This show just turns us around in knots, doesn’t it? Start us off with a hot opening with beautiful scenery, some hot abs, dangerous undergarments, add at a bit of bromantic banter, slap us with frozen peas mixed with a poor dead Mom, add a heartfelt plea from a tortured survivor of the dictator’s regime, then end the episode with a full-on SEAL vs. SEAL siege on McGarrett’s home. It’s about a surprising as being hit by a bus. Oh, yes, forgot about that one. Ouch.
Considering the recent protests and toppling of various dictators around the world, last night’s rebroadcast of “Po‘ipu” and its depiction of a ruthless dictator seeking political asylum in the U.S., was a bit timely. Along with the budding love triangle depicted between McGarrett, his ex-SEAL buddy Nick Taylor (played by Max Martini) and Danno, coupled with their search for a killer and assassin, it was another great episode where we learned more about our fearless Five-0 Team.
Tonight we get another glimpse of our own Kelly Hu, as she returns as Governor Jameson’s liaison Laura Hills. And while she has to referee between Danno and “Smooth Dog” McG’s old buddy, I was more amused by the overuse of military acronyms. I guess to most “civilians” this could seem annoying. I always forget that most people have no idea that I am a CPO’s wife, and my AOR in that sense is that I must always be able to deal with SSDD (translation: I’m a Chief Petty Officer’s wife, and my area of responsibility is to be able to deal with same stuff different day). As Danny so correctly states, “maybe we need a dictionary.” It was a good character reference for us to see McGarrett’s former military life melding with his current Five-0 life. But using acronyms doesn’t make you a good SEAL, or even a good cop; it’s your actions. And looking at McGarrett’s actions shows us that, above all else, he is always a good man.
For all Danny’s cranky sarcasm, it was a smart move on his part for not liking the cheese-ball Nick, with good reason, since he turns out to be dirty and because yellow is not a good color on a Bullfrog. Green however is a perfect color for Danny. Because if you didn’t pick up on his jealousy of McGarrett’s prior SEAL relationship, then you were not paying close attention the first time this aired.
The one thing I did not remember was the “beauty of New Jersey” rundown from Danno about his beloved hometown. Thank goodness he pulled out Sinatra as a good singer, because if the best he could do was “Jonathan Bon Jovi” I was going to lose respect for our Jersey boy. Now, I love Bon Jovi, don’t get me wrong, I’m an 80’s girl and yes, I’ve even seen them live, but like McG says, I’m one of the zero Hawaiians who would haul her cookies to NJ just to see an 80’s icon or to see the Jersey shore. Maybe to see Sinatra, but that would be a little surreal. And supernatural, to say the least.
Another notice this second time around was the scene between Chin Ho Kelly and young Tun Pak, played by Ethan Garrido. How many of you loved how incredibly kind Chin was with the boy? I’ll admit I got a little teary eyed. Another sweet wrench the writers threw into this episode, about a scared little boy and a very smart, and compassionate cop.
Chin’s explanation to the boy about what makes a strong man was perfect with the underlying theme of this episode. It may have been called “Po‘ipu,” because of the siege that the Five-0 team endures at McGarrett’s home, but perhaps it should have been called “Ho‘oikaika” which means, “to strengthen.” After pulling together and fighting alone, the entire team’s relationship seems to be strengthened by strong men, a strong lady, and one hell of a strong leader.
Redux Side Note: According to the CBS press site, “Po‘ipu” means “The Siege,” but “po‘ipu” actually means, “to cover over entirely, as of clouds or engulfing waves.” It also means “to attack or overwhelm; or onslaught,” which could stand-in for the idea of a siege, but it is not really a true translation. I do like the idea of the Five-0 team being engulfed by waves of bad guys—like the waves of assassin rogue ex-SEALs, and the idea that Nick was figuratively covered over in a cloud of misdirection, but perhaps I’m relying on the kaona, the hidden meaning, of the word. In those terms, the title could work.
Wendie Burbridge is a published writer, playwright and a teacher of literature and fiction writing at Kamehameha Schools-Kapālama.