Five-0 Redux: Protecting the ‘ohana

Oct. 4, 2014 | 11 Comments

COURTESY CBSThe Five-0 team investigates when the young daughter of a Navy Seal on a top-secret mission is kidnapped.

PHOTOS COURTESY CBS

The Five-0 team investigates when the young daughter of a Navy Seal on a top-secret mission is kidnapped.

BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser

After last week’s full-octane season premiere full of intrigue and spectacular special effects, this week’s episode was more along the lines of the “Hawaii Five-0” we know and love.

While the focus this week was more on the drama and police work rather than backstories and character arcs of the main characters, we did see how the team has started to become a cohesive group with the incorporation of new series regulars Chi McBride (Lou Grover) and Jorge Garcia (Jerry Ortega).

We still got our fair share of the elements we love. McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) taking to heart the kidnapping of the daughter of a fellow SEAL, daddy Danno (Scott Caan) reaching out to two fathers in distress and Grover taking to heart the loss of a child are all character traits that help turn “Hawaii Five-0” into more of a drama than just an action show. It’s those moments fans love and the reason they keep watching.

We love the action too, of course, but it’s those human moments and touches of realism that keep me tuning in on Friday nights after a long, busy week.

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This week’s episode, “Ka Makua Kāne” (three words, not two), translated as “Family Man,” focused on three different fathers. In Hawaiian, “makua kāne” actually means “father,” and the storyline focused on the reaction of three fathers, as well as the two fathers on the Five-0 team.

Overall, I really liked this episode. It was deeper than I had expected it to be. I will take quality over quantity any day. I did love the inclusion of Danno’s subplot, involving his dealings with Marco Reyes (Anthony Ruivivar) and the aftermath of his brother Matt’s betrayal.

I also loved how Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) brought Jerry into the investigation and how he called McG “Captain America” — because don’t we all think of McGarrett as a superhero?

We also got to see Chin break down a suspect as well as a few doors with Grover, which are always fun scenes to watch. Kono (Grace Park) going undercover as a mail drop gal and her questioning of little Maggie Porter (Ocean Riley), the true target in this week’s episode, were great examples of why Kono is so easy to like.

Sgt. Duke (Dennis Chun) had a few short scenes, the best when Danno told him, “Duke, I just sent you someone that needs to go through booking. Please make sure he’s very uncomfortable,” referring to his interrogation and arrest of Marco Reyes for burglary.

Duke’s almost cheerful “I’ll take care of him” was just perfect. I really love watching them all work together as a team.

Yet the bulk of the episode really revolved around the kidnapping of Sophie Larkin (Marina Fonseca), the 7-year-old daughter of Navy SEAL Lt. Jeff Larkin (Cuyle Carvin) and his wife, Angela (Anne Leighton). Lt. Larkin was overseas fighting in Afghanistan and Angela was busy taking care of Sophie and her little brother, Davey (played by Hawaii actor Ryan Hynd). After Sophie is kidnapped from a hula recital, the Five-0 crew stepped in immediately to help find her and negotiate her ransom.

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Seems like a pretty cut-and-dry case at first, but in typical Five-0 fashion, the red herrings started to pile up.

At first, McGarrett and Danno suspected Sophie was taken because of a mission her father was working. Of course, as they just dealt with a huge international terrorist organization and had to shoot down killer drones and watch a plane land on Kalākaua Avenue, I suppose that’s why they would be thinking about national security right off the bat.

After doing a background check on the squeaky clean SEAL and his beautiful family and finding no dirty laundry, however (and still thinking about those Russians who had just emptied out Waikīkī), I completely understand why they went in that direction.

It was lovely how McGarrett told Angela Larkin, “You and your husband are ‘ohana to me and I’m going to do everything I can do bring your daughter back.”

When Grover told McG and Danno to keep Angela in the loop because “not knowing how things stand tears you up the most” as Danno looked on knowingly, it also hit home. All of these men have lost someone or watched someone close to them suffer, and that backstory is evident in how they deal with their investigations.

I love how writers Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt let their reactions come from experiences the characters had in past seasons. Such wonderful layers for the actors and characters to use in their performances and to help the viewers become more invested in the show.

I also really enjoyed when the writers brought back characters to remind us of past episodes and build an even better “Five-0” world for us to sink into. When McG and Danno visited Vice Admiral Rhodes (Patrick St. Esprit) and got the Navy runaround (which of course, McG and Danno are used to), as well as a reminder of McG’s help in dealing with the Chinese spy satellite, I had a feeling of deja vu when Rhodes said, “The Navy is sensitive to the situation.”

Perhaps it’s just because I’ve heard that statement from a Naval officer in my own life, but it did give the scene an interesting sense of realism.

But the scene that was even more real was the softened cargument when McG told Danno, “We take an oath, Danny. Right now, his team needs him focused on the mission.” SEAL McG would say this and, as he has lived it, mean it.

Danno’s response was the real kicker: “A parent senses when their child is in trouble, so don’t you think that puts him and his team in danger?”

He’s right. What family man, especially one as trained and as intuitive as a SEAL, wouldn’t sense his child was in danger?

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While the plot thickened, we were introduced to two more family men: Eric Porter, (played by “Lost” actor William Mapother) and Jason Hollier (Brian White). Porter was the real target of the kidnapper, as he and his wife are worth millions. But their daughter was safe at home, only a witness to her friend Sophie talking to the man who kidnapped her.

Still, the kidnappers want Porter to cough up $1.6 million. I agreed with Danno when he asked McG, “why such a specific number?”

Oh, just to keep us guessing, of course.

Still, the family issues just kept coming and the family man idea didn’t stop there. The Porters owned a childrens toy and product company, and through a series of events involving faulty latches, one of their car seats malfunctioned in a crash and killed Hollier’s young daughter.

While it took me almost to the end of the episode to realize Hollier was the kidnapper ( I thought Porter was in on a scheme of some sort or their former colleague Alan Pollard (Gareth Williams) was in on something together), I was still struck by the family man theme.

What makes a man a good father? Is it protecting your child by fighting for your country, or making safe car seats and strollers? Or is it avenging your child’s death? Is it being able to tell another man to do what is right to save someone else’s child and not let yours die in vain?

ANGELA GERSTNERGerman fan Angela Gerstner shares a shaka all the way in Munich, with "Hawaii Five-0" actor, Mark Dacascos.

COURTESY ANGELA GERSTNER

German “Hawaii Five-0″ fan Angela Gerstner shares a shaka in Munich with “Five-0″ star Mark Dacascos.

While this episode doesn’t straight out give us an answer, I think watching the team unravel the mystery and discover the real villain was Caroline Porter (Natasha Henstridge), who really just wanted to protect her company and her family from ruin, was resolution enough.

Or perhaps the message was that many people — men and women alike — would do anything to save their own from ruin, heartache and death, and hopefully without causing the same to happen as a result.

REDUX SIDE NOTE:

German fans got a special treat when “Hawaii Five-0” recurring cast member Mark Dacascos attended a meet and greet there last weekend. Fans brought Dacascos gifts and took pictures with the infamous Wo Fat at The Bavarian Film Studios. Dacascos stars in an upcoming German martial arts feature, “Ultimate Justice,” due for release in 2015.

“Five-0” fans Angela Gerstner, Babette Rhein, and Silke Schmeissi met with Dacascos in Munich and got a chance to experience a big dose of aloha all the way in Europe.

“It was a great taste of ‘Hawaii Five-0’ since all three of us can’t afford to travel to Hawaii,” said Gerstner. “It was really awesome to have someone from our favorite show take time for us here in Munich. It meant a lot to us!

“We had an absolute blast with Mark. He is so nice and grounded. I hope none of the ‘Five-0’ fans ever believe that he’s anything like the villain he plays, because he definitely is nothing like Wo Fat.”

Dacascos was equally thrilled with meeting the German fans, according to a Twitter update posted Monday.

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Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

  • KAD1228

    Great review Wendie. I agree with all your talking points! I enjoyed this episode a lot! It had a definite s1 feel to it which gives me a lot of hope for a great s5! This is the H50 I love, a well-written story, good acting, great drama, twists and turns and your heart strings being pulled! Given good writing, these guys shine and Alex and Scott shone brightly. It’s so refreshing to see Scott act instead of whine (I know it’s how he’s written but, 5 seasons in, it’s worn thin). It was enjoyable to watch them work as one cohesive unit. Kudos to the writers! Can’t wait for next week!

  • Angela Gerstner

    When I shared the synopsis for this episode on the Five-0 Redux Facebook page, a fan commented that the writers seem to lack imagination for coming up with something new since kidnappings have repeatedly been the crime of the week on the show. Well, I disagreed with her because, after all, there is only a limited number of “major” crimes that the Five-0 team can deal with (murder, kidnapping, drug or arms dealing) and, personally, I think a kidnapping is, by far, the most interesting and challenging crime because with a life at stake, there’s much more suspense throughout the show, there are plenty of emotions involved – especially for the fathers on the Five-0 team – and the team gets a chance to save lives and be the “heroes” that not only Jerry likes to see in them (i.e. when he refers to McG as “Captain America”).

    With this episode (which I loved), the writers did an excellent job at bringing in all those great elements. The many twists and turns in the storyline ensured a high level of suspense throughout the episode but, most of all, the Five-0 team got to show genuine emotions and sympathy for the family of the kidnapped girl – either because they were Navy `ohana (to Steve) or because the dads on the team had experienced the same situation before and knew what it felt like. These very human and emotional aspects are the main reason why I watch and love the show, like you.

    About our meet&greet with the wonderful Mark Dacascos in Munich – He isn’t actually working in Munich. He just came here for the meet&greet after we had mentionned to him on Facebook/Twitter that some H50 fans would love to meet him while he’s filming in Germany. Since he wanted to visit the Oktoberfest, anyway, the production company also arranged the meet&greet with us fans. We definitely had a great time with him – which you can easily tell when you see all the smiling faces on the photos in the album on your Five-0 Redux Facebook page :-)
    By the way, Mark also posted some really good photos of himself in his Oktoberfest outfit on Twitter today. Take a look, fans! :-)

    • Terry FiveOs

      Most crimes in real life fall into the same categories too. That’s why police have entire divisions devoted to robbery, homicide, missing persons, fraud, sex crimes, etc. Generally speaking, crime isn’t all that creative. ;-)

  • Dina

    Wendie- bravo!!!!
    Of course my only disappointment in show was the flashback eliminated Rachel from the clip- very obvious and I thought poor choice. Now I understand it is Matt’s story but how Matt was brought in intwined her and Danny so I just thought she should of been included.
    Other wise show was great really beginning back a feeling of Season 1!!!

  • pauldunn1

    Wendie,
    Another great review and ep. I also like to see the scenes with Duke. While they are usually brief, they always add to the ep. This season it looks like there are a number of story arcs for us to consider. It will make for a great season especially due to the larger number of eps.

    Paul

  • Terry FiveOs

    I enjoyed much about this episode. Although a story can easily pull you in when there’s a super-villain, I also like the more subtle episodes, where instead of a “bad guy,” you have good people who’ve made bad mistakes and must live with the consequences.

    Anthony Ruivivar’s character looks like he’s going to be one scary dude and it made me feel tense that Danny wasn’t picking up on that. LOL I wanted to yell at him, “You’re not taking him seriously enough This guy is dangerous!”

    A couple of things were off for me, the first being Danny saying that a parent senses when their child is in trouble. Not only is that not true, but Danny himself didn’t “sense” anything when his own daughter was kidnapped. That sort of romanticism just doesn’t ring true to me but it in truth, it’s vintage Five-0. The second thing was Grover seemed to spend a lot of time just sneering at the presumed bad guy. (You’ve posted a great picture of it here!) Chi is a better actor than that so I hope doesn’t become a “thing.” I don’t want Grover to become a caricature.

    It was great to see William Mapother play against type and not be the villain. I love it when shows cast against type – as long as it works, and it did here. Actually, I think all of the actors in this episode did a great job including Natasha Henstridge and of course the heart-breaking performance by former Moonlight actor Brian White. Thumbs up.

  • jlopie1

    Well, I certainly enjoyed this episode, and your review of it as well, Wendie! I thought the writing was crisp, the story dramatic in a character-based way this time, and the emotions portrayed were genuine. No “suspension of belief” was needed this week. We were kept in suspense virtually to the end of the hour – I really thought it was all William Mapother’s character who was the villain, and it surprised me that he was totally unaware of what his wife had done to hide the defect his company had brushed under the table.

    I also loved that Steve deferred to Danny to talk Jason (the dad who felt all that guilt for two long years thinking he was to blame for his little girl’s death) out of killing the mom or himself. I’m so glad that the show is allowing Danny to BE a good detective as well as BAMF this season! I agree his character has been too argumentative in a not-very-nice way the last season or two, and perhaps his little life-changing time spent underground with a ready rod sticking out of his side has indeed helped him to get over himself somewhat. Whatever the case may be, I’m certainly liking this Danny!

    I know that the McGarrett storyline will be coming back to the forefront soon enough. It’s nice to see the other characters getting some screen time now.

  • Robin Jane Bridges

    I liked that it wasn’t the usual wife, husband or business partner being the bad guy, instead it was a man, who felt he had no choice, but to do what he did. He was bad, he could not even pull the trigger, and Sophia may have told him her name and he realized he had the wrong girl. His brother-in-law, that one was a bad man. I like how everyone worked together. It felt right. I wonder why next Kono doesn’t want to that swim suit, maybe she has her own red one. LOL!!!

  • Linda M. Stein

    Great review Wendie. I really enjoyed this episode a lot. Not every episode has to have massive car chases and explosions. These smaller scale stories that tug at the heart are just as enjoyable. They give the actors some great character stuff to play and that is always a great thing. I agree that kidnapping is just the type of crime a major task force would tackle and this one had enough twists and turns to make it different, enjoyable and incredibly nerve racking! So far Season 5 has more than delivered. I know this is only the 2nd episode but I have no doubt the rest of the season will be just as great!

  • squidward

    Oh, thank you to Steve and the gang for saving Hawaii from yet another spin off of NCIS by handling these kinds of cases!

  • Diane

    Hi Wendie, Loved this episode. I agree, anytime they tie in the characters remembering their past experiences in their own lives, gives these wonderful actors a great place to show their acting skills. Loved the twists in this episode, was looking for the father not the mother to be the cause of what was happening. A little sexist, I know, but thats where my mind goes. I like being fooled, makes the whole experience of watching so much fun. Looking forward to next week.