From watching the “Hawaii Five-0” teasers and previews this week, I got the fact that in this episode, Danno’s brother comes to visit and he not only brings fairy princess presents for Grace, but he also brings a bunch-0-trouble for the Five-0 Team. And I didn’t even mention that a pretty famous Hollywood troublemaker, none other than Dane Cook, plays Danno’s brother. Local peeps, don’t get him confused with our own newsmaker Dan Cook. They are not the same guy, trust me.
Dane Cook seems to be an accurate choice to play the part of Matt, the golden child of the Williams family. The camaraderie between Matt and big brother Dan was charming and the dinner scene with the brothers, the ex-wife, and the current partner, was fun and made me like Danno a lot more. This entire episode was about the importance and love of family, Danno for Matt, the victims for their children, the villain—scarily goateed and all—for his dead son. The idea that the bad guy, Roan, never got to say goodbye to his son, and then took away the final goodbyes of his victims to their own children, was perfect for this episode’s title and theme. Add Danny’s painful scene with his brother at the end—the long goodbye, my friends.
But regardless of the dramatic “will he shoot him or will he not” ending, there were some funny and interesting moments of the evening. I thought that the secondary plot line of Roan killing the children of the people he blamed for his own son’s death, was a little melodramatic for Hawaii, but I did like how it filled the episode with tension. Between wondering what was lurking behind Matt’s reason for his visit to see his big brother, and the tension between Danno and Rachel—Step Stan’s in Boston and Danno does go to see her at the end, not his partner Steve—was very telling and an excellent way to ratchet up our emotional buy-in for the show. Was that a revealing ending hug, or what? How the tides turn, Five-0 viewers, let’s see how those Danno and Rachel waves crash.
I do hope these turning tides do not mean an end to our bromantic love between Danno and Steve? It was almost odd to not have a bickering car ride between the two. I missed it tonight. We traded it in for a stroll down memory lane over surf and turf and the third degree from Magnum/Danno.
And just for the record, Danno is nothing at all like Magnum. Not even close. I mean, Magnum would never have worn a tie; he wore slippers, and had a much cooler car. And then there are the physical differences. I mean, Danno doesn’t even have a mustache. Just saying.
But I think the episode belongs to Dane Cook. I was ready for the quick lines, the funny barbs, the “let’s start some trouble now” from our funny man, but his dramatic turn at the end was an interesting twist. I still wanted Danny to shoot him— in the knee at least—but I get why big brother doesn’t. I have no doubt McGarrett would have shot Matt clean in the knee to stop him.
Or perhaps not. Steve was the one who lied to the Feds so Danno could get to Matt and either help his brother or help him get away? Would Steve have gotten Chin and Kono to help with another heist of the HPD millions to help a brother out? Not sure. But I know I will be tuning in for the rest of the season to see how this plays out.
Redux Side Note: Just for the record, I was a little puzzled by the title this evening, which is billed as “Loa Aloha or The Long Goodbye.” So I asked my ‘Olelo Hawai‘i expert, Ilihia Gionson, who said that in Hawaiian language it’s subject first, then the modifier. So “Loa Aloha” would be the “loving lengths.” Which if you think about the episode, figuratively works with the theme. Hawaiians don’t really say goodbye, we say “a hui hou” or until we meet again. Even “aloha” is really just “a general-purpose well wish.”
So “The Long Goodbye” would be Ke Aloha Loa. But to be fair, “Hawaii Five-0” takes some loving lengths to try and be accurate in their titles and in their themes. Mahalo nui loa, Five-0.
Wendie Burbridge is a published writer, playwright and a teacher of literature and fiction writing at Kamehameha Schools-Kapālama.