Five-0 Redux: Digging beneath the surface
BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser
“Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!”
I guess I should be used to watching “Hawaii Five-0” with a bit of epic poetry running through my mind at the end of certain episodes.
I know I need to thank Sir Walter Scott for reminding me people are not always who they seem, and some villains can weave a web so insidious it becomes more than just a trap for victims. Thankfully, it is also a way those with evil plans can become ensnared and caught by their own maliciousness.
“Ma lalo o ka ‘ili,” (mah lah-low oh kah ee-lee) which translates as “beneath the surface” (lalo means “beneath” and ‘ili means “skin” or “surface”), was a perfect title for this episode, as both the victim and the villain were different people beneath the surface. Yet once the Five-0 team got under their skin, only then did we realize to what extent the web was tangled.
Too bad it came too late for the victim, Tommy Faʻaloa, played with quiet, yet aggressive intensity by “Twilight” star Booboo Stewart.
Stewart was one of the featured guests this week; Tom Berenger made a brief appearance as Danno’s (Scott Caan) father Eddie, who came to Hawaii to help win back his runaway wife, Clara (Melanie Griffith). Jorge Garcia returned as McG’s new “partner,” Jerry Ortega.
News that “Hawaii Five-0” was renewed for a fifth season and Garcia will join the cast as a series regular only added to the excitement and anticipation for this week’s episode, written by Bill Haynes and John Dove and directed by Bryan Spicer.
I admit, I was taken in by the romantic Bonnie and Clyde story of Tommy and Kelly Donovan (Conor Leslie). Kelly was initially portrayed as the kidnapped daughter of a murdered school teacher, then as an abused young woman trying to flee her abusive father. Her boyfriend, who also came from an abusive family, seems to have played the hero and arrived to save her. Unfortunately, Kelly had more beneath the surface than Tommy had been led to believe.
I suppose I have to believe a teenager could want a million dollars more than she would want a boy who is super easy on the eyes, can hot wire a car, outrun Five-0 in a car chase, and turn into a wolf on the fly? I know there are a few girls who will say Booboo Stewart is worth way more than a million dollars. I liked him as Tommy, and was pretty sad to see him killed at the end, especially after McG and the team figured out he was nothing like what his record made him out to be.
I like it when McG clears a guy who is supposed to be bad, but really is good. He does that often, as he is a huge fan of the underdog. And poor Tommy was definitely someone from the school of hard knocks and unfortunate souls. I am glad that Stewart got to play a hero — sure, one who was misguided and far from innocent — but still, at Tommy’s core, he was a good guy. And that’s who McG loves to root for, and hopefully save.
It’s too bad he was killed; I definitely would have liked to see Stewart reprise his role, more so than any other teen heartthrob featured on “Hawaii Five-0” this season. He’s a much better actor and far more engaging, but I think the mere fact that I used the word “heartthrob” disqualifies me from weighing in on the subject.
Besides the action and drama, there were lots of other things that helped keep up the pace and ended up getting added to my “Things I Love about ‘Hawaii Five-0’” list.
This week, we got a couple of cool car chases — one with McG’s truck and Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) as the passenger, and another that blessed viewers with a McG and Danno cargument.
We actually got two carguments: One at the start of the episode, when McG and Danno rolled up to the initial crime scene, and again when they chased Kelly and Tommy. Danno wins for best one liner with, “I know for a fact you surveilled your own mother, so we’re even!” when McG admonished him for following Clara when she tried to “sneak” out of the house to visit a divorce attorney.
Actually, Danno had a lot of good lines this episode. The scenes with Clara, as well as the Italian restaurant set up in his living room — complete with waitress Gracie (Teilor Grubbs) and what I’m sure was authentic New Jersey pizza (“mootz, sauce, and dough”) — was sweet and not as sappy as it could have been played.
I loved seeing Max (Masi Oka) work the crime scene, and we saw quite a bit of Sgt. Duke Lukela (Dennis Chun) in a few key scenes; we actually got to hear him on the phone with McG and work a bullhorn at a roadblock. But Kono (Grace Park) gets the big win for the best line delivery (“You get nothing”) when she and McG interrogated Kelly and put her in her place. That scene made the untangling of Kelly’s web even more satisfying; it was nice to see the team get a little payback for Tommy.
Still, the closing scene with McG and Joe White’s contact was enough to make me antsy for a Shelburne/Champ Box/Wo Fat conclusion. Will we ever learn all there is to know about the mystery that John McGarrett left for his son?
If we’re bringing back characters next season, how about we bring William Sadler back and just let him unravel the Champ Box mystery with Jerry playing sidekick to Poppa McG?
Once and for all, I’d like to know where this path is taking us. Now we’re in Cambodia, in a field, with a “it’s not my career I’m worried about” secret buried in a grave.
Sounds like the tangled web is linking itself back together again. And this time, McG seems more determined than ever to dig beneath its surface, end the deception and bring this mystery to some kind of end.
REDUX SIDE NOTE:
Two lovely Hawaiʻi actors were featured this week. Allison Chu played Kelly Donovan’s Oahu Preparatory Academy friend, Amy Nguyen. Chu was also featured in the pilot as “Chen Chi,” the Chinese immigrant girl sold into slavery. McGarrett and Danno freed Chen Chi on their first day as partners.
Miss Hawaii USA 2014 Moani Hara played Jenny the helpful assistant. Hara will head to Louisiana in June to compete for the title of Miss USA 2014. If she wins, she will be the fifth Hawaii resident to become Miss USA. Miss Hawaii 1997 Brook Lee was our last Miss USA, and she went on to become Miss Universe.
Sorry folks, no “Hawaii Five-0” next Friday, as CBS hosts the second round of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship. But the “Five-0 Redux” will be here next weekend for your reading pleasure!
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.