This was the episode that made me not just like “Hawaii Five-0,” but the one that made me realize that I was going to love the show. And there was so much to love from the start — Danno eating a malasada, mistaking McGarrett as an Army man, which is inexcusable to a Navy man, and of course, the breakdown of Danno’s Jersey issue detective attire. We could debate his clothing options all day, because he in no way looks like a kama‘aina, but we know this was just the beginning of the McGarrett/Danno bromance. How could we not enjoy them bickering like a newlywed couple? And to think — we were there from the start. Sans seatbelts and all.
We learned more about the bond between Chin Ho and Kono, how their familial relationship has been marred by Chin’s treatment by the HPD. And how that could possibly affect Kono’s career. As if McGarrett and the team would let that happen.
But the episode had the ohana theme well woven into its characters and dialogue. John McGarrett’s voice over at the beginning explaining his love for his children helped set the scene for the father/son relationship between the kidnap victim, Roland Lowry, and his son Evan. When Evan laments about calling his dad a “dictator” doesn’t Steve look like that hurt a little? Perhaps he had the same conversation with his own dad. We can only imagine, and hope, more of McGarrett’s relationship with his father is revealed in later episodes.
But the topper of this episode was the scene at the end with Kono, looking a little beat up and a little sad about missing her graduation. When she looked at her freshly pressed and yet to be worn uniform, it was with a mixture of disappointment and pride. That look was a confirmation of her duty to her career and to the Five-0 Team. Then to have McGarrett, Danno, and Chin Ho in their dress uniforms ready to pay tribute to her, and perform her swearing in ceremony, just made it all the more special. Kono said “You become a cop by doing the work, not by walking across a stage,” and since she did a lot of the hard work — sorry, I meant, bleeding, in this episode, she was right.
The gifts also told us a lot about our heroes. A back-up weapon from McGarrett, the St. Michael medal from Danno, and Chin Ho giving her the mag light — because she always brings light to darkness — and saying he would never have missed her graduation, confirmed for all of us that if there had been any doubt, they were now a family. Because even though families fight and argue, get each other shot, get thrown through doors and windows, and never require each other to wear a seatbelt, they do love and care about each other. And that is what ohana means.
Sorry, I just had to swallow a little lump in my throat.
Really? Is that going to be a thing now? Well, we all think it’s catchy.
Wendie Burbridge is a published writer, playwright and a teacher of literature and fiction writing at Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama. Most recently, her story “The Cave Man’ was published in “‘Oiwi 4, Kupa‘a Makou ma hope o ka ‘Aina (We Stand Firm Behind the Land) — Kanaka Maoli Voices on Annexation, Statehood, and Ceded Lands.” As a student at Gonzaga University she studied Theatre Arts and acted in and directed productions in Spokane, Wash. She also worked in Extras Casting for NBC and Warner Brothers on various television shows and films in the Pacific Northwest.