So much for an easy summer. I thought for sure, once I knew the secret of Shelburne, and was secure with the knowledge that McGarrett and the team were happily reunited, healthy, and happy, I could survive the summer hiatus with calm nerves and sleep-filled nights. If you are laughing as you read this, then you know why my anxiety-free summer is now a thing of the past.
“Hawaii Five-0” is pretty famous for its cliffhangers, and as far as their season enders go — both left me, what’s the word Alex O’Loughlin might use, oh yes, gobsmacked. Season one ended with the team torn apart, and season two ended with too many shocks to keep me on an even keel the rest of this week.
“The Shelburne Slam,” I want to call it. Because, wow — who knew right?
Death in the family is a pretty heady title for a season finale. It does not bode well, and however you look at it, it pretty much means someone is going to, well, die. But die in what way? Will it be a more figurative death than we perhaps expected? Sorry, I tend to wax poetic when the word death is mentioned. Perhaps I’ve read too many English lit books for my own good.
For a season ender, “Ua Hala” or “Death in the Family” does not disappoint on many levels, but it does leave us wishing three months of hiatus will pass by with super SEAL speed.
For this season’s finale, writers Peter M. Lenkov, Paul Zbyszewski, and Elwood Reid wanted to surpass what they did in 2011. And with the cliffhangers they left us with, we’ll be debating the fate of Chin Ho’s Malia, Danno and Rachel’s “relationship,” as well as his joint custody of Gracie, Steve’s Shelburne revelation, and of course, Kono’s ability to swim in duct tape cuffs, all summer long. But like Danno said, “There is no ‘my own’ in a friendship — your problems become my problems,” and for the Five-0 Team, I have no doubt they will work together to help each other and not leave each other “on their own.”
In Hawaiian, “Ua Hala” means “passed away,” according to Hawaiian language expert Ilihia Gionson. That’s why the hala lei is usually reserved for occasions of passing from one part of life to another — graduations, retirements, and yes, funerals. I might say “Death In The Family” is something like “Ua Hala Ka ‘Ohana,” or “a relative has passed.” But Gionson said “Ua Hala” is not totally wrong to use for the title, especially if someone is going to pass on.
And right away we get the literal meaning of the title, with Capt. Fryer (Tom Sizemore) ambushed, shot and killed. Then Max (Masi Oka) is shot and more people are put in danger when HPD headquarters is blown up. McGarrett is shot — thankfully, he is wearing body armor and survives without injury — and it gets even more serious when members of the Five-0 family are kidnapped and put into dire predicaments.
About halfway through the episode, I wondered who wasn’t going to be put in grave danger. There were so many twists and turns, I almost felt like the whole show was a car chase and my television was the vehicle. A couple of crashes, a few wrong turns, major issues flying at my windshield. I needed someone to slam on the brakes. Which of course, didn’t happen until the very end of the episode.
But what an ending to an interesting sophomore season! McGarrett and Danno were in fine form with their trademark banter, and when McGarrett told Joe White (Terry O’Quinn) he had to call Danno before they left for Japan or “(Danno) would never speak to me again,” it was more classic Five-0 bromantic humor. Joe’s retort of “is that a good thing or a bad thing?” was perfect, and we have to like him for saving the day for Max.
I loved the scene with Danno and Gracie, which confirmed for me what makes Danno such an appealing character — his great love for his daughter. His obviously conflicted love for her mother also makes for good drama. Scott Caan was in fine daddy form in this episode, and while I’m glad he is not as tortured as he was last season, I like how his internal conflicts have kept his character interesting.
Alex O’Loughlin also showed us a range of emotion, between his frustration with Joe, his anger at losing Fryer, which made him take a huge risk to take out the female shooter — and then the almost boyish confusion at finding out who Shelburne had been all along, was just beautiful acting without too many words. You could see it all on his face, and knew exactly what he was thinking and feeling in his eyes.
Daniel Dae Kim got quite a bit of action tonight, not only did we get to see several tender moments with Chin Ho and his relatively new wife, Malia (Reiko Aylesworth), but the scene between Chin and Frank Delano (William Baldwin) was palpably frustrating. I wanted to reach through my television and manhandle Delano myself. And the pain and anguish of having to make a “Sophie’s Choice” was brilliantly desperate. If next season the team doesn’t hunt down Delano and throw him in a shark cage and leave him there, I’ll start the email campaign myself.
But the pure evil in this episode had to be Karl Herlinger, credited only as “Toothpick,” based on his penchant for chewing on his own moniker, who created more mayhem and pain for the Five-0 Team. The look he gave Kono at the start of the episode foreshadowed the beginning of the creeps he gave me the rest of the night. It was great to see a different kind of bad guy, one who was calculating more than physical. Most of the bad guys we’ve had in the past rely on their physicality and weaponry, to get the villain job done.
Even the woman who shot Fryer, Hilary Chaver (Taylor Cole), used her very large gun to get what she wanted, yet all the while it was Toothpick who seemed to be pulling the strings. Even though he was the muscle behind the mastermind plan of Delano, he was still menacing and a perfect bad guy for the season-ending episode.
Overall, this was an explosive and revealing episode that left me scared and nervous for the team. It definitely will have me anxious for the start of season three, which of course is what every good season finale should do — leave us wanting for more.
Redux Side Note:
I hope you all got to read about local boy and season finale mayhem-maker, Karl Herlinger in Mike Gordon’s “Outtakes” in Sunday’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s. You can read about Herlinger’s rise from being a regular Kailua boy to becoming a favorite television villain. Hopefully, we’ll get to see more of Herlinger’s character in season three. Be sure to put “Outtakes” on your required Sunday morning reading list, as Gordon not only covers “Hawaii Five-0,” but also all television and film projects happening in Hawaii.
“Five-0” PR rep Erika Kauffman also sent out a special Monday morning surprise — an exclusive “Mahalo” video of Alex O’Loughlin, Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim, and Grace Park thanking all of the fans for their support of season two.
While it probably won’t keep us satiated during the summer hiatus, it definitely was a nice treat for the fans.
Speaking of the hiatus, last summer the “Five-0 Redux” continued, and this year will be no different. I’ll be talking with guest actors from the show and traveling to other filming spots to show you more about Hawaii, our culture, and our people. The show might be on vacation, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be waiting impatiently for season three to start. I’ll try to keep us occupied until the show returns to television in September.
Until then, be there, aloha.
Wendie Burbridge is a published writer, playwright and a teacher of literature and fiction writing at Kamehameha Schools-KapƒÅlama. Reach her on Facebook and on Twitter.
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this was all i exo=pected fro these guys. the acting was superb. the pace was relentless and fun! im not so worried about kono–she has madd skills. the storylines and subplots were awsome, and yes i called shelburne from day one- only hiope my luck holds out and they cast one of my childhood favorites for the rold- lyndsay wagner – a great actress – would be perfect for the role! i cant wait until september. what are we gonna do with ourselves without new five -0 to talk about? no doubt season 3 is gonna be excellent! cant wait!
Joey I can’t believe you nailed it – that Shelburne was mom!! We really miss you, any chance that you could visit us over the summer to share in some chatter over what’s coming up in Season 3!!! We would truly love your company if you have time to stop by – the front door, back door, trap door and window is always open for you.
The finale was a fun watch. A small part of me was irked they gave away so much in the promo — but on the other hand, it feels like we’ve now got so much invested in these characters going forward that the show really made a clean break from the cookie-cutter procedural it was starting to feel like. This ending really gives the writers the chance to explore these characters in season 3 and get a lot more in-depth with all of them. (As I tweeted last night, I felt like Lenkov and Co. made this procedural a procedurALL 😉 There are so many questions that need answers, and so many different places they could take these storylines. I’m anxious to see who gets cast as Mom McG and what kind of rapport she can develop with Alex. I’m itching to see Daniel Dae Kim get more heavy material to play with (How do you spell DDK? E-M-O ;). I wonder how Kono is going to get out of her predicament, and can’t wait to see Grace Park and Ian Anthony Dale come together again, because their chemistry is sizzling. And finally, say what you will about the Danny-Rachel saga. It was refreshing to see Danny decide to stand up and fight for custody of his daughter. He calls Hawaii home now, and his ohana extends far beyond a bloodline.
Loved the episode but seriously, what the heck kind of mother lets her teenage children think she is dead just to save herself from Wo Fat? She wasn’t protecting them in anyway, just herself. I just don’t buy it.
Thank you for your great review, Wendy. I loved this roller coaster and exciting season 2 finale! I simply cannot believe so many things can happen to all the characters! This awesome episode kept me on my toes. I was completely glued to my television screen every second of this amazing episode. I am anxiously waiting to find out more in season 3 premiere of H50.
Was it only me or it really happened? I never saw the moment when Delano was freed by Chin, the scene was just appear right after a commercial. I expect there a little more continuation. Why people got so surprise about the identtiy of Shelburne? I knew it all along since the name was brought up many episodes ago and also due to all the hints Joe gave in the episodes. Im sure some fans did not know about i so sio for them it was a surprise, but for me the identity was no surprise. Another thing was it odd that Steve told the whole HPD that Frye is dead and it seem noone in the department seemed that surprise and they continue to work as nothing happened? I hope Frye gets a funeral and we can see it and the writers write a funeral on the story he was part of H50 in some way so he deserves something.. All cop dramas on TV at some point or another one they show funerals when a partner is down why H50 wont do it? I know that for the Governor they did it, but Frye aas Captain of the HPD it is the least he deserves. Also Frye wife never appeared in the show, as the CBS press released says. Maybe the scene got edited post production.
Now why the mother made believe her kids she is dead. But perhaps she was protecting herself beuas4 she has details on Wo fat that she had to hide from and if she dissapeared maybe noone would have been able to made her talk at the expense of her kids. Im sure Doris and Steve will have to have a LOONGGG talk he pretty sure will have so many questions and they have to tell Mary as well. She be the one most devastated by these news. Im sure.
I hope Joe returns he is a valid piece in all of this Shelburne thing and Steve has so many questions to him and his mom about all this!! Terry O quinn has to return I know he has another show for next fall but I hope he can manage to come back. I mean We still have to know why Steve mom killed Wo fat dad and Joe and her has plenty of information on that
Well, Wendie – the finale is now history and the long wait for Season 3 begins! Since I was threatened with a hatchet on Twitter last night for pointing out its 4 months, not 3, until the next new 5-0 episode, I’ll refrain from correcting you! LOL!
Joey, I can’t believe I actually have to grovel at your feet for being right about Mom McG, but I will do just that. I scoffed at the prospect way back then, when all this Shelburne stuff began, but I should have trusted your instincts (either instinct or PLenkov whispered in your ear!)
This was a heartstopper of a finale from start to finish! So much happened on screen I’m suffering from a mild case of whiplash today. Who didn’t figure out that Fryer was going to be dead body #1? Pretty awesome death, too! He was a tough, tough cop and died an honorable death.
My only head scratching moment was Max’s shooting – I know WHY the show did it, to throw us all off balance, but it was certainly the most far-fetched aspect to the story. The entire alley should have been blocked off with crime scene tape, and the surrounding buildings cleared before any support personnel were let near the body. I know, I know, poetic license and all that. It’s just a stretch for me, that’s all.
I can’t say enough about the rest of the episode. The cargument that wasn’t really an argument but an affirmation of the deep friendship that’s developed between Steve and Danny – something ALL fans of this show have been begging for since Season 1. Can’t wait to see how this friendship continues to develop in Season 3!
Wendie, you said it so well – Alex didn’t need a lot of words this week to get his emotions across on screen. His actions and expressions did it all.. He is a beautiful man and when he uses those looks to his advantage, he’s got us all mesmerized!
I am SO proud of Danny for deciding Hawaii is his home and he’s willing to fight to keep his daughter near him. I still would love Rachel and Danny to end up together, but even if that never happens, I’m so glad Danny has decided not to be led around on a tether behind Rachel and Stan anymore. We might even see Danny with custody of Grace in Hawaii next season! Teillor appears to be growing up before us – she’s becoming quite the young actress, and I think will be capable of more storylines next season! This is wishing thinking on my part, of course!
DDK – it was HIS turn to shine last night! Beautiful job. What a twist. Poor Malia! She didn’t have a clue what was happening to her! Kono will get to the surface – she wasn’t unconsious or wounded. I’m not worrying for her survival at all. Question still is, will Malia survive her injuries? Will she spend half the season in a coma? Only to wake up and not know who Chin is? (whoops! Soap opera territory there!) What kind of trouble is Chin going to be in for letting Delano literally walk out of Halawa?
I better quit before I get cut off! Mahalo nui loa for all your blogs this season, Wendie! I think you can still have a relaxed summer – the Fab Four are in no danger of not returning to us in the fall!
3 or 4- it’s still months! LOL And I didn’t want to count this one- or the week or so in Sept- as hopefully we’ll get to see it earlier in Hawaii:) Crossing my fingers, of course! Great comments! Thanks for taking the time to read and respond:) ~WJ
I loved your review it was frank- honest and true… I always feel “better” after reading your take 😉
Great recap of this season final ep. You do great work in pulling everything together. I am also looking forward to your “extra school work” during the summer when you show us the various locations from the season. It really helps to understand the various scenes.
Love the review Wendie especially your description of Alex’s emotions. He can certainly nail them! I also love how the love and friendship has evolved between Steve and Danny. Danny saying he’s not leaving Hawaii said volumes.
Poor Chin, will he ever live down the dirty cop rap even tho he didn’t do anything?? And having to choose between his wife and his cousin wasn’t fair. Picking Malia over Kono was the right thing to do – Kono is a cop and a strong swimmer – so if Adam doesn’t come to her rescue – she’ll certainly be able to save herself.
The one thing that has me scratching my head is Mom McG as Shelburne. Truthfully, it wouldn’t surprise me if next season we find out the Joe is Steve’s dad and Mom had to go into hiding when Dad McG found out his best friend was literally screwing (with) his wife. (20 yrs. ago morals were very, very different than today.)
Man, hasn’t Steve been traumatized enough? First coming to terms with his mom’s terrible death and now having to go thru all new and different emotions as to why she abandoned him 20 years ago without so much as a postcar. I’m wondering how this is going to play out next season. Poor Steve, the guy really can’t catch a break. Now he has to contend not only with Catherine 24/7 but his mother (again) and abandonment issues! WOW.
The bad guys, especially the lady – she was excellent – and Steve made the show last night. This episode was good (but I loved, loved, loved last seasons ending). After a very rocky start, the 2nd half of the season went back to the edginess that made me love it in the first place!
I’m looking forward to s3 and watching how all the different stories evolve. I’ll be hanging on your every word about my favorite show over a very long 4 months of no H50!
Did u notice that Kono was talking about dates with Adam over the phone???
Thanks Wendie for your review. I’m sad the season is over, but excited for season 3. They certainly did leave us wanting more. What a great finale. The action started and never stopped. I have read a lot of people not liking McG’s mom being Shelburne, because she left her children. I kind of think that a mother would do anything for her children to protect them, even leave them. If someone was after her, the children could get in the way. I do feel that once they were adults the senior McG could have explained to his children. But, I am excited to see who they get to play Doris McGarrett and what the actual story is. Loved Alex’s acting as well. Very expressive face, usually does not need to say a word. Danny having to fight over Grace again. I’m getting tired of Rachel moving this poor child all over the place, away from her father, and I hope Danny gets full custody. It should be a good story line for next year. Kono will be fine, I’m sure she will either swim out of it, or Adam will save her.
DDK is the one who hit the jackpot as far as an incredible story line. I am so excited that they are giving him such a deep story. DDK deserves it. I hope they continue to expand Kono as well in the next season. The villians in this episode were really nasty, and were all played well. Wofat has some competition for evil. This was a great finale. Can’t wait for season 3.
Great post Wendie, as always. No episode is complete without reading your column.
After watching the Five-O finale and then the finales of NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles, I noticed that all of these shows used the same formula. They all featured dizzying, action-packed shows where virtually every cast member is in mortal danger at the hands of someone from their past. We are left for four months to wonder who lives and who dies (if anyone). Kind of cheezy and contrived on the part of all of these shows. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed all of them, I just long for the old days when shows wrapped up with less ominous cliff-hangers and a little more realism. But that’s just me.
Again, thanks for all the great blogging this year Wendie and please keep up the great work!
Oh I just love your review Wendie Joy!! A pleasure to read as always. You summed up your emotions and view points beautifully – practically mirrored my own feelings. Honestly from day 1 I can’t even recall an episode where I wasn’t at the edge of my seat wringing my hands anxiously and watching the clock wind down so fast and this year’s season final episode was without exception – I didn’t even have time to run to my recorder to pause on all the commercials…I simply couldn’t move as everything seemed to be whizzing by and even though our first casualty Detective Fryer came as no surprise to most of us – it was still very sad to see the end of this rather formidable Internal Affairs Agent and field cop Detective Fryer. I admit what he did to Kono at first was awful but once it all got cleared up and underway, I totally now can fully understand the need to seek justice and to bring the SOB Frank Delano down to his knees – what an evil, hateful, man he is!! What he did to Chin, just made me want to tear his head off his shoulder myself or grab Chin’s gun and just shoot him myself.
I know that earlier on in the season when Steve was tortured by Wofat, I hated that intensely and now seeing Chin who has always been a good natured, good hearted, well balanced, even keel soul, is tortured with a cruel reminder of the time when he was falsely accused of stealing money…how that must have hurt Chin to hide the truth and face all his accusers. But he valiantly protected his family honor and no one could admire him less for that sacrifice. It was awfully hard to see him struggle with pain and worry over the danger of his beloved cousin Kono and his wife Malia, the look on his face was just heartbreaking.
The moment when Steve opened the door and said the word “mom” …..I wanted to yell at my tv ….no don’t end now!!!
I truly believe that there will be a new change for Daniel Dae Kim to take Chin down a dark path in season 3 which will be so hard to watch but it will be worth watching to see what DDK will do with this new role for his character.
Maybe we will see Kono stand by her cousin to help bring him back as he tried to do for her when he thought that she went down the wrong path.
But I hope at the start of season 3 we will see Chin take immediate action – get his wife to the hospital, find a way to reach Danny or Steve because by then Delano will be too busy getting out of dodge to care what Chin will do. However, with Steve in Japan with mom, Danny dealing with personal issues, Chin may have no choice but to go solo in tracking down Delano himself…and put him out of his misery.
What about Adam will we see him at the start of the season 3 episode since he is expecting Kono for the apology date? If she doesnt’ show up, would he be able to help save her and let Chin see that he’s really truly the good guy who cares for his cousin?
Remember at the start photos of Kono, Chin, Malia, and Danny were taken and oddly not Steve – so that could still mean danger for Danny and Grace – “me speculating” and anticipating already what will be coming next. Steve reuniting with mom is going to be awesome. I’m so glad that they found a way for Steve not to lose his entire family and I thought Joe was just magnificent in keeping an eye on Max at the hospital. Joe’s a great guy, always liked Joe – even though he kept lots of secrets, he did what he needed to do and he deserves a hug for that for keeping Steve safe and for keeping mom away from Wofat!!
Danno’s troubles – whoa with Rachel takes us all the way back to season 1 with his fight over custody issues with daughter Grace. She has grown up to be quite a beauty too, with a name like Grace it totally suits and now that she is much older, you can see that father and daughter will become all the more closer. What is really nice to see is that Danno is finally at home in Hawaii and not missing Jersey as much, so for him to make up his mind to fight for Grace – just feels right. I can’t wait to read all the other reviews but I believe we will have a lot to look forward to in Season 3. Oh I never thought that I would say I can’t wait for Fall again….only because of H50 and no other reason at all.
Okay, okay, I get it…. Fryer was doomed to be the first dead body. But I don’t have to LIKE it! Fryer was a great character, Sizemore is a great actor, and I wanted to see more of him next season. And what is going to happen to Charlie Fong in the lab? How will Fong react to seeing Kono with the Yakuza heir? And is it realistic that the Yakuza would accept Adam? My fingers are crossed that Malia survives; it would be nice to see one Five-0 member with a happy marriage. Thank you for your review, Wendie!
Wendie: What a great review. All of my thoughts and feelings were the same as yours. Also agree with the other 17 comments for the most part. I thought everyone was excellent. DDK was riveting. The anguish on his face and in his voice -wow. Was on the verge of tears several times in this finale. I can see Chin also going down a darker path in Season 3. Alex, uses his eyes so well. You can get a lot of feeling just looking at his face – no words necessary. I am hoping Steve’s reunion with his mom is not emotionally damaging to him . We need him to still function as the leader of 5-0. The writers have so many directions to take 5-0 next season. Danno’s custody fight with his exwife could be devasting and/or hilarious. Glad he is staying in Hawaii. Nice to see the growth between him and Steve. I’m sure the writers can flesh out their characters a little more (hopefully in th right direction).
I am waiting impatiently as well for the start of Season 3. Wendie – please continue keeping us informed on what is happening in Hawaii today and anything you might “hear” on our beloved actors in 5-0.
Great review Wendie! As you probably know I was away all week and just got home today. I’m trying (and failing miserably) to catch up with all I have missed while I was away. I did get to see the finale on board the cruise ship and I really enjoyed it although I was disappointed in a couple of things. I’m sorry Danny has to deal with another custody battle. I really thought the writers would mine the troubles Danny could have with the CIA over what he knows about them and WoFat, not to mention the FBI is probably still pissed with him over the Matty business. I was a bit disappointed they fell back on a custody storyline. But, having said that, it will provide Scott with very emotional scenes between him and Grace and him and Rachel and we know that Scott ROCKS the emotional stuff.
I also didn’t really want Shelburne to be Steve’s mom because I’m worried that they will now rewrite history to explain it. But, not now that they have decided to follow that road I can’t wait to see Alex act the hell out of those reunion scenes!
Speaking of acting the hell out of things, DDK totally ROCKED this episode. Of course, having watched 6 years of LOST I know he is a wonderful actor. Nice to see them giving him something he can really chew on. I’m looking forward to seeing where Chin will head in Season 3.
So, yeah, while there were a few things I didn’t particularly care for, I did love the episode. It IS Five-0 after all. It’s good to be home!
Both women should be OK. Kono was a champion surfer, she would be better at holding her breath than most people and has to be a good swimmer. She’s been bound with duct tape at least four times in the series, twice in the last two episodes. She may have started hiding a small knife on her person. Her hands are out front and she isn’t weighted down. Also I think the phone call to Adam was not disconnected and he heard that something was going down. What a good way to make up to your girlfriend by saving her from drowning. Way better than flowers! Malia opened her eyes and spoke which was a very good sign. I won’t be happy if they married them in October only to kill her off in the next episode we see her in (even though nine months have elapsed). Maybe they’ll incapacitate her in some way, if they want to “break Chin down.”
The thing that disturbs me is that Steve’s mother hasn’t contacted either of her children since 1992. If she didn’t think they could handle it as teens, they still should have been told after reaching adulthood. Max’s mother abandoned her newborn, and she came back to try to make it right after a couple of years when the Trashman killed her.
Speaking of Max, I like the way Joe took care of him and was by his side when he woke up. I thought that was great. They had a good episode earlier when Joe took him to–was it called JPac? I love the character Max. And I think they may be setting him up for a GF. He went to the governor’s ball with someone we didn’t see, and then we met his friend Charlie (who definitely wasn’t a boy!) last week. Thanks for listening to me, Wendie, and thanks for your blog. This is the best drama on TV.