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Five-0 Redux

Secrets revealed

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Taryn Manning, right, returns as McGarrett's sister in this week's episode. (Courtesy CBS)</em>
Taryn Manning, right, returns as McGarrett's sister in this week's episode. (Courtesy CBS)

Most people love a good secret — and “Hawaii Five-0” is pretty famous for its secrets. So this week’s episode, “‘Ōhuna” (meaning “secret or hidden thing”), is really not a new theme for fans of the show.

Last season was full of secrets, from Jenna Kaye’s secretly joining forces with Wo Fat to the “Shelburne is your Momma” secret Joe White had been hiding from McG. From the start of the series, secrets seem to surround the Five-0 team. Yet this season, the theme seems to be more about revealing secrets than keeping them.

We are very curious creatures, and when we know someone has a secret, we want to hear about it, have it whispered into our greedy-for-gossip ears, and perhaps pass it along. This is probably why gossip websites and magazines make bazillions of dollars lying in wait for the famous to be caught doing something they most definitely should not be doing. Ask Tiger Woods or Arnold Schwarzenegger — or the most recent to fall from grace, Gen. Richard Petraeus, if they ever wanted their secrets to get out.

This week’s procedural — dealing with secrets we are becoming more familiar with in our digital age — dealt with a password wanted by a South African bad man Sean Winston (played with awesome creepiness by Carlo Rota) from talented young hacker, Zack Slater (Matt Bush). Winston works very hard to keep secrets as well as to reveal them — usually to the highest bidder.

When we first meet the Slater family, whose son Zack, known as “Omega Man” in hacking circles, has just been released from juvenile detention for hacking into the White House database. Zack is a pro at finding out secrets, yet when he ends up dead before his secret password can be revealed, Winston goes after his family and autistic brother, James (Gregory Kasyan). The secret theme continues as Kono works to reveal the secret lodged into James’s consciousness.

Of course, Kono saves the day, as not only does she uncover the secret password, but she also saves James and Zack’s parents (played by Melinda McGraw and Alan Ruck) and their unfortunate guests-turned-hostages.

We’ve been waiting for some Kono and Chin screen time, and this week we got some nice cousin moments and, by far, the best Kono scene since she jumped on the hood of Toothpick’s car to take him down in the season opener.

I know I shouldn’t give out “Best of the Season” awards so soon, but I think the Best Fight of the Season will go to Kono for nearly killing Winston. Grace Park was great in this episode. She was great with the autistic brother, not babying him, yet working with him to reveal Zack’s secret, and then coolly dealing with a gun in her chest, as well as falling out of a truck, and still being able to beat her man. Way to go, no-longer-a-rookie Kono.

But this episode was all about secrets getting out and being revealed. With the arrival of sister Mary Ann (Taryn Manning), the McGarrett family secrets seem to finally be out in the open. Mary Ann had a bit of a different reaction than her brother did to the news of their Mother’s resurrection from the dead. She is as angry as her brother, but not about Mom being gone for so many years — she’s angry about the pain her mother caused their father and family.

I hope that the Mary Ann and Doris (Christine Lahti) reunion, seen through the smiling gaze of McG, will help with the family tension. Most scenes between Momma and Steve are fraught with I-haven’t-seen-you-in-twenty-years-and-now-you-want-to-mother-me tension. Perhaps with Mary Ann in the “know,” the McG’s can begin to heal and move on. Laugh if you like, but I am crossing my fingers that I am right. For once. Give me just this one wish for the holidays.

It was great to see a couple of our favorite regulars this week, like Dennis Chun and Brian Yang. I know that we saw Yang in the Halloween episode, “Mōhai,” and we last saw Dennis in “Kānalua,” but even with the short scenes in which Yang and Chun have been seen, it’s been a treat to see them get to develop their characters a little more. It would be nice for both of their characters to be able to interact more with the core “Five-0” four, but I’m glad they are being used in ways that make sense with the storyline and the established function of their characters.

Overall, this episode was a solid one. Written by Mike Schaub, “ʻŌhuna” was a great mix of humor, action, and a tug on our heartstrings. McGarrett riding under the police van and punching out the driver was awesome, and completely something I would expect from director Larry Teng. The scenes with Toast (Martin Starr) who returned from the show’s first season to help Danno and McG find out hacker intel was laugh out loud funny.

(“Live long and perspire,” Toast. I really hope you get to come back and help out the team again. If nothing else, perhaps you can always fall back on Plan B.)

Couple those scenes with Kono giving James her badge and the scene on the beach with words of wisdom from Morty, Mary Ann’s client (played by Shelley Berman). When Morty encouraged Mary Ann to go see her mother and not miss another moment — and then watching Momma and Mary Ann hugging it out with Steve watching — all scenes had me wiping my eyes this week.

I am beginning to see a brighter future for this season, as the episodes get tighter and stay cohesive. I am definitely a fan of revealing secrets rather than keeping them so close to the vest that viewers get too frustrated to wait around to see how they pan out. Keep revealing the secrets “Five-0” — it makes for much better drama and satisfaction.

Redux Side Note:

Next week’s “Hawaii Five-0” is back with another new episode with special guest star Vanessa Marcil and the return of Carlos Bernard. The ‘Five-0’ team will travel to Maui for a few scenes and local actor Devon Nekoba will return to play TSA SCA Myers.

If you hadn’t already heard, Alex O’Loughlin and Malia Jones named their son, Lion Kahano O’Loughlin. The newest O’Loughlin has a very regal name, as Ka hano means “The Honor.”

I hope all the “Hawaii Five-0” fans have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. I am very thankful for all of you reading, commenting, and supporting the “Five-0 Redux.”
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher who lives and works in Honolulu. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Comments (14)

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  • Morning Wendie! As always a great review. I thought last nights episode was very, very good. Even though I don’t like the characters of Doris and Mary, both actors were great last night. The ending was sweet and emotional and watching Steve’s face was sweeter yet. Alex is such a powerful, expressive actor. I hope they bring closure to the Shelburne arc very soon so the 3 will come together as a family, accepting what was and is and be a family, warts and all! I think Morty was the hero of this scene with his words of wisdom!

    Seeing Kono back in kicka$$ form is always a thrill and she didn’t disappoint! I loved her interaction with James. As always, watching Chin go into overprotective mode with Kono makes me melt! Steve as BAMF needs no explanation and Danny even got to drive his own car! The team together is awesome made even more complete with appearances by Duke, Charlie! Who could ask for more!! Ahh, it’s those little things in life.

    English teachers always say a good story needs a beginning, a middle and an ending. Well so far this season the writers have listened. The episodes grab you and keep you holding on till the end. I’m loving season 3

  • Hi Wendie. Great review as usual. I think this season has brought back some of what was missing last year at times. I’m a big Catherine fan, but I don’t think they needed her in this episode, and I’m happy about the way they bring her along.

    Absolutely loved seeing Kono and Chin so much more. Kono going through a window, kicking butt, and dealing with the little boy with respect , caring, and trying to protect him. Giving him her badge. Loved an episode with so much Kono. Loved McG under the armored car, just what we would expect from our super seal.
    Mary being a little more standoffish at first is what we would expect, like the reunion with Steve watching, but it can’t end there. Poor Mary, lost another job, but did like the caregiver job, hope this one sticks.
    Happy Thanksgiving Wendie to you and your family, and to all the H50 fans.

  • Great review, Wendie. This was another homerun – thank you writers – three in a row! This is the 5-0 that we know and love. I was on the edge of my chair throughout the entire episode. I hope that the numbers start to reflect the better stories that we are getting this season. BTW, having even a rerun of 2.5 Men was a plus over Partners in the overall scheme of Monday night for CBS.

  • I’d seen Shelly Berman in person many years ago doing a one person show; he was staying at the same local Chicago area hotel as my bowling league and I were for our “get away” weekend at the end of our league season and we all had a great off stage chat with him that night. Glad to see him all these years later and looking rather good too!

  • Wendie,
    Again your review and the ep itself wre both outstanding. Kono done wup em good indeed. I hope they continue to give more time to the core group plus some for Dennis and Brian.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Go Navy.

  • HAPPY THANKSGIVING Wendie, thank you so much for making me feel even better by reading your blog, last Mondays epip woow an other great one, actually the Monday before’s epi was also great but it keeps getting better & better each epi 🙂 loved the action, love the secrets revealed, my fav scene were from the airport, the truck top stunt & the Kono fight scene :)…the humor was great too today & yes i had some wet eyes too specially at the final scene & to top it all, Steve’s tearing eyes & cute smile at the very end lol i think you saw that coming coz you know haw much i love Alex 😉
    mahalo babe, glad to hear positive things about my show…FINALLY 😀

  • Thanks for another great review, Wendie! I absolutely LOVED this one. I have been yearning for more Kono and boy did we get it last night! I have always thought that given the screentime and story, Grace Park would really shine and really entertain the audience. I think we saw that in this episode. I think it is fun for the viewing audience to watch her evolve into such a beast!! Really, the whole team was firing on all cylinders – this one had the makings of Season 1 and I came away completely satisfied. There really is something about the team of four working as a unit without too much distraction of extraneous sub-plots or characters that seems to work. Simple is best, maybe? It seems the ratings were better as well – I’m not sure if that is reflective of the advertising of this particular Kono/team-centric storyline, last weeks great epi or something else entirely. I hope TPTB can tease out what the increasing rating is related to and focus some more energy on whatever that is. All I know is this one delivered the fun of 5-0 for me! Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Enjoyed your review, Wendie! Welcome back, show! Although I never really thought it was lost, I find myself more at ease and able to enjoy the episodes again without worrying that I’m the only one in the fandom doing so! LOL! The Kono-centric eps have been so few and far between, it takes me a minute to remember just how compassionate she is with children, but also how her nerves of steel get her through tight spots (remembering Kono standing there in front of Sang Min in the pilot in her underwear!). Of course, BadA$$ Kono rocked it – and now I want BACKSTORY on the cuzzins! We know what makes Steve tick, we saw last week why Danny won’t ever let his daughter go, but now we need to know just who Kono and Chin are. I’m willing to wait, but do I dare to hope that we’ll find out during Season 3 why Chin is more like a dad (or big brother) to Kono and why Kono is such a sharpshooter and fighter?

    More secrets revealed this season would be nice – especially the BIG one – how is Wo Fat involved with Doris and why didn’t she just put him out his misery in 3.01?

  • Another great review, Wendie.

    I agree that it was good to see Kono featured in an episode – its been a while – and speaking for all male viewers, the more Kono, the better.
    This was another solid episode that managed to incorporate some of the recurring themes involving the McGarrett family into a decent procedural. I also agree with you that the show seems to be gaining steam as the season goes along. I hope the trend continues. It was good to see some of the semi-regulars return for this episode. The original series made good use of its recurring characters and it added depth to the cast while keeping the door opened for them to be featured in their own episode at some point.
    All in all, another good show. Please keep up the good work, Wendie, you help enhance the experience of watching the show.

  • Hi Wendie:

    Sorry it has been a busy week so I’m late in responding to your blog a week ago. Here is part of the comments I made on my review:-

    For this week’s episode “Ohuna” – the secret is hidden in the password, but we all know that secrets bear consequences. For this episode those consequences were enlightened.

    Young Zack’s life was cut brutally short when his prank hacking computers went a little too far that it put his entire family in danger. For Doris who longed to see her daughter turned sadly disappointing when she was rejected.

    For Chin Ho Kelly, his consequences with the job and bearing the responsibility of always caring for Kono his youngest cuz!!! After the brutal tragedy and the loss of Malia I think Chin will be even more protective of Kono.

    So as you say in your blog most people have secrets and most of us would want to know what that secret is and if some of those secrets were revealed earlier perhaps the consequences we see happening for Zack, Doris and Chin might have prevented a huge tragedy for all.

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