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Five-0 Redux

Escaping a death sentence

If you were to wake up handcuffed to your bed, unless you are Christian Grey or enjoy police issue jewelry decorating your wrists, it’s probably a sign you’re not going to have a very good day.

In Sunday’s special episode of “Hawaii Five-0” — “ʻŌlelo Hoʻopaʻi Make” — Chin Ho Kelly is the current whipping boy. He must have picked up an unlucky penny or walked under a ladder or made friends with a black cat; whatever the case, Chin has had a streak of bad luck he can’t seem to shake.

But if he thought waking up handcuffed to his bed was bad, being drugged and coming to in prison would probably trump that first wake up call as an official Bad Day. For a cop dressed in prison orange, it’s more than a bad day — it’s a death sentence.

In Hawaiian, “‘ōlelo ho‘opa‘i” means “penalty” and “make” means “death,” and that is definitely what Chin is faced with in Halawa Correctional Facility. Kudos to “Hawaii Five-0” for adding an air of authenticity to the show by shooting in an actual functioning prison. Rest assured, the “inmates” we saw in the episode — albeit scary and real looking — were actually actors and extras hired to play the HCF residents.

According to local actor Troy A. Ignacio, who reprised his role as Joao Caetano from the season two episode “Ka Me‘e,” he said they shot in an empty wing, which was cleared out from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Ignacio talked to a real Halawa Correctional Facility guard, who said, “if we had this many guys in orange, we’d all be dead.” In Halawa, they don’t see a lot of orange jumpsuits, because orange signifies the worst prison offenders.

So Chin is unceremoniously dumped into HCF, dressed in the color of the worst offenders, and surrounded by a sea of orange-you-glad-you-only-have-to-wear-this-in-prison. Oh, and most of those well-dressed men want him dead. That cannot rank up there for his choice of dream getaways.

I found it really believable how the Five-0 team thought he was mourning Malia for a few days and hiding out on the North Shore. I think we’re going to revisit this issue, as McG and Danno now know from his counselor, Dr. Harriet Palmer (Lisa Barnes), that Chin is having a hard time getting past his grief for Malia.

While I’m not a fan of making Chin suffer any more than he has already — and did in this episode — I do appreciate the fact that the writers are not sweeping Malia’s death, and Chin’s grief over her murder, under the carpet. In the same breath, I also wonder if the obviously budding relationship between Chin and damsel in prison distress, Leilani (Lindsay Price), will speed up the sweeping process. I don’t think I will be the first person to throw up a “Too Soon” flag if Chin and Leilani start meeting at the shrimp truck for Kamekona’s new breakfast burritos anytime soon.

The action in this episode was terrific. From the start of the episode with McGarrett and Danno arresting Paul Delano (Daniel Baldwin) — as well getting a few punches in for good measure — and then Chin’s arrival at Halawa and being spotted by a couple of the braddahs (Troy A. Ignacio and Kila Packett) he put behind bars, was only the first of many intense scenes.

Chin then faces his biggest nemesis, the imprisoned ex-cop Kaleo (Jason Scott Lee), and they engage in a classic prison laundry fight. And who would have thought that Chin’s savior would be his cousin’s buddy, Sang Min (Will Yun Lee)? If anyone is still spicy, it’s definitely him. Is he good? Is he bad?

When Sang brings Chin to Kaleo for his “trial” in front of the inmates, I almost thought Chin would say “Et tu, Brute?” to the tricky Sang Min.

Between all the fighting and riot scenes, the entire episode was really brutal for me to watch. I suppose it was appropriate for Kaleo to stab Chin, but it reminded me a little too much of Hesse shanking McG in the season two opener. I know, I know, it’s a prison setting and he’s a cop amongst the damned, but it was pretty raw.

Still, it was really neat to hear Ignacio and Packett both talk about the scene when they held up Daniel Dae Kim in front of Jason Scott Lee, surrounded by 60 or so scary looking extras — they both spoke about how real the scene felt, and Packett spoke about how they all had to really trust each other. Packett said that the episode would be “epic,” and I think he was right.

The secondary story for tonight was between Kono and Adam (Ian Anthony Dale) — their love story and Kono’s cop senses taking over. It seems as if Kono doesn’t really trust her man, or does she want to know how she can try to protect him? I

‘m not sure where this story is going, but it seemed a bit star-crossed from the beginning. I only hope that Kono doesn’t get burned again, because I don’t think she has nine lives — or another major babe boyfriend to jump into the ocean to save her.

Besides all the action and tension created by the prison scenes, and the lovers tension created by Kono and Adam, I would be remiss not to mention a few of the more light hearted moments. Kamekona, McGarrett, and Danno and the breakfast burrito taste test, as well as the scenes of McGarrett taking off in Kamekona’s “62 payments left” helicopter.

Duke’s (Dennis Chun) knowing smile as he watched McG and crew fly into the no-fly zone set by the Warden Grier (Hawaii State Senator and former radio personality Brickwood Galuteria), said more than just “I know what they are up to,” it was really a smile of pride and relief that the cavalry was landing.

Chun always speaks about how “Hawaii Five-0” is “a true ‘ohana,” and it was very evident in this episode — because only a strong ‘ohana could pull off a prison break on this scale. With or without an inside Min.

Overall, I thought this was a strong episode, it had all of the elements we like in our “Five-0” — action, tension, boys fighting, guns, a prison riot, candle-lit bubble baths, and heroes saving the day.

The added touch was the cool guitar riffs of Jimi Hendrix to add a little more badass-ness to the mix. The seven never-before-released recordings gave the episode a hot sound and really worked well with the action of the episode.

Perhaps this episode was called “Death Sentence” but if “Hawaii Five-0” puts out more episodes like this one, there will be more of a long life sentence for our favorite show.

Redux Side Note:

Tonight, Hawaii Five-0” returns to their regular spot with “Hana I Wā ‘Ia.” Richard T. Jones returns as Govenor Denning, Hawai‘i actress Melissa Puana-Martin plays his assistant, and popular Hawaiian music singer and songwriter Kealiʻi Reichel guest stars.

Besides Troy A. Ignacio and Kila Packett, who were both gracious enough to talk to me about their experiences on set, there were several familiar faces in the prison scene crowd. It was great to see fellow “Hawaii Five-0” fans Zoom Bakari and Terry Shearer, as well as my former student Keola Kaluhiokalani, on my television screen. All three gents are not at all used to wearing, or have ever worn, an orange jumpsuit. It’s one of the nice things about watching “Hawaii Five-0,” when you see your friends in scenes.

Be sure to be on the look out for more about Kila Packett in a future “Five-0 Redux.” Packett spoke to me at length about his experience playing “Dave Lockhart” in both “ʻŌlelo Hoʻopaʻi Make” as well as in the season two episode, “Ka Hakakā Maika‘i.” I was lucky enough that his last words to me weren’t, “Lawyer!”
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher who lives and works in Honolulu. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

26 responses to “Escaping a death sentence”

  1. Linda Stein says:

    Wendie!!!! What a great episode. It just had everything. Humor, adventure, trauma, action, just everything. It’s going to go down as one of my favorite episodes. I just loved how the Ohana first stood back from Chin to give him space to grieve but then stood together to rescue him when they realized he was in trouble.

    We always talk about the bromance between Steve and Danny but Danny and Chin also have a very close relationship. From all the way in S1 when Chin followed Danny to the bar and gave him comfort and support over Meka’s death, to Danny comforting Chin on the beach after Malia’s death these two are always there for each other. I really love that about this show. These four divergent people who have formed this wonderful family. Makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. LOL

    I feel so bad for Kono. Wanting to trust the man she loves but giving into that niggling feeling that something is just not right. I know it is just killing her to spy on him and I am sure that in her heart she feels she is doing it so she can protect him. But her intellect and her police instincts are telling her something is not right. We’ve all suspected Kono was in for a fall over Adam and I for one hope we are wrong about that. But their relationship has already been altered and diminished because once trust is gone that leaves little else.

    I loved how they cast another Baldwin brother as another Delano brother but I was surprised we didn’t see more of him. I suppose now that he’s in custody and Five-0 knows he was responsible for what happened to Chin we will in the future. And I ADORED the fact that we had so much Sang Min in this episode. I so want to believe he is so want to believe he is on the road to redemption but, damn, he’s a slippery one. You never know what he is going to do or where he will show up. And let us all say a silent prayer for the premature demise of the greasy mullet!

    All in all a really great episode. I hope a zillion people stayed around after the game to watch it. And another new episode tonight. I think I died and went to Five-0 heaven!!!

    • Wendie Joy says:

      Slippery! That’s the word I was looking for to describe Sang Min! LOL Yes, he is a great character and Will Yun Lee does a super job playing both sides of the fence. And I agree- Kono is really trying to block her “spidey” sense about
      the truth about Adam. I just hope he turns out to be a good guy. Love him. But he looks awfully conflicted. And yes! I loved how they cast Daniel Baldwin too! It was a little surreal. I agree- I hope he comes back- and I think he will b/c his story is not done, and he is listed as Recurring Cast:) Thanks Linda! Thanks for always reading and supporting the Redux:) XO Aloha, Wendie

  2. Diane says:

    Hi Wendie. I enjoyed this show. Loved the action, loved seeing DDK get a show focused on him. I think it was in character for Chin to keep his grief from the team, and was glad that they showed he sought help with Malia’s death. I, like you, was starting to think they were going to sweep this under the carpet, and just have him move on. I know that they set up a new love interest for him in the near future, but I would like to see the team trying to help him through his grief a little more. I also loved that Duke had the smile on his face, knowing full well how McG and the team work. Someone on another site mentioned we should have the other 2 Baldwin brothers show up, I think that would be interesting, sort of a group of foes along with WoFat who show up occasionally. I was actually glad to see Kono show that she does not totatlly trust Adam, I feel bad for her, but love does not have to been completely blind. I also hope they don’t take too long before we find out what Adam’s brother did with her gun. I liked that Sang Min escaped, which will lead to him being captured again at a later episode. We don’t know if we should like or dislike this character, which means they are doing a good job. Another new episode tonight which I’m thrilled with. Thanks for the review.

    • Wendie Joy says:

      Hi Diane!
      Great comments! I was going to write that I wonder what Michael did about her gun last night, but I couldn’t quite fit it in without going off on a “Daniel Henney is a honey” tangent. LOL But I too want to know what’s up with that! I’m with you on Sang Min- not sure if I like him or loathe him, but he’s very interesting which says a lot for Will Yun Lee! He’s great:) So oily and smarmy but then– oh, he loves his wife and kid… ouch! How great that he is still with us after 3 seasons. Most “bad guys” don’t last that long on H50:) Mahalo for reading and commenting:) Aloha, Wendie

  3. Anonymous says:

    This was a keeper ep. Two best scenes: Duke smiling at the helo and Kono downloading her friend (?) phone details.

    Have a question for you: how did the football game and the Five0 ep play out in Hawaii? Did you see both of them live or was there some type of delayed broadcast?


    • Wendie Joy says:

      Hi Paul! Thanks for commenting- the AFC game cut about 15 minutes into my H50 DVR set up, but I learned from last year to also DVR the following show just in case, so I got the entire episode. Plus I had been watching the game, so I was in front of my TV when H50 started. It wasn’t too bad. No delayed broadcast, I saw it the same time as everyone else:) It would have been nice for the Voting episode to have been like that. LOL Aloha, Wendie

  4. Anonymous says:

    I really enjoyed this episode, one my favorites, so far!! I also thought that the scene with Duke smiling as McG is coming in with the helicopter was great, the burrito scene, hilarious and I loved the fight scene between Kaleo and Chin Ho! Great episode with packed action scenes!!!

  5. LovesAlexO says:

    Thanks Wendie for your wonderful review! This was one of my favorite episodes during season 3.This new episode was excellent! It was intense, dramatic and full of action! The team thought out of the box and did an amazing job saving Chin in jail, using Kamekona’s helicopter! I’m glad that Kono is now doing her research on Adam! Overall, this episode was superbly written and acted!

    • Wendie Joy says:

      I think this one was my favorite so far of this season. I did like the “lost at sea” episode because of the McG/Danno banter as well. But overall this once had the whole team involved and it was pretty intense. Thanks for commenting and reading! Aloha, Wendie

  6. Anonymous says:

    A little bit late to the forum but I loved this episode. The JH music added that extra bit of umph to an already powerful episode. The fight scenes were too brutal for me but I watched thru half-closed eyes. Love that Kono has doubts about Adam, I’m not sure if I want it to continue cause I’ve always shipped Kono/Fong, but I’ll hold on and see what happens. DUKE!! (Just love him!) and his knowing smile that the Calvary was coming to the rescue. Sang being Sang, opportunistic to the nth degree. Steve flying the heli (w/that fingerless glove, sigh… but I digress :-)!) and Danny coming to the rescue. KUDOS to DDK for his best performance ever! His caring/kindness for others always comes first, even going back for that snake Sang. I love that he IS grieving Malia privately. While he deserves happiness, imho, ifeel we need to wait out the Delano (since we don’t know what happened to Paul, it’s a safe guess he’ll be back) mess. I’m looking forward to tonight’s new epi and another great review! This season is smokin! It’s no wonder I’m hooked and Monday night is my favorite tv-watching night of the week!

    • Wendie Joy says:

      Hi Karen:) Thanks for your comments! You said all the things I was thinking and more… I agree- we have not heard the last of Sang Min, Paul Delano, or seen the reality behind Adam and Kono. DDK was amazing! Such a great episode! And I never can say enough about Dennis Chun- he always does so well with what little screen time they give him. Love him. Thanks for commenting! Aloha, Wendie

  7. Anonymous says:

    Really enjoyed your re-cap as always:)
    Loved this episode and so grateful to see DDK shine and that show is dealing with the aftermath of Malia’s death on Chin,it’s such an important part of his story.
    Duke’s little smile was a delight.Love how 2 second moment can make me love a character more.
    A back to basics Bad-Ass McGarrett is ALWAYS a joy to behold!
    Hope to see more of Sang-Min too.

    • Wendie Joy says:

      You are so right about a moment helping to seal your love of a character:) Nicely said! I just loved when McG was all “We’re going in NOW.” YES! If only all high tension moments/terrorist attacks etc could be handled with common sense and as easily as that. Always McG and the team just do what needs to be done- and I’m really good with that. 😀 Thanks for reading and commenting! Aloha, Wendie

  8. keri says:

    Wendie, Where did you watch this? KGMB did not air this episode in the scheduled timeslot. (They were running Midnight Cowboy and then a ‘filler’ up to the 10pm news.) Did you perhaps watch it online?

    • Anonymous says:

      You can watch the entire episode on the cbs.com website – this URL worked for me:


      • keri says:

        Thanks. I did eventually watch it there … but it’s not as good as the “TV experience”!! Do you know why it wasn’t aired here in Honolulu? Since the byline on this blog reads “Special to the Star-Advertiser” I’d imagined that it was written locally. Guess not….

        • Anonymous says:

          It was scheduled on KGMB for 9pm, so I don’t know why they didn’t air it and they have no explanation on their Facebook page. Anybody here know why KGMB made this decision?

        • Wendie Joy says:

          Hi ladies- H50 wasn’t scheduled to air at 9pm on Sunday, it was scheduled to air at 5pm in Hawai’i- after the AFC Championship game. The AFC post show ran over so H50 actually started around 5:20 or so. And yes, this is written locally- I’m here in Hawai’i. Hope this helps:) Aloha, Wendie

        • keri says:

          Wendie, Mahalo for clearing up this mystery! FWIW, I have a TVguide.com account, tied to my PVR software, and that had it scheduled in the 9pm timeslot for KGMB and OTW cable. Somehow Oceanic or TVguide.com must have missed the special time for Honolulu.

        • Doesn’t do much good now, but I did try to clear up the time issue on Sunday. Messaged HNN on their Facebook page on Sunday afternoon, and they confirmed the episode would air after the game ended.


          After I got an answer, I posted updates to my Twitter account, along with the official Honolulu Pulse and Star-Advertiser accounts.

          Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. Sorry to everyone who missed the episode when it aired on TV in Hawaii.

  9. Amy says:

    Delightful. Thank you for posting your comments. Love them. They had an ‘inside Min’? Typo? 😉

  10. Anonymous says:

    Great read, as always – this blog totally satisfies my needs for H50 information! Loved this episode and DDK’s portrayal of a shattered Chin who refused to give up and refused to leave anyone behind. Great story line! Great action! Wow, it had some very intense moments! I think it’s fair to say, #H50 has gotten its mojo back!

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