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'Five-0' creators to throw curve into their story arc

By Mike Gordon

LAST UPDATED: 7:35 p.m. HST, Jan 3, 2011

When the creators of the new "Hawaii Five-0" touted their show last summer, they promised story arcs that went beyond the weekly crime procedural.

Well, it took them half a season but they're about to unveil more of the angst that drives their characters, from the murder of McGarrett's mother to Chin Ho's disgrace to why Danno can't get along with his beautiful and witty ex-wife.

"We always had in mind to really arc those stories," said Peter Lenkov, one of the show's executive producers. "But I think, for the most part, in the first batch of episodes you want stand-alone episodes to really cement the franchise, really cement who the characters are, and once people embrace that, we can start exploring the other sides of their personalities."

Now that "Five-0" is the No. 1 new show of the season, it's time for some curve in the arc. Tomorrow's episode — "Ke Kinohi," which is Hawaiian for "The Beginning" — should help out. McGarrett discovers new clues to the murder of his mother, along with links to the Yakuza. And his sister, Mary Ann, gets kidnapped, too.

Plus, Wo Fat is back. It's the second episode for guest star Mark Dacascos, the Honolulu-born host of "Iron Chef America."

Wo Fat was the original show's archvillain, but as played by Khigh Dheigh, he was more calculating than action-oriented. Casting for the part in the reboot was a challenge, said Lenkov.

The executive producer said he wouldn't be able to please everyone no matter whom he chose, but he liked Dacascos. The two had worked together in the late 1990s when they were part of the TV show "The Crow: Stairway to Heaven." Dacascos brought a bit of the "unexpected" and a martial arts background, Lenkov said.

"Physically, you really feel that he could do some damage to McGarrett and you want that," he said. "You want somebody who is sort of cerebral but is also very lethal."

THERE'S ADDITIONAL intrigue with this episode. Taryn Manning, who plays the character of Mary Ann, hinted in a recent TV Guide blog item that the episode might be her last.

The 32-year-old Manning, who was hailed for her role as a prostitute in the 2005 film "Hustle & Flow," is involved in a variety of film projects and has a recurring role as a biker chick in the FX series "Sons of Anarchy."

Tomorrow's episode will be her third "Five-0" appearance.

Manning said in the blog that she initially thought Mary Ann would play a larger role in the early "Five-0" episodes. Then she was told to be patient.

Now she isn't saying anything. "No comment," she said in an e-mail.

THERE WILL BE a few familiar Hawaii faces in tomorrow's episode, including the 74-year-old Al Harrington, who starred as Detective Ben Kokua in the original series. Now he plays a Waikiki beachboy named Mamo, a friend of McGarrett's family.

The show's creators liked Harrington so much they booked him for a second episode, too. He'll begin shooting Tuesday.

Also back is comedian Augie Tulba, who returns as a helicopter pilot named Kekipi.

"Don't blink," he said. "If you thought the last episode was quick, wait until you see this."

Dennis Chun won't be in this episode, but he will be on the set this week for his second appearance as Sgt. Duke Lukela. He said the show is talking about a third episode as well.

"I guess the feedback is they keep having the character coming back," he said.

MEANWHILE, in the real world, the one connected more and more by apps, it comes as no surprise that the Hawaii Actors Network has an app of its own.

Apple recently launched an iPhone app designed by Teddy Wells, the founder of the online social networking site that boasts nearly 4,300 members. Wells hopes the app will make it easier for industry professionals on the go to share information, including casting calls that can be posted from anywhere in the world.

AND that's a wrap. ...

Mike Gordon is the Star-Advertiser's film and television writer. Reach him at 529-4803 or

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