I have to admit, if I were going out on a first date with a Navy SEAL who also runs a special HPD task force, I’d be insanely nervous alternating between being excited and completely freaked out.
Do I bother wearing makeup and doing my hair as we’ll probably end up on a wild adventure causing me to most likely bruise and/or bleed? Should I buff up on my climbing, tracking, and evasion skills? Should I even wear clothing? A tiny swimsuit and great pair of running shoes should be all a girl really needs for a date with Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), right?
Or so it seems, according to this week’s episode of “Hawaii Five-0.”
Kidding aside, “Nā Kama Hele” (“Day Trippers”), written by Ken Solarz and directed by Hanelle Culpepper, focused on McGarrett taking Lynn Downey (new recurring guest star Sarah Carter) on a first date and was rather exciting. I’m almost positive that in the history of first dates, theirs was pretty epic.
I also liked the case that Chin (Daniel Dae Kim), Lou (Chi McBride) and Kono (Grace Park) picked up during the middle of a football game at Kukui High, the fictitious high school that McGarrett, Chin Ho, and Jerry all attended as teenagers.
While McGarrett and Lynn tried to survive their first date, Chin and Lou tried to find the star quarterback’s kidnapped father as Kono tried to keep the kid from being killed for not throwing the championship game.
All in a day’s work, right?
Still, the best part of this episode was the date. If I think about the idea of a first date, Lynn is probably right — it would be more about meeting for a Mai Tai or coffee than going on a snorkeling excursion in basically the middle of nowhere. True, the middle of nowhere in Hawaiʻi is pretty amazing, but still, even if my date was “thumb worthy” (so hot you would cut off your thumb to be with them, according to Chin), I’m not sure I would agree to going to a remote location with someone I barely knew.
But wait, if it was McGarrett asking, I guess I would. I know you are all thinking that. Remote island? With McGarrett? Sign me up! Who cares if we’re chased by a fugitive with an automatic weapon, and our boat gets set on fire, and we have to run for our lives because we have no cell service? No problem!
Okay, confession time. I did find I had to suspend my disbelief a bit more than usual for this week’s episode. I don’t think anyone would really think a snorkeling excursion could turn into an episode of escape from convict island. And the whole, “Dad kidnapped to help a high stakes gambler win $500,000 by getting star quarterback son to throw the championship game,” was a little too much like a plot from an ’80s movie.
And while I do like a good ’80s movie — the simplicity of the plots and the wrong place at the wrong time storylines are sweetly refreshing — it just seemed a little too perfect.
Yet when they added in McG’s Super SEAL attitude to the mix, it was exactly what we needed in this scenario, because who doesn’t love a hero who can save the day?
It was a little too obvious he would be the very guy to show up on that island in order to catch Dennis Logan (frighteningly played by stuntman-turned-actor James C. Burns), a fugitive mobster who supposedly crashed on a remote Northwestern Hawaiian Island on his way to federal prison. But it was still very entertaining to watch.
That’s one of the big reasons why I think fans love “Hawaii Five-0.” It never fails to entertain. The bad guys usually lose, the good guys prevail and no matter the obstacles, there always seems to be more winners than losers.
Some of the best parts of this week’s episode were the action, stunts and cinematography. The boat ride was gorgeous and the snorkeling/underwater shots were simply stunning. All the Kualoa Valley and Maunawili shots were beautiful. The stunts with McG and Lynn climbing Waimea Falls and encountering bad guy Logan, who McGarrett throws off the waterfall cliff during a slippery fight, had Jeff Cadiente’s signature expertise all over them. And not just all the action in McG and Lynn’s date, but the football scenes and the ending take down of the kidnappers, too.
Still, I know what fans are really going to want to talk about. Does McG need to move on? Shouldn’t he be single for a while? Does he really need to get back on the horse, as Lou asked?
Of course he does. He’s the hero and the hero usually deals with a bit of romance. While many fans miss Catherine and want her to return, I doubt she’ll be back anytime soon.
Now if Catherine does return, you can all write and tell me how wrong I was. But for the most part, everyone needs to cry it all out and move along. Because think about this: If Cath was slated to come back, why would they send McG out on a date with a woman his friends seem to approve of, Lou especially, and why would they have them face death and a seriously stressful situation together if they were going to bring back the love of his life?
We all know when a couple faces extreme danger together a few things can happen. They fall madly in love, madly in lust — or a combination of both. Nothing is hotter for a female television character than when a man saves her life. Add in a shared love of Hawaiʻi (Lynn seems to have grown up in the islands like McG), the ocean and the outdoors (Lynn’s father was a commercial fisherman and she seems very comfortable driving a boat and snorkeling), and you have all the makings of a new romance.
Lynn also shares a similar philosophy of life with McGarrett. She works for the Department of Human Services, specializing in hard cases.
“I don’t like to give up on anyone, especially kids,” she said in this week’s episode, which tells us she and McG share a similar affinity for the downtrodden, and much like McGarrett took Nahele under his wing and tries to help criminals that can possibly be saved, it sounds like Lynn thinks the same way.
So it looks like Lynn is going to be around for a few episodes. My next thought, after all of this? What on earth could happen on their second date?
I only hope meeting for coffee and malasadas is far less dangerous than their killer first date.
REDUX SIDE NOTE
A special hoʻomaikaʻi ʻana (congratulations) to Mark Dacascos, who booked a heavily recurring role on ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Dacascos will play Mr. Giyera, the head of security for S.H.I.E.L.D. His first episode airs Tuesday, November 17.
While “Five-0” fans miss Wo Fat, we wish him well on his new show. Hopefully we’ll get to see Dacascos return to torment McGarrett in flashbacks. Or perhaps we’ll get to see him again once Doris returns to unravel the entire story of her relationship with Wo Fat and his family, and how it all ties to back to the McGarretts.
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.