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Five-0 Redux

A cheeky crossover

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Left to right, Chris O'Donnell (NCIS Special Agent G. Callen), LL COOL J (NCIS Special Agent Sam Hanna), Daniel Dae Kim (Hawaii Five-0 Detective Lieutenant Chin Ho Kelly), and Scott Caan (Hawaii Five-0 Detective Sergeant Danny Williams). The joint NCIS: Los Angeles and Hawaii Five-0 task force travel from Hawaii to Los Angeles, when the lead suspect in the case moves to the mainland with a deadly virus in tow. PHOTO COURTESY CBS

The “Hawaii Five-0” and “NCIS: LA” crossover event concluded Tuesday night, with the Five-0 Task Force hitching a ride to Los Angeles to work with the NCIS Special Agents in order to find nine vials of Smallpox before a crazy doctor starts a worldwide pandemic. The investigation into finding the missing vials that left Hawaii at the end of “Pāmake Loa,” was more cerebral than physical in the “NCIS: LA” episode “Touch of Death.” Less car chases and gun battles, until the very end when the co-teams caught the fanatical doctor who wanted to spread Smallpox in order to save our planet. I know, I was a little confused as well, but no matter. I didn’t watch the show to learn about infectuous diseases or potential outbreaks. I really watched it to see how nicely our Five-0 team play with others.

Yet after Monday night’s “Hawaii Five-0” set up of the crossover plotline with “NCIS: LA,” I woke up feeling a little out of sorts. No, don’t fret kind readers; I wasn’t feeling the effects of Smallpox exposure, it was more like a feeling of longing. Perhaps you all were feeling it too—then I realized what it really was—I was missing McGarrett.

Now, I have always been more of a Five-0-Team-as-a-whole fan, but after watching the Team work without him for two episodes, McG’s absence was painfully obvious. Danno’s sarcastic quips and attempts at levity with Sam and Callen just seemed to fall short without McG to round out his humor. And even though the crossover episode focused more on the “NCIS: LA” cast, naturally, I still felt a little hole with McGarrett being left out of the loop.

If this was the first time you have ever watched “NCIS: LA,” or its big brother “NCIS” with Mark Harmon, you may not be used to their type of crime investigation. NCIS stands for Naval Criminal Investigative Services, and is an actual department within the US Navy. Their mission, according to their official website, “is to investigate and defeat criminal, foreign, and terrorist intelligence threats to the United States Navy and Marine Corps, wherever they operate: ashore, afloat, or in cyberspace.” The two NCIS shows mirror the real mission, and are similar in nature, although “NCIS: LA” seems to do more undercover work and use more high tech toys than “NCIS” to solve their cases. Even the Five-0 Team’s Magic Table is put to shame by the gadgets used by Tech Operator Eric Beale (Barrett Foa) and NCIS Intelligence Analyst Nell Jones (Renée Felice Smith).

I did like the “NCIS: LA” characters, and found that they shared a few similarities with our Five-0 Team. LL COOL J as NCIS Special Agent Sam Hanna is McGarrett with a bit of Danno humor, though not as sarcastic. I think that type of humor belongs to Detective Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen). Danno and Deek’s hair showdown was priceless. Between too much hairspray and bulletproof comments—those two give new meaning to Hetty’s “cheeky” comment.  Hetty Lange (Linda Hunt) is the “matriarch” of the NCIS: LA Team, and while she may not be a physically large presence, she runs the show. Chris O’Donnell as NCIS Special Agent G. Callen is more like serious and calm Chin Ho Kelly, with a dash of McGarrett daring. And Special Agent Kensi Blye is strong, smart, and holds her own among the boys, just like our Kono.

But if the “NCIS: LA” crew ever start looking for replacements, I hope they leave our Five-0 Team alone. We’ve had enough re-arranging, additions, and missing-in-action characters this season. And as for me, I’ll take a “tad bit cheeky” over “pillow-styled” any day.

Redux Side Note:

Only two more episodes left for Season Two of “Hawaii Five-0.” May 7 is “Ua Hopu” where we will see the return of McGarrett and his arch-nemesis Wo Fat. May 14 is the second season finale, “Ua Hala” in which Joe White returns and the Five-0 Team faces another kidnapping and death. The tension continues until next week, folks, so hang on to your bulletproof vests.

(Read Wendie’s blog for Monday’s crossover episode here. See photos from both episodes here.)


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.!/WendieJoy

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  • I did not feel McGarrett’s absence at all, but quite honestly he has never been my favorite character to begin with.

    I thought the cast did an awesome job,along with the NCIS characters, although I thought the Hawaii version was much better. 

    Great job Scott, Daniel and Grace!

  • I agree with you Wendie.  I think both casts did a fantastic job bringing this crossover story line to life.  They all worked well together and …wow…Deeks and Danno are awesomely funny together.  But I missed Steve too.  Your comment that “Danno’s sarcastic quips and attempts at levity with Sam and Callen just
    seemed to fall short without McG to round out his humor” is dead on.  It’s the way Steve reacts to Danny that smooths out Danny’s edges a bit.  Danny will make some snide comment and Steve will sideways look at him and smirk with THAT smirk that he is soooooo good at as if to say…”now Danny, you know you don’t mean that”…and it’s adorable.  Without that, Danny’s sometimes abrasive personality is just that….abrasive.  WE know he’s a pussycat at heart but without Steve there to balance him out others may see it differently.

    You can’t help but feel Steve’s absence because as much as I LOVE’s NOT Five-0 without McGarrett.  Thank goodness he’ll be back next week.  I can not wait to see him again!

  • Great job as always Wendie. I thought the carry over shows worked well, but I favor the FiveO side better. I missed the FiveO Chevies racing all over the place, but a very decent eps all over.

  • Is it just me or did anyone else think there was a slight script error that might have been introduced because of Alex O’Loughlin’s absence? While mocking Kensi’s (accidental?) flirting with Danny, Deeks says (in a girlish voice) something like, “Oh, Danno, notice me…” But no 5-0 person called Danny “Danno” in either episode! McGarrett is the ONLY one who uses “Danno.” 

    It seems to me that there must have been a line in the original script (when background story was going to be about Steve and NCISLA’s Sam being friends from the Navy SEALs days ) where McGarrett says “Danno.” That obviously got taken out when Chin Ho became 5-0 person to join Danny in L.A. But the Deeks line stayed and apparently no one noticed it! At least, that’s my theory!   

  • Hi Wendie – as always, great review. I love your synopsis of NCIS-LA. I love both shows and while they have similarities are very different. Writers on both sides did an excellent job with this crossover.  I missed Steve and you could almost taste how much Danny missed him. They bring out the best and worst in each other (like Sam & G).  I was really hoping for more Hetty/Danny cause she’s quite the worthy adversary!! But the Deeks/Danny hair war was hilarious.

    I hope TPTB will consider doing another crossover next season and hopefully Alex will be in it!

  • I agree with you Wendie, although I enjoyed the crossover and Max’s episode.  I really did feel a loss of McGarrett not being there.  I am so glad that he will be in the last 2 episodes, and Alex looks like his old self.  Happy and Healthy.

    As for the crossover, I love both these teams, I watch both shows and there are similarities.
    I loved that Danny and Deeks joked about their hairstyles, nice touch by the writers, and that they made them try to one up each other.  Loved that Hetty showed Danny who is boss, as she does all the time.  I hope they try this again sometime with McGarrett. 

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