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Five-0 Redux

Trapped under a hill of deceit

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Whatever our thoughts about the good guys and bad guys on “Hawaii Five-0” seem to have been tossed out the proverbial bus window this week. When I read the episode’s title was “Pahele,” translated as “Trapped,” I knew we were in for an overload of enclosure metaphor.

The actual meaning of pahele is “a snare, noose, trap; or to ensnare, or deceit and treachery” — all of which we got in excess this week, for sure. Because trapped is what our Five-0 team seems to be in “Pahele,” and the traps include a snare, a noose, and a sand hill of deceit.

With a busload of kidnapped children trapped in a bus and buried in a quarry, and the team ensnared by drug dealers who refuse to release the kids unless they get the drugs Five-0 confiscated in a harbor drug bust returned to them, McG and crew can either disobey a direct order from the Governor, who doesn’t negotiate with terrorists — and I guess, drug dealers who kidnap children — or find the kids themselves with the help of jailed informant Mateo Vargas (Rick Gomez), all while the noose is tightening and time is running out.

Guest star Ingo Rademacher, who played concerned father Malcolm Schafer, was also the ensnared business partner of bad guy drug dealer and deceitful Five-0 informant Vargas (or maybe we should call him Hugo Castillo?). Schafer is caught between freeing his son and losing his livelihood — and possibly his life. All the while, our team savior Joe White (Terry O’Quinn), even with his forced retirement for the North Korean “Save-McG-Save-the-World” plan, is seemingly ensnared in the web of deceit about the mystery surrounding Shelburne.

I have to point out that I have said very little about Shelburne, because to me it was a concept that was obviously a mystery being set up by the writers, and I adore surprises. (And also because I try to speculate only on alternate Sundays, and this posts on Tuesdays.) But beyond that, I really don’t care what Shelburne is, if it’s a place, or a man, or even a new version ninja Navy SEAL.

I just can’t wait until he or it is unveiled, because you know it’s just going to be an action packed, full-throttle, shoot-em-up-bang-bang episode. And I can definitely speculate on that.

But back to my sand hill of deceit, which in this episode was both literal and figurative: a mountain of deceit was revealed when Joe White and Hiro Noshimuri (returning guest star Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) had their moment with McGarrett on Tantalus Drive.

I know many of you had nagging feelings about the trustworthiness of the Lt. Commander, but after flying us to Margaritaville and rescuing McG from Wo Fat Jong Il, I know you were all relieved that he seemed to have finally cemented himself as a member of the Five-0 team. That clinched it, right? And during his board of inquiry in this week’s episode, I thought, wow, another team member being pushed out.

Little did I know, that was only a pebble in the hill. If only we had a bulldozer of truth to knock it down.

Yes, I’m a little bitter that Joe has become another character who seems to be turning the corner toward treachery, but if we’re keeping track, we have gotten a few back in the past. Kono came back from playing little girl lost in the sea of ex-cops gone bad, and Jenna seemed to redeem herself with her death, which in the end wasn’t for nothing. Perhaps with this track record, maybe even Joe can slip out of this noose.

And I think the key to him finding a way out is in answering the question, who is Shelburne? And why is Wo Fat so afraid of him? Only then will we perhaps feel the noose loosen for not only Joe, but McGarrett and the rest of the team as well. And I can almost guarantee the ending will not be as happy as this week’s episode was, because no good seems to come to those who cross Wo Fat. Especially when they play for the good guys.

Redux Side Note:

Best part of the episode tonight? Three words: “Book ‘em Danno.” So great that they started that up again.

Former Hawai’i news reporter Linda Jameson played Parent #2, the pretty blonde mom who was in the crowd being briefed by Kono about her missing child. You can read about her experience in Mike Gordon’s “Outtakes Online.”
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.

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  • seriously no way joe is bad im sure hes only trying to protect steve !  i think Shelburne is steves Mom and shes been in hiding or is some sort of agent. SHELL BURN  i know its crazy but it absolutely would be freaking cool. I cant see Steve being decieved by another person he loves- sorry thay just cant be that mean! can they??? great procedural too- not overly impressed with the soap star but the show was great – the bad guy was point on and really had me fooled – great work – edge of your seat suspense- it was great!!!!!! cant wait for more

  • Great review, as always, Wendie, and for once, I even picked up on all, well, most of, the “trapped” characters in this episode! I’m a slow learner, but you’re a great teacher, so I’m starting to pick up on the literary aspects of the episodes, now, myself! See, this blog is more than just a review of the most recent 5-0 episode, it’s a learning tool for us wannabe critics and writers!

    Never really thought Mom McG was still alive, and still don’t think she’s Shellburn, but darn mad at Joe White for messing with Steve mind, and mine too, with his treachery.  If that’s what it is.  He’s protecting someone’s identity, but I still feel he’s protecting Steve, too! Who ever he’s covering for, it has to be someone very close to Steve.  I really hope it’s not Mom McG for personal reason…I’ll have to kowtow to Jowwey who called it that way months ago, and I just hate the thought of having to do that!!

    Thanks, Wendie! The wedding is going to be awesome next week! 

  • Joe is trying to protect Steve. Plain and simple. It has to do with Steve’s family and you have to admit if Joe was evil, Steve would have been rotting away in prison or hanging from a hook in North Korea, end of story. As Peter said in his tweet…making Joe evil would be too easy.

    I really believe that Joe is protecting Steve from something…but what? That is the mystery and I truly believe it’s going to hurt Steve deeply if he finds out. I love how Peter weaves a good story. Always something to question and to ponder.
    There is so much more and this mystery could go on for awhile but Peter said we will know who Shelburne is on epi #14. That’s next year!!! *gnaws on fingers and gnashes teeth* Great review Wendy! 
    This episode kept me guessing all the way through! I usually have it figured out pretty quickly but I didn’t this time until the team figured it out. Good writing team!!
    Can’t wait for next week!

  • I just don’t think Joe is bad.  But he is hiding something that would hurt McG. if he found out.  Maybe it could be Steve’s mother or maybe it could be Steve’s grandfather that supposely died in the Pearl Harbour bombings.  It has to be someone Joe knows the question is why keep it secret from Steve and why is Wo Fat so afraid of this Shellburne?  As usual the writers are so good on H50, whether it’s Peter or someone else the story lines and action is always fun to watch.  Then throw in a twist and mystery, comedy and paradise can’t beat it.  Thanks Wendie great review.  Can’t get enough of H50!

  • Lynnette is absolutely right. You ARE a great teacher.  I say it every single week but it is so true every single week…I learn so much from your blog.  I wish I had a teachers like you when I was in school.

    I also agree that I don’t think Joe is a bad guy.  He is hiding his secret to protect someone and to protect Steve.  I don’t know if it’s Steve’s mom or someone else but I do know that who ever it is the discovery will rock Steve’s world.  Even if Joe is doing it for the right reasons it will still be a blow to Steve. 

    And Pinkiepie is right.  If Joe was out to hurt Steve he would have left him to rot in prison and Korea.  He just lost his life long career in the military because he rescued Steve.  No way he did all of that if he’s out to hurt Steve. 

  • My personal theory is that Shellburn is in fact Papa McGarrett! Before you scoff let me say that I think that Victor Hesse, the gov and Papa Mac were all in a conspiracy together to take down Wo Fat. We never actually see Papa Mac get killed do we? We hear a gun shot and see blood but that can be staged. A body can be substituted. Who identified Papa Mac? The logical and only choice would be the governor as Steve was in Korea and only arrived home in time for the funeral. She presumably took care of all of the funeral arrangements too. See were i’m going with this. It all fits. 
     My take is that Joe White was brought in to the conspiracy by Victor Hesse after the governor was killed. He saw the writing on the wall and got a message to him. Joe found Papa mac and together they are investigating Wo Fat to bring him down once and for all.
     Just some speculation on my part.

    • I think you’re right!  I was thinking the same.  Shelburne is McGarrett’s dad. Hiro noshimuri says that Wo fat is afraid of him.  if you look at the tool box mcG’s dad had, it had enough to either put wo fat away, or worse.  maybe get him killed by his bosses or whatever.  In any case, you;re right.  we never saw mcg’s dad actually dead.  The one that coud know a little more about whether mcg’s dad is shelburne is dead-V. hesse.  he was the one that supposedly killed Steve’s dad. 

      • I know right! It really was just an idle thought that I had during the episode that has grown (in my head at least) into a full fledged conspiracy theory. Yes we see Hesse threaten to kill papa mac but we never see the actual deed itself. Maybe i’m just seeing things that aren’t there but to me the only person that Wo Fat has reason to fear, that we know about, is papa mac. 
        It is probably just wishful thinking on my part. 

  • Great article as always, my friend! I really liked this episode for the continuity with referring to last episode’s extraction of Steve. The treachery shown all throughout was very gripping as was Joe’s phone conversation at the end. I like you ,can’t wait until “Shelburne” is revealed. As you may know, there is a “Shelburne” town right near where I live in Vermont so I always get excited when I hear them mention it!

     I do agree with the other commenters that he/she is probably someone from his family too. I really can’t see Joe, after all he’s gone through on behalf of Steve, to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Love your “Hero’s” reference, btw!!!!Have a good week. Can’t wait til the wedding episode!Dana In Vermont

  • Another great post, Wendie. 

    Regarding this week’s show, in some ways, I was relieved that there turned out to be consequences for Joe’s wild, unauthorized rescue mission to Korea a couple of weeks ago.  The fact that the consequences were severe makes that whole episode seem a little less far-fetched.

    I liked this week’s episode and I am as intrigued as anyone to find out about Shelburne and Joe’s connection to him.  Another great mystery story line to keep us even more interested in the show.  Great job by the writers.

    As always, keep up the good work Wendie.

  • Thanks for the fantastic review.  I cannot wait to find out more about Shelbourne in future episodes. The stories are getting so intriguing and more mysterious.  I love H50, the cast, crew and creative directors, producers and writers.

  • Nice recap but totally disagree about ‘turning the corner to treachery’. You don’t risk your life and limb to rescue someone-ie Steve and then turn bad the next ep.Just looking forward to the secrets revealed-ie McGarrett family, Shelburne, Joe’s background (ie-how did he go from a Master Chief to Lt. Cmdr in 6 years) and when was he McG’s commanding officer-not just trainer in BUDs.   Lots to look froward to.

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