I have a button given to me by Ellen Swedberg, one of the wonderful “Five-0” fanatics, who trekked all the way to Hawaii for the “Sunset on the Beach” premiere of “Hawaii Five-0.” It’s of McGarrett on a horse and the caption on the button says, “Save a Horse, Ride A Cowboy.” And tonight folks, I understood the meaning of my fan souvenir. McGarrett is definitely all cowboy as he races to catch a getaway plane, as well as pulling out a few rodeo moves as he tries not to get bucked out of position as head of the Five-0 task force. At least McG stayed on his horse for more than eight seconds, but for how long can he keep himself in the saddle this season? I’m sure we will keep watching to find out.
McG’s main competitor for King — or should I say Queen — of the rodeo crown is the show’s newest addition, Department of Homeland Security officer Lori Weston, played by Lauren German. Appointed by Gov. Denning, Weston has big shoes to fill, as the team is still missing their rookie Kono, who is unfortunately still on suspension. Kono spends a fair amount of this episode being pursued by hardball HPD Internal Affairs Capt. Vince Fryer. If Danno thought he was the by-the-book guy, he seems to have nothing on this Fryer.
Yet, neither can be called tonight’s rodeo clowns — no matter how funny Fryer looks in an aloha shirt and blazer, nor how awkward it is for Weston to walk in black peep-toe pumps on Bellows Beach.
But no matter how many times I wanted someone to crack a smile or make a joke about the usurping of power that seemed to be going on in this episode, I had to remind myself that this episode, titled “Ua Lawe Wale” (which is translated on the CBS press site to mean “Taken,” was all about the taking of something — a child, a leadership role, a badge). There was a whole lot of taking going on in this episode. The question is, can McG and the team handle all that is starting to be taken from them?
But this is not really a foreign concept to McGarrett — his mother was taken, his childhood was taken, his father was taken, now it seems, so has his team. Albeit, he still is a leader in Danny and Chin’s eyes, but still, she could be the straw that breaks the cowboy’s back.
Yet, if we look at the Hawaiian translation of “Ua Lawe Wale,” according to my friend and Hawaiian language expert T Ilihia Gionson, “lawe means to take. To lawe wale is to just take, as opposed to asking and then taking. So it really translates closer to stealing than taking. Ua is past tense, so Ua Lawe Wale really means, “stolen.”
So when we look at the episode, “stolen” is very appropriate. A child is stolen from her parents, a child who was going to be stolen at birth so she could get medical care and not grow up to be the next child bride in her grandfather’s cult. McG’s “immunity and means” has been stolen by the Governor Denning and enacted by Lori Weston. And Kono’s career has been stolen by Capt. Fryer. I suppose if you insert taken for stolen, you’d get the same outcome. And it’s not really a happy one. Well, the child being reunited with her mother at the end could possibly be considered a happy ending — it will at least steal your heart.
Overall, the entire episode made me realize a few things. McG and the boys are back in the saddle, as the humor and the brotherly love was alive and well, especially during the “how’s your date” scene and even Weston adding to the banter with her “how long have you two been married?” It was great to also see Chin Ho back on his iron horse and McG galloping in to save the day. My only wish would be that Kono gets back to the team post haste.
I also realized that no matter what is being taken from the Five-0 team, from McGarrett or from Kono, nothing is going to stop them from holding on to their reigns and riding out whatever trouble may be brewing in that fantastically beautiful Hawaiian sunset. Take my word for it.
Redux Side Note:
Some of the local talent in the episode included Star 101.9 DJ Maleko McDonnell who played the Announcer for the “Molokai2Oahu Paddle Board Race” and Dennis Chun reprised his role as Sgt. Duke Lukela. Always great to see familiar faces on “Hawaii Five-0.”
A MAILE Alert is Hawaii’s version of an AMBER Alert. MAILE stands for Minor Abducted in Life-threatening Emergency and is named in memory of 6-year-old Maile Gilbert, who was abducted from her Kailua home in 1985.
If you have not been following Mike Gordon’s “Outtakes Online” on The Pulse, you should check out his blog. While he covers more than just “Hawaii Five-0,” Mike always has the latest scoop on our favorite show.
And if you missed Burl Burlingame’s “Book ‘em” last week, he wrote a very informative review on the “Hawaii Five-0” season DVD. He also does clever break downs of each episode, so check ‘em out.
Wendie Burbridge is a published writer, playwright and a teacher of literature and fiction writing at Kamehameha Schools-Kapālama. Reach her on Facebook and on Twitter.