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Five-0 Redux

Adrift no longer

Ah, “Hawaii Five-0,” you have revived me. You stopped my drifting into a sea of television dramadies or into police procedural doldrums and given me a lifeline back to what made me start watching in the first place.

This week’s offering, “Lana I Ka Moana,” or “Adrift,” was, of course, a comment on the basis for the episode. The “lana” in the title, “Lana I Ka Moana,” does mean “adrift” in Hawaiian, but it also means “floating or afloat.”

“I Ka Moana” adds “ocean or open sea” to the title, so really the title translates as “afloat in the open sea.” Which is what happened in the episode with McG and Danno. But according to T. Ilihia Gionson, Hawaiian language speaker and expert, “adrift sounds more like a statement that there’s no direction. Afloat, which is how I translate ‘lana,’ is a statement that despite all that could pull one down, one perseveres and is still floating.”

I think this is a beautiful way to describe the first part of season three. In the third episode of the season, the show was adrift — but now seems to have found a lifeline and will persevere. From the start of the episode, we found our heroes, McG and Danno, set adrift at sea after their deep-sea excursion to catch a tuny fish goes weirdly wrong.

Who would think that the head of a law enforcement task force and his intrepid partner would find themselves in a leaky dingy off the coast of O‘ahu without their guns and badges? I can’t decide whether it was bad luck for McG and Danno or worse luck for the guy who decided to mess with them. But, regardless if we find the set up feasible or not, the sea-guments (or boat-guments? Dingy-ments? How do you translate “car-gument” if it doesn’t happen in a car?) were classic McGarrett and Danno bromance at its best. I didn’t care if the boat-jacking or the procedural around what happened to them was believable or not, I had an excellent time watching and bobbing along until they caught their killer — thankfully, on dry land and not while under arrest — or as guests on “Shark Week.”

Besides the great dialogue, I loved how writer/executive producer Elwood Reid streamlined the procedural and gave several characters time to develop their relationships, and for some, time to exercise a few of their demons. We saw more of Danno’s backstory — why he hates the ocean, or perhaps why he is afraid of it — along with McGarrett’s clarification about his “thing” with Catherine, as well as his delineation between “spying and locating.” And Chin was able to mourn a little more for his recently murdered wife. These were all elements I asked for in my review of “Kānalua.”

I have to say, one my favorite parts of this episode was watching McG and Danno adrift. When Danno caught the tuna and yelled at McG to “stop backseat fishing,” his distinction that it is not manly to smile in a picture with a large fish, as well as his mistaken use of “be all that you can be,” for Navy SEAL McGarrett. And Danno’s “Shark Week” instruction to punch the shark in the nose, and his declaration that McGarrett is a “danger-magnet,” was everything we were all thinking right?

Yet all the scenes at sea were great — terrific interplay between the two friends, as well as a bit of good-natured ribbing, mixed with a bit of serious discussion. It was more about two friends bonding, as well as surviving a potentially harrowing situation, and then, in typical “Five-0” fashion, processing a crime scene and then being arrested.

I know, I know, how many times do our guys have to be arrested for something they obviously didn’t do? I’m sure some of you like seeing McG and/or Danno in handcuffs, barefoot, and semi-shirtless — separately or at the same time — but the show’s called “Hawaii Five-0” not “Five-0 Shades of Grey.”

The scene when Chin and Kono are staking out the killer’s apartment was great — the moment Chin takes to look at his wedding picture with Malia and then their discussion about Adam is a nice bit of foreshadowing of what could potentially be coming in the future. There are many of us rooting for Kono and Adam to work out their professional differences, and I think Adam is a “good guy,” but I agree with Chin — it’s not Adam I’m worried about, and I think Kono may get burned before her relationship even has a chance to really warm up.

Chin’s McGarrett-like stunt off the side of the building, as well as Kono’s nice swipe of the perp’s leg to bring him down, added some nice action to the episode. Perhaps we didn’t have car chases or shootouts in the middle of downtown, but the touches of action still added to the drama.

I thought the wrap-up of the procedural portion of the episode was well done. For once, the case the team works to solve doesn’t overtake the character development set up from the start. And the ending scene with Kamekona turning Danno’s “tuny fish” into poke, plus the salute to Billy Selway, Danno’s friend who died in the riptide that made him dislike the ocean, as well as Chin’s declaration that he still wants to take care of Kono, was perfect.

Like most Hawai‘i families, sharing a meal and teasing and sharing are prime ‘ohana moments. Which only confirms how we all see the “Five-0” team — as a family. And in this episode, the family seems to no longer be adrift.

Redux Side Note:

The actor who portrayed “Coast Guard Officer #1” in Monday’s episode —- the officer who announces that there was a dead body below deck, was played by real life USCG Petty Officer 1st Class Ekahi Lee. I love how “Hawaii Five-0” tries to use actors who are the real deal when portraying the military. Nice way to support the troops, “Five-0.”

A recap from last week’s episode: many fans were fascinated by Kahu Kordell Kekoa’s Hawaiian prayer chant during the opening ceremony when Chin scatters Malia’s ashes at sea. Kahu Kekoa was kind enough to send me the Hawaiian translation of the prayer, which was Psalm 121:1-2. The Hawaiian is as beautiful as the verse.

E leha aku au I ko‘u mau maka I nā mauna,

I will lift up my eyes to the hills,

Ma laila mai ko‘u kōkua e hiki mai ai.

From where comes my help.

Mai Iehova mai ko‘u kōkua,

My help comes from the Lord,

Nāna nō I hana I ka lani, a me ka honua.

The Maker of heaven and of earth.

Amene no ke Akua apau. Amene.

Amen to the Everlasting God. Amen.

The song that played in the background of the paddle out scene was “The Sound of The Sea Surrounds Me” by The Brothers Cazimero, a Hawaiian music duo made up of brothers Roland and Robert Cazimero. The brothers have written, recorded and performed Hawaiian music for more than 35 years and are credited for helping revive and popularize not only contemporary Hawaiian music, but also traditional mele (songs and chants) and hula.
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher who lives and works in Honolulu. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

28 responses to “Adrift no longer”

  1. There’s just one thing missing from this (otherwise stellar) recap: Mansushi 😉

  2. Anonymous says:

    You are right on, as always. This was a very good ep with some added character development. They decided to flesh out the story and give it screen time to do so. Very good job of the at sea moments.

    • Wendie Joy says:

      Thanks Paul for always reading and leaving a great comment. I loved all the moments at sea- such fun and good tension. I was waiting for McG to lasso that shark and let it give them a ride home, but perhaps that would have been a little “too” much:) Thanks again Paul:) Aloha, Wendie

  3. Dina says:

    WendIE well done! it was a wonderful connection you made between the title and the flow of the show “adrift”- I think it was written beautifully. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Steve “fluster”? when Danno attempts to get clarification on the “thing” with Steve and Catherine. I can see this banter continue for the season with Danno asking for clarification (on Steve and Catherine) and in turn Steve explaining to Danno how badly – Danno is with relationships and has no grounds to correct his – lots of potential here!!!
    Kono and Chin was done lovely- sure we would like to see even more but it was short- simple and sweet.. yet I so agree with that foreshadowing – that Kono will have some unwanted retort from Adam’s side of “the family”
    Always look forward to your take 😉

    • Wendie Joy says:

      Thanks Dina:) Ilihia always helps me to understand the connection between the Hawaiian titles and the true translation:) I thought the entire cast did a great job in this episode- all things we like to see! Thanks for reading and for your thoughtful comment! Aloha, Wendie

  4. 3DHawaii says:

    It’s NOT “Five-0 Shades of Grey”? 😉 Love it.

  5. Bri says:

    Again…get out of my head LOL Perfect recap Wendie 🙂

  6. Kathy Lynn says:

    Aloha Wendie! Thanks for the information about the prayer chant/psalm. These hidden jewels about Hawaii that you uncover each week add so much to the show. Thanks for another great review.

  7. Anonymous says:

    On point as always, WJ!!! And you are the only one who could possibly throw a 50 Shades of Grey reference into the mix!! LOVE IT!!! 🙂

  8. Anonymous says:

    Lovely review for a charming episode, Wendie! Loved your “adrift” vs. “afloat” translation of “lana.” Personally, I think that even if H5-0 was adrift for awhile, it’s definitely righted itself, is once again afloat, and has turned it’s head into the wind! Season 3 is right where we want it!

  9. Val Lai says:

    Great review Wendie – I think we can all happily cheer that even though the show was in danger dingy…lol…this episode certainly had a way of setting things right for season three, especially with the brief but welcoming Charlie scene. It was nice to have him back on the show again and its nice to see that maybe Kono is still conflicted about her relationship with Adam.

    I think Kono is truly conflicted about keeping secrets from Chin, more than she’s conflicted about Adam. Chin and Kono have always been able to share everything but when it comes to Adam, clearly its a touchy subject. I love Adam too so I understand how she feels about him.

    • Wendie Joy says:

      Thanks for commenting Val:) I really like the continuation of the Kono-Adam storyline. I think it’s very smart drama- and after his season opening rescue- I’m glad they are keeping him “in play” so to speak:) Mahalo for reading and supporting! Aloha, Wendie

  10. Linda Stein says:

    Wendie…as always…top notch review! I LOVE your translation of the title to “afloat in the open sea” it’s just so perfect.

    I can’t say enough about how much I loved this episode and you know that if I say all I want to this comment will never post! LOL I liked your analogy of the show being adrift for a little bit (even if I don’t necessarily agree with that notion) and this show being a great step in the right direction. Everything clicked just right and I agree that the pacing of the crime of the week worked perfectly. I felt it was pretty weak but it didn’t matter because this episode wasn’t about the crime but about the people, the team, the Ohana. It was done perfectly.

    I am so glad TPTB have recognized what works for this group of people and have decided to go back to it. It bodes well for the rest of the season. Mahalo again for the great review! Aloha

    • Wendie Joy says:

      Thanks Linda for your thoughtful comment- sorry you were having such trouble posting your other comments:( because your point of view is always welcome:) I agree with all your comments here- it was all about the people, the team, and the ‘ohana- nicely said. The translation was pretty direct from the ‘ōlelo hawai‘i dictionary- so while I’d love to take credit- between the dictionary and Ilihia’s help- I’m covered:) Thanks Linda for your support! XO Wendie

  11. Terry says:

    You mean the show isn’t called “50 Shades of McDanno”? This comment will probably be deleted. LOL.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Great review, Wendie. I feel a little refreshed after seeing this episode.
    I still feel that the stand-alone episodes are superior to the recurring story line episodes. It is interesting to note that the original series had exactly zero recurring story lines. There were recurrng characters like Wo-Fat but no running back stories that were constantly being revisited. Somehow they managed to stay on the air for 13 seasons without the soap opera stuff.
    Mondays show was good stuff. Here’s hoping for more of the same.

    • Wendie Joy says:

      I’m with you about feeling refreshed- that’s a perfect way to sum up how I felt after watching this episode. I think recurring story lines are more a recent development in episodic television. It definitely is something that is popular with other television dramas that are successful today- NCIS, CSI, Criminal Minds, Without a Trace, etc– they all use them, so I’m sure that is why H50 does it as well. But you’re right, the stand-alone episodes are really fun and after this one, I would want more of these types of episodes to fill in the season. Thanks for commenting and bringing another viewpoint to the mix:) Aloha, Wendie

  13. Diane says:

    Great review Wendie as always. I liked this episode very much, they did the McDanno thing perfectly, very funny. I think Steve will have to admit at some point how important Catherine is in his life. Probably will cause some tension until he does. Love the great story lines for both Chin and Kono that will continue through the season, and of course finding out another clue to Danny’s past was great. Looking forward to Mama McG reappearing next week.

    • Wendie Joy says:

      Looks like Mama McG’s return will be pretty funny as well as perhaps a bit explosive. And it also looks like we will get a bit more information about Cath and Steve’s relationship just by looking at the previews. Thanks for always reading and commenting Diane:) Really appreciate your support! Aloha, Wendie

  14. Burl Burlingame says:

    This is likely the best episode of the revived “5-0” that they’ve aired since the series started. Filming at sea is very difficult.

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