Just think, “Hawaii Five-0” fans, the last time McGarrett was in a full episode of the show was in March — and that was SEVEN weeks ago. I know, we got a nice voiceover of his letter to Danny and a shot of him getting on a plane in what looked like Japan in “Ha‘alele,” but did that really appease all of the McGarrett maniacs in any serious way?
Looking at all the giddy online social networking traffic regarding this week’s episode, “Ua Hopu,” I think not.
Nothing to be angry about, perhaps we were a little worried, and then concerned — but I’m sure you all are fine with the return of McGarrett to the “Five-0” fray, and are more than willing to watch his “six” for the next two weeks. This preview to the season finale was everything we have been waiting for; between the return of the Steven and Daniel bromance, Kono and her secret lover, and the capture of Wo Fat, this one caught my attention from the very start.
In Hawaiian, “Ua Hopu” means, basically, “to be caught.” It also means “to be arrested.” And maybe because my heart was in partial cardiac arrest during the episode, the symbolism behind the title was not lost on me.
So many of our characters were caught — Kono caught between her new lover Adam Noshimuri and her Five-0 family; Wo Fat arrested by McGarrett, Danno kidnapped by the CIA, and all of them caught in a Yakuza/CIA web. Seriously, I couldn’t tell who were the bad guys in this episode. Adam went after Wo Fat to bring him to justice for killing his father, Hiro Noshimuri. The CIA seemed hellbent on keeping their arms dealings with Wo Fat a secret. It was interesting how the lines between heroes and villains seemed to nicely blur, thanks to writer Stephanie SenGupta and ace director Larry Teng, who really kept me caught up in the action and emotion of the episode.
It’s been a while since I have been this taken by an episode. I loved the juxtaposition of good guys being bad guys and the bad guys maybe being good guys. When Kono walked into the abandoned house to meet Adam and I saw all the plastic on the floor, I really thought he was going to kill her. But when he held his gun on her, I knew he wasn’t going to shoot.
And guest star Jack McGee, as Danno’s CIA “Deep Throat,” was terrific as the double agent. I loved when he called Danno “Kid,” and what a guy for taking a pistol-whipping just to pay his respects to his dead friend. I know, he set Danno up by kidnapping him with the dramatic black-bag-over-the-head routine, and he did basically mess up Danno’s hair not once, but twice (bag over the head and then the guard Danno takes out — did you see it? Messed up the Danno do!).
All in all, “Deep Throat” really helped the Five-0 team out.
There really was so much that was great in this episode — besides McGarrett’s return, of course. Grace Park got a chance to really develop her character more and this was another very interesting storyline to show what makes Kono tick. Between her undercover work at the start of season two for Captain Fryer, and now as the undercover girlfriend of acting yakuza boss Adam Noshimuri, Park really has gotten more of an opportunity to shine this season.
But the very best part was McG being back — in cargo pants, in action with big guns, and quick feet and fists. He landed a crashing plane, flew a stolen helicopter, fought it out with Wo Fat, as well as with a team of gun toting Yakuza. And in the end he put the bad guy behind bars.
But for how long will Wo Fat stay caught? If we know anything about our clever villian, I’m sure he has more tricks up his sleeve and will not be caught in the act by McGarrett once more.
Redux Side Note:
Be sure to check out Mike Gordon’s interview with the amazing Mark Dacascos, McGarrett’s nemesis Wo Fat, in the May 7 edition of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. After watching all the evilness of Wo Fat this season, you may want to take a few moments to read something great about the man who plays our favorite villain.
Next week is the season two finale — the last new episode of “Hawaii Five-0” until September. If you caught the preview at the end of Monday’s episode, you know it is one you don’t want to miss. “Ua Hala” airs May 14 and looks to be as explosive as the season one finale, although this time it looks like death is headed a bit too close to home.
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.