Five-0 Redux: Searching for the truth
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.”
“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.
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.
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.