Five-0 Redux: Following our naʻau

Apr. 4, 2015 | 9 Comments

PHOTOS COURTESY CBS When Grover's oldest and closest friend tells him he witnessed his wife fall off a cliff to her death, Grover's gut instinct tells him that this was no accident. Also, Danny and Dr. Shaw get trapped in an elevator with a dead body in need of processing.

PHOTOS COURTESY CBS

When Grover’s oldest and closest friend tells him he witnessed his wife fall off a cliff to her death, Grover’s gut instinct tells him that this was no accident. Also, Danny and Dr. Shaw get trapped in an elevator with a dead body in need of processing.

BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser

Whenever I’m faced with making a tough decision and decide to follow my naʻau — my gut feeling — it’s often difficult for me to explain to others.

Intuition is defined as the natural ability or power which makes it possible to know something without any proof or evidence. It’s also a good description of the Hawaiian concept of naʻau. We follow our naʻau because that is where we believe the truth resides. Much like how detectives use their instinct when they are investigating a case; it’s hard to explain and hard to prove, but usually right on the mark.

“‘Ike Hānau,” or “Instinct” in Hawaiian, delves into the investigative means many cops live and die by. This week Capt. Grover (Chi McBride) comes face-to-face with having to decide whether to trust his investigative instincts or his 25-year friendship with a fellow Chicago cop.

Written by Moira Kirland and Eric Guggenheim from a story by Peter Lenkov and Peter M. Tassler, the episode follows Grover and his wife as friends Clay (Mykelti Williamson) and Diane Maxwell (Kim Wayans) arrive in Hawaiʻi to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary. When Diane falls off a cliff in Kualoa while hiking, it’s Grover who doubts her husband’s story almost from the start and asks McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) to help him figure out what was bothering his naʻau.

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Likewise, Danno (Scott Caan) and Dr. Mindy Shaw (Amanda Setton) only have their instincts to rely on while they start an investigation into a shooting while stuck in an elevator. With only the victim’s body and Dr. Shaw’s purse to help them, they found a few clues that helped them catch the dead man’s killer.

I love when the Five-0 team uses their gut feelings, their intuition and their investigative instincts based on years of experience to help solve their cases. Yes, they need proof, but more often than not it’s those gut feelings which lead them to the evidence they seek.

Of course, that really wasn’t the point with the elevator breaking down — the entire Danno being stuck in a small box and how he handled his claustrophobia was the real story. I’m glad Dr. Shaw was intuitive enough to realize what was going on with Danno and helped him relax. I did enjoy her medical explanation of what happened, which he called a “glitch” as his body lies to him and causes his panic.

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Still, with Danno asking Dr. Shaw to speak English when she used medical terms I couldn’t write down fast enough, I would probably have enjoyed it more if Kono (Grace Park) or Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) were stuck with him. I know we all would have loved it if McGarrett had been with him, but we’ve seen that scene several times and it would have just been trite.

I like the Dr. Shaw character, but it would have been a stronger scene with one of the regulars. If they are positioning her character as a potential love interest, that would be interesting, but it doesn’t seem that way. They seem to be in the friends zone, which is fine, but I still think it’s better when the core team gets to spend time together and not just working a case.

I know many fans were focused on how law enforcement cannot arrest someone without evidence throughout this week’s episode. So it was good that McGarrett, Chin and Kono all played devil’s advocate and questioned Grover’s instincts regarding Diane’s death. I liked how each character said exactly what I was thinking; they voiced all the what-ifs regarding Clay’s actions and reactions to Diane’s fall.

Still, Grover’s job is to find the evidence — even if it means trusting his gut and following through until the real story comes out.

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Obviously, this is what Grover planned on doing once he was done mourning not only Diane’s death, but also the end of his long friendship with Clay. I was heartbroken for him when he said to Clay, “You used me.”

Grover knew the trip was a cover for Clay’s plan to kill Diane and have his best friend overlook the inconsistencies, which would allow Clay to be free to move on with a younger girlfriend.

While that may not have been enough to prove Clay killed Diane, it was enough for Grover to investigate deeper. His instincts would lead him to the proof. That was the point.

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Overall, I liked this episode. There was more acting than action, more emotion than gunfights and fistfights, but it was still a very strong showing for director Maja Vrvilo.

I know, I know: “But there wasn’t enough McGarrett!”

Okay, I’ll give you that, but he really did provide a few important elements within the episode. In the last scene with Grover when he said, “You could have turned away. You could have squashed that little voice in your head and let your friend walk, but you didn’t,” that had to be said. Sometimes a cop has little more to help them through a situation but their instincts.

REDUX SIDE NOTE

On Tuesday, “Five-0” regulars Dennis Chun and Daniel Dae Kim joined executive producers Peter Lenkov and Jeff Downer and unit production manager Craig Cannold at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii for a ceremony that honored the dedication of the Honouliuli National Monument, which took place in Kunia the same day.

Chun shared a short message about the event on his Facebook page:

www.facebook.com/dennischunfanpage/posts/870901356306276">

Update from #dennischunLaura and I were privileged to attend the Honouliuli Community Ceremony held at the Japanese…

Chun also sent me a text message Friday that included a picture of himself and Mellow with her artwork shortly before he shot his last scene for season five. I thought his words completely captured a message of aloha and acceptance: “Laura’s work entitled ‘Honouliuli’ inspired by the stories of the internees was on display during the ceremony. We have gifted the work to the JCCH in honor of the strength and courage of the internees.

“While (barbed) wire may intern people it can never imprison their hearts, their courage, or their dreams.”
———
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

  • Dina

    I agree when the team works off their “gut feeling” it is always a good ride! To be honest I “didn’t miss” Steve – to me it is TEAM not Steve show…. however, I too couldn’t look away Chi and his old partner were mesmerizing! Chi’s wife was also a wonderful addition to this “acting class”.
    I AGREE there was fun and light in Danny and Shaw- I TRULY hope they stay friends- his show track record with romance is NOT good. and Scott ‘s acting is so good he could have on screen chemistry with a tree if need be hehehehe-
    I think having Chi in front was a great choice of episodes. IT allowed the rest of cast a “break” a well needed break for we are down to 5? for the season and I think it is gonna be a wild ride for all to come!

  • jlopie1

    I really enjoyed this episode in a completely different way from the average H50 episode. I don’t believe a gun was drawn once! That’s got to be a first for this show. :). This episode was based completely on characterization, and boy, did Chi and company do a wonderful job! He was chilling in his “you used me” speech. When he told Steve “Diane was my friend, too” I just wanted to hug him, but when he broke down in Renee’s arms at the end, I was bawling right along with him! Jeez, will there ever be an H50 episode this season where I don’t need a box of tissue sitting on my coffee table?

    Danny and Dr. Shaw stuck in the elevator – loved it! I have to disagree with you, though, Wendie – I don’t think the claustrophobia scene would have been better if it had been one of the Core characters in there with Danny. Peter Lenkov had alluded early in the season that there was real onscreen chemistry between Scott and Amanda Sutton and they might put them onscreen together again. This episode obviously arose because of that. I don’t think anyone else could have handled the situation better than Dr. Shaw. She gave Danny a reason for his claustrophobia that made sense to him and gave him a way to calm himself down until his body could catch up. We might very well have seen the last of his claustrophobia – which is fine by me, we’ve played that out for a couple seasons now.

    Core 4 light episode? Well, yes, and that, too, was fine with me. I don’t need Steve plastered on my screen for all 43 minutes of each and every episode. With there being 25 episodes this season, everyone deserves some down time.

    This was a solid episode – kudos to Chi and the writers and director! Thanks, Wendie

  • Mary Tomshack

    I loved the scene between Danno and Dr. Shaw. I love their chemistry together. Although, I do agree with Dina. Scott is such a great actor he has chemistry with everyone. His chemistry is contagious. Grover had a good story too. I like that his wife was so much in this episode. We haven’t seen too much of her and why would we. The little bits we have had of her are just enough but I like the way they found a way to include her in the story. We got to see more of Grover, the married man. I love the way they portrayed their relationship, the love and mutual respect for one another. You can see how she supports him in his job and has complete faith in him. As for the cases of the week, I knew the moment Grover started to suspect his friend was not telling the truth. I can see why the team were a little apprehensive at first but in the end they supported him. I liked how Steve complimented him at the end for not giving up. And Dr. Shaw picked just the right time to start her investigation into the case. She knew it was time to distract Danno. I hope we see more of them together. I think it would be really great to see this friendship slowly evolve into a romance. I think they could be the next Kensi and Deeks.

  • Rhonda

    This was an awesome episode! Chi’s performance was one of his best! His”You used me”speech sent chills down my spine! Sometimes,all a cop has are his instincts and in this case,Lou’s proved to be just enough to find out the truth,as heartbreaking as it was. Loved the scenes with Danny & Dr.Shaw-they had great chemistry together and I loved how she calmed him down and got him to help with the autopsy as a way to distract him from his fears.

  • Angela Gerstner

    Those who know me as a huge fan of Alex/Steve, may be surprised to hear that I felt perfectly entertained throughout this episode although we got very little of Alex/Steve in it. While I certainly welcome any minute of screentime that we get to enjoy with my favorite, I have always acknowledged the fact that Alex is not the only very talented member of the main cast. Chi’s excellent and captivating performance in this episode is proof of that fact. It’s absolutely o.k. to give each one in the main cast one or two episodes per season, in which they can shine and show their talent. With 25 episodes in one season, Alex certainly appreciates getting a bid of that burden of being the show’s lead taken from his shoulders in those occasional episodes that focus on his colleagues in the team. It’s a fair solution for both sides – the other actors get the recognition they deserve and Alex gets a little well-deserved break.

    But back to last night’s episode. While Lou might not have solid proof of his friend having killed his wife, Lou’s instincts definitely didn’t fail on him because his friend was cheating on his wife and was clearly just pretending to be happily in love. I just hope that Lou will find sufficient evidence to actually prove that his gut feeling was perfectly right.

    I always find it shocking when innocent people end up spending long years in prison, which is why I think there must absolutely be solid evidence to send a person to jail – but I find it equally shocking when someone has to be acquitted of a charge because of a lack of evidence although everyone involved has the gut feeling that the person is guilty.

    Just this week, a guy whom many believe to be the killer of an elderly woman in my direct neighbourhood, had to be released because his DNA on the victim was not the only DNA found, and the court couldn’t prove 100% that he was guilty although many neighbours (and even court-members) “feel” that he committed the murder. So hopefully Lou will succeed in proving his ex-friend’s guilt.

  • ImaGoNow

    Well I did miss Steve. Episodes lose vitality when he is away. But I don’t begrudge the actor his R and R. He needs to stay healthy and rested so compromises must be made. I can’t say I enjoyed the Grover story because it was just so sad. I was pleased to see so many people of color in one epi. We live, work and go to Hawaii too. I have trouble with the Danny character so that piece of it was off for me. To me it sems Danny is either yelling at people or whining. He wouldn’t last long in my city.

  • TerrysaGirl

    This one drove me crazy and not in a good way. I do have to say that I really enjoyed the scene with Danny and Mindy in the elevator, though. Mindy brought specific knowledge to the situation that the regulars wouldn’t have. I loved the way she understood what Danno was going through and knew just how to counteract the panic attack. I’m also glad they gave one of few females on the show some screen time, and in my experience sometimes men can take take advice on what they view as weaknesses, easier from women than they can from men. Let’s be honest, Danny was perfectly adorable. With Mindy in the mix, and a Grover-heavy episode much of the cast had a little time off and I can’t begrudge them a respite from their usual long hours.

    I enjoyed Chi’s meatier lead role and his chance to show off the gamut of his acting range and Michelle Hurd is just perfect as Lou’s better half, Rene. What drove me nuts was the utter lack of common sense in the way the plot unfolded. First all, you’re best friends with someone for decades and the very FIRST conclusion you jump to after his wife dies is that he killed her? The very first??!! We all have gut feelings but I if this is your first instinct, I have to doubt your friendship was genuine to begin with. With brings me two point two. As proof of Clay’ dishonesty, Grover recounts a story in which he’s chilled to discover what a world-class liar his partner is, and yet he still goes on to become best buds with the guy? Why on earth would he ever trust this man, or believe anything he said? And last but not least, did anyone else scream at Grover when he not only left his wife alone with a man he believes murders the person closest to him, but tells her to steal Clay’s phone? That’s insane. Insane.

    Adding all of these holes (chasms, really) to the last episode’s when a gun battle in Honolulu continues for 20 minutes before someone finally calls the cops, and then one officer is sent out, I’m concerned that the writers just don’t care about the details any longer. I understand the concept of suspension of disbelief but within any specific genre, the story must make sense. Come on, CBS, viewers deserve better.

  • Brenda_stlouismo

    I keep wishing for a 2 hour episode because the show moves so fast and can’t fully cover the storyline well – IMO. This would have been a much better episode if there had been only one story going on instead of covering two. Just my suggestion.

    I also would have enjoyed it more if Grover and another team member worked the case together. I get that the regulars are over worked and late in the season need a break but leaving out Steve, Kono and Chin for the most part seemed odd to me. Of course when an episode is McG heavy, I never notice the absence so that’s my issue (actually did miss Danno in previous episodes so not completely true). Thinking they are gearing up for the end of the season and will wow us yet again.

    Chi is such a great actor and great addition to the show. Good episode.

    Thanks for the write-up and pictures Wendie. Happy Easter to you and your family.

  • KAD1228

    I enjoyed the episode. I liked that it wasn’t the usual shoot-em-up and we got to learn more about Lou and Renee. Chi’s performance was excellent. Like Alex, he can speak volumes without uttering a word. I’m a true believer in going with your gut – that little voice inside your head is usually pretty spot-on. The only thing that made go huh? was why would Lou leave Renee with a (potential) killer? I was very relieved when he showed up when he did. When he broke down at the end I cried too – I can’t even imagine how it must feel to loose 2 good friends in one day.
    Mindy and Danny in the elevator were cute and if one of the team were there, (especially Steve), Danny would have been a lunatic. I think we found someone to keep him grounded when he goes on a tangent! I liked when she said to him “it’s not every day I can use my medical expertise on the living”. I like the idea of them being friends – everything doesn’t have to have a romantic turn to it.
    It was team light, but I’m used to Kono and Chin only being in episodes for short periods of time. Though the 3 of them played devils perfectly! I’m glad Alex got some down time too (a rarity for him especially) – it’s been a long, work heavy season for them.
    The writers did a good job and Chi was awesome! A solid episode.