Five-0 Redux: Searching for the truth

Feb. 14, 2015 | 12 Comments

PHOTOS COURTESY CBSWhen a journalist is killed, Five-0 must use his past reporting to hunt down a presumed dead Congolese warlord who is alive and well living on Oahu.

PHOTOS COURTESY CBS

When a journalist is killed, Five-0 must use his past reporting to hunt down a presumed dead Congolese warlord who is alive and well living on Oahu.

BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser

The search for the truth is a fundamental theme for “Hawaii Five-0.” Week after week we see McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and his team wade through waves of lies and bad behavior brought to them from many an unsavory villain.

This week’s episode, “E ʻImi Pono” (“Searching for the Truth”), was no exception, as the Five-0 team worked overtime to find the murderer of freelance journalist and documentarian Julius Brennan (AJ Buckley). Brennan had been working on a documentary about war in the Congo and one of the country’s major warlords, Roko Makoni (played by guest star Barkhad Abdi), who at one time was the “most wanted warlord in the world.”

Unfortunately for Makoni, who faked his death and escaped to Hawaiʻi, he was recognized by one of his child soldiers, Patrice Thomas (Feikamoh Massaquoi). Thomas notified the one man who could have revealed the truth about Makoni — the journalist who saved him, Brennan.

Makoni probably should have just stuck to being a cab driver instead of tangling with McGarrett.

Seriously, I wanted to feed him a plate lunch just to make him look like he was actually alive. Makoni looked half-dead even before Kono’s (Grace Park) well-aimed sniper shot. But perhaps he was supposed to look frightening as “even the devil is afraid of him.”

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“Hawaii Five-0” writer Kenny Kyle and director Allison Liddi Brown did an excellent job creating a mystery that surrounded more than just a search for the truth. They also included two characters who lost their lives in that search, which of course opened the door for the Five-0 team to add their own skills to capture an international villain.

It was fascinating to learn that Brennan, a journalist who was so moved to find the truth about what really happened to Makoni, was more than obsessed with the subject of his documentary. Brennan’s hypergraphia, which is a real condition “characterized by the intense desire to write,” was an interesting clue to help the team to unravel the case. They would have never found Patrice Thomas if Brennan had not scrawled his name onto his body and all over his hotel room walls.

It was a little strange, but still a clever way for the dead man to leave behind a strong clue. I also liked how the case used Brennan’s documentary about the boys kidnapped by Makoni and forced into his child army as a way to reveal information and the story of the other murder victim. By the time Five-0 finds Thomas, he has been killed by Makoni and the only way they learned of his connection to the case was through Brennan’s documentary.

While the case kept me thinking and guessing, I really enjoyed watching the team work together as a harmonious and strong unit. Everyone seem to take a bit of the lead this week.

Grover headed the take down of retired CIA agent Ben Hamilton; Kono (Grace Park) made the perfect sniper in order to allow McGarrett to disarm Makoni and save his hostages; and Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) led the digital investigation finding much of the evidence that helped them delve into Brennan and Makoni’s past.

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Danno (Scott Caan) returned this week, and while he fit back in with the team as if he had never been missing, I mostly enjoyed his banter with McG about Gracie (Teilor Grubbs). Daddy Danno seems to be having a hard time dealing with Gracie and her texting a boy.

“She’s 12. There should not be any romance in her airspace,” he said.

While Caan has always played a great dad, he seems to really be hitting all his marks this season dealing with the many changes his “monkey” is going through. Perhaps it is because he’s a new dad and has a daughter of his own, but whatever the reason, the scene where he arrives at the ice cream shop (Kaimuki’s Via Gelato) to confront Gracie for lying to him was really perfect. His face showed all the love of a father beginning to accept that his little girl is growing up.

The two guest stars were very interesting. While Barkhad Abdi was touted as the special guest, I thought Feikamoh Massaquoi, who played Thomas, was a stellar actor. The scene where he told the story of the death of his parents and how he sacrificed himself to save his little brother was incredibly well done. And Darrell Lake, who played Patrice’s brother, Wesley, had a very sweet scene at the end where he said goodbye to his hero.

As always, the best part of the episode had to be the ending scene at Grover’s house for the Valentine’s barbecue. Kamekona (Taylor Wily) offering Grover some grilling advice was as darling as Grover’s matching heart-speckled chef’s hat and apron. And Jerry (Jorge Garcia) offering Dr. Shaw (Amanda Setton) a rose, as well as Danno and Gracie making amends, really drove home the Valentine’s Day sweetness.

If nothing else, “Hawaii Five-0” does hearts and flowers very well — just about as well as the show does searching for the truth.

REDUX SIDE NOTE

While it was really great to see our regular Hawaiʻi talent on the show, the family taken hostage by Roko Makoni were also local actors. Jennie Lee Sine, who played the mother, also played Stephanie in “Hoʻāpono” (“Accept”) from season one. Elyssa Joy played the daughter and Brian Gibson played the dad. Both Joy and Gibson have lots of stage experience in Hawai’i and all three are represented by the ADR Agency.
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Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

  • Carol S Kohn

    I agree with you on this week’s episoe too, Wendie; in my own opinon, this one ranks as one of the best so far this season as the only one that topped itin my own opinion) was the one relatted to the Japanese problems at the time of World War 2.

  • Mary Tomshack

    I loved the episode. It was one of the best of the season. Wait a minute. How can we say every episode each week is the best of the season. Maybe because this season rocks. There have been so many this season I can’t pick one that stands out. This has been a great season. The crime of the week was awesome. The bad guy sent chills down my spine, and the reporter was awesome. You could see when he interviewed the boys the concern and caring in his expression. A J Buckley really shined in this episode. Of course, I am always a fan of the bromance. And this week was extra special. I love when the boys show their brotherly love and help each other through their issues. When Steve told Danny that he was proud of him, I melted.
    I was a little surprised when Grace lied to Danno but in the end she made it right and told him the truth. Giving Danno’s overprotectiveness, she probably thought it was the only way to see this boy. It is so heartwarming that we are seeing both father and daughter struggling with her growing up. Fantastic acting on both their parts but I agree, Wendy, you could see Danno being both happy and sad about a new chapter in her life beginning. I am really liking Dr. Shaw in the series. She really does add to it. And I always like Jerry, but I liked him better this time. This time, he really served a purpose and did what he was meant to do, decipher. Kono the sniper was back. I can honestly say, I knew it was going to be Kono that got the guy. Some people on the Facbook page mentioned that Grace was not there at the end when the team was all together. I put that down to she just got engaged last week and maybe her and Adam were having their own romantic evening. Thanks for the great review, Wendy.

  • Angela Gerstner

    Yes, Makoni was definitely on of the most “unsavory” villains Five-0 has had to deal with. It’s amazing that this guy actually looked more frightening than deplorable with his underfed and ill look. Usually, when I see people who look as skinny as Makoni, I rather feel pity with them – but definitely not in his case.
    I thought the entire story was very good and very moving – especially the scenes with the brothers (in the morgue and in the documentary). Hopefully, the younger one will get over his brother’s death by keeping in mind that he was a hero (Oh, wait, this was only a TV show, anyway, so no need to get over any deaths).
    My personal hero in this episode was sniper Kono, by the way. I loved how she shot Makoni (and saved our Steve!!) but didn’t kill him because it would have been too easy on him. Well done, lady!

    What I loved most about this episode were, however, all those very personal and/or very sweet moments with the extended Five-0 `ohana – such as the entire ending sequence at the Valentine’s barbecue. I will never not love seeing our `ohana like this – enjoying a meal together, chatting and having fun. That’s always the perfect ending for me!
    I also loved the scene with Steve and Danno at McG’s house. And before the episode even aired, I watched the coffee-making scene in the preview clip about a dozen times or more. Yes, call me crazy but Steve in Blue accompanied by the beautiful song “Bulletproof Picasso” by Train was just the perfect “appetizer” to make me look forward to this great episode :-)

  • pauldunn1

    Wendie,

    Thank you as always for the info on the local actors in the ep. This was another strong ep.
    Paul

  • edmattes763

    The story of Grace and Danny was perfect. Grace obviously has to grow up (and thus have an interest in boys) and Danny has finally realized this and came to terms with it. I like that when he went to the gelato shop he changed his mind about confronting her and realized they were only having innocent fun.
    I also liked it that Kono let the African warlord live and face punishment for his crimes in this life before ending it all for him and sending him to eternity so easily.

  • Rhonda

    Great review,Wendie! This was one of my favorite episodes,mainly because of the situation with Danny & Gracie-he finally realizes that she is growing up. The story of the African warlord was very intense,especially him holding those hostages. Kono proved to be a good shot and I like what she told Chin about the warlord,mainly that killing him would have been a cheap way out for him.

  • Robin Jane Bridges

    I really liked last night’s episode. I, too, wanted to give the bad guy something to eat, he looked so skinny. Loved Danny and his monkey, too.

  • Shelley Theis

    I really enjoyed tonight’s episode – so good to see Danny back and watching him struggle as he realizes his Gracie is growing up. The talk between him and Gracie at the end was perfect. Also loved how Steve told Danny he was proud of him and at the beginning when Danny said I am going to kill the little punk – Steve asked who are we going to kill – LOL.

  • Dina

    Great episode! I guess I have a new ship Jerry and Dr Shaw!!! how cute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    The opening with Danny and Steve- was brilliant. Although I was a bit grossed out by butter an coffee – yes Wendie I share your passion for coffee and to see it desecrated in that manner disturb me just a bit hehehehe!
    I thought the plot was rather new and interesting for show- but the writing this season has been wonderful overall!

  • Linda M. Stein

    Great review Wendie. I loved this episode from start to finish. When the documentary bit was playing, with those boys telling of the horrors they’d see and how they’d rather be dead then live in their country, I was sitting on the edge of my seat. I almost forgot I was watching Five-0. It felt as if I was watching an actual documentary on CNN or something. It was done so well.

    The bromance, Ohana scenes and those between Danny and Gracie were priceless. I loved how not only did Gracie confess her lie to Danny but he also confessed that he’d been reading her texts and had followed her to the ice cream pallor. It showed how much they have BOTH grown up and how their relationship has evolved from not only unconditional love but also absolute trust.

  • Starryfish

    Well, I got a laugh at how the bad guy had a few failed attempts before he was able to hijack a car. I often wonder why more drivers don’t zoom away like those first few drivers did!

  • Diane

    I agree with your review Wendie. The guest actors all did an excellent job. The story was very touching and horrifying. McG and Danny discussing Grace, McG being the force of reason, to Danny being a normal father of a little girl growing up. Loved how they told each other what was really going on, and that Danny let Grace have her ice cream date. The BBQ at Grover’s was perfect, loved the heart shaped burgers, Jerry showing he has some game, and all of them having a good time. Missed Kono in this, but obviously a newly engaged couple would want to be alone on Valentine’s day, so I understood. Glad they made Kono the sharp shooter.