Five-0 Redux: Stealing time

Jan. 10, 2015 | 13 Comments

PHOTOS COURTESY CBSWhen a tourist is killed after unknowingly transporting a stolen Van Gogh, an undercover Kono and Chin enter the world of black market priceless art and are taken hostage. Also, McGarrett asks Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto to help train Kamekona to beat Chef Sam Choy in a shrimp cook-off.

PHOTOS COURTESY CBS

When a tourist is killed after unknowingly transporting a stolen Van Gogh, an undercover Kono and Chin enter the world of black market priceless art and are taken hostage. Also, McGarrett asks Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto to help train Kamekona to beat Chef Sam Choy in a shrimp cook-off.

BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser

In today’s world, most of us are more concerned about stealing time than we are about stealing things. Time is far more precious, so a story about something being stolen is so common, most of us tend to concern ourselves with more interesting news or finding a few more minutes of that precious time.

This week’s episode of “Hawaii Five-0” made me really think about the role art plays in our world. Art is far more than just something colorful we hang on our walls or use as computer screen-savers. Art truly reminds us of the beauty human beings can create, especially when that human was an artist named Vincent Van Gogh.

If you have ever stood in front of a Van Gogh — a real one, painted by the master, and not a poster — you probably experienced the power behind looking at a piece of artwork. When you witness true artistry, it can sometimes move you to think about what it would be like to possess more than just something colorful to hang on your walls.

Perhaps we don’t always understand it, but without art, our world would be a bit more mundane, and far less interesting.

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With all that said, I certainly enjoyed “Ua ʻaihue” (“Stolen”), which featured an attempted murder over a piece of stolen art entitled “Blue Irises.” (In real life, the painting is known as “Still Life: Vase with Irises Against a Yellow Background” and is safely ensconced at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.)

The stolen painting was stashed in the carry-on luggage of unsuspecting tourist Bryan Wallace (Gerald Downey) by Belgian art thief Lukas Janssen (Henri Lubatti). Janssen escapes TSA scrutiny in Honolulu before finding Wallace and shooting him for his luggage — all so he can sell the piece to a high roller in town for the Pacific Art Forum.

Of course, McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and the Five-0 team — which was made up this week of Chin (Daniel Dae Kim), Kono (Grace Park), Lou (Chi McBride), Jerry (Jorge Garcia) and bounty hunter Nicole Booth (Rebecca Mader) — discover the stolen Van Gogh is only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. It’s actually a cover to find more stolen art held by wealthy local businessman Tom Emery (Casper Andreas), which Janssen and his crew plan to steal in a major bait-and-switch operation.

Chin goes undercover as a wealthy art patron with Kono as his beautiful assistant, who proceeds to hook shady art appraiser Gerard Hirsch (Willie Garson) into helping them connect with the black market via Emery. Hirsch brings them to a ritzy charity event under the guise of buying art at Emery’s home; when Hirsch gives Emery the nod that Chin and Kono are interested in more than just the mundane art set aside for the charity event, Emery leads them to a secret room where famous pieces of stolen art decorate his walls.

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I found the story very fascinating. The tension was nicely played throughout. Like the secret room of famous stolen paintings, nothing was as it seemed in this episode.

“Hawaii Five-0” loves to lead us down false paths, and this week was no exception. But unlike other episodes that often leave me guessing and frustrated, I happily went along for the ride. The tension was superb in this episode, and I found myself watching more than taking notes. Even the incorporation of Jerry into the storyline seemed effortless and made a lot of sense this week, moreso than other episodes this season.

The idea of stolen art being forged and then sold next to legitimate art added to the intrigue. The high stakes, glamour and prestige was very cool to watch. And Jerry’s “everything is a conspiracy” thought process worked nicely into the storyline.

As Chin donned James Bond spy glasses and Kono strapped herself into a glittery gown, the two played undercover with cool style. And Jerry’s computer hacking skills, which helped the team figure out Janssen’s ultimate plan to steal all of Emery’s ill-gotten art, didn’t seem like the writers were just trying to give Jerry something to do with the team.

McGarrett’s secondary storyline with Kamekona (Taylor Wily) and Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto working together to beat Hawaiian chef Sam Choy at the Shrimpapalooza was priceless. I don’t think I’ve laughed so much during “Five-0” in ages.

Morimoto becoming Kamekona’s shrimp sensei was perfect, while Kamekona’s revelation of how he became a chef was terrific. I don’t think we’ve ever had this much of Kamekona’s backstory revealed in one episode. Sure, we’ve gotten bits and pieces of his life over the course of four and a half seasons (we know he was a confidential informant for Chin and the HPD, and he has a criminal past and is trying to go legit with his shrimp truck and his helicopter businesses.) But the story of how he learned how to cook from Trigger Mike while locked up in prison and how he first stared to become well-known there for his shrimp dishes — that was awesome.

Morimoto was right when he told Kamekona to cook from the heart, even if that meant cooking on a hot plate running off a car battery and using the bottom of a coffee can and a razor blade as a knife to make the perfect shrimp dish. It was how he needed to cook to become a shrimp samurai.

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Really, I’m not sure what I enjoyed more, the fun and lighthearted competitive story with Kamekona and Morimoto or the slick undercover operation the team took on to capture a few bad guys of the art world. Both made for fun entertainment, and I appreciated writer David Wolkove’s script as well as Jeffrey Hunt’s excellent direction.

Hunt always keeps the tension perfect, and even the ending shootout between the art thieves and Five-0 was a hot scene. He also did an excellent job matching the humor with the action and drama. The Kamekona story could have been overdone and hokey, but it was quite enjoyable without relying on slapstick humor to make it work.

I also love seeing familiar faces, and this week we got a dose of Flippa (Shawn Mokuahi Garnett) in a very funny scene with Kamekona, who was trying to kill him for signing him up to be in the cooking battle with Sam Choy. Flippa shouting to Kamekona, “I love you!” was so darling, even as Kamekona almost begged McGarrett to let him “rough him up a bit.” It’s obvious the cousins really love each other.

Sgt. Duke Lukela (Dennis Chun) was back in a short scene with Kono, helping her find out who their shooter was at the start of the episode. At some point I’d love to get more of his backstory as we did this week with Kamekona. I bet there’s more to Duke and his relationship with McGarrett’s father than we know.

Officer Pua Kai (Shawn Thomsen) also returned to help Kono again. Thankfully, his character was a bit more subtle and his confidence didn’t overstep his role as it did in the Christmas episode.

If nothing else, all of the characters seemed to be at ease in their roles this week. McGarrett was in charge in both storylines; Lou took on Danno’s role as McG’s back-up guy, even offering some good advise about pride and what makes a man hide his failure from his family; Chin and Kono took on some cool but dangerous undercover work, especially Kono having to play pretty bait to get some much needed intel; and Jerry worked himself seamlessly into the team.

Overall, it was an entertaining episode, with several precious moments of humor and charm. All things we can certainly steal time for on a Friday night.

Redux Side Note

In case you missed him, comedian and popular Hawaiʻi entertainer, Augie Tulba was featured in this week’s episode. He played the judge who crowned Kamekona the winner of the cooking battle. Tulba also played Kekipi, the helicopter pilot McGarrett borrowed choppers from in season one.
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Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

  • KAD1228

    It was a great, fun episode! It reminded me a little of the Thomas Crown Affair! Intrigue and beautiful people dressed to the nines is always a winning situation and this was no exception! Chin and Kono were fantastic and I love that Chin channeled Vincent’s eyeglasses – cool move!! They really need to use them together a whole lot more! And finally some McGrover time! And well worth the wait -miss them, love them together. The cook-off was fun! It’s always great to learn more about our beloved Ohana and who didn’t think Kamekona wouldn’t win!! All-in-all an excellent episode – this epi is definitely worth a re-watch (along w/last weeks and, of course, 5.07). I’m really looking forward to more of this high quality writing for the rest of this long season! Mahalo for the great review!

  • Robin Jane Bridges

    I laughed, ducked behind my kindle when the shooting started. I enjoyed it a lot. I knew that woman was playing Steve, she gave in to easily. I only missed Danny a little bit. Who was Flip going to hit with that pot or pan he had, that would not have hurt Kam. LOL! Next the CAR is stolen and Steve is babysitting Gracie. Dum Da Dum….

  • pauldunn1

    Wendie,

    Thank you again for a great review and the inside story of some of the local actors. That information is very interesting. I enjoyed the ep.

    Paul

  • Dina

    Great review!! and I enjoyed it as well- Just wish they made A comment to where Danny was- show flowed well without him ( not that it means he should be GONE from team) alas it would of been nice to know. The writers have done a fantastic job of making those quick statements and thus the viewers stop “waiting” to hear or see why a character is not in show. IMHO

  • Rhonda

    Great review,Wendie! Totally agree with you on every point! I really loved this episode!

  • Angela Gerstner

    This episode was definitely a lot of fun and so well-entertaining that it even distracted me from today’s migraines. I think I’ll rewatch it – it’s the best medicine :-)
    Thanks for the fantastic review, Wendie – I’ll keep my comment short today with a “Ditto” to your review. I couldn’t say it better than you, anyway.

  • edmattes763

    I really liked both stories in this episode. We got to see a good Chin and Kono story with the black market art and the Kamekona story was great too. I especially liked watching him cook the shrimp dish on the battery-powered hotplate.

  • alex fan

    Great review, I totally agree. I so loved an episode without snark or whining and the Kamekona character stuff was so well written, he sometimes comes off hard and funny and it was so nice to see his softer more vulnerable side. McGarrett and Grover working together just clicked, they now show so much respect for each other it’s really nice. I was so very happy for the ending both the hospital scene where Steve was able to give the family the reward money and the cooking competition. Who knew
    Chef Morimoto could act and do a really good job too. I have to admit I didn’t miss Danny and actually didn’t realize until the show was over that he wasn’t in it. Thanks Wendie for a wonderful review.

  • TerrysaGirl

    You got it right on all points, WJ! Really fun episode. Chef Morimoto is a hoot!

  • jlopie1

    I have to agree with all your points, Wendie! This was a fun, classy, smart episode. Love Kono and Chin undercover as Mr. Park and Miss Lin. We knew Grace Park cleans up well, and boy, did she ever knock the socks off of viewers in that gorgeous dress!

    Ratings and viewership were up again this week – hopefully H50 has it’s mojo back and continues performing well! Thanks for the review, Wendie!

  • june77

    Thank you for the spot-on review, Wendie! I hope Chef Morimoto enjoyed his ‘victory’ over Sam Choy. It was a blast seeing the Iron Chef at work in a real restaurant kitchen. As others said, I didn’t realize Danno was missing, and wish the writer just mentioned where Danno was. I liked the ‘bounty hunter with a heart’ – perhaps she will return in a future episode to seek the team’s help.

  • http://www.mostlyfive0.wordpress.com/ MostlyFive0

    Thanks for another great review for a very enjoyable episode.
    Finally we got some McGrover, was about time. Chin and Kono had something other to do than standing around the smart table. I loved that. Danny was not missed at all. Kamekona’s story with Morimoto was superb and entertaining.
    The crime of the week was fun to watch with a very satisfying ending.
    All around a fun hour of television. I hope this trend of better episodes will continue after some really bad ones this season.

  • Diane

    Great Episode. I think the show flowed well, but I do not think it was because Danno was not there. He will be there next week. I like the snarky Steve/Danny scenes, these are 2 men who have evolved into brothers, and do what brothers do. Loved the Kamekono storyline with Chef Morimoto. Looking forward to next Friday. Thanks Wendie