Most “Hawaii Five-0” viewers know the main elements that separate “the men from the boys” in any police procedural are action scenes and stunts.
In this week’s repeat of “Hoa Pili,”
directed by Jeff Cadiente, there was a big stunt scene where the Five-0 team get into a big ol’ brawl, and Kono dropped a shipping container onto the bully bad guys. When I spoke to Cadiente about a month before they wrapped filming season three, he shared the ins and outs of “Hoa Pili” and how much he enjoyed directing the episode.
“ʻŌlelo Hoʻopaʻi Make” was the episode where Chin Ho Kelly is kidnapped and left to die in Halawa Correctional Facility, and has to rely on Sang Min to help him get out of a very messy situation. It was among my favorite episodes as our “Five-0” heroes have to rely on each other rather than the prison authorities to get their man out from behind bars.
The episode was a non-stop stunt scene from the start, as McG and Danno have a car chase showdown with Paul Delano (Daniel Baldwin), while Chin is fighting it out inside Halawa with Guard Warrick (Matt Gerald) as well as with former HPD Detective Kaleo (Jason Scott Lee). Then McG, Danno, and Kono take to the sky in Kamekona’s shrimp helicopter to swoop in like a rogue SEAL team to save Chin. Meanwhile, Chin has just faced a Kangaroo court held by Kaleo’s lackeys, Joao Caetano and Dave Lockhart (Hawaii actors Troy A. Ignacio and Kila Packett) both former captures of Lt. Kelly.
Chin, wounded after being shanked and winded after wringing Kaleo’s neck is, of course, saved when the team invades Halawa. The ending scene was pretty epic, with big guns a blazing and everyone getting to take out their anger for Chin’s kidnapping onto a sea of orange clad baddies. For me– one of the best action episodes of the season.
Cadiente’s other favorite, “ʻŌlelo Pa’a” (Promise), was the episode where McGarrett and Catherine (Michelle Borth) make their way to North Korea to find the remains of one of McG’s SEAL buddies, Freddie Hart (Alan Ritchson).
Cadiente had his hands full with this one, as there was two different gunfights with the North Korean Combatant (Vince Shin) and his crew, and we see McG and Hart jump out of a plane as well as endure SEAL training under the stern eye of Joe White (Terry O’Quinn). I know some folks didn’t like the fact that it wasn’t the entire team joining McG on this trek to North Korea, but for the action fan, this one was top notch.
Two other episodes that I talked to Cadiente about were “Hookman” and “Ke Koa” (The Warrior). “Hookman” was the episode that “Hawaii Five-0” took great pains to remake the classic 1973 episode, and Cadiente said he looked at each shot frame by frame so he could set up the stunts so that they matched up.
I watched the classic version of “Hookman” before I wrote my review, and I could see how meticulous Weller was in his directing the 2013 version, and how well Cadiente re-did each stunt. It was pretty uncanny to see the modern hearse come through Diamond Head in an identical shot as the 1973 version. And while motorcycle cop Ben Keoki (Grant Patrick Moniz) may have been on a new bike, the stunt — complete with screaming widow and the expelled casket — was nearly identical.
Add in the massive shootout at a house located behind Leahi Hospital, between the HPD and red herring Don McKinney (Charlie Murphy), and the ending standoff between the Hookman (Peter Weller) and the ‘Five-0’ team — the episode was filled with enough action to help modernize the classic, but keep much of the original version intact.
“Ke Koa” was another great episode that Cadiente was proud of, as he said “we worked hard to keep the Lua scenes authentic.” Between the Lua scenes and the MMA pool fighting, the episode was another action filled episode. Add to this list, “Hana I Wā ‘Ia,” (Scandal) where Wo Fat tries to stare McG into crashing his helicopter while Danno takes shots at the tricky mister, and “He welo ‘oihana” (Family Business) when Momma McG and Little Stevie repel à la “Mission Impossible” down an elevator shaft in order to break into a building and steal back Momma’s many secrets — all hot stunts that deserve mention.
I can’t leave out the season three opener “Lā o nā mākuahine” (Mother’s Day) http://www.honolulupulse.com/2012/09/not-so-happy-mother’s-day/ which started off with the great rescue of Kono by Adam (Ian Anthony Dale), and kept up the stellar action when a megatron crane arm flew over Wo Fat’s prison transport van and reenacted a scene from a James Bond film so he could escape once more from McG’s grasp.
If that was not enough action for us, the amazing gun fight between the ‘Five-0’ team and Frank Delano (William Baldwin) and his henchman Toothpick (Karl Herlinger) right on Ala Moana Boulevard was awesome, especially when Kono jumps onto Toothpick’s car and shoots him through the windshield. Super action, hot shooting, awesome drama; all great hallmarks to good stunts scenes that are not only fun to watch, but propel the story along in an entertaining and thoughtful way.
I know I could probably find at least one or two scenes in every episode that are amazing. I’m sure you all are thinking of a few yourselves. Tell me what are your favorites and why. These are my own, with a little help from Jeff Cadiente, who I’m sure is cooking up more action for all of us to enjoy come Sept. 27. I know whatever Cadiente comes up with, it will be worth the wait.
Redux Side Note:
On Wednesday, July 10, “Hawaii Five-0” celebrated the start of their fourth season with a traditional Hawaiian blessing at their new studio at Diamond Head. Egan Inoue visited the “Hawaii Five-0” set on Friday, July 12, to spend time with friends Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan, who both train with Inoue at his training center in Mānoa. Inoue was on set to support his friends and shared several pictures with fans.
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.