Five-0 Redux: Digging beneath the surface

Mar. 15, 2014 | 11 Comments

McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin), left, and Danno (Scott Caan) attempt to uncover the truth when a kidnapped girl is taken from her home and her father is shot in the process. (Courtesy CBS)

McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), left, and Danno (Scott Caan) attempt to uncover the truth when a kidnapped girl is taken from her home and her father is shot in the process. (Courtesy CBS)

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.

Booboo Stewart. (Associated Press)

Booboo Stewart. (Associated Press)

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.

Tom Berenger, right, 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). (Courtesy CBS)

Tom Berenger, right, 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). (Courtesy CBS)

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.

  • pauldunn1

    Wendie,

    Great post, especially about the renewal for S5 and the addition of “Hurley” for next season. I think he is a good actor who adds to the show. Good catch about Duke being on the bullhorn, although I did get the phone call voice. He deserves all of the air and voice time that he can get. Looking forward to seeing how this season plays out with the results of this week’s last scene.
    Paul

  • jlopie1

    Thanks for another great review, Wendie! I certainly enjoyed this episode ( no comments about how I say that every week, please!)

    I admit, I was taken in by the “victim” in the beginning, too. She had her whole plan worked out in detail – yep, a definite sociopath! I have to say I was impressed with our actual victim/mark. Boo Boo Stewart, an actor I know absolutely nothing about since Twilight is a couple of generations removed from me, was extremely engaging and quickly became a very sympathetic character! I want to say he made that whole crime of the week believable and most enjoyable!

    You’ve gotta love Jerry (Jorge Garcia)! He’s such a brilliant Teddy Bear and giving credit where credit is due, he appears to be a MUCH better roommate than Danny! Why would anybody tell a built- in cook it was time to move out? Love how he’s trying to wedge his way into Steve’s heart – calling him partner and”we’re a team” as often as possible. As a conspiracy theorist, he’s a perfect addition to the show as the one to decipher the mysteries of the ChampBox! Not only is he smart enough, but he obviously has plenty of time on his hands to devote to it! I think Jerry will be a very useful addition to the show!

    Although I did enjoy the Williams family saga, I’m relieved it’s over. Time to send Ma and Pop back to New Jersey. Very cute little Italian dinner scene (Gracie is growing up SO fast!) and some good dialog between Danny & Mom, but I wish there had been more interaction between Scott and Tom Beringer! We really didn’t learn much about Danny’s childhood and what made him who he is today with this whole subplot. I think there were a few missed opportunities here, but maybe that will be for down the road (in Season 5!).

    Loved, loved, loved all the Kono time this week! We know she can kick some literal butt, but oh, boy, she can do it verbally, too! Her whole scene in the Blue Room with the crazy perp was awesome! “You get nothing.” Wow!

    Great episode, one of my favorites this season. Thanks for giving a place to say all this, Wendie!

  • lovedepp deppi

    Wendie, this is awesome awesome awesome, thank you so much loved the epi & love love your review <3 XO

  • KAD1228

    This episode was good, not great. Shirtless, swimming Steve made my day as did the carguments. It’s always great to see Alex working with the others and we had a triple treat, with him and Kono, Chin and Gerry. I do wish they would have worked the procedural a lot more. It could have been a really great story with Tommy and Kelly. To bad Tommy was killed. I’m more than happy to see the end of Clara Williams. Unfortunately though it looks like mommie dearest may make a return visit. Hopefully, Steve will get to the bottom of this once and for all. We really need a return to BAMFness. Here’s hoping s5 will deliver some.

  • Angela Gerstner

    Wendie, I love what you wrote about the insidious web woven by the girl we initially believed to be the victim. Five-0 did a great job at untangling this tightly-woven web and revealing what was underneath. And it was truly sad that Tommy got killed after Steve and his team had cleared him. You’re right about BooBoo Stewart – He’s a really good actor and definitely cute enough to be called a “heartthrob” – even by grown-up women like us ;-)

    There was, indeed, a whole lot to love about this episode – starting with “merman” Steve emerging from the ocean (As I’m a huge fan of Alex myself, I know that a lot of his female fans had been waiting for this scene with growing excitement :-)), on to Steve’s funny talk with his room-mate Jerry at the breakfast table, the beloved carguments and a bunch of notable lines by the main characters, the “pizzeria” scene with Gracie as her grandparents’ waitress and the interrogation scene with cool Kono telling that nasty, greedy girl she’d get nothing. I loved all of these! And I always enjoy seeing Masi and Dennis on the show, too.

    As to the latest development in the “McGarrett family mystery”, I must say that even though I do (of course) want to find out sooner or later what it’s all about, I’m not desperately awaiting the moment – or not anymore. Luckily, there are enough other interesting story lines to keep me distracted and entertained well enough to not really care when this mystery will finally be solved. If I did care, I might get frustrated about having to wait several seasons for this Champ box puzzle to be solved. So I simply ignore this storyline until it comes up again some time in the future.

  • edmattes763

    I am certainly liking this season which gets better as it goes along. Jerry finding something that was there all along on the Champ Box is an interesting development, as is the fact that it leads to the CIA and a foreign country. I always thought that Steve’s father knew nothing of Shelburne (in fact he asked Wo Fat who Shelburne was, in the videotape interpreted by Kensi). We’ll see what develops there. And as a great fan of Grace Park, I’m glad that we’re seeing more of Kono as the season goes on. Keep up the good work, Wendie.

  • Dina

    I so love how the titles of the episodes work “layers” throughout the various arc.. makes me a little sad because the fan based episode won’t have the same depth in its title!! It was brief and to the point not dragged out so I was fine with Williams reunion- YOU ALL KNOW I AM HOPING FOR ANOTHER NOW! to tie it to the title “beneath the surface” no matter how hurt- or lost Clara and Eddie were they were in love under the pain and brought to surface by the big Parent Trap ending…. Yes Wendie you already discussed the surface layers of the teen- pyscho as she was. But i agree I would of took the guy over the money anytime! The obvious surface was the champ box and wow that was a twist! the grave is also a surface- what lays beneath in that grave…. hmmmmm
    great job as always XO

  • Linda M. Stein

    Great review again Wendie! I liked this episode but then
    again, I like ALL Five-0 episodes. I liked the “beneath the surface” angle very
    much. It pretty much covered everyone. Jerry digging beneath the paint on the
    Champ Box to find a new clue. Danny digging beneath the problems of his parents
    to find the love still there. The complete bitch Kelly is beneath the façade of
    victim. Tommy, the bad boy, who

    beneath the surface is a troubled youth with a good heart. I love how this show
    can take the central theme of an episode and weave it through almost every
    character and story of an episode.

    I agree with you about Booboo Stewart. Is really IS a shame Tommy was killed.
    It would have been nice to see him come back in the future, having worked
    through his problems and done his time to become the person he could have been.
    Oh well,

    just not to be.

    I enjoyed the Williams family drama but I’m glad it’s over now. They have their
    happy ending and we can get back the time spent on it and devote it to the main
    stories. With the season winding down, it’s time to concentrate on the things
    we need to get us to the finale and whatever the big ending, or more likely,
    the big mystery will be to carry us into and through the long summer wait for
    Season 5.

    And thanks to Jerry, we have come, as Peter Lenkov promised at the beginning of
    the season, full circle. We are back where it all began…digging through and
    under the paint of, the Champ Box. I am very happy we are going back to this,
    it’s about time.

    What better way to get us there than with Jerry, the conspiracy theorist. As
    you say, McG seems more determined than ever to dig beneath the surface, end
    the deception and bring this mystery to some kind of end. But this time, he has
    Jerry, who will never let a mystery lay dormant, who will always do whatever he
    can to solve a puzzle. Add a likely conspiracy to the mix and you know he will
    never give up.

    This is going to be a great story and I can’t wait to see where it leads us
    next.

  • Diane

    Great as usual Wendie. I agree Booboo Stewart is very easy on the eyes, and is able to act as well. I’m a little old to be judging the heart throbs of the teens, but I’m guessing this guy is one.

    I loved the crime of the week. I was fooled a couple of times during this episode. I love it when a story goes in a different direction than I expected. I think the writing this year has been greatly improved. I had a feeling we would get the 5th season, but glad to see CBS put it in writing.

    Love that Jorge is a regular. I think he will be the one to help McG get to the end of the Shelburne/Wofat/McG Sr story. I was glad they just did not drop the champ box, great way to bring Jerry into the mix.

    Danno’s little set up for his parents was sweet. Loved that he included Grace. I’m not one for a Rachel/Danny reunion, I think when one gets married again, and has a child with someone else, that should be the end. Which ever way they go, I hope Danny has a stable love life. I saw that the next 2 weeks we are off for March Madness, I don’t know if there are any more, but looking forward to the rest of this season.
    .

  • Ro Hart

    love your reviews, Wendie. This was certainly a complicated episode. Lots of layers. Very enjoyable.
    (so happy Jorge is on the show permanently now – love his character)

  • june77

    Wendie, with Jerry Ortega becoming a series regular, do you think there will still be room for our favorite shrimp truck driver? And what happened to the Steve&Catherine romance? Thank you for the recap, and for leading this discussion!