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.
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.
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.