Five-0 Redux: A mid-season rewind

Feb. 8, 2014 | 11 Comments

BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser

“Hawaii Five-0″ has put out some amazing and entertaining episodes since it premiered on CBS in September 2013. Perhaps I’ve been dazzled by the heightened drama, strong casting and better writing this season, but I realized while watching “Nā hala a ka makua” (“Sins of the Father”) that it was the 14th episode of season four and I was late in writing my annual mid-season review.

The cast and crew of "Hawaii Five-0" blesses its fourth season with a ceremony at the state film studio at Diamond Head. Present for the blessing were executive producer Peter Lenkov, left, Alex O'Loughin (Steve McGarrett), Daniel Dae Kim (Chin Ho Kelly), Al Harrington (who appeared in both the original and current  "Hawaii Five-0"), right, and Taylor Wily (who plays shrimp truck entrepreneur Kamekona), third from right. (Star-Advertiser photo by Dennis Oda)

Cast and crew of “Hawaii Five-0″ started season four with a blessing at their new Diamond Head studios. Pictured are executive producer Peter Lenkov, left, Alex O’Loughin (Steve McGarrett), Daniel Dae Kim (Chin Ho Kelly), Al Harrington (who appeared in both the original and current “Hawaii Five-0″), right, and Taylor Wily (who plays shrimp truck entrepreneur Kamekona), third from right. (Star-Advertiser File)

I really have no idea how writers will wrap up a few storylines they started in “Aloha Kekahi i Kekahi” (“Love One Another”) over the next eight episodes, but I have faith.

Well, not complete faith, because executive producer Peter Lenkov and crew love to keep us hanging when it comes to the season finale episode, but I’m crossing my fingers we’ll get some long-awaited answers to a few questions that have lingered the last few seasons.

With the switch from Mondays to Fridays, “Five-0″ has really come into it’s own. I’ve said it several times this season; the show seems more mature and stable. The show has always been entertaining, and fans have loved the show despite a few faulty episodes or storylines, so I think the stronger season has a lot to do with it’s earlier hour and positioning before “Blue Bloods,” another CBS police drama.

Perhaps it’s more consistent writing, better guest stars and more concentration on season regulars that’s strengthened the show. Maybe shooting at Hawaii Film Studios in the shadow of Diamond Head — the former home to the classic “Hawaii Five-O,” as well as Tom Selleck’s “Magnum P.I.” and ABC’s hit series “LOST” — has given the show a bit of ratings luck. Whatever it is, this season has been the best overall. I still need to see the remaining episodes to make up my mind completely, but it’s a close race for sure.

So stick with me, folks, as I run down the major storylines and make my feeble attempts at predicting what happens next. If nothing else, it will be a fun trip down memory lane.

Kono, left, and her boyfriend have a serious conversation in this week's episode. (Courtesy CBS)

WHAT’S NEXT FOR ADAM AND KONO?

Call me sappy, call me a romantic, call me a happy endings kind of girl, but I loved the Kono (Grace Park) and Adam (Ian Anthony Dale) storyline right from the start. And the way Lenkov and crew decided how to resolve their escape from Hawaiʻi was one of the more satisfying storylines “Five-0” has ever put out.

While they fell in love toward the end of season two and went through some major ups and downs in season three, we rooted for these two because, if nothing else, they were so great together. A lot of their relationship seemed to be about saving each other’s lives, but now I hope their relationship will be about Adam rebuilding his life with Kono at his side.

Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) seems to still be mourning the death of his wife, Malia (Reiko Aylesworth). (CBS)

CHIN HO’S HEARTACHE

While it’s been a season and a half since Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) scattered his beloved Malia’s (Reiko Aylesworth) ashes into the Pacific, his grief and loss is still fairly fresh. After the heart-wrenching “Hana Lokomaikaʻi” (The Favor), where we learned more about Malia’s bad-boy brother Gabriel (Christopher Sean), and the impact of Chin’s favor on his life, Malia has obviously not been forgotten.

Yes, he has sweet Leilani (Lindsay Price), and while that seems to make him happy, she is not the girl he has loved the last 15 years. Malia is a hard act to follow, and while I don’t begrudge Chin from finding love and moving on, I wonder if he can really get over the loss of his wife.

Fans love the new addition of SWAT Capt. Lou Grover (Chi McBride) to the "Five-0" crew. (CBS)

A LOU-MANCE IS BREWING

Newest series regular Chi McBride has brought a bit of SWAT swagger to the Five-0 team. I definitely like Capt. Lou Grover’s sarcastic reactions to McG and crew, and have also enjoyed the times he and McG have paired up to work a case. Even when they are reluctant partners, they get the job done.

Yet, we still don’t know Grover’s backstory. And while he’s probably got a dramatic past full of regrets and longing (I’m just guessing; you know how writers love to pull on our heartstrings), he’s told McG repeatedly, “We ain’t there yet.” We all better stock up on Kleenex, because you know when they unleash Grover’s story we’re going to need a few extra boxes to mop up our tears.

No matter what, the bromance between Danno (Scott Caan) and McG (Alex O'Loughlin) is still going strong. (CBS)

MCG AND CATH AND DANNO, OH MY!

Catherine Rollins (Michelle Borth) is certainly no stranger to fans, as she’s been Steve McGarrett’s (Alex O’Loughlin) love interest since season one. While she did not become a series regular until season three, we were used to Cath stopping by to visit, as well as to offer her expert advice and equipment to help the team. The true extent of their relationship was revealed in season three flashback episode “ʻŌlelo Paʻa” (“The Promise”), when we learned McG and Cath had been “hanging out” since his active duty Navy SEAL days before joining Five-0.

Now that she’s a full-fledged member of the team, she’s used her Navy skills to officially help catch bad guys and has not let her love for McG get in the way. But last week in “Nā Hala a ka Makua” (“Sins of the Father”), we did see a very nervous Cath run up to McGarrett and worry over his well-being. Danno (Scott Caan) does mention they both were shot at, yet she only checked McG for bullet holes.

So where does Danno fit in? While Steve and Danno are the best of friends, they have shared McG’s home, and of course, they share a car. I wonder how Cath will affect the McG and Danno bromance.

Danno seems to always get the short end of the stick when it comes to romance; he lost his ex-wife Rachel (Claire van der Boom) as she was pregnant with Stan’s baby and Gabby (Autumn Reeser) to her career. Will new girl Amber Vitale (Lili Simmons) stick around and capture his heart? All’s fair in love and “Five-0,” so for the bromance between our two favorite cops, I hope Danno gets the girl as much as McG is holding onto his, just so both can be happy at the same time.

Mark Dacascos as Wo Fat. (Courtesy CBS)

THE WO FAT MYSTERY, AGAIN

We have not seen our favorite villain since “ʻAʻale Maʻa Wau” (“Fish out of water”), when he was shipped off to a high-security correctional facility on the mainland, still burned and sporting a broken nose — a gift from McG, who wanted a blood sample to find out if Wo Fat was his brother.

While Max (Masi Oka) supplied the anti-climactic answer to the DNA question — Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos) is not McGarrett’s long lost older brother — it does leave the door open for the same question we’ve had since Momma McG (Christine Lahti) walked back into Steve’s life. Why is Doris still wrapped up with Wo Fat? I know we may not find out this season, but I hope one day to know why Wo Fat, who has wanted McG dead the last four seasons, suddenly needs his help and seems to want to protect Doris.

And that, my friends, is where we stand going into the final stretch of season four. Hopefully ratings will continue to increase and we’ll find out soon if there will be a season five. We should also get some much-desired answers to the questions above, but I’m sure we’ll be just as happy to wait for season five for the rest of the story.
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Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

  • Angela Gerstner

    It’s always great to take a look back at what we’ve enjoyed this season so far – and it has been the best season, indeed! I don’t mind if we get answers to all those open questions in the remaining episodes of Season 4 or if we’ll have to wait for Season 5 to get them. After all – not getting the answers in the next 8 episodes implies that there has to be a Season 5 :-)
    Actually, I’m convinced that there will be a Season 5 even though there’s been no official confirmation from CBS yet. There have been quite a few hints from Peter, the Boss. Besides, the ratings for H50 are just way too good to cancel our favorite show!!! I would send a personal complaint to CBS if they did ;-)

  • Dina

    I love mid season review!!!! but I am STILL holding out that Danno will get the girl- but maybe just maybe S5 will allow Rachel to be the girl and the Williams family al happy again… although with Danno’s mom appearing in upcoming episodes we will have some kind of mention of her and Matt. Neither of which have even been MENTIONED in 2 seasons now……
    I do hope that we are NOT going into s5 with questions STILLLLLL with Doris and WoFat and Joe…. we have several episodes left and I truly think at least one of these need to be defined.
    Kono and Adam- now that they are “happy” what is Peter gonna do to make them unhappy?? Seems like Peter doesn’t want any “happy” couple other than Cath and Steve. I think how they are bringing along Chin and Leilani is fine but again Peter doesn’t seem to want anyone to “stay together”.
    I think this season is definitely some of the stronger writing since S1- as much as I am CONCERNED of what is coming- I think it will be done well

  • edmattes763

    Looking forward to the next new episode. CBS isn’t saying when, but Global, the net in Canada that it’s on, says Feb. 28. We should be getting more of the Williams family history with both of Danny’s parents showing up yet this season. (That was foreshadowed in an earlier episode this season.) And hopefully we will find out the Doris/Wo Fat connection yet this season.

  • Amy Denton

    Wendi,
    Good review. You touched on all the right areas I think. In regards to Chin ‘getting over’ the loss of his wife. My mother never did get over the loss of my father. He passed when I was I quite young and my mother never found someone else. (That’s not meant to depress anyone, really)
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. They’re always good.

  • KAD1228

    Enjoyable mid-season review! I was hoping for closure on the mom/WoFat front, but it doesn’t look like it’ll happen this season. While I don’t like the mom storyline, at least WoFat always brings excitement when he’s around. I feel Grover’s story might be something along the same lines as Chin’s. His wife was murdered and he needed to move away from the pain. But you’re right, it’ll probably be a 3-hanky night! Chin will never love Leilani the way he (still) loves Malia. I don’t see their relationship lasting, Chin is too honorable to string Leilani along. I also don’t see the Danny/amber relationship going anywhere. Danny won’t admit it, but his only love is Rachel. I also don’t see Steve and Caths relationship moving forward. Steve doesn’t seem the marrying kind and unless Catherine is ok w/being his “friend” forever, she just might want to move on to greener pastures. S1 was fun, 2 was a disaster, 3 was strong (minus a few clunkers) and 4 has been excellent, the writing and storylines are so much stronger. I can’t wait to see how the remainder of the season plays out! I just know we’ll be in for another fun ride come season 5!

  • jlopie1

    Wow! Thanks for reminding me of everything we’ve seen so far this season! It really has been an incredible ride. With leaks from Peter Lenkov that there will be at least one more Danno/Steve centric Ep, as well as the Ma and Pa Williams story arc, I am anticipating an awesome run up to the season finale.

    I’m actually hoping for some sort of a return to the MacGarrett Family Saga by the end of Season 4 – the break from all those entanglements has been a nice respite, but we DO still need to get some action on this front to keep our interest as viewers up!

    Love the introduction of Captain Grover and the addition of Catherine to the team – they’ve added so much to the show’s dynamics. Yet, we haven’t had much interaction with Max or Kamekona, which I do miss.

    We’ve certainly been blessed with an abundance of Danny/Gracie scenes this season, which is wonderful – such fun to see Danny in his best daddy mode – but I gotta say, Danny deserves a love interest, too. Although my fantasy is to see Rachel walk back into Danny’s open arms, for the time being I can be happy with Amber bringing some happiness to Danny. I think we’ll see more of ths relationship in the next few episodes this season.

    As far as H50′s move to Fridays? This was a stroke of genius – give the CBS scheduler a raise! H50 has found it’s audience, and paired with Blue Bloods, CBS has shown there is life on Friday nights – not the dreaded death watch after all! With last week’s 1.8 18-49 demo share, H50 is reaching quite close to ratings CBS dramas are getting on other, more esteemed viewing nights. I highly doubt CBS will want to rattle the cage of a night that is proving to be remarkably successful for the network.

    Thanks for the great mid season review, Wendie!

  • Kimo808

    The other networks don’t try very hard up against NBC’s Olympics, so there’s not much to see in the ratings this week . . . TV By the Numbers says Five-0 got slightly more viewers than Shark Tank, but . . .

    An observation: I’m thinking the Mrs. McG thread that pops up every once in a while could become a distraction unless it shows some movement toward resolution. There’s a side-track story dragging on in GRIMM on NBC (has to do with the Austrian royal family and it’s gotten really convoluted; but worth mentioning only because GRIMM runs against Five-0 and the distraction is intrusive enough to potentially drive viewers away.)

    Otherwise, great mid-season re-cap, Wendy. Appreciate how you keep things on track.

    (By the way, the above-mentioned TV By the Numbers says Five-0 is “certain to be renewed. This was posted on Tuesday:

    Friday CBS syndication warehouse residents Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods are in their fourth seasons, and the Cancellation Bear sees no reason why they won’t make their fifth, so he’s moving his prediction for both to “certain to be renewed”. Hawaii Five-0 gets the headline this week, Blue Bloods next week.

  • https://twitter.com/50Nads Fanmisa (Nadia)

    Awesome review !
    I’m not gonna add anything, everthing I feel and think was perfectly written and said :)
    Thanks hon !
    xxx

  • Diane

    Hi Wendie, thanks for the recap. A little withdrawl the next few weeks. Some reports say 2/28 and others say 3/7 is the next new episode. I hope they don’t lose the new fans they have gained by laying off too long. We still have the College basketball tournament to contend with in March. With only 8 episodes left for the 22 ordered, I’m hoping they do most of that at the end to the final and not break them up too much.

    As for the season, this has been my favorite since the first. Better writing, addition of new characters that work, its fresh. Although the Wofat/Momma McG needs to be resolved. I love them giving us a little more back ground on Chin’s life, would like to actually see how McG and Catherine met, I don’t see how Catherine would interfere with Danny and McG, everyone has a best friend other than their significant other. There’s room for both. I hope a continued happy ending for Kono and Adam as well, as Danny getting a woman who make him happy and stay that way.

  • Kimo808

    Hi, Wendie
    Maybe I missed this info previously, but I see CBS is promoing a Five-0 marathon for this Friday – wall to wall Five-0 from 7-1 p.m. HST

  • Bill

    While I do love Hawaii Five-0, I am getting sick of CBS dropping it for a few weeks at a time with very little explanation or indication as to when the next show will be on. It ruins the consistency and only ever seems to happen with US TV shows. They need to be less obsessed with potentially missing out on 500,000 viewers because ‘there may be another programme on people want to watch’, and just do what they’re supposed to do…ENTERTAIN THE VIEWERS.

    So frustrating and especially with a show like Hawaii Five-0 when you can forget what the key moments in the ongoing plot were.

    With regards to your mid-season review: Top job. Quite frankly I was getting sick of Steve’s Mum. It was clear to me the writers weren’t really sure what line they were taking with her relationship with Wo Fat and what started out as intriguing and exciting swiftly became tiresome and irritating (almost to the same level as Lost and ‘the others’/black smoke/myriad storylines) so I’m glad that’s been put on the back burner in recent weeks.

    I like the role that Lou has at the moment even if the only real sub-plot/development for him seems to be ‘telling Steve what he did before he was captain’. While it doesn’t really have much room to grow, his character adds a great deal of humour and an extra dynamic to Danno and Steve’s friendship, which for me is still far and away the greatest part of the show.