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Five-0 Redux

A blast from the past

Rick McGuire (Peter Greene), left, is a dirty cop who comes to Oahu to exact revenge on Danno (Scott Caan) and his family. (Courtesy CBS)
Rick McGuire (Peter Greene), left, is a dirty cop who comes to Oahu to exact revenge on Danno (Scott Caan) and his family. (Courtesy CBS)

When something from your past shows up on your doorstep and rattles your nice little life to its core, for most of us it would be enough to throw up our hands and just surrender to whatever it is that has arrived to make us miserable. That is, unless you are a member of the Five-0 team.

This week’s episode, “Mai ka wā kahiko,” or “Out of the Past” when translated by CBS, dealt primarily with the shocking kidnapping of Danny’s daughter, Gracie, by his ex-partner from New Jersey who was put in prison for being corrupt. Someone has definitely come “out of the past” to haunt Danny, and the Five-0 team must come to his rescue.

CBS’s translation of the episode title is basically the same as the Hawaiian translation given to me by T Ilihia Gionson, Hawaiian language expert and friend to the “Five-0 Redux.”

“Mai means ‘from,’ ka wā is ‘the time,’ kahiko is ‘old or ancient,’ so mai ka wā kahiko basically means ‘from the old time,’” said Gionson. And the “old time” was something Danny probably wanted to stay old and back in New Jersey.

I mentioned this in another post that addressed the “let’s beat Danno until he’s semi-crazy” phenomenon, and this week’s episode made it all too clear I was on the right track. Danno is this season’s favored whipping boy, for sure. During season one we saw Chin Ho take his licks — almost being decapitated, dealing with hostile police and family members, lying to protect his uncle and himself, borrowing money from the underworld — need I go on?

But the man with the most to lose seems to be losing it all as we enter February’s sweeps and see “Hawaii Five-0” go head-to-head in its timeslot with a splashy new show on another network — and this was an episode that could definitely smash any competition.

From the start, I was on the edge of my seat. From the bloody death of U.S. Marshal Dave Collins (Jon Olson), who also happened to be a friend of Danny’s from New Jersey, to Gracie’s kidnapping, to the explosive ending, I couldn’t even type. I’m usually not at a loss for words, spoken or written, but tonight I was the gimp trying to hang with the team.

The acting by Scott Caan and Peter Greene, who played Danny’s ex-partner Rick Peterson, was terrific. The scenes in Danny’s car between the two were probably some of the best we’ve seen all season. Greene, who interestingly enough was born in New Jersey and has made a career of playing bad guys (including a dirty cop in the film “Training Day”), was very convincing playing a kindly officer as well as a morally bankrupt and demolished man, and then equally as scary as a man about to kill our favorite pompadoured Five-0 member.

When Scott Caan begged for Gracie’s life, as well as when he vowed to kill Peterson, I was convinced that Danno would do exactly that. I know that’s what I’m supposed to think while watching an action/cop series, but Caan was very effective in this episode. I really hope we see more of this kind of acting from McG’s second in command.

Danno (Scott Caan), left, and McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) discuss the finer points of detaining a suspect in a swimming pool. (Courtesy CBS)
Danno (Scott Caan), left, and McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) discuss the finer points of detaining a suspect in a swimming pool. (Courtesy CBS)

I also really liked how the team all got equal screen time this week; it seemed very even for such a Danno-centric episode. McG took control of the situation, Chin took Danno’s “second” spot, Lori played with the magic table and helped track Danno and get intel for them, Kono had a scene with Fong (our Geek God returns!) and also helped to piece together the revenge plan set by Peterson. It seemed as if the team really clicked in this episode and I’m sure most of the smoothness had to do with Larry Teng’s direction. I loved how the action really moved at a nice pace and the tension build was exciting and fun to watch.

This week’s episode didn’t provide a lot of humor or bromantic wordplay, although there was a role switch of sorts when McG had to stop Danno from drowning their informant, because if “we drown him he won’t be able to tell us anything.” But Danno driving down a one-way street in downtown Honolulu was more pleasurable for me than I would have thought. If you have ever driven in Honolulu or Waikiki, trust me, you’d want to do what Danno did, even if your daughter’s life wasn’t on the line. One-way streets in town can turn a 20-minute drive into an hour-long ordeal.

But I digress; this week we learned a few important character traits about Danny Williams. He is, as we suspected, still in love with his ex-wife, Rachel, and wants to try and work out a way for them to be a family, regardless of who is the father of her new baby. If you cross him, he will get you, and he’ll bring his team along for the ride. And if that doesn’t frighten you, then you need to watch this episode again. Believe me, what comes out of the past may shake up lives, but if anyone from the Five-0 team’s past wants to mess with them again, they better be up for the fight.

Redux Side Note:

Lori and McGarrett start off this week’s episode hiking/racing up Koko Crater Railway Trail. The trail takes you up Koko Crater to its peak, Kohelepelepe (or Puʻu Mai), and provides spectacular views of the southeastern shore of Oahu.

Miss Hawaii 2001 — and current Hawaiian Airlines employee — Denby Dung played a Hawaiian Air flight attendant in this week's episode. (Courtesy CBS)
Miss Hawaii 2001 — and current Hawaiian Airlines employee — Denby Dung played a Hawaiian Air flight attendant in this week's episode. (Courtesy CBS)

Two well known local faces were in the Hawaiian Air scenes — Miss Hawaii 2001 Denby Dung played the extremely sweet flight attendant and Hawaiian Air president and chief executive officer, Mark Dunkerley, played himself.

And our favorite Five-0 Bikini Girl, Sarah Katherine Miller, played the pretty customer in a pink dress at the mailbox rental shop. Danno directed the shop employee to help her; local actor Jabez Sky, who was in Kumu Kahua Theatre’s world premiere production of Lee A. Tonouchi’s “Da Kine Space,” played the employee.

If you missed it, Honolulu Star-Advertiser film and television reporter Mike Gordon sat down with “Hawaii Five-0” executive producer Peter Lenkov last week. Read his Q&A and find out what Lenkov has up his sleeve for the rest of season two. I promise, it’s a treat.
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.

13 responses to “A blast from the past”

  1. Joey says:

    incredible episode! scott caan nailed it again! love to see this group together alex lauren ddk and grace were all rite on the money. the hour flew by in minutes i couldnt take my eyes off the screen! awesome write up as usual wendie! u rock!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have watched it 3 times already and will watch it again tonight when my hubby comes home.  I still cannot get over how great Scott was in this episode.  I don’t know why, because I already KNEW what a great actor he is but this is really the first time we have seen this level of intensity from him for almost an entire episode.  You’re right…I hope we do see more of this type of acting from him in the future.  Scott is phenomenal and not just as comic relief to McGarrett!

    Everyone was great in this episode but is it me or are they writing less for Lori to do in the last couple of episodes?  Her sprained ankle did nothing but give the writers a reason to keep her tethered to the magic table.  I don’t mind, because that means Kono doesn’t have to be stuck there but she just seems to be under utilized lately.  Curious!

    Anyway..great review Wendie…as always.  And only ONE week to wait for the next new episode.  Be still my weakening heart!

  3. The pace of the episode was outstanding. It was definitely a bit of a (deliberate) slow build until the moment Steve discovered the photos of the Williams family on the computer. Then it hit a level of controlled chaos that most certainly matches most real-world police investigations involving missing children. I know a lot of people are heaping praise on Scott Caan’s performance — and he was wonderful — but Steve’s frenzied race to get his team putting the puzzle pieces together really sold the entire thing for me, so kudos to AOL. Had he played it any other way, it could’ve killed the pace of the show all together.

    On a related note, this is really the first time since Steve has been put in charge of the task force that it truly showcased his leadership ability an an investigator and much less someone who uses brute force to strong-arm suspects. I enjoyed seeing the wheels turning in his head as he realized Grace has been taken, saw how the evidence pointed to Peterson, made his connection to Danny, and helped bring the case to a successful resolution.

    Will second (third? fourth?) all those who thought Peter Greene was fantastic. For me he was the most memorable villain this show has had outside of Wo Fat.

    • Wendie Joy says:

      I completely agree on your Steve comments. I loved when he told Lori or Kono? canʻt remember! yikes! Guess I have to watch it again:) Anyway, he told one of them to look in the computer and “Find it, find it, find it!” A little thing- but great force and power:) Thanks for the comment:) ~WJ

  4. shiri says:

    i always love to learn more about Hawaii from your articles (-:

  5. Benjamin Blevins says:

    love the airplane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for your review, Wendie, I enjoyed it as always. I won’t lie, this episode was owned by Scott, in my opinion. I can’t imagine him improving on his portrayal of Danny Williams in any way, shape or form. He was totally believable as a distraught father who’s beloved child has been kidnapped by an unknown entity. Unfortunately for Rick Peterson, Detective Danny Williams has grown and matured in the 10 years since he put Peterson behind bars. He doesn’t get “stupid” when he’s angry anymore. He gets focused and determined, even while scared spitless. Oh, yeah, Danny’s been hanging around Steve too much!

    The blast from the past will have repercussions for Danny, I’m sure. When the relief of finding Grace alive and well wears off, Danny will second guess his relationship with his ex-wife and daughter and the danger his job puts them in, and Rachel will re-visit why she left Danny in the first place. Yes, Wendie, Danny  is the show’s punching bag this season!

  7. Wendy Hansen says:

    Fantastic review, Wendie! This is one of my favourite episodes, and not just because it’s Danno-centric. The acting in the episode is just superb, and Scott is… he’s just the epitome of being an A lister in this one. It really goes to show just how your choices as an actor truly make or break a scene or even an episode. Scott could have played Danno using the explosive angry card – we all know how easily his temper flairs, especially when children are involved. With Peterson kidnapping Grace, it’s only natural for Danny to want to rip his head off, to get angry, to even want to torture him to get the information that he wants.

    But Scotty took Danny the opposite direction, down the emotional route, the distraught father, who would do absolutely anything to get his baby girl back. The emotions that Scott brought to this episode bring tears to my eyes every time. Sure, he’s got great comedic timing, and he can punch the lights out of anyone – never underestimate his smaller stature, he doesn’t need to be 6″ to take care of business as he can hold his own – but this episode… this episode showed showed so much more of Danno than we’ve ever seen before, and it made me fall all that much more in love with the character.

    I knew Scott had this range, but I’m so thankful that he brought it to Five-0 because it’s such an unbelievable pleasure to see it on film in this setting. This is exactly why he’s one of my all-time favourite actors and creative people.

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