Five-0 Redux: Return of the King

Apr. 11, 2015 | 14 Comments

PHOTOS COURTESY CBS

PHOTOS COURTESY CBS

BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser

There are many people around the world who think that Elvis Presley and Hawaiʻi are almost synonymous. Like the original version of “Hawaii Five-O,” the mere mention of Elvis brings up many of the same images of classic Hawaiian scenery, sunsets, and beaches.

Television and film may have brought Hawaiʻi into our homes long before it was affordable to vacation on the same beaches we saw on screen, but Elvis’ face and music brought a soundtrack along with it.

I admit there are times when I’ll watch “Blue Hawaii” just to see my island home during a much simpler time. Elvis shot two other films in Hawaiʻi: “Girls Girls Girls!” and “Paradise, Hawaiian Style,” as well as his famous concert telecast, “Elvis, Aloha from Hawaii.” I heard stories growing up of my mother catching a Elvis-sweat-soaked towel at that very concert, as well as magical tales about his visits to The Coco Palms Resort on Kauaʻi.

JohnnyValentineThe Coco Palms was a favorite destination for Elvis and fans traveled from all corners of the globe to see where he shot the famous wedding scene from “Blue Hawaii.” Many more came to be married in the same wedding chapel where his character married Malie Duval (Joan Blackman) after serenading her with “The Hawaiian Wedding Song (Ke Kali Nei Au).”

So an Elvis convention in Hawaiʻi is not that far-fetched, but this time it was set in modern Hawaiʻi with a quite different Five-0 team investigating the murder of an Elvis impersonator and the theft of a costume studded with real diamonds — because if you’re going to hide a fortune, why not hide it in plain sight and on something that could walk through TSA security without an agent blinking once they saw the slicked back pompadour and extra-large sideburns.

Not that people don’t dress up and impersonate Elvis all over the world, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen the same type of diversity amongst Elvis impersonators (Elvii?) like the ones in this week’s “Hawaii Five-0.”

“Ua Helele’i ka Hōkū (Fallen Star)” was the kind of episode fans love from the “Five-0” team. And not just the fictional team of McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and crew, but from the team behind the screen, including writer David Wolkove and director James Wilcox.

The episode had all the elements — the entire team working together to solve the crime of the week, McGarrett taking the lead, funny lines and hilarious guest stars to go with cool action and a sizzling hot ending. I especially enjoyed the effort to try and wrap up storylines from previous episodes, like Grover’s investigation into the death of his former partner’s wife, as well as the Gabriel (Christopher Sean) vs Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) tango that was ratcheted up in “Pono Kaulike (Justice for All).”

I could probably write an entire blog just on the Elvii. And about Jerry (Jorge Garcia) and his fabulous singing. Fans loved his sing-a-long to Dean Martin’s “Ain’t That A Kick In The Head?” in “Pōwehiwehi (Blackout),” but his ending rendition of The King’s “Love Me” this week was even better than his car tune.

Along with his singing, I loved how his conspiracy spidey sense gave the team the key to the case. Jerry’s immense knowledge for all that is Elvis helped them figure out the bejeweled costume worn by former local rock star and current ETA — Elvis Tribute Artist — Lane Collins (Peter Dobson, who also played Elvis in “Forrest Gump” and “Protecting the King”) was really covered in $3 million in diamonds.

Jerry

The murder case was wrapped up very quickly as the team figured out an obsessed fan wanted Lane dead in order to make him “a legend” in the rock world. Funny, I think of Elvis as a great legend, but I guess Jane Miller (appropriately played by Alice Cooper’s daughter Calico, who also dances and performs in his rock operas) wanted Lane to be more than just a king.

While the case had several twists and turns that were fun and full of action, it wasn’t hard to figure out. It was far more light-hearted (as much as a murder investigation can be) than previous episodes this season. I love when resident cynic Danno (Scott Caan) can make snarky comments about the obvious, and I really enjoyed this weeks real funny man, Barry Burns (former “Saturday Night Live” standout Jon Lovitz).

Barry was on house arrest after his role in the diamond heist and getting busted by stakeout buddies McG and Danno. He was perfect as a self-proclaimed scumbag criminal. As most viewers really enjoyed him in “Kū kaʻawale,” I’m glad they brought him back this week; he added to the Elvis humor without having to don a flared pantsuit.

ShootingElvis

While we didn’t see a lot of McG and Danno bromance this week, there was a bit of a car discussion. Sadly the Cargument has seemed to fall by the wayside on the show. But there was a bit of I-got-your-back patting when McGarrett picked up Grover (Chi McBride) at the airport after he spent a week in Chicago trying to find evidence to charge his former best friend in the death of his wife.

I do love when McGarrett tells a friend, “Anything you need from me, you let me know.” It shows his aloha as well as the trust he has in Grover. It’s like he’s saying, “I trust that you are right, and I’m sticking by you, no matter what your former friends in Chicago think.”

That’s McGarrett through and through.

And even though fans didn’t get the bromantic banter, they sure got the action back this week. There hasn’t been a shootout involving the entire team for several episodes, and I do love a good gun fight in the middle of a fancy hotel with a hostage and a big gun in a guitar case held by a guy dressed like Elvis.

Add in Kono (Grace Park) telling McGarrett, “Good shot, boss,” and I knew the scene was going to be one of viewers’ collective favorites. McGarrett always knows how to get around and take the bad guy by surprise without shooting too many holes in the walls.

I would be remiss if I didn’t at least talk a little bit about this week’s cliffhanger. Chin had a blast from the past show up and unceremoniously invade his thoughts, as well as his home. Gabriel returned and Chin wasn’t waiting with open arms.

It was obvious he was coming and what he would ask for, but fans surely didn’t know he would leave behind a bit of a puzzle — photographs of Kono’s fiance Adam (Ian Anthony Dale) and an unknown older Asian gentleman.

AdamandMystery

While everyone loves bad boy Gabe, who is that man next to Adam in the photos? And why would this image cause Chin to suddenly help an escaped convict evade capture?

All I know is that even though Elvis may have left the building, conniving Gabriel has not, and I fear he may just break Chin’s faithful heart and tear it all apart.

REDUX SIDE NOTE

“The Amazing Race” will air for two hours on April 17 and fans will have yet another week without “Hawaii Five-0.” But don’t miss a special event on April 18 at Barnes and Noble Ala Moana when Lisa Freeman, daughter or “Hawaii Five-O” creator Leonard Freeman, reads from her debut young adult novel, “Honey Girl.”

Emme Tomimbang will also moderate a panel of “Hawaii Five-0” recurring actors, including Taylor Wily, Dennis Chun and Al Harrington, who will speak about Leonard Freeman’s legacy. Other scheduled participants include Jimmy Borges and cultural historian Kamaki Kanahele.

The event starts at 1 p.m. April 18 and you can secure a seat here.
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Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

  • Angela Gerstner

    This episode was just what I needed this weekend – no “tough stuff” like torture but, instead, quite a bit of fun, some good music and a short, cool shoot-out with Steve killing the baddie this week. I loved that Kono, the best shooter on the islands, was the one to compliment her boss on his good shot.

    Jon Lovitz’s character Barry brought us some enjoyable comedic moments, and it’s a relief that he didn’t get killed by Ivanovic’s brother because this means we might get more funny scenes with him in the future. Humor has always been one of my favorite ingredients of this show.

    I also liked the “I-brought-a-suitcase-full-of-pizza-from-Chicago” talk between Lou and Steve, although I felt sorry for Lou not having found any evidence for his ex-friend’s guilt. I love seeing these two together.

    Like you, I’m curious to find out how the storyline with Chin and Gabriel will continue and which role the man in the photos with Adam plays in it. Somehow, I thought I had seen this guy on the show before but I guess I’m just confused because I’ve seen the actor repeatedly in the past (He was in one of my favorite movies).

    Wendie, since you wrote about Elvis in Hawai`i and that your Mom went to his concert, you might love to hear that my Mom was a fan of Elvis, too, who was stationed here in Germany while he was in the Army. A lot of German women of my Mom’s generation were going crazy about “Elvis, the pelvis” :-) – the talented, good-looking, hip-swinging singer from the States.

    • Wendie Joy

      Thanks Angie! Elvis is a big deal in my family- and my husband loves Elvis because it reminds him of his mother who was a huge fan his whole life. I guess our Moms should get together sometime and have German beers and watch Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii :) That would be awesome:) Thanks for commenting! Aloha, Wendie

  • Rhonda

    This was a great episode! Love how they tried to tie up loose ends from the previious episodes,although Lou is back at square one on his case. Love the Elvis & Beatles references-cool. I heard the Paul story growing up,but never took it seriously. Looks like Gabriel has Chin where he wants him and Kono could end up being hurt(emotionally,that is)in the process!

  • TerrysaGirl

    Great write-up and fun episode! I got the humor I enjoy so much so I was fine with there being no cargument. I’m very curious to find out what those photos mean.

    • Wendie Joy

      ME TOO! Is it Papa Fat? That’s my only theory. Can’t wait to find out more. Thanks for commenting! Aloha, Wendie

  • Robin Jane Bridges

    I liked the episode, too. I liked the turns and twist and Jerry’s sing.

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  • Susan M

    Another “words right out of my mouth” review, Wendie! As for the guy with Adam, the minute I saw him, I thought, “Wo Fat’s father!?” I don’t know how or why he’d be with Adam–or if Adam even realizes who he is, if he IS Papa Fat–but I’m thinking they’re going to bring that character into the mix sometime just because of the Doris/Wo Fat storyline that isn’t done yet. (Just as an aside, I love how Alex/Steve’s hair is looking these days…it’s finally grown back into a cool style!)

  • alex fan

    I love the review seems to be the way I always reply but it’s always the truth. I may be in the minority but I didn’t miss the carguments because honestly arguing all the time gets old with me. I love when they mix up the pairings and it’s nice to have a couple of episodes without sarcasm the entire show. Although I am a super McGarrett fan I have to stay in this episode Jerry stole the show and props to Jorge Garcia for his amazing rendition of “Love Me” that he wasn’t in costume made it even more enjoyable at least to me.

    • Susan M

      It’s nice to see someone agrees with me about the carguments…too much sniping and anger gets old and annoying. I’m glad they stopped the therapy sessions as well…hope those aren’t coming back. I like the more mature bantering/conversations between Steve and Lou. And I’d love to see Chin or Kono do more drive-alongs with Steve to really mix it up.

  • june77

    But… but… what happened to the pizza???? XD

    I had no idea Jorge could sing like that. Amazing! And so very true of Hawaii to have Elvis-love this many years after his death. I was surprised by the diamonds-hidden-in-plain-view trick; well done. jewel thieves.

    • Wendie Joy

      All I know is… I never got a slice. :) Would have been fun to see McG and Danno eat Chicago pizza with Lou. Danno has his own thoughts on what makes a good pizza:) And I would LOVE Jorge to sing in any episode. He’s fantastic. Mahalo for commenting, Aloha, Wendie

  • KAD1228

    Like June77 I want to know what happened to the pizza! And like McG I’m a thin-crust kinda gal!

  • pauldunn1

    Wendie,
    Likes your review and the other posts. I enjoyed the update on the Elvis locations viewed in the ep. Jerry was really on top this week. Duke had a very small part this week and I would like to see more of him.
    Paul