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Five-0 Redux: A field trip gone awry
BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser
If your child came home and told you about a camping trip led by a police detective and a Navy SEAL, I’m sure you’d sign that permission form and send your offspring on his or her way.
But this is “Hawaii Five-0,” and in this week’s episode, “Huakaʻi Kula” (meaning “Field Trip”), the detective and SEAL leading the field trip are danger magnets. So of course, once they head out on Gracie’s Aloha Girl campout, they meet an armed man (Tom Arnold) who is out in the woods and up to no good.
All Uncle Steve wanted to do was teach Gracie and the girls how to get their survival patch by using a knife to kill and gut a pig — because, you know, Aloha Girls need to know how to do that for a campfire imu.
Little did Steve know, Ranger Ron was on his trail with a gun and a big plan to find lost diamonds he was hired to safeguard.
Once the Aloha Girls’ weekend with “kicked out of Scouts” Daddy Danno and SEAL survivalist Uncle Steve got ruined by a gunshot wound and Mr. No-Aloha, and McG was forced at gunpoint to lead an unintended mission into the jungle with jewel thief Ron, we can definitely wrap our brains around this week’s theme. “Huaka‘i” means “trip, voyage, journey or mission,” and “kula” means “plain, field, open country or pasture.”
When we Hawai‘i folks head out on a “field trip,” we just say “we’re going on a huaka‘i” — we tend to leave off the “kula.” But kula also means, “school, academy; to teach school, go to school; to hold school or class sessions,” and Danno and McG sure taught a few important lessons to the Aloha Girls. Little did their intrepid Aloha Girls leader Madeline (Lesley Boone) know this would include not only setting up tents and making a campfire, but also how to remove a bullet and how to MacGyver — we really need to re-term this “to McG” — an escape hatch and a cell phone.
I did enjoy the hilarity that Madeline and Danno added to the episode. Their repartee was quite similar to the McG-Danno bromantic banter we have come to love. When McG got pulled off into the jungle to help the inept Ron find a big ole bag of diamonds, they needed a cargument fill-in. I’m sure many of you didn’t want or need someone to take over bromance duties, but there were a lot of great funny moments that worked for Mads and Danno. She was great asking Danno which way was North, if he knew the trails, and what he would do if he met a bear in a Hawaiian jungle. Madeline could join Five-0 as their permanent triage nurse and join McG on all tracking expeditions. She would fit right in quite nicely.
Tom Arnold was a really interesting choice to play the slightly unstable jewel thief Ron. He played a crazed madman pretty well. Although, instead of a paramedic, he needed an anger-management therapist. His frenetic delivery was more scary than funny, which was definitely a different turn for Arnold.
I almost felt bad when he was shot by the even scarier bank robber Hines (Tom Schanley). Almost. But I think my confusion of where Hines came into the story overrode my sympathy. It just seemed weird to get a major player in the heist walking into the storyline with 12 minutes left in the episode.
I think I would have just liked McG to have shot Ron. Shot him a lot.
The kidnapped Aloha Girl Lucy (Emily Alyn Lind) was a great little actress. I loved her knowledge of first aid, and her calm nature when she and McG were in danger. She was very believable as a scared — yet smart — little girl. The scene when Uncle Steve promises to come back and get her was so sweet. I’m almost positive that women all around the world felt their uteruses flip. And yes, Lucy, we all want to grow up and marry Uncle Steve.
One thing, I just wished they had named her something else. If I was the only one who thought of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” when our little hostage climbed the tree to get the bag of diamonds, then I probably was having a little too much fun with all the comedic jousting.
Now I know that amongst all the humor was a pretty serious main storyline — well, there was an armed gunman, a kidnapping, stolen diamonds, extraction of a bullet — as well as a very intriguing subplot with Kono, Adam (Ian Anthony Dale), and his newly freed from prison baby brother, Michael (Daniel Henney). They worked very hard to harden Henney’s dreamy good looks with full-sleeve Yakuza-style tattoos on both arms and a badass attitude hidden under his tight black tee.
Even after his initial hug-a-thon with Adam and Kono, I still knew we couldn’t trust him. “Cop girlfriend” Kono needs to listen to her cousin Chin — the Yakuza doesn’t forget. And it looks like Kono will be in for a bumpy ride.
All in all, Danno and McG’s field trip, disastrous as it was, made for a strong episode. Even with the over-the-top plot line, it had nice bits of comedy, good performances by the guest stars, and it wrapped in another character arc that I am interested to see played out. What happens between the ill-fated lovers Adam and Kono is one I want to see end well, because I for one don’t want to almost lose Kono again. Because the second time around, I’m not sure Adam will be the one to come to her rescue.
Yet if this episode is any indication, the Five-0 team will always come to the rescue of their partners, because all four earned their wilderness survival patches, that is for sure.
Redux Side Note:
Local radio and television host Bill Van Osdol made his “Hawaii Five-0” debut this week as the DLNR Conservation Officer. His scene was brief, but he had some nice screen time with Scott Caan.
Better known as Billy V, he is widely known as the voice of University of Hawai‘i Athletics and is the morning drive personality on Hawaiian 105 KINE Radio. He also delivers entertainment news on Hawaii News Now Sunrise. Billy V was the emcee for the season three “Sunset on the Beach” red carpet premiere of “Hawaii Five-0.”
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher who lives and works in Honolulu. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.