In the Hawaiian language “mana‘o” means belief. And when we Hawaiians are asked to give our mana‘o, we understand that it not only means to state our belief, but to also share our story. This episode is Danno’s story.
From the beginning we get to know the background about Danno and his former partner, Meka, the local cop he worked with when he first got to Hawaii. We also learn that Meka thought the same things that McGarrett seems to think: that Danny has fresh eyes, and that he can be trusted with his partner’s life. In this episode we begin to believe that Danno is more than just a sarcastic outsider to the islands, that he can drop the book ‘em attitude and the cop rule book, and get the bad guys no matter what the cost. Even tying a stuttering Balki Bartokomous, sorry, Bastille, played by Bronson Pinchot, to his Five-0 Camaro. Good way to give someone a nudge, Danno.
Sergeant Cage (Jonathan Seda) gave me a little clue early in the episode that the more we learned the worse we were going to feel. Like when we find out that our local darling, Detective Kaleo, played with deceptive innocence by our own Jason Scott Lee, was going to be bad. Really bad. It almost made me cry to see our local hero fall. I hope he gets to come back to the Five-0 screen, bad guy or not.
Our friend Kamekona (Taylor Wily) is back in this episode, giving the team a bit of kokua to guide them on their investigation. I can’t help but smile every time we see our friendly neighborhood shave-ice maker, even if he is standing behind a makeshift cart handing out blue ice-capped treats along with information about local drug dealing and vice.
When McGarrett doubts Danno’s belief in Meka’s innocence, and their relationship is jeopardized, I really admired Danno’s tenacity. He hung onto his gut feeling, the knowledge that Meka wasn’t the HPD mole. And Chin Ho’s back-story begins to come out as well when he tells Danno about his treatment by Cage and IA. Even though this is Danno’s story, I love how the writers show us a little more about Chin Ho and the pieces of his puzzle start to come together.
Danno and McGarrett, of course, make up, after Danno uses a bit of reverse psychology on his partner. His point that sometimes cops have to go with what they believe over what the evidence says, comes to a head as the episode wraps up with the bad guy getting it in the face. Sock ‘em, Danno.
So even though Danno didn’t accept McGarrett’s prom invitation, their bro-marriage is still intact. Because McGarrett knows Danny, and his belief in his partner, is the truth of their story.
No issues, Oprah.
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.