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Five-0 Redux

To the villains we love to hate

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BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser

Dear “Hawaii Five-0” Villains,

After the roller coaster ride that was season two, I wanted to thank you fine specimen of bad guys, mayhem makers, and evil doers, for making this season so exciting and well worth my television viewing time.

You all made life very difficult for my favorite heroes — McGarrett, Danno, Chin and Kono — this season, and it was hard not to hate you all. But now that summer is here and I have time to sit back with a Longboard from Kona Brewing and watch reruns, I have come to see that extreme dislike as being almost close to, dare I say, admiration.

If there is a thin line between love and hate, then I am definitely straddling that line, because some of you special few were pretty damn fantastic villains. Albeit, most of the villains from season two are dead, in prison, or even worse, in the wind with Five-0 chasing after you, but I’m sure your return, intended or not, is much anticipated by all of us standing on that thin line.

To the mayhem maker, Toothpick (Karl Herlinger), from “Ua Hala:”

<em>Toothpick (Karl). (Courtesy photo)</em>
Toothpick (Karl Herlinger). (Courtesy photo)
Toothpick, you may have only been in the season finale, but the impact you made on all of us was a big one. Shooting the beloved Mrs. Kelly and tossing our team heroine Kono into the drink was a big, naughty no-no, but the way you chewed on those wooden namesakes made us all want more of you, in a strange way.

Much like the guy we know we shouldn’t bring home to meet mom and dad, we all waited to see what kind of bad news you were going to deliver to our team. And deliver you did. You eye-assaulted our Kono, you stalked our team, you let Fryer get shot to death, you probably watched while HPD headquarters blew up and basically let the team walk into a gunfight with a vengeful gun expert.

Not to mention what you did to Malia and Kono, and for all intents and purposes, to Chin Ho. In just about one day, you succeeded in creating more mayhem than one human villain should be allowed to do.

I tip my own newsboy cap to you Mr. Toothpick. And I think your next box of toothpicks is on me.

To the ex from hell, Rick Peterson (Peter Greene) from “Mai ka wā kahiko:”

One thing I think most people would agree with me on, would be that a visit from an ex always spells out bad news. I mean, even if they show up on your island and want to have cocktails to talk about old times, that can’t be good right?

But when they show up and kidnap your daughter, hold her hostage, and make you shoot someone to teach you a lesson, that’s even worse.

<em>Rick Peterson (Peter Greene) returns to make Danno suffer. (Courtesy CBS)</em>
Rick Peterson (Peter Greene) returns to make Danno suffer. (Courtesy CBS)

So Mr. Peterson, ex-con as well as Danno’s ex-partner, you definitely get the Ex from Hell Award. Next time you have an axe to grind, perhaps you should call your shrink and make an appointment before you get on a plane, kill someone en route to sunny Hawaii, and head after your ex-partner for a sweet tête-à-tête.

Just have a Mai Tai on the flight over and think about visiting the surf and riding waves instead. I’m sure any ex would appreciate your change of heart.

To August March (Ed Asner) from “Kālele:”

<em>Ed Asner. (Courtesy CBS)</em>
Ed Asner. (Courtesy CBS)
The one type of bad guy “Hawaii Five-0” seems to love to use are the ones who are wolves in sheep’s clothing. And nothing is more like sheep’s clothing to anyone young and moral, but an old man who seems like someone’s grandpa.

But you, Mr. March, are just that. A wolf. And your sheep’s costume was definitely your kind smile, your “I’ve learned my lesson and just want to be left alone” attitude, as well as the below the belt “I knew your father, he was a good man” conversation you threw at our trustworthy McG. All very sneaky moves, Mr. March. I know many of us were not at all surprised that you were the mastermind of a major diamond heist and not only got away with the goods and the money, with no one ever being the wiser.

Thank you for teaching me never to turn my back on the buyer. Heck, I’ll never turn my back on anyone, after watching you, Mr. March.

To the Bad Cop, Frank Delano (William Baldwin):

As far as good cops go, there are many examples in “Hawaii Five-0,” but as far as bad cops, you, Delano, seem to have taken the title. In four episodes, you have proceeded to dirty our Kono, get her shot in the shoulder, distrusted by her own team, and then, of course, having her kidnapped and killed (well, we hope not, but that’s what it looks like as of the season ender.) Not to mention what you have done to Chin and Malia.

<em>Frank Delano (William Baldwin) seeks revenge on Chin Ho. (Courtesy CBS) </em>
Frank Delano (William Baldwin) seeks revenge on Chin Ho. (Courtesy CBS)
Now, I know you are an ex-cop, but some of your dirty work started when you were on the force, and you seem to think you should still be a cop. Good luck with that one. But let me tell you, Delano, you definitely were not cut from the same cloth as any good cop. Especially the new kind of cops that McG, Danno, Chin Ho, and Kono embody.

When McG and Danno catch up with you — I know they will do the right thing and put you back in jail, but I kind of hope they accidently let Kamekona sit on you, or find a shark tank with your name on it. Giving you a ride on the hood of Danno’s car would be okay too. Or letting you hang off a building until you told them where Toothpick is hiding out would be fine as well.

Either way, you’re going down, Delano, you can count on that.

To the constant nemesis, Wo Fat (Mark Dacasco):

I would be remiss if I did not thank you, Wo Fat, for making every episode with you a treat to watch. You are the juxtaposition of grace and evil, coupled with your stony unfeeling face and actions.

<em>McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin), left, and Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos) are forced to work together for a brief period this season. (Courtesy CBS)</em>
McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin), left, and Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos) are forced to work together for a brief period this season. (Courtesy CBS)

Watching you fight is like watching ballet; I just wish your dance floor wasn’t McG’s face. And when you tortured him with water and electricity — I’m sure there were women around the world taking out their DVD collections of “The Sopranos” so they could try and figure out how to dispose of a body and not get caught.

I think the most evil thing I have seen you do, besides batter Joe White and McG (twice!) was when you shot Jenna in cold blood. Way heartless, Wo. But now you are in jail, and while I’d hope you will rot there until the temperature dips in hell, I have a funny feeling you will be out in season three to commence with your malice and continue with your own search for Shelburne. And won’t that be fun to watch. I can’t wait.

ALL IN ALL, past, present, and future villains, you have a lot to contend with if you want to come after our Five-0 team. You might be the core of evil, but they for sure are fully equipped to deal with whatever you have to hurl at them. Just be ready to get a big dose of backlash, awesome defensive maneuvers, as well as heavy firepower. Because it will be there to meet you, and beat you, every step of the way.

Until next season,
The Five-0 Redux

Redux Side Note:

“Hawaii Five-0” celebrated Memorial Day with a rebroadcast of “Ike Maka,” which I wrote about in “Identifying the commonplace face.” Next week’s episode is a repeat of the episode with special guest star Jimmy Buffett, “Ki‘ilua,” when the team heads to North Korea to save McGarrett from Wo Fat’s tortuous clutches. At least for the next two weeks, we’ll get a few exciting replays from the second season.

If you want to hear one of our favorite villains, Karl Herlinger, share a lot about how he tackles his characters with evil gusto, check out Amy Bakari’s “In My Pajamas Show.” Listen to Karl speak to “Hawaii Five-0” fans who call into the show with their questions, and learn about is interesting acting career from Hawaii to the stage in New York to television and film in Los Angeles.

And if you want more of our bad guys, you can follow two of them on Twitter: Karl Herlinger is @regnilreh, and Ed Asner is @theonlyedasner.

A big mahalo goes out to Gaby for her help with some of the screen caps of various villains. You can follow her on Twitter.
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.

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  • Thanks Wendie.  These were some very mean villians.  Although I have to hate Wofat for what he does to our heroes, I can’t imagine H50 without him hanging around.  I do like that they leave the story for a little while and then get back to it.  This keeps it fresh.  I have to admit Wofat is my favorite one, and Mark Dacacos plays him perfectly.  Ed Asner was great, and I won’t be fooled by the grandfather look when we see him next.  The others were just down right creepy looking, and seeing Grace in the clutches of one of them really made my heart stop.  I enjoyed the nasty villians and hope to see more come season 3.  Although we hate to see our team hurt, its what makes the the show entertaining, and seeing them triumph in the end is all worth it.  Great review Wendie.  I look forward to you taking us down season 2’s memory lane over the summer.

  • Ahhhh…how do you know you are happy if you never experience sadness?  How do you know you are relaxed if you never experience anxiety?   Why would the world need heroes if there were no villains to be dispatched?   To tell a wonderful story about a great hero you must have a great villain for him to contend with.  Five-0 has some of the best!  They are cunning, ruthless, charming, intelligent, accomplished, evil….all the things it takes to give the good guys a run for their money and more.  I can’t even decide which is my favorite (other than WoFat, of course!) because they all are so unique and wreak such havoc I can’t imagine others being any better. 

    I do have one question though.  If Delano was with Chin and Toothpick pushed Kono off the boat, who shot Malia?  Did Toothpick shoot her THEN capture Kono?  Did he capture Kono, leave her bound somewhere, then capture Malia, record the video, shoot her, THEN go back to Kono?  OR is there another villain we will meet soon.  Ahhhhh…the suspense…..

    • Great question – who shot Malia?  I think there is a villain in our midst yet to be revealed – perhaps the writers have a surprise waiting for us….with more creepy delights but you are right Linda, how dull action thrillers would be without its share of nasty villains to love, hate, admire!!  They have all been masterfully portrayed and August March is probably the most interesting of villains – because he’s so cunning and sly and so easily fooled everyone.  A really smart codger!!

  • Oh Wendie, you summed them all beautifully!! One of the things that can’t be denied is just how fantastic the villains have been.  Just watching one episode of them is enough to make you want to take a gun and shoot them in the face because you truly hate them for what they they are about to do.  They are as bad and as nasty as you would expect for making life and work hell for our beloved unsuspecting Five-0 team of four individual characters who just want to seek justice by putting the baddies away and make life safe and peaceful on such a beautiful island. 

    Who could have predicted there would be so much noise and loud explosions from time to time to be seen on paradise with all its beauty and grace – all because of a few haole’s who have manners and behavior that would shame us all, no wonder the locals truly resent all this intrusion on their beloved island.

    Gone are the comedic cons, and thieves that are eventually caught and tossed into jail to serve time for petty crimes.  No easy task for Five-0 with an assortment of nasty villains, who unless you have a license to kill, and a thirst for justice, this is no job for the meek and mild!!    Thankfully we have a team of four who will simply work tirelessly to hunt them down and see that justice is done, not just for them but for us as well.

    The only great villain who will be forever elusive, will be Wofat who will forever reign in his evil doings with such an ice cold smile.  Oh yes, Wendie, Wofat will be out of prison orange as fast as the cameras will roll.  What’s even scarier about Wofat, this is a man to be feared not by the innocence but the underworld too.  No one is safe as long as Wofat’s in town, and I do fear for the safety of Mom McGarrrett, because Wofat will not rest till he finds Shelburne – if a job offer was posted to work for someone named Wofat – you can be sure that unless you have a huge payday and a ticket out of dodge, your days will be outnumbered as fast as you signed up for the job.  Look how easily expendable you’d be if you failed to please your boss – no one in their right mind would want to work for Wofat….lol!!!

  • Well, yes! What a wonderful set of nasty villains 5-0 presented us with this season! I have to admit, August March took me completely by surprise! I should have known better, but Ed Asner was so convincing as the befuddled old man, fresh out of a decades-long incarceration, who should get our sympathy rather than think him still capable of masterminding devious crimes!

    I thought Delano was just plain sleazy in his earlier story arc – a bad cop turned even more ludicrous as a mob boss wannabe, but his level of twisted, psychotic evilness jumped to a 12 on a 1-10 scale for what he did to Chin, Kono and Malia in the finale. He did it all because he was mad that Chin got away with hiding the fact that it was his uncle that stole the money instead of him? Delano doesn’t like Chin’s sense of honor, so lets destroy his life? This guy is seriously sick.

    I’m going to suggest another really nasty villain not mentioned yet. Castillo – the drug cartel lord from 2.11, Pahele.  He pretended to be a lowly flunky to avoid spending very long in prison, convincingly acted the part as a stooge willing to help Kono find the school bus in time, but then when he found out there all the drug evidence against him had blown to smithereens, he was as ruthless as could be when it came to not caring one iota about the children and teachers who were about to be buried alive by his flunkies.  He stymied Steve and Danny at every turn, but ended up in jail finally under his own name.  Now, that is nasty! He was a worthy opponent, and I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him, either!

    It’s interesting that Castillo and Delano both harness truly bloodthirsty cohorts to do their evil deeds for them – the gun-toting moll who had no problem shooting innocent bus drivers and chaperones and bury a busload of kids, and the above-mentioned Toothpick, who’s is so good at evoking a squirmy uneasiness from the viewers – you know he’s the bad guy the first time you set eyes on him, but you’re not sure just what he has up his sleeves!

    And of course, Peter Greene as Rick Peterson was truly a villainous character! Creepy in looks, twisted in his need for the type of revenge he sought.  I loved him!

    Wo Fat goes without saying. Awesomeness personified. Can’t wait for more of him!

    Thanks, Wendie for this recap of the villains of Season 2! It was lovely!

    •  Great observation Lynette – yes we forgot all about Castillo who’s now rotting in jail but he really was a rotten egg!!  He really fooled Kono when she was trying to get him to remember the co-ordinates of where he was when they were trying to locate the bus!! It was a bit of near thing too….so they were a nasty bunch too.

  • As always great stuff Wendy! but I loved Peter Greene- and as much as i don’t want to ever see him again- is the same reason if he pops up again I would scream with delight. An amazing actor and a great character to play with.

  • Wendie:  An excellent review.  I, too, am looking forward to Wo Fat returning.  Mark Dacascos is absolutely wonderful in this role.  However, I do want McG protect his mom from Wo Fat and that could cause problems for McG.  Dont’ want McG hurt any more.  I worry what will happen with Chin if he loses both Malia and Kono or even just one of them  I thiunk we will see a very different Chin on Season 3!  Can we rescue him back to normal??

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