Five-0 Redux: Stellar stunts elevate season four
BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser
Season four of “Hawaii Five-0” has been one of the strongest since its debut in 2010. Not only are the storylines better and characters more developed, but there have always been amazing action and stunt scenes in the forefront of the show.
Between the strong writing by Peter Lenkov and his team, great direction and a stunt team led by stunt coordinator and director Jeff Cadiente, “Five-0” has figured out the winning formula for a hit television show.
While I usually spend my summer reflecting on the past season, I can’t help but think about all the great action that propels not only the plot of the show, but also helps to further develop the relationships between main characters. The action in each episode also tends to reveal the thoughts and motives of secondary characters, who are often deeply involved with the week’s procedural or a particular character arc or storyline.
I had a much longer list of favorite action scenes this season, so I broke everything down into four main categories to highlight a few of my favorite explosions, car chases, fights and shootouts of the season.
While “Hawaii Five-0” is no stranger to blowing things up, this season some of the explosions have made more of an impact on an episode’s storyline instead of just being a cool effect.
In the season premiere for season four, the destruction of Danno’s (Scott Caan) Camaro was a sad moment for fans, as most were very used to watching McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) driving Danno’s silver bullet as they worked a case.
The scene was even more action packed with Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) engaging in a shoot out with El Condor (Nestor Serrano) and his crew (Henry Ian Cusick, Martha Higareda and Eddie Fernandez).
Another detonation that served as a major event within a storyline was the explosion and building collapse in “Kū I Ka Pili Koko” (“Blood Brothers”), which not only revealed more about McGarrett and Danno and their relationship, but also helped to explain Danno’s new love, Amber (Lili Simmons), as well as his fears about being a good father.
Wo Fat’s (Mark Dacascos) timely escape from a maximum security prison in the season finale “ʻO Ka Pili ʻOhana Ka ʻOi” (“Family Comes First”) was another explosion that really made an impact. Fans loved how it confirmed, as well as progressed, the mystery surrounding Wo Fat and McGarrett’s mother, Doris (Christine Lahti).
BEST CAR CHASES
“Hawaii Five-0” has some of the best car chases on television. Not only is Hawaii the best backdrop for scenic speed, but the fun twists McG tends to throw in always give the typical car chase scene its definitive “Five-0” flair.
Along with Kono (Grace Park) and Adam (Ian Anthony Dale) being chased in the streets of Hong Kong and Danno on the run from the HPD with McG while trying to shield Roy Parrish (Michael Madsen), car chases on the show this season have been cool and intense at the same time.
One car chase, interestingly enough, involved horses. In “Akanahe” (“Reluctant Partners”) McG and Grover (Chi McBride) chase bank robbers on horseback and start a cowboy-style shootout while trying to stop their suspects.
One car chase that encompassed all fans love about “Five-0” has to have been the clown car chase in the season finale. I loved watching McG and Danno race through Waikiki in a small, three-wheeled red scooter, snipping at each other like an old married couple — yet still being able to catch their man.
BEST FIGHTS AND FOOT CHASES
Of fights and foot chases, McG wins on his feet and Chin takes the belt for fights this season. Not that Danno didn’t get his licks in, but Chin and McG seemed to be the ones who took the lead in this category.
Chin also fought a serial killer while being tied up and stabbed. This season was just another reminder of his fighting abilities on the show.
I would be remiss in mentioning the amazing fight scene between Cath (Michelle Borth) and Yakuza henchman Hideaki Kuroda (Brian Tee) in “Ua Nalohia” (“In Deep”). One of the longest fight scenes of the season, Cath definitely held her own in order to get information that could help Kono find Adam.
While McG is better known for his fighting ability, he had some amazing foot chases this season, with the coolest having to be when he chased a wannabe terrorist. He even jumped from the roof of one building to another at one point during the scene.
Another foot chase — that turned into a gunfight, a fistfight and then a very cool motorcycle stunt — saw McG and Danno chase bad guy Ellis Gregory (Will Oak Wild) at the Honolulu Museum of Art.
Of course, our heroes succeed, engaging Gregory and his mates in a museum shootout and a bit of one-on-one combat. I love when they work together; McG shot Gregory’s tire out and Danno got him with a good right hook.
What’s an episode of “Five-0” without a little gunplay? I’ll just mention the biggest scenes that made an impact this season.
When McG and Cath faced the Taliban in Afghanistan and McG was almost beheaded, viewers were on the edge of their seats. That was a more serious gunfight, both in the ambush of McG and Cath, as well as the gunfight when McG was rescued by his fellow SEALs.
Another great scene fans loved was the gunfight in in “Nā Hala a ka Makua” (Sins of the Father), as it coupled a fantastic car chase with a major shootout.
Things didn’t seem that serious when bullets started flying (there was time for a romantic argument in the middle of it) after Danno and McG took Roy Parrish to see a man who could clear his name. Unfortunately, it turned into a pretty nasty shootout and they had to be saved by the rest of Five-0, as well as Grover and his HPD SWAT team.
One of the best action scenes that gave fans a glimpse of what was to come in season four was the big car chase, gunfight and helicopter stunt that pitted McG against El Condor and his crew.
Fans loved the action and suspense of watching the Five-0 team engage in a major shootout, only to see their vehicle flip and McG chase the crew into Aloha Stadium where a getaway chopper waited. McG handily jumped aboard to fight El Condor and his henchmen, eventually tossing him out of the helicopter to his death.
I can’t leave one of the best action scenes of the season off my list. The reenactment of the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 in “Hoʻonani Makua Kāne” (“Honor thy Father”) has been well documented on the Pulse.
The opening scene, including a view of what it was like on the ground with soldiers and sailors fighting back and their world exploding around them, seems to be so much more than just categorizing it as best of the season.
Hopefully, the accolades this episode deserves will help build the show’s reputation as a strong dramatic series. I’m sure the cast and crew are proud of the work they’ve done this season, as is evidenced in every episode they’ve produced.
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.