Five-0 Redux: Disturbing the waters
BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser
And so it begins — another wild ride of a season premiere, full of fantastic action and intrigue, and enough characteristic “Hawaii Five-0” drama to keep us all on edge.
Seriously, this episode was perfect for the start of a new season; it was intriguing and gorgeously cinematic and played more like a short film. While I thought that the pirate story came completely out of left field, I was pleased it wrapped up with a dose of realism and believability.
Yet, nothing can go wrong when McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), Danno (Scott Caan), Chin (Daniel Dae Kim), Kono (Grace Park), and Lou (Chi McBride) return to our small screens, ready to face the bad guys. Even if they come with a lot of historical baggage.
“Mai Hoʻoni i ka Wai Lana Mālie” (“Do Not Disturb the Water that is Tranquil”) starts with a major disturbance that comes from the water. Not only do viewers see the arrival of pirates in Honolulu circa 1884, but there’s also the shocking and extremely brutal return of Gabriel (Christopher Sean). Much like he promised Chin at the end of season five, he’s back to collect a perceived debt — and he’s going to start with a payment from Kono and Adam (Ian Anthony Dale) just hours after their beautiful wedding.
I suppose Gabe’s arrival is not really that surprising, as fans knew he’d be back. I guess I just thought he would start by robbing a bank or stealing a weapon from one of the military bases and selling it to North Korea or something. But to attack the lovely couple on the first morning of their honeymoon? Seriously diabolical.
So even though the episode starts off with a grand pirate story, the real scoundrel is pillaging much closer to home.
The pirate tale opening begins with an ocean scene of several small boats filled with dirty scoundrels rowing toward Oʻahu. While I waited for Capt. Jack Sparrow to croon, “Drink up, me hearties, yo ho,” I was not disappointed at the authentic look of the crew of old salts with their glass eyes, bad teeth, oily muskets and leather breaches illuminated by torches.
Once on the beach, their captain plainly states: “Take it all, men. Leave nothing behind.”
Talk about disturbing the water that is tranquil. When a host of pirates lands on your shores, you definitely have problems.
And it is King Kalākaua (Ocean Kaowili) who gets hit with this wave of scallywags as he dines at ʻIolani Palace. They take jewelry off necks, medals off coats, cutlasses off belts and paintings off walls. They take the keys to the treasury and steal what is said to be $3 million in gold bars.
Yet it is the painting, of course, that becomes the biggest clue, one that 131 years later will satisfy even the most skeptical conspiracy theorist in all of the Hawaiian Islands.
Well, it at least becomes a clue that Jerry (Jorge Garcia) can decipher for the Five-0 team. And he does, with a slew of pirate jokes, a random yo ho ho, and of course, an X that marks the spot.
Still, the real story of the evening was not the fantastical pirate story/murder case. All I wanted to focus on was Kono and Adam, starting with their wedding reception and then onto their own pirate story with Captain Gabe, who gives new meaning to looting and pillaging. His ideas would make those 1884 pirates look like Comic Con cosplay characters more than brutal, murderous thieves.
There was so much I loved about seeing Kono and Adam’s wedding reception. Not just the entire team having several adorable moments, like Kono and Adam being introduced as Mr. and Mrs. Noshimuri; Uncle Chin and Gracie (Teilor Grubbs) dancing; Kono dancing with a debonair Lukela (Dennis Chun); or Flippa (Shawn Mokuahi Garnett) and Kamekona (Taylor Wily) head bobbing to Kono’s cousin Makana (Tia Carrere) singing, “We are family, I got all my ʻohana with me.”
While it may have seemed corny to some, it just warmed my heart to see the team together and having a great time, because we all know how few and far between those moments can be for them.
McG laying a hot kiss on Cath (Michelle Borth) was pretty sizzling, too. I guess the spoilers are coming true; it does look like McG is going to pop the question. Thankfully, the team is behind him. I’m glad they didn’t try to talk him out of it or give him a hard time about settling down. Danno seemed to be the most happy of all. He even seemed happier than McGarrett, which is a bit ironic.
Unfortunately, the drama (or should I say trauma?) was quick to arrive. No sooner than one could say, “Call me Mr. Kalākaua,” did Adam answer his door to Gabe and his box of revenge and torture.
I really dislike when anyone is tortured. Both Adam and Kono were tazed, Adam was beaten terribly, and Kono — well, she really can take a licking.
But pulling her teeth? Really? I was SO happy when she shanked that masked Dr. Mengele, just because he was so awfully brutal.
It also made me think facing the Yakuza would be a lot easier than finishing this honeymoon. It got me to believe Adam would turn over his assets to Gabriel — the same funds he’s supposed to give back to his father’s Yakuza investors in order to become completely legitimate. It really does show how much Adam really loves Kono, not that fans ever doubted it.
Other elements of the premiere I loved included Steve and Danny sharing a couple of long-missing carguments. It’s always fun to watch them banter back and forth. And Danny stopping all the guys in the middle of the Mānoa mountains to get McG to tell them about his plans to ask Cath to marry him was just adorable. Nothing like a giddy best friend to help you share good news with your friends, even if you are in the middle of a big case and short on bug spray and pirate treasure.
I also enjoyed watching McG fight with Cindy Patterson (Samantha Lockwood), who was the great-granddaughter of Byron Washburn (Michael de Ycaza), a supposed pirate from 1884. The entire scene where the Five-0 team found the murderous treasure hunters tearing apart a historic Mānoa home was pretty awesome. For them to only find an old treasure chest of silverware and candlesticks in what was actually a clever hoax created by Washburn really brought the entire pirate theme and the idea that one should not disturb whatever is tranquil to heart.
The complete translation of this week’s episode title is, “Do not disturb the water that is tranquil; let the peaceful enjoy their peace.” This week’s ending really brought to the last part of the Hawaiian proverb to the forefront.
What else can I say about this season premiere? Did I like the fantastical pirate folklore made to seem real? Yes.
Did I love seeing the team back together? Absolutely. Do I love Adam and Kono being married and starting a now rocky future together. Oh, yes, yes, yes.
Am I excited to see what happens to our lovers? Both Adam and Kono and McG and Cath? Unequivocally, yes.
Really, I can’t wait to see what this season has to offer.
REDUX SIDE NOTE:
As I wrote this week’s post, I couldn’t help but think of a picture I took of Ian Anthony Dale and Christopher Sean at the season six blessing earlier this year. Really, I took the photo because it was the first time I met both actors in person, as I had previously only spoken with them via telephone.
After seeing the season premiere, the picture above is quite interesting, and telling about the truth behind the scenes. This cast likes each other, and that makes me want to watch them week after week, knowing how committed they are to their characters and how great they are on screen and off.
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.