One of the most famous wedding scenes ever has to be when Elvis Presley’s Chad Gates marries his Hawaiian girlfriend, Maile Duval, in “Blue Hawaii.”
If you don’t know the scene, Elvis sings “The Hawaiian Wedding Song” as he and his bride float down a river amidst coconut trees and pretty Hawaiian girls singing while bedecked in lei. Elvis is dressed in all white, with a red sash and red double carnation lei, while his bride is dressed in a beautiful purple holokū. Yes, purple.
I’m not sure what bride would allow her groom to upstage her and be the one wearing white — but remember, this groom was Elvis. No one can upstage the king. Not even a beautiful bride.
But the bride in this week’s episode of “Hawaii Five-0” definitely upstaged the groom and the rest of their beautiful Five-0 wedding party. Chin Ho and Malia’s nuptials have been the focus of all of the promos for “Alaheo Pau ‘Ole” (translated as “Gone Forever”) in the last few weeks. I know it’s hard to believe that many of us locals get married barefoot, in suit jackets, and sans ties. Just add garlands of flowers, the ocean in the background and someone playing a gentle ukulele, and you’re set.
But I’m with McG. Board shorts and slippers — finally, they used the correct local term for flip-flops! — should be appropriate beach wedding attire. And I was very pleased to hear the ceremony being delivered in Hawaiian and English by real-life Kahu Kordell Kekoa. It definitely added great authenticity to the happy moment.
This episode may have been called “Alaheo Pau ‘Ole” for several reasons, but for me, the biggest reason is not that Chin Ho’s single days maybe a thing of the past, but perhaps Steve’s relationship with daddy-stand-in Joe White may be gone forever. I think that once Joe comes clean with Steve they could probably patch things up, but right now, that secret seems to be one Joe is willing to protect, even at the cost of their friendship.
It’s sad how the mystery surrounding Daddy McG and “Shelburne” seems to be destroying not only McG’s current relationships, but also could cost him the good feelings he recently gained towards his late father. It has definitely ended his hero worship of Joe — and I’m not sure if that is repairable after these last few episodes.
As for the translation of “Alaheo Pau ‘Ole,” alaheo means “gone or departed.” And the words pau ‘ole (two words, not one) means “endless, unceasing, or always.” I think they may have gotten “gone forever” from “me ke aloha pau ‘ole” which means “with love forever.”
But according to Hawaiian language expert T Ilihia Gionson, “being gone isn’t generally something that would be pau, which means finished or ended, so by extension it couldn’t be pau ‘ole. To be pau, it has to start, right? How does one start being gone? You just are.”
Gionson said he would instead use the phrase “pau loa,” which means “very pau or pau for good.”
But poetically, “for good” can also mean forever, and forever is definitely a theme of the episode. Chin Ho and Malia pledged their love forever when they married, Sharon Archer came to the brutal realization that her son Sean was definitively dead forever, and a relationship Steve probably thought would last forever seems to have come to a stoic end.
Yet I really hope that McG doesn’t forget his past with Joe when their secrets are revealed, and can at least hold onto one of the few real friendships he has — so that not everything is gone forever.
Redux Side Note:
The character of Rafe Tong was played with nice believability by Hawaii-based actor Michael Ng. It was great to see the former Kaimuki High School Performing Arts Center and UH-Manoa graduate on “Hawaii Five-0.” Ng was most recently seen during the Hawaii International Film Festival’s premiere of “The Short List.”
Kala Alexander was also back in this week’s episode, playing the head of the Kapu, a fictitious “gang” of surfers who control Oahu’s beaches. This time, he plays it cool as potential suspect turned informer. Perhaps he will continue to return to “Hawaii Five-0” as a recurring character/informant like Kamekona.
I love how “Hawaii Five-0” keeps bringing back local talent, and cleverly keeps slipping in support for a very good cause — the Mauli Ola Foundation. Nicely done, “Five-0.”
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.