Five-0 Redux: Just the right kick
BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser
I guess a kick in the head is much better than a bullet in your gut. Unless, of course, you get hit with both.
While each type of attack is obviously painful to endure, it seemed as if they proved beneficial in this week’s episode of “Hawaii Five-0.” In one way, it brought out some interesting information that helped to capture this week’s villain; it also served as a reminder to one member of the Five-0 team about what is most important in life.
I’m not a fan of beating someone just to get things back on track, but in this case, it did help former drug dealer turned federal informant JC Dekker (Xzibit). He proved to the Five-0 team that he really is a not-so-likely villain.
Dekker returned in “Pōwehiwehi,” or “Blackout,” to help Five-0 identify a Bulgarian arms dealer who U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jeff Morrison (Greg Grunberg) had been hunting for eight months. Morrison got Dekker released six years early from Halawa Correctional Facility in an attempt to use Dekker and his contacts to capture Roman, an elusive bad guy who no one had ever seen or could identify. And once again Morrison looked to Five-0 to help him wrap up his investigation.
The last time Morrison and Five-0 banded together to close a case was in season two, when Morrison aided McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and his team in finding the killer of Morrison’s friend, Monica Jennsen. Dekker, was last seen in last season’s “Kū I Ka Pili Koko” (“Blood Brothers”) when he helped Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) and Kono (Grace Park) from behind bars to find a connection to his brother who was killed in the building collapse that endangered McG and Danno (Scott Caan).
The last time we saw Dekker he was in prison. This week, our first glimpse at Dekker was of him trying to get back into prison. It was sort of an interesting way to start an episode, with a guy trying to break in and not out. That’s a new one.
But that’s what happens when you get kicked in the head. You sort of lose all your senses, which is what happened to Dekker — a complete blackout of all memory of being released from Halawa, meeting up with his dawn patrol surf buddy Odell Martin (guest star Michael Imperioli of “The Sopranos” fame) and setting up a meeting with Roman.
Seems like getting out of prison wasn’t what Dekker had hoped it would be. I’m sure Morrison was thinking that not only was entire case going down a lava tube, but so was his career.
Thankfully, McGarrett — this time sans Danno, who was in New Jersey testifying in an old case from his from his NJPD days — helped figure out who the real Roman really was.
It seems as if in every case this season, everyone gets to play the lead at some point. While the fifth man seemed to have trouble melding into the team in the past — see Lori Weston (Lauren German) in season two and Catherine (Michelle Borth) in season four — this time it really works with Lou Grover (Chi McBride) as the fifth member. He doesn’t seem to stand out and it doesn’t seem like he’s someone who was stuck into the team to fill a gap.
He’s not just a wingman. He investigates, makes decisions, and has never been an errand boy for McG. Maybe it’s because Grover’s character was fully formed before he joined the crew, or because McBride is such a talent, but he really has integrated himself into the team. I really like Grover and the dynamic he adds. Face it, Five-0 needed a SWAT guy to add to their firepower.
And speaking of firepower, it’s always nice to see Kono kicking butt in an episode. She’s taken a lot of hits lately, but this episode was a major kick to not only her head, but to her heart as well.
Or should I say her gut? Remember, Hawaiians believe all of our deepest emotions and darkest fears reside not in our hearts, but in our naʻau, our guts. And Kono took a big kick to her gut in this episode.
I guess when the man you love asks you to marry him several times, and you keep saying no, maybe Dekker was right and Kono is the one with commitment issues. And that’s not something that can be solved with a special delivery of Leonard’s Bakery malasadas, either.
The issue Kono is dealing with has to do with Adam (Ian Anthony Dale) and his past. In a sense, it’s both of their pasts coming back to haunt them. Adam’s business, no matter how legitimate it is now, was “a business born out of corruption” and for a cop to have a husband with that kind of business could be hard to deal with both emotionally and professionally.
Kono knows what her cousin Chin went through to clear his own name with HPD. She, of all people, knows how the dirt sometimes doesn’t just wash off — even when you’re trying to be clean.
That’s how Michael, Adam’s brother, came back into their lives, and that is what started the entire mess with Kono and Adam having to be on the run for almost a year. To be married to that, and think about having a family within those confines, must be hard for Kono to imagine.
Perhaps fighting a killer arms dealer who also happened to be a very bad girl kicked some sense into her. The ending of Dekker’s blackout not only brought to light the real villain, but also gave Kono some perspective as to how she really felt about Adam.
So the ending of this week’s episode was both shocking and sweet. Kono got the bad girl with a defibrillator and told Adam she will be his wife. I cheered at both moments, because for a while there I thought Kono was going to break it off with Adam. I thought Kono might do that whole “it’s best for you if we’re apart” nonsense that too many sappy storylines run into.
Thankfully, writers Travis Donnelly and Eric Guggenheim, as well as director Peter Weller, crafted an episode that married everything fans like about “Hawaii Five-0.” There was a good story, great action and sweet moments. I think the ending was the one of the best moments this season; Jerry (Jorge Garcia) got Adam the special malasadas as a peace offering, and in return Adam let him take his Ferrari for a spin.
Jerry has Dean Martin’s “Ain’t That A Kick In The Head?” playing with the top down and the sun shining as he cruised along Kalanianaole Highway. The song and the scene is juxtaposed with Kono taking Adam out of a meeting with his business partners where he is planning to sell his company. Kono agreed to marry him as Jerry sang along:
“If this is just the beginning / My life’s gonna be beautiful / I’ve sunshine enough to spread; It’s just like the fella said / “Tell me quick, ain’t love like a kick in the head?”
Thanks for the kick, “Five-0.” Now don’t mess it up by killing anyone or kidnapping anyone or blowing anyone up. Sometimes fans just want one of the team members to have a real happy ending.
REDUX SIDE NOTE:
Dennis Chun was back this week as Sgt. Duke Lukela helping Grover and Chin investigate the scene where Dekker was shot. Even when Chun has a small scene, fans from around the world — who have met him and corresponded with him — love when he is on screen.
Frank Bayot played a valet at the Moana Surfrider. He was in the scene where Adam arrived to meet with Jerry and set up operation malasada for Kono. Bayot’s sister was the late Bernadette Bayot, making him the uncle of her son, Peter Hernandez Jr., better known around the world as Bruno Mars.
Former NFL defensive end, and Mililani High School and University of Hawaiʻi graduate, Ma’a Tanuvasa, reprised his Sheriff role from the season four finale. This time Tanuvasa had a name, Marcus Kalawaia, as well as a short scene where he brought Michael Imperioli’s character into Five-0 Headquarters.
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.