gracie’s “right cross”. You know both girls and boys are going to a little leary of Grace Williams from now on. :)

  • badgerly

    I’m glad this episode did well. I didn’t have an emotional connection to the episode, so it wasn’t one of my favourites. Parrish’s hard-core criminal tendencies overcame him in his pursuit of vindication, so his methods were questionable. He was making an effort to go straight, so it’s a shame he got killed.

  • SaintsMeachum

    I really like the episodes they’ve been pouring out recently. I guess maybe without a bigger plot, the writers put extra effort into these individual episodes. But maybe that could also be a problem that this season there really is no bigger plot going on right now even though we’re more than half way done. As for this episode, at times, the dialogue was clunky and the delivery of lines was awkward, but it still made it work in the end.

  • pauldunn1

    Wendie,
    Excellent review as always. I liked the ep, but wan not me favorite. Our local CBS station is having a rerun next week (probably in part due to the Olympics). However I was hoping they would repeat The Hookman, but no such luck.
    Paul

    • badgerly

      I have read that the Hookman episode will be repeated on February 17.

      • pauldunn1

        Thank you for that information. I will note that on my calendar. I liked the original, and I like the reboot version. Again thank you very much.
        Paul

        • badgerly

          You are most welcome. I hope the info is correct.

        • badgerly

          Sorry, It’s February 19, not February 17.

          • pauldunn1

            Thank you for the additional update.
            Paul

          • badgerly

            I’m glad you checked back here, though you probably would have caught it anyway.